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Thread: Does Watching Professionals Perform Make Us Better Players?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA

    Default Does Watching Professionals Perform Make Us Better Players?

    When I used to play a lot of tennis,(I was never very good.) several studies by sports medicine and psychology groups showed that watching professional matches in person or on TV actually improved a person's performance afterward on the court.

    I scoffed when I first read that, but it was replicated by multiple studies. The consensus was that it had a similar effect that visualizing a match and the outcome prior to playing does.

    I'm wondering if the same is true for us amateurs after we watch performances by professional ukulele players?

    And does it happen regardless of the viewer's skill level?
    Last edited by Kenn2018; 06-06-2020 at 10:41 AM.
    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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Ames, Iowa


    They inspire me, so if for nothing more than that they help.
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019


    Absolutely. I've learned quite a few different techniques by simply watching someone else play so I have no doubt it's beneficial.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Sunny Jersey - where the cows come from!


    "Back in the day" (before YouTube!) watching other players, be they professionals or competent amateurs, was one of the main sources of inspiration for those of us "of a certain age".
    Be it just a case of playing a different set of chord shapes under a capo to achieve that "unusual" effect, or slavishly remembering every subtle nuance of a performance for future replication, watching others play (note the plural) allowed us to develop our own styles, with a little bit from here and a bit more from somewhere else
    Some of it, even a lot of it, may be sub-conscious, but every so often, when that little finger sneaks out and frets a note you'd not played before, that's possibly where it came from

    Enjoy !
    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017


    I'm going to vote no. Playing is about playing. Watching with your eyes isn't going to make your fingers do what you want. To complicate matters, I never ever watch ukulele videos. I normally watch guitar or piano videos and translate what I can to my ukulele playing. I'm not contradicting what the others have said. I believe them when they say they benefit by watching other performers. I'm just saying what works for me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Moonta, South Australi.


    My belief is that watching professional musicians as well as gifted amateurs is enjoyable as well as inspirational, which can only result in us trying to emulate the experiences we've had, resulting in improving our skills.
    Cheers Santa.

    Pepe Romero Tiny Tenor.
    Kala Ziricote Tenor.
    Kala Concert FMCG.

  7. #7


    Yes, for a variety of reasons. You could gain insight to where they’re playing on the neck (a guitarist would watch SRV play on a concert video and say to himself “only, the notes are somewhere between the fifth and eleventh frets,”) or a specific technique. You hear with your ears (obviously) but seeing it done can help your mind gain traction as far as implementing it yourself. Not only that, but if you’re learning the same thing you’re seeing a better player perform, it helps as well.

    I know for me I came to the ukulele with an aggressive attack I got from playing guitar and it was only after watching videos of the greats that I learned to relax, breathe, and that the uke often sounds better when it played softer.

    Not to mention the fact it’s just plain inspirational or so frustrating you’ve just GOT to practice now!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    Sure. Like golfers watch video swing analyses of the pros, we watch how the best ukers play on video, and try to get better by adopting things from them. Just like golf, it is easier said than done.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA


    I alternate between noticing something that I might want to try and incorporate into my own playing........and being depressed and demoralized knowing that I will never be anywhere near that good.
    Blackbird Farallon Ekoa Tenor
    Beltona Songster Resonator Tenor
    Klos Carbon Fiber Tenor
    Magic Fluke Tenor Firefly Banjolele

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Bay Area


    It helps me have epiphanies about certain hurdles as well as visualize techniques. I will also put on YouTube videos to get pumped to practice.
    Kala Ka-ZTP-CTG-CE - Uke Logic - Low G Soft Tension
    Enya X2K Tenor - D'Addario EJ87T - High G

    If you Uke easy, life will be hard. If you Uke hard, life will be easy.

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