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View Full Version : Ach, today I feel like giving up!



mr79
07-06-2014, 04:14 AM
Argh, I'm having one of them days where I just feel like I'm never going to be able to do this... I get the theory, I've got my head around chords and how they're made fine, I understand the whole root/third/fifth thing, I know what a suspended fourth is... I'm even starting to be able to read music a little. I learnt quite a lot of music theory at school and took to it quite easy, but never actually got as far as learning an instrument even though I wanted to after our school dropped its music department. And I also get the physical things like intonation, action etc. I can fit new frets, make new nuts and saddles.

It's the mechanics of translating all that on to this wooden stick with the wood and the frets and the strings to try and make something resembling what you humans call music... my strumming pattern evolves all by itself into a different one, and it still seems to be taking me a week to change chords, and it still sometimes feels like I'm gonna drop the uke.

I think that's why I keep flitting from uke to uke, string set to string set... partly in the hope that each one will be 'the answer' and partly because doing all that's easier than learning to play the damn thing.

Rargh. Sorry, just needed to vent, and maybe some advice. I feel like I need to start all over again, like I know too many random things that don't link up... a good book and a good strap? But is that just buying more stuff, throwing good after bad? Maybe I should pick something else, like the tambourine!

1931jim
07-06-2014, 04:22 AM
Never give up. As my granny used to say "Wake up, Get up, Show up." Just muscle memory and woodshedding is the secret. nothing has changed in the last thousand years. Well maybe somethings. HaHa!! I'm coming from the era of "No Batteries" background.

mr79
07-06-2014, 04:52 AM
Never give up. As my granny used to say "Wake up, Get up, Show up." Just muscle memory and woodshedding is the secret. nothing has changed in the last thousand years. Well maybe somethings. HaHa!! I'm coming from the era of "No Batteries" background.

I know... I think I just need more of a system (and stop hoping that the next ukulele will somehow magically be easier to play!). I've stopped trying to play songs recently, and started doing a 1234 down the frets on each string, trying to get my fingers to all be as strong as each other and hit the frets cleanly (and to get my picking hand used to moving across strings)... I'll find a way. It's tough over here, we don't seem to have the local jams and groups and tutors you find over the water!

What's woodshedding by the way?

Olarte
07-06-2014, 04:53 AM
Maybe this will help :shaka:


http://youtu.be/cbIzrY7DbZg

CeeJay
07-06-2014, 05:02 AM
Maybe I should pick something else, like the tambourine!

Get one of those tambourines on a stick .......with 4 strings and no silly little cymbal thingies then...oh aye ...a Banjolele.......

Ach Seriously though ...we all get days like this.......

One simple and honest answer might I suggest ?

Just sit and play the damned thing.....at your own pace at your own level at your own musical taste .......there is not any advantage to flitting between different sets of strings and different ukes .....they don't play.....YOU play them .....

I don't know any instrument (and I've tried to get to grips with a few ) that do not fight back ....have reversals beyond the advances ...are just plain stupid stubborn b******s...and then one day there is an epiphany....a break through and then another .....

Always stop on a good one (tune or scale whatever) ......and if it is getting your goat ...put it down ...you will only wind yourself up........

The main thing is not to try and over reach....I nearly bust a gut teaching myself the Piano Accordion in 2011..I was trying pieces far in advance of what I was capable of ...or even liked ...now I can knock out some half decent rock and roll and boogy tunes and the odd (yawn) folk song....(needless to say a lot of Accordionists do not approve ....but then, up theirs)

I am not a classical player however and if you are then this will be of limited scope (although some of it will still be relevant) other than slow it down and expect smaller increments of improvement ....and that is not patronising in anyway.....try to switch between the simpler chords at first ...like C to F to G.....get those down you can work out many many tunes .....G, C , D (D7) and A D(d7) E (whichever way you want to play the Devil's own chord ) the same ....G and A pattern (A particularly for the Blues )....anyhooo...STICK at it ........

I am in no way an expert ...or a decent musician ...I just achieve a level of playing for enjoyment and if others recognise the toooooon .....well that's a bonus..........

