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

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    PNW
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    77

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    Edit to add: My partner learned more than a dozen songs w/ 2 months of weekly group lessons & practicing 5-10 minutes a day. Huge hands, zero musical instrument experience. Singing in tune isn't a forté either. I put him on a uke he had a better chance of succeeding on: a tenor w/ a slightly radiused fretboard.

    ~~~~~
    I think your idea is really sweet & could be fun...

    For some reason it immediately made me think of "Water is Wide". Did a quick search on Youtube & saw this tutorial (start at 5:06 for a play through). https://youtu.be/o2pIY7zTPu8?t=305

    Most people think the song is so sweet & wedding worthy. Looking into the history of the song a few days ago, it's more complex (bittersweet/bitter) than that. But it could be fun to come up w/ alternative lyrics for additional verses...

    If I were going to try to learn WIW w/o much experience, I'd focus on each individual chord, then get the transition from one chord another as smooth as possible. If you have time, perhaps hire a uke teacher for a series of private lessons just to jump start the process...

    And/or if you're flying into Honolulu, stop in Ukulele PuaPua in Waikiki for ideas? refresher tutorial? They have free group lessons every day at 4pm. https://www.ukulelepuapua.com/free-beginner-lesson
    Then buy a Kamaka or two, tell customs they're your personal instruments & bring them back to England & make some die hard uke people crazy jealous. Kidding about that last part, sorta...


    Best wishes that all goes smoothly...



    Quote Originally Posted by Tonedef View Post
    Hi there!

    I guess the point of my post is in the title but I'll give a little context:

    I'm from England and my fiancee and I are going to Hawaii to get married. I have zero musical background and do not play any instruments but I got really taken by the idea of learning a song or two on the ukulele to play (and sing) for her when we have a picnic after the ceremony. It will just be the two of us and although I know that it's a bit corny I think that she'll love it, especially if it's a surprise.
    Last edited by Wukulele; 01-11-2019 at 09:17 AM.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    1,378

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    I looked at the links to the songs you posted, and they definitely seem achievable. It will take a bit of work, though, so don't leave it till the last minute.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Maryland, USA
    Posts
    27

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    Of course you can! That's actually how I progressed the most as a beginner, I'd find a song I like and wanted to learn how to play, and I'd learn it, that's how I taught myself new strumming patterns, new chords and technique. I'd say learning new songs is one of the best ways to advance, and how long got takes, depends entirely on your dedication. You can take 1 day, or 1 month, depending on how dedicated you are.
    Don't forget that Uke'n do it!
    Check out my Ukulele YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvG...7AmdP6rUzbWrzg
    Road work ahead? Well I sure hope it does.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    3

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    Well I picked up a cheap concert ukulele kit online to get me started. I think that it’s a pretty rudimentary setup but I’m really satisfied with the quality for what I spent. My logic is that if I save a bit of money on my spending now, I’ll be able to get something a little more special in Hawaii.
    So far I’ve been working my way through ‘Can’t help falling in love’ which was very kindly supplied (along with some cracking advice!) by bobhost. My playing is barely recognisable as a song right now but as I fumble my way through the song I’ll occasionally hear something that actually sounds like a note from the original, or I’ll string two chords together without fumbling it too badly and I think to myself ‘PROGRESS!’
    Quote Originally Posted by Wukulele View Post
    Edit to add: My partner learned more than a dozen songs w/ 2 months of weekly group lessons & practicing 5-10 minutes a day. Huge hands, zero musical instrument experience. Singing in tune isn't a forté either. I put him on a uke he had a better chance of succeeding on: a tenor w/ a slightly radiused fretboard.
    ….
    For some reason it immediately made me think of "Water is Wide". Did a quick search on Youtube & saw this tutorial (start at 5:06 for a play through). https://youtu.be/o2pIY7zTPu8?t=305
    …..
    Best wishes that all goes smoothly...
    Thanks so much for the advice and support, the idea of a larger uke was definitely the right choice, I handled a soprano and it was pretty ridiculous.
    I’d never heard of ‘Water is Wide’ before but I gave it a listen and it’s a really lovely song. I think that I’m going to stick with songs that my fiancée knows for now (I have a history of trying to get her to listen things that I think that she’ll like, rather than just listening to things that she likes!) but that could be a nice song to have in the bag.
    Any tips on building up calluses?? I’m trying to bear down on rigid things at my desk (edge of ruler, bank cards etc.) but if there are any secret tips for building them up a bit quicker I’d love to hear them. I worry that the only good tip is ‘practice more’…

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    131

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonedef View Post
    Well I picked up a cheap concert ukulele kit online to get me started. I think that it’s a pretty rudimentary setup but I’m really satisfied with the quality for what I spent. My logic is that if I save a bit of money on my spending now, I’ll be able to get something a little more special in Hawaii.
    So far I’ve been working my way through ‘Can’t help falling in love’ which was very kindly supplied (along with some cracking advice!) by bobhost. My playing is barely recognisable as a song right now but as I fumble my way through the song I’ll occasionally hear something that actually sounds like a note from the original, or I’ll string two chords together without fumbling it too badly and I think to myself ‘PROGRESS!’

    Thanks so much for the advice and support, the idea of a larger uke was definitely the right choice, I handled a soprano and it was pretty ridiculous.
    I’d never heard of ‘Water is Wide’ before but I gave it a listen and it’s a really lovely song. I think that I’m going to stick with songs that my fiancée knows for now (I have a history of trying to get her to listen things that I think that she’ll like, rather than just listening to things that she likes!) but that could be a nice song to have in the bag.
    Any tips on building up calluses?? I’m trying to bear down on rigid things at my desk (edge of ruler, bank cards etc.) but if there are any secret tips for building them up a bit quicker I’d love to hear them. I worry that the only good tip is ‘practice more’…
    I have been playing for some time, but I don’t have any calluses on my fingers. I start playing around 7 o’clock and play for a total of an hour off and on ‘TIL after 10. Practise will build up the strength in your hands, but I do not feel that you need calluses.
    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. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    585

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    You ideally want you skin to thicken, so you don't get visible calluses. If you get visible calluses, the outer layers of skin might come off at some point.
    You might get calluses when you are not accustumed to playing regularly, but that is something that comes with stringed instruments.
    When you get accustumed to playing, you might get thick skin that looks healthy and normal on the outside. If you play with the frequence that I do anyway.
    Dont worry, it will come all by it self from the wear and tear of the strings, no need to stress your fingers more than that.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Anuenue African Mahogany Tenor, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

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