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View Full Version : The first song I decided to try as a newbie - evil chord!



haertig
06-12-2014, 12:53 PM
Well, I just picked the first song I thought I'd learn to play. After figuring out the which chords I'd need to learn - easy enough by listening to the song and figuring out the main note by trial and error - I found that, OF COURSE, I had picked something that needed chords that seem out of my grasp for now. E-B-A. A is simple, but that E is tough, with the B not all that far behind. Bummer. I guess I'll learn the song later.

I like the way the TV show "LOST" would take songs that we all know and love and slow them down into a nice melancholy deep thought arrangement. I thought the one below would be easy to learn the chords first, then the melody. But ... there's this initial E chord that I'm having trouble with. The song is slow (in this arrangement) - good for a beginner. And the strumming I imagined playing (down, down-up, down, down-up) sounds leasy for a beginner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXLsnIWP0rI

DownUpDave
06-12-2014, 01:10 PM
I love how your first day with the uke you thought your fingers were going to bleed and your hands fall off. Now your first song has a E chord, which as you found out is not easy. Heck I think there is a sticky with about 1000 posts bemoaning the E chord. Learn the easy chords that are versatile, C, Am, F, G and you can play hundreds of songs. Google easy uke songs and you will be overwhelmed with choices.

I do like your attitude and moxy, dive in head first and stroke like crazy. Have you had a shot at fixing the stripped screw hole yet.

CeeJay
06-12-2014, 01:22 PM
You know that B chord that you don't like ? Learn it as Bb ...one position closer to
////////////////////////////////////////////////G C E A////////////////////////////////////
the nut ....in fact just under the nut....so 4 3 1 1.


It will be your first moveable chord...because at the next fret up it becomes the B then at the third it becomes C ...then Db then D......

(Scale is Bb B C C#/Dd D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C)

as will E played 4 4 4 7 go back toward the nut one it is then Eb.. Go 5 5 5 8 hey it's an F...etc....(edit ...sorry ...no wonder you ignored this)

All I'm saying is that don't think of it as learning one chord ...think of it as learning a shape that will make lots of other chords as well.....that is why it is worth persevering with the so called difficult chord shapes....

haertig
06-12-2014, 01:48 PM
Have you had a shot at fixing the stripped screw hole yet.
I figured I'd give that E chord some more work tonight, then I will give my frustration a break by doing the toothpick repair either tonight or tomorrow. Giving the glue a day to dry will give me some down time from the uke to avoid getting frustrated. I need to practice piano instead - I have neglected serious piano work for almost a week now while playing with my new uke, which is not good for my piano skills. Long ago my piano teacher once told me a quote from someone (unknown to me), "If I don't practice for a day, I notice. If I don't practice for two days, my friends notice. If I don't practice for three days, EVERYBODY notices!"

OldePhart
06-12-2014, 02:41 PM
E-B-A could just as easily be D A G...could just as easily be C G F...just sayin'.

Now, I don't recommend that you avoid the so-called "hard" chords...but for your very first song. Yeah...make it a little easier on yourself. Presumably it's a favorite song of yours if you want to learn it so...learn it in C (dead easy beginner chords). Then, move up a full step to D (still not tough but some people get scared by the D chord so this lets you add it to your library). Then, on up to the original key of E and now you add the E and B chords. All while (presumably) playing a song you love.

Unless you are pretty lucky your vocal range will not be dead on C (I'm lucky and mine is but it doesn't hold true for everyone) so it really helps to learn a lot of keys.

John

haertig
06-12-2014, 02:54 PM
I do like your attitude and moxy, dive in head first and stroke like crazy.
My goal with ukulele, is to be able to mix chords and melody into a performance. Because I cannot sing a note, so the traditional ukulele playing where you are accompaniing yourself singing will not work for me. I know this will take years of learning for me to master, but that is where I am setting my sights. I am only at the very very beginning now.


Unless you are pretty lucky your vocal range will not be dead on C
Unfortunately, my vocal range centers on a different note each attempt, and my vocal range spread is composed of 2 notes. Singing is out for me!

