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Thread: Balancing New Instruments

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    South Florida
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    559

    Default Balancing New Instruments

    Hello Everyone!

    I purchased a guitar a few weeks ago. I am having a great time with it, and I am also playing my uke every chance I get. My question is, what tips do you guys have for balancing my development on two instruments. I love playing both, for very different reasons. The Uke just makes me happy. I love it's feel, and it's sing-song sound. The guitar gives me the opportunity to develop some chops that carry over back to my Uke playing, and I also get to eventually learn some funky stuff and blues riffs that I am excited about. I like how those sound better on a guitar than I do on a Uke. Any advice on balancing my development on both?? Thank you, in advance, for any suggestions you may have!

    -mendel
    Have a Happy Day, and remember- Take the time to play!!!!

    Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/richm2778

    Custom Donaldson Concert Uke
    "Hugs & Kisses" Model 1.0
    "Na-ni"

    Lanikai Lu-21C
    "Cousin Larry"

    Charango of unknown origins by way of Trujillo, Peru.
    "Lolita"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Minnesota
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    4,255

    Default

    No guitar for you. Ukulele and Dissertation only!

    Just kidding. Relax anyway you can. Listen to yourself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    NY, USA
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    Default

    I play guitar, banjo, bass, and the uke, and so far, I like to think I've done a pretty decent job at balancing all of them.

    Basically, I try to practice all of them for at least 15 minutes a day, which isn't tons, but if I have a lot of schoolwork, it's really the only amount I can do without skipping them. Usually on weekends, it's 1-2 hours per instrument, more in some cases. Except on Wensdays, because I have a bass lesson so I don't really get home from school until 6:30 then there's homework and all that.

    There are also different priorities I place on them. Uke is usually at the bottom of the list :/ I love love love to play it, but it's the one I'm best at, and usually has the least amount of kinks to be worked out. Bass is at the top, because lessons aren't cheap, and then banjo and guitar fall in the middle.

    That being said, I do usually have the time to practice them all, and how it normally falls is bass 20-30min, guitar 1hr, banjo 1hr, ukulele 1/2 hour-45 min on weekdays.

    But like, this is what has worked for me, but I don't know if it's the way one should go about things p:
    Ukulele - Upright Bass - Guitar - Banjo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lockport, IL
    Posts
    501

    Default

    I think another easy way to find balance is to write out your goals.

    Play this riff at this tempo by friday on uke

    Play the intro to stairway to heaven on guitar by saturday on guitar.

    Or whatever. Set goals that are attainable. Not pie in the sky. Set goals that you can reach in a reasonable amount of time.

    Every time I hit a goal I find it motivates me to keep pushing on.

    Since I play in a few bands, my goals tend to be learn this song on guitar by next rehearsal. Learn song b on mandolin by next month's rehearsal.

    Stuff like that.
    Scott Wilder
    @itssscottwilder
    https://facebook.com/itsscottwilder

  5. #5
    Hippie Dribble Guest

    Default

    as a guitar player of 20+ years and a uker for only several, I've found that my ukulele playing has made me a better guitarist. More liberated if you will, more open to experiment, to try new things.

    But, learning them in parrallel is perhaps a different story. I'd perhaps be inclined to learn the same song on each instrument conjointly and keep your ear out for the different tonal dynamics each instrument offers. Look out for how your style of playing is different and unique to each instrument.

    For really they are totally different instruments requiring different playing technique. If it were me, I'd really hone in on the one instrument first and reach a good level of proficiency with that (probably the guitar) and then transfer and adapt those skills to the other at a later time

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Queens, New York
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    Default

    I agree a lot with what Mr. Eugene Ukulele is saying. There are a lot of similarities between the two. More if you're talking about a nylon string guitar.

    At the beginning it will probably the easiest to go back and fourth. Fretting a few chords on a guitar and a uke are both pretty similar. The uke is just smaller with fewer strings. Once you learn a basic song with 3 or 4 chords on a guitar, you can easily just learn those chords on the uke and you'll be able to play the song on both instruments. Issues will start to come up when you start learning songs with more complex chords combined with various runs and muscle memory starts to kick in. It's that point where you can play a number of chords easily, but the difficulty level of the songs still makes it take a week or longer to learn. I figure this is the point where you will find your preference for one or the other. It may just because the particular song you are learning at the moment sounds better on one, but either way, at that point, I'd suggest mainly sticking with one as your main instrument and the other as something you just strum a few chords on until you get proficient. Nothing wrong with 2 instruments at once the whole time, but it will definitely slow down your progress as your are effectively learning 2 different instruments.

    I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and am pretty proficient at it. So when I picked up a uke a year ago it came pretty easy. It took a few hours to get a few basic chords down, but I was up and running with it by the end of the day. Reading music with it is a bit more tricky, but I just use Tab for the uke. Really, the more proficient you are at with the one, the easier it will be to start playing the other.

    So why do you want to learn both?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    559

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    Truer Words, and all that! I am actually happy to tell you that I received my committee approval last week. Right now, I am putting together my Committee Presentation. After I complete that task, my IRB packet will be submitted. I am really feeling like I am finally making some progress. While I know I still have a ways to go, I am feeling like there is an end in sight. I am hopeful/ confident that I can complete my research study and my Dissertation by the end of 2012!

    Quote Originally Posted by vanflynn View Post
    No guitar for you. Ukulele and Dissertation only!

    Just kidding. Relax anyway you can. Listen to yourself.
    Have a Happy Day, and remember- Take the time to play!!!!

    Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/richm2778

    Custom Donaldson Concert Uke
    "Hugs & Kisses" Model 1.0
    "Na-ni"

    Lanikai Lu-21C
    "Cousin Larry"

    Charango of unknown origins by way of Trujillo, Peru.
    "Lolita"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    4,255

    Default

    Super. Keep up the good work.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Providence RI
    Posts
    159

    Default

    I go back and forth every day. Today is uke day, tomorrow guitar, etc..... I really like the balance that way.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Clearwater, FL
    Posts
    572

    Default

    I play banjo, uke, and guitar. I find that they all reinforce each other. It also makes me a bit more willing to try new things on the instruments.

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