Freeda
07-06-2014, 05:07 AM
Well you already have more academic knowledge than most of us. Sounds like analysis paralysis.

Now pick one uke.

And pick one book to work from.

30 min a day for two weeks. Just play. Go through the Daily Uke or an instruction book, but stop thinking theory and DO application. Nothing to it but to do it.

Sticking to one instrument and one book and a set time frame should get you past this hump. Good luck!

CeeJay
07-06-2014, 05:09 AM
Well you already have more academic knowledge than most of us. Sounds like analysis paralysis.

Now pick one uke.

And pick one book to work from.

30 min a day for two weeks. Just play. Go through the Daily Uke or an instruction book, but stop thinking theory and DO application. Nothing to it but to do it.

Sticking to one instrument and one book and a set time frame should get you past this hump. Good luck!

You said mostly what I said in 4 lines ....FOUR lines .....you are my hero of succinct.......


*bollox* and numeracy ...because it was 5.... FIVE...lines ..........me I only counted 4 .......must be a rhythm thing !!

hoosierhiver
07-06-2014, 05:13 AM
Buy some beer, build a fire in the backyard tonight and play some of your favorite songs. Don't worry what you sound like.

mr79
07-06-2014, 05:14 AM
Well you already have more academic knowledge than most of us. Sounds like analysis paralysis.

Now pick one uke.

And pick one book to work from.

30 min a day for two weeks. Just play. Go through the Daily Uke or an instruction book, but stop thinking theory and DO application. Nothing to it but to do it.

Sticking to one instrument and one book and a set time frame should get you past this hump. Good luck!

This is what I'm going to do. I always thought I wanted a free and easy life, turns out what I need is structures and deadlines - the ukulele is teaching me about myself, if nowt else!


You said mostly what I said in 4 lines ....FOUR lines .....you are my hero of succinct.......

What you said was very helpful, especially about not worrying what others think... I always overrun my own thoughts with too many words too!

CeeJay
07-06-2014, 05:15 AM
woodshedding is a term derived from the days of the Bluesmen ...they would gather in a woodshed on somebodies property and trade guitar and other blues licks ...it's a common practice among guitar players.....it's great fun too...half jam , half lesson ,half tips ,half pi**ed by the end sometimes as well !!

CeeJay
07-06-2014, 05:19 AM
Buy some beer, build a fire in the backyard tonight and play some of your favorite songs. Don't worry what you sound like.

The suggestion is magnificent ..........except Czutney lives in Llanfairfechan....this is in Wales ......and is the Rain God's (all nationality and religions Rain God) country of choice :D..........

mr79
07-06-2014, 05:23 AM
The suggestion is magnificent ..........except Czutney lives in Llanfairfechan....this is in Wales ......and is the Rain God's (all nationality and religions Rain God) country of choice :D..........

You're not wrong... (although there is some sort of bright orb in the sky today, and the sky itself seems a long way away and is... blue?) This is why I need indoor hobbies!

PhilUSAFRet
07-06-2014, 05:34 AM
Careful you aren't trying to learn too much at once.....new songs, strums, chords and chord changes, lyrics, timing, etc. etc. Some of us have to master chords, then lyrics, than strums, not necessarily In that order. Some folks need a metronome to keep time for a while. Many online. I have a great weight machine near my computer. I look at it often, but it hasn't made me any stronger. Hmmm, may have to actually use it. I laughed when one of my grandson's gained the insight that scrubbing bubbles cleaner didn't actually do all of the work. Keep hanging in there. If there's a club nearby, try and join and attend meetings. Play for your own enjoyment. If it ain't fun, it's hard to do. Keep on strumming, or picking,etc.

Icelander53
07-06-2014, 05:52 AM
Argh, I'm having one of them days where I just feel like I'm never going to be able to do this... I get the theory, I've got my head around chords and how they're made fine, I understand the whole root/third/fifth thing, I know what a suspended fourth is... I'm even starting to be able to read music a little. I learnt quite a lot of music theory at school and took to it quite easy, but never actually got as far as learning an instrument even though I wanted to after our school dropped its music department. And I also get the physical things like intonation, action etc. I can fit new frets, make new nuts and saddles.

