Participate in the January 2018 Member Challenge – You Decide What To Work On!

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    Accountability is good 🙂
    Not exactly sure about how to draw up a proper plan — would love some advice!

    1) Execution – Learn the notes on the fretboard! (well, maybe up to 5th position) — so that I can comfortably name all the notes up to 5th position without having to mentally work it out from a reference point and therefore comfortably go through a sheet of music without tabs.
    Practice schedule:
    – 10 min./day with a fretboard quiz app (just downloaded “Fretboard Learn” — also came across the website
    – 5 min./day going through sheet music of songs I have learned by heart using tabs or RockClass101 tutorial videos (don’t know that many that’s why only 5 min.)
    – 1x/day: Play the C scale in positions 1-5, slowly maybe moving to arpeggios? playing 3rds?
    – 1x/day: Find octaves

    2) Application – Work through a Carcassi exercise by reading not memorizing?

    3) Evaluation – >80% on fretboard quizzes + clear visualization of natural notes on fretboard up to 5th fret


    oooooooo….. I’m going to add this weeks lesson to my January challenge too!!! I love it… (well, I love the sound of it – my version is very slow and with great facial grimaces at the moment!!!)


    Week 1 progress. Melody A memorised and can play through with only minor errors. Still getting used to the new size uke but really enjoying it. I haven’t added any vibrato (I don’t know how yet) as just want to focus on the melody itself.


    Sounding good Kayleigh!


    Mayaqatsi, I love your fretboard challenger! I’ve downloaded an app called fretboard learn and I’m going to Keating the first five frets with you. Thanks for sharing the cool and useful challenge.


    I like the twist on this month’s contest!
    1) Execution – I just recently received a membership and I thought I might be a level 3, but I’m definitely a level 1 – 2. I would like to be a solid level 2 by the end of the month so I’m going to work on a song that has some challenging chords and that forces me to be quicker with my left hand. I’m going to try to practice 30 – 60 minutes a day.

    2) Application – If I choose a song from level 1 Riptide will probably be a good choice to work on. Songs from level 2 would probably be Radioactive or What do you mean.

    Good luck to all!


    Hi mayaqatsi, great plan! Check out this lesson for tips on memorizing notes on the fretboard and this lesson for the 5 major scale positions. I’d recommend to call out note names and scale values as you work through the latter lesson.


    Perfect playing Kay! 🙂


    Been away for a while so I’m happy to be back. I want to work fingerpicking and since I have been babysitting my adorable nephew who loves music I am going to learn Brahm’s lullaby. I plan on learning one bar at a time. I will recording myself as I progress in learning the song to self evaluate my progress before my final recording for the challenge.


    I’ve already started on my own challenge, so I might as well post my plan for the month.

    1) I’m an intermediate musician (who hadn’t been practicing much 2017), but new to the ukulele. My goals for the month are:

      To establish a solid routine of daily practice (minimum 1 hour daily, including minimum 30 minutes ear training)
      Build good technical basics on the ukulele, focusing on efficient left hand movement, timing, dynamics and good tone. I’ve discovered that even simple arrangements can sound really good if they are performed with good timing and tone. I’ve also discovered that the ukulele can sound really thin and plinky if you don’t work to coax a rich tone out of it.
      Start building a repertoire of pieces that I have memorized solidly enough to perform without hesitation, focusing on tone and expressiveness rather than on remembering what notes to play.

    2) I’m doing my practice in relatively short bursts (15 – 30 minutes at a time, generally setting a timer so I can focus on the topic at hand rather than worrying about how long I’ve been going.) For ear training, I’ve been using the Right Note app on my iPad, but I have a couple more apps (Ear Trainer lite and Earpeggio) that I may try out when I need some variety. For repertoire I’m sticking with Level 1 lessons (and some arrangements of equivalent difficulty I’ve gotten from other sources). I figure that harder pieces would take me the whole month just to get to where I could play them at all and I wouldn’t have time to work on memorization, tone, or expressiveness.) For technique, I’m trying some of the basic technique lessons, but mostly I’m using the songs I’m learning, focusing on efficient fingering and tone.

    3) I’m keeping a daily record of my practice, with a breakdown of time spent on ear training, technique practice, learning new repertoire, and polishing existing repertoire. The ear training software lets me know how I’m doing on those exercises. I’m building a list of songs I can play without looking at the music. I’ve been relying on my ear to tell my how my tone and performance are improving, but I plan to record myself at the end of each week to see if I can hear the improvement from the outside on a week-to-week basis.

    For my video at the end of the month I’ll pick one or two of the repertoire songs that I think are sounding good.

    Since I’ve been doing this for a week now, I’ll report on my progress so far:

    I’ve met my daily requirements – practice ranging from 1 to 3 hours daily with an average of a little under 2 hours per day. One day I only did 15 minutes of ear training because I lost track and thought I had already done my requisite half hour.

    Per my ear training app, I’m averaging about 90% in identifying all ascending and descending melodic intervals. This is better than I’ve done in the past, but I want to get a little more solid on this before I move on to melodic dictation and harmonic intervals.

    I have 5 songs memorized (3 are from other sources that I started learning in December before I signed up for this site). A couple of them I think actually sound pretty good most of the time, but I’m still putting too much effort into remembering them and I make the occasional flub.

    I’ve figured out a couple of practice tricks which may not be new to others but have been helpful to me. (I’m glad to share them if anyone else is interested.)

    I plan on recording myself tonight so I have something to compare to next week.

    For this coming week I want to learn one or two new songs, continue polishing my existing material, and add melodic dictation and/or harmonic intervals to my ear training.

    I hope everyone else is have success working on your own goals for the month. I’ll check back in next week.


    This month, I am working on the finger picking course. I would like to complete as much of it as possible this month. Last year, I jumped way ahead working on pieces without studying some of the basic techniques first. I was particularly disappointed with my
    choppy performance of Fur Elise. I hope that by taking a breather from learning difficult songs and working on basic technique, I will play this piece more smoothly. My practice schedule will be attached when my final performance is posted. My progress will be evaluated by seeing how far I have gotten in the course by month end and a rerecording of Fur Elise for a before and after.


    Hi Kay, you mentioned not knowing how to add vibrato to chords. So, I’ll be planning to release a vibrato lesson soon. There’s a lot of interest in this technique, so it’ll be great to cover it as it relates to single notes and chords, as well as, a general overview of what it is in musical terms.


    Good work!


    Thanks Andrew that would be super helpful. Luckily I know the mechanics and musicality of vibrato, just lacking the skill on the uke 😊


    Andrew, Here’s “Wind Beneath My Wings”


    Happy New Year everyone!

    1) Execution – I’m working on loopers. I want to combine fingerpicking and strumming using a looper. I will practice at least 30 minutes daily.

    2) Application – I will apply it on the song “Something just like this”.

    3) Evaluation – I will evaluate once a week.

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