When can you expect to play these specific songs?

Knowing chord shapes makes playing melodies much easier. For example the GOT can be done within minutes as it is based on few basic shapes moving up and down the neck with a barre index finger. Unfortunately this is not obvious from the tab in itself. But an instructor would point out how to do this. The main challenge is the 7997 shape that is cramped on smaller scale ukes and may need a bit of attention to sound clean. For HC there are few people who would want to play this in Bm as it is much easier and also sounding better on uke in Am.
 
@miqbri: A couple more thoughts. I tend to be pretty goal oriented with my ukulele playing, so I understand. I am also by nature a planner. Yet I have found that setting goals and planning is best done as a contining process. The main value of planning is not so much that things go according to plan, or even that the alternatives that come up were foreseen. The real value in planning is that as you make assumptions and consider alternatives you gain insights into your priorities, capabilties, and the resources you have available to you. Then as reality happens, you have a much better idea how to respond and replan.

As an example, the very last thing on my mind when I started was singing. However, an odd combination of events and opportunities changed that somewhat. I attended an amazing workshop with Peter Luongo at the LA Ukulele Festival where he had about 50 people, inlcuding me, singing three part harmony a capella. I also realized that our ukulele teacher is a professional singer songwriter who could teach me more about singing.

I play and arrange mostly chord/melody. However, our teacher has us learn to play the melody independently, the chords independently, and only then do we go on to the chord/melody arrangement. In the initial steps there are insights about chord voicing and substitutions and potentially key changes to get a better chord/melody arrangement.
 
Consider a person:
  • zero musical background
  • probably no innate talent

  • consistent 30 minutes a day practice on average (consisting of some finger stretching exercises, chord changing, bit of strumming and practicing fingerpicking with arpeggios or similar easier tabs)
... on how long before achieving this level of play is realistic given the background and practice routine. :)
You are getting a better sense of the answer from thinking about your own progress/playing than reading most of the replies.

The three bullet points above all play into it. No musical background means you start from scratch, but will affect your progress only so much depending on your goals. After five years, I still play almost exclusively on tabs with little reliance on music theory. That is because my goal is to play certain songs as chord melody or solo pieces without singing. So I pick up the ukulele whenever and work on making it sound the way I want (and never to perform in front of others). Trying to read from standard notation (and learning the fretboard on standard notation (this is not easy at all), learning scales (major scales are tough enough without confusing with Dorian, and other unremembered confusing ones) might be recommended by many, but I ignore most of it. It would divert me from my goals (not bad, but I do not want to learn theory in the absence of practice).

Innate talent varies from person to person. You fall somewhere on the spectrum from almost none to having a lot and you should be getting an idea from your progression after a few weeks or months. You will learn where your talents help and what needs attention (for example, I progress slowly but retain most of my progress. I know that I cannot play by ear no matter how much others swear that I just need to keep working at it more).

Thirty minutes a day is a lot to me. That should help you progress quickly. The advice here is to find your pathway to achieve what you want. Learning chord melody is different from strum/sing. Learning to solo with a group playing background chords is different than learning to solo a song without anyone else. Want to learn standard notation and to play from that... well you have just added months to years to the process.

(And BTW, for chord melody, I always recommend James Hill's "The Ukulele Way" online course)
 
Circling back to add specificity & context:
1) i first picked up a uke 21 months ago.
2) I’m seldom able to practice more than 30 minutes a day;
3) My finger rolls are the residual technique of four decades of banjo. As noted, I’m committed to “un-learn” the process of learning tunes from tablature, but I wholeheartedly agree with comments by others including @rainbow21 that it’s OK, and in fact necessary, to work from tablature if you have no prior musical instrument experience.
4) I have lots of room for improvement in the areas of timing, flow, left and right hand string pressure, strum patterns, single- finger strumming, and dynamics.

Keep it up, and don’t let yourself get discouraged when you have a bad day of practice. We all have those days, usually followed by many other days of great fun, joy and inspiration.
 
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I don’t recall if you have mentioned your age, but with no musical background and picking up your first instrument in your 30s (not knowing what that instrument is or how well you got on with it), it’s really hard to say how long it would take you.

I will say that with both of these arrangements, it would take me a significant amount of practice to master them. I do not consider myself a pro-level player by any means, but I do hold a doctorate in music, and teach music.

To be honest, many players will never be able to successfully play either one of the PDFs that you posted.

The first, the GOT theme, is written in a Campanella style, where strings are meant to ring as long as possible, using the reentrant G string. So I would start with other campanella arrangements (look them up) and lead to that arrangement of the GOT song.

The second is a full-on tablature arrangement. To go that route, I would start with chord melody arrangements and move progressively to full tablature.

You COULD find a YouTube tutorial for these songs (if they were created) and simply focus on a measure or two a night; and as some measures would repeat, you would find yourself being able to play one of the songs in a month with nightly practice. However, that is pretty much the only thing you would be able to do, and ultimately, I think you would be missing out on the joys of the ukulele community or learning other songs.