It's the mechanics of translating all that on to this wooden stick with the wood and the frets and the strings to try and make something resembling what you humans call music... my strumming pattern evolves all by itself into a different one, and it still seems to be taking me a week to change chords, and it still sometimes feels like I'm gonna drop the uke.

I think that's why I keep flitting from uke to uke, string set to string set... partly in the hope that each one will be 'the answer' and partly because doing all that's easier than learning to play the damn thing.

Rargh. Sorry, just needed to vent, and maybe some advice. I feel like I need to start all over again, like I know too many random things that don't link up... a good book and a good strap? But is that just buying more stuff, throwing good after bad? Maybe I should pick something else, like the tambourine!

Maybe your expectations and time frame for progress are not realistic. I've learned to enjoy playing songs very slowly and deliberately. Made a world of difference for me. There's no hurry cause we're already where we're going.

CeeJay
07-06-2014, 05:55 AM
You're not wrong... (although there is some sort of bright orb in the sky today, and the sky itself seems a long way away and is... blue?) This is why I need indoor hobbies!


It's those Blue Tinted spectacles you are wearing again :D

SteveZ
07-06-2014, 06:03 AM
It's those Blue Tinted spectacles you are wearing again :D

Everything sounds better after a couple Famous Grouse (or equivalent, I'm in Rum&Coke world). Also, after a couple, the audience is much more forgiving (except the dog!).

RAB11
07-06-2014, 06:06 AM
CeeJay's advice about if it's winding you up, leave it is spot on.

The amount of times I try to learn or record (especially record) a song and by the 20th take I'm about ready to throw the damn thing out the window...... I just put it down (mainly due to the encouragement of my better half who's frustrated as me and worried I'm gonna bust a bloodvessel) and the next morning I pick up my uke and do it first time more often than not.

CeeJay
07-06-2014, 06:17 AM
CeeJay's advice about if it's winding you up, leave it is spot on.

The amount of times I try to learn or record (especially record) a song and by the 20th take I'm about ready to throw the damn thing out the window...... I just put it down (mainly due to the encouragement of my better half who's frustrated as me and worried I'm gonna bust a bloodvessel) and the next morning I pick up my uke and do it first time more often than not.


...and do you know that there is actually a scientific principle behind this.....it is something to do with the mind storing and assimilating new information ....whilst you are trying to learn AND play the mind is doing more than thing.......let it have a rest and then later the old noggin has absorbed the info......'tis real and true and not madey uppy.

Professor Emeritus of Woefully Inedaquate Ukulele skills UU (Unseen University)

1931jim
07-06-2014, 06:33 AM
Thank you CeeJay for answering the question for me. I was away doing my husbandly duties. I had to do the laundry and the darning and the pressing of all my wife's blouses and and . 'Tis house-broken I am.

woodshedding is a term derived from the days of the Bluesmen ...they would gather in a woodshed on somebodies property and trade guitar and other blues licks ...it's a common practice among guitar players.....it's great fun too...half jam , half lesson ,half tips ,half pi**ed by the end sometimes as well !!

DownUpDave
07-06-2014, 07:42 AM
As others have stated, one uke that you really like, two books ( more on that in a second) and a strap CeeJay will pounce on me for that. For diciplined practice get "Ukulele Aerobics" , great book and there is a big thread on it in the beginners forum. I have it and am really getting a lot out of it. Next book is for easy songs you know and throughly enjoy, songs you can sing. This will give you the fun quota you need to advance. All work and no play makes Czutney a dull boy.

mr79
07-06-2014, 07:49 AM
Careful you aren't trying to learn too much at once.....


Maybe your expectations and time frame for progress are not realistic. I've learned to enjoy playing songs very slowly and deliberately.

Guilty as charged... I've come up with a new (slower) plan, and I'm actually looking forward to it now.


Everything sounds better after a couple Famous Grouse (or equivalent, I'm in Rum&Coke world). Also, after a couple, the audience is much more forgiving (except the dog!).

That's me backup plan ;)


CeeJay's advice about if it's winding you up, leave it is spot on.

The amount of times I try to learn or record (especially record) a song and by the 20th take I'm about ready to throw the damn thing out the window...... I just put it down (mainly due to the encouragement of my better half who's frustrated as me and worried I'm gonna bust a bloodvessel) and the next morning I pick up my uke and do it first time more often than not.

I know tomorrow I'll probably be able to do the things I couldn't today... sometimes I'm too stubborn to leave it, as I want to do it today...


As others have stated, one uke that you really like, two books ( more on that in a second) and a strap CeeJay will pounce on me for that. For diciplined practice get "Ukulele Aerobics" , great book and there is a big thread on it in the beginners forum. I have it and am really getting a lot out of it. Next book is for easy songs you know and throughly enjoy, songs you can sing. This will give you the fun quota you need to advance. All work and no play makes Czutney a dull boy.

And you must be psychic! Before I came back on here I spent the past hour on t'internet and bought (before reading your reply): a copy of Ukulele Aerobics, a strap button, a strap, and a book of simple old folk/blues/country songs.

How did you know?!

DownUpDave
07-06-2014, 08:20 AM
Ok that is scarey stuff right there. A strap helped me enormously and many others here as well. I downloaded Uncle Rods boot camp and I work the chord charts every day. That is the basic building block to play music, got to make chords.

You will like Uke Aerobics, simple lesson everyday and each day is different, keeps it fresh and interesting and you do improve. So glad you are on you way. Now a simple three chord song over and over and over again, your golden.

Down Up Dick
07-06-2014, 08:52 AM
Maybe you can do what I do when things get me down. Do something else that you like to do for a coupla days. Read a few good stories, do some games if you like 'em--whatever. Take the pressure off . . . Works for me,

Rllink
07-06-2014, 10:20 AM
Number one, learning to play the ukulele should be a lifetime endeavor, not a weekend project. You have the rest of your life to learn to play the ukulele. Number two, If you are just a little better every day, you are making progress. Over a lifetime it really adds up. I'm going to say, that when I was younger I was not a patient person. I've become much more so in my old age, and I benefit greatly from it.

I am a fan of the Ukulele Aerobics as well. I think though that the biggest mistake some people can make is trying to rush through it. Enjoy it. Take your time. Master each lesson. I'm new to the ukulele too, and I have made some pretty good progress with Ukulele Aerobics. I think that sometimes though you will look at the chords that they are teaching you, and you will say, "what the heck is this". But it isn't about the chords, it is about learning to learn, so just learn them and keep moving. You will build off of them. Thinking too much about it is a trap of its own. Go with it and you will learn.

mm stan
07-06-2014, 10:40 AM
You're burnt up on knowledge now...take a rest and just practice playing for a while... this is why the uke is fun....
Speeding up the learning curb and failing in doing anything can almost make anyone depressed and sometimes quit... pace yourself man...

Teek
07-06-2014, 11:04 AM
Right here you have Uke Minutes (free) and UU+ which is very reasonable for a year and supports the site. I just paid for a year after trying a few months and it has been super. Very well laid out and progresses nicely from a basic foundation.

CeeJay
07-06-2014, 11:52 AM
As others have stated, one uke that you really like, two books ( more on that in a second) and a strap CeeJay will pounce on me for that. For diciplined practice get "Ukulele Aerobics" , great book and there is a big thread on it in the beginners forum. I have it and am really getting a lot out of it. Next book is for easy songs you know and throughly enjoy, songs you can sing. This will give you the fun quota you need to advance. All work and no play makes Czutney a dull boy.

No I won't ....I might flog you with it though..the strap I mean :nana:

Icelander53
07-06-2014, 12:11 PM
Maybe you can do what I do when things get me down. Do something else that you like to do for a coupla days. Read a few good stories, do some games if you like 'em--whatever. Take the pressure off . . . Works for me,

I just took about 10 days off and hardly touched my ukes. Felt guilty and all sorts of crappy feelings and then finally said what the heck. Three days ago I just felt like playing and I don't think I've ever played better or smoother. I've just gotten through about 5 months of 1-2 hr. practice per day with hardly a missed day. I felt stale and needed some time away. I listened to a lot of music on CD and read books.

sukie
07-06-2014, 01:00 PM
I just took about 10 days off and hardly touched my ukes. Felt guilty and all sorts of crappy feelings and then finally said what the heck. Three days ago I just felt like playing and I don't think I've ever played better or smoother. I've just gotten through about 5 months of 1-2 hr. practice per day with hardly a missed day. I felt stale and needed some time away. I listened to a lot of music on CD and read books.
I've taken a lot of days off recently. I hope it goes as smoothly for me.

DownUpDave
07-06-2014, 01:12 PM
No I won't ....I might flog you with it though..the strap I mean :nana:

I haven't had a good flogging since I handed in my pirate suit, thank you.

CeeJay
07-06-2014, 01:16 PM
I haven't had a good flogging since I handed in my pirate suit, thank you.


ah noooooooooooo...you handed back the pirate suit.............................?????? I want one ....

bunnyf
07-06-2014, 06:04 PM
Don't quit. I'm with hoosierhiver. Pause, rewind. Pick a few of your favorite songs. Now take it slow and reconnect with the joy that making music should be. I saw an interview with Jake S. and he said to pick pieces that you really, like, whatever that may be. It will make playing that much more fun and if your having fun you will play more...play more..get better. Then the very next thing he said was to play super slow...rush and you make mistakes and you don't want to be practicing mistakes. I spend several hours a day just having fun playing my uke. I spend about a 1/2 (1 hr tops) working on a technique, scales, new chord positions, etc. I think too much can be overwhelming for a beginner and can suck all the fun out of playing. I may not be improving at the most rapid pace, but I AM enjoying the journey. Things that were challenging for me a few years ago are now quite simple.

Mphenwood
07-06-2014, 09:30 PM
Get together with a couple of ukulele playing mates, with the intention of just doing half a dozen songs you all like. It's good fun, you'll exchange tips and tricks, it will encourage you to practice songs you like.

Don't sweat the small stuff, don't forget the fun stuff.

Cheers, Martin H.

Uncle Leroy
07-06-2014, 10:29 PM
+1 on what Hoosierhiver said. Wise words.

mr79
07-07-2014, 06:37 AM
It's all been very wise advice, and I shall be following all of it (apart from the whole flogging/pirate suit thing)... thanks for putting up with a vent and helping me see sense!

This place rules :worship:

DownUpDave
07-07-2014, 06:46 AM
It's all been very wise advice, and I shall be following all of it (apart from the whole flogging/pirate suit thing)... thanks for putting up with a vent and helping me see sense!

This place rules :worship:

That truly is the beauty of this site, all the help one receives. When someone does not have access to other people face to face this is the place ( oh look I made a rhyme )

Don't discount the pirate suit and flogging so quickly............just saying :deadhorse:

niwenomian
07-07-2014, 07:27 AM
I think you've gotten some really good suggestions here Czutney. I thought I would share what I do when I suffer from too many books, too much technical practice, too many songs and picking up the uke feels like work.

Just play.

That's the short version, which almost sounds trite. Not meant to be, I assure you. I know I don't allow myself enough time to just play around and make sounds that make me happy, but when I do I find it to be incredibly rewarding and I find myself utilizing many things that I had been practicing over the past week in a very musical and free manner. And maybe most important, it seems to restore my "joy of uke" after its been worn down for whatever reason.

Here's how I go about it. First step is mindset. It's important to be present because the driving factor of this activity will be your joy in what you are doing. Next, grab your uke with the intention to do something with it. In other words, not absentmindedly as if you are going to pick a bit while watching TV. Then, just make a sound. Any note will do for a start, as long as the sounds you make with your uke are made with your own voice. It doesn't matter if you play that one note over and over again, or play a phrase or a tune. Play with full intention. Doesn't have to sound good for anyone else or be "right". You're just playing around. Sometimes I will do this and develop something new, but there is no set plan. Just a playground to roam around in.

itsscottwilder
07-07-2014, 09:35 AM
Buy some beer, build a fire in the backyard tonight and play some of your favorite songs. Don't worry what you sound like.

