Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 23

Thread: Can a complete novice learn a song or two in four months?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    963

    Default

    Easily. I mean it will depend on how much practice you put in, but my goal when I first started was to just be able to play a couple of songs. By a couple of months, I had written down in my phone about 30 songs that I knew how to play with the chords so I wouldn't forget. The uke is a pretty easy instrument to pick up and learn. You've got it no problem.
    Just Feel The Groooooove

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Woodstock NY USA
    Posts
    227

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ksiegel View Post
    And you play very nicely, too! (Don't forget the upcoming Spring Into Uke in Voorheesville, in May!)
    Thanks. Yes, Iíll be there in the Spring.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    2

    Default

    What an amazing response, thank you so much everyone and thanks for the encouragement! Feeling a lot more positive now!

    Quote Originally Posted by UkingViking View Post
    Very much depend on which songs you want to play, and how high your ambitions are.
    And how much time and flair for music playing you have.

    You can definately learn to play some songs, but not necessarily the excact song in the excact key with the excact solo you wanted to play. Unless you chose something fortunate :-)

    Tell us which songs you are contemplating and be sure to get plenty of advice here!

    PS, I played ukulele for my wife at our wedding too. She didnt notice me sneaking my ukulele to the place... A hassle that you can only practice that song when she is not around. I hope you have a safe place to practice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Martinlover View Post
    I remember, to the amazement of my husband, strumming AND singing Clementine after 2 weeks of learning from nothing. Now, he is no longer amazed.
    It's good to hear that others have similar experience. I was a little worried that I was being naive to think I could do this but your experiences make it seem totally achievable. It's going to be funny trying to sneak around and practice but I'll make excuses to go to the garage or something..

    Quote Originally Posted by Croaky Keith View Post
    Well, you could sing a song along to just strumming the open strings, depends on what you want.

    I find it (very) difficult to remember tunes, others find it easy enough - how's your memory.
    Quote Originally Posted by ukantor View Post
    You have chosen the nom-de-plume "Tonedef" (or something similar). If that is a true assessment of your musical aptitude I would say, "Forget it".

    I have met some people who could do what you propose in four days - and some who could not manage it if they tried for four years. If you can memorize and sing a simple tune, accurately, and have normal hand/eye coordination, then, yes. It is very doable.

    John Colter.
    The strumming to open strings will be my go-to if this turns out to be beyond me. It'll still be a nice gestures. I'd like to think that I'm not completely hopeless but with a total lack of experience it's a little worrying. I think that if it's doable for some people (and it certainly sounds like it is) then I stand a fair chance.

    The songs that I'm planning on learning are:

    Only You by The Platters (this is our song and I found a relatively simple tab here: https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab...kulele_1352620 )

    Perfect by Ed Sheeran (this is just a nice song and The Ukulele Teacher on YouTube does a great tutorial for it here: https://youtu.be/DCm558ZZHtQ )

    If I manage to get those down then I'd like to learn Can't Help Falling In Love by Elvis, my girl likes the orignal and absolutely adores the cover by twentyonepilots. We've been listening to the Blue Hawaii soundtrack recently so this would be a nice one to get down too.

    Thanks again for the encouragement. If anyone has any advice for those particular songs (even if it's 'Pick another song!') or resources that they could point me to then it would be really appreciated. Reading the posts on this forum is already helping a bunch.
    Last edited by Tonedef; 01-09-2019 at 02:30 AM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Cleveland Ohio
    Posts
    18

    Default

    I have a PDF of the lead sheet for Can't Help Falling in Love. PM me your email address and I will send it. It includes chord diagrams for the Ukulele.
    Edit: If you are just planning on strumming chords, all the pieces you have listed look doable.
    The tutorial for Perfect looks doable, if a bit fast paced. Up to you if you want to use the Capo. Do what fits your singing range the best if you are not playing with other players.
    Last edited by bobhost; 01-09-2019 at 05:18 AM.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    92

    Default

    What a romantic idea. Are you planning on packing a ukulele, or picking up one in Hawaii? Do you have one now?
    Much luck and best wishes!
    LACole
    Laurie Ann Cole

    Northern UK20 Concert Mahogany
    Beaver Creek BCUKEFM-T Tenor Maple Flame
    Eddy Finn EF-Moon Concert Mahogany
    Beaver Creek BCUKE-S Soprano Mahogany

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    118

    Default

    To inspire you, I would encourage you to spend 20 minutes and watch this video about the first 20 hours.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MgBikgcWnY

    You can accomplish this! If you need song suggestions and instrument suggestions, you'll find an abundance of willing volunteers here on the boards.

    Of course, they will demand payment, such as a report (possibly with pictures) of how it all went.

    Good luck!
    Rich

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    567

    Default

    Long post to come...

    I don't know the chords of the Ed Sheeran song, but both Only You and Can't Help Falling in Love seem simple enough that it should be possible to learn within a few months. So I say go for it. It will take patience and hard work to learn, so I hope that you are hoping to stay playing ukulele afterwards - otherwise the effort is a bit big.

