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Thread: Is it cheating or smart?

  1. #11
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    Jan 2016
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    Playing the ukulele isn't a sport. There are no rules. Therefore there is no cheating. I've been known to do this when a quick change is necessary. However, I find that my hand gets tired if I hold the Em too long, so I only do it if I really need to.

  2. #12

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    I agree there is no cheating i music. Unless you're lip playing/syncing haha

    So no matter how you're doing your chord shape or fingering - the important thing is to be able to execute it without thinking. For me what helped me the most for perfecting chord shapes is doing James Hill drill where you count 8 beats. On the first beat you hit the chord, and the other beats you are slapping your knee with your chord hand. I did this for about a week straight with what i found to be very hard chords for me - Ebdim. Now I can play Kiyoshi Kobayashi On the Sunny Side of the Street arrangement without any issue after three months of play,......

    if you want to be a chord machine I suggest playing jazz arrangements as the majority of the chords have no open strings :P

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    What I suggest is learning chords and notes in their common positions, and using other fingerings when it becomes more efficient to do so.

    Generally, C is generally played with the third finger because it is on the third fret, and when you play single notes in the first position, each finger is mapped to a fret...first finger first fret, second finger second fret, and so on.

    This is also why A minor is generally played with the second finger, and C7 is generally played with the first finger.

    Going from G to Em (0232 to 0432) can also be done by keeping the G shape and adding the pinky to the 4th fret of the 3rd string.

    So, in summary, the established fingering on the ukulele reflects many years of real life experience (if there was a better way to play chords, someone would have said something), but most importantly, the ukulele is about efficency.

    Learn C as 0003, played with the third finger (ring), and be able to do so on command. However, if you find that it is easier to play 0003 with the pinky in a particular transition...do so.
    I'd go further and say, forget the idea of mapping fingers to frets. That's not important. What is important is making an easy transition to the next chord.

    Suppose I play the sequence C Am Dm7 G7, 0003 2003 2213 0212. Then it's obvious to use my little finger (pinkie) for the C chord, as I can keep it there until the G7.

    But another song goes C Am7 Em Am7, which I finger 0003 0453 0432 0453. Here it's obvious to play C using my index finger.

    So I'd say there is no standard way to play any chord, but there is a best way for that particular part of the song. Find that best way and do it like that!

  4. #14
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    Oct 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifereinspired View Post

    I've been working hard to practice and learn chords as well as learning to switch back and forth in time with the song without an awkward pause in between.
    OK, this is the most important lesson I can teach you.

    The "awkward" pause has NOTHING to do with moving your fretting hand, its ALL to do with your strumming/picking hand. The lesson is this, the Strumming/picking hand, NEVER drops the rhythm, no matter what, never.
    If the fretting hand hasn't caught up then too bad, so sad, the beat keeps moving on. You just hit a damped note and keep on going.
    The strumming/picking hand, NEVER waits for the fretting hand.

  5. #15
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    Fingerings: whatever works. In the context of a given tune, certain fingerings will work better than others. Use what works for you! There is no "cheating" per se, only optimizing your movements.

  6. #16

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    Thanks everyone. Great information. I'm learning a lot about the uke, and maybe wider metaphors for life as well.

    It seems like some of the main takeaways for me is that the uke is about efficiency. Learning to play chords in different ways will serve me best, so I can play the easiest/most efficient way for whatever a particular song needs. Playing more efficiently is smart, not cheating. Playing an instrument should be fun and enjoyable and while learning good habits will help in the long run, don't be too worried about hard and fast rules. Being more efficient will make playing easier, more fun, and often different as a result, which will help keep one increasingly motivated.

    So, I need to just keep playing and working at it.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    OK, this is the most important lesson I can teach you.

    The "awkward" pause has NOTHING to do with moving your fretting hand, its ALL to do with your strumming/picking hand. The lesson is this, the Strumming/picking hand, NEVER drops the rhythm, no matter what, never.
    If the fretting hand hasn't caught up then too bad, so sad, the beat keeps moving on. You just hit a damped note and keep on going.
    The strumming/picking hand, NEVER waits for the fretting hand.
    I've just started beginning to grasp this yesterday. I realized that it was my right hand that was actually pausing when I would get mixed up on a particular chord. This makes sense that it's one of the most important lessons that I can learn. Thank you SO much for sharing this and for explaining it so clearly.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifereinspired View Post
    I've just started beginning to grasp this yesterday. I realized that it was my right hand that was actually pausing when I would get mixed up on a particular chord. This makes sense that it's one of the most important lessons that I can learn. Thank you SO much for sharing this and for explaining it so clearly.
    I'm glad that I could help.

    If your still learning the song and the fingerings then your still learning the song. Stuff happens. When your playing/performing the song however then the rhythm is the leader and everything else follows. You will be surprised what mistakes you can get away with if you keep the rhythm going. If the rhythm stops then your cooked.

  9. #19
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    Oct 2017
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    I change the way a chord is fingered depending on which chord I'm going from or going to. Having multiple ways to finger the same chord just gives you more options, not cheating at all.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    I'm glad that I could help.

    If your still learning the song and the fingerings then your still learning the song. Stuff happens. When your playing/performing the song however then the rhythm is the leader and everything else follows. You will be surprised what mistakes you can get away with if you keep the rhythm going. If the rhythm stops then your cooked.
    Totally agree, rhythm is most important. Still, clean chord changes sound...well, clean

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