SAS (Skills Acquisition Syndrome) Chat - *Everyone* Welcome!

I’ll start in the morning and will work on it between lessons. ‘Twill be an interesting challenge: my stroking hand and fretting hand are not symmetrical; I wonder if I’ll have to give it the ol’ reach-around before I find success.
I’ve done it on violin and it’s so hard I basically couldn’t get a reasonable sound out, never mind attempt to play something. Ukulele isn’t as technically challenging in that sense, so then it was interesting to see all the ways my brain tried to flip out of the inverted situation. No idea what a reach around is, but have fun with it!
 
My current SAS goal is working with the Lydian mode which I really don't like as it is so upbeat. A subsidiary challenge is to maintain its tonal center so that it doesn't revert back to the major scale for its resolution.
I only barely know some of these words, but I can get behind not being upbeat! My natural state is minor keys.
 
I only barely know some of these words, but I can get behind not being upbeat! My natural state is minor keys.
That's why I'm doing this. I always play in E minor. Because of that there were some dark areas on my fretboard in which the Lydian and Ionian modes live and which I always overlook. I felt duty-bound to rectify that and become more well-rounded. But it is rather a chore to pick intervals that don't yield saccharine melodies.
 
That's why I'm doing this. I always play in E minor. Because of that there were some dark areas on my fretboard in which the Lydian and Ionian modes live and which I always overlook. I felt duty-bound to rectify that and become more well-rounded. But it is rather a chore to pick intervals that don't yield saccharine melodies.
I love everything about this but the duty and balance part… I have a new goal now. I want a moody fretboard!
 
Okay, I’m in. Mostly I’ve been trying with finger picking and metronomes. Only about 6months in but now that I’m set with UAS… time to dive in with SAS. What the challenge?
 
Okay, I’m in. Mostly I’ve been trying with finger picking and metronomes. Only about 6months in but now that I’m set with UAS… time to dive in with SAS. What the challenge?
Excellent 😁. Pick a few bars of a piece you know well. Play it on each of your ukes and make it as different as possible, taking your cues from the instrument’s personality.
 
@modwitch IS ON 🔥🔥🔥

There's a stretchy part in the original le Roy score for Bransle Haulbaroys that I'm working on. That's my short term goal skill challenge is smoothing the transition through that stretchy but (it's in French tablature and I've put away ukulele for the night and I don't know which chord to which chord by looking at the tab, I'm not there yet... I'm impressed that I'm reading the French tablature sufficiently to play through the song somewhat at all!!).

I'll try to post an "as it stands now" recording and then add more as I practice so we can all hear the "progress" (although by short term goal, this will probably be more like at least few weeks than a few days, that's how long it takes me).

Does that work for this challenge?
 
@modwitch IS ON 🔥🔥🔥

There's a stretchy part in the original le Roy score for Bransle Haulbaroys that I'm working on. That's my short term goal skill challenge is smoothing the transition through that stretchy but (it's in French tablature and I've put away ukulele for the night and I don't know which chord to which chord by looking at the tab, I'm not there yet... I'm impressed that I'm reading the French tablature sufficiently to play through the song somewhat at all!!).

I'll try to post an "as it stands now" recording and then add more as I practice so we can all hear the "progress" (although by short term goal, this will probably be more like at least few weeks than a few days, that's how long it takes me).

Does that work for this challenge?
Y’all need to read rule #3 🤣. I’m not the actual boss of anyone, so if this works with the way you learn, go for it. And yay as heck for reading French tablature!!

But 😈, when you’re back looking at your score, consider if there’s a way to break this new skill you want into pieces.

For example, there’s an Em to Dm7 shift in one of the Daniel Ward arpeggio meditations. That’s one’s tricky enough for me that I’m not going to get it in a few playing sessions. So my breakdown is - work on Em to Dm (way easier chord) and just using basic strumming or arpeggio patterns I already know cold so the right hand isn’t involved. Get that much muscle memory down for the chord shift. Then do Em to Dm and add the meditation arpeggio pattern. Then add the fourth finger to Dm7, but add it two notes after I land Dm (which is when its actual note is needed in the arpeggio pattern). Then go a step beyond the meditation and see if I can go Em to Dm7 straight up. Can you do something similar to your le Roy chord shift?
 
