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Thread: Are paid classes worth it?

  1. #21
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    I think it depends on where you live and who's teaching.

    If you live outside of Hawaii, they don't really take ukulele seriously and never hire Hawaiians or people from Hawaii to teach ukulele. They won't hire them even because they think anyone who plays guitar can surely just teach and play ukulele, since they tend to think guitar is more of a real instrument, or more serious instrument, and the only people taking ukulele lessons are little kids so they don't really care.

    If you find a shop that takes the ukulele seriously and sells the best ukuleles they can find etc, and have people who play ukulele as a primary serious instrument, it's probably an ok place to learn.

    It's best to learn if you can just find other people to play with, like a jam group or something, and learn from a lot of different people with experience from different backgrounds

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenzen View Post
    I think it depends on where you live and who's teaching.
    Also, it depends on who you are and what your intentions are. For example, even though Tenzen's recommendation is totally solid, I wouldn't follow it because it isn't what I want. I would actually seek out a guitar teacher because guitar teachers seem to be more attuned with what I am after: viz., theory, composition, and improvisation.

  3. #23
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    Yeah, paid classes especially if they are offline, will help you loads.

  4. #24
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    to be honest if you want to be a real good player you have to practice all the components;

    1- ear training / music theory
    2- technique
    3- repertoire


    Repertoire is practicing songs and which most players focus on including myself. If you can find a teacher that realizes all this then you're in good hands.
    To be honest you want some songs in your back pocket. How many times you tell somebody you play uke or guitar and they ask you to play a song you draw a blank

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    Also, it depends on who you are and what your intentions are. For example, even though Tenzen's recommendation is totally solid, I wouldn't follow it because it isn't what I want. I would actually seek out a guitar teacher because guitar teachers seem to be more attuned with what I am after: viz., theory, composition, and improvisation.
    This is a drawback of studying a "young" instrument like the uke. It should be no problem to check these things off your list with an 'ukulele teacher, but this no-brainer musical stuff just isn't widely imbedded in uke pedagogy yet.

    I'm skeptical that guitar teachers are "more attuned." They just draw from a more established history of study.

    It goes for playing too. Uke playing hasn't evolved to a place where you get Trey Anastasio, Eric Johnson, or Brad Paisley level players/composers/improvisers popping out of the woodwork. James Hill or Jake don't even come close to touching those guys, IMO. It's not because they're bad or the uke can't do it. There just hasn't been that Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn legacy to follow yet. Band of Gypsies came out in what, 1970? So people have been emulating that kind of guitar playing for 50 years. Before that was Les Paul and Django...

    In instrument years the 'ukulele is still so young. For me, the modern era of the uke started with Peter Moon and Guava Jam. It remains some of the most amazing 'ukulele playing ever recorded and I truly love it, but is it Band of Gypsies level musicianship? In the big picture I don't think so. Uke playing, to me, is like 75 years behind guitar playing.

    Keep being awesome. We'll get there eventually.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bordessa View Post

    Keep being awesome.
    I'm trying to do my part. I didn't mean to cast any aspersions. I just meant that, as a consumer, when I approach google with a question such as "what is a chromatic mediant" or "rules for chord substitution," I am referred to piano or guitar sites. Maybe if I were less impatient and actually scrolled down, there might be some ukulele sites that aren't sponsored links.

  7. #27
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    I'm starting a beginner group course when the restrictions allow. I probably have already learned most of the material by myself before the course starts but I'm hoping a professional can spot errors I might make without realizing it and saves me the trouble of having to unlearn things in the future.
    Imagine if John Lennon had composed "Imagine" on the ukulele
    Maybe folks would have more clearly got the message

  8. #28
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    I've been playing ukulele for quite a while and I think I'm relatively good at it. My guitar teacher teaches ukulele and banjo as well. I'll tell you that he can play circles around me on ukulele. Just because they teach guitar doesn't mean they aren't a good ukulele teacher. I mean, that's like saying that just because someone teaches ukulele they are a second rate guitar teacher. I wouldn't pass on a teacher just because they taught other instruments as well. That's the nature of the game.
    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

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bordessa View Post
    In instrument years the 'ukulele is still so young. For me, the modern era of the uke started with Peter Moon and Guava Jam. It remains some of the most amazing 'ukulele playing ever recorded and I truly love it, but is it Band of Gypsies level musicianship? In the big picture I don't think so. Uke playing, to me, is like 75 years behind guitar playing.
    I am not sure that it is how long the ukulele has been around. The saxophone is not much older and think of how that instrument has been played. I think it is more that the ukulele was used and perceived as a rhythm instrument for much of its history, and people even had to fight for it to be considered a musical instrument and not a toy. It took some later artists to show some of what it could do, and James Hill and Jake are taking it to the next level. If this current period of popularity proves out to be more than just a phase, the level of artistry should continue to improve and more popular music will likely not just incorporate, but feature the ukulele.

    Hopefully, though, that doesn’t come with a loss of what makes the ukulele an unique instrument. Similar to what Tenzen said, I think guitar teachers can and do make great ukulele teachers (and a lot of uke players are multi-instrumentalists anyway), but both the teacher and the player should approach the instrument as an ukulele and not just a smaller and string deficient guitar. If I was going to pay for a class, which I might do when the current pandemic situation has resolved, that’s what I would be looking for: a teacher that wants to help make me an excellent ukulele player and not just help me play guitar songs that sound just a little different.

    One reason I may seek out a teacher is to correct some of the mistakes I am making while trying to teach myself (hopefully before I develop tendinitis in my fretting hand). And to help focus my training. Right now, I move from sections in different books, but don’t always focus on a specific thing. The repetition needed to perfect a particular thing would be less of an issue for me if I knew I had to “perform” for someone that would correct my errors and provide helpful feedback. I am not quite willing to do that through posts to strangers on the internet.
    Last edited by NotJake; 03-05-2021 at 05:31 AM.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotJake View Post
    but both the teacher and the player should approach the instrument as an ukulele and not just a smaller and string deficient guitar.
    I feel that many players approach it exactly like a small guitar: bigger sizes, linear tuning, playing stripped down classical or contemporary guitar music. When Jake did Gently Weeps on the ukulele at the start of the 2000s boom, it drew a lot of attention - but that was because of the novelty and how small the uke is. It's impressive, but I always felt Gently Weeps sounds better on the instrument it was written for: the guitar. There was a lot more music written for the ukulele in the 1920s (and later decades), but contemporary preferences are often for a fuller, lower sound (that resembling a guitar), and so many beginners want to learn how to strum or fingerpick a pop or rock song, or pick a piece written for classical guitar, not play music composed for the ukulele that makes use of the ukuleles characteristics (like the re-entrant string).

    This isn't criticism, either. People should always make the music they enjoy, on whatever instrument they want to make it on. It's all music. I'm just not surprised that (some) teachers approach the ukulele from a guitar perspective. That may will be what their students expect, want, and need.

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