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Thread: Playing A Newbie's Uke Without Discouraging Her?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    Well put, Bill. Thank you. It turned out SHE was sick the day I was supposed to see her again, so I have another week to work it out. With some time having passed, it all seems a lot less important now!
    While you have been stressing on your end, she has been frantic worrying about how she will come across as an unaccomplished beginner with this stud experienced player. Being sick was her way out...

  2. #32
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    Ha ha. No, I don't think that's accurate at all!

  3. #33
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    You gotta be careful. Okay, this story is about a young lady vs a seventy year old woman, but from my own perspective seventy isn't that old. My story is that two or three summers ago an acquaintance of my niece persuaded me to give her daughter ukulele lessons. She was starting from the ground. It took her two weeks just to learn to strum the dang thing. We met regularly for the summer and at the end of the summer I still thought that I was much the better ukulele player and that I was showing the youngster a thing or two by golly. We parted and she went off on her own. So a couple weeks ago I ran into her at an open mic and OMG, she was good. Much better than I am. Obviously she has been getting more out of her practice than I've been getting out of mine. I humbly asked her if she wanted to give me ukulele lessons.
    Last edited by Rllink; 09-20-2019 at 08:04 AM.
    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

  4. #34
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    Great story. Years ago, when I was playing drums for "oldies" rock and roll shows, the very young son of Lee Andrews ("Teardrops," "Long, Lonely Nights," "Try The Impossible") showed up at a gig to play drums with his Dad. I had been booked to back all the groups on the bill, so I wasn't sure what to do. It was a four-show weekend engagement, so the band and I figured we'd let him do the sound-check, see how it went, and then act accordingly. He was competent, so we decided to let him play the set with his Dad. Over that weekend, we became buddies and I showed him a bunch of stuff, which he absorbed like a sponge.

    'Never really thought much about it after that, except that it felt good to give a "kid" (probably 10 years my junior) some tips about playing drums in a large concert hall, approaching each beat with conviction, etc. Just recently, I found out that the "kid" turned out to be Quest Love, drummer for The Roots, Jimmy Fallon's house band. I wonder if he'd let me sit in with THAT band as payback for all those years ago?

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    One does not necessarily have to be dazzling to be good. When Pete Seeger first heard Bob Dylan singing and playing in Greenwich Village he told Kris Kristoferson that Dylan was the worst singer that he had ever heard. Seeger said a month later everyone in NYC was trying to sound like Bob Dylan. One of the people who was inspirational to me when I was first getting started was a fellow who I would see at a lot of farmers markets and festivals playing the guitar. He was not a particularly good singer. His playing was rudimentary, yet he had a following that showed up wherever he played. He had heart, and he had a great presence that more than made up for it. He gave me hope, as I'm never going to dazzle anyone with either my singing or my playing, but I try. On the opposite side of it, I've heard and watched people who have amazing skills when it comes to playing the ukulele give a lifeless performance.
    Totally agree, but when showing off, it tends to be comical if you aren't. There are lots of great players who don't show off, but when someone tries to be impressive and they aren't up to snuff, it just shows a need to be recognized, and without great skill, thats just sad and needy. Some, like Janis Joplin are amazing because they play / sing with incredible heart. But they are never [I]trying [I][ to show off. If they were, they couldn't play with heart.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by rainbow21 View Post
    While you have been stressing on your end, she has been frantic worrying about how she will come across as an unaccomplished beginner with this stud experienced player. Being sick was her way out...
    OR she was sick.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by kissing View Post
    I'm not an advocate of showboating either. Showboating is embarrassing.

    I am coming from the perspective of being a sufficiently experienced musician with enough skills to be able to teach others.
    Having a superior skill to others and "showing" it does not equate to showboating. Having those abilities and showing someone with an unchecked ego of where they stand and what they should strive for is not "showboating" either.

    I don't mean rub it in their face.
    Let the music speak for itself, in a more subtle way

    By the same token, the inexperienced player should have a good learning attitude and be open-minded about receiving guidance (especially if they asked for it). The kind of people who think they have nothing to learn (when they clearly do) are the ones I am referring to giving a "reality check".

    More applicable to young children than adults, if I hadn't pointed that out.
    Agreed, I just didn't understand that the newbie [I]had[I][ an unchecked ego.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by AQUATOPAZ View Post
    Agreed, I just didn't understand that the newbie [I]had[I][ an unchecked ego.
    If you're referring to the newbie in my original post, NO,she does not have an unchecked ego. She's a mature woman who got through life thinking she had a better-than-average singing voice and really doesn't sing very well at all. Oh, and despite that minor delusion, she's one of the nicest people I've ever met. I'm a little uncertain how she would handle not getting all the attention in the room when she pulls out the uke, as the poor thing really believes she's a vocal goddess who never got her lucky break. Maybe I'm just over-thinking the whole thing. Can we drop this now?

  9. #39
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    This thread has wandered a bit (as threads often do) so I went back and re-read the original post. If someone asked me to "show her a few things before the next rehearsal" then my clever response would be to do exactly what she requested. Brilliant, huh?

    Offer to meet up with her sometime. Ask what she's working on. Ask if there's anything she wants to get feedback about. Is there a chord or a strum or a song that she'd like to get some coaching on? Let her know that you are happy to help her.

    When I work with beginners (or even with experienced musicians -- some much better than I am overall -- who have a weak spot that I can maybe help with) I pick ONE thing to work on at a time. Nobody can handle more than that. ONE good tip will go a lot farther than unloading a ton of information that nobody can remember (I used to write corporate training -- I know whereof I speak.)

    Here, let me show you a strum that works really well with this song. Leave your index finger right where it is on the F chord and move the other two fingers like this to form the G7. Relax your throat, inhale from your diaphragm and now try singing that phrase again. If you're not comfortable singing in that key, here's how to use a transposing wheel. One at a time.

    Since you are the supposed "expert" then you should be able to hear somebody play and make a smart choice about the ONE thing you can suggest right away that will have the biggest and best impact to improve that person's performance and comfort level.

    That's if you want to make it all about helping somebody get more enjoyment from playing uke. If it's all about you showing off, that's an entirely different thing and shame on you.

    ETA: If it's all about the other person showing off, then it's best to stay out of the way ;-) I would demonstrate something quickly and hand the uke back. No need to play an entire song, no need to do it loudly, and no need to command attention because it does not sound like this is a competition you want to enter.
    Last edited by acmespaceship; 09-20-2019 at 01:58 PM.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by acmespaceship View Post
    If it's all about you showing off, that's an entirely different thing and shame on you.
    Somebody please tell me I'm misinterpreting that line and that acmespaceship isn't taking shots at me for something I never said.

    I never thought the tone of THIS forum could be as mean-spirited as the tone of the BICYCLE forums, and I hope I am wrong in thinking that is the case.

    I have tried to express my concern multiple ways. Either I'm a bad communicator, or some of you out there are just looking to take pot shots at me for some unknown reason. In any event, I am unsubscribing from this thread now and will not be responding to any more of the comments here.

    Thanks to those of you who understood my original post and replied without judgment.

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