Uncle Rod

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Just checking if someone’s used this or is using it at the moment...

I’ve had my ukulele for a month and a half, learned 10-chords and some progressions and then ran out of ideas. I thought, there has to be some concept other than learning simple songs off YouTube that I don’t like or in most cases I don’t even know.

So I tried strumming and didn’t really work, I guess it’s too soon for that. Then I started reading what’s out there and came across Uncle Rod’s Boot Camp and thought it was an interesting concept. Learn chords and progressions until you perfect them and after a while step up to other playing skills like strumming and so on.

There are some older threads and people seemed to like it. Anyone has anything to share in 2020? Has it helped you? How long did it take you? Is this supposed to be the kind of Karate Kid training, you know painting the fence while learning martial arts without knowing?

I hope it is because as a beginner it’s learning new not so simple chords (C dim or Dm7) and changing them the same time. So needless to say it’s taking me a while to go through Key of C, it’s been a week and I’m halfway through it!
 
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Uncle Rod Higuchi

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Hoopoe, Uncle Rod Higuchi here :)

the concept behind the Boot Camp is not to be a prerequisite to moving on to other matters
of interest, but simply a structured challenge to help anyone over the initial hump of learning
chords and gaining facility and dexterity in moving from chord to chord in tempo/rhythm with
songs and melodies.

Although the ukulele only has 4 strings, as a true beginner, it can be confusing to figure out
how to begin learning to play the ukulele.

There are a few basic chords that everyone should learn and have under their belt, so to speak,
so I set up Practice Sheets in what I consider to be the 5 most common keys found in ukulele
songbooks. Also, instead of making the progressions and chords the simplest possible, I chose
to expose Boot Campers to useful (if unfamiliar) chords because they will eventually see them.
also I wanted to stay away from the concept of difficult or hard chords and chose to simply
present them as familiar and unfamiliar. Of course, those who work on the Practice Sheets will
encounter said chords so they will no longer be "UN"familiar... challenging, but not UNfamilar :)

I'm glad you found the Boot Camp Materials. UU member, Choirguy (Dr Chris Russell) created
and uploaded Practice Videos to YouTube based on the Practice Sheets. Just do a YT search for
"ukulele boot camp" and you should find them. You may even be able to speedup or slowdown
the tempo to assist with your practice sessions. Thanks, Dr Chris... Choirguy!

keep uke'in',
and if you have questions, please feel free to email me directly (rohiguchi@gmail.com) :)
 

Hoopoe

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Wasn't expecting the man himself! This is so cool though :)

I felt your boot camp was the way to go as I really didn't want to go through a ton of random and unstructured YT videos out there and I felt that as a beginner I'm not ready for strumming yet. So I'll stick to it even though Cdim to Dm7 is taking more than expected but then just getting from C to Cdim took a bit as well. It's interesting how to learn the progression from the first to the next also makes you learn the change the other way around too!

I'll check out Choirguy's videos too, maybe I'll find some tips there too.

And while we are on it, what's a good place to start in terms of bpm? 40? 45?
 

Uncle Rod Higuchi

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If you can manage the 82 bpm I'd stick with that.
60 bpm would be my second choice. After that, just
go with whatever's comfortable for you.

BTW the second line in each Practice Sheet, except for
the Key of G, tends to be the more challenging line, and
can easily be passed over initially until you gain more
facility with the other chords. Just a hint :)

keep uke'in',
 

Hoopoe

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If you can manage the 82 bpm I'd stick with that.
60 bpm would be my second choice. After that, just
go with whatever's comfortable for you.

BTW the second line in each Practice Sheet, except for
the Key of G, tends to be the more challenging line, and
can easily be passed over initially until you gain more
facility with the other chords. Just a hint :)

keep uke'in',

Yikes, 82! :O I'll stick with a 50bpm for a while and then try and move to 60bpm as I get more comfortable.

And not giving up on that second line yet!
 

peanuts56

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I've used Rod's materials for a pd I did for the music dept. in the town I taught in. Several had never played, some guitar players but it was a perfect fit. After 90 minutes we were singing and playing a couple of folk songs.
Rod, we met a few years ago at the Ukulele Festival, 2017 I think. I was walking around looking for Stan Muneoka and we talked for a bit. I think Pueo was with you. Hope all is well.
 

Rllink

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I found Uncle Rod when I first started way back. He got me going. I will have to admit that at some point along the way I left the nest and flew out on my own, but he was instrumental in getting me up and running. He got me going in the right direction. If anyone ever asks me where to go to get started, I point them in his direction.
 

captain-janeway

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I still use it when I need to feel smoother on some transitions explain different keys. I fingerprint some and I like it for being more fluid when I announce between patterns.
 

actadh

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My ukulele regimen the first year was the Uncle Rod method. I progressed much easier/faster because of it. Highly recommended. I still use it as a warmup.
 

Uncle Rod Higuchi

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I am humbled by your kind and generous comments.
I'm glad some of you have benefited from using the
Ukulele Boot Camp Practice Sheets. [remember:
Choirguy (Dr Chris Russell) has created Practice Videos
which he has uploaded to YouTube (search for 'ukulele
boot camp')]

Peanuts56, our encounter kindles a memory although
I cannot picture you clearly. I hope we will be able to
meet again... and sooner rather than later :)

Please feel free to print out the Ukulele Boot Camp
materials and share them with any and all who might
benefit from using them both for individual practicing
and even for teaching others to play the uke.

keep uke'in',
 

Mogate

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Another devotee here. Been using your practice sheets every day for about a week and have definitely seen improvements already. Thanks Uncle Rod!
 

donluca

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Just found your work thanks to this thread and I'm going through the first practice sheet!

I'm finding really hard to just keep doing 4/3/2 regular strums instead of going a bit fancier, but I'm loving it, nice chord changes.