Prattism's Practice Log

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    I’m on Week 6 of Ukulele 101. I’ve been making slow progress, getting distracted by some of the other lessons, the Whiteboard Songs, the Friday Concert! the Jams, and just trying to play a variety of simpler songs.

    In the last week, I went back and did the homework videos for Weeks 2-5. I have to say that doing the homework and videoing the effort was very helpful. It really reinforces the lessons far more than just doing the practice. I’d recommend it to everyone.

    I plan to use this log as a weekly practice review and tracker. I play and practice every day so I don’t want to have to do daily updates or I know that I’ll let it go over time. This way the log and my practice follow the classwork.

    I’m doing Uke 101, then 102 and 103. I’ll also be learning individual songs. I’m hoping to build a portfolio of a few dozen songs that I can play well and entertain with. A mix of Hawai’ian, Newfie (and Irish), and popular music – most of it older since I am.

    Each entry in the log will review what I did that week, and how I felt it went.


    Week 1 – Monday, June 19th 2017 – Uke 101 Week 5

    Seeing the new UU+ layout motivated me to get organized and serious again. During the week, outside of practice, I familiarized myself with the site, and decided to get more active on the boards. I also attended my second online Jam and the Friday Concert. It was very motivating.

    In order to get caught up, and review the lessons I’d done so far, I went back and scanned the previous lessons and did the Homework. Getting the webcam recording software setup and practicing with it took a bit of time, but it was totally worth it to be able to video my practice. I’m using YouCam 7 to record the practice, and uploading the videos to YouTube. Then I put the link in the Uke 101 Forum category, under Week X Homework. There’s not much activity there yet, but perhaps with my posting someone else will get motivated to post there and we can build up some traffic.


    I practiced a lot of the little picking intros to songs – Island Style, Wonderful Tonight, Margaritaville. I’m working on Brown-Eyed Girl but there’s so much movement up and down the fretboard, so quickly that it’s proving very difficult to make it sound clean. I’ll keep practicing. One of my problems I think is that I use a variety of Ukes to practice on, some Concerts and Tenors. I probably should stick to one size at a minimum to get my fingers used to the distance and spacing.

    Hawai’ian Suppa Man – I have this one down pretty well. I’ll keep practicing the song as a whole. My version is a bastardization of several tutorials I’ve found online, as well as watching some performances.

    Margaritaville – Transposed the chords and intro to G which is better suited to my voice. Still needs consistency and smoothness.. Love this song. The intro doesn’t sound quite as good in G but at least I can sing along.

    Island Time – Another one that I know now, I just need practice. I used this song to do my Roll/Fingerpicking homework. I thought it was okay. Learned from the UU songs – but I haven’t advanced to the fingerstyle version yet. Played along on the Friday Jam week before last.

    Wonderful Tonight – the bends in the intro riff still don’t sound good. Transitions weak.

    Uke 101

    Practicing rolls and fingerpicking. I tend to arpeggio a lot, need to anchor the fingers and mix things up. Making a more concerted effort to pay attention to the strumming, and to use the proper form in strums and picking. I use my thumb for strumming too often, and need to remember to use my fingernail properly. Bad habits left over from guitar. Also on the picking, I use my fingers to do most of the picking and tend to pluck too much.

    Practice: Proper strumming with fingers and rolls. Proper location (near the neck for sturmming, over the soundhold for picking. Rest stops while picking, concentrate on the thumb and getting consistent tone/volume.


    Week 2 – Tuesday, June 28th – Uke 101 Weeks 6 & 7

    The weekend was mostly shot because of family issues but still got a fair amount of stuff done. One of the first things I needed to do was get a Microphone for my computer if I wanted to keep recording myself, which I’m finding very useful. I have an old Snowball, but it doesn’t work on my Windows 10. I ordered a Blue Yeti USB microphone. This thing is a beast. It’s huge but it also is a 100% improvement over the webcam microphone. Kind of pricey.

    Also spent a lot of time working with alternate tunings. My voice range makes songs in the key of C difficult. I have two ukes tuned down to A, and it suits my singing a lot better. I’ll probably be doing my Open Mic song in A. Still working on that.


    I haven’t added any new songs to my practice list. I have found marked improvement on all of them. I’m looking to acquire a portfolio of memorized songs that have recognizable riffs so that I’m doing something other than strumming. My first 5 are very close to done.

    Hawai’ian Superman – more than 10 hours practicing this song alone. I’ll be playing it on the Open Mic on Wednesday (tomorrow). Still not flawless most of the time, but much better. It was hilarious watching Aldrine’s old Live Lesson from 2009 where he taught this one. Will work on the opening riffs more tomorrow, and work with a metronome so I don’t speed up. Other than that, the chording is becoming automatic.

    Margaritaville – I think I can say this one is good. Played it a few dozen times and no problem remembering chords, intro, or words. Flows pretty smoothly

    Island Time – I’m playing it regularly, at least a couple of times a day, to make it automatic. Will not be doing the fingerpicking solo version yet. Maybe once I’ve advanced to Uke 103.

    Wonderful Tonight – Have the song memorized now and the riff sounds good. I know that the riff changes after the second to last line and need to work that out. Other than that, this one seems close to being ‘done’.

    Brown-Eyed Girl – Finally can consistently play the opening riff. The chords and strumming are easy. Need to memorize the words. Then practice the whole thing together consistently.

    Uke 101

    I went back and reviewed Uke 100 since it’s been so long, and also reviewed the essential chords and basic strum course. It was good to do the review, but it did distract me from Uke 101. I completed the Week 6 Q&A and Week 7 Chords, chords, chords. No difficulties, chords are easy, it’s the right hand that gives me fits. I haven’t completed the video homework but I will do that Thursday. Now I’m concentrating on getting my song better for the Open Mic.

    Spent some time, not a lot, less than an hour all told, on the Dexterity test. I know it’s not time for that yet, but I was curious. Yeah, I still need a lot of work.

    Practice: Hawai’ian Superman, all my top 5 songs, Brown-Eyed Girl a LOT. Strumming and chunking in Week 8 lesson. Keep working with the metronome – it’s a problem area. Clean notes on fingerpicking.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by prattismprattism. Reason: fixed spelling issues

    Aloha Prattism!
    Been checking out your practice logs. Glad that you’re adding songs to work on so that you have a clear goal and heading towards that direction.
    Stoked that you were even going as far back as 2009 live lessons to get the info that you need.
    If there’s anything I can help you with, please let me know! Keep up the great work!

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