I fell in love with your island when I visited in 2010-2011, and really wanted to have something to remember it by. I picked up a ukulele when I first visited, and struggled with learning chords, etc. But then I found the "Ukulele Underground" site - it was perfect for me. I was not musically trained; played no instruments. The sequences of lessons on has access to on the site have been just great. I go back to those UU lessons again and again, as my playing matures.
Here’s a little video :
After awhile of learning mostly off the UU site, I became confidant enough to try to learn songs I came across on the web. For example, “If I had my Life to do Over” was one such song. I heard a version played by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (a version which is great, by the way), and found the chords (probably off the “guitar guy” or "JazzStandards” or “traditional music” site (?); note that the words & music are by Henry Tobias & Moe Jaffe; ~1939). I play it in G, the original is in “C".
The first portion of the video shows how I first played it, after a few months of practice (excuse the singing!). Pretty simple strumming, little embellishment.
But, as I advanced on the UU site, you guys taught me more about beats and strumming techniques; about using chord inversions to introduce “interest". And, through Aaron, Ryan and Aldrine and the UU site, I was also introduced to some of their “friends” (such as “Dominator"; "the Baron", etc); and have greatly benefitted from listening to their music and styles, as well (Mark Occhionero is another person, whose playing educated me).
All those UU lessons, and practice, have given me confidence to make my playing a bit more complex. The second sequence in the video shows how I now play the song. I hope you will see (hear!) that it is "more interesting” now, and (maybe) agree that it is more “musical”, too.
I cannot play it with the quality that the “Preservation Hall” band does, of course, but I’m pretty happy now with my efforts, and every few months, when I return to play this piece, I change it a bit more, and enjoy it even more.
I still set goals for myself. For example, I do not solo as much as I want to, and that is my task for next year. So, back to the UU site to capitalize on Aldrine's hints for how to develop that ability!
To Aldrine, Ryan and Aaron: you guys make a difference - Thanks so much!