    First thing - get an ukulele!
    You say that you live in the UK - home to the two well assorted ukulele shops "Southern Ukulele Store" and "World of Ukes". If they are not nearby there is mail order or whatever ukulele your local music store has.
    I would suggest buying an affordable entry level uke to learn on, and then perhaps buy a nicer ukulele as a souvenir from Hawaii if it is a hit. By affordable I don't necessarily mean the cheapest painted uke you can find, but something you feel like playing.
    You will get a lot of different advice as to what size to get for a first ukulele - soprano, concert or tenor. If you buy in a store where you can try them, buy whichever you like the best. Otherwise, some suggest a concert size as the golden in-between size to begin with. Some suggest something else.

    Next watch a few youtube videos for strumming patterns etc. to get started. It's all about counting to four as someone pointed out.

    Then for the songs you want to play/sing:
    First of all, what you found is strictly speaking chords, not tabs, though the chord websites are fond of promoting chords as though they were tabs. Tabs have more information on how to play the melody than chords have. Anyway, for your purpose, chords are just fine.
    How the different chords are played on the ukulele is easily googled, and you can also find pdf charts with the most common ones.

    A slightly tricky part that you might want to skip:
    Songs can be played in different keys, where you play a different set of chords. If you want you singing along with the ukulele to sound right, you really ought to play them in a key that suits your voice. I cant sing very high notes, and change the keys of most songs I play just to have a chance of hitting the notes. Not that I always hit the notes after having done that :-/. But many songs are written for professional singers who can sing more notes that the average guy.
    So for the best results you should try to determine your vocal range. Google might lead you to a youtube video helping with that. Then, based on a lead sheet (which includes both chords, lyrics and "staff notation" for the melody line) determine if it the key the chords are in are right for you.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Anuenue African Mahogany Tenor, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    13

    Default

    I'd say this is definitely doable, mostly because I've recently done it myself.

    I picked up an ukulele for the first time about six months ago. I was able to surprise my wife on her late-November birthday with three songs I could play competently (strumming, not finger-picking) after a couple of months of more-or-less-daily practice. (Full disclosure: I took guitar lessons for a couple of years in my youth -- without much success -- so I've handled a stringed instrument before. But it's been at least 45 years since my last lesson, and I stopped playing immediately after that.) I now know enough chords that I can hack my way through a fairly good-sized repertoire, if I have the chord sheets in front of me.

    One of the first songs I chose, incidentally, was I Can't Help Falling in Love, so that one will work! I find that if you start with songs you already know well and really like, you'll pick them up faster.

    Best of luck!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bobhost View Post
    I have a PDF of the lead sheet for Can't Help Falling in Love. PM me your email address and I will send it. It includes chord diagrams for the Ukulele.
    Edit: If you are just planning on strumming chords, all the pieces you have listed look doable.
    The tutorial for Perfect looks doable, if a bit fast paced. Up to you if you want to use the Capo. Do what fits your singing range the best if you are not playing with other players.
    Thanks bobhost. Iíve PMíd you my email.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacole View Post
    What a romantic idea. Are you planning on packing a ukulele, or picking up one in Hawaii? Do you have one now?
    Much luck and best wishes!
    Hopefully she thinks that itís romantic too!
    I was originally planning on packing one but that might be a bit difficult, especially since she likes to nick space in my baggage normally XD Iíll make an excuse to buy one as a Ďsouvenirí, she knows how impulsive I can be so I know Iíll be able to make that work. Plus an actual Hawaiian ukulele will be a fantastic memento.
    I think that Iíll buy a beginner concert uke in England to practice on and then see how I go.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrdr View Post
    To inspire you, I would encourage you to spend 20 minutes and watch this video about the first 20 hours.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MgBikgcWnY

    You can accomplish this! If you need song suggestions and instrument suggestions, you'll find an abundance of willing volunteers here on the boards.

    Of course, they will demand payment, such as a report (possibly with pictures) of how it all went.

    Good luck!
    Rich
    Fantastic! Thank you so much for the link, that TED talk looks interesting and I can watch it at home without having to explain to my fiancťe why. It turns out that sneaking around on your loved ones is actually quite tricky, but I suppose that thatís a good thing really!
    And I think that a report and photos (maybe even a video if I can contact the videographer ahead of time) would be very fair payment for all of the help and encouragement.
    Quote Originally Posted by UkingViking View Post
    Long post to come...

    I don't know the chords of the Ed Sheeran song, but both Only You and Can't Help Falling in Love seem simple enough that it should be possible to learn within a few months. So I say go for it. It will take patience and hard work to learn, so I hope that you are hoping to stay playing ukulele afterwards - otherwise the effort is a bit big.

