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 Post subject: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:51 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I'm learning how to play ukulele, and I have no experience with stringed instruments. What I'm having trouble is strumming. At first it just didn't sound as nice and light as what I was hearing on youtube videos, but I think it was just the way I was holding it and I was strumming too hard. Now I have a lot of problems keeping rhythm, and particularly strumming up throws me off really bad. I'm trying to play a slower song but still no dice. Strumming instructions don't seem to help because they don't tell me how fast to go. Is there a trick to keeping yourself in rhythm?

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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:57 pm 
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Instead of trying a different song that's slower, play the song you're trying to learn really, really slowly. Eventually you'll be able to speed it up.


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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:23 am 
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Start off with some songs you already have uke recordings for. It's super easy to rearrange guitar pop once you know how to play, but when you're learning it's best to have some legit uke players to emulate. Start off practicing playing the rhythm of a song you like without thinking about the chord progression or melody or anything. Then, once the rhythm is feeling smooth and easy, add the chord progression. Start slow (like, half the song's actual speed) and work up to speed. Play to a metronome, if you can stand it. And (here's the part that I've always been bad at) keep practicing.

Do you have any particular uke heroes? My friend just introduced me to Eddie Vedder's uke album and I'm like !.


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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:23 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Eddie Vedder has a uke album?!

I listen to a lot of Amanda Palmer and Garfunkel and Oates XD I'm not brave enough to try and emulate a guitar yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:47 pm 
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Yes, he does. It's his second solo album and it's called "Ukulele Songs." It's good.
I haven't heard any of Amanda Palmer's uke stuff except the EP of Radiohead covers she did. What else do I need to hear?


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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:52 pm 
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Oo, I have been practicing my ukulele for awhile now. I love the Ukulele boot camp practice sheets, and can tell a noticeable difference in how quickly I can change chords. I love teaching myself instruments!

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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:59 am 
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Ukulele's a fun one. I only know 5 chords, mind (just enough to play two terribly frivolous songs I (co-)wrote), so I don't know if any of the others are any good.


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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:45 am 
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efmac wrote:
Yes, he does. It's his second solo album and it's called "Ukulele Songs." It's good.
I haven't heard any of Amanda Palmer's uke stuff except the EP of Radiohead covers she did. What else do I need to hear?


This is the song that I was trying to learn at first:



I haven't bought her new album yet but I think there's quite a bit of uke in it.

She also used a ukulele in the Evelyn Evelyn album:



She's done a lot of covers in several live videos, you kinda have to look around youtube for them.


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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:03 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I want to learn aswell! Yay for ukuleles. Me and my friend want to start a horrible band, and i want to be the ukulele-lady!


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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:21 pm 
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Before I got my own uke, I was borrowing one from a friend and he had a chord chart for all the chords taped to the back, which was awesome because I could just say oh, I want to learn this chord! and it was right there. So then I bought my own uke from another friend and have been meaning to do the same, I've printed out the chart but not got around to taping it on yet.

Anyway, uke is fun! I'm used to guitar and bass though so it feels super awkward trying to figure out how to hold it and for quite a while I was strumming all wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:47 pm 
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Map of Tasmania by Amanda Palmer is the easiest and most fun song to play on the ukulele. Only two damn chords! Open strings and a D. She even plays it with her thumb in videos. God, I love that song.


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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:04 pm 
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This makes me want to pull out my uke! I got one last winter (also inspired by AFP). I had fun with it for a few months but I just could NOT get the hang of strumming (what can I say, I took violin lessons for 10 years) so I got mad and put it away. Looking at all the videos of people on youtube being awesome didn't help either!

http://ukulelehunt.com/ has a bunch of tabs and chords for fun songs though.


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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:04 pm 
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Dig on Thumbs Up, two guys covering Velvet Underground songs on ukulele. I don't play, but now I want to.

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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:38 pm 
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Thessaly wrote:
http://ukulelehunt.com/ has a bunch of tabs and chords for fun songs though.

http://ukuleleunderground.com/ is a good site too.

I've successfully learned "I'm Yours" (Jason Mraz) and can almost play "Hey Soul Sister" (Train). I've been wanting to learn PS I Love You (Nellie McKay)

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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:15 pm 
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I know this is way late, but I got a uke for Christmas and came across this thread.
I headed over to Thes's link and saw that they have a bunch of ebooks, one about strumming. (Although I sincerely hope that you are not having this problem anymore. But maybe someone else is!)


