How to keep the Ukulele steady when changing chords?

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  • #11422
    carlo_antoni
    Member

    Hi Andrew,
    Its been two months I started playing Ukulele and follow your lessons with
    great interest and care because you go straight to playing songs and
    melodies while teaching the basics with great clarity and simplicity,
    that’t why I subscribed to your school. But I have a question. How should
    I move or position my hand when changing chords, to overcome the
    difficulty of maintaining the instrument steady (I get mad because it
    drops all the time :-(!!), each time I have to make a move? I have to keep the knucle of the index finger permanently sliding the fretboard so the uke stay steady, otherwise I can’t do it! I saw your videos on Form 1 and Form 2 but still have this issue. I know it will come with practice I am afraid I didn’t grasp it very clearly! Thank you for your wonderful lessons!
    Antonio

    • This topic was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by Andrew.
    #11423
    lisadmh
    Participant

    Hi Antonio. While we wait for Andrew to come to the rescue, I thought I’d add that I share this problem. Em is the worst. The uke falls every time.

    #11425
    Andrew
    Keymaster

    Hi Antonio,

    This is a great question. Here is a short video with some tips to help you. Feel free to post a video of yourself playing, and I can offer more help if this video doesn’t answer all your questions. Which, by the way, let me know if you do have questions 🙂

    P.S. Here is a great article on properly holding the ukulele from our Beginner’s Course.

    #11635
    nodofox
    Member

    Hi Andrew,

    What do you think about using a strap? My uke has it and it helps me a lot!

    #14610
    smartinuk
    Member

    Hi Andrew,

    I just started playing a week ago so maybe early days but I have a struggle with this too, but it is in transitioning from form 1 to form 2. It seems like the only way to make this transition is to kind of let the neck drop onto your index finger from the ‘U’ shape, but this slight movement in the neck causes me to miss my finger placement for the next chord.

    Im sure it is mainly a case of practice, but I was wondering if you had any tips for that.

    Love the course.
    Scott

    #14611
    Andrew
    Keymaster

    Actually, I just helped a member privately with a question about moving from Form 1 to 2. She was working on the last performance piece from the beginner’s course. Here was her questions, maybe it might be helpful for you. If not, please post a video with what you are working on specifically and I’d be happy to review it and offer tips.

    I’m a massive fan of your page, and I have been going through your beginner course which has helped me to improve massively. However, I am struggling with one thing, and that is to with the intermediate strum and fingerpick lesson (last lesson of the beginner course); how are you able to switch between form 1 and form 2 so easily with your left hand?

    From bar 4-5 and on bar 13 (outro). It looks like you switch from form 2 to form 1, but I can’t quite manage to do it as smoothly as you do.

    —-

    My response:

    #15104
    tonydismukes
    Member

    Thanks for the videos above, Andrew. Those were helpful. My ukulele has a strap which I really like, but I want to be prepared for occasions where I might pick up someone else’s uke which doesn’t have the strap.

    I do have a couple of related questions which I hope you might help with.

    1) Do you change anything in how you hold the uke while standing up to play? I come from a background of playing bass and guitar, so I’m more comfortable performing while standing.

    2) I’m a big guy (6’4″) with large hands. When you hold the uke, it looks like you have roughly the middle of your right forearm against the corner of the uke. When I hold the uke as you demonstrate and have my fingers over the soundhole, the contact point for my forearm is only 1-1.5 inches from my wrist. This feels less stable while I’m strumming. If I slide my forearm deeper to a contact point like you have it feels more secure, but my fingers are now past the body and up the neck of the uke. This doesn’t work for fingerpicking, but seems okay for strumming. Do you have any recommendations (Use one position for strumming and one for picking/ stick to one for both/ other)?

    My strap does take care of both these issues for me, but I’d like to develop good habits so that if I pick up a friend’s strapless uke I can function without confusion.

    #15107
    Andrew
    Keymaster

    Glad they were helpful Tony! Let’s knock out these questions.

    1) I don’t really have any advice. To be honest, I really dislike playing standing up. I find it too hard to do unless you use a strap.

    2) Do you mind posting a video? I’ll be better able to help if I can see what’s happening.

    #15109
    tonydismukes
    Member

    I’ll see if I can get a video together in the next few days.

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