Participate in the April 2019 Member Challenge – WIN a Kanile’a Tenor Uke!

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    I started out using NCH Wavepad and Audicity. NCH has a mobile device app for recording. Audicity is probably only for PC. (Both are free.)

    I’m currently using the unlimited trial of FL Studio 20 on PC.

    FL Studio has a mobile app too I think. I have no info on it though. I don’t own a smartphone. The app might be free and fully functional.

    If you use an I-thing, Apple has great software for recording. Garage Band is one, can’t think of the nice sounding premium software name for Apple-Only other one offhand….

    These will only let you record and play with your recordings btw.

    If you can afford it, I say buy a Zoom. I want one. The people using them have really nice sound!! And they can go anwhere…. AND they look like sick tazers. 😉 Seriously though they are amazing things, and they can handle multiple tracks. (Looking like a tazer of death is a huge draw for me though lol.)

    Not sure if that helps


    If it helps, I just record using the default video recording software on my Android phone. I usually play concert ukuleles.


    Becky7777 – thanks! yes – it gives me some things to look for.


    Thanks for the help.


    Stephen, thank you kindly for taking the time to assess my video and I appreciate the constructive criticism. Rest assured the tips won’t go to waste.

    What you’re doing with the challenge and review of entries is absolutely amazing. Kudos to the team here at Rock Class and I can’t thank you enough.



    Thank you for your help, will definitely work on that for the next song!


    Thanks so much for the great feedback and pointers! Very helpful! Cheers!


    Here is everyone on page 10 and page 11.


    kellyblackburn – Awesome! I shot a video for you with a really interesting concept that you can use to subtly make your playing Pop just that much more. But seriously, major props on this one!

    timolnz – I like the changes that you threw in there to make it more rhythmic! So you are on the right path, but any time we make changes like this, you want to make sure that you’re not adding any extra beats to the bars and that the melody falls on the correct beat(s).

    I’d encourage you to take a Skype lesson with Stephen; he can help you tidy up the piece, so that that it hits the points above.

    Gaby – great job! So I’d actually recommend to slow the tempo down a little bit and work on one section at a time. This will also help you develop a smoother tempo flow.

    I’d also focus on cleaning up some of your playing. In other words, we want to remove some of the buzz that we’re hearing in the notes and chords. And the best way to do this is to make sure that you are fretting with enough pressure for the note to ring clear (and with correct form for barre chords). Don’t worry too much about tempo, slow and steady always wins the race.

    soraya06 – Beautiful playing! Don’t worry too much about the nerves, I actually got nervous at the end of that songs performance and sped up too much. So I cut the ending and faded it out before the rushed part. Playing in front of a camera is weird, I get way more nervous doing that then I do in front of an actual crowd… Go figure?

    holly1 – Great job! So I shot a video, and the idea behind my feedback for you is to help your flow of timing be a little bit more steady. But I kind of went off on a tangent, talking about how the first step to understand playing with rubato (ignoring the metronome – which is how Matt performed it) is to actually play with the metronome.

    joannetala – Well done! So I’d recommend counting the rhythms as you play. Sometimes I heard incorrect rhythms, for example the Eb at 41 seconds should be a half note, not an 8th note. Check out our reading course, it will help greatly with this. 🙂

    sprintingyogini – Awesome job! I’m totally jealous of the weather that you have, it’s so hot in Atlanta already! So last month, I made this video for another member about lightening their attack, which produces a softer, sweeter tone. Give it a shot and I think you will like what you hear. 🙂 Keep up the great work!

    marion2017 – Playing sounds great and it sounds like you put a little bit of reverb on the track, I dig it! So I’d actually recommend watching the video I left above for, holly1. That advice will be very helpful for you too.


