February 10, 2020 at 4:49 pm #25922
I’ve watched the first three lessons and worked through tapping my foot, counting out loud, tapping my foot, working on moving my fingers together — never did that before for the F chord, I think I’ve always placed my index finger the E string first fret first, then middle finger on G string second fret. I guess I’ve learned some bad habits over the years that I’ve been “self-taught.”
Vocalizing (counting) and keeping time by tapping my foot seems helpful.February 11, 2020 at 5:25 pm #25935
Finished the first course today. It was fun. I’ve never really vocalized or sung while playing and never really tapped my foot before so all of these things have been helpful for me.
Looking forward to what’s next.February 12, 2020 at 4:17 am #25936
Short practice session this morning before work. Ran through some of the strumming and chord change patterns from the beginner course. Practiced some of the finger picking songs that I’ve made up over the years, paying close attention to keeping my fingers properly arched as I have a tendency to lock-out my knuckles from time to time for certain fretting positions. Lastly ran through the finger-picking version of “I’ll Fly Away” from one of the beginner books that I have.
I’m sure it’s just a matter of practice, practice, practice, but how do folks memorize all the notes in a song? I used to play music in band when I was a kid and it seemed easier to commit things to memory. Hazards of getting old.February 13, 2020 at 2:06 pm #25942
Spent some time warming up with some scales, C Major, C Blues Scale, C Major Pentatonic. I know how to read the charts, but really very little understanding of what these things are, but I can read the charts and it gets my fingers moving. Blues scales are fun to tinker around with, adding double strums and bends to certain notes, it almost sounds like I’m playing actual blues. Ha. I have a Ukulele Licks book by “Lil Rev” I picked up years ago and some of the licks are fun to play.
After that I watched some of the beginner strumming videos and played along, Calypso was tricky at first, Waltz is pretty straightforward. Looking forward to what’s next.February 13, 2020 at 2:44 pm #25943
Really enjoyed Jason Arimoto’s blues lessons. Spent some time practicing with those and will revisit them again and again.February 15, 2020 at 11:21 am #25954
Spent some time today watching more videos, learning about relative tuning, which I knew the basics of, but I rarely do. I should probably tune by ear more than I do. Took some notes on relative tuning. Worked on strumming patterns and chord changes. Need to start thinking about chord shapes and “air chording.”February 16, 2020 at 9:47 am #25955
Put some time into learning the strumming pattern and first phase of the first picking part of Love Song (The Cure) from this old post in the beginner song set: https://ukuleleunderground.com/2008/01/ukulele-lesson-1-love-song/
I’ve never done the pinky strum muting before so that’s a hurdle, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. I think that’s forcing me to improve my left hand chording form as well. I’ll come back to this later.February 16, 2020 at 4:06 pm #25956
Back to Love Song by The Cure. Practiced the strumming portion some more. Still much room for improvement with chord switching and pinky muting. Watched the hammer on/off video. My pull off seems a bit strong. It’s either too strong or too weak, need to find the middle-ground. Worked on the second picking part. It’s fun. I’ll save the third part for later, my fingertips hurt. Fun song, not sure how to put it altogether.February 17, 2020 at 3:46 pm #25972
Put more time into Love Song today. Still learning the picking parts. Then listened to and tried to play along with one of the Friday jam sessions. That was funny, I can’t keep up with the chord changes and I recognize those are probably pretty simple songs. So much room for improvement.February 18, 2020 at 5:16 pm #25973
More tinkering with Love Song. Pinky muting and chord switching it still difficult for me. I have picking parts one and two down, but slower than they should be. Flipped over to find some instruction on pinky muting. I need to work on that with chord switching. I noticed that Aldrine’s pinky hardly moves when he switches chords, mine is all over the place. Who knew there were so many intricate details to master.February 19, 2020 at 2:12 pm #25975
Today I practiced more on Love Song strumming and picking parts. Really trying to work on the pinky muted strumming, keeping the pinky as steady as possible and forming good chord shapes without my fat fingers crowding onto strings they shouldn’t be crowding onto. I want to say I’m getting better, but progress is always slower than I’d like. I think it’s a muscle memory and training issue. You pros make it look so easy.
Outside of that I ran through some scales and some blues licks, some additional strumming (non-muted) with chord changes and finger picked a little song I’ve been “writing” for months.February 21, 2020 at 5:53 pm #25995
More “chord shape” work today, trying to move from one chord to another as efficiently as possible, putting all fingers in place simultaneously. Also worked on the pinky muting with chord changes. Worked on Love Song picking, still haven’t tackled part three.February 24, 2020 at 3:39 pm #26000
Finally getting around to learning the third picking part of The Cure’s Love Song. Still not entirely sure how to tie all the parts together as a single player, but if there were three of me, I could probably make a horrible racket.
Spent some time on scales and working on chord shapes and smooth chord changes. I think I’ll jump back into some lessons for a bit and keep working on the third picking part of Love Song until I have it down as well as the other two picking parts.February 27, 2020 at 5:08 pm #26011
Finished watching Ukulele 101 lesson 5, playing with others. Recorded myself playing 30 seconds of basic strumming with chord changes C to G to F, then put that on a loop and practiced playing different finger strumming patterns along with it. As with most things, I’ll come back to this again. It’s a fun exercise. Still really thing to move my fingers in sync to form chord shapes. Years of bad habits have me not placing all fingers in position at the same time for some chord shapes and transitions, which affects the speed at which I’m able to play.
Watching these lessons and trying out the recommendations is improving my playing, but I still have a long way to go before I’d say I’m not a bad player. Nevertheless, even a bad player can enjoy playing everyday.March 9, 2020 at 11:23 am #26056
Spent a week on the road for work. No instrument with me, so very little real practice, though I did spend a little time thinking about chord shapes and practicing “air chord shapes.”
Yesterday was my return home, couldn’t wait to get the uke out and run through some things. Standard C scales, some blues scales, the three plucking parts of The Cure’s Love Song and some general playing around. It’s good to be home.
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