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Thread: Playing Melody

  1. #11
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    Yes, I play melody lines 99% of the time, I prefer to hear the 'song' played as notes.

    I'm no singer, but I did occasionally strum & 'sing' in the Seasons thread for a few years, as that is what most uke players do.

    Presently I'm playing other instruments, (harmonicas, whistles & flutes), & they all play the melody line too.

    My ambition was to play chord melody, but I never got around to it. Do your own thing, unless you need to play for others.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  2. #12
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    Jul 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by RLM3121 View Post
    Recently I had someone tell me that I shouldn’t waste time playing just the melody of a song. They said I should only concentrate on the chord melody. But sometimes I think it’s nice to play just the melody. It also help learn the song. Do any of you play the melodies only?
    Wasting time? While playing a ukulele? That doesn't make any sense at all. When I have to start pleasing the Ukulele Police, I relocate.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
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  3. #13
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    When I'm strumming & singing with a group, my voice doesn't sound half bad, for the most part. But let me try to sing for an open mic and my voice seizes up like crazy. My vocal range is already limited, and throw in some nerves.....well it ain't pretty. I'm working on it, just like everything else. That's why I enjoy chord melodies. It's kind of like strumming chords and playing the single note melody meet somewhere in the middle and sound great. People know the song I'm playing, without my vocals making a mess of it, and it sounds lovely. At a recent jam, I played chord melody for "Bridge Over Troubled Waters." I asked the group to sing along softly if they felt the urge. About 25% of the group (the usual awesome singers) joined in. Their singing was beautiful, and it didn't overpower my playing (I was plugged in), but rather enhanced the whole thing.

    I've written two original, but simple chord melodies of my own. Sometimes a chord progression just strikes me, and I start building a melody that I like. It's fun to experiment. It has encouraged me to play up the neck more, look for 2nd and 3rd positions, different fingerings.

    Do what makes you happy is the bottom line. As Jerry put it so well above..... There is no such thing as wasting time while playing your ukulele.
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  4. #14
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    Aug 2017
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    I play single note melodies all the time. Especially if it is a new tune that I do not know. I play single note melody and watch my timing very carefully. I also try to find the tune on utube and play along with it. Now since I know chords well from piano playing, I go to work developing the chord melody. I also use single note melody to play a song from memory when I have no music score and then figure out the chords. Since my first music lesson at age 10, 70 plus years ago, I played mostly single note melody on clarinet and sax and never knew or used chords for maybe 20 years. When my wife strums chords on classical guitar I play mostly single notes. I have been a hobby musician for 70 plus years and I say to just play what you enjoy and to h--l with anyone who does not like it. Enjoy.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RafterGirl View Post
    When I'm strumming & singing with a group, my voice doesn't sound half bad, for the most part. But let me try to sing for an open mic and my voice seizes up like crazy.
    Funny, but I can identify with that. Groups are great for many reasons. I can sing quietly or just mouth the words. Going solo at a mic would be something else entirely.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RLM3121 View Post
    Recently I had someone tell me that I shouldn’t waste time playing just the melody of a song. They said I should only concentrate on the chord melody. But sometimes I think it’s nice to play just the melody. It also help learn the song. Do any of you play the melodies only?
    I think that the next time you see that person, you turn around and go the other direction. I just avoid people who try to marginalize other's accomplishments in order to validate their own lack of any.
    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.

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  7. #17
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    Jul 2012
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    Australia
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    I played clarinet decades ago, single note melodies. 13 years ago I bought a guitar, found out from the internet where a scale fitted on the fretboard and used a Bob Dylan songbook to play the melody notes. I've continued on that way, nowadays picking melodies on ukuleles by ear. My brother-in-law is an enthusiastic member of the Guitar Police, and tells me "You're doing it WRONG." I ask him "Who makes these rules?" I make music for myself.

  8. #18
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    Mar 2016
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    Darlington UK
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    Ah by playing melody you mean playing single notes, as you would an electric guitar. I do that all the time, often up the neck crossing the strings. I thought it was just me doing it and it was 'wrong'
    You don't stop playing when you get old. You get old when you stop playing

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  9. #19
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    I've been watching Jay Ungar playing his fiddle. Ashokan Farewell and The Lover's Waltz and more. He doesn't sound too amateurish playing melody, in my opinion. My brother-in-law can't draw a crowd like Jay does.
    Last edited by ukebebop; 11-28-2019 at 01:03 PM. Reason: Spelling of Ungar.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukebebop View Post
    I've been watching Jay Ungar playing his fiddle. Ashokan Farewell and The Lover's Waltz and more. He doesn't sound too amateurish playing melody, in my opinion. My brother-in-law can't draw a crowd like Jay does.
    I live a few miles from Jay and his Ashokan Center. The town of Ashokan, where the Ashokan Reservoir got its name, no longer exists. I live in Shokan, which now encompasses what used to be Ashokan. Jay and Molly's Ashokan Center is a busy place, hosting, among other things, a ukulele festival over Memorial Day weekend. Jay's daughter, Molly, is a uke player and instructor and part of the group The Mammals.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

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