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Thread: Question re Ukulele Boot Camp?

  1. #1

    Default Question re Ukulele Boot Camp?

    I've started on UBC as it looks like a good foundation to develop. As a beginner, I don't want to start out with any bad habits so I hope that I can get a question answered.

    Part of the instruction says: The challenge/goal is to ‘play’ through each Practice Sheet (left to right, top to bottom) at a steady tempo without looking at your fingers or interrupting your strumming.

    My question regards the part I bolded. One of the things I have read about practicing is "don't let yourself make mistakes -- practicing mistakes is the worst thing that you can do." If I follow this mantra, I look at my fingers and fretboard, try to get the position exactly right, and then strum -- hopefully producing a properly sounding chord. If I try to fret a chord without looking, I may "miss" a bit as far as position or maybe miss a lot like the wrong string or the wrong fret -- thus producing the wrong sound when I strum ie a mistake.

    So I seem to have a Catch-22 here: I can make the mistake of forming the chord wrong while doing the proper thing of not looking, or I can form the chord correctly while making the mistake of looking.

    Maybe the "not looking" mistakes will iron out with practice, but again I'm concerned about starting off correctly.

    What to do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    You should also "bold" The challenge/goal as something to aspire to and not to expect to be successful at right away. After a year, I look a my fretting hand frequently. Other professionals I have observed do look at their hand occasionally.

    Don't stress about it if you have to make adjustments. Boot Camp pushes you in practice sheet #1. After a year of playing, the four finger chords on that sheet are still not easy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    And I don't mean to self-promote, but I also created videos to support Boot Camp (Playlist):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s40C...X-HJ-1DK0dra8S
    Last edited by Choirguy; 08-29-2019 at 04:10 PM.
    My ukulele blog: http://ukestuff.info

    My ukulele YouTube channels:

  4. #4
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    It is always a good idea to not turn mistakes into habits, but you are going to make mistakes and you are going to pick up some bad habits. It is unavoidable. Don't let your fear of making mistakes paralyze you. Don't let a fear of failure stop you from trying. Breaking bad habits is a part of the process too. The point is to make an effort.
    Last edited by Rllink; 08-27-2019 at 12:45 PM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    We need to ask Uncle Rod Higuchi. He is a great player and a great teacher. My classical guitar book says that most important things for fast improvement are listening watching and thinking. I think Uncle Rod Higuchi made this boot camp a sort of a game.
    Last edited by yahalele; 08-28-2019 at 11:18 AM.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rainbow21 View Post
    You should also "bold" The challenge/goal as something to aspire to and not to expect to be successful at right away.
    Yes I agree that would be an unrealistic expectation. What I'm really curious about is if the "not looking" is something that should be tried from the start, or if it is better to look and try to get the technique correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    And I don't mean to self-promote, but I also created videos too support Boot Camp (Playlist):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s40C...X-HJ-1DK0dra8S
    Thanks! I will definitely check those out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    It is always a good idea to not turn mistakes into habits, but you are going to make mistakes and you are going to pick up some bad habits. It is unavoidable. Don't let your fear of making mistakes paralyze you. Don't let a fear of failure stop you from trying. Breaking bad habits is a part of the process too. The point is to make an effort.
    I like this mindset. While I understand that "practice makes permanent" and therefore avoiding mistakes is important, it seems like avoiding all mistakes would be just about impossible and expecting to avoid mistakes is a setup for failure.

    Quote Originally Posted by yahalele View Post
    We need to ask Uncle Rod Higuchi. He is a great player and a teacher. My classical guitar book says that most important things for fast improvement are listening watching and thinking. I think Uncle Rod Higuchi made this boot camp a sort of a game.
    I originally tried to PM Uncle Rod but his mailbox is full and won't accept any PMs. Maybe he will comment on this thread.

    Thanks, all, for the input!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    And I don't mean to self-promote, but I also created videos too support Boot Camp (Playlist):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s40C...X-HJ-1DK0dra8S
    Just tried this out. Great resource! Lots more fun than playing along with a metronome.

    I ended up spending a lot more time on the uke this morning than I had planned, which is a good thing.

    Thank you for your work in putting it together!

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Yes, i got a notice from UU so I deleted a few PMs

    the 'challenge/goal' is something to aspire to. I did not mean to overly encourage not looking at your chord-forming fingers from the very start, however, I have seen some students who, for various reasons, could not seem to break
    their habit of watching their chord-forming fingers while playing. Of course, this means that they will have to divide
    their visual attention between the song sheets and their fret boards and this will make it much more difficult to keep
    pace with the rest of the group as one progresses through the joint playing of a song in a song circle.
    again, aspiring to the skill level where one no longer needs to watch one's chord-forming fingers, especially for some
    of the more common and frequently used chords, could be a motivator from the start, but it will come in time as
    muscle memory slowly takes over, esp as you continue learning new chords from the next Practice Sheets

    when I teach my classes, I'm sure many are pleasantly surprised to find that what had been so very difficult and
    confusing at the start (Practice Sheet #1, Key of C), after several weeks of daily practice (even if only 5+ mins a day),
    will seem almost second nature now that they have formed the earlier chords daily 7, 14, 21, 28+ times as they go
    over the Practice Sheet(s). Familiarity, visually and muscularly, will help solidify muscle memory.

    Perhaps I should have written, 'After 2-3 weeks of practicing Practice Sheet #1, challenge yourself to work through
    the Practice Sheet without looking at your chord-forming fingers.'

    Mistakes are not bad. Self-correcting is an important teaching/learning technique/practice. To Self-correct you must
    know something is 'wrong' (not optimal) and you must eventually find the solution (know the correct thing to do).

    Practice does make Permanent, so when you realize you may be making 'mistakes', slow down or stop and make
    your corrections so you can begin practicing correctly. Permanent mistakes are a bit more troublesome, but they can
    be corrected with time and effort in the right direction.

    Sorry to have been unavailable.
    I truly appreciate all of you who are finding the Ukulele Boot Camp still helpful after all these years!
    I cannot thank ChoirGuy enough for all his efforts in creating the play-along videos on YouTube. Thanks again!

    keep uke'in' everybody!
    Uncle Rod Higuchi
    ( rohiguchi@seattleschools.org )

    MP3s: http://www.mediafire.com/?50db7nls4o6m6
    Ukulele Boot Camp, FREE Songbook, Holiday, Hawaiian & More: http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com
    Crazy G tutorial on YouTube ( uncle rod crazy g )
    pdf file for Crazy G:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0o6id06c06...20TAB.pdf?dl=0

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks for the clarification, and thank you for the resource!

    Your comments are very helpful and I'm going to get more out of the boot camp now that I better understand the concept.

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