    Thanks for the feedback Andrew! So helpful for you to do this for all of us. I’m even learning from the comments you leave for others. If I were your mom I would be so proud of you and what you have accomplished with this website and all the people you are helping and inspiring. (sorry if that seemed like a weird comment to make lol, I guess that’s the mom in me talking.) Anyhow, I am really enjoying Rockclass101 and the challenges. May’s challenge will be a challenge for sure for me but I’m practicing already. Thanks again!! : )


    Here’s everyone on page 13:

    jinajupiter – Wonderful job! It’s hard to believe you’ve only been playing for a month! Your timing is great, and you play the song well! On Melody B, I see that the stretch on the Eb is a bit far, but you’ll get it more comfortably as you go. My only suggestion aside from working more on that stretch is to try not to stop the notes early on Melody B to play the melody as smoothly as possible. The secret here is to not let go of the notes too soon and shift faster with the left hand, and to make sure your plucking hand thumb isn’t stopping the string as you prepare for the next note. You are a very fast learner! Thank you for your entry.

    richo_uke – Great work! You got every note with a great tone. I recommend playing the song just a bit slower to give yourself time to get your hand in position for each chord shift so that you don’t end up adding extra space just in front of each chord. Practicing the song with a metronome might help to force your hands to prepare for the chords just slightly quicker as well. You’re doing a great job, keep it up! Thank you for taking part in the challenge!

    abaluyot – You are off to a great start! You’re doing a great job playing with the thumb and getting the notes. Some of the rhythms are a bit different than you are playing them…I would recommend going through Andrew’s reading course to learn how to play the rhythm in bar 4 and 5, and then practice that a bit with the metronome (maybe around 70 beats per minute). This will help those measures sound a bit closer to Matt’s version. Keep up the good work! Thank you for participating!

    kumakuma – Your timing and feel are excellent! I think Melody B has a few tricky spots that you can isolate and practice repetitively, and then the whole song will flow smoothly. You do a wonderful job hitting all the notes in measure 4 accurately. Thank you for your entry!

    lildevil – Great rendition of this! Very relaxing, which means your thumb is very consistent and you have a knack for not getting stuck on the strings! There were a couple of chords that didn’t ring out fully, but by the last Melody A, you had every note sounding clear! I think you know exactly what to do and are doing a great job, it just takes a lot of practice to be consistent on every attempt. Super job! Thank you for taking part in this challenge!

    smudge – Way to challenge yourself…that’s the only way to make huge strides in your playing! You sound great! My main thing to add to where you are is to really work on the hammer-on/pull-offs slowly and build them up to speed. Right now you are rushing those sections just a bit. I would play along slowly with a metronome and work them up to speed. I can tell you’ve worked super hard on this one! Great work, and thanks for entering the challenge!

    mheiden – Awesome job! You are playing the notes great, and have a great sound on your ukulele. Most of the song is in time as well! To make it even better, I would isolate measure 7-8 and practice until that part is super comfortable. Then if you want to slow it down to make it slightly dramatic, that’s a nice touch, but I’d recommend adding a little more space after the last note in measure 8 to let the song breathe a bit more. Little things like this and adding some slight dynamics will just add another level of texture to an already complete performance. Thank you for your submission!

    casadot349 – Super job! Wow! You play this one wonderfully! When you fingerpick, you play everything smoothly and with a great sound…my only concern is the angle of your wrist: if you play for long periods of time with your plucking hand wrist bent at that much of an angle, it may start to hurt quicker than if you were able to hold the ukulele at more of an angle and straighten the wrist out a bit. Look at Andrew’s courses to find some suggestions on posture. You are an excellent player, so I want you to be able to continue to play without any aches in the wrist. Well done! Thank you for entering the challenge!

    santai – I’m so glad you’re enjoying the site so much! The thing I liked most about your submission, is that you know how to practice at the pace you need to go to get the timing as well as all of the notes in. Your sense of timing is great…not everyone can play at slower tempos and keep the feel intact! Melody B sounds like it can use a bit more work, but it’s very close! The bridge of a song is always the least played section, so it makes sense: You play the other melody 3 times every time you play the song, while the bridge (Melody B) is only getting practiced once. For this reason, in most songs with this form, that middle part has to be isolated and practiced more than the rest. Once you do this, you’ll be ready to play it just a little bit faster. Great work, and great use of knowing what tempo to play at!

    karenj – I like how you added some strums to fill up measure 8! It sounds very nice with that addition! You’re playing the whole piece very well, and the rhythm is swing, so that’s why you feel like adding it! There are a few spots that would sound even closer by just waiting a little bit longer before hitting the next note: In Melody B, the Eb chords are half notes, so just make sure to hold those chords for two full beats! This will make that section sound more relaxed and less rushed just by pacing those chords. Great work, and I hope you enjoy learning Jurassic Park!

