Participate in the November 2018 Member Challenge – WIN Skype Lesson w/ Taimane!

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    Here is everyone on page 14:

    rickeymike – I like the hat! I like the loud strums, they add a nice effect! I like that you did your own version of the rhythm, over all it’s really an interesting take! I suggest going back to learn the original rhythm at some point, as there are a lot of really cool syncopations and variations to learn from! Also, as you said, you played it all with the index finger, which works just fine, but it might be a fun challenge to alternate with the middle finger too. Great work! Thanks for being part of the challenge!

    kellyblackburn – This entry has a lot of cool things going on in it, but just out of curiosity, are you going from memory? There are a few passages you are playing very differently, which is awesome if it’s on purpose. The main spot that I hear is still the rhythm from measure 6-8. I think there’s a benefit to breaking that down, even if you choose to play it differently later on. Thanks again for entering!

    laurasil – You sound great! Your notes are spot on, and the rhythm is locking in on almost every part! In measure 6, the tricky part is that there isn’t a pause after the second chord strum, it just goes right to the 1st fret on the C string. Pausing after the second strum in bar 6 is putting you out of time for a moment…but you are playing the rest of the phrase (measure 7 to 8) correctly after this added pause. The only other part of the song to work a bit more on is the pull offs in measures 19 and 21. You have a tendency to speed up a bit on the pull offs, so practicing each note in the pull offs as equal length notes with a metronome might help. I know pull offs are challenging, but you’ll get there! Everything else sounds great! Thank you for joining the challenge!

    hzhuodie – Your timing and feel are super consistent! Measures 6-7 are so close to being right, the second time around you had it correct all the way until the open A string in measure 7. If you had waited half a beat longer, it would have been perfect! I like how you chose to end the piece right after that phrase, it’s a very natural sounding ending even though the piece is just a tiny bit longer on the tab. Great choice to end it there (I almost like the ending better there)! Thank you for entering!

    springer1 – Absolutely fantastic job! You nailed the rhythm all the way through, and even got double thumb slaps in measures 17, 18, and 20! Now that you know every bit of it, you can add expression and attitude to it! I would pluck the melody a little bit more accented. This will help the song sound a bit more authentic. Then I would add dynamics, making certain parts quieter and making the strums a bit louder. Wonderful job!

    jacoob_slezak – Great work on this one, and I love the way that ukulele sounds! The rhythm in measure 7 is tricky…the open A is on a downbeat (beat three) rather than an upbeat (like almost every other phrase in the song). This means the open e string (2nd note of measure 7) is half of a beat longer than it feels like it should be! So wait for beat three to keep this section in time, and then almost everything else is spot on! You are alternating your fingers so fluidly on the plucking hand, it’s super well done! Thank you for joining the challenge!

    ryzeonly – Awesome job! You got the trickiest part (measures 6-8) down great! With a little work on the slapped harmonic and one or two other small sections, you’ll have it perfect! My main advice for you is to not let something like missing the harmonic affect your rhythmic flow. You had such a great sense of timing on the other sections, that it’s good to pass by mistakes in time rather than getting hung up on them…even for a split second (when performing)! Wonderful job, and I don’t think it’s too difficult for you! You are super close! Thank you for your entry!

    ukukelley1 – Wow! Incredible job Sheryl! I’m very impressed that you played the whole song and flowed rather well with all of it! Some of those passages are super hard because of the shapes you have to do higher on the neck, so my main recommendation would be to get a concert or a tenor ukulele so that you don’t have to cram your fingers so close…although you did really well with this! There might be a section or two near the end that could use a slight bit more isolated work, but this might just be that it’s tough to play such a long piece! The only other thing I might add is: exaggerate the dynamics to give an even more emotionally driven performance: make the soft sections softer, and really dig in on the climax of the song. Great work! Thank you for entering this challenge!


    Here is feedback for the last post on page 14 and all on 15:

    andracass, MT, take 2 has a much better flow – especially in the B melody. I see both takes are 4 days apart, what was your practice schedule like?

    I’d like you to turn your focus when practicing to spending one day at a time on a four or eight bar phrase. Focusing on one section at a time will help you get things down better, like muscle memory and timing.

    der-binni, very nice playing! Couple things to watch out for:

    1) thumb placement – try and bring it down a notch, so that it sits slightly about the middle of the neck. Check out form 1 from this article to visually see this.

    2) picado – give this technique a shot. It’s great for developing speed and dexterity in the right hand.