I want to learn uke (eventually) similar to the Schubert piano piece below, where the melody seems to come out of nowhere and it's hard to tell which finger(s) are striking the melody notes amongst the arpeggios (you'd initially think the left hand was playing the melody, but in fact it's all "hidden" in the right hand - 90% of it being done with the fifth finger). I was able to play this piece after about 2-1/2 to 3 years of lessons, but it took me four months to learn it - most of that beating "relaxation" into myself! It is the first piece where I learned that relaxation is absolutely mandatory on the piano, and I assume equally so on the ukulele. The arpeggios never stop throughout the piece so your fingers never get a rest. If you're tense, you'll never make it through. I hope to be able to transfer some of this knowledge and experience gained through piano into my uke playing.

Anyway, it is this "melody floating out from within chords (arpeggios)" that I hope to someday be able to accomplish on the ukulele.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=w_z9oSn-eIM

OldePhart
06-12-2014, 03:27 PM
That's lovely! You've got way more patience than I. Ignore everything I said! LOL

John

pixiepurls
06-13-2014, 02:30 AM
My goal with ukulele, is to be able to mix chords and melody into a performance. Because I cannot sing a note, so the traditional ukulele playing where you are accompaniing yourself singing will not work for me. I know this will take years of learning for me to master, but that is where I am setting my sights. I am only at the very very beginning now.


Unfortunately, my vocal range centers on a different note each attempt, and my vocal range spread is composed of 2 notes. Singing is out for me!

I want to learn uke (eventually) similar to the Schubert piano piece below, where the melody seems to come out of nowhere and it's hard to tell which finger(s) are striking the melody notes amongst the arpeggios (you'd initially think the left hand was playing the melody, but in fact it's all "hidden" in the right hand - 90% of it being done with the fifth finger). I was able to play this piece after about 2-1/2 to 3 years of lessons, but it took me four months to learn it - most of that beating "relaxation" into myself! It is the first piece where I learned that relaxation is absolutely mandatory on the piano, and I assume equally so on the ukulele. The arpeggios never stop throughout the piece so your fingers never get a rest. If you're tense, you'll never make it through. I hope to be able to transfer some of this knowledge and experience gained through piano into my uke playing.

Anyway, it is this "melody floating out from within chords (arpeggios)" that I hope to someday be able to accomplish on the ukulele.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=w_z9oSn-eIM

I am working on learning the same style as you and I am about 4 months into learning ukulele. I have a proper teacher and we are practicing chord shapes and picking patterns and percussive strumming patterns. While I can sing when I play I would prefer to play pieces that don't require singing to sound good. It's a lot of fun! I'm pretty head-first-gung-ho as well, my fingers hurt like hell the first two weeks, Now I don't even think about it. If I play a lot I get a tiny bit of peeling on my fingers but its nothing too nasty.

I find myself learning all sorts of random small techniques but I don't yet have the patience to stick with a song for weeks on end... I think it's because I've not found the right song yet! Also its really important when first learning ukulele (IMHO) to give your body muscle memory for different chord transitions. Its easy enough to pound into a song for a week (with E chord for example the Somewhere over the Rainbow song has a repeated bit that I learned E on) and learn THAT chord progression but then you need to get the muscle memory for other chord changes in order to be able to pick up new songs faster...

Ukejenny
06-13-2014, 06:12 AM
For me, the key to E was to focus on what my middle, ring, and pinky fingers were doing and worry less about placing my index finger. And relaxing during the stretch to the fourth fret with those three fingers.

The Schubert is lovely.

iamesperambient
06-13-2014, 07:11 AM
Well, I just picked the first song I thought I'd learn to play. After figuring out the which chords I'd need to learn - easy enough by listening to the song and figuring out the main note by trial and error - I found that, OF COURSE, I had picked something that needed chords that seem out of my grasp for now. E-B-A. A is simple, but that E is tough, with the B not all that far behind. Bummer. I guess I'll learn the song later.

I like the way the TV show "LOST" would take songs that we all know and love and slow them down into a nice melancholy deep thought arrangement. I thought the one below would be easy to learn the chords first, then the melody. But ... there's this initial E chord that I'm having trouble with. The song is slow (in this arrangement) - good for a beginner. And the strumming I imagined playing (down, down-up, down, down-up) sounds leasy for a beginner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXLsnIWP0rI

it seems a lot of people have issues playing the standard E shape what size uke are you using?
i find it much easier to play the E chord on a concert or tenor. Also if you barre all the strings on
the 4th fret and place your pinky on the A string on the 7th fret thats also another version of the E chord
i find this version to be easier to play on smaller ukes this could be useful although it doesn't work for certain
songs as the pitch is a little bit higher on the this shape.