And it also short-circuits the whole aspect of playing with the ukulele as an accompanist to your singing. While this isn’t always the case (e.g. Jake Shimabukuro, who, to my knowledge, doesn’t ever sing as he plays), I find that I do enjoy it when even the most brilliant performers combine their ukulele talents with their voices (e.g. James Hill, Taimane).

So, in conclusion, a month of practice solely on one song with a loop-able resource (e.g. YouTube Video), or a couple of years of dedicated playing.
 
This thread is over-complicating the matter for the OP. If the question is "when can I expect to play "Hotel California"" the answer is right now. Playing music isn't an on/off switch where you either can do it or you can't. It is a process. You start on the first bar of the sheet music and learn to play those notes and/or chords, then you move to the next bar and then the next and the next. Then you start to put it together. Then you get better at putting it together. It takes some time, but not much. It probably takes less time to learn to play an arrangement than it does to learn to ride a unicycle. And, trust me, it is a lot easier on your shins.
 
This thread is over-complicating the matter for the OP. If the question is "when can I expect to play "Hotel California"" the answer is right now. Playing music isn't an on/off switch where you either can do it or you can't. It is a process. You start on the first bar of the sheet music and learn to play those notes and/or chords, then you move to the next bar and then the next and the next. Then you start to put it together. Then you get better at putting it together. It takes some time, but not much. It probably takes less time to learn to play an arrangement than it does to learn to ride a unicycle. And, trust me, it is a lot easier on your shins.
I agree with this principle. It doesn't take me long to learn a song. What seems to take a while is for the people around me to figure out what I'm playing.
 
Thank you again for all the perspectives. I am enjoying reading them all in detail and taking notes of the resources (yes, I like planning, structure, having lots of materials prepared, sorry! :D)

The first, the GOT theme, is written in a Campanella style, where strings are meant to ring as long as possible, using the reentrant G string. So I would start with other campanella arrangements (look them up) and lead to that arrangement of the GOT song.
Thank you for that term in particular - I did not notice it it in the tab but you are right and this is a style that produces the sound I really like. I will steer my arrangements in that direction (not necessarily pure campanella but looking for those longer ringing notes). For anyone else reading it, I found the 'in depth' explanation here with scales comparison useful:

Overall, my main takeaway is that I have years of fun ahead of me and that even the GoT one is not as easy as it 'looks', which is a good thing because actually trying to play it is not easy for me at all. :)

btw, I have remembered that Steven Warren who created the arrangement of the Hotel California did play it on his channel:
I found his channel while looking for 'sound samples' of the aNueNue AMM3, which he has several of with clean sound.

He has his arrangements published here https://app.box.com/s/g7wge7p3mgo7e4yxov1cn30ibwsf9ks5?page=1. And it is true that even though it is his arrangement, he says
Unfortunately this arrangement is slightly beyond my playing ability! This is the best recording I could manage after many attempts. It’s not very clean but I think it’s the best I’m going to get – I’ll set my sights a little lower with future arrangements ;)
 
BTW, the GOT music looks a bit off to me. The Treble Clef looks an octave higher than the tabs indicate.
ailevin is 100% correct. It would take a step ladder to reach the notation as written in GOT. The TAB might be correct but you might want to look for another version of that one.
 
Piggybacking the (IMHO) very helpful response by @Bill1, the following will hopefully be helpful to the OP, especially page 2 and especially if you're a musically- ignorant visual learner such as myself whose little brain struggles to understand chord shape descriptions written (entirely correctly :)) as 'Bm 4765 Barre 4' or 'E 4447 Barre 4'.
PAGE 1
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PAGE 2
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Thanks guys, I hope your breakdown of that specific tab helps somebody who can actually play enough to try it out any time soon. I will have to come back to that specific song much much later :)
 
Thanks guys, I hope your breakdown of that specific tab helps somebody who can actually play enough to try it out any time soon. I will have to come back to that specific song much much later :)
It will (and I know this from very recent experience) come as a pleasant surprise for you to circle back to both these tunes several months in the future and realize that, having learned the basics by practicing other tunes with far simpler arrangements, the shapes and progression aren’t as daunting anymore.

Please don’t let the present degree of difficulty discourage you. The great Jim Carrey’s website (ozbcoz.com) has chord progressions and lyrics for tons of great tunes. Jim’s format is intuitive and enables you to re-size font and move chord shapes to the top or margin to suit your preferences.
 
@Bill1: I thought the video was excellent. However, I did take offense when she insulted my beloved boxed Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner. I cannot let that stand.
 
Burnout and Exhaustion - that one really applies to working. Shed your job and retire if you can !

Makes it easier to find that 10 minutes of practice. :ROFLMAO:

:)
 
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