Participate in the September 2018 Member Challenge – Fingerpicking Themed!

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    I think that’s a Kala KA-EBY-T?


    Thanks to everyone who participated this month! If I counted correctly, we had 55 members participate! Amazing! Stephen and I will be leaving feedback for everyone that we haven’t yet throughout this week. When we get through leaving feedback, we will announce the winner! 🙂

    In the meantime, please check out our October challenge:


    It’s a Kala Ebony Tenor. I love it!

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by Stephen.

    andracass, Great playing! I like the tone you get out of the Ukulele! The two finger picking approach works and sounds great, but you can benefit from using three if you spend the time slowly going through the lesson focusing on the right hand. It sounds like you have the main melody under control, but I recommend focusing on the part at measure 7 (starting on the A9 chord) and working through it slowly until it feels more comfortable. Transitioning between sections is also a bit tough, so isolate them by playing the measure before a new section through the measure after the new section starts so that you don’t pause between sections.

    poopsies, That sounded great! Your tone is excellent, and you played fairly consistently even at the fast tempo! If you played just a tiny bit slower, I bet you could have played it with zero mistakes! My only recommendation would be to practice with a metronome at a slower speed and work up to the tempo you played it a bit more gradually. Thank you for participating!

    suzums, Wow! Very impressive! Very consistent tempo, technique sounds awesome! The only advice I have is practicing slowly to make sure every note is at a consistent volume as well…but honestly they almost are already. Great performance!

    wongbrown, My favorite part was the chord at the end: all the notes rang out clearly and the thumb played through each string with finesse! The only advice I have for you is to play along with a metronome to get the spacing of the finger picked notes right in time. Practicing slowly with one note per click will help your accuracy and tempo. The notes sound great! Thank you!

    benjamin, Excellent job on learning the notes! I like the rhythm you are playing, and think it’s very cool like that, but it is a different rhythm than written. If you want to learn it with the correct rhythm, I would recommend playing along with the tab player slowly and gradually speed it up (50%, then 75%, then full speed), matching the notes in time. Thank you for playing my song!

    ellbo99, I love the idea of swinging this etude! It sounds great! You did an awesome job, not really much to say to add to it. Thank you for participating!

    twizzler, You sound good! I would recommend working on measure 9 and 10 a little bit slowly, just to get it more consistent. Slow practice helps. Have you tried the finger picking pattern Andrew does on this section? Yours works great, too (one finger assigned to one string only), but try using the thumb for the G and C string. My only other advice is to play the chord at the very end of the song lighter, maybe strum lightly with the thumb instead of plucking? Great work!


    nggnmm, Great playing, great job on the finger picking pattern! You’ve got it down! I would work on relaxing your right hand and playing more fluidly. Pick lighter and hold each fretted note a little bit longer before the next one (leave less space between notes). This will make your playing sound more flowing. If you feel like you are already doing this…it may be that your long sleeve is muting the notes a bit! Maybe roll it back? 🙂 Awesome job! Thanks for participating in the challenge!


    Thanks Stephen. Will work on improving finger picking by use of the metronome. Great advice. Cheers, Sheila


    Thanks Stephen. Makes complete sense. I kept tripping up over my fingers in the many takes before I got that one so the suggested changes should make it sound cleaner. I also had new strings on so it’s taken a little while to adjust to a new fretting pressure, I’ve only ever used Aquila but these are flurocarbon. Pay off in sound but hard to get used too 😊


    Thanks for the feedback, Stephen! I’ll keep practicing the song. I listened to it again and definitely missed certain notes. Thanks again for your feedback!


    Here is everyone on Page 8 🙂


    cindy_le, welcome back! Here’s a video with some tips for you on improving left hand form.

    yenting, great job! Here is a short video with some tips for left hand form for the last chord.

    vidafntn, very creative adjusting the piece for your instrument. I saw your note on sustain and I thought the same thing before I read it, and I think it comes down to the adjustments you made, which unfortunately make the piece far more difficult than it is on high G. Playing wise, well done!

    Ahh, so just watched the second one and boom! You figured out a better way (position) to play it in to increase sustain! So the big takeaway is that the new way is much simpler on both hands. I was watching a lesson video from one of my favorite guitarists, Joe Pass, and if there’s ever a guy that knows a billion chords in all kinds of inversions and voicings, it’s him! What was interesting was, he said that he does not play any chord changes or phrases that require difficult fingerings. And this points shines true in your second adaption. Great work, I’m impressed by your ingenuity.

    lamaestramendez, nicely done! Here is a video with some tips on playing the rhythm straight verse swung, and here is our lesson on the difference between the two. Also, here is our lesson on the importance of memorizing a piece.

    ambera, great job! Here is a video with tips on timing and fixing your wrist position on the right hand.

    mayaqatsi, super solid take! Very well done. So as you pointed out, you just want to touch up here and there on timing, but I think the big thing and it’s hard to see as your right forearm is completely cut out of the shot… but do you feel when the strumming gets intense, that you are tensing up in the right forearm and hand? Some of the intense strumming sounded like you struggled there, while other parts of the tune seemed very easy for you… Which is a telltale sign of tightness. Try to relieve all tension and it should make the intense parts easier.

    kristiansdraguns, well done! I love hearing that you guys put a lot of practice into these pieces 🙂 So one thing I would work on is trying to relax a little bit more, as it looks like you are very focused and that comes across in your playing as sounding rigid. One thing you can do is to ease up on the attack of the right hand, a softer attack produces a sweeter tone. Check out this lesson, as it talks about what emotions and dynamics we should instill in a piece that we perform. Also, double check the last chord.

    ukulelesam04, awesome job on both songs Sam! I shared this on our Facebook page and it got over 500 likes 🙂 One thing that I thought you did very well on was the strumming rhythms in Etude 14, really good job!