    First thing - get an ukulele!
    You say that you live in the UK - home to the two well assorted ukulele shops "Southern Ukulele Store" and "World of Ukes". If they are not nearby there is mail order or whatever ukulele your local music store has.
    I would suggest buying an affordable entry level uke to learn on, and then perhaps buy a nicer ukulele as a souvenir from Hawaii if it is a hit. By affordable I don't necessarily mean the cheapest painted uke you can find, but something you feel like playing.
    You will get a lot of different advice as to what size to get for a first ukulele - soprano, concert or tenor. If you buy in a store where you can try them, buy whichever you like the best. Otherwise, some suggest a concert size as the golden in-between size to begin with. Some suggest something else.

    Next watch a few youtube videos for strumming patterns etc. to get started. It's all about counting to four as someone pointed out.

    Then for the songs you want to play/sing:
    First of all, what you found is strictly speaking chords, not tabs, though the chord websites are fond of promoting chords as though they were tabs. Tabs have more information on how to play the melody than chords have. Anyway, for your purpose, chords are just fine.
    How the different chords are played on the ukulele is easily googled, and you can also find pdf charts with the most common ones.

    A slightly tricky part that you might want to skip:
    Songs can be played in different keys, where you play a different set of chords. If you want you singing along with the ukulele to sound right, you really ought to play them in a key that suits your voice. I cant sing very high notes, and change the keys of most songs I play just to have a chance of hitting the notes. Not that I always hit the notes after having done that :-/. But many songs are written for professional singers who can sing more notes that the average guy.
    So for the best results you should try to determine your vocal range. Google might lead you to a youtube video helping with that. Then, based on a lead sheet (which includes both chords, lyrics and "staff notation" for the melody line) determine if it the key the chords are in are right for you.
    Wow! Thank you for all of the information, thatís really considerate of you.
    I looked it up and it turns out that Southern Ukulele Store is actually quite close to me so I think that a visit is in order. I was intending to get a more inexpensive one online but thinking about it I would definitely benefit from some expert support and getting my hands on the instruments.
    As Iím a large fella (6í5, 110kg) I think that Iíll need a concert uke no matter what. That it is a good middle ground is an extra benefit.
    Once Iíve got the equipment Iíll check out some strumming videos as youíve suggested. With my giant hands and wonky co-ordination I think that finger picking is going to be out of reach, especially at the start of learning.
    I didnít realise that about the difference between chords and tabs, thank you. Iíll use whatís there for now but I may look for actual tabs down the line. The information about changing key is definitely something I need to consider from the start. My very basic knowledge of musical theory suggests that Iíll need a lower key because I have a fairly deep voice and I donít want to overreach myself from the start. Is it a fairly simple matter to play in a different key? Is it to do with tuning or how I play the chords?
    Quote Originally Posted by SwanShadow View Post
    I'd say this is definitely doable, mostly because I've recently done it myself.

    I picked up an ukulele for the first time about six months ago. I was able to surprise my wife on her late-November birthday with three songs I could play competently (strumming, not finger-picking) after a couple of months of more-or-less-daily practice. (Full disclosure: I took guitar lessons for a couple of years in my youth -- without much success -- so I've handled a stringed instrument before. But it's been at least 45 years since my last lesson, and I stopped playing immediately after that.) I now know enough chords that I can hack my way through a fairly good-sized repertoire, if I have the chord sheets in front of me.

    One of the first songs I chose, incidentally, was I Can't Help Falling in Love, so that one will work! I find that if you start with songs you already know well and really like, you'll pick them up faster.

    Best of luck!
    Ha! Another person with direct experience! Thatís so comforting so thanks for sharing. I think that Iíll be able to make some arrangements to practice regularly without my fiancťe catching on. The gap between your guitar playing and ukulele playing makes me think that I should be okay. Hopefully.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    567

    Default

    The information about changing key is definitely something I need to consider from the start. My very basic knowledge of musical theory suggests that I’ll need a lower key because I have a fairly deep voice and I don’t want to overreach myself from the start. Is it a fairly simple matter to play in a different key? Is it to do with tuning or how I play the chords?
    Well, you really play some different chords.
    If you find out the highest note you can comfortably sing, I could "transpose" the chords for you.

    I often see that songs are written for a singer with, lets say a tenor vocal range. Meaning that he can hit a rather high F note. So the songs may have a highest note of E, which is just below the F note, so it sounds nice when he sings. For men in general, for the high notes you would like to be close to the highest notes you can sing. It sound a bit dull if you are not pushing yourself a bit.

    I can't hit a high E note. Usually a B note, on a good day a C note, but never the E note. I can either sing a full octave lower - a lower e-note. But that will sound dull. Or I can change the chords untill the highest note is like A, B or C. That should sound better. I cant hit the notes very well anyway, but that is due to precision - not them being high. At least I have a chance.

    My "fakebook" has "I cant help falling in love" in the key of F major. It starts and ends on the F chord. Highest note is C.
    I also have a book with "Only you" in the key of G major. It starts and ends with the chord of G. The highest note is B.
    The chords you found are in the key of C. That would mean that you would need to sing an E-note. That is pretty high. The Platters could probably sing that.

    You can try the video below to find your vocal range.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IejHKpfHso
    Or you can just play whatever chords and sing, perhaps an octave lower. A lot of people do that.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Anuenue African Mahogany Tenor, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •