The Accountability Thread – Participate in the September 2017 Member Challenge

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    Hi Rock Class 101 Community!

    We are back with site member challenge #6! Please watch the video above and read instructions below carefully for details/instructions on this month’s challenge.

    This month’s challenge is a departure from our typical challenges in which you choose a preselected piece to learn, practice, and post a performance of. This month you are in total control of what you wish to work on! Examples of things you could choose includes: a certain technique, an element of music theory, or a song.

    Below are 3 guidelines you must follow. In your first post, please list all 3 in complete detail.

    3 Steps For Improving:

    1) Execution – List what you will be working on for the month of September. State what your current playing/musicianship ability is and what your goal is – i.e. where you want to be by the end of the month. Include how you plan to accomplish this; highlight your practice schedule.

    2) Application – How will you be applying what you are practicing to your playing? For example, if you are learning how to add a backbeat to your rhythm playing, you could apply this new technique by using it in a song, such as this one: 12 Bar Blues Strumming.

    3) Evaluation – Analyze how you are doing. I suggest to evaluate yourself week by week. Throughout the month, feel free to post updates on how your practicing is coming along (optional).



    1. You must create 2 posts. Post 1 lists the 3 steps in detail and must be submitted by Friday, September 15th. Post 2 shows your results for the month. Depending on what you choose to work on, this could include audio and/or video files of performances. Post 2 must be submitted by Saturday, September 30th, 11:59pm EST.

    The upload feature on the site only supports file sizes up to 5 MB. Members must host their own files. Creating an account is easy and free 🙂 Here are the links to create an account:

    YouTube (For Video) –

    SoundCloud (For Audio) –

    ** If you need assistance with how to record yourself check out our FREE course on recording audio/video and/or private message me and I will be happy to help you out. **

    2. Submit individually, as a reply, IN THIS POST.

    3. Feel free to submit more than one idea for the challenge, but additional ideas will not count as extra entries into the raffle for the prize.

    4. Have fun and don’t be intimidated by this challenge!!! Use this challenge to help you set goals and complete them by a deadline. You can also use this as an opportunity to chat with your fellow Rock Class 101 members and share tips or tricks on this challenge that you think are useful.

    * Note: In my opinion, it is better to show progress versus perfection with these challenges. Remember we are all here to support you no matter what your current playing level is.

    Participation Goal: 20 Rock Class 101 Member Participant Videos/MP3 posted.



    1) The prize and the challenge is open to the entire world!

    2) Premium membership is NOT required to participate, but will make participation easier as it gains you complete access to the full video lessons, tabs, and the on-screen tab viewer.

    3) Basic membership (free) is required to submit a reply on this forum post. You can sign up for Basic Membership HERE.

    4) You are free to work on anything ukulele related. It does not have to be Rock Class 101 related.


    Giveaway Rules:

    There will be 1 winner, selected by random drawing on October 1, 2017. To qualify to win, you must submit your audio and/or video links of your playing by the deadline listed above.

    Grand Prize:

    1) 1 on 1 Private 60 Minute Skype Lesson with Andrew. We can work on whatever you wish!

    Let’s crush this challenge!


    ORIGINAL POSTING INFO (August 2017) – And What I am Working on

    So Dave created a great post about hitting a plateau and feeling stuck, like you’re not progressing in your playing and/or musicianship. Take a second and read through that post and then come back.

    I have titled this post: The Accountability Thread. Here we can share videos and audio of the things that we are working on with each other. Try to outline the 3 steps in your posts on this thread. Together we can work towards improving.

    I’ll start us off. I want to get better at triplet picking and strumming. Here are the techniques and tutorials:


    So I’m currently at 90 bpm. But, I’d like to increase my speed. My plan is to work with a metronome everyday for about 10 minutes or so. As I feel comfortable and my playing is clean, I will increase the speed by intervals of 5 bpm. This in a nutshell is step one: Execution.

    Step 2 is Application. I want to write an arrangement for the site of Malaguena, which uses this technique. So I will be applying the technique to that song and others that are in similar genres.

    Step 3 is Evaluation. I will plan to post my progress over the next weeks/months here. I think a realistic goal is to master the technique at 120 bpm. Here’s where I’m at:


    So let’s have fun, join me in our never-ending quest to get better 🙂


    I’m in. There are so many things to work on, but I’m going to start with the thing Andrew advised me on yesterday.

    I have trouble getting a clean 4 string pluck after a slap. Apparently I’m bouncing around too much. Here’s the rather embarrassing video I avoided posting publicly, but whatever. I’ll practice for 5 to 10 minutes a day on simple blues chords, then apply to various songs.

    Application: I’ll use it in the Waimanolo Blues as well as the 12 bar Blues Strumming beginner song. The 12 Bar Blues gives me my simple chords I know well for the basic practice.

    Evaluation. New video in 2 weeks or so with some progress I hope.


    Ok lets give this a go…

    It’s quite late when I’m getting in at the moment so I’ve started with a graphic rather than a video or audio file. I’m sticking with developing my ear for the time being.

    1) Execution
    As suggested I’m going to try and do interval training (500 a day). The attached graphic is from day 2 of my ear training.