#truthbomb +1

itsscottwilder
07-07-2014, 09:39 AM
I haven't read all the replies. But I do think that in music the what comes before the why. If you know how to play the chords G,C,and D. then you know how to play Knocking on Heaven's Door, Blowing in the Wind, and La Bamba. it's doesn't matter why it works. It just works.

Thiago
07-07-2014, 10:18 AM
I have this feeling on a daily basis - when I'm trying to switch to a new chord, or trying to sing a really good song and realizing that I suck at singing.

As a novice, I don't have as good advice as other people have posted, but I'll tell you what works for me - I watch some videos and see all the wonderful things people can do with the uke (and I mean "normal" people, not beasts like Shimabukuro) and I get inspired. So I pick up the uke and just do what I already know and have so much fun that I feel like learning again!

Cheers and happy strumming :)

Ramart
07-07-2014, 01:14 PM
My two cents: Simplify but get doggedly repetitive. Pick a song you really like that's ultra-familiar to your ear (maybe a Beatles tune), one that has maybe seven or eight simple/basic chords. Now play that same song, all the way through, a hundred or so times, maybe two hundred (three hundred if necessary) until you perfect your chord changes and tempo. By perfect I mean until the song actually sounds like what we humans call music. Don't change songs until you perfect your rendition of that initial song choice. You'll definitely build up that all-important muscle memory for those seven or eight foundational chords. I think you'll then find you can play other songs more cohesively, and it'll be simpler to add new chords to your repetoire.

Ukejenny
07-07-2014, 07:32 PM
Slow and steady wins the race. And this isn't even a race. So, let me rephrase and say slow and steady wins this leisurely walk through musical joy that lasts as long as we do.

Pick your favorite song or favorite lick, slow down, and play it until you enjoy it. Really enjoy it. Then move on to something else. Repeat that lick slowly until you really enjoy it. Keep going.

A "lick" could be just two chords - going from C to F is a lick. Slow and steady.

bird's eye view of my ukelele
07-07-2014, 08:23 PM
you could do a lot worse than swing by the seasons - each week a theme, you go think about what song(s) you fancy doing that fit the theme, google or chordify the chords, make a vid, and post it! you only have one week on each theme, so no time to fret (;) uke joke!) about possible perfection, just go for it and have some fun. the weekly turn around of theme ideas gives you a timetable and some structure, plus you're bound to get super inspired by what other people are doing. i was gonna say "just go look up the chords to your favourite songs and have a play of them in the simplest way you can", that still stands, but why not come and do that on the seasons?! you'll see so many different ways to play and have fun on the uke

:music:

rappsy
07-10-2014, 04:06 PM
Although I haven't felt like quitting, I can tell you the amount of info available is overwhelming and I just had no focus or direction.

I presented this to Ryan here at UU+ and this is what he wrote me: (I have his permission to repost this.) We are talking about some of the programs here at UU+.

<<<Hi Lenny,

Actually many of our members are in the same boat as you. I would say the Practice Sessions improvement system (the 28 day course) would be a great place to start for you. This is a no nonsense system designed to help you practice daily so you can improve your picking and chord switching. This will help you with your finger dexterity. You can also check out the Blues Ukulele Underground University course. That will help you learn how to play a lot of blue songs and will teach you just enough music theory so it makes sense, but not burden you with studying and memorizing it.

