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Trenzalore
04-15-2014, 04:24 AM
Heya,

this may be a stupid question, but perhaps you could help me with a problem.

In 2011 I bought a super cute Makala Dolphin from MGM, but I stopped playing after a few months due to some problems.

I started again but I noticed: when I am only playing and NOT singing, I have no problems with strumming patterns and rhythm. As soon as I want to start singing, I'm not able to keep the strumming pattern or the rhythm and it sounds chaotic.

I also tried playing slow, but no improvement.

How could I improve this? Will it get better by time? It feels like a knot in my head... I want to, but I can't... :D


Thank you!

RAB11
04-15-2014, 04:29 AM
You basically need to teach your mind to do two things at once. Do your strumming pattern as normal and then either hum the singing part or at least just singing in your head, to get your brain to process the two different rhythms at once. And when you've got a minute and don't have the uke, try singing the song but have the uke part playing in your head.

You need to make sure your chord changes are seamless too so then it's one less thing to worry about.

It'll all come with time. At some point you'll be so comfortable with strumming that you'll just start singing normally and then bam! You're sorted.

Olarte
04-15-2014, 04:39 AM
Aside from getting the chord changes to be smooth and not have to think about them, one way to start combining both strumming and singing might be to do simple up and down strums and use it almost like a metronome so you will start singing to the beat of the strumming.

As you get used to doing both at the same time, you can add more complex strumming etc...

Start easy and slow and you will grow from there over time with a bit of consistent practice every day...

good luck.

kwall
04-15-2014, 07:12 AM
as said before do simple strumming, then when you get use to multi tasking it will come. Practice also helps.Big tip esp for beginner that has been said on the forum before is dont get hung up on strumming, if u just do something that works for your it will continue ur playing.

Ukejenny
04-15-2014, 02:16 PM
Once I'm really comfortable strumming a song, I will hum along as I strum and keep doing that until I can strum and hum. Then, I'll try to do the actual lyrics. The more you do it, it more comfortable it gets.

bunnyf
04-15-2014, 02:26 PM
As others have said, choose a simple strum, then add the hum, then the lyrics. Watch Aldrine's video on singing and strumming. His good advice was to start with only super simple tunes that you are completely familiar with(melody, lyrics and general timing). Things will fall into place that much quicker.

PhilUSAFRet
04-15-2014, 03:07 PM
When learning a new song, master either the chords, strums, or lyrics, but not all at once. Beginners often try and learn too many skills at once.....it's very hard and frustrating doing that way for most of us.

djembekah
04-15-2014, 03:27 PM
I'm new to ukulele still, but I've been doing it the same way as I learn songs with djembe. Like Phil said, one thing at a time :)

peaceweaver3
04-15-2014, 03:53 PM
Once I'm really comfortable strumming a song, I will hum along as I strum and keep doing that until I can strum and hum. Then, I'll try to do the actual lyrics. The more you do it, it more comfortable it gets.

I've done this too. Also, you really, really need to know the song inside out, upside down and backward to make all these things work together. So pick songs you like and could hum or sing in your sleep, because you'll be playing them an awful lot at first! The more you like a song, the more you want to play it. And the more you play it, the better, and easier, it gets.

Then at some point when you least expect it, the singing and strumming will just work, even if the song is less familiar to you. That's how it goes, gradually, creeping like a thief in the night... Sorry, I've been watching too many movies lately! :D

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
04-16-2014, 02:51 PM
Great advice so far.

Also, try practicing singing while you're not playing uke. Sing along with good recordings of songs you like playing on the uke over and over. (As long as you maintain concentration on the road, the car can be a great singing studio.) When you don't even have to think about the words or the melody of a song, your brain will have more energy to commit to strumming.

Concertina
04-16-2014, 03:00 PM
I've done this too. Also, you really, really need to know the song inside out, upside down and backward to make all these things work together. So pick songs you like and could hum or sing in your sleep, because you'll be playing them an awful lot at first! The more you like a song, the more you want to play it. And the more you play it, the better, and easier, it gets.

Then at some point when you least expect it, the singing and strumming will just work, even if the song is less familiar to you. That's how it goes, gradually, creeping like a thief in the night... Sorry, I've been watching too many movies lately! :D

This is basically how I do it. I will put a CD in my car of the song I'm trying to learn and just sing it on repeat a million times. I have to know it inside out in order to even begin to put them together.

Phluffy the Destroyer
04-16-2014, 08:25 PM
There is a lot of good advice here, but I would suggest you get a little more basic. Chorded music is pretty much wide open to interpretation, so I think the simplest interpretation is probably the best place to start. Pick a simple song with 2-5 chords that you know like well enough to sing over and over and over (and over and over) again.

Chord music is pretty simple stuff. There are lyrics and the chords are usually notated above the lyrics or in parentheses in the lyrics. Most people know how to sing (or something vaguely like singing anyway), so lets start there. Strum patterns will complicate the issue, and the issue seems to be a disconnect between what your mouth is doing and what your hands are doing.

So, concentrate your efforts on what you already know how to do, which is to sing.

Don't try to play any kind of pattern at first. Instead of trying to strum along using any sort of a pattern while you sing, just sing and play each chord in one downward strum. When the chord change comes up, strum the new chord once. When the next chord comes up, strum the new chord once. Continue like this until you finish the song. Keep playing the song this way until you are comfortable enough to make the chord changes smoothly and on time while you sing. Eventually you will feel comfortable enough with the chord changes to begin filling out the ukulele bits with something a little more complex like strumming in time to the music while you sing.

My guess is that once you can get your hands to work with your voice (instead of trying to get your voice to work with your hands), that the rest will fall into place for you and the excellent advice that everyone else has already offered will be a little more meaningful.

Uke Andy
04-17-2014, 04:11 AM
Thanks to everyone for the great ideas on this subject, I have been having the same issues. I am about 2 months into playing my Uke, working on chords and strum patterns. The so called "simple" to learn songs are kicking my butt. My friends and family have been very encouraging and say I am getting better. It's a blast when I'm changing chords cleanly and strumming a pattern, but when I go to sing it all falls like a hosue of cards.

Phluffy the Destroyer, I will definatly be trying your suggestion. It's one I have not tried yet. Any help you guy's have is greatly appreciated.