It's nice to not be alone in the "ukulele department" anymore.

GreatPotoo

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I am so excited! I ordered two books that I hope will help my mind reset and help me see the ukulele in a new way. I see and feel notes as if the fingering, clef, and every feeling about it is still me playing the cello half of my life. My left hand still plays the cello even now when I listen to something great. Anyway, my first goal is to turn that around. Roughly five years of uke hasn't helped yet, likely because I played and focused on chords the most. It was a balm during the pandemic then. I didn't actually read the music on a staff very often during those years.

I've also been uke shopping. Who hasn't around here? ✅ Anyway, I've got a plan beyond the new books that I will study now, and it's renewing my hold on the planet. Thanks to all of you for being here.
PS.Is it just me, or do your non-uke-playing friends also seem to zone out when you talk about this?❓ I appreciate every one of you.
 

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When it comes to the ukulele and fellow musicians, I have found that most of them seem to show a genuine positive curiosity toweards my ukulele playing - asking about how to play it, etc. Of course, there are the few who just scoff and say; 'What are you, Tiny Tim?' . . . but once they regain consciousnesses, I politely help them up off the floor and calmly explain the instrument to them.

As far as getting my mind away from the guitar and towards the ukulele . . . last week I attended my first ukulele jam - and to say that it was a humbling experience is something of an understatement.

Long story short - after playing guitar for 40 years and ukulele for only 3 months, I quite often found myself fingering guitar chords on my ukulele, rather than ukulele chords . . . so imagine my embarrassment whenever I was supposed to play a 'D' chord, and ended up play a 'G'.

Needless to say, it was quite an eye opening experience that caused me to be MUCH more vigilant about getting proper chord formations quickly ingrained into my head. Hopefully I won't be such a klutz next time!
 
I am so excited! I ordered two books that I hope will help my mind reset and help me see the ukulele in a new way. I see and feel notes as if the fingering, clef, and every feeling about it is still me playing the cello half of my life. My left hand still plays the cello even now when I listen to something great. Anyway, my first goal is to turn that around. Roughly five years of uke hasn't helped yet, likely because I played and focused on chords the most. It was a balm during the pandemic then. I didn't actually read the music on a staff very often during those years.

I've also been uke shopping. Who hasn't around here? ✅ Anyway, I've got a plan beyond the new books that I will study now, and it's renewing my hold on the planet. Thanks to all of you for being here.
PS.Is it just me, or do your non-uke-playing friends also seem to zone out when you talk about this?❓ I appreciate every one of you.
I've got Fretboard Roadmaps by Sokolow and recommend that one for anybody that wants to get a better understanding of their fretboard. Good call.
 
PS.Is it just me, or do your non-uke-playing friends also seem to zone out when you talk about this?❓ I appreciate every one of you.
I didn’t realize I was suffering from ukulele-comradeship deprivation (known in the psychiatric community as UCD) until I found this community.

My friends, even my husband, tolerate my passion for the ukulele and look on it with a mixture of amusement and indulgence. But until I found Ukulele Underground, I never had anyone to talk to about all the stuff we talk about here, or anyone to empathize the way UU folks do.
 
I didn’t realize I was suffering from ukulele-comradeship deprivation (known in the psychiatric community as UCD) until I found this community.

My friends, even my husband, tolerate my passion for the ukulele and look on it with a mixture of amusement and indulgence. But until I found Ukulele Underground, I never had anyone to talk to about all the stuff we talk about here, or anyone to empathize the way UU folks do.
It really does make a difference. Thank you so much.
 
My friends, even my husband, tolerate my passion for the ukulele and look on it with a mixture of amusement and indulgence. But until I found Ukulele Underground, I never had anyone to talk to about all the stuff we talk about here, or anyone to empathize the way UU folks do.
Totally!!! Exactly this.

I am a recovering violin player, and I'll tell you the first three months were excruciating. I kept playing the violin, not the ukulele, when I'd read the notes (of course, it didn't help that I started with reentrant tuning, omg that really threw my brain into turmoil). Tab helped A LOT with that at the beginning, and still does, especially for chords. I still do it: when I'm sight reading a new piece I will STILL play the violin and not the ukulele. It's only been 18 months, I've played the violin for years, plus it was my first instrument, so I get it. But I also FEEL YOUR FRUSTRATIONS!
 
I tried to learn guitar several times in my life. I even still own an inexpensive 35 year old Washburn folk guitar. I kept my knowledge of fingering some chord shapes but nothing else stayed with me. The finger shapes helped a lot when I started to learn ukulele. My left hand remembered even if my brain did not. Some uke chord shapes are brand new and others are simply impossible for my hands to make. I use alternate fingerings.

I'm still trying to learn the fretboard to the point that it is instinctual. It was a major step when I stopped having to look at the fretboard whilst playing 1st position and other chords.
 
I am so excited! I ordered two books that I hope will help my mind reset and help me see the ukulele in a new way. I see and feel notes as if the fingering, clef, and every feeling about it is still me playing the cello half of my life. My left hand still plays the cello even now when I listen to something great. Anyway, my first goal is to turn that around. Roughly five years of uke hasn't helped yet, likely because I played and focused on chords the most. It was a balm during the pandemic then. I didn't actually read the music on a staff very often during those years.

I've also been uke shopping. Who hasn't around here? ✅ Anyway, I've got a plan beyond the new books that I will study now, and it's renewing my hold on the planet. Thanks to all of you for being here.
PS.Is it just me, or do your non-uke-playing friends also seem to zone out when you talk about this?❓ I appreciate every one of you.
I don't want you having cello regrets, but I remembered this YouTube with a young cellist jamming with a mall pianist. On a carbon fiber cello, like your Klos. I thought you might enjoy it.