In my arrangement of “Clarines Y Trompetas” by Gaspar Sanz, there is a passage with descending chords interspersed with short scale phrases. I have trouble hitting the chords in time. Especially the G5, which replaces the b on the second fret of the a string with the d at the 5th fret on the a string. It’s not a stretch, but it’s awkward and different.

So I will be working on improving that this week. I will post an updated video to compare with my first performance of the piece a few months ago.

Time flies.

Thanks for starting this!

🙂
 
In my arrangement of “Clarines Y Trompetas” by Gaspar Sanz, there is a passage with descending chords interspersed with short scale phrases. I have trouble hitting the chords in time. Especially the G5, which replaces the b on the second fret of the a string with the d at the 5th fret on the a string. It’s not a stretch, but it’s awkward and different.

So I will be working on improving that this week. I will post an updated video to compare with my first performance of the piece a few months ago.

Time flies.

Thanks for starting this!

🙂
You read rule 3 😁. I especially love that you’re the arranger, so you created this difficulty for yourself. This will be fun progress to see!
 
Y’all need to read rule #3 🤣. I’m not the actual boss of anyone, so if this works with the way you learn, go for it.
I mean, I did read rule three but maybe I mis-grokked it:
3. Pick a skill you want to (not should!) acquire where it’s reasonable to make lots of progress in a couple of playing sessions. A week at most. Think small. This is an instant gratification zone, people 😁.
My point was that I wouldn't be managing much progress in a couple of playing sessions, because that's just not how I seem to fly (I have been working at this for well over a couple of playing sessions, and sure, there's been progress since I first attempted it, but the progress measured is kinda infinitesimal). Your point about breaking it into smaller chunks is definitely valid, and I will be focusing on that.

I do get it - this is a fun challenge, something to work on to improve skills regardless of what those skills are (and, as a side benefit, focus on skill acquisition rather than buying new stuff), and all are welcome to participate. I won't personally be making "lots of progress in a couple of playing sessions" (perhaps I'm not alone in that?), and I wanted to clarify that the goal that I'd specified was still ok to participate as per your intended outline of the challenge (for example, because SOTU is definitely a get 'er done in a week kinda deal). I think my focus should be on "work on small stuff" rather than the "lots of progress" in a short amount of time.

And really, I'm still working on my goal, whether I'm participating in the challenge or not, so I'm still participating :sneaky:
 
I mean, I did read rule three but maybe I mis-grokked it:

My point was that I wouldn't be managing much progress in a couple of playing sessions, because that's just not how I seem to fly (I have been working at this for well over a couple of playing sessions, and sure, there's been progress since I first attempted it, but the progress measured is kinda infinitesimal). Your point about breaking it into smaller chunks is definitely valid, and I will be focusing on that.

I do get it - this is a fun challenge, something to work on to improve skills regardless of what those skills are (and, as a side benefit, focus on skill acquisition rather than buying new stuff), and all are welcome to participate. I won't personally be making "lots of progress in a couple of playing sessions" (perhaps I'm not alone in that?), and I wanted to clarify that the goal that I'd specified was still ok to participate as per your intended outline of the challenge (for example, because SOTU is definitely a get 'er done in a week kinda deal). I think my focus should be on "work on small stuff" rather than the "lots of progress" in a short amount of time.

And really, I'm still working on my goal, whether I'm participating in the challenge or not, so I'm still participating :sneaky:
Well said!
 
I mean, I did read rule three but maybe I mis-grokked it:

My point was that I wouldn't be managing much progress in a couple of playing sessions, because that's just not how I seem to fly (I have been working at this for well over a couple of playing sessions, and sure, there's been progress since I first attempted it, but the progress measured is kinda infinitesimal). Your point about breaking it into smaller chunks is definitely valid, and I will be focusing on that.

I do get it - this is a fun challenge, something to work on to improve skills regardless of what those skills are (and, as a side benefit, focus on skill acquisition rather than buying new stuff), and all are welcome to participate. I won't personally be making "lots of progress in a couple of playing sessions" (perhaps I'm not alone in that?), and I wanted to clarify that the goal that I'd specified was still ok to participate as per your intended outline of the challenge (for example, because SOTU is definitely a get 'er done in a week kinda deal). I think my focus should be on "work on small stuff" rather than the "lots of progress" in a short amount of time.

