Why is strumming and singing so hard?

captain-janeway

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Is this not the overused Swiss army knife strum?

It works well for a lot of songs. I've been try to learn other strums individually just to get used to the rhythm of them and learn how to hear them better in a song.
I try to ignore the strum patterns people list on sheets because I find I get so hung up trying to follow the strum that I lose track of the feel of the music.
 

Barrytone

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Try tapping the rythmn on your uke as you sing. When you can keep time then use that same beat across the strings. As others say, start slow.
 

Jim Yates

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The D-DU-UDU strum (which I've never heard called "the Island Strum") is the most common strum that folks trying out acoustic guitars in the music stores where I've worked used. Every other kid who picks up an acoustic guitar will use this strum to try it out. It does have some syncopation, and it sounds good for some things, but it is definitely over used. Some throw in a DUDU-UDU or D-DUDUD- or DU-UDUDU or another variation every few bars to break up the monotony.
 
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Rllink

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The D-DU-UDU strum (which I've never heard called "the Island Strum") is the most common strum that folks trying out acoustic guitars in the music stores where I've worked used. Every other kid who picks up an acoustic guitar will use this strum to try it out. It does have some syncopation, and it sounds good for some things, but it is definitely over used. Some throw in a DUDU-UDU or D-DUDUD- or DU-UDUDU or another variation every few bars to break up the monotony.

Fifty years ago, when I first picked up the guitar and started learning to play it that was the strum you learned. I've heard it called the island strum since I picked up the uke, but I just always assumed that ukulele players on the islands simply used the basic strum.
 

merlin666

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The people I teach usually already know how to read music and play some instrument. So when it comes to using uke to accompany a song I always start them out as simple as possible which are downstrums on each quarter note. Then when they can get through their song singing simply and strumming down I add up strums on the eighths. And once that is mastered they get to the variations of up and down strums on various beats. This does not take long at all when you approach it systematically.
 
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kaitlincampean

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I have the same situation, and I think it's because when we don't think, our muscle memory takes effect. When I don't think about the process, it's like someone controls my fingers, and I play without a single mistake. However, as soon as I want to play in front of someone, I start playing very thoughtfully, and my technique becomes at the level of a person holding a guitar for the first time. I read about it on the website https://musicaroo.com/; there are a lot of articles on the topic of music and singing, so I know that this is normal, and I'm not the only one. It would be best if you also did not worry, the most important thing is that you practice and in any case do not give up and quit playing music
 
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ploverwing

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I have the same situation, I think it's because when we don't think, our muscle memory takes effect.
So true! I guess that's why practice drills in the muscle memory. Left brain can interfere though, when you're groovin' in right brain mode, and say "hey, waitaminute whatcha doin' that can't be right?!!" and then all heck ensues. So, more practice :) I employ the hum and strum a lot to learn how to combine the two. I have one song I'm trying to learn (Svavar Knutur's "Baby Will You Marry Me") where the fingerpicking rhythm and music is COMPLETLEY different than the song, and right now, I'm just trying to figure out the fingerpicking, lol.
 

bbkobabe

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Ha! So true... and even harder with some songs that others... Some songs I can sing from the first go... but...

I took me months to be able to play the strum part of David Bowie's "Heros" and sing at the same time... there is something really off about how they fit together that is hard to master... try it if you don't believe me!

I Scare Myself by Dan Hicks was a similar experience...

I was a singing bass player before I came to the ukulele, and it took me YEARS to disconnect me fingers and my voice. And yet, even with all that head start...

I am, it appears, a slow learner.

Hopefully it will come easier for you as your journey continues!