Participate in the January 2024 Member Challenge – You Decide What To Work On!

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  • #60070
    Andrew
    Keymaster

    Hi Rock Class 101 Community!

    I am beyond humbled to say that there has now been over 4,500+ members participating in our challenges! AMAZING! If you’ve sat on the sidelines, please join us for this month’s challenge! Challenges are a fun way to stay motivated and a great way to meet fellow ukulele players who are passionate about learning and becoming better players. And I offer feedback on ALL submissions! 🙂

    Please watch the video above and read instructions below carefully for details/instructions on this month’s challenge.

    This month’s challenge is a departure from our typical challenges in which you choose a preselected piece to learn, practice, and post a performance of. This month you are in total control of what you wish to work on! Examples of things you could choose includes: a certain technique, an element of music theory, or a song.

    Below are 3 guidelines you must follow. In your first post, please list all 3 in complete detail.

    3 Steps For Improving:

    1) Execution – List what you will be working on for the month of January. State what your current playing/musicianship ability is and what your goal is – i.e. where you want to be by the end of the month. Include how you plan to accomplish this; highlight your practice schedule.

    2) Application – How will you be applying what you are practicing to your playing? For example, if you are learning how to add a backbeat to your rhythm playing, you could apply this new technique by using it in a song, such as this one: 12 Bar Blues Strumming.

    3) Evaluation – Analyze how you are doing. I suggest to evaluate yourself week by week. Throughout the month, feel free to post updates on how your practicing is coming along (optional).

    _______________

    GROUND RULES FOR PARTICIPATION:

    1. You must create 2 posts. Post 1 lists the 3 steps in detail and must be submitted by Monday, January 15th. Post 2 shows your results for the month. Depending on what you choose to work on, this could include audio and/or video files of performances. Post 2 must be submitted by Wednesday, January 31st, 11:59pm ET.

    The upload feature on the site only supports photos. Members must host their own files. Creating an account is easy and free. Here are the links to create an account:

    YouTube (For Video) – https://www.youtube.com/create_channel

    SoundCloud (For Audio) – https://soundcloud.com/signin

    ** If you need assistance with how to record yourself check out our FREE course on recording audio/video and/or private message me and I will be happy to help you out. **

    2. Submit individually, as a reply, IN THIS POST.

    3. Feel free to submit more than one idea for the challenge, but additional ideas will not count as extra entries into the raffle for the prize.

    4. Have fun and don’t be intimidated by this challenge!!! Use this challenge to help you set goals and complete them by a deadline. You can also use this as an opportunity to chat with your fellow Rock Class 101 members and share tips or tricks on this challenge that you think are useful.

    * Note: In my opinion, it is better to show progress versus perfection with these challenges. Remember we are all here to support you no matter what your current playing level is.

    Participation Goal: 35 Rock Class 101 Member Participant Videos/MP3 posted.

    _______________

    HELPFUL TIPS FOR DECIDING WHAT TO CHOOSE TO WORK ON

    1) Check out Learning Paths. It’s a step-by-step guide which takes a look at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced player and answers the big questions; such as “Where do I start?” and “What do I work on?”.

    2) See what other members worked on when we initially ran this challenge theme in September 2017, January 2018, and in January 2019.

    _______________

    COMMON FAQs:

    1) The prize and the challenge is open to the entire world!

    2) Premium membership is NOT required to participate, but will make participation easier as it gains you complete access to the full video lessons, tabs, and the on-screen tab viewer.

    3) Basic membership (free) is required to submit a reply on this forum post. You can sign up for Basic Membership HERE.

    4) You are free to work on anything ukulele related. It does not have to be Rock Class 101 related.

    5) To post YouTube video links (in which they appear embedded on the forum) simply copy and past the video URL in its own line. For example:

    YouTube URL

    _______________

    Giveaway Rules:

    There will be 2 winners, selected by random drawing on Saturday, February 3rd. To qualify to win, you must submit your audio and/or video links of your playing by the deadline listed above.