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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:56 pm 
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Hey, so like I just said, I got a uke for Christmas. What are some good song books or method books that you recommend?


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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:22 am 
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This thread is rekindling my desire to learn ukelele.

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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:36 am 
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starrynight87 wrote:
I know this is way late, but I got a uke for Christmas and came across this thread.
I headed over to Thes's link and saw that they have a bunch of ebooks, one about strumming. (Although I sincerely hope that you are not having this problem anymore. But maybe someone else is!)


Haven't had time to practice, so still having issues D: School and work makes it hard to have time for it. But my love for Garfunkel and Oates was recently rekindled so hopefully after the slew of work I have to do this week, I'll find time to pick it up again!

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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:58 pm 
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I haven't touched mine in almost a year! I think I got bummed out at my inability to figure out the strumming!


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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:56 pm 
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HULLO FELLOW UKULELE PLAYERS. I WOULD LIKE TO NOW COMPLAIN THAT SWITCHING FROM G TO AN E MINOR IS HARD.

ALSO HAI! WE ALL PLAY UKULELE. I PLAY UKULELE?! WOW THAT'S A THING I CAN SAY NOW.

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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:31 pm 
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Mars wrote:
HULLO FELLOW UKULELE PLAYERS. I WOULD LIKE TO NOW COMPLAIN THAT SWITCHING FROM G TO AN E MINOR IS HARD.


Use your first three fingers to play the G. When you need the E minor, leave the first 3 fingers in place and slam that pinky down on the third string. BAM G->Em.

I mostly just try not to play anything with an E major chord in it, though, because damn.

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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:19 am 
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Mars wrote:
HULLO FELLOW UKULELE PLAYERS. I WOULD LIKE TO NOW COMPLAIN THAT SWITCHING FROM G TO AN E MINOR IS HARD.

ALSO HAI! WE ALL PLAY UKULELE. I PLAY UKULELE?! WOW THAT'S A THING I CAN SAY NOW.


It is really hard! Solipsistnation's tip is good, but i find it hard to go from any other chord to Em. I think it's because you're basically letting go of the whole neck to get to it. I realized a few months ago that my boobs actually get in the way of me holding the uke tight enough with my right arm to stabilize it to change chords like that, so I've been using a strap. I have a tenor, so I don't know if the same problem applies to soprano, but the strap has been amazing. I don't have hook ups for a regular guitar style strap, so I have both the Uke Leash and Uke Thong (terrible names!) and I like them both. Sometimes the uke leash is awkward to put on though.

http://ukeleash.com/
http://www.etsy.com/listing/77102757/uk ... ose-from-4



Also, I would like to add that I just started learning Material Girl and it's really fun and super corny sounding on uke. I like it.

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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:22 am 
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hey, i play uke too :D i feel bad admitting that i don't find e or em hard. but i hate f7. ew. and i love eddie vedder's ukulele songs album. this is my uke...Image


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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:54 pm 
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solipsistnation wrote:
Use your first three fingers to play the G. When you need the E minor, leave the first 3 fingers in place and slam that pinky down on the third string. BAM G->Em.

I mostly just try not to play anything with an E major chord in it, though, because damn.

OMG mind blown! This is now an even easier switch than the easy one of C -> D that comes next in the song I'm practicing. I was totally rearranging my fingering all together before.

Do you play E major by making your index finger a bar across all the strings (I don't know technical terms for things) and then just using your pinky to press the A string? When I learned this way of playing it I now find it easy.

Anyone have any easy fingering suggestions for both B and B minor? I can do them but it's clunky and sometimes I find I'm accidentally silencing a string here and there.

madam dahlia; whoa I just tried f7 for the first time. I hope I don't ever decide I want to play a song with that one in it. Ouchy.

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 Post subject: Re: Ukulele!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:06 pm 
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Mars wrote:
Do you play E major by making your index finger a bar across all the strings (I don't know technical terms for things) and then just using your pinky to press the A string? When I learned this way of playing it I now find it easy.

Oh man I think I've been playing a Dmaj7 on accident thinking it was E this whole time. Okay wait now how does one play an E. Aaaaaah!

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