    erino7 – Great feel on this one! It’s nice and relaxed like it’s meant to sound! Two things I would add to make it even better: I noticed you slid into the last note of measure 7 (7th fret on the A string). I thought that was a nice touch, and I would practice that a little bit more so that it doesn’t stand out too much from the other notes: pluck that note a bit lighter, and keep the pressure even as you slide to prevent fret buzz. In Melody B, measure 12 has a slightly different rhythm, but you’re super close! Beat 2 (the first fret on the A string) in that measure is just a little bit longer, so wait an extra half of a beat before playing the open C string. If this is confusing, look through Andrew’s reading course on how to play rhythms for help. Excellent job! Thanks for taking part in the challenge!

    sratica – I’m so glad you posted this! It’s tough to learn a whole song like this, and I’m glad you broke it down into 2 measure parts to get comfortable with the piece! Your tone sounds great, and you did a great job playing every note! The next step on this piece is to break each section down and really focus on the rhythm slowly. I would look through Andrew’s reading course at the rhythm section for guidance. Great job, and thanks for entering this challenge!

    hotmilktea – Wow! That was fantastic! Your feel, notes, and timing were wonderful on this! I can tell you spent a lot of time on this! I only noticed one small thing to change: in measure 22, 24, and anywhere else that measure is the same, you are adding a tiny bit of space after the 10th fret on the A string, right before beat 3. It sounds fine like this, but to make it a little closer to the arrangement, all you have to do is get to beat 3 just a touch quicker. Everything else about the whole entire piece is wonderful! Superb job! Thanks for being part of this challenge!

    wongbrown – You are doing great! Those sounds really aren’t very distracting to the listener, but I know what you mean! Sometimes you can mute the strings that are ringing out while you are changing chords with fingers that aren’t being used in the chord. As for when fingers stick to the strings…sometimes it’s a matter of making sure the strings are clean and that your hands are dry (when I try to record U-Bass I have a lot of this issue due to my hands sweating when I record). I hope this helps! Once you get past that, then it’s time to spend a little work with the rhythm, using Andrew’s reading course for guidance. You’re doing well, and I hope that gives you something to try. Thank you!


    Andrew, thanks so much for the feedback and video suggestions. I’m gonna work on a lighter attack and record When I’m 64 for May today.


    Thanks Stephen for your feedback. It is very useful. I’ll work on those areas. I was too focused in getting the chords right and overlook the rhythm part. I need to get onto Andrew’s reading course more regularly. Thanks again and have a nice day. / Sheila


    Here’s everyone on page 14.

    yellowrosecottag – This is great for your third song! Not an easy one to do for a complete beginner! It sounds like you understand the rhythms and how to play the parts, it’s just a matter of getting more familiar with the chord shapes. Try breaking it down into small 2 measure pieces and practice the chord shifts with a metronome until you can get them in time, then slowly speed it up to the speed you want to play it at. This takes time, I know…but will help you learn every song afterwards a bit easier. Great work again, and thank you for your entry!

    ambre_uke92 – That was amazing! There was only a spot or two that seemed anything less than perfect, and I think if you had played the whole song just a touch slower, you would have gotten those sections with ease as well. To add to how awesome it already is, I would exaggerate dynamics to add to the feel. Make the soft parts softer, and the louder parts louder. Excellent job!!! Thank you for sharing this!

    iyers408 – You sound great! Slow and steady is much better than fast without rhythm! You did an excellent job on staying in time on Melody A! I think Melody B requires a bit more isolated work to get all of the chords in time, and I feel like this is due to it being played fewer times when you practice the song from start to finish. I recommend isolating this section to get a little bit of extra practice on it until it doesn’t take any extra effort to remember it. Then after doing that, slowly bring the tempo up. Great work! Thank you for entering the challenge.

    mfaske – Overall you’re doing an excellent job! Not bad at all for a first public performance! There are a few chords that it seems to take you just slightly longer to get to in measure 4, so practice those slowly with a metronome and you’ve got it! On Melody B, make sure to hold the Eb chords out for a full 2 beats before going on to the next note, and then you’ve got everything you need! Thank you for taking part in this challenge!

