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

  1. #11
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    In my opinion if playing a new players uke some songs, it is best to try make it sound as good as possible. That will give encouragement that it is not the uke that needs be better.

    If the uke is no good then to buy her/him a better uke if they are interested or suggest that to parents.

  2. #12
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    I guess you should ask yourself, if you met a ukulele player who was quite good, better than you, and you wanted to jam around with them, would you want them to play poorly just for your sake? That just seems like a condescending approach to playing with someone who wants to play with you. That doesn't mean that you have to go into it with the attitude that you are going to impress them with your dazzling ukulele skills to the point that they just give up then and there, you can play at their level and not have to pretend that you "suck."
    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

  3. #13
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    Keep it simple. Do not play beyond her current skill.
    LACole
    Laurie Ann Cole

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  4. #14
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    Wow! I think I really botched my explanation of this situation!

    First of all, if you're thinking that I have any delusions of being a great ukulele player, I have to tell you that I am a lifelong drummer who only picked up the uke for fun. I would guess that just about anybody on this forum is as adept or (probably) much MORE adept than I am at the instrument.

    This woman is older and is discovering a new pleasure in her life. She wants to hear me play next week. I have a history of sitting down with new uke owners, telling them that I only toy around with the instrument (the truth), apologizing that I don't really play a whole lot lately (also the truth), and then playing my one or two fairly impressive licks for them - only to prompt a reply like "Oh, I'll never be able to do that. I quit!"

    I fully understand that I am not a ukulele legend, but I also know that I play well enough to steal the thunder of someone who has a new skill and wants to feel special about it. Maybe I'm still not expressing myself the way I intended.

    Anyway, please hold the comments about "condescending" and stuff like that, because those labels are so far from where I'm coming from. I sort of wish I had never posted this now.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarmo_S View Post
    If the uke is no good then to buy her/him a better uke if they are interested or suggest that to parents.
    the parents of "a small, delicate woman probably in her late 70's"??
    keeping an eye out for a very special concert....

  6. #16
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    Not knowing you or the woman, I'll still suggest:

    Highlight what she is doing that's positive. Maybe the most you'll be able to say there is that she decided to try to play ukulele, but, hey, *I'm* impressed that anyone of any age is giving it a try, and especially someone who is in her late 70's. How cool is that? She's giving some new and not easy a try.

    She may have some physical limitations - arthritis in her fingers, for example - that will make some things more difficult for her. If so, help her find ways to compensate for that, so she can keep playing. Maybe she'll have to drop notes from a chord, or hold the ukulele a bit differently, but there should be ways to help her find what works for her.

    But, I'd definitely stress keeping it as positive and encouraging as possible. It should be more about having fun than about perfection. Tell her I think she's awesome for picking up ukulele!
    Last edited by Joyful Uke; 09-15-2019 at 06:32 AM. Reason: typo

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wukulele View Post
    the parents of "a small, delicate woman probably in her late 70's"??
    You joke, but we knew a woman in her late 70s who camped near us on Lake Winnipesaukee in NH. Two funny incidents - one afternoon, she said she was going water skiing later in the day. Some of us laughed. "Oh, I always go water skiing on my birthday." And she did.

    Another time, we were sitting around, and she said she was going out on her boat later in the day. Her mother was coming for a visit, and she liked riding in the boat. She wasn't kidding. A few hours later, we saw the 70-something walking along the dock with her mother.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    Wow! I think I really botched my explanation of this situation!
    I sort of wish I had never posted this now.
    . Don't worry about it, I feel that way half the time I post here.
    Last edited by Rllink; 09-15-2019 at 08:21 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

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    Wow! I think I really botched my explanation of this situation!

    First of all, if you're thinking that I have any delusions of being a great ukulele player, I have to tell you that I am a lifelong drummer who only picked up the uke for fun. I would guess that just about anybody on this forum is as adept or (probably) much MORE adept than I am at the instrument.

    This woman is older and is discovering a new pleasure in her life. She wants to hear me play next week. I have a history of sitting down with new uke owners, telling them that I only toy around with the instrument (the truth), apologizing that I don't really play a whole lot lately (also the truth), and then playing my one or two fairly impressive licks for them - only to prompt a reply like "Oh, I'll never be able to do that. I quit!"

    I fully understand that I am not a ukulele legend, but I also know that I play well enough to steal the thunder of someone who has a new skill and wants to feel special about it. Maybe I'm still not expressing myself the way I intended.

    Anyway, please hold the comments about "condescending" and stuff like that, because those labels are so far from where I'm coming from. I sort of wish I had never posted this now.
    If she wants to hear you play, pick a couple of songs you like and just play as you normally do. Don't showboat. She knows you are a more accomplished player, so show her your skills. Do some strumming and a little fingerstyle. I don't think you will discourage her.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  10. #20

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    Lol I care very little about tiptoeing about peoples' egos when it comes to this kind of thing.

    There is no objective reason for hurt feelings.
    Skill is skill.

    No need to assume your skills will discourage her.
    If it was me, I'd demonstrate the extent of my skills and give her a few pointers if she wants them.
    If she's butthurt because she realises that she's not the next Jake Shimabukuro, that's her loss.

    I have the expectation that everyone should have a realistic sense of their abilities and current limitations.

    I am not saying that my own playing is pro-level, but I know how to play to my best potential (which can impress most lay people) and know where I am at in my musical journey of self-improvement. Giving others a reality check when I can is satisfying in its own way.

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