And really, I'm still working on my goal, whether I'm participating in the challenge or not, so I'm still participating :sneaky:
You are entirely welcome here with any goal you want to work on 💜.

That said, let me try to explain my rationale for rule #3 a little more clearly. The point of this thread isn’t lots of progress on any kind of global scale - it’s to focus on something small enough that you see noticeable progress really quickly. I think folks often get stuck or lose enthusiasm when something isn’t getting better, or is doing it at a snail’s pace. SOTU is asking for a while darn song in a week 🤣. This is asking folks to pick a small thing like adding a pinky finger to Dm to make Dm7, and working on that for a couple of minutes a day for a couple of days, and noticing what changes. I think focused practice like this can be really useful, but I’m also a big believer in focused noticing. Often we miss our small improvements! And often just focusing our noticing can create improvements all by itself.

Focused noticing has also been the point of several of the challenges I’ve given folks. What does a veteran player like @bacchettadavid notice when I toss him back to “think about where every finger goes” beginner land? What does @Ukrlover2023 notice when they seeks out how each of their ukuleles would like to individualize the same few bars of music?

So have bigger goals if it serves you best! But maybe try out mini skills practice and/or focused noticing and see how they go for you. Disasters are welcome, so feel free to post about how exactly wrong those are for you after you try them 😁.

I may not have added enough emojis to some of the rules for those of you who have more tendency than I do to follow them (that is likely all of you 🤣). Anything goes if it’s making you proud or happy or fall a little more in love with ukulele.
 
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You are entirely welcome here with any goal you want to work on 💜.

That said, let me try to explain my rationale for rule #3 a little more clearly. The point of this thread isn’t lots of progress on any kind of global scale - it’s to focus on something small enough that you see noticeable progress really quickly. I think folks often get stuck or lose enthusiasm when something isn’t getting better, or is doing it at a snail’s pace. SOTU is asking for a while darn song in a week 🤣. This is asking folks to pick a small thing like adding a pinky finger to Dm to make Dm7, and working on that for a couple of minutes a day for a couple of days, and noticing what changes. I think focused practice like this can be really useful, but I’m also a big believer in focused noticing. Often we miss our small improvements!

Focused noticing has also been the point of several of the challenges I’ve given folks. What does a veteran player like @bacchettadavid notice when I toss him back to “think about where every finger goes” beginner land? What does @Ukrlover2023 notice when he seeks out how each of his ukuleles would like to individualize the same few bars of music?

So have bigger goals if it serves you best! But maybe try out mini skills practice and/or focused noticing and see how they go for you. Disasters are welcome, so feel free to post about how exactly wrong those are for you 😁.

I may not have added enough emojis to some of the rules for those of you who have more tendency than I do to follow them (that is likely all of you 🤣). Anything goes if it’s making you proud or happy or fall a little more in love with ukulele.
Also well said!
 
I love everything about this but the duty and balance part… I have a new goal now. I want a moody fretboard!
Have you ever tried downtuning to a parallel tuning? I always loosen all my strings 3 half-steps and play in EAC#F#. That removes the chime-y embarrassment of the uke and allows you to play with some gravitas or solemnity. If you want the shrill notes, they're still there up the treble strings, but now you also have some lower pitches as well.
 
Have you ever tried downtuning to a parallel tuning? I always loosen all my strings 3 half-steps and play in EAC#F#. That removes the chime-y embarrassment of the uke and allows you to play with some gravitas or solemnity. If you want the shrill notes, they're still there up the treble strings, but now you also have some lower pitches as well.
This is where my tenor lives.

🙂
 
Have you ever tried downtuning to a parallel tuning? I always loosen all my strings 3 half-steps and play in EAC#F#. That removes the chime-y embarrassment of the uke and allows you to play with some gravitas or solemnity. If you want the shrill notes, they're still there up the treble strings, but now you also have some lower pitches as well.
I play soprano. I love the chimy embarrassment 🤣. That said, I believe every instrument has a best voice and standard tuning is probably not it. I’ve ordered a modest uke from Japan to stay in GCEA so I can play with my friends, because the lack of pitch stability after you change ukulele string tuning is definitely embarrasssing. Then I’ll mess with my two daily player ukes to see where they want to be. One I suspect actually wants to be tuned up. My violin is usually down a full tone, though. She likes it there, and violin E strings are not for the faint of heart.
 
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