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Thread: Chord changes.

  1. #1
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    Default Chord changes.

    I’ve noticed something about my playing that makes me wonder how to go forward.

    I like to play moderately complex songs, strummed, and at a faster Ragtime beat. I do a lot of muting with the fretting hand so as to limit sustain and I’m happy enough with that.

    My problem is that my left hand doesn’t always keep up with my strumming hand. This actually works nicely with quite a few chords that essentially become subtle hammer ons, but I wonder if this tiny open string pause between chords is something that most players seek to overcome or just consider it part of the nature of ukuleles.... like the squeak of steel strings is just part of playing an acoustic guitar.

    If I need to overcome it, should I look to speed up my chording, or modify the strum to limit the sounding of open strings between chords?

    I know: both... but I guess I’m not sure if it’s really a problem at all.. I just noticed it the other night after some particularly potent bud.
    Last edited by Swamp Yankee; 10-11-2019 at 05:22 AM.
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Martin C-1 (ca. 1947-1955); Musicguymic's Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    it is what it is
    No worries.
    I like your comparison with the 'squeak of steel strings'

    just think of it as your 'style' and see if others can mimic it!

    keep uke'in',
    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

  3. #3
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    Default

    Personally, I never saw it as an issue. Like Uncle Rod said, I think of it as almost a style. I think there are a few songs where I (unintentionally) mute the strings as I transition, and it works out, kinda sounding like adding a bit of flair.

  4. #4
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    Default

    you gotta love counsel and suggestions from someone with 'squeaky' in their Avatar

    keep uke'in',
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default

    You could try practicing a passage slowly, working on that coordination and then gradually speed up to see if you can improve or minimize it.

  6. #6
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    Kyoto Japan
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Yankee View Post
    I like to play moderately complex songs, strummed, and at a faster Ragtime beat. I do a lot of muting with the fretting hand so as to limit sustain and Iím happy enough with that.
    Problem might be this left hand muting. I am not sure how and why you mute strings but it might not work with open strings. You may try right hand muting like finger pickers.

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure if I was clear... I didn't meant to say that I was trying to figure out how to avoid open string harshness or droning... whatchamacallit... I don't have any problem with that because the chord changes are happening quickly enough so that the strings are muted between the chords.

    I've had a few days to concentrate on my technique and I think the way forward is to learn to control the hammer on chord effect as I kind of like it in certain parts of some songs.

    I've been working on changing the timing of my strum to be fully on the chord in slower chord changes, and found that can actually be a cool effect.

    Another technique that is arising out of it is something that I noticed happening unintentionally - I'm sounding the strings as I'm coming off a chord - so it's like a whole chord pull off.

    Movable chord shapes are useful and I am slowly learning to use them...but even then there will be some slight pause - during which all the strings are muted anyway.

    In any event it's sure fun working on it
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Martin C-1 (ca. 1947-1955); Musicguymic's Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by yahalele View Post
    Problem might be this left hand muting. I am not sure how and why you mute strings but it might not work with open strings. You may try right hand muting like finger pickers.
    I like to play uptempo songs with a jazzy or Ragtime beat - muting is essential and I find it much easier and instinctive to mute with the fretting hand. I do so by rhythmically relaxing and reapplying the fretting finger pressure on the strings to make the chords. kind of like I'm bouncing on the chords. I find it's very precise, faster, easier on the hand as you're taking micro breaks all the time instead of continuously pressing down on the strings. And it's BOSS. I think it would slow me down a whole lot if I had to rely on right hand muting during chord changes.
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Martin C-1 (ca. 1947-1955); Musicguymic's Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  9. #9
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    SE Connecticut, USA
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    Thanks, all - for your input!

    I think it's not a problem, but a technique that needs to be honed. I'mm gonna roll with it
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
    Concerts:Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Martin C-1 (ca. 1947-1955); Musicguymic's Kolohe
    Tenors: Cordoba 24T; Kiwaya KTT-2K
    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yahalele View Post
    Problem might be this left hand muting. I am not sure how and why you mute strings but it might not work with open strings. You may try right hand muting like finger pickers.
    Finger pickers mute with their left hand. Just watch the rockclass 101 videos.

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