    2) Application
    Hopefully this is on the right lines but I’d then like to take that improved ear and be able to play those intervals on the ukulele (am I getting this right Andrew?)

    3) Evaluation
    Again following your suggestion, I’ll try and jump in on some basic blues songs and name the dominant chord (I,IV,V).

    1. Screen-Shot-2017-08-15-at-23.04.39.png


    No need to be embarrassed Lisa, we are all learning and you are doing great! Looking forward to seeing your progress!

    And wow Dave, if you got 76% you are kicking butt! Great job 🙂 Give the descending intervals a shot, they are tricky!!

    Here’s an application idea: In our lesson for Yankee Doodle, I wrote the arrangement using thirds. Take a simple melody like that one and harmonize it. You can share it here 🙂


    So here goes, I’m in and going to make myself accountable as promised.
    I’ll see if I can setup something to record my current state but I want to challenge myself to a four week practice schedule of at least 10 minutes per day (at least 5 days a week).

    To this end I’ve put together a google spreadsheet to help me track and record my progress.
    I’ve made a blank copy of the spreadsheet available here

    Just open the above link (and if you have a google account you’ll be able to make a copy and use it for yourself – if not you should still be able view / print it).

    The cool part is if you set the start date in cell C2 then all the dates automatically update and you can copy / print it out as often as you like!

    I was inspired by the guide here here.

    1. Execution – Following on from Andrews advice on my introduction post,I shall initially be concentrating finishing the basic course and improving basic chord changes, syncing them with strumming and trying to get a variety of basic 2 – 3 chord progressions. I shall also be practicing basic fingerpicking skills.

    2. Application – The ultimate goal is to be able to play “Our First Song” from the beginner section and use it as the basis for continuous improvement.

    3. Evaluation – I suppose I should post a before and after video of me trying to follow along with “Our First Song” – I’ll definitely post an after video once my four weeks are up. I’ll also post a print out of my practice schedule!


    That practice spreadsheet looks awesome Jon! Thanks for making it 🙂

    I’d suggest to post a video of that tune when you feel like you have a good handle. I’d be happy to give you feedback too! Looking forward to watching your progress!


    Well, I have to admit my triplet practice has been put to the side as I’ve been working on a few upcoming arrangements for the site, one of which is: Magic Ukulele Waltz. This arr. was written by Ukulelezaza. (Go check him out, he’s awesome!) I had worked on the “A” melody awhile ago and today finally got around to transcribing the second melody. This is gonna be an awesome lesson 🙂

    In the #woodshed tonight. Who knows this tune? #roysmeck #ukulele

    A post shared by Rock Class 101 (@rockclass101) on


    Accountability time. I’ve been working on that four string pluck. My application in this month’s challenge song is not good, but I still have too much to think about on that one. Here it is I the easier song. I played the whole song rather than just the part I question because that’s more fun for me. 😀

    I think I’m bouncing around a lot less but I still don’t get a clean even pluck of all four strings. Feedback welcome.


    Sounds awesome Lisa! Great job, I’d only suggest maybe pluck/slap a little lighter. See how that sounds, it should be a little sweeter of a tone.

    Here’s my update (triplet work on hold). I’ve been busting my butt to get this Magic Ukulele Waltz tune down and am feeling ready for the performance shoot this week 🙂 Here’s a snippet of the B melody and some tips on sustaining notes/chords.


    For all members already participating, this thread just became our September site member challenge 🙂 Scroll up to the first post to read the rules/details and to see what the prize for the month is!


    Hi Andrew,
    As my rendition of Aloha Oe for August demonstrates, I am having some trouble in two areas — bar chords and fretting at 10 and above. For this September challenge, I want to focus on getting better sound with bar chords.
    Execution – To improve how bar chords ring out at all parts of the fretboard, I will practice playing the barred D and G chords in the Aloha Oe intro and extend them up the neck.
    Application – I will alternate the barred D and G chord positions, moving them up and back down the neck 20 times in each daily practice session in September.
    Evaluation – I will post an updated recording of Aloha Oe with the bar chords ringing!


    Hi! I love so much this challenge and hope to win 🙂 In last days I focalize my lacks.

    1. Execution – I think I have a lot of things to learn, but I will concentrate my efforts on hammer on (impossible to have sustain for me at the moment) and backbeat. As I told, for hammer on I am actually at zero level, while backbeat is a little better. Till last June I succeeded in practicing every day, and I hope will do it again since this hot weather will end.

    2. Application – Waimanalo Blues has all the goal I will reach, so I will try to execute it in a proper way during this period. I will learn 8 bars per time.

    3. Evaluation – Starting from my actual level, I will arrive to play it well.


    Awesome guys! Great goals to aim for 🙂 Sheryl, I’d also recommend to add some more barre chords to your practice routine. Always good to practice as many as possible.

    Here’s a good place to start:

    It’s a cool feature that creates chord progressions for you 🙂


    Just a couple questions, if there is a certain song we want to learn that is not on rock class 101 is that ok to do? Also for those who really want to put themselves out there can we play a song with vocals?


    Hey Tessa, Yes! All is fair game for this month 🙂

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