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Thread: Playing Better

  1. #1
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    Default Playing Better

    In my local uke group, we used the Jim Beloff books - over 700 songs. We also had several hundred songs on separate sheets. Someone would suggest a song. We'd play it, talk about it, play, it, talk about it, play it, and then go on to another. Not much fun.

    In my other group, we began with a collection of about two dozen songs and played several of them week after week. We got to know them, and we could add variations as we played. Now we are up to maybe eight books, and most of the songs we play are familiar, and we keep getting better at playing them.

    That's how I've become a better player.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  2. #2
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    That's interesting Jerry. I've participated in three groups. The one which helped me grow the most did these things:
    1. They limited "bickering" about how a song should be played. Not sure if this was overt on their part - but they did so by moving quickly from one song to another. They rarely played a song twice. They also rotated leadership to some of the more experienced players in the group. This led to an attitude of, "Oh, that's an interesting way to play that song." Instead of a, "That's not how we do it."
    2. They published the list of songs to be played that evening at least two days ahead of time on their Facebook page. They gently expected folks to play them through at home prior to the meeting.

    That said, I grew the most from a fourth group. It was a small group I recruited to join me in playing at a retirement center. We had a set list of songs, a deadline to get ready for, and a purpose beyond ourselves. We met weekly for 8 weeks prior to sharing our music at the center. Twas lovely. Of course-that was pre-covid.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by about2 View Post
    That's interesting Jerry. I've participated in three groups. The one which helped me grow the most did these things:
    1. They limited "bickering" about how a song should be played. Not sure if this was overt on their part - but they did so by moving quickly from one song to another. They rarely played a song twice. They also rotated leadership to some of the more experienced players in the group. This led to an attitude of, "Oh, that's an interesting way to play that song." Instead of a, "That's not how we do it."
    2. They published the list of songs to be played that evening at least two days ahead of time on their Facebook page. They gently expected folks to play them through at home prior to the meeting.

    That said, I grew the most from a fourth group. It was a small group I recruited to join me in playing at a retirement center. We had a set list of songs, a deadline to get ready for, and a purpose beyond ourselves. We met weekly for 8 weeks prior to sharing our music at the center. Twas lovely. Of course-that was pre-covid.
    We did have some arguing about insignificant details - length of a (musical) rest, things like that. We didn't have leadership in this group. People would suggest songs, and we'd play them.

    I never suggested a song because I could imagine someone saying, "Oh, no, let's not play that. Let's play this instead." Silly concern, right? Well, one night they more or less forced me to pick a song. I picked a popular one. Then someone said, "Oh, no, let's not play that. Let's play this instead." You're not paranoid if everyone really is to get you.

    I always wanted them to decide on songs for the following week, but that never happened. The better group, the one that Zooms every Saturday, publishes a list on Saturday morning.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  4. #4
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    Our group, the members can request a song, usually ahead of time. When we come to that song the person who requested it gets to lead it and decide how it will be done. If someone doesn't like it, then they can request it in the future and do it the way they want. Simple as that. If one does not want to lead a song they can request it and ask someone else to lead it. Most of the ones who don't want to lead know someone who does it like they want to do it. If there is not enough requests the group leader picks songs to fill out the play list. If someone wants to lead one of those, he is always quite accommodating. When all else fails he leads it the way he wants to.

    There is absolutely no bickering in our group, about anything. I can't imagine how that would be.We are also a close group. It is pretty much, if you want to own this song, then do it. Also, our group leader is very much the leader. We are a small group though, probably a dozen or so people show up regularly. But if someone tried to start an argument about something like how long to hold a rest, everyone else would laugh them out of the room. We aren't that serious about our ukulele playing.
    Last edited by Rllink; 01-17-2021 at 06:14 AM.
    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

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    Our group, the members can request a song, usually ahead of time. When we come to that song the person who requested it gets to lead it and decide how it will be done. If someone doesn't like it, then they can request it in the future and do it the way they want. Simple as that. If one does not want to lead a song they can request it and ask someone else to lead it. Most of the ones who don't want to lead know someone who does it like they want to do it. If there is not enough requests the group leader picks songs to fill out the play list. If someone wants to lead one of those, he is always quite accommodating. When all else fails he leads it the way he wants to.

    There is absolutely no bickering in our group, about anything. I can't imagine how that would be.We are also a close group. It is pretty much, if you want to own this song, then do it. Also, our group leader is very much the leader. We are a small group though, probably a dozen or so people show up regularly. But if someone tried to start an argument about something like how long to hold a rest, everyone else would laugh them out of the room. We aren't that serious about our ukulele playing.
    We have lots of people who like to lead songs. With our Zooming, they reserve songs ahead of time so the Zoom leader doesn't have to lead all the songs.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    We have lots of people who like to lead songs. With our Zooming, they reserve songs ahead of time so the Zoom leader doesn't have to lead all the songs.
    Sometimes we share a song and two or three people take the different verses. No one does it the same. It is interesting each person's interpretation.
    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

  7. #7
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    We have found at our uke club gatherings. that it's a good idea to mention which version or recording of a song we're going to use as the basis for our playing.

    Everyone has a thought about how a known song should sound. The recording they remember best. Yet memory is an imperfect thing. We often subtly change the song in our minds over time. We've had people object to the recording we refer to as being off. When it's the only one the artist made.

    And of course, if the song's been recorded by several artists, each rendition is going to be different. Even if the same artist recorded the song a few times, live versus studio, etc. There will be differences in the details. So we refer everyone to a particular recording online and say that is the version we will use for the song. It shuts down a lot of discussions about how the song is supposed to go, the emphasis, the timing, even the words.
    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

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenn2018 View Post
    We have found at our uke club gatherings. that it's a good idea to mention which version or recording of a song we're going to use as the basis for our playing.
    We do that with "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" - traditional or Bruce Springsteen.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

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