    Grand Prizes:

    1) 1 on 1 Private 60 Minute Skype Lesson with Andrew. We can work on whatever you wish!

    2) 1 on 1 Private 60 Minute Skype Lesson with Stephen. We can work on whatever you wish!

    Let’s crush this challenge!

    #60072
    lhamilton
    Participant

    Hi,

    This is what I’m planning to do.

    1) Execution – I’d like to pull together a ukulele arrangement of Carolan’s Farewell to Music and learn to play it comfortably. I’m a high intermediate level player. Using Notion on the iPad, I’ll pull together a bare-bones version of the sheetmusic and work out best string and fingering to use as well as chording and ornamentation etc. plus the uke fingering style to use. I’d prefer if it could be played passably in both low and high G ukuleles. I’ll work on it daily for anywhere from half an hour to an hour. Once the arrangement is basically completed, I’ll work more on my playing of it, tweaking as I go.

    By end of month I’d like to have an arrangement I like and be able to play it comfortably from memory.

    2) Application – I’ll be reviewing similar pieces I’ve liked to determine chording, fingering, etc.

    3) Evaluation – I’ll be keeping track of the arrangement and hope to have it mostly completed within a week and then work on the playing and tweaking, with memorization coming at least by a week before the end of the month.

    Linda

    #60074
    The_Bumble_Bard
    Participant

    @lhamilton, that’s so cool! Can’t wait to see what you come up with! 🙂

    So exciting!! I’ll have to think for a bit about what to do. Now that it’s open ended, I am overstimulated by the possibilities, man. My brain’s going crazy, lol.

    And that’s quite the prize. I already know exactly what I’d want to work on with either Andrew or Stephen if I’d win. >:)

    #60075
    The_Bumble_Bard
    Participant

    Sorry to double post but I figured out what I want to do now. Obviously I’m not excited about this challenge at all… 😅

    1. Execution: I think I am pretty okay at coming up with a simple arrangement of most songs now, learning most simple arrangements, as well as turning a simple arrangement into clawhammer. As much as I really want to do those things, I think it would be more challenging to come up with an original song, which I feel like I’m not as good at. So, my goal will be to come up with an original uke song using a randomly generated chord progression from this site: https://ukulelego.com/ukulele-chord-progressions/#c-g-am-f ( @lisadmh introduced me to that a while ago)

    2. Application: Come up with an original song using that chord progression, working on adding to it a bit every day and practicing what I come up with. Bonus points if I can write it down. 😅

    3. Evaluation: Play / record the song by the end of the month and share it here.

    Hopefully I understood what to post for this first post. I also already picked a chord progression (attached). Thank you for this challenge! Also happy New Year everyone!! 😊🎇🎆🎉🎊🥂

    #60077
    gi_gi_
    Participant

    I’m excited about this challenge. I haven’t participated in a while because I’ve been working on songs that interest me more.

    I think I will work up an arrangement for the Jazz standard, “Summertime” and sing along to it.

    Looking forward to it. Thanks Andrew.

    #60078
    katazumiri
    Participant

    There is a dance club in my neighborhood. Sometimes they do „Session Tanzhaus“. This means that anyone who is interested in the dances from Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Israel can take part. I signed up for January. The list of dances is fixed: 3 sets of 7 pieces each. So I have a stack of 21 pieces in front of me.

    1) Execution – I will be going to „Session Tanzhaus“ as a beginner rhythm ukulele. I take tenor ukulele with me. I practice: 1 day – 1 set – 1 hour.

    2) Application – „Session Tanzhaus“ will take place on January 12th. I’ll go there and play what I can (and if it doesn’t work out, I can go dancing)

    3) Evaluation – I will select 3 pieces out of 21 pieces. Either those that I particularly like or those that I find difficult. I will record these selected pieces and show them here. Hopefully I’ll hit the right chords at the right time.

    ✨🎉🎉✨ Happy New Year!✨🎉✨🎉✨

    #60079
    anyon1
    Participant

    This challenge provides a great opportunity to focus on something I’ve been interested in but haven’t set aside time to work on–clawhammer technique.

    1) Execution – I will go through the Clawhammer Technique course on RC101. I am an intermediate player, but I had no experience with this technique until a couple of days ago, when I began with the first lessons of the course. I try to practice 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes per session, though my practices aren’t solely on one song, technique, etc. My goal is to complete the course and be able to use the clawhammer technique.

    2) Application – By the end of the month, I will play a version of Shortnin’Bread.

    3) Evaluation – This year, I plan to document my ukulele goals and practice sessions more formally and consistently. For this Monthly Challenge, I will be able to evaluate my process and progress as I learn the technique (e.g., what works in my practice session, what has helped master a particular bar, what needs changing) through journaling. I will also submit a video of my playing Shortnin’ Bread.

    Happy New Year!
    Adriana

    #60080
    mepasha
    Participant

    Hi Andrew,
    Cool idea. I just started learning Matt’s arrangement of Harvest Moon the other day so…
    1) Execution – Learn all three melody arrangements as well as the riff by month’s end. Be able to play the song through by month’s end, allowing for mistakes, but at least knowing all of the what’s and when’s. Still working on the how’s is OK.

    2) Application – I will be breaking the song down into 4 constituent parts. Riff and Melodies A, B and C. Each week I will tackle one of them.

    3) Evaluation – I’ll be recording videos of the constituent parts and can post as progress is made. I’ll probably just add additional posts as they come as edits to the next initial review post so as not to fill the thread.

    #60081
    akukes73
    Participant

    Happy New Year!
    My thoughts for this challenge
    1. Execution/goal : Learn the triplet tremolo technique, firstly by going through Matt’s Live lesson, Ep 11. I will use his tutorial music (first 8 bars of Malagueña) to develop the technique.
    2. Application/how: I will incorporate practicing this technique into my practice sessions. I will use a metronome, starting at 60bpm and increase the speed during the month.
    3. Evaluation: During the month I will record myself at regular intervals to review my progress. By the end of the month I also aim to incorporate this technique into the song Malagueña. As I am an intermediate player (early-mid level) I will only attempt Theme 1 or a simplified version.

    #60082
    malku2603
    Participant

    Happy New Year 2024 Andrew and all my friends here. I am again participating in the Rock Class 101 challenge after a very long time could not dedicate the proper time to improve and grow my ukulele skills had college backlog clearing exams but this year I want to dedicate time to growth in my ukulele playing skills.

    Execution: I am confused though I want a suggestion on what should I go for, I want to improve Travis’s picking technique and adding a backbeat to your rhythm playing to be able to play blues patterns on the ukulele I am currently a beginner budding to the intermediate stage so what do you suggest would be a better choice to work on? I will be making time to practise for 15 min every day on the technique chosen till the 15th of this month.

    application: If I am suggested to work on Travis picking technique then I would apply it to fingerpicking etude number 5 else I would apply to adding backbeat to your strumming on 12 bar blues strumming from the 15th to 30th of this month here also I have 15 min each day for practice.

    Evaluation:Record and send progress every 3 days maybe.

    I have not tried both techniques before can you help me suggest the technique to work on?

    #60083
    nat-uke
    Participant

    So many choices 🤯 🤔! I love this challenge concept. I like how it makes you think about what you are learning, why (what you will do with it) and your plan for breaking it down step by step to get there.

    1) Execution
    Learn the Clawhammer technique. It is such a happy sounding vibe. I think there are tons of songs that are suited for the technique. I’ve loved the countless YouTube videos I’ve seen, but always thought it seemed too intimidating to tackle at this point.
    I’ve previously poked around on the rc101 Clawhammer course, but it didn’t come quickly enough to me (motion so foreign to what I’m used to doing), so I set it aside in a bit of frustration and moved to the next “shiny thing”.
    I’ll restart the RC101 Clawhammer course and practice more consistently, trying to do a little bit every day and not jump forward until the new motion becomes automatic. Patience.