    3) tapped harmonic – try a lighter, quicker hit. Check back earlier in this forum, as I believe I made a video for another member or two talking in more detail about this.

    kmelton, wow, great job! Picking form looks great, I can hear and see the dexterity of your right hand is developing nicely.

    So it’s pretty clear to hear that you know when to execute dynamics – which is what this lesson was all about. So very good job in that regard.

    What you’ll want to work on is smoothing it out and the overall flow. By smoothing out, I want you to pay really close attention to the tempo. As it is right now, some sections are faster and others are slower. So try to pick a universal tempo as you continue to work throughout the piece. Also review the ending.

    P.S. January will be full of low G lessons 🙂

    benita, you are too hard on yourself, which is good – it shows that you care. But seriously, that was brilliant! I’ve got to share this on one of our social medias at some point this coming week. Very well done 🙂


    Andrew, thanks for the feedback. I’ve really been focusing on my right hand the last couple of months, so your comments come as a relief.

    And You’re right, the tempo is off. I think I’ve worked though most of that as I’ve devoted more time to the latter themes, but still want to get up to Evan’s speed.

    My ending was a mess. I really wasn’t happy I posted that, because it’s typically been much cleaner. Was really trying to push myself to meet the deadline. I’ll go back and watch this section again.

    Looking forward to what is in store for next month!


    Thank you Andrew! I still feel like I could have done a better job, but if you like it, then I must be doing something right. I’m also happy that you find it worthy of posting on your social media, certainly didn’t expect that, next time I’ll have to put a bit more effort into the video and audio quality. 😀


    Your hard work shows 🙂 Keep it up, Kevin!

    I look forward to your next one, Benita!


    Thank you Stephen! I’ll try to practice with a metronome because I do have a tendency to speed things and I want to have a better sense of rhythm. However, I get a little confused when using a metronome, so it’s gonna be a while before my brain coordinates with a song and see progress on that field😂, but I’ll get there! Thanks again

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by laurasil.

    You’re gonna love the reading course I’m writing Laura. It’s all about developing rhythm and timing with help via the friendly metronome 🙂


    Stephen, thanks very much for the feedback! I definitely noticed it sounded plodding by the end. I was much less satisfied with my playing than your kind and positive feedback would suggest. I’m going to keep working on this one til I really master it so I can play it with the dynamics and expression that you’re talking about.


    Hi Stephen, and thank you for the feedback and encouragement – it really helps. I didn’t realise I was supposed to hit more than one string with the slapped harmonic, so I need to revisit that section and revise. I’m still practising this piece and still finding it a challenge! I note what you said about rhythm, I think I just get excited when it feel as though it’s going right for once. lol.


    Laurasil- I’m not sure if what I do is cheating (probably is..) but my physical metronome/tuner (actual little battery operated box) lets me set 8th notes, dotted 8th notes, triplets, etc. I set it to whatever the majority of notes are and it cuts down on the internal counting I have to do. Anyway, not sure this will help at all, but it’s easier for me then one that just does quarter notes.


    Thanks for the feedback Andrew. Yes I used rest stroke. I’ve gotten comfortable with that and it’s a challenge to go back to normal sometimes now!

    Thanks again for the flamenco. Last week I had the opportunity to play it on a tropical beach. Bliss.


    That’s a good way to practice, Becky! If anyone is new to subdividing the beat, check out this video where I touched on it as it relates to triplets:


    Here is everyone on page 16 (Benjamin: Andrew will do yours soon):

    curlyuke: Great job, you are getting close on the rhythm! There are certain parts, like measures 6-8, that are tricky for almost everyone. That spot in particular is one to go back to with the tab player and play much slower. Then once you are positive you have the rhythm right, try building up speed slowly with a metronome. The notes are sounding great, and as you get even more familiar with the piece, all of the other rhythms will flow smoothly (I can tell you understand them, it just takes a lot of practice)! Thank you for joining the challenge!

    hondamom – Great job on this! When a note wouldn’t sound, or there was a slight mistake, you did a brilliant job of continuing on without getting hung up on it! That takes a long time to develop a sense of staying with the tempo you set. Very professional! I can tell that the bar chords we talked about are still giving you a little bit of trouble, so I recommend playing measures 52 to 54 over and over a bit slower to practice getting your fretting hand pointer finger at the correct angle to push down all of the strings. With work on this and the hammer on/pull offs in the ending, you’ll be set! Thank you for your entry!

    karenj – You are doing awesome! The rhythm on measures 6-8 is tricky for almost everyone, so that’s the main part to work through slowly and repeatedly focusing on rhythm. Being able to get this rhythm solid will help with a lot of future songs! The fingerpicking specifics are the other thing I would recommend working on, as that technique seems to make an appearance in a lot of the challenges. Keep up the great work! Thanks for entering the challenge!

