Participate in the July 2017 Member Challenge – Beginner Themed Challenge

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    Here’s Aura Lee. Thanks for the challenge, Andrew.


    Great job Cory! Was that a little AC/DC at the end of the first tune? I think on the last strum (before switching back to fingerpicking) your finger got caught on the string, which is why it rang out. Unfortunately it caused the C string to ring out, which is a bad note for a song in the key of A. But, no biggie 🙂 A trick that I use a lot of times, is to simplify the rhythm of the last hit to make the transition easier. So for the last bar of that strumming section, you could play it all as quarter note hits. That’ll buy you more time to switch back to fingerpicking.

    And awesome job on Aura Lee!


    Sounds good Ed! Thanks for participating. I mentioned earlier a great point for more advanced players in regards to this month’s challenge being beginner themed. Since that post is buried far back and we’re on page 5 now, I’ll go ahead and copy and paste it below for other members to reference:

    I’ve received a few emails from more advanced members stating they were going to sit this month’s challenge out because it is beginner themed.

    Now this brings up an interesting thought on my end. Yes, this month’s songs are easy, but the challenge for an intermediate and advanced player lies in how you perform the piece.

    The hardest part of playing is: The feel, achieving clarity in every note, and timing. So, I would like to see everyone who’s an Intermediate to Advanced player participate in this month’s challenge with these three criteria as your goal.


    Great job Compass Rose! In the first half, your timing was great. In the second half, it was a little off and that’s because the second half is a little bit harder to play. I’d recommend to memorize the piece, this will allow you to put all of your attention on your performance, instead of your performance plus reading the sheet music. But overall, it sounds great! Keep up the good work 🙂


    Hi, it’s my ‘First Song’ try, beginner but no so easy for me in the end)



    I am a beginner and don’t know yet how to pluck so this is one string playing.

    Played by ear so that explains those missed notes and this piece is my absolute fave.


    Great job rillke! I do have one suggestion for you. When you are strumming, you want to target your strum to only hit strings 1, 2, and 3. I would also lighten up your strum a little bit, it will produce a sweeter tone. Scroll back in this forum post and check out the advice I left for another member about using the thumb to mute the 4th string. Keep up the good work! I love seeing members participate in back-to-back challenges 🙂

    Hi airam2017, can you post that video in this forum: Showcase Your Playing. This post is only for audio and video performances of the two songs for this month’s challenge. Complete details and rules can be read on the first page of this post.


    I finally got it recorded without it being too much of a clusterflub. It’s been a crazy month, so not nearly as much practice as I would have liked, but here it is:


    Here is my entry for this month’s challenge. Time was limited this month so haven’t got it perfected yet. A couple of mistakes in which I’m annoyed about but this was the gazillionth take so will do! Found not strumming the top string really difficult and my grip of the Uke wasn’t as sturdy when I moved down the fretboard


    Ok, here I am playing ‘Our First Song’. I had some trouble with the strumming. I really dislike the feel and sound of my nails hitting the strings. I tried every which way and settled on the side of my thumb. Is that ok? or should I train myself to do a different way?

    I had fun learning the song. Watching and listening to myself on video was quite an eye opener. Let’s just say this wasn’t take 1.

    – Eliza


    I’m going to lump Kay and James together. I think you guys did an excellent job! It sounds like with just a little bit more practice you’ll have it down perfectly 🙂 One thing I do want to point out Kay: If you ever mess up in a performance (in regards to the second to last note) keep going. In other words, don’t stop the performance and try to catch that note to correct it. I love the analogy of thinking of your performance as if it was with a band. Would the band stop and wait for you if you missed a note or a section? Nope, they would keep going 🙂

    Great job Eliza! I do have one suggestion for you. Watch out for pulling the string down when playing the chords or single notes. This causes the note to go a little bit sharp. We always want to keep the string completely straight. Keep up the great work!



    Awesome job Rickey! Did you just start playing in January?

    I’ve got a few tips for you 🙂 First, great job memorizing the tune. You’ve established a great foundation. So one of the things that you want to work on is getting the piece to flow a little smoother. So this comes down to timing. A great way to approach learning and practicing is by breaking it into sections.

    So for example the Riff is 4 bars in length and each bar contains the same rhythm: Eighth notes. Practice one bar at a time, when you can play it cleanly and perfectly in time, try the second bar. When you can do that cleanly and perfectly in time, try bars 1 through 2. When you can do that cleanly and perfectly in time, do bar 3 , then 4, then 3-4, then 1-4.

    Continue throughout the rest of the piece with the same approach. Also, when you’re strumming the chords, you want to either mute the 4th string or target your strum to only hit strings 3 through 1. Scroll back in this forum post and check out the advice I left for another member about using the thumb to mute the 4th string. Overall you’re doing a great job, keep it up!


    Thank you for the advice. Yes, I started playing this uke in January. My first musical instrument. Now back to the beginner’s course which I have neglected because of the practice. I just subscribed to your class on July 4. Previously I’ve only learned some of the major chords and had only used the first 3 frets. I’m really excited to play more songs but I know I have to keep after the course work.

    Rock Class 101 is the best thing that has come along in my 6 month quest for searching how to play.



    Thanks Rickey 🙂 I really appreciate your support!



    Hello Andrew

    So here is your tab version of Aura Lee in my interpretation :-).

    I actually only now noticed that tab version is not the same as the one in your demo but I am away from home now so can’t make another recording at the moment. I will see how things are on Monday and if time allows I will perhaps make another recording then… Thanks!

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