    2) Application
    Be able to play “Wildwood Flower” in the Clawhammer style. I know there are learning songs included in the Clawhammer course, but what I’d find more joy in learning is “Wildwood Flower”. I feel like this is still a fairly simple song to learn in form and length. I’ve seen a lot of videos where the player spiced it up with hammer-ons, slides, and other funky things, but I think a basic version still sounds pleasing. I saw this video which is probably the end game I’d like to reach. (Jump to 41:50 for uptempo playthrough)

    3) Evaluation
    Week 1 – learn & ingrain Clawhammer technique by using Clawhammer course lessons
    Week 2 – start learning & memorize wildwood flower section 1
    Week 3 – learn & memorize song section 2 and put it all together
    Week 4 – practice and record result reached

    Have fun everyone!

    Natalie

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by nat-uke.
    #60085
    The_Bumble_Bard
    Participant

    So exciting to see what everyone is going to work on! Especially a couple clawhammers and @gi_gi_ ‘s song, but everyone’s choices are so interesting so far. I’m just as excited to see those things unfold as working on my own thing. I’ve already started working on it, but it is………….. okay, so far. 😅😂🥺

    I forgot to say, but I think I would say I’m still overall between beginner and intermediate, according to the RC101 measurement. With some things, I am way more proficient; others, still a beginner. With writing original songs, I would say I’m a seasoned beginner, maybe? I have tried to write a couple, but I just would like to get better at that. I just remembered there’s a little e-booklet that comes with Premium Membership about songwriting so I’m going to go back and reread that. 😅

    Happy 2024 everyone! 😊💕🎊🥂🎇🎆🎉

    #60087
    Andrew
    Keymaster

    Happy NY everyone! Looks like we have some awesome ideas this year 🙂


    @malku2603
    – I think either option works for your playing level, so I would pick the one you’d like to learn first. Alternatively, you could work on both if time permits.

    #60088
    bibilele
    Participant

    Hi and a happy New Year to everyone!
    That’s a tough one but I think I found a good goal for me. 🙂
    I want to improve my knowledge on music theory so that I can jam along with others and write my own tunes. For this month this means:

    1) Execution
    I tried writing my own tunes but that is as far as I got. So I am a beginner.
    I will complete the course “An introduction to music theory and jamming” (which I started months ago and never finished). With the knowledge I gained I will develop my own little tune.
    I want to work on that 5 days a week, for 15-30 minutes.

    2) Application
    I will write down my tune.

    3) Evaluation
    Finally I will record my tune and share it with you.

    #60089
    dianna
    Participant

    Happy New Year! Funny, I have been thinking about this probably since Matt’s live lesson on goal setting for 2024. So how wonderful that our first challenge of the New Year is to create our own lesson based on our interests and areas in which we would like to improve. As much as I would love to focus on clawhammer (which I will also be doing outside of this lesson),instead I’m going to focus on maintaining tempo and simplicity in expression. To me this means taking a step back and revisiting some of the pieces that I worked on last year.

    Execution: Revisit “Always With Me” and if I have time “Adilita” (Always With Me is still somewhat in my memory….Adilita may take more time, because I will have to re-memorize)….I find myself in that vast expanse of intermediate playing, and I believe I have been here for awhile. I would love to have that sense of breaking through to a level of intermediate proficiency that will serve me in more advanced pieces.

    Application: I will be focusing on the relationship between tempo and expression, and possibly review the classical techniques course for Adilita. I have always had the sense that I would get so far with my practice and then move on to another challenge. I am hoping by continuing to practice these pieces with a focus on tempo/expression, I can continue to fine tune my playing.

    Evaluation: I like the idea of journaling in an effort to keep track of my experience……I will keep you posted as I go along.

    Good-luck Uke friends…..this is a great challenge! Dianna

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by dianna.
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by dianna.
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