Participate in the February 2024 Member Challenge – Choose ANY Ukulele Song!

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  • #60754
    gi_gi_
    Participant

    Here is what I came up with on Moon by Taimane arranged by Evan J de Silva.
    Can we all agree that Evan is so amazing? 🥰
    Couldn’t sing because I wasn’t feeling well this week. The voice knows 😂

    #60755
    dianna
    Participant

    I wasn’t sure if I would be posting or not this month……so here goes by the skin of my teeth….sliding in near the last possible moment. I decided to first transpose Cripple Creek from the key of C to the Key of A and then write out the tabs using ukulele notepad, which took a bit of time for me…..but it was fun to play with the fretboard, trying to figure out what worked best for clawhammering. This gave me less time to actually practice….so there are a lot of hesitations……slowing down and speeding up…..which needs to be ironed out. I had it in my mind that I would find a u-tube video to play along with….but I didn’t get up to speed in time. Instead, I used the sound of water as background rhythm/sound. Also, embarrassingly, there is a singing part and I was having difficulty remembering what I was playing and the words at the same time -(though the words couldn’t be any simpler🤪).

    I am so impressed with all of the submissions, everyone works so hard….and it shows! I have been listening to all of your posts for over a year now…….I see such impressive improvement and growth, which inspires me. As always, thank-you Rock Class 101!

    Please do not include me in the draw this month.

    #60756
    jody_hendrickson
    Participant

    Hello all-

    This month I wanted to go back and continue to work on one of the pieces I had to abandon for a previous challenge and chose Andrew’s Funk Jam. Only got to about 70% speed but don’t mind it with the slower groove. Had some issues getting adjusted to my new baritone uke (yay!) but it was super fun to play. Andrew, thanks for the “player’s choice” challenge this month. Everyone killed it!

    I’m a premium member.

    #60757
    christianwin
    Participant

    #60759
    annemarie
    Participant

    That was beautifully played, Christian😌

    #60760
    ksapp92
    Participant

    Loved the “free for all” this month! I decided to try out Fields of Gold. I’m still working on not slowing down on some of the transitions, but here’s what I managed so far

    #60761
    dianna
    Participant

    I love to see the kids participate in these challenges….that was amazing Christian!

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by dianna.
    #60764
    Stephen
    Moderator

    Here’s everyone on page 5:


    @ldarrow
    – You are doing a great job on this one! Your right hand technique is very solid, and you are getting close on those chord transitions! Try looping the section from 0:39 to about the minute mark at a slow speed and just focus on the chord transitions in that section. Then do the same for the section starting just after 1:20. Once you have those 2 spots mastered, you have the whole song! Keep up the great work!


    @terryfallon3
    – Yesterday is such a beautiful piece of music! You definitely have the notes under your fingers pretty well, now it’s time to go through each section and double check the rhythms. One thing that can really help is to try to sing the words with your recording (or just speak them). If you record that as well, it’s easy to notice when you are hesitating or have a different rhythm in mind from the original. Then you can figure out which sections to count and play slowly with a metronome. You’re doing a great job, keep it up!


    @brettboy
    – I really like your feel on this performance! It grooves nicely at this tempo, and your playing is excellent as always! My only suggestion is to play just the intro lick a bit faster, since it’s not part of the tempo set afterwards. It doesn’t really matter, but that’s the chance to throw in a bit of showmanship before embarking on the beautiful flight of the crying doves. It’s a fantastic performance either way!


    @marthad
    – You played that waltz very nicely! All of the notes were clear, and the “strong, weak, weak,” accenting pattern was clear. There were just a couple of hesitations to work out in the section starting at 0:20 and again when the section repeats. Try isolating the first couple of measures in that section, then practice transitioning from the end of the first section into that part. Very nice work on this one!


    @The_Bumble_Bard
    – Very nice take on this song! I can’t help but feel like I’m being watched while watching this (are those googly eyes all over your uke?). You have a great feel and the dynamics conveyed the emotional aspect of the piece well. Now there are just a few spots in the middle section to get the transitions a bit smoother, and you’ve got it! Keep up the great work!


    @ccwuke
    – Great job on this one, it sounds very similar to Matt’s performance! Nice job on this one, I think you can definitely play a more difficult one next time if you have time. I’m glad you are busking, it’s a lot of fun!


    @denisedistefano
    – Very nicely played! Hammer-ons, pull-offs, and muting vs. not muting in certain spots is very tough! You handled this one very well! Keep up the great work your playing is sounding great!


    @akukes73
    – You are doing a great job! My one suggestion is to play the opening notes a bit smoother: It sounds like you are cutting each note short as your plucking hand is preparing for the next note. Try playing those two notes back and forth while letting them ring as long as possible before the next plucking finger makes contact with the string. You are doing a wonderful job, keep it up!


    @gstriph
    – You’re off to a great start on this one! This arrangement was one of my earlier ones, where I used more stretches that are a bit challenging. You’re doing a great job with that in mind! Now that you have the notes under your fingers, focus on playing with less space in between each strum, especially on measure 2 and where it repeats. The trick is to not think of each pinky movement as a shift, but to keep it down as long as possible as well as the other notes of the chord. Keep up the great work!


    @otzepeng
    – That was a lovely performance of the piece! Your timing, feel, and sound are wonderful! The only thing I hear to work on is increasing the overall volume of the hammer-ons and pull-offs. You can do this by using just a slight bit more force on the hammer-ons and pulling off at a slight angle so that it kind of “plucks” the string a bit more. Fantastic job on this one!

    #60766
    The_Bumble_Bard
    Participant

    @Stephen, thank you so much! I really appreciate the encouragement and that you thought I conveyed the emotion of the music. That’s one of the things I want to achieve the most when playing uke, is trying to express a depth of feeling. Oh, now, don’t worry about those googly eyes, Stephen, they’re just there to haunt your dreams! They don’t have eyelids, never have had. Actually, I had to stop adding them to that uke because it actually was starting to muffle the sound which was very disappointing because I still have more than 400 of those left… I need to find another target to add those to…

    Sorry. This is why I shouldn’t have coffee in the evening… 🤐

    I just wanted to comment on a few entries, even though all the entries are always very amazing:


    @gi_gi_
    , that was so beautifully played, even without any singing! Very beautiful. But if you ever get a chance to record it with the singing, too, it’d be lovely if you share it here. 😊


    @jbmills07
    , that was so lovely! You always play so perfectly and capture the feeling of songs so genuinely. I used to play that song on piano all the time, but it sounds really beautiful on uke. Also appreciate the cheesy smile at the end. 😅


    @dianna
    , that was absolutely magical! I thought your singing was very lovely. I wish I could sing well. I can only sing like a goof. I also love that clawhammer song, it’s the only traditional clawhammer song I know in full actually, but not that version. So fun to hear you play it! 😊

    Everyone did an amazing job this month, so crazy impressive to hear all the entries!! 😊

    Also, sorry, forgot to say, please don’t include me in the prize draw. Thank you!

    Edit: sorry I didn’t realize how much of a novel this is. I go “touch grass” now, like the kids say.

    #60769
    Stephen
    Moderator

    Here’s everyone on page 6:


    @mysticrick
    – You’re very welcome for the lesson! Your timing on this was great, and you were able to play both parts! Awesome job with this one all around. Now you can try swinging the rhythm to mimic the Jethro Tull version! The bass part is a bit different, but the idea is similar with the edition of the swing feel. I’m very impressed with how much your timing improved on this since the lesson!


    @karenj
    – Lovely job on the harmonics on this one! You are very consistent and are getting a nice tone out of each one. On the natural harmonics, experiment with where you pluck the string to see if you can get an even more resonant sound out of the harmonics. A bit of experimenting with that and plucking further away from even the artificial harmonics can change the sound a good bit. Yours already sound amazing, this is just if you want to experiment with more attack vs. more resonance. Great work on this one!


    @nat-uke
    – I enjoyed the video editing as well as the playing! It’s great that you picked a tempo that works for you for the whole song rather than just parts, that’s always what I recommend. You stayed with the track well! My only suggestion is to keep working on getting the faster notes right in time. Occasionally you play just ahead of the beat, so try playing just behind the beat to counteract this tendency, then you will feel when you are right with the beat. This technique is tricky, so it’s a bit hard to not rush certain notes. Keep it up, you’re doing great!


    @swissconsinboy
    – I’m very impressed that you played the intro so closely…that part is very difficult to lock in with! Once the backing track came in, you were very locked in with it. Fantastic job, this was not an easy one to do with the backing track!


    @sarrafina
    – I agree with you, this arrangement souds great on the baritone ukulele! Great job transposing this, it is certainly trickier using some of those shapes. You are already playing this one very well. Adding some crescendos and decrescendos at the beginnings and ends of each phrase (or certain phrases at least) might add a nice emotional element to the piece, though I know it wasn’t in the original arrangement. Fantastic job on this one, and the mic picked up the baritone ukulele beautifully.


    @richo_uke
    – You sound very nice on this one! You have a good grasp and feel on the techniques, rhythms, and know where to go from here. You will work up speed by getting it consistently, and I have no doubt you will get it to 100% speed in time if you stick with it! Keep it up, you are doing a great job!


    @janaq1
    – That was a fantastic performance! I’m impressed at how clean and full of a sound you get even in some of the most intricate passages of the song. The harmonics sound great as well! Even after 100 takes, I would be happy if my take ended up anywhere near this clean on this arrangement. Keep up the great work, this was fantastic!


    @bibilele
    – You are doing a great job on this one! The hardest part of tapping on an acoustic instrument is getting the volume to be loud enough. For me, it helps to treat some of the pull offs a bit more like plucks if possible. However, it looks like you are already doing this to some extent. Sometimes it is easier on certain instruments as well: a lower string height helps. You sound great all the way through, increasing the tapping volume just takes time and a bit of experimentation to increase. Keep up the great work!


    @ramiro
    – You played through this very nicely, and that’s quite a feat to pick it out rather than using the tabs/sheet music! Now that you have the notes under your fingers, try adding some volume swells in the first part of the piece. This will help the piece have more emotion. There are piano versions of Fur Elise on YouTube that can help give you the idea of what I mean, but listen to a few since there are several interpretations of this song. Great work on this one, keep it up!

    #60773
    Stephen
    Moderator

    Here’s everyone on page 7:


    @misterbones
    – You are doing a great job on this! Barre Chords are very tough on the wrist, and it’s very hard to keep going for this length of a piece over and over for sure! You still did a great job throughout! My only suggestion is to use the thumb and finger more like a pick in the section at 0:37. This part requires a bit more emphasis and clarity on each note, and a fingernail will have that more than the skin of the fingertips. Keep it up, you sound great on this one!


    @jbmills07
    – Very nice job on this one! I like how you crescendo into the chorus and the overall feel that you have. If you can help it, try not to bend your wrist upwards while playing the slide from 1-2-3. It may also help to keep the thumb on the back of the neck to stabilize your hand a bit on the slide rather than to let the thumb come off of the back. You played this one very well. Keep it up!


    @rgillof
    – You’re doing great on this one! Your triplet strum is very solid, and you have most of the melody under your fingers. There are still a few spots to work on, so for now I’d recommend playing the whole song at the speed you can get through those sections. Any time you are hesitating and having to redo a piece of the song, it’s often because the tempo is slightly too fast for where you’re at in your practicing. Try keeping the tempo consistent at a slower pace and see if you can make it through the piece without the same hesitations. Keep it up, you’re doing great!


    @nelsonlin2021
    – Very nice job on the slaps, notes, and other techniques of this song! Now that you have the song under your fingers, try playing the first 0:55 of the piece with a metronome. With all of the fills and slaps thrown in, it’s easy to rush the tempo in some spots and slow down in others. Once you get a consistent tempo with the metronome, it will help the song flow smoothly. Great work so far!


    @firebladetim
    – You are off to a great start! This piece has several challenges, and you are getting close to having them down! One of the hard parts is playing the triplet rhythms in measures 10-31 evenly. Practice playing this section at slower speeds while focusing on spacing these notes correctly. It may help to isolate the right hand plucking pattern at these slow speeds to make sure the notes are evenly spaced. Keep it up, this is a great technique to master!


    @maryjanew
    – Very nicely done! You are getting the hang of the fingerpicking, and building the foundations that will help you with Travis picking in the near future. The only major difference with this etude and the Travis picking is adding “pinching” two notes at the same time. As far as making fewer mistakes, other than the normal “recording anxiety” mistakes that are common, the majority of mistakes happen from playing something faster than you are ready for. I recommend playing this etude a bit slower with a focus on accuracy and steady tempo. Keep up the great work!


