Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: Feels Like I Should Be Better at Soprano

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Posts
    115

    Default Feels Like I Should Be Better at Soprano

    I'm pretty good with a Tenor. I mean that relatively, of course. I look at my goals and the expectations that I have for myself as a ukulele player, and I judge myself with a Tenor as right where I want to realistically be at this point in time. But I often feel like I should try to be just as good with a soprano AND with no strap. I have no real reasons for this, outside of the fact that one day I may be handed a soprano and be expected to play well because the person handing me the instrument has been told I play ukulele. I would not be worthless in this scenario, but I wouldn't be "pretty good." I'm trying to decide if I care.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    780

    Default

    I guess you cared enough to post.
    If you want to be good at the soprano, then you just have to play more often on it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    4,209

    Default

    When I stray away from soprano ukes, and want to get back in that zone, I just put away my tenors for a day nor two, and only play the sopranos. It comes back pretty quickly, and never fails to satisfy. But I'm mainly a strummer/singer. I can imagine it might be quite different if I was a fingerstyle player.
    Last edited by Ukecaster; 06-14-2021 at 11:52 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by donboody View Post
    I'm pretty good with a Tenor. I mean that relatively, of course. I look at my goals and the expectations that I have for myself as a ukulele player, and I judge myself with a Tenor as right where I want to realistically be at this point in time. But I often feel like I should try to be just as good with a soprano AND with no strap. I have no real reasons for this, outside of the fact that one day I may be handed a soprano and be expected to play well because the person handing me the instrument has been told I play ukulele. I would not be worthless in this scenario, but I wouldn't be "pretty good." I'm trying to decide if I care.
    I always use a strap. Couldn't play without one.

    Why do you think your playing is not as good on a soprano?

    I can only play one size ukulele, (and it needs to have the "correct" - for me - nut width & string spacing, with a radius), because my fingers can only handle that size. Injuries prevent me from playing anything else. But, that's OK. At least I get to play ukulele. If someone handed me a different size ukulele and expected me to play it, I'd just explain that it won't work for me. And, if they happened to have a ukulele handy like that, maybe they play it, so I'd ask them to show me what they can do.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post

    Then you can worry about someone asking you to play a piece by Bach or Beethoven or the Beatles or White Snake or Deep Purple or Cesare Negri, instead of asking you to play a soprano, the person asking may not even know the different ukulele sizes but they may know their music.
    That sounds to me a bit like someone handing me a guitar instead of a ukulele, but because that person knows their music, I should be able to perform anyway, because they didn't know the difference. (Some of you could do that, and at least play the top 4 strings to make it work.) Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying.

    If the person doesn't know about different sizes of ukuleles, (quite possible, I agree), I could tell them a bit about the differences in sizes, necks, and so on, and by then, they'd be bored and move on to something else, and I wouldn't have to play the wrong sized (for me) ukulele. LOL. But, if they are interested in ukulele at all, (could be, if they had one handy like that), maybe they would actually like to learn a little more about ukulele, if they didn't know about different sizes, and so on. Or maybe they do know about the different sizes, but that's all they had handy. Maybe they could play for me instead.

    If they asked me to play something like White Snake or Deep Purple, I'd have to borrow David Bromberg's line: "I take requests. I just don't play them."

    Unless we're professional ukulele players, I don't think we need to expand our musical repertoire to cover anything that we ourselves don't feel like learning for our hobby. If I was going to play for someone, (not likely, in my case), they'd have to either put up with the music that has interested me, or decide that they don't want to hear me play ukulele after all. After all, it's just a hobby for me, (one I really enjoy), and we can (hopefully) find common ground with something else, (maybe their hobby), if they're not interested in my hobby.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Posts
    115

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    Does anyone know the source of the myth and legend that says you should not use a strap when playing a ukulele?

    If you want to get better at playing a soprano, that is what you have to do. Pick up a soprano and start playing it. Soon you will be better at playing it, and if you add in a little bit of education and coaching and training and application, you might even keep getting better at playing it.

    But it is an interesting thought.

    What is more interesting is why you think about the physical details so much, and don't seem to think much about the music. Is the music of a composer like Taylor Swift harder to play than the music of Bach? Two composers centuries and genres apart. Once you can play the ukulele, and you own a reasonable instrument, you do not have to keep thinking about the technical details of size and strings and stuff, you can consider these things close to settled and move on to think about the details of the music. Then you can worry about someone asking you to play a piece by Bach or Beethoven or the Beatles or White Snake or Deep Purple or Cesare Negri, instead of asking you to play a soprano, the person asking may not even know the different ukulele sizes but they may know their music.
    It's interesting you took my original comment that way. I'm actually only thinking about the music. I simply don't perform the music as well on a soprano as I do on a tenor, probably because that is the size of ukulele I play. I have a soprano. I just almost never play it. And the strap piece, really, is based on this made-up scenario where I'm handed a bare-bones soprano uke that probably doesn't have a strap. It's an interesting mental rabbit hole, for me, to consider that I am capable of playing some good ukulele music but really am only at my best on a (to the uninitiated) non-standard sized instrument and requiring a strap. I guess what it comes down to is, how much would I care if the opportunity to perform came up and I was reluctant to perform because the available instrument conditions weren't to my liking. And I was wondering, if that's the way I feel, should I spend any time considering whether I'd like that to influence my playing habits? And I'm thinking that no, generally I should not. But I am curious if anyone else has ever thought the same thing.

