Participate in the July 2021 Member Challenge – Theme: Summer Songs!

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    As a beginner, my mind said work on “summertime Blues”, but as a Charlestonian my heart told me I could not pass on “summertime”. It is supposed to be a challenge and going beyond my skill level should help me improve. Justification for my selection, haha. Was fun but definitely bit off more than I could chew.for anyone who listens, don’t let this be the last version of this stuck in your head. Rather look up either Mahalia Jackson or Ella Fitzgerald.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by ldarrow.

    Oops, forgot to say that I am a premium member. But no idea how to edit original post



    Not happy at all with my Summertime performance, I run out of practise time this month. But I wanted to keep the promise to myself that I will submit Summertime as well.

    My personal success experience of this month was that at a barbecue party a group of people wanted me to play “just something” and normally I am really not able to play in front of others. I chose my other submission “Wipe out” and was (surprisingly) totally relaxed. After the first view notes, they said “oh, that’s the cool song from Dirty Dancing – do you remember the scene?” and grooved to the sound. That really made me happy.

    Looking very much forward to August’s fingerpicking challenge on my new Low G uke.



    Hi All,
    Here is my performance, a Real Challenge for me and after many takes got there in the end and with the deadline almost up. Very clunky (and my mic pickup and sound on my computer seems to be failing) but with a lot more practise would love to get this classic more presentable. Good luck to All and have enjoyed listening to the entries, Tim.


    I am a premium member!


    I am a premium member, and I like the Gmadd9 chord, not to corny (I think Gershwin would’ve like it 😉


    Here’s my rough and tumble Summertime… This piece was advanced for my skill level – definitely a challenge, but I had so much fun learning it! When I watch myself I notice that I sort of attack the strings – I would like to learn to play with more subtlety. Thanks for any tips!

    I am a premium member.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by acornjasper.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by acornjasper.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by acornjasper.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Andrew.


    I would have liked to do Summertime but I just couldn’t get the hang of it and it is the middle of Winter here in NZ so I found it hard to get into the vibe!

    I honestly don’t know if I’ve made it in time because I’m confused by EST and EDT and whatnot, but here’s Wipe Out either way! 🙂


    @wongbrown – Nice improvement! Flow is much better! Keep up the good work, Sheila!

    – Sounds great! Keep working on it 🙂


    Wow! We had 37 members participate this month! Everyone did an awesome job and should feel super proud of their work this month!

    So without further ado, the winner of our July Challenge is…



    Our August Challenge is LIVE and the theme is: Fingerpicking Etudes! Hope to see everyone in the new challenge:

    P.S. Stephen will post feedback for folks on page 5 and 6 soon 🙂


    qiuyan – Very nicely done! You play with a very steady tempo, great technique, and clarity. Now it’s time to add a little bit of expression and a legato/rubato feel specifically on the part at 0:30 into the song and where it appears later. This part could use a volume swell as well as the smooth/connected feel and dramatic-but-slight slowing of the tempo. Other than adding that, you have a very solid and strong performance on this song!

    xavierrahfael – I love the hat flip at the beginning of the video! Your playig is very nice, and you have a very smooth feel! There are a few pauses here and there as you shift. To get those spots in time, try playing the whole song a bit slower, but keep the tempo by patting your foot or swaying. Then you can add the spots where the tempo really does slow down back in after the hesitations are gone. You’re doing a wonderful job, and you already have a great sound and style to your playing! Keep it up!

    terryfallon3 – You’re off to a great start, and the notes are sounding great! To work on the flow of the song, it may be helpful to just take one section of the piece (maybe 8 measures or so) and just focus on memorizing that part so that you can play it along with a metronome. Then once you’ve mastered that section with a steady tempo, do that with another section. You’re doing great, keep up the good work!

    lisa-k – Excellent job on this one! Your notes and rhythm are fantastic, and you were very expressive on the ritardando. It’s really hard to get a perfect take, but this one was very good, with very few minor mistakes. I’m glad you didn’t have to do as many takes to get it to this point…I know how recording anxiety can be. Great job on this one all around!

    andrewvh – Very nicely played. You have a good grasp of the notes, and stayed in time very well. There are a few spots where you are playing a bit more staccato than the original, but it sounds fairly good like that as well. If you aren’t meaning to have that feel, try playing the melody notes a bit smoother and more connected. It may have less of a bouncy feel to it that way, but it will have a bit more emotion with more of a legato feel. Keep up the great work!

    mademoiselleannette – You played this one very well! You have a nice feel and a great concept of the rhythm and notes. One small suggestion: On the sections where you are strumming, try not to mute the notes after the strum, but let them ring out to keep the legato feel that you are already doing great on throughout the piece. It’s a small detail, but it keeps your performance consistent. Great job, you’ve got this one down!

    marianne – That was amazing for only 2 days of work! It sounds like you have a few small hesitations on a few shifts to work through, but otherwise it’s great! If you find yourself with this little time, it might help to play the piece at 75% of this tempo to give your hands/mind time to recall parts and shift in time. This song also sounds great at the slower tempo, so it’s a good one to do that with. Very nicely done!

    Idarrow – You’re doing great so far! There are just a few spots to work on a few stretches and shifts, and then you’ve got it! It might help to play the song even a touch slower to get all of those spots in time. Keep up the great work!

    timolnz – Very nice and lively version of Summertime. You have a nice bounce to your playing. The hard part on this one is to express the emotion of the piece. To do this, a lighter touch, a more legato feel, and even a bit slower of a tempo will help. Keep up the great work, and focus on relaxing your hands to achieve a lighter sound.

    themccoys – You have a very relaxed feel on this, and a nice sound on the ukulele. It seems like you have a great grasp on the song, and just a bit of extra work on measure 9 and 10 is all you need. I recommend just playing those 2 measures over and over until the shifts become second nature to you. Then you won’t pause in preparation for that measure. You are doing great, you’ve got this!

    morrieuke1 – Very nicely done! You have an excellent sense of timing and all of the notes sound very clearly on this. Now that you have the song down, you could add some dynamics by starting certain phrases of the song softer and crescendoing to the middle of them, pulling back towards the end. This will help some of the phrases breathe a bit, which might help to add some emotion to an already great performance. Great job on this one!

    acornjasper – Great job on this! You have a nice, steady flow throughout the song, and you’ve got the notes down. I agree that practicing hitting the notes with a consistent lighter touch takes time and is a bit different from ukulele to ukulele. It’s all in relaxing the right hand enough to have control over how hard you are hitting the strings. Tensing up is usually the cause of an unintentionally hard attack. Keep it up, you are doing a great job!

    sarahd – You got this one in time with 13 minutes to spare! Your performance sounds very nice, and you have the notes and the rhythms down. Now it’s time to make it ROCK! On this song in particular, feel free to break out of your shell and really give those strings more of an attack to get the attitude of the song. It sounds great how you are playing it, and I feel like you have it in you to add a little more excitement to an already great performance. Keep it up!


    @stephen thanks for suggestions and encouragement. I love this song so definetly plan to continue working on it.


    Thanks so much, Andrew😃


    Thank you Stephen for the feedback! Right, I was a bit rushed around 0:30 because I was so nervous about that stretch chord and transition next 😂 I also do feel that I didn’t quite play as laid-back as I’d like this song to have. Will keep working on it. (Btw, I was casually playing this on a low G today, and other than a few notes, it actually sounded pretty well.)


    @Stephen Thank you so much for the positive feedback! Really appreciated

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