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Thread: How has your uke playing changed since pandemic?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    New England, USA
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    4,192

    Default How has your uke playing changed since pandemic?

    For me, my ukes have been a great refuge from all the pandemic stress. So I've played more, trying some new things, but find I am recording much less. Why? Mostly due to the fact that we have all been bottled up at home, so I can rarely if ever get the empty house I prefer to record, where I can turn off the computers, phones, heat, and have no interruptions. To me, there's nothing worse than recording a tune, getting a good take, then right near the end, the phone rings, furnace turns on, or somebody opens the door to ask a question. Silence is golden...at least when recording.
    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    109

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    The pandemic has caused me to slow down and concentrate more on the quality of my play, rather than the n. I've acquired three books that have jump started my interest going deeper into practice.

    Roy Sakuma's Ukulele Chord book made it much easier for me to take standards and reinterpret them with more interesting chord voicings. I've become more interested in creating simple instrumentals in the bridge sections. I seriously need to learn a program that will allow me to place chord boxes above a lyric line. My song sheets are crammed with notes, key changes, and crazy chord changes. I don't think I need to create tabs for fingerstyle at this point, but I need to address the mess that is my song notebook.

    I'm working through Daniel Ward's two practice books. I've really enjoyed his books because the songs and exercises are almost entirely original. There's so much to learn from him and it's been so much fun to play things that are fresh and new.

    Finally, I recently purchased Elisabeth Pfeiffer's Fingerstyle Etuden book and have added that to my daily practice. Both Pfeiffer and Ward's books appear to be simple, but they really aren't if they're approached seriously. There's a lot of meat there. I'm taking my time, slowing down, watching my hand positions and squeezing all of the beauty I can out of the notes I produce.

    My play has improved. I'm no expert, but I see real changes with clearer tones and the ability to form chord shapes that just seemed impossible before lockdown. Fmaj7, I'm looking at you!

    Recording is probably beyond my capabilities right now, but I look forward to the time when I'll be able to learn how to record properly too. So many good things to explore.

    Bluesy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
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    4,338

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    Before the pandemic I was in a group that was doing the senior center circuit. I was also doing festivals and markets. So I was constantly working on play lists and getting ready for something. So when that all came to an abrupt end I picked up a guitar we had and went to work playing it. I had wanted to go that direction for a while and the shut down provided an opportunity that I probably wouldn't have taken otherwise. The guitar has taken over quite a bit of my musical endeavors right now. I've pretty much converted. That said, I belong to a ukulele group that meets one night a week on zoom. It is a close group and our group leader has really made zoom work for us. Even though I'm spending most of my time on the guitar I make time to go through the songs in the play list and look forward to our meet ups. Ukulele people are just the best. It is one of the high points in my week. Guitar people just don't seem to do that kind of stuff. Il will probably never totally abandon the ukulele. I mean, it isn't an either or proposition, one can do both.
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Durham, UK
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    710

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    Before the pandemic I played mainly on my own, studying fingerstyle from books and various websites. I also met up with a friend once a week to work on songs and singing. I missed playing with my friend and the repertoire we'd tackle, as it was always quite different from my personal interests. So I thought about joining the weekly Seasons of the Ukulele, but it wasn't until late August and Arcy hosted the Like a Virgin week, that I finally found the courage. YouTube was daunting, but I don't go for perfect performances and videos. As a result I'm learning tons of new music, because I decided in November or so, that I'd like to stick to Public Domain songs. I've made a few arrangements and I want to explore several new paths.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    Nevergreen part of WA
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    16

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    I also just recently started ukulele, so I have no "pre-pandemic uke life."

    But....I've been a musician for over 47 years now. Playing music with other people is my favorite thing to do, and I've done none of that for about a year. The last big hurrah was Wintergrass 2020. Four days and nights of jamming, workshops, dancing and concerts in Bellevue WA. I've been going for 8 years now, but it's cancelled this year.

    Used to get together with frie a couple times a week to play mostly bluegrass. Last summer I had lined up my vacation days to attend all the major festivals in the PNW.

    So yes my musical life is completely changed this past year.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
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    1,367

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    My ukulele playing was mainly social in uke circle, open mics, jam, and kanikapila. That motivated me to practice and learn new songs for each event. With covid it all disappeared and my uke playing greatly diminished even though I have to work from home and keep a uke in my office. I have attended a few online events though and do a weekly zoom class which keeps me somewhat motivated.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    1,490

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    My playing hasn't changed one bit. I sheltered in place before the pandemic and I sheltered in place during the pandemic. The only difference is that I now have the option of passing judgment on people who don't care enough about their community to wear a mask.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Honolulu
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    939

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    I'm working remotely at home and able to practice 2 or 3 times daily. After 10 months, my repertoire and playing skill have grown considerably in the solo classical guitar realm. Ukulele, not so much. Like electric guitar and bass, I mainly played ukulele for teaching and as an ensemble instrument, and the pandemic nixed all my classes and ensembles.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    East Midlands, UK
    Posts
    63

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    Ms Bean do you have a few top favourite songs for the baritone?

    I still feel like a total beginner sometimes where I flit from one song to another, memorise it for a day or two then get distracted by something else.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    155

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    I'm focused more on the baritone as a result and loving it. I recently purchased Mike Lynch's chord melody books and are loving working my way through them. I'm singing less and playing more.

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