Participate in the October 2019 Member Challenge – WIN a CUSTOM Kanile’a!

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    Here’s my challenge entry – The Sound of Silence.




    Happy Halloween Everyone!


    I selected Sound of Silence and found it particularly challenging. I had a lot of issues, like many others. The transitions to and from the barred chords were tough despite practicing moving between them over & over. I also had major production issues. I’ll leave it at that. I have ok audio and slapped it onto bad video that I sped up. I tried to get a good take in costume. It’s best just to listed and not watch because it’s not synced. Now let’s see if I get my link to work.



    Yikes, I decided to do this October challenge in the 11th hour. I’m absolutely obsessed with the “Disturbed” version of this song so I played it quite a bit slower. Well, let’s face it, it was also deceptively difficult for me for whatever reason. It also turns out that recording myself is a challenge like no other. LOL. Anyway, here is my imperfect rendition. Thanks, Andrew for providing such great songs to learn!


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    Does anyone else struggle to memorize arrangements that deviate from the original version “that was planted in my brain and still remains” six decades later? At least my memory of it. That’s my excuse anyway. But mainly no time. Should be better, but so be it. High hopes for next month…



    never taken a video before but here we go at the last minute! I wish Theme 2 didnt fall apart each time but by the fourth or fifth take my hand was cramping up. And since I waited till the last second as usual there wasnt time to take a break 🙂

    Also, I was a Houston Astro for Halloween (if you cant tell since my jersey blends into the couch) they may not have won the World Series, but theyll always be my team!

    Super fun arrangement ! I will continue to work on it! Happy Halloween!


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    so this is a disaster…apparently I can’t play this song while being recorded. But I did my best on a tiny uke that I got cheap b/c it is was defective ;).

    Enjoy your candy!!!



    I need a lot more time, but here is a WIP for Sound of Silence. Its a beautiful arrangement.



    I AM A PREMIUM MEMBER. For some reason, the link did not show up in my previous message.

    The time shows November 1, but its still Oct 31 in California 🙂



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    This is the right link to my video..


    I am a Premium Member.
    I wish I had more time to work on this, but I needed to work on 3 other songs so, the second part is rougher.

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    LilDevil (or Hot Stuff The Playful little Devil. Do you remember that comic book?)

    I do agree with you, being from that generation and humming along with that song so many times. A particular part of Melody B stands out for me as expecting something else in the next bar…ha. But A.J. played it so excellently, it just sounded stranger when I played it. That’s on me though……In the end the ukulele “ain’t no steel guitar” LOL


    @bklynsoul – Can you change the setting on your video. It’s set to private.


    Here is everyone on page 17 that I hadn’t gotten to yet.


    lisamcc – Way to go, Lisa! I think you’ve got a great base established, but it does sound like you jumped the gun from practice level to performance ready. You know the spill on practice, slow it down, one section at a time, loop, etc. One thing I would suggest, is to give picado a shot for the melody notes on string A. It looks like your ring finger is working overtime. Try the other technique, see if it makes it easier on your right hand.

    mweir1 – Beautiful playing! You have a great tone to your playing. 🙂 So I noticed that a few times you skipped notes, or perhaps it’s better to say, that you cut notes out of bars. For example, 27 seconds in to your performance is the start of bar 12. The last two notes from this bar are missing, therefore bar 13 starts on what would technically be beat 4 of bar 12.

    Another thing to be aware of is when there is a change in the rhythm. For example, bar 16 has a quarter note thrown in the middle of it. Oftentimes this can come out of nowhere and folks will play it as if it was all eighth notes.

    So what does all this mean? I’d like you to add counting rhythms as you play to your practice schedule. So count out a steady 8th note rhythm as you play, and that should stop all the above from occurring.

    joe150 – Great job, Joe! So I think this song is a little bit beyond your current playing level; and I also realize that this month’s challenge did not have a true beginner level piece as an option. Therefore my suggestion for you, is to work on a beginner level piece from our “beginner series” (top of page).

    I’d suggest tackling “Our First Song”. In the video you mentioned memorizing, and that’s an awesome! So for this song, I’d approach it by learning and memorizing one section at a time. Start with the riff, move to the chords, learn the outro, then put it all together. Try to count out the rhythm (8th notes for riff & quarter notes for the chords) as you play the piece.

    Learning these easier songs will help you as you work your way up to the more difficult ones.