    @malku2603
    – You are doing a great job! The hardest part of this is to not hit the A string with your strum on the first several measures so that the melody note on the E string doesn’t get covered up. Then in measure 9, the melody note is on the A string, so at that point you want to make sure that note is coming through. I think this is part of what Andrew was referring to, but I wanted to type it this way in case it clarified anything. Your rhythm, clarity of notes, and over all playing are great on this one! Keep it up!

    @lynzo – You’re off to a great start! I recommend taking smaller sections of the song and playing through them at slow, steady speeds until comfortable . Then you can practice transitions between sections. This will help you keep the rhythm of the song while looking ahead for the next part if you need a reminder. Keep up the great work!


    @richard_siegert
    – Very nicely done! You sound very good on this one so far! Try playing this one at a slower tempo to get a consistent rhythm/flow through the song now that you have this much of it under your fingers. Playing this with a metronome at about 3/4 the speed you are currently at will help uncover which spots need the most work as well. You’re getting close, keep it up!


    @johanna2509
    – Very nicely played. You have a great feel on this song, and your ability to vary the speed and the dynamics to match certain phrases in the piece are great. You did a great job conveying the emotion in the piece. Well done! Keep up the great work!


    @morrieuke1
    – Great job on this one! The song has a strong start, and you used dynamics as well as increasing and decreasing the tempo well to add a bit of emotion. Though there may be a few missed notes here and there, the performance is great overall! Keep it up, you’re doing great!

    #60774
    Stephen
    Moderator

    @The_Bumble_Bard If I have any dreams with spooky eyes in them, I’ll know why. I never thought of sticking things to the ukulele actually muffling the sound, but that makes sense…sometimes painted ukuleles have a slightly more muffled sound.

    Great job again on conveying emotion through your playing, that is a great goal to have!

    #60776
    Andrew
    Keymaster

    Here is everyone on page 8.


    @gi_gi_
    – Beautifully played, Gi Gi! Your uke has the perfect tone for this song. This tune is great for working on fingerpicking. I’d say you excelled at it! And I like how you added more dynamics to your playing when the strumming section started.

    From here, I’d suggest working on one theme at a time. Start by focusing on timing/tempo, keeping it steady throughout. What makes this tune tough is that it’s got 16th notes galore, lol! After that, concentrate on the dynamics you want to use for each section. Keep up the great work, and I hope you feel better!


    @dianna
    – Amazing job on transposing it, Dianna! That’s a huge feat in and of itself! Clawhammer technique sounded lovely on the banjolele. And I enjoyed the vocal at the end too. 🙂


    @jody_hendrickson
    – Slower speed is totally cool as long as tempo/timing and groove are there. And they were! Very good job this month Jody, bravo! 👏


    @christianwin
    – Absolutely phenomenal Christian! I’m blown away by how talented you are. It’s hard to believe at only 9, you can play with such feel and have such a great command on tempo. Keep playing, you are amazing! The rest of my feedback will be for your mom. 🙂

    I noticed that his right hand technique changes throughout the piece to achieve a different dynamic in different sections of the piece. First, it’s incredible that he has figured out how to play so dynamically on his own. But, his right hand techniques could use finessing to be more efficient and/or technically correct. Because of his age, I’d recommend taking a few skype lessons with Matt to fine tune his right hand technique.


    @ksapp92
    – Beautiful performance Kelby! One of the hardest aspects of this tune is playing it with finesse. And wow, you absolutely nailed it! The vibe of your performance perfectly conveyed what a love song should feel and sound like. Bravo! 👏

    #60777
    Andrew
    Keymaster

    WOW! We had 53 members participate this month! This challenge was a lot of fun! Stephen and I thoroughly enjoyed watching everyone’s performances. Bravo to each of you who participated on a job well done!

    This month’s winner gets to choose ANY ukulele from Uke Republic valued at $250 or under as their prize! We’re excited to see what you select! So without further ado, the winner is:

    null

    null

    Our March Challenge is LIVE: https://rockclass101.com/march-2024-challenge

    Our March Challenge features 6 fun-to-play Irish songs. Hope to see everyone in the challenge!

    #60778
    gi_gi_
    Participant

    Congrats @Johanna2509 🥳🥳🥳

    Thanks so much @Andrew and @the_bumble_bard. Your kind words really mean a lot esp since I didn’t do as I had planned. This is such a good community.
    Enjoyed everyone’s submissions. Im off to learning the lady jig song for next month but I have to continue to work on Moon 🙂

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