    skilshaw – I love the way you titled this one…very clever! You play the verse very well, so I imagine if you had more time to spend on the chorus, it would be just as good! I think breaking down the chorus slowly in bite sized pieces and really working hard on the rhythm with a metronome is the way to go. You could also play the whole piece slower to get make the hammer-ons and pull-offs easier to play/stay in time with. Great job, and I’m glad you worked up the courage to post!

    evevev – You’ve got the hammer-ons and pull-offs very strong, and you have a great sound on that instrument! I think you’re nerves are making you tense on the right hand, and you played the whole thing a little too fast for where you’re at. I think going back and playing about half that speed with a metronome would help you to get the slaps and all the parts of the song in rhythm. If it’s tough to figure out, try out the rhythm part of Andrew’s reading course. I also noticed your left hand wrist was at almost a 90 degree angle for some of the chords. Try not to bend the wrist that much as you play, as it can lead to injuries when you practice for long periods of time. You’re doing great! Thanks for your submission!

    gaevdl – 1,000,000+ takes is a lot! How did you keep track? You did a great job in all seriousness! The chords in the 2nd ending of Melody A are a bit tricky, I recommend practicing those a bit more so they feel just a bit more natural, but you did a great job of getting to each one! Practice each section with a metronome a bit slower and then work it up to full speed, and then you’ve got it (and only by take 1,000,990.5, hopefully). Great work! I hope you join in many more challenges!

    aquatopaz – I think you’ve got the notes up to a great point, and with a clear sound! Now it’s time to practice individual sections with a metronome slowly to help force your hands to get to the chord shapes in time. You’re doing a wonderful job! Keep it up! Thank you for being part of this challenge.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by Stephen.

    Here’s everyone on page 16:

    cyberloh – I enjoyed the way you strummed the repeated Melody A! Very cool and it sounded good! Try swinging the rhythm of the strums and the 8th notes to get a more laid back vibe lie Matt’s. Great rendition, and I liked the add on to the ending as well. It’s easy to miss the part at the top of the sheet music telling you to swing the 8th notes, but the melody is meant to be swung. Thanks for being part of this challenge!

    joe150 – You are off to a good start! I know it can be hard to read the tab while playing. I recommend breaking this piece down into 2 measure sections and work out the rhythm on each part with a metronome, and then put each section together so that you end up with 4 measure sections. This way you can get the rhythm down with the notes. Play along with a metronome slowly to gauge how well you’re staying in time. It’s a slow process, but you learn a lot through it! Also, Andrew’s reading course has a section on rhythm that might help as well! Thank you for your submission!

    llmairalmiquel – Way to go! That song is not easy…especially on a soprano ukulele! Have you thought about getting a concert or a tenor? You are well on your way on this one. I think slowing it down a bit overall will help you get all the nuances and notes in, but you are doing a great job! It’s hard to tell from the angle of the camera, but try not to put to much of an angle on your right hand wrist when fingerpicking, as this can sometimes lead to wrist pain during long practice sessions. Wonderful job, keep it up! Thank you for your entry.

    akshxd – You’re playing this fairly well! I think your ukulele might be out of tune, or it might have an issue with intonation. If that’s not the case, make sure you aren’t bending the strings to much as you push down. You’ve got the right idea, keep it up! Thank you for entering the challenge!

    odysseus – Great job on a challenging song! You seem to have the notes an the idea down very well, and a little work with a metronome set to 3/4 will help you get the rest in time. There are just a few spots where you are either adding a beat or jumping ever so slightly ahead. Practicing those trouble spots by starting a measure before and ending a measure after will help you with those transitions. Wonderful job, I’d say you are 95% or more of the way there! Thank you for joining this challenge!

    flat-lux – You’ve got the notes down, and the tone sounds great too! I think it’s time to practice with a metronome now to get the rhythm a bit stronger. Since it’s taking you a slight bit longer to get to certain chords, I would pick a tempo slow enough to get to those in time, and then gradually speed it up until you can play it at a faster tempo! Great job, especially for your first challenge!

    lisamcc – Great job on this one! You did a great job of pacing yourself on the slower tempo! There is only one spot (that comes up three times in the song)that needs to be a bit slower…in measure 2, each chord gets held for two full beats. This means if you were counting the beats/patting your foot, the chords are strummed on beat one and beat three. Aside from this, everything else sounded great! Thank you for being part of this challenge!

    john21403 – It’s a tough transition from strumming to chord melodies for sure! You are doing a great job! Melody B is the tricky part. I would practice that part a few times more than Melody A at this point since it is played less times as you play the whole song. I also noticed that a few of the notes sounded a bit out of tune…it might be that when you are pushing down on the strings that you are bending the string down or up a bit, which can cause the note you are holding to go out of tune. If that’s not the case, double check your tuning. Great job, and thank you for your entry!


