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Thread: Switching between chords on a soprano

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Buena Vista, CO
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    Default Switching between chords on a soprano

    Hi all,

    I'm new to all this - and loving it so far. But I am having mechanical issues with switching between chords smoothly. I looked around the forum a bit but couldn't find a specific topic on this... sorry if I'm repeating a topic here. I watched Aldrine's video on switching chords more smoothly by going back to an open chord in between, but if I do that, the uke moves around because at the moment, the fingers on my left hand are what's holding the instrument in place. Sometimes my left thumb can do some of that work, but it currently moves around depending on the chord I'm playing.

    I don't have a strap on the instrument, and I've seen that having one helps with stability. But is there a way around that? Is there a better way to hold the ukulele so I can steady the neck without using the fingers that are creating a chord? Or do I just need to keep practicing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    The Big Scioto, on the Banks of the Ohio
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    Default

    Do you keep your thumb behind the neck? If so, try cradling the neck between your thumb and first finger, with your thumb wrapping a little over the top of the fretboard (this also allows you to mute the 4th string if needed).

    Oh yeah, and practice helps. It ALWAYS helps!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Buena Vista, CO
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    Default

    So far, I have kept my thumb behind the neck - and after posting this topic, I watched a youtube video where the guy held his ukulele the way you suggested. I'd never seen or thought of that before, but I tried it, and it seems to be a position with potential. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Sunless Rustbelt Northeast Ohio
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    Default

    This is just my opinion, and not necessarily the correct answer... when learning, play sitting down and rest your uke on your lap, and/or get a strap if that works for you.

    I have always had a problem playing while standing without a uke strap. Many do so with no problem. My attitude is "why fight it."
    Kala KA-ACP-CTG. Had the tenor version. Decided tenor's not for me. Got the concert. Sweet!
    Mango Flea. Soprano with Pegheads, my go everywhere uke.
    Mahalo Smiley Face. Cute little bugger and Jake signed it!
    Kala KA-15S. Good starter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Hahamog-na, CA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ukemunga View Post
    This is just my opinion, and not necessarily the correct answer... when learning, play sitting down and rest your uke on your lap, and/or get a strap if that works for you.

    I have always had a problem playing while standing without a uke strap. Many do so with no problem. My attitude is "why fight it."
    agreed. And it's especially hard when you're struggling with the chord changes. When the changes happen quickly, the problem lessens..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    South Jersey
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    Default

    there's no secret...practice, practice, practice!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Salem MA
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    Default

    Ukemunga's on to something here.

    I remember your struggle, and the then the struggle to play whilst standing and walking around.

    The good news: practice will solve these problems.

    The bad news: in my experience, there is no middle ground, ie I can't do something until I can. The reward is that, when I can finally do something, it feels spontaneous and natural.

    Keep at it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
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    Default

    Practice definitely helps. It will come. I also am a cheerleader for straps. I started my strap journey with a Uke thong. I really love them. Unfortunately my ukulele is too nice to use it. I am afraid of ruining the sound hole. I have recently started using a strap. Love it. But sitting down is also a great way to feel more secure about holding your ukulele. There is also a Uke leash that people love. Don't worry. No matter what you decide to do, it'll come with some time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Vancouver Island BC-eh!
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    Default

    Uke leash made all the difference for me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Buena Vista, CO
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    Default

    Thanks all for your suggestions! I definitely am not attempting to play standing yet... at the moment, the idea of playing, singing, and walking around at the same time is rather horrifying. Changing my thumb position has been really helpful so far; I'll consider a strap of some sort if I continue to have challenges. It's a fun world I've stumbled into, though! Wish I'd jumped in sooner.

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