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Thread: Happy Side Effects

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    East Midlands, UK
    Posts
    63

    Post Happy Side Effects

    Hello everyone, great forum!

    I’ve had my uke 3 weeks now and just wanted to share a few observations.

    My motivation for getting a uke was simply a new hobby but I’ve found some great side effects.

    I’m practicing daily and it’s very stress relieving. It’s definitely helping to keep me calm during lockdown!

    I was worried that my evening practice would annoy my partner but he’s loving it too and it sends him to sleep (I now just need to get him to work on his snoring to be a bit more rhythmic!)

    Last night we had an amazing thunderstorm (England) and we all sat in the dark watching the lightening while I strummed my uke and it soothed my dogs.

    And then I realised I was playing the chords in the dark without having to look at the strings!

    The uke has quickly become part of the family

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    East Midlands UK
    Posts
    408

    Default

    Long may you continue to enjoy your exploration of the capabilities of the little instrument! And welcome to the forum, as I see that was your first post!
    Soprano is what does it for me every time!*

    *Other Scale sizes are available and very popular with many players.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    East Midlands, UK
    Posts
    63

    Default

    Thank you TopDog!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    515

    Default

    Welcome to the forum!

    Ukuleles are a great comfort, aren't they? I wouldn't be me without music. And ukuleles are so immediate! You can play your ukulele in bed. Try doing that with bagpipes!

    What sort of dogs do you have? Mine came to sit at my feet in bed because he was scared of the thunder. He's a 45kg Spanish Mastiff. He is still surprised I notice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    East Midlands, UK
    Posts
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    Thanks Chris

    They really are pretty immediate enjoyment! I’ve got 2 cocker poodle crosses. Ones a big lad at 30kg and more scared than my small girl of the thunder. Every time I stopped playing he kept looking over to make sure I was carrying on Are Spanish Mastiffs those dogs that have that face that just makes you give them anything they ask for?!

    One problem I have now is that I’ve fallen into the habit of strumming quietly with my thumb in the evening so I need to look at proper strumming next before I find it hard to change.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Posts
    9,420

    Default

    Welcome!
    There's nothing wrong with thumbing the uke, lots of Hawaiians do it.
    I do too, but I also strum with this:
    strum hold.jpg
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    708

    Default

    If you start using your finger, be sure to strike the strings perpendicularly with your entire fingernail.
    Otherwise, you may wear out part of the nail as I did.

    Perhaps these videos can help you:

    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...r-s-check-list

    Here's an unseparated version:


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    East Midlands, UK
    Posts
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    Default

    That's interesting Nickie, is that exactly how you hold your index finger, supported by your thumb? And do you strum the strings with the side of your finger or the nail?

    Thank you for the video Clear, it's all helping to see how everyone finds their own way!

    I have been looking for a video of a 'first person' view of strumming, where perhaps the musician is wearing a head cam and looking down so I can really see exactly how the hand is moving etc, but I can't find one!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    7

    Default

    Hey! Fellow quarantine ukulele player here. Just wanted to let you know your post made me smile--learning the ukulele has been such a great stress reliever and serotonin booster for me during this crazy time too--and that story about your dogs was so pure.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Midlands GB
    Posts
    2,528

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    IMHO, it is important to learn to strum by rotating your forearm - not by moving it up and down at the elbow.

    John Colter

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