BTW, I have the Fretboard Roadmaps book and really like the way it's organized. That and Ukulele For Dummies are my most helpful books. You have to watch which Dummies book you get. I have an early edition with a CD. Newer books just give you links to online downloads.

 
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I don't want you having cello regrets, but I remembered this YouTube with a young cellist jamming with a mall pianist. On a carbon fiber cello, like your Klos. I thought you might enjoy it.

BTW, I have the Fretboard Roadmaps book and really like the way it's organized. That and Ukulele For Dummies are my most helpful books. You have to watch which Dummies book you get. I have an early edition with a CD. Newer books just give you links to online downloads.


No regrets! That young man is very good! Pianist too. Thanks.

I just got the fretboard book this month with another theory book, but I haven't ever checked out the dummies book.
 
Bellof & Sokolow’s “Ukulele Fretboard Roadmaps” was kindly gifted to me last year by UUF member @ripock, and it remains very helpful for the exact reason mentioned by @oldjazznut.
It has also been very helpful for me. I'm trying to get a new "view" of music in relation to the ukulele and get the cello out of my head. It's hard to do after starting cello back in the 4th grade, around 1967. 😜
 
I don't want you having cello regrets, but I remembered this YouTube with a young cellist jamming with a mall pianist. On a carbon fiber cello, like your Klos. I thought you might enjoy it.

BTW, I have the Fretboard Roadmaps book and really like the way it's organized. That and Ukulele For Dummies are my most helpful books. You have to watch which Dummies book you get. I have an early edition with a CD. Newer books just give you links to online downloads.


I prefer the Kindle version of the two "Dummies" books. Ukulele for Dummies by Alistair Wood & Ukulele Exercises for Dummies by Brett McQueen. The print versions are on cheap news print paper in black & white. While the electronic versions are in color with way better photography. And I can enlarge the type. The links are the same.
 
I have had players of other instruments make light of my ukulele. They’re not nearly as good at their “real” instruments as I am at my “toy” though. Sad. I do find that skilled musicians of other instruments don’t make light of my ukulele.
 
I have had players of other instruments make light of my ukulele. They’re not nearly as good at their “real” instruments as I am at my “toy” though. Sad. I do find that skilled musicians of other instruments don’t make light of my ukulele.
As has been said, ignorance is bliss. I also (as a result of willful ignorance) never took the uke seriously until last year.

A favorite example: My beloved uncle Jerry (now nearing 80 and suffering substantial health problems) played harmonica and electric guitar professionally for decades. A different nephew recently brought Jerry a K-brand soprano uke when returning from his final Army duty station in HI. I recently asked Jerry how he liked it.

“Why hell,”, he began, “I took one look at the itty bitty thang and thought, ‘how hard can it be? They ain’t but four strangs!’ Then I got ta strummin’ an’ the dad-blame top strang ‘uz high like a banjer. It’s been way tougher than I ‘spected, but I shore do like it ‘cause it don’t weigh nothin’ but rangs like a bell!”
 
I'm lucky that my partner also loves the ukulele too, though I can geek out too much for her as well. I try not to drag my friends to ukulele land unless they seem interested. The other night, someone asked about the history of the ukulele and it was off to the races.

I played the violin for many decades and I think switching to ukulele is like learning a new language. At first I was translating notes and fingers on the violin into frets on the ukulele: that C is a second finger on the A string which would be third fret on ukulele string 1. Then as I got familiar with the fretboard I began going directly from music to the finger in the fret. When you have enough vocabulary in a new language you start thinking directly in that language. When I think about interval, I still tend to do that in terms of violin strings and fingers--intervals on ukulele is my next frontier.

For me fretboard knowledge came from playing melody and scales. I don't know who gave me the hint, but if you call out the note name as you play a melody (or scale) you learn the frets much more quickly. In chord/melody you have to really focus to not step on the melody line (play above the melody) with the chords. Just like violin or cello, when playing melody I tend to anchor on frets (hand positions or fingers) I know and operate by half steps and whole steps (one or two frets) relative to those anchor points.

With chords it is mostly shapes to me. I focused on open chords at the beginning and that did not do much for my knowledge of the fretboard. When I first learned barre chords or closed chords, I thought in terms of the open chord and how many frets I was moving up, so I was kind of mechanically translating the open chords. Now with moveable chords I am trying to think in terms of which string is the root and using what I learned of the fretboard from melody.

Shipway helped a great deal in terms of chords and progressions. Fretboard Roadmaps is very good, but it is still more like a reference than something I integrate into my playing. I'm having trouble with their system for naming chord shapes. For instance, what they call the moveable D major formation I essentially never use; what they call the D7 formation I call C7 shape; I'm good with D minor formation. Similarly, the G formation I'd call an F barre, and so forth. The B formation is a set of A, Am, A7 barre chords to me. It seems like learning yet another new language. Perhaps it will become natural to me in time, but right now I am still translating, not speaking Roadmaps.
 
I prefer the Kindle version of the two "Dummies" books. Ukulele for Dummies by Alistair Wood & Ukulele Exercises for Dummies by Brett McQueen. The print versions are on cheap news print paper in black & white. While the electronic versions are in color with way better photography. And I can enlarge the type. The links are the same.
My copy of Ukulele For Dummies is on as good paper as other books I own. It is all black and white, so some of the photos aren't clear showing the intended details. FWIW I got it for $5 at a closeout store. Jazz For Dummies too, same store. Both are the CD versions. My Roadmaps book has a CD, I don't know if that has changed (?).

If you like nice graphics Learn to Play Ukulele by Phil Capone is very good. It's a small book with a lay-flat spring binding. Loaded with color coded diagrams and clear color photos. It's 6 X 8 inches and 200 pages with a CD.
 
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