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June 7, 2020 at 1:35 pm #26561
This week got a little…crazy. I was practicing an hour or two each day but that went out the window this week. An old friend moved back here from Hawaii and not only does he play ukulele now but he makes very high-end custom ukuleles, too. He’s been looking for someone to play with and we connected and set up a session. That led to 5 hours of playing! The next session a couple of days later was seven hours! That kinda wrecked my usual number of practice hours for the week in a good way.
Total practice time 18.5 hours and my fingers are still in one piece!May 31, 2020 at 2:49 pm #26519
I decided to log my practice weekly instead of daily. Nothing’s changed other than the amount I’ll be posting so here goes.
This week was spent mostly dialing in on the Low G Flight Diana. I think I have a good handle on it now. It’s only a slightly different feel than the Ohana but it’s enough to throw off my left-hand position. Honestly, it doesn’t take too much to do that!
I mostly played through my tab book and continued working on fingerpicking. Tonight I decided to sight-read a couple of new songs so after a little warm-up, I went with Moondance by Van Morrison and Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer. The last one has a ton of new cords for me so it was slow going but after a few run-throughs, it was mostly recognizable. The transition from the D to the Bm to the Em was a lesson in frustration, but I’ll get it with practice. Still loving the crap outta my ukuleles and exploring more music every week!
Total practice time this week was 8 hours and 10 minutes.May 24, 2020 at 2:58 pm #26469
Alright, I’m forging ahead with my daily log. Still working on getting a more natural feel of the Diana. It’s a work in progress, for sure. I worked on a couple of new songs today.; Paradise by John Prine and Waiting On The World To Change by John Mayer. Both are long time favorites and the tabs are in my wheelhouse. I worked through those and played the rest of my usual collection. I started working on my first barre chord today. I’ve tried(badly) to do the Bflat a few times when it came up in a song but today I really worked on it. I mean, REALLY worked on it. I’ll need to give my index finger and thumb a rest!
Total practice time 2 hours.May 23, 2020 at 4:22 pm #26466
Today my new low G Flight Diana came and I spent today’s practice getting used to a slightly different feel from the Ohana. it’s a beauty and has such a sweet tone. I love it! I went through the stuff I know well to let her break in a little and to get the feel of it.
Total practice time 1:30.May 22, 2020 at 4:17 pm #26458
So, today I used the website Pluckin’ Ukes to work out a tab from a Youtube video that didn’t offer a tab. I did Rain Please Go Away by Alison Krauss and Union Station. It’s a simple C, F, G7 strum but I put on paper and added it to my tab book. After working on Sunday Morning last night I’ve fallen in love with playing and singing that one, too. I went through it several things just loving the crap out of it. I didn’t get a chance to play Happy Birthday live for my son so I recorded it and sent it to him. Poor kid. I worked on Illegal Smile by John Prine which is one of my favorites. That basically took up the whole hour tonight. Time flies when you’re playing the ukulele!
Total practice time 1 hour.May 21, 2020 at 4:44 pm #26450
Tonight was one of those magical nights when both hands decided to get together and party! I played about as flawlessly as I’ve ever played, working my way from one song to the next in my tab book. I started with Three Little Birds, I’m Yours, Don’t Worry Be Happy, and Stand By Me. Those went so well I went into Angel From Montgomery, multiple rounds of Happy Birthday (both chords and fingerpicking), then followed along with Aldrine on Sunday Morning multiple times. Let It Be, Something To Talk About, Wild Mountain Thyme, Wild Rover, and 1,000 Times came next. Then I delved into the Ukulele Wednesdays songbook that I had printed from the downloadable PDF. 355 pages of goodness. I just randomly flipped through and played whatever caught my eye.
Thank you Ukulele Underground for helping me on this journey! I wouldn’t be where I am without you!
Total practice time 2 hours.May 20, 2020 at 4:25 pm #26446
Somehow I managed not to upload yesterday. Sometimes I can technology and sometimes I can’t. At least I can’t blame my left hand for messing that up. I did an hour yesterday, I swear!
