“Stead-y” as she goes! Matt Stead lessons discussions

Plonky-tonk

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2023
Messages
169
Reaction score
399
Ok my fellow newbies, lets get together with our Matt Stead lessons!

I found out about this excellent and free series of video lesson from posts here. What a marvelous resource for those of us learning on our own, or who just need an in-depth polishing on specific topics.

edit: https://www.mattsteadukulele.com/challenges is the link to the lessons after Matt restructured his website. There is still a generous amount of free material, while the full courses are available for subscription or purchase.
 
Last edited:
Ok my fellow newbies, lets get together with our Matt Stead lessons! https://www.mattsteadukulele.com/youtube-courses

I found out about this excellent and free series of video lesson from posts here. What a marvelous resource for those of us learning on our own, or who just need an in-depth polishing on specific topics.
Fantastic idea, Plonky-tonk! Thanks for starting this thread.

I'm just finishing up lesson 6 in the Intermediate course and am finding that my greatest challenge is transitioning between certain chords. In particular, in this lesson the struggle has been the change between the G chord and the E7 chord. That darned E7 always surprises me!

For me, isolating the chord change really helps: I play a slow G followed by a slow E7; rinse and repeat. I don't worry about strumming patterns -- it's all about getting clear chords and crisp changes.
 
I will do something similar - the first pass through a new song I will play the chord once per measure. That gives me 3 beats to find the next chord. It also gives me a chance to hear Matt and get a better grasp of the tempo.

The 8-tap exercise from James Hill that Matt recommends has also been really helpful for me for getting chord changes accurately. I don’t remember which videos he has it in. It’s the one where you chord on 1, tap your leg once on 2 with your fretting hand, continue counting to 8; chord on 1, tap your leg on 2 and 3, continue counting to 8; chord on 1, tap your leg on 2 and 3 and 4, continue counting to 8; etc.
 
I just began Intermediate #8 “alternating thumb fingerstyle.” I’m utterly thrilled with the sound of this pattern!

None of these lessons are being mastered or polished before I roar onward to the next. I’ve decided to go kind of quickly through them all to get an overview, then go back and be more thorough with each one. Learn what I can do, then learn how to do it.

It’s the “No patience, no self-discipline” approach!
 
Intermediate lesson #9 “Accent and syncopation”

Around the 9-10 minute mark, playing eighth notes in 12-bar blues: is Matt playing the first eighth note of each bar on all open strings? It sounds kind of like it, at least when he is changing chords. I’ve watched a couple times, and I can’t really tell for sure.

Tried deliberately playing all open strings (C6) myself for the first eighth note of each measure when the chords change, and I really like the way it sounds.

Edit: or is it the LAST eighth of the previous measure that gets played open? Aaaaaagh! What am I hearing? Is it just an auditory illusion?
 
Last edited:
No longer free. Now I shall whine…. https://www.mattsteadukulele.com/challenges

I think I’ll do the single payment option for each collection. Going over the new website, I’m not decided yet on subscription vs single payment, but I’m leaning that way.
 
Last edited:
No longer free. Now I shall whine…. https://www.mattsteadukulele.com/challenges

I think I’ll do the single payment option for each collection. Going over the new website, I’m not decided yet on subscription vs single payment, but I’m leaning that way.
Huh.

I had been buying a coffee for him every other lesson or so, but I think he's entitled to earn consistent money from his hard work. I'll have to figure out how to make this work in my learning budget going forward (cheapskate that I am!).

Scampering off to mull things over.... One way of thinking about this is that, for an individual music lesson (in my case, clarinet), the single payment amounts to about two half-hour lessons, which makes the cost more than fair.

One quick thought: Paying for the series makes it feel like a more "serious" enterprise for me. I mean, if I'm shelling out the bucks, I'd darn well better be practicing consistently.
 
Yeah, I have no issue paying for the lessons. They are excellent and I learn very well from him. I just have to whine, because I’m whiney.

I’m in the US, and unable to buy the lessons. I click the purchase option, and I get thrown to a log in prompt. My credit card is burning a hole in my pocket. “Take my money, Matt!” Have you been able to pay on the new site?

edit: never mind, I’m just slow this morning. Sign in with email, create a password, and THEN you can pay.
 
