June 10th, 2019 – Live Lesson Topic: Playing with Finesse

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    June Live Stream: Monday, June 10th at 7:00pm EST (check your local time zone)


    Hey guys, we are back with Live Lesson EP007! This month’s topic is: Playing with Finesse.

    Have you ever learned a song note for note, but it just doesn’t sound right? Oftentimes it’s not only about playing the correct notes, but rather how you play them. In this session, you’ll learn to train your ear to identify the overall timbre of the piece, as well as, tips and techniques to recreate the feel in your playing.

    This month’s topic should steer up some great questions! So please post all that you have below and I hope you guys join us for the live stream. 🙂



    Q: What happens in a live lesson, how long is it, and when does it occur?

    A: Live lessons are usually 30-45 minutes in length, but can extend until all questions are answered. The first 20 minutes will comprise of the lesson, while the next 10-25 minutes will be a Q&A session for premium members.

    Live lessons take place every second Monday of the month at 7:00pm EST (check your local time zone).

    Q: Can I submit questions beforehand?

    A: Absolutely! Basic and premium members are welcome to post questions that are related to the topic in THIS thread.

    Q: Who can watch the live stream, how do I watch it, and how do I chat with Matt and other members?

    A: Premium members will be able to tune in and watch the livestream. Premium members will also be able to chat live with Matt during the broadcast.

    To watch the live stream, simply navigate to the Live Lessons Page. You will see a YouTube video embedded on the page (if you don’t see it, double check that you are logged in).

    If you do not wish to participate in the live chat, you can stay on the page and watch the embedded video. If you do wish to participate in the live chat, you will need to sign up for a YouTube account (100% FREE).

    To participate in the live chat, click on the embedded YouTube video’s title. This will open up a new tab and take you directly to the video on YouTube’s website. The live chat box can be found to the right of the video (on desktop). For mobile and tablet, the live chat is embedded inside the video and can be turned on or off.

    For further clarification, here is a video showing how to do the above (for desktop).

    Q: I can’t make the broadcast. When will live streams be released publicly?

    A: The live lesson will be released for everyone to view on the day following the broadcast (second Tuesday of the month). If you cannot make the broadcast, no worries; you’ll still be able to watch the lesson. Don’t forget that you can submit questions for Matt to answer beforehand (see the above FAQ).



    Yes, everything about this topic is yes!

    Unfortunately I will miss the live lesson but I will study it closely after the fact.

    First question, how do I learn to lighten up? I’m always getting the feedback that I’m tense, not laid back. True. No matter how hard I try to relax, I’m clamped down and tight. How do I learn to be relaxed and laid back without being sloppy?



    I’m unable to recreate a feel I see used a lot by Taimane and Jake.
    It’s a technique where the thumb nail moves very rapidly back and forth over a single string. I’m not sure what it’s called. I tried using a thumb pick, but always got caught on the strings. Is there something I’m doing wrong?
    Thanks! 🙂



    Hey Zion, it’s called Tremolo Picking 🙂



    My question is about staccato chords, like they happen to be played throughout the current challenge “Tonight You Belong To Me” (G-chord in melody A, and various chords throughout the whole melody B). I don’t know the real name for it, I’m just calling it staccato chords, because in the tabs it’s designated as staccato.
    This technique, to stop chords from ringing by relaxing the fingers but still keeping them on the strings, is incredibly useful not just to give the piece character and underline the rhythm, but also to keep my playing tidy and reduce the ringing of strings when changing chords – so I definitely want to incorporate that more into my playing.

    Now here’s my problem/question: I tend to lose a steady grip on the neck of my ukulele when softening my fingers to dampen the chord and get the slight feeling it might slip – especially when using the U-shaped left-hand form 1 (which I understood should be used for barre chords)… How can I make sure I do still have a good hold on my ukulele while using this technique – even when playing while standing, where I can’t rest the uke on my thigh?



    I finally got to a live lesson!

    Very valuable and lots of info and technique to keep in mind moving forward.

    Thank you all for this site!



    D’oh. I forgot about it. I decided to go for a walk to de-stress after the valuer came to look at our house, and I could have just logged on to the lesson. I’ll have to catch up later.




    Great lesson! Missed it live. As soon as Matt mentioned ‘tone’ I was wondering what he’d pick to cover since it’s vast. 😁 (and fun)

    I’m going to investigate finger angle more, i’m having problems where suddenly i’m playing really dark sounding and it’s hard or impossible to fix once it happens. Don’t know what i’m doing that’s causing it. Finger angle might be able to help isolate what in the world happens.



    I learned that something as simple as changing the angle of your thumb (or finger) can drastically change the timbre of the strings when they ring out. It would have taken me a long time (if ever) to even think to experiment that way, but what a difference is makes in the sound!

    This lesson definitely gave me lots to practice on. I’ve always found it difficult to play with emotion and dynamics, so it’ll be a work-in-progress for a LONG time.



    Finally got around to watching it. I’m glad you’ll be covering vibrato in the future because that’s something I really need to work on.

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