    It's not like I'm trash on the soprano, by the way. But I'm at a different enough level where if I played poorly I'd privately blame the instrument when recalling the performance (whether it is warranted or not).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Posts
    115

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Joyful Uke View Post
    I always use a strap. Couldn't play without one.

    Why do you think your playing is not as good on a soprano?

    I can only play one size ukulele, (and it needs to have the "correct" - for me - nut width & string spacing, with a radius), because my fingers can only handle that size. Injuries prevent me from playing anything else. But, that's OK. At least I get to play ukulele. If someone handed me a different size ukulele and expected me to play it, I'd just explain that it won't work for me. And, if they happened to have a ukulele handy like that, maybe they play it, so I'd ask them to show me what they can do.
    I like this response. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Midlands GB
    Posts
    2,564

    Default

    I have the opposite problem. I only play Soprano and I've never used a strap. Learning to hold it securely, while strumming and fretting, is all part of learning to play. If someone handed me a Tenor, I'd struggle to produce anything worthwhile. It feels like wrestling with a suitcase. I do own a tenor but it lives in the cardboard box in which it was delivered. I get it out occasionally, just to remind myself why I don't play Tenors.

    A Concert I could manage, I think.

    John Colter

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    534

    Default

    I am the opposite to you.

    Since I broke my finger last year, I find larger scale instruments harder to play.

    As to straps, IMO a lot of players use them to mask bad form.

    People say things like "Jimi Hendrix always played with a strap!" but the thing is he could also play without a strap.

    Still, that's not what you asked. If you want to be able to play soprano scale as well as you do tenor, play soprano more. You can get good at anything provided you put the hours in.

    I am not really interested in putting in the hours to play tenor that well. Other people do great things on them, but it isn't my bag. Isn't it great that we are all different?
    Last edited by chris667; 06-15-2021 at 10:06 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Posts
    115

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    I agree with Don, I think Joyful has hit the nail on the head.

    Very few of us are professionals. We mostly are self indulgent and play to please no-one but ourselves. You can do what ever you choose or feel is right for you.

    I think its a good challenge to train yourself to play without a strap, if that is what you choose to do. But it is not something that you really need to worry about unless you are performing to please an audience.

    If you think you can better at playing a soprano and choose to do what is required to improve, you can do it. It is also OK to talk about it and never bother to try to improve, that is your choice.

    If you want to talk about where you are at, you can do it. But, it UU is a public social media platform. Anyone on the internet can read your comments and anyone who does the admin to join can add to your thread if they follow the rules of the platform. Their comments are not necessarily for the person who makes the first post, it is not a personal private conversation.

    The world of ukulele is relatively free at present. There are very few rules. You can do almost anything you choose with a ukulele and its OK. If you follow the rules of the platform you can express what ever ideas and opinions you choose.

    You do not have to explain or justify your ukulele lifestyle to anyone else, its your lifestyle. The ukulele world is an area where it is very hard to harm yourself or anyone else if you just do what ever you choose. You should keep doing what ever you choose to in your ukulele lifestyle.

    If you read a post here that you do not agree with, you do not have to see it as a directive from Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey telling you what you have to do or requiring you to follow a narrative. The world of ukulele is relatively free of constraints, it is your ukulele lifestyle, nothing is right or wrong. There is no need to conform to anyone else's ideas or feel obligated from a social media post.

    My current thinking in response to the posts I am reading is that I can move beyond the technical details of the wood and the instrument, since I have acquired enough good instruments that play well. I can move on and start to explore the world of music a lot more and make my ukulele lifestyle more about music and less about the physical attributes of the instruments and the technicalities of playing a particular size or scale length. Sorry if that is an idea which you do not share at present, but that is what I think of when I read the posts. It is also something that those others who are satisfied with their current instrument and who are looking for something else could consider.

    The exception to all of the above is if do play your ukulele to pay the bills and put food on your table, then you do need to do what ever is required to conform and compete and get paid. Otherwise you wont get paid and you will get evicted when you can't pay the rent.
    Bill I don't think I understand the focus of the majority of this comment but I appreciate the post.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •