Participate in the May 2018 Member Challenge – Children Song's Themed!

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    Vida, try and change them. If that doesn’t work, it may be due to dry hands.


    So I totally failed this month with my practise schedule. Probably only picked up my uke twice. Work has been super busy, teamed with a few other things has really eaten my time. Well done everyone! I’ve loved watching all your videos 😊


    Hi Andrew,
    Just a quick question about the contest. You said this in the contest post:

    “Participation Goal: 25 Rock Class 101 Member Participant Videos/MP3 posted.”

    Does that mean if there isn’t 25 people entered, that the contest won’t go through? Just wondering! Can’t wait to hear your feedback on my ukulele playing! 🙂


    Hi, Andrew,

    I found a tutorial video on youtube about eliminating the scratchy sound of fingernails on strings when finger picking. My problem was caused by my fingers having a 45 degree angle of attack with the strings. This caused my fingernails to rub on the strings resulting in the ugly scratching noise. The instructor recommended a very slight bend of the wrist to get a more 90 degree angle of attack. In this way, the fleshy part of the finger contacts the sting instead of the nail resulting in a cleaner, clearer sound.
    I tried unsuccessfully to find that tutorial this morning. It was a Brit or an Aussie guy. He had quite an accent. His series is called Small Adjustment Big Result (SABR series).

    Hope this can help someone else.




    Vida, thanks for that! I had searched at one stage for how to deal with the scratchy sound during fingerpicking but not with the keyword “scratchy” so I didn’t come across anything. I guess you mean this video:

    There is also a by-photo explanation here:

    My “scratchy” sound, however, is from the fleshy pads of my fingers rubbing against the strings — my fingernails are quite short and don’t contact the string at all….I’ve tried changing my attack, as Andrew suggested, and the 90-degree thing, but guess I’m just still not doing it right (still getting that scratchy/rubbing sound still)



    Thanks for sharing that Vida & Gina! I’ll be sure to point others that asked about that to the video 🙂


    Amazing job to everyone who participated this month! Overall we had 20 members participate, and again, I was blown away by everyone’s performances 🙂

    So the prize for this month was super cool! A custom-designed leather strap from Sofawares! So without further ado, the winner is…


    Our June challenge is live! It is classical themed, and again we have a super cool prize! Check out the new challenge HERE.

    Also, bellow I have left feedback for everyone that I hadn’t yet. Thanks again to everyone who participated!


    gahanby – I thought your tempo/timing was pretty good! I think the big thing that I would work on, if I was you, is cleaning up your playing. So it just comes down to breaking the piece into sections, looping them, and getting it precise and clean before moving on. I know you can do it, because you did it in the last challenge for “Daydreaming“, you played that song super clean! But a really good job overall, keep up the good work!

    kellyblackburn – great feel in your playing! I think that form is totally fine to use. There really is no right or wrong, and I used a similar form in which I stuck my middle finger out as if it was a pick to play “Johnny B Goode“. Keep rocking!

    ultramom – great job! Here is a video with a quick pointer. Also, I think I forgot to mention it in the video – but try not to keep the side of your arm (by elbow) hugged to the side of your body. The position of your arm during song 3 is much better.

    surfpimp9er – nicely played! You have a good feel to your playing! Keep working on the timing in bars 12 to 16, which is something I’ve noticed a few members struggle with, as it’s tough to keep the tempo steady with a big pause (rest). Try to tap and count that section out loud, that should help. Also, don’t forget to tune before you record 🙂

    wongbrown – Sheila, awesome job on the first two! I think the third one just comes down to practicing more. As it’s tricky, break it into chunks and master a section at a time before trying to tackle everything.

    marni11 – great job! I’d encourage you to memorize the piece, as it will allow you to focus more on the performance and how you are playing it. Check out this lesson to learn more about why this is important.

    cyberloh – great feel on the first two! So I noticed you played the third one with a swung feel, kind of cool – I dig it! I think the big thing that you need to work on for the 3rd song is left hand form. Here is a video with tips to help your form. Also, check out this lesson to dive deeper into proper left hand form.

    smartinuk – wow, amazing job on Brahms Lullaby! I can tell that you put a ton of work into it. Really great job, the only thing I would say is watch the timing on the last couple bars. So it definitely sounds to me that you spent the most time working on that tune over the others. The others are fine, but the feel could be improved. They sound a little rushed, and when we think of how a lullaby should be played, it should be more relaxed and laid-back. Which is how you played the first one. So I’d work on making the other 2 sound like the first one 🙂

    zukulele – wonderful playing! I love the way you ended Brahms Lullaby, you executed a Perfectly Natural sounding ritardando, absolutely beautiful! My only critique would be to play the first piece at a bit of a slower tempo. But very impressive playing overall, keep up the great work Zion!

    ukuleleloo – Lucinda, glad to hear you are still working on the other piece 🙂 this performance was awesome! I tell you all the time that I love your feel, and your groove on this one was great – nice and laid-back, love it!

    ukukelley1 – wonderful job Sheryl! Playing sounds great, try and play it without the music in front of you. You’ll be surprised by how much you have memorized, which I’d guess is probably over 90%. That will help to eliminate some of the few pauses you had before going into the next section(s).

    mayaqatsi – Wohoo! I think you were the only one who used a pick 🙂 sounds great overall! Only suggestion I have (and this is where a lot of people struggled on) is to watch the timing on bars 12 to 16. Try to tap and count that section out loud, that should help.


    thank you for your feedback! 🙂 I played this one with my thumb only instead of four fingers (i guess i thought that would be the alternative to use, because i cant figure out how to use a pick). So I think that could have caused some of the “messy” playing. Oh and I wanted to play it fast of course 😛

    But I will try to break the next tune into smaller parts while i practice, because you are right, often I just practice the whole song from start to finish.

    Thanks again 🙂


    Thanks for your feedback! I will memorize the songs, and I will continue to practice them.


    Congratulations Ukuleleloo!


    Thank you for your feedback! I‘ll work on it :)


    Hi Andrew, I was so slow in looking out the feedback for May’s Challenge. Thank you very much. Your feedback is invaluable for my improvement. It was encouraging also. Although there are so many better players out there, I am confident that I can play better and better each day. I am gearing up for the June’s challenge now. Thanks again😛

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