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Lord Pancake
07-22-2014, 08:30 PM
So here I have had my uke for less than a week, and I know some of this is just going to take time, but I am having a real problem with some of the cords and was hoping for some advice.

I should start by saying my uke is a soprano.

Here is my trouble: any cords where I have to fret two strings on the same place on the fret board I struggle greatly. B major is one of my worst. Are there any exercises or techniques that I might be able to use help with this? Is there a way to hold the uke that makes this easier?

Thank you for your help.

kypfer
07-22-2014, 09:03 PM
So here I have had my uke for less than a week, and I know some of this is just going to take time, but I am having a real problem with some of the cords and was hoping for some advice.

After less than a week ... don't struggle with the stuff you can't do ... there's plenty of stuff you will be able to manage. Get proficient (I mean really "don't have to think about it" proficient) playing in relatively easy keys like C and G. As your fingers get used to going where they need to be without you having to think about it you'll find the improving dexterity will help you with the less-easy aspects of playing :)


Is there a way to hold the uke that makes this easier?

Get a strap! There've been a couple of threads on these forums recently on this subject ... it really can make a big difference. For starters, as a no-expense option, tie a length of string around the "waist" of your ukulele (under the strings, obviously), take the string around behind your neck and tie the other end off at the tuning pegs. Try that for a few hours/days. If it really makes no difference, no cost, no loss. If it works for you, take it from there :)

Remember, it's called PLAYING a ukulele for a reason, it shouldn't be hard work ;)

Enjoy :)

PhilUSAFRet
07-23-2014, 12:42 AM
Lots of tutorials here, (see learn to play the ukulele link at the top of this page) and on YouTube (search ukulele - how to....and then enter anything you want demonstrated such as how to hold, strum, play B major, finger positions, etc. etc. Correct practice will develop your hand and finger strength and dexterity. Patience is the new uke player's most important virtue.

coolkayaker1
07-23-2014, 12:47 AM
Fretting, particularly chords like B, where all four strings are fretted, are more difficult if one tips the fretboard face skyward, common to new players in order to see what they're doing.

Ergonomically easier is the standard fretboard forward (But how does a player see what they're fretting then? Repetition, which leads to The Force, young Jedi).

DownUpDave
07-23-2014, 12:58 AM
Lots of tutorials here, (see learn to play the ukulele link at the top of this page) and on YouTube (search ukulele - how to....and then enter anything you want demonstrated such as how to hold, strum, play B major, finger positions, etc. etc. Correct practice will develop your hand and finger strength and dexterity. Patience is the new uke player's most important virtue.

Pretty much everything Phil and kypfer aid. When learning any new skill we always start with the easy stuff first. Crawl, walk then run in that order. Unless you have a guitar background trying to play a B major chord your first week on the uke is like starting with sprints, too hard. Learn C, Am, F, G. Over and over and over till you can do them with your eyes closed. Your hand strength and dexterity will improve leaps and bounds.

Dearman
07-23-2014, 03:13 AM
Are there any exercises or techniques that I might be able to use help with this? Is there a way to hold the uke that makes this easier?

it's normal to struggle with this at the begining. One tip that will help is to work on thumb placement on the middle of the neck. That will help you apply more pressure. There are a million preferences and opinions on the forum on this topic you can look up but if you feel comfortable using it in different ways you'll be able to adjust to what works for you as needed.

Rllink
07-24-2014, 07:08 AM
I'm not really one to give a lot of advise as I am just a beginner and I'm learning as well, but the best exercise for me it to just keep practicing a chord. First I learn the chord, then practice going into it from other chords, and then start tuning it up and trying to make it clear. I don't worry too much if a chord does not sound very good in the beginning, I'll work on that after I learn to get into it. I also usually come up with a new chord when I find it in a new song, so I'm going to have to go into it and come out of it from and to another chord, so I'll practice the chord from that angle. First I'll go into it, then back out of it. Then into it again. I'll do that fifty times, or until I get tired of it. Then I will go out of it into the next chord just the same. I really attack new chords. I have this mindset that any chord I meet, I'm going to own it before I'm done. I might have to stretch and do contortions to start with, but I get downright mean with it. I've yet to be beaten by a chord that I needed for a song. OK, that is just my take on it. Exercise by doing it. That works for me. Thanks.

fynger
07-24-2014, 07:19 AM
I struggle with 'G'.......'G7' is fine

Uncle Rod Higuchi
07-24-2014, 08:24 AM
This may not solve all your 'problems', but please feel free to use the exercises in the Boot Camp practice sheets,
Link in my signature.

Keep uke'in',

wconley
07-28-2014, 08:49 AM
I whole heartedly recommend Uncle Rod's boot camp practice sheets. His system works on learning basic chords as well as some less-used chords and in several keys, dexterity in shaping chords and moving from one chord to another. If you follow his instructions and voice the chords when moving to the next one, you will improve your memory retention of each chord. This is all in a format that is easy to pick up and practice for a few minutes here and there when you have time.

And he doesn't even pay me to say that!

Daktari
07-28-2014, 11:18 AM
A strap helped me too. No fighting with the uke just to play a chord.

Keep on playing the chords over and over again...and then some more. You build up muscle memory and strength.
I often just play through the chords from a chord chart. All the usual A chords, B chords, C chords, et al. No I idea why I started doing it but it works for me.

Find songs you really want to play with relatively simple chords, particularly the ones you find hardest and practice, practice, practice.

I've just taken delivery of Ukulele Aerobics by Chad Johnson and, as a guitarist moving over to uke, it's teaching me lots. Luckily I'm finding the first couple of weeks or so quite easy but it's about to get quite challenging. There was still new stuff to learn on week one.

Most of all, have fun and practice, practice, practice!