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Thread: Calling all Self-Taughts

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Durham, UK
    Posts
    337

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelz777 View Post
    I'm a self-taught and what's worked best for me is finding songs that I like and trying to learn them. Online video tutorials of songs that I like are very helpful. The problem I find with most lessons whether video or in print is that they use songs that I would never have chosen on my own and that I would never want to play. I lose interest very quickly. I understand that one needs to walk before they can run and that skills learned can be transferred and used on other songs but I seem to be driven to want to skip that step. If I'm going to put in the time I want to learn those skills on songs that I'd like or that I'd actually play.

    Finding a ukulele group might also be helpful. I participated in one for the first time this year before this whole quarantine thing started. Yes, I ended up playing a lot of songs I would never have chosen for myself but occasionally 1 or 2 turned out to be OK. I found that it kind of lit a spark in me. I wanted to improve my skills and learn new skills. I've been content with just strumming and singing for years.
    Mikelz777 wrote most of it down for me!
    I also just play around with different chord shapes. I have an app to find uke chords in all positions and sometimes I'll browse and check some out.
    I also pick many melody lines of songs I love.
    YouTube is a great help in learning new techniques. I like Matt Dahlberg, Tobias Elof, Ukulele Zen, Ukulelecheats, Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel among others.
    I have some books and a lot of tab music that I'll occasionally turn to.
    I play for my own pleasure, not to go out and entertain or busk. Before the pandemic I met up with a fellow Mum and practised before school pickup time once a week.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by KiltedUke View Post
    I'd like to hear your thoughts on the best (easiest and quickest) way you've progressed when self taught. Do you:

    • Find songs you like and learn to play them?
    • Find an online course and follow that?
    • Find a ukulele group (not possible just now and not entirely self taught)?
    • Other?


    I've only been playing 6 weeks and wondering how I get to a next level beyond playing rhythm ukulele. I'm dabbling with the idea of signing up to James Hill's course but unsure whether I want to spend the money (I'm Scottish after all ) and would like to hear your opinions.

    Your asking the dream question. I am 12 weeks in and I am always asking, "am I learning smart enough, am I learning fast enough".

    While your asking the question ponder this bonny lad.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uReYM-hFLVU

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
    Posts
    988

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    I am totally self taught. After I learned the first basic chords I just wanted to learn songs and also pick some tunes. So I usually do a search for chords and lyrics for songs to sing and tabs for finger picking. The challenge really is that for many songs there are several versions online and finding the best one. Also some songs I need to change key to suit my vocal range. So that's all part of the learning process. I only go to videos as last resort for specific technical issues that I can't figure out by ear. Again the challenge is to find a video that demonstrates it in a way that fits my level. Most of the videos are junk as they simplify too much or do things overly complicated.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    548

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    Quote Originally Posted by KiltedUke View Post
    I'd like to hear your thoughts on the best (easiest and quickest) way you've progressed when self taught.

    I've only been playing 6 weeks and wondering how I get to a next level beyond playing rhythm ukulele. I'm dabbling with the idea of signing up to James Hill's course but unsure whether I want to spend the money (I'm Scottish after all ) and would like to hear your opinions.
    I found "The Ukulele Way" course by James Hill to be worth every penny. There are a number of free lessons in the course that you can sample. Then if you want an integrated and progressive course in chord/melody, pay the six Euros for a month (start at the beginning of the month, lol). You can cram all the lessons you want into that month or pay again for another month.

    James is a very good video instructor (and I hope to see him in person one day) and does a great job instructing. The concepts are applicable to any music you will encounter subsequently. For reference, I signed up around my third month of playing for about five months since I used him as one of my areas of playing and learning. Sometimes I skipped for a few days or a week and then returned while finding songs from other books or online sources to dabble in.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    4,192

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    Quote Originally Posted by wab223 View Post
    Your asking the dream question. I am 12 weeks in and I am always asking, "am I learning smart enough, am I learning fast enough".

    While your asking the question ponder this bonny lad.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uReYM-hFLVU
    Fast enough for what? It's music, not a foot race. There is no finish line and there is no end. Might as well take it easy and enjoy the ride. There's no hurry.
    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

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    1,518

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    I'm a bit of a magpie. I pick bits up from all over the place. I've used youtube tutorials, online tabs, books, DVDs, paid courses, and Skype lessons as the mood has taken me.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    the we(s)t coast, Canada
    Posts
    746

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    For getting started, I found YouTube tutorials helpful and motivating. Itís a matter of finding a teacher who suits your style and musical taste. It depends on your musical background too. Are you new to it or have you played other instruments before? If youíre new, you could familiarize yourself with some basic music theory too.
    I like finger picking so Iím often looking for tabs, but I prefer to be able to listen to the song too so I know the rhythm Iím going for. I can read it on the sheet but it doesnít always translate properly to my uke so hearing someone else play it helps a lot. Especially since a lot of songs I like, Iíve never heard before.
    Glenn

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    891

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    Since I haven't read the whole thread, please forgive me if I repeat something.

    I have never had a teacher, but I have read articles with suggestions and listened to recordings and gotten advice from friends who play, so I wouldn't claim to be self-taught. I think the best teachers I've had are recordings and friends and fellow musicians who show me licks, progressions. . . This is usually a trade, since I show them stuff as well.
    Find someone (or more than one) toplay with and trade ideas. There seem to be ukulele clubs springing up all over the place. Join one of these and you won't have to be self taught.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    128

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    Quote Originally Posted by KiltedUke View Post
    I'd like to hear your thoughts on the best (easiest and quickest) way you've progressed when self taught. Do you:

    • Find songs you like and learn to play them?
    • Find an online course and follow that?
    • Find a ukulele group (not possible just now and not entirely self taught)?
    • Other?


    I've only been playing 6 weeks and wondering how I get to a next level beyond playing rhythm ukulele. I'm dabbling with the idea of signing up to James Hill's course but unsure whether I want to spend the money (I'm Scottish after all ) and would like to hear your opinions.
    I'm about 3 weeks in; and I've been self teaching.

    I think the main thing is setting a simple goal and then selecting the path that would you take there. But, if you have no experience, you can't set a good goal. Here's where self-teach methods courses can help; it's called "method" because such courses take you step-by-step toward goals they've already set for you.

    A lot of self-taught instrumentalists fail in the very fundamental areas like rhythm; or if playing in tempo but not musically. I think the reason is that there is nobody there to enforce the basics or point out obvious mistakes; and so, the player move on to more and more advanced areas after thinking he's learned it... and finally the entire house collapses. This is not to say that self-teaching is a bad idea but to say that one must be careful of truly mastering before moving onwards.

    Anyway, I can offer you more advice if you have more specific questions (I'm teaching my son how to play the piano for a few years now).

    Oh, one interesting thing or rather resource for self-teaching these days is where you can post up your practices and the others comment for free. There's a lot of that going around at this piano forum I frequent. This solves one of the hardest parts of self teaching; getting critical feedback on your performance.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    333

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    First you play the simple songs with chords near the headstock, eventually that gets a bit boring.
    Than I learned about CAGFED (google it) which teaches you to play the same simple songs further up the neck (more variety)
    Practise with another person(s) to learn about keeping time and listening, to get a polished piece of music.
    If you want to sing, learn to transpose the chords within the limits of your voice's ability.
    For Rythm, I found Dixiland Jazz the best, as most songs are played in F, Bb etc.
    "Mastering" an instrument is similar to a physical fitness regime. If you stop you'll "loose" it.
    Have the instrument nearby. Read on the forum, watch YTs.

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