Last edited:
Yeah, I have no issue paying for the lessons. They are excellent and I learn very well from him. I just have to whine, because I’m whiney.

I’m in the US, and unable to buy the lessons. I click the purchase option, and I get thrown to a log in prompt. My credit card is burning a hole in my pocket. “Take my money, Matt!” Have you been able to pay on the new site?
I haven't tried yet. I took a day off from lessons yesterday (life, dontchaknow) and haven't got started with my day yet. I'll try to check later on and get back to you.

P.S. Whining is my default reaction to all things, too.
 
I haven't tried yet. I took a day off from lessons yesterday (life, dontchaknow) and haven't got started with my day yet. I'll try to check later on and get back to you.

P.S. Whining is my default reaction to all things, too.
I got it to work. Per usual, I had to whine about that as well…. Anyway, when you click the purchase option you are given a log in prompt. Create an account first, then you can pay. My bank blocked me from buying more than one lesson collection, so now I gotta go whine at them!

I want some cheese with this w(h)ine! ;)
 
Mmmm ... cheese, Grommit ...
They are all still free on YouTube. I’m so confused…

and - I’ve decided he’s playing open on the last eighth note of the measure when he changes chords doing 12 bar blues. I’m sure everyone was waiting with bated breath for that pronouncement!
 
Last edited:
They are all still free on YouTube. I’m so confused…

and - I’ve decided he’s playing open on the last eighth note of the measure when he changes chords doing 12 bar blues. I’m sure everyone was waiting with bated breath for that pronouncement!




These lessons have also inspired me to research the history of the origin of the ukulele and its influence on the music of our country. Of course, I could use https://essays.edubirdie.com/history-essay-writer to get a quality paper on the subject, but I'm interested in working on it myself. I'm sure it won't be easy, as I'm used to leaving such things to the professionals at Edubirdie, but I can do it. Wait for a new post!
You mean the lessons he posted on his YouTube channel eight months ago? Unfortunately, the link in the 1st post doesn't work.
 
Last edited:
Intermediate Lesson #10 “Don’t get around much anymore”

I will play this! I WILL!! Grit my teeth, gird my loins… then stop and take a break ‘cuz I can’t play for beans when I’m tense.

This is a really fun lesson, and it’s getting into more of the juicy stuff I get excited about. I’m playing pima, rather than with my thumb. Haven’t decided yet if I like the chords strummed or not - I think not, but I might change my mind. Certainly I prefer playing the 00, 12, 23, 34 sequences simultaneous rather than strummed.

So far I’m just figuring out the notes. I think I’ll be working on this lesson for a while. I’m finding I do better if I watch the video without my uke first, then add the uke later. No more roaring through the lessons. And I’ve got to slow down and be patient. (I’m not the best at ”patient”. I’ve got “impatient” down pat, though!)
 
I’m having trouble with slides. I’m accurate and fast, but the tone dies away so quickly. Pretty sure it’s not the uke it’s me - downward slides on all my ukes die away. (downward from 3rd fret to 1st fret is especially feeble.)

Plucking the first note with enough extra force to have the note I slide to ring out causes the first to be way too loud.

Is there a particular technique I might be missing? Is it just a matter of more practice?

I know I over-muscle when I’m learning anything new. I sort of wonder if I’m not deadening the strings by mashing my fingers into them too hard?
 
Slide problem solved?

Playing the intermediate lesson on my solid-top baritone: groovy.
Playing it on my solid-top tenor: groovy.
Playing it on a borrowed solid-top concert: groovy.
Playing it on my laminate concert: thin and strangled.

The two concerts have the same strings, so it’s not the strings. Is it the wood vs laminate? Is sustain crucial for robust slides? (Now that I could nearly play this lesson in my sleep, I’m not mashing down on the strings so hard, which made a huge difference.)
 
Intermediate Lesson #13 - House of the Rising Sun

Awesome lesson! This one sounds so good on low G tenor. I do most of the lessons on my high G concert, but this one just calls out for low G. So cool!
 
Top Bottom