Practice – how do you do it?

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  • #35811
    smokealot
    Participant

    Hello Forum,

    I´ve written quite the long text about this topic but it got lost in space. Since I am still curious and curiouser I want to ask the question again: How do you get to where you want to be as a ukulele player?

    I watched the live lesson on how to practice and did some more research (found a very intense guy on youtube who talks about mastering the guitar, Claus Levin). And in that process I got kind of lost. Too much information and no idea on how to put it together so that it fits me. I actually found myself playing less due to some kind of intimidation. I guess I am struggling to become a better player (who eventually is able to create his own music) vs. still enjoying playing the uke without the strain of “becoming something” or needing to reach a certain level at a certain time.

    How do you go about that?

    (And for those who know it, you just lost the game 🙂 )

    #35812
    lisadmh
    Participant

    Hey there. I’m no expert on this by any stretch, but I thought I’d say hi.

    You know the leaning paths page here? It’s at the very bottom of every page. There’s a lesson in there on how to practice. It’s well broken down… But I have to admit I don’t follow it.

    I think the big changes come in time and you just have to be patient. I used to push myself to harder level songs because I thought that meant I was better. Now I’m trying to do easier ones but play then better, smoother, nicer. I don’t always stick with that if something hard catches me, but that’s the goal.

    Slow and steady wins the race, you know? If I try too hard I get frustrated and play less. Play to have fun, then all of the sudden Andrew tells you your really improving, and so it must be so. 😀

    #35817
    robinboyd
    Participant

    I am a terrible example. I NEVER practice. I don’t have set times that I sit down with my uke. I don’t have defined goals. I don’t do most of the stuff that Andrew recommends in the learning paths thing. What I do is I work from home and I have my ukes sitting next to my desk so I can pick them up and play them when I need a break. When I want to learn how to do something tricky, I keep trying until I can do it. It’s totally unstructured, though. I suppose the difference for me is that I know I will never be a professional musician and I don’t really want to play for others. It’s all for my own satisfaction, so the only thing that matters is whether I enjoy it. I have also improved a lot since I started, but that is incidental.

    #35861
    smokealot
    Participant

    Good to hear from other people about that topic.
    I know the learning path page and use it as a guideline, it does help me to get a rough idea of what I could be doing. The learning path page is actually where I found the idea of splitting up your practice time in 1/3 and I wondered if anybody was doing that or if there are other ideas out there.
    What you two said describes me well too. My situation at the moment is that I don´t get much regular practice time and want to make the most out of the time I have.

    I already started to play easier songs better, working on a good foundation before working on harder songs. That seems most important to me right now.

    But then there is all that theory stuff out there. How much are you guys working on that? Apparently lot of you have written there own originals, which I find very impressive and have gotten there somehow. But how?

    Atm I am trying to do a little warm up, then practice easy songs while paying a lot of attention to the technique and getting a good and consistent tone. When there is still time I started the jamming & theory course.

    In the end I keep reminding myself that I still have a lot of time left and there is no need to rush and that I eventually will get there if I want to 🙂

    #35862
    lisadmh
    Participant

    I’ve written originals with almost no knowledge of theory. I can keep to a time signature, but that’s about it. I find pleasing chord transitions online, then I do patterns with it, then I find the same chords up the neck, then do random noodling to add to it. It’s nothing fancy but I quite enjoy it and I think they sound like songs. I have 8 originals.

    #35867
    robinboyd
    Participant

    I haven’t written my own songs, but I have arranged a few.

    I also learn music theory in my own haphazard way. I learned piano and flute as a child and I covered a lot of music theory then, but I have forgotten most of it. Still, learning music theory is usually a matter of relearning it, rather than learning it for the first time. Anyway, I basically look things up as I get interested in them. For instance, we just bought a digital piano, and I have the circle of 5ths printed out and I’ve been practicing scales on it. So far, I can only play C and G, but I’ll get there. That’s just because that’s what piqued my interest, though.

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