    One helpful tip, if you look at some of the feedback I left for other members earlier this month, you’ll see that I pointed out their position of the thumb on the left hand, behind the neck. I’m seeing a pattern in which some members are over-extending the left hand thumb (coming up over the neck), when it should be placed (more-so) slightly above the middle of the neck. So for example, if you reposition it to that place on the neck, the pull-off licks (frets 1-3) in etude 14 would be much much easier to play. Check out this lesson for more tips on thumb placement.

    peropata, well played, sounds great! The only tip I have is the same advice I left for ambera above, in correcting the posture of the right hand wrist. Be sure to check that advice out and let me know if you have any questions 🙂

    iuiuma, great job! The only feedback I have for you is to watch the timing as sometimes there may be pauses between phrases or you cut the rhythm of a section short. But the playing sounds great, keep up the good work!

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by Andrew. Reason: Correction: Here is everyone on Page 8

    Whoops! Sorry, I meant page 8!


    Thanks so much for the feedback Andrew! So cool that you take the time to do that for all of us!! I will definitely work on both of those tips.

    It’s funny, I didn’t even know I was holding my right hand like that until I watched my video.


    Hi, Andrew, when I started to learn this etude I tried to learn the way you taught in the video, but when I played the last chord my pinky somehow made it sound a bit dead, I wanted to make it sound better so I changed the form of it, then it became settled along the weeks I practiced this etude. I don’t know why I didn’t make it in the first place, for now I try it the way you taught again, I find it easy and sound nice.

    And I actually broke the proper form of holding the uke as you already reminded us Not to in the tutorial video, but because I had a difficult time moving smoothly up and down the neck in the beginning, I was not used to see the dots on top of the neck, they were kind of small…so I adjusted my position so that I can see the dots on the fretboard, then it also became a habit when I practiced this piece, now I’m already more confident about playing this one I find the dots Not that Small…LOL… I learned that one should always set the right way and habit to begin with. Thank you so much for the feedback and your kind teaching, Andrew!!!



    WOW, overall we had 51 members participate this month! Amazing job to each of you! Stephen and I thoroughly enjoyed watching everyone’s performances! 🙂

    So without further ado, the winner of this month’s challenge is:



    Our October challenge is LIVE! It’s Halloween Themed and it’s the first chance to win an $1800 Kanile’a! Check out the challenge here:

    Finally, I’ve left feedback for everyone on page 9 below. 🙂 Thanks again to everyone who participated! We crushed this challenge!


    rillke, well done on the rhythm, that was a great performance! My suggestion for you is to now turn your focus on increasing the tempo. Try gradual increases, 5 BPM at a time.

    hzhuodie, lovely playing, well done! 🙂

    rpina61, I really enjoyed your take. This is definitely a song that works very well in free time and I love the vibe that that creates over strictly adhering to a solid tempo. Everything else looked great, including picking form and tone (sweet).

    zdubnoff, great job! How long have you been playing? I’d encourage you to check out our practice guide; the guide shows you the most efficient way to tackle learning a song section by section. So moving forward, I would focus on getting one section down, cleanly and in time, before trying to tackle the entire tune. Overall, you are doing very well, keep up the great work!

    zukulele, excellent playing Zion! Great feel and tone! The only thing I want to point out is that pull-off on the A string (frets 3 to 2 to 0), the last note – the open A should be a quarter note, not an 8th. Other than that, brilliant performance 🙂

    ukuleleloo, love your relaxed vibe! That vibe gives the music a very different feel, I really like it! Everything looks and sounds great, form is great and there is not tension in your wrist/forearm during the busy rhythm strumming sections; which is vital for playing complex rhythms.

    The only thing I’d suggest to work on is to smooth out some of the hammer-on & pull-off licks… actually the very last set that ends the tune, you played very well! Just want to make the other ones match that. And maybe one more suggestion, a good challenge for you, try to gradually increase the tempo, with a focus on keeping it as clean as you currently are.

    acpursley, nicely played! You have a nice tone to your playing. Here’s the big thing I would work on, timing. Try and play along with the on-screen tab viewer. It will act as a guide and keep you locked into the pocket. Also at 0:22, make sure you don’t bend at the first joint, a good rule of thumb is to keep the joint curved and the finger placement on the fingertip.

    crazihippichic, the other day in the other post, I thought you meant that you had not posted it; missing by a couple minutes is not a big deal. I guess it really only matters if it’s like a day or two later, lol.

    That was really impressive for learning in one day! I really don’t have any advice except for continue practicing and it will smooth out. But very good job for such short time!

    lygonaceae, well done! Timing was great considering the brisk tempo. I’m with you in thinking that it is a song that is better suited for a slower, more relaxed pace. And definitely put the low G back on! Low G lessons launch October 26th!


    Yay! My first feedback. 😊

    I promise to not wait until the last day to work on ‘The Walking Dead Theme’.

    Congratulations to nggnmm! That’s a nice ukulele. 😍


    Congrats nggnmm!


    Congrats nggnmm! That’s a sweet uke!

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