Today I went crazy and drug my ukulele around with my while I gave blood, waited to hang out with a friend (from a safe distance, outside in a park, wearing a mask). I practiced fingerpicking Happy Birthday until I’m sure the squirrels wanted to kill me. I just played whatever came to mind or caught my fancy in my tab notebook. Man, this is just so much fun! I add a few new songs every day to learn and mess around with. I’m working on getting all my previous songs to have buttery smooth chord transitions. I get a little smoother every day!
Total practice time 2 hours.May 18, 2020 at 2:49 pm #26438
Some days you got it and some days you don’t! Today wasn’t the best day but some times you just gotta hang on for the ride and hope you don’t puke before the end. My left hand just wasn’t in a cooperative mood and argued with me the whole time. Be that as it may, I stuck it out for my hour and got some decent practice in.
Total practice time 1 hour.May 17, 2020 at 2:30 pm #26427
Tonight I began the process of learning the notes on the neck. I began with whole notes but once Aldrine explained the sharp/flat concept those are pretty easy to pick out. I worked on that for a while then, as usual, jammed my way through my tab book. I finished up by seeing if the old brain had retained any of the previous note work and I’m happy to report it stuck! I’m still amazed that I can remember this when nothing musical has ever stuck before. I guess it’s just quality instruction!
Total practice time 1 hour.May 16, 2020 at 3:40 pm #26424
I had the house to myself so I picked up my tab book and played and sang each song I’ve collected so far. That was an amazing thing to think that in just a couple of weeks of practice I can play 15 or 20 songs decently well! I’ve never progressed this well with any other instrument in my life and I’m 60 so it ain’t from lack of trying! After an hour of that, I went through the first of the ten lessons in Music Theory. That was so enlightening! I’ve always wanted to know how it all came together and now I have the beginning of understanding there, too.
Total practice time 1:40.May 15, 2020 at 3:52 pm #26412
Today was a beautiful warm, sunny day so I took the dog to the local dog park to let him rage around and I serenaded the dogs as they played. More noodling around with stuff I can play from memory and Travis Picking practice.
Total practice time 1 hour.May 14, 2020 at 2:49 pm #26403
WOW! I totally got lost in the music today! I picked up my Cordoba and started just strumming along to tunes I know and before you know it I’d played for easily 45 minutes just noodling around with stuff that’s already in my head. Tonight I picked it up again and started practicing a Sara Bareilles song (Chasing the Sun) I’d been meaning to learn and it was okay. Then it happened! I switched to a different tab (1000 Times) that was keyed to the song and I was able to play along to the song! That was mind-blowing for me! I must have played it 5 or 6 times with a huge smile on my face the whole time. To be able to play along to something on the first run-through was completely amazing and life-altering for me. I might be hooked…maybe. I finished up with more Travis Picking practice just for good measure. LOL
Total practice time 2 hours.May 13, 2020 at 2:13 pm #26399
Today I practiced smoothing out my Travis Picking. Still definitely a work in progress. After half-an-hour of that, I played Three Little Birds in both the key of C and D. Then tried smoothing out my Blues and Turnarounds in the key of D, worked on smoothing out I’m Yours in the key of C. The left hand is getting used to all this fine motor work a little at a time!
Total practice time 1 hour.May 13, 2020 at 2:09 pm #26398
Supejohnb, I don’t know exactly what all that means at this point but beginning this week I’m going to be using the book “Ukulele Fretboard Roadmaps” by Fred Sokolow to further my knowledge of chord shapes and how the fretboard really comes together. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, that’ll make more sense! LOL!May 12, 2020 at 2:20 pm #26392
More work with Travis Picking and chord transitions. The transitions are getting smoother but they still need some work. I’m expanding my repertoire of songs and getting ready to create a “setlist” to practice both playing and singing. Not to actually use to play a set but more of a way to get my brain used to playing a set of songs.
Total practice time 1 hour.
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