Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 44

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

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    95

    Default

    About this time last year one of the ladies who goes to an exercise class with my wife at the rec center mentioned she had gotten a ukulele as a gift and how her family told he she’d never picked up a musical instrument in her life and would never learn to play it. She accepted the challenge by promising to learn to play a Christmas song by that Christmas. My wife responded by volunteering me to teach her everything I knew between Sept and Christmas.
    Patsy, my wife introduced us and told the story. Jan explained her total lack of experience and her determination to show her family up (I think it was one of her grown sons that was teasing her).
    Next week I brought her a $5-10 headstock tuner I never use and ”Jingle Bells” tabs I got off the intertubes , I think it had just 3-4 chords: C-F-G-D? I showed her how to transfer the tabs to finger positions on the key board starting with the C chord and had her “strum” the chord slowly enough to hear each note . I told her to practice that one finger chord until she could play it cleanly without muting any strings before trying the two finger F chord and then the three finger G.
    She got all that down in another week so I showed her some up/down strums and a D chord to introduce partial barre chords to her. I showed her how to play using one strum per syllable and I showed her how I would play it. Mostly I just directed her to resources available on the internet and Morton Manus’ Ukulele Chord Dictionary
    At that point, she was off! Found and learned two more Christmas songs and got her grandchildren to play drums with her at her family concert.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    348

    Default

    Awesome story. The woman in my story is going to be playing a song I've never even heard before, so I can't really help her with it until I get to know the song. I think she said it "only has" five chords, one of them being a Dm. Seems like too many changes for a newbie, but at least there are no B chords in it!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    593

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kissing View Post
    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.
    Be careful of "reality checks". If you aren't completely smazing, and are "showing thr extent of your skills", the reaction you get will be relative to what people percieve you are doing,though you may not realize it. If someone who isn't absolutrly amazing starts showboating, I will just be laughing inside. I won't make it obvious as I don't want to hurt feelings, but if they are going to show off, they better be damn good. Of course I am quite appreciative of those with lesser skills who are not showing off, but just playing. I also saw someone showing off once. It was just sad.
    Last edited by AQUATOPAZ; 09-20-2019 at 11:06 AM.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    3,840

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AQUATOPAZ View Post
    Ne careful of "reality checks". If you aren't completely smazing, and are "showing thr extent of your skills", the reaction you get will be relative to what people percieve you are doing,though you may not realize it. If someone who isn't absolutrly amazing starts showboating, I will just be laughing inside. I won't make it obvious as I don't want to hurt feelings, but if they are going to show off, they better be damn good. Of course I am quite appreciative of those with lesser skills who are not showing off, but just playing. I also saw someone showing off once. It was just sad.
    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.
    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. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    348

    Default

    OK, I'm going to assume that this thread has moved on and is no longer about people thinking I want to "show off" in front of a 70-something-year-old lady who just got her first uke a couple of weeks ago. If anyone directs replies at me from this point on, please give me the courtesy of reading my original post.

    I am not an amazing player, but I am probably a better player than the woman I described above. I was torn about whether playing my best "fooled 'em again" licks for her (as someone who has talked before about "toying around" with a uke in the past) would encourage her or have the opposite effect. I think I'm just going to call in sick tomorrow!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Redmond, WA
    Posts
    301

    Default

    It depends a lot on her and what she's looking for. I've found all of the following very useful as a learner:
    • Simplified stuff at my level but played clean. Demonstrate how I can sound good with what I know
    • Something slightly over my head, but just enough that I can reach for it next. This gives something to work on
    • Something cool at your comfort level (not stretching to where you can't play it clean). This can show what my uke can do and dismisses blaming the instrument for problems in my fingers


    From your estimate of her skill level, the base level may be to play a simple chord progression (she knows five - that's two more than needed!) on the one and aim to playing it cleanly and regularly.
    Once you get her song then have her sing while you play and vice versa.

    Show her a path to playing simply and musically rather than over-complicated for her skill level.

    --Rob (who should concentrate on simple but well done himself!)

  7. #27

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AQUATOPAZ View Post
    Ne careful of "reality checks". If you aren't completely smazing, and are "showing thr extent of your skills", the reaction you get will be relative to what people percieve you are doing,though you may not realize it. If someone who isn't absolutrly amazing starts showboating, I will just be laughing inside. I won't make it obvious as I don't want to hurt feelings, but if they are going to show off, they better be damn good. Of course I am quite appreciative of those with lesser skills who are not showing off, but just playing. I also saw someone showing off once. It was just sad.
    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.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    OK, I'm going to assume that this thread has moved on and is no longer about people thinking I want to "show off" in front of a 70-something-year-old lady who just got her first uke a couple of weeks ago. If anyone directs replies at me from this point on, please give me the courtesy of reading my original post.

    I am not an amazing player, but I am probably a better player than the woman I described above. I was torn about whether playing my best "fooled 'em again" licks for her (as someone who has talked before about "toying around" with a uke in the past) would encourage her or have the opposite effect. I think I'm just going to call in sick tomorrow!
    I hope it goes well and you have fun doing it. And that you both get something out of it. Best of luck.
    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

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Springfield, IL
    Posts
    1,146

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    OK, I'm going to assume that this thread has moved on and is no longer about people thinking I want to "show off" in front of a 70-something-year-old lady who just got her first uke a couple of weeks ago. If anyone directs replies at me from this point on, please give me the courtesy of reading my original post.

    I am not an amazing player, but I am probably a better player than the woman I described above. I was torn about whether playing my best "fooled 'em again" licks for her (as someone who has talked before about "toying around" with a uke in the past) would encourage her or have the opposite effect. I think I'm just going to call in sick tomorrow!
    Hi Tom, your dilemma is appreciated, and for what it's worth, I think it's kinda neat, when sitting down with someone who's just starting, to first just keep things as simple and straightforward as possible, and then, once you've imparted that foundational knowledge, you can spark their enthusiasm to keep learning and practicing by saying something like, "Now, if you keep at it, and stay persistent, you can eventually take things up a notch and do little extras like this..." (at which point you show her one or two licks or techniques that will allow her to get a flavor of what lies on the horizon if she is willing to stay with it). And I think the effect will indeed be to encourage her!

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    348

    Default

    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!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

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

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
  •