    marni11 – You are playing the notes very well! Excellent job on that! Now it’s time to work on the rhythm a bit more: There are certain notes you need to pause on a bit longer…for a beat or half of a beat longer. I would play through with the on screen tab player slowly, but I would also look at some of Andrew’s courses and rhythm lessons to understand the way the rhythms are written a bit better. With those held out notes and rests, you will be spot on! Thanks for joining the challenge!

    ultramom – I am impressed that you played at a slower tempo and stuck to it! That’s a great way to learn the song! You are so close on the rhythm…just measure 7 needs one little thing: wait just half a beat longer to play the open A string – it happens on beat 3 (a downbeat) rather than the and of two (an upbeat). If you get that one thing, then your rhythm is spot on! You are doing super well, just play it more and more, and you will get smooth and flowing on it in time! Thank you for being part of this challenge!

    timstacks – Your sense of rhythm is wonderful! Playing in front of the camera is very different for sure! It seems to me like you really get everything about this song, you just need to practice certain passages a touch slower to get the accuracy perfect. Great work!

    peropata – Great job! I agree with you…just a touch slower and your accuracy would have been spot on! I like how expressive you are with the way you pluck! It sounds great, especially on this song. One slight thing to be aware of: don’t let your fretting hand wrist bend too much, as playing with it bent (out or in) could put stress on the wrist over time. Every now and then is ok, just not bent too much for long periods of time. Thank you for your entry!

    shortman – That was really solid! You understand the rhythm very well! You may have gradually sped up a little bit, but it was so gradual that it felt natural! I can tell you’ve spent a great deal of work on this! I think it’s time to try a faster tempo if you’d like! You sound ready! Thank you for being part of the challenge!

    josephus – Very good job! You have most of the song under your fingers! There seems to just be a couple of spots to go over slowly and work up to speed, and one spot to check on the rhythm: in measure 7, the open A string is on a downbeat (beat 3) instead of an upbeat (the and after 2) which is how most people seem to hear it. If you wait the extra half of a beat, then the rhythm is spot on! Every other section was great! Thanks for being part of the challenge!

    akshxd – You sound great! The notes and rhythm are 90% there! Measure 7 seems to be giving everyone trouble, wait just a half of a beat longer before hitting the open A string in that measure. The only other spot I hear that is rhythmically difficult is the measure with the pull-offs: make sure to pace each note as 8th notes, and not pull off too quickly. Practice slowly and work it up to speed. You’re doing very well! Thank you for your entry!

    planetfink – You are doing a great job on a difficult piece! Way to go! Most of it is wonderful, there’s just one section that stands out as needing a little bit of work: measures 51-56. The hardest part of this is barring the 5th fret all the way across with one finger while playing melody notes. Once you get comfortable with this, the piece will flow a bit smoother. Just keep isolating this part and playing slowly so that your hands can develop the slight angles they need to play this section smoothly. Then you can go back in and really exaggerate the dynamics you are already hinting at. Very well done! Thank you for being part of the challenge!

    arbuscula – Very nicely done! You got the rhythm correct on the hard part from measure 6 to 8! Great attention to detail, and your plucking hand technique is spot on! On some of the faster runs, you have a small tendency to speed up a bit. I would recommend practicing with a metronome a bit more just to know where you have the tendencies to do that. Overall, you did a wonderful job! Thank you!

    pauvaliente – I love that you picked a tempo that gives you time to get most of the song correct! So many people want to play super fast, so they reinforce the mistakes they don’t catch. You did a wonderful job of mastering the rhythm in measures 6-8, which is one of the hardest spots! It sounds like you just need a tiny bit more work on a few of the melody lines, and then you’ll be on your way to speeding up the song! Thank you!

    flora– – The tempo you started at was a perfect speed for you! You nailed everything right up to the end of measure 15. From there, you did very well, but you sped up just a tiny bit at Melody C. I would recommend doing the whole song at the tempo you started at with a metronome, and then isolate measure 15 to 16 just to get it super solid. Then just play the whole song at that speed, and you’re well on your way! Thank you for being part of the challenge!


    Thanks Stephen for your comments. Will keep playing 🙂


    benjamin, amazing job! Last month, I gave you a challenge that revolved around developing your timing; specifically, getting the music to flow evenly. And boy oh boy, it really sounds like you focused on this area and it totally blew me away! Very well done this month 🙂

    P.S. I’d still love to see you submit a video of the custom challenge song I chose for you.

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