You can also go through the song lessons and see if there are any that might strike your fancy

maybe something like this:
http://ukuleleunderground.com/2010/02/uke-lesson-26-europa/
or this
http://ukuleleunderground.com/2012/06/ukulele-whiteboard-requests-2-white-sandy-beach-by-israel-kamakawiwoole/

Hope that helps, if you have any more questions please let me know,

Thanks!
-Ryan >>>

Hope this provide some direction and focus.

mikemiragliuolo
07-10-2014, 06:44 PM
I always tell people you have to break through that first barrier in order to start having fun with it. That barrier is absolute beginner to actually being able to play a little something. During one of my first lessons (which was on guitar) The guy showed me three chords C, F, G. He told me to go home and memorize and practice those 3 chords. The next lesson he had me switching between those three chords. That was really hard. The third lesson He laid out a chord progression and gave me a simple rhythm to follow. It was G, F, C, F, G The F was a quicker turn around chord. I was able to barely get it. He started singing Night Moves by Bob Seger and I realized I was actually playing a real song. It was still really rough but at that moment I realized it was possible. I was hooked. Don't get bogged down with all the crazy stuff just start with the basics and go from there.

cb56
07-12-2014, 01:38 PM
Argh, I'm having one of them days where I just feel like I'm never going to be able to do this... I get the theory, I've got my head around chords and how they're made fine, I understand the whole root/third/fifth thing, I know what a suspended fourth is... I'm even starting to be able to read music a little. I learnt quite a lot of music theory at school and took to it quite easy, but never actually got as far as learning an instrument even though I wanted to after our school dropped its music department. And I also get the physical things like intonation, action etc. I can fit new frets, make new nuts and saddles.

It's the mechanics of translating all that on to this wooden stick with the wood and the frets and the strings to try and make something resembling what you humans call music... my strumming pattern evolves all by itself into a different one, and it still seems to be taking me a week to change chords, and it still sometimes feels like I'm gonna drop the uke.

I think that's why I keep flitting from uke to uke, string set to string set... partly in the hope that each one will be 'the answer' and partly because doing all that's easier than learning to play the damn thing.

Rargh. Sorry, just needed to vent, and maybe some advice. I feel like I need to start all over again, like I know too many random things that don't link up... a good book and a good strap? But is that just buying more stuff, throwing good after bad? Maybe I should pick something else, like the tambourine!

I know the problem! You left out the have fun part! Seriously. It's not a race or a competition. Have fun playing music.

rappsy
07-12-2014, 01:50 PM
I know the problem! You left out the have fun part! Seriously. It's not a race or a competition. Have fun playing music.

Absolutely. What is the point if you don't "have fun"? How can you play "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" with a straight face???

kkimura
07-12-2014, 01:56 PM
I'd go with the "have fun" part. No matter what you're doing with your uke if you find that the last few minutes wasn't fun, put the uke down for a while. Otherwise do anything you want. Everyone is different.

For me it was Uncle Rod's chords, a hand full of songbooks and a binder full of songs from the Internet. Country, Pop, Hawaiian even a finger picking TAB for Sakura. Find a uke club that will tolerate less than perfect chord changes. A year later, there has been an improvement. No, Jake is in no danger but I'm still having fun.

tbeltrans
07-12-2014, 02:36 PM
Slow and steady wins the race. And this isn't even a race. So, let me rephrase and say slow and steady wins this leisurely walk through musical joy that lasts as long as we do.

Pick your favorite song or favorite lick, slow down, and play it until you enjoy it. Really enjoy it. Then move on to something else. Repeat that lick slowly until you really enjoy it. Keep going.

A "lick" could be just two chords - going from C to F is a lick. Slow and steady.

^^^This! Also, I enjoy listening to music, and when I hear something that I really like and want to learn - the motivation to do what Ukejenny is saying, is automatic. As an example, when I heard Daniel Ho's Polani CD, I knew I wanted to learn all of it, and that is exactly what I am doing, no matter how long it takes. I love this CD and listen to it a lot. When you are really being true to what it is you want to do, "how long" doesn't matter. I think, at least in part, that is what kids have that helps them to really soak up new skills (i.e. the common references to kids' ability to learn better/faster than adults). We seem to lose that sense of wonder and excitement as we get older, but it doesn't have to be that way. Learn to play the music YOU really, really want to learn. It doesn't matter if it is learned by reading standard notation, TAB, or off a recording by ear, nor does it matter if you are learning to strum the chords, play it as a fingerstyle solo, or whatever. What does matter is that you really want to learn it.

Tony