    Here’s everyone on Page 18:

    tomolnz – You are doing a great job on this one! It’s quite challenging for several reasons, but you are up to the challenge! It sounds like you are plucking the strings with a lot of force. Try relaxing a bit to get a warmer sound. If you’re picking close to the bridge, try playing over the sound hole or near where the neck starts. There are a few slight rhythms that just need to be counted. In a few measures like bar 15, you are holding the first note slightly too long: the second note starts on the upbeat (“and”) after beat one instead of on the downbeat (beat two). On measure 18, you are also holding the first note out too long. If you work through the timing of each section, it will make playing the sections much easier. All in all, you are very close to having this one down, and your timing is great besides these few rhythms to count. Thank you for your entry!

    alterin – You are doing a great job on the notes! This tune is quite a challenge in many ways, so way to go on playing through it! I recommend breaking each melody into 4 or 8 measure sections to work through. Try to keep a much slower, yet steady tempo. One way to do this is to play along with the on screen tab player set to 50% speed and try playing along to really memorize the timing and sound of each section. Once you get through 2 or more smaller sections, try playing through them together. Then you can slowly build from there. But the focus on timing is essential to learning new songs, and this work will carry through to make future challenges easier! You’re doing great, keep it up! Thank you for joining the challenge.

    mfaske – Way to go on keeping a solid tempo on this one! Playing at a slow pace like that is the best way to get the song into your ear and muscle memory. Towards the middle and end there were a few pauses, but I can tell that you understand the rhythm very well. With more time, you’ll be able to gradually speed this up. Then you can focus on plucking in more fluid way to get a legato (smooth) flow in the music. Awesome job, you’ll get there with a little more practice! Thank you for entering this challenge!

    givingtree89 – I love the costume, and congratulations on your first Rock Class 101 challenge! The chords and notes sound great on this one. The rhythm and flow of the song is the main aspect I would work more on; try playing the whole piece at 3/4 of the tempo of your performance. The goal is to get to the chords in time without any hesitations. Melody B is the main section I would focus on with this approach. The more familiar you get with these note shapes, the easier it will be to play with fewer hesitations. You are doing a great job! Thank you for your entry!

    kcharles15 – You are off to a great start! The beginning was very good, and it seems like you were most familiar with that section. Now it’s time to practice playing through entire sections without pausing. Have you tried playing through a section with the on screen tab player set to 50% speed? I feel like this would be a good way to challenge yourself not to pause and get into the flow of the song. Keep up the great work! Thank you for joining the challenge!

    kelsey91 – You are doing well so far! I think you will develop your feel for the song as you practice more, but this is good for starting 10 days ago! I notice that your wrists both seem to be bent a little too much as you’re playing. Look at the beginner course on Rock Class 101 for the module on how to hold your ukulele. Try to incorporate this into your playing by continuing to film your playing and comparing it to this part of the course. Keep working on this one, you’re very close! Thank you for entering the challenge.

    ukuleleloo – I really like that you went with a slower pace on this one! This helped you to keep a nice flow through most of the song. There are still several sections that require a bit more work, but you have a very nice feel on the parts you are familiar with. The main section to work on is starting at measure 15, and working through Theme 2. You are very close, a bit more work and those tricky spots will become muscle memory. Thank you for your entry

    jkulele – Awesome job! You are doing very well for a first venture from strumming! If you play the whole piece at a slow and steady tempo, it will have a much nicer flow than slowing down and hesitating on the tricky sections. Try playing along with the on screen tab player at 50% speed to work on this. Keep up the great work, and thank you for joining the challenge!

    gardn_gnome – Way to go on keeping a nice steady pace on the first section! Going at this slower pace will help you develop a great flow as you keep working on the piece! I notice that some of the chord transitions are causing you to hesitate as the ukulele shifts. Have you tried using a strap to keep the ukulele steady? This combined with sitting up straight or even standing might help to keep the ukulele from moving too much as you shift from chord to chord. You’re doing a wonderful job, keep it up! Thank you for entering this challenge!

    chi-_-t – Great playing on this one! Your ukulele might be a little out of tune, double check every time, especially before recording since ukuleles don’t always hold their tuning for long. If it’s not the tuning, then it might be that you are slightly bending the strings up or down as you are playing. If this is the case, focus pushing directly into the fretboard and just be aware of this. You did a great job keeping the rhythm steady through most of this, with only one noticeable hesitation when you shifted to the higher frets. Now that you have the notes down, try adding dynamics: Start each phrase quietly and slowly crescendo (get louder) in the middle of each phrase, and decrescendo (get softer) towards the ends of the phrases to create a mysterious vibe. Awesome job, and congratulations on your first Rock Class 101 challenge!

    santai – I love the pumpkin mask! I also really like how you crescendo on the strumming section of this song! You kept a very comfortable pace throughout the song with very few hesitations. Measure 26 is a bit tricky since it only has two beats rather than 4. I think you tried to change the rhythm for that reason, but it is intentionally short. Double check that spot, and you’re doing a fantastic job! Thank you for your entry!

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