    Here’s everyone on page 15.


    nthibode – that was amazing! Here’s and idea for you on a new way to practice. And sorry that I rambled on a bit, LOL. Here’s the program I mentioned: Transcribe.

    Here’s the download link for Windows.
    Here’s the download link for Mac.

    kmelton – way to go, Kevin! So check out this video that I made for another member. It was all about adding lyrical flow to your performance. Although I highlight a different song in it, the same concept can be applied to this tune.

    Think of how the song is overall; it’s a slow, sincere ballad. So you want your notes and chords to reflect this feel. So when I listen back to your performance, I hear a lot of “on the beat” type of playing. Check out the video, and try to bring more of the 2 points above into your playing.

    esimmerman – Great job! So I left some advice yesterday for, sprintingyogini, in this post. Check out the video in that post, it talks about using a lighter attack (in this case, this is in reference to your thumb) to produce a softer, sweeter tone.

    One thing about your form that I noticed, and it is a little hard to see in the video because of the lighting, but I think you are using the middle finger to push your index finger down when barring. For ex, the Eb at 1:23. If this is happening, try not to do this. Using another finger to give us more strength is a crutch.

    Another thing with form. Check out 29 seconds. Here you can see your thumb sticking out high above the neck. And then at 35 seconds, it actually comes off, as you play the 7th fret. So for the latter, you never want to lift up, always remain in contact with the neck. And for the former, I’d recommend to use Form 1.

    lyndallk – Beautiful playing! Here is a video with my tip for you.

    rufio0 – Well done! So I’d recommend counting the rhythms as you play. Sometimes I heard incorrect rhythms, for example the G in bar 1 should be a half note, not an 8th note. Check out our reading course, it will help greatly with this. 🙂

    chirimoya – LOL, love the smile at the end! So I think you are rocking for 4 months! Amazing progress 🙂 But, let’s talk about a few things. First off, that instrument, if you have the means, please replace it. It sounds like it has a lot of intonation issues. This means that notes played throughout the neck are not in tune. This usually happens with cheaper instruments that are not built well. Check out Islander ukes, they are built well and are affordable and do not have these issues. Mike from Uke Republic can help you choose a great uke.

    As far as your playing, it’s awesome! Take a look at the advice I left above for, esimmerman. I left some tips for using a lighter attack (in this case, your thumb) to produce a softer, sweeter tone.

    jlbross – Well done, Jennifer! That was some of your best playing that I’ve heard 🙂 So check out this video that I made yesterday for, kellyblackburn. It’s got a really cool idea in it to give introduce subtle dynamics into your playing. I think it’s an idea that you would have a lot of fun incorporating into your practice as you work on pieces.

    rickeymike – Way to go, Rickey! So the biggest props I have to give you is on timing. You are really starting to understand the rhythms. That’s huge!

    So one quick performance tip, at 15 seconds you hit the A string instead of the E string. But then, you went backwards in time, and hit the E string (correct note). So when I say backwards in time, think of your performance as if you were playing with a band. Assuming they keep the tempo steady, they would have left you behind. So always play through your mistakes, don’t go back and try to fix them in performance mode.

    Vocals were dead on with the melody and harmony! Looks like the lessons with Stephen really paid off 🙂 keep up the great work!

    stevenflautner – Well done! So this can be a really tricky tune, because of the rhythms. Sometimes we may want to rush sections, especially ones with complex rhythms, such as the mix of 16th and 8th notes that occur at 52 seconds in your performance. Check out the advice I left above for, nthibode. She did this same tune, and I gave her one creative way to practice alongside the actual recording to help reinforce timing.

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