Uke-piphanies

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  • #53844
    The_Bumble_Bard
    Participant

    Ya know, like “epiphanies,” but with the word “uke” in front of it?

    πŸ˜‚πŸ₯Ί

    What is the biggest epiphany or “breakthrough” you’ve had in playing ukulele since joining Rock Class 101? What struggles have you overcome and what is the biggest improvement you’ve made?

    For me, one of the biggest breakthroughs is being able to learn a whole song. That sounds strange, but I feel like through the lessons here I gained a lot of confidence, perspective, and discipline in not jumping around from song to song (as much) and learned so much during the explanation of the songs about technique that way.

    Also, my ability to arrange songs, as some song arrangements are really hard to find or don’t exist in a nice (chord melody) arrangement like the songs on this site, so I learned so much about how a song can be arranged well here.

    There’s still so much to learn, but honestly I’ve been blown away by how much progress I’ve made since joining here, especially compared to my slow, slow progress beforehand.

    Anyway, what’s the biggest uke-phinany you’ve had since joining RC101? I hope this is an okay topic to create; I’d like to know about your experiences! 😊

    #53848
    surferjay
    Participant

    Two (if I’m allowed two) for me were:

    1. I completed the music theory course on here and afterwards I just saw the fretboard and understood how to play it intuitively.

    2. I actually realised I don’t suck. For a long time I’d only heard negative things when I picked up an instrument. I don’t feel that way about my playing anymore.

    #53852
    robinboyd
    Participant

    My biggest uke-piphany was before joining RC101. It was when I realised how meaningless strumming patterns were as long as you remember to strum down on the down beat and strum up on the up beat. From there, you can remove strums as you see fit and add things like fan strums and chunks on down beats if you want.

    After joining RC101, it was when I finally managed to do harmonics consistently.

    #53855
    The_Bumble_Bard
    Participant

    I misspelled the made up word the second time: * Uke-piphany

    πŸ˜…


    @surferjay
    , you’re allowed two or as many as you want, friend! πŸ˜…

    Just gotta comment…

    1. Welp, that’s pretty amazing! I did start that course but got a bit overwhelmed about the memorizing the fretboard part. 😳 Did you just keep going forward or did you manage to achieve that feat first?

    2. Oh gosh, that’s such a good one!! I think that’s part of why I love this community here is that even if there is a critique needed, it’s coupled with encouragement. It does shatter your confidence if you’re only hearing bad things or if you’re being mostly ignored. I’m a middle child. πŸ˜…


    @robinboyd
    , that is quite amazing! I may have heard that before, but the way you say it, that really makes sense. I feel like I need to ponder upon that one.

    If we’re talking *before* RC101, then I’d say… That I truly loved playing ukulele as a way to soothe my soul, man. Not even joking. But for me the things I learned here and the connections I’ve made so far, they’ve really changed how I view the ukulele and what’s possible to do with it, and I had lofty ambitions to begin with. πŸ˜…

    Thank you for sharing! Our ramble threads continue. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚πŸ’•

    I actually have other uke-piphanies I may share later.

    #53860
    surferjay
    Participant

    What I did was use the course as a structure.. Things that I wanted more info on I just went to YouTube and supplemented the course with it ie. Learning the major scale, or learning about intervals.

    Theory is actually really easy I just think it’s probably explained easier when people can ask questions. For example I understood modes but they just didn’t seem right when I played them. I watched lots of YouTube videos and each one was more confusing. Then I saw one video where the guy just explained how to apply it in a song and I was like is that it.. why did someone not just say that..

    #53869
    The_Bumble_Bard
    Participant

    Yes, I think that’s my struggle at times is that I like to ask a lot of questions, and have things explained in a less formal way, like in the video lessons where theory is applied to a song “in action,” or by observing others asking questions on the forum, but yours is a really good strategy. I do know a fair amount of theory things but the biggest challenges are memorizing the notes on the ukulele. I know every one on a piano and a fair number of chords but it’s like I’m trying to reprogram my brain. πŸ˜…πŸ˜³

    What you described in your second paragraph is exactly what I mean! That moment where something just “clicks” is something truly special. 😊

    #53907
    sarahmusic
    Participant

    i have had a lot of smaller breakthroughs i would say. i never grew up playing any instruments, had no sense of rhythm to the point where i couldn’t even clap along (on beat) to a song lol. i always believed you needed some kind of innate talent for music and didn’t realize it just takes practice but anyone can learn!!

    when i started out, a few people would tell me that i sound really bad, or ask me to stop playing because it annoyed them. and now, people are legit impressed with what i’m able to play!!
    my first breakthrough (pre RC101) was being able to sing and strum at the same time, which i really struggled with for quite some time.

    now since joining, i’m able to able to play higher up the neck, able to do vibrato, i got better at pull-off/hammer-ons, i’ve improved strumming speed and learned new techniques. i’ve also noticed i’m able to learn new songs in fingerpicking style much faster (a few days vs. several long weeks) and i have a much better understanding of music theory.

    one day, I would love to be able to just play by ear… I have a friend who can listen to a song a few times and is immediately able to play it on the ukulele (not just the chords but the melody too)…!!

    for memorizing the fretboard, @The_Bumble_Bard i created an Anki deck with the notes on the ukulele fretboard. here is the link if you want to download it: https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/1680425765 (note: unfortunately the link will only start working in 24 hours)

    if you’re new to Anki, it’s basically a software for spaced repetition. that means that when you’re learning something new, in the beginning you’ll need more repetitions, but as it gets easier, the time intervals between repetitions get longer and longer until you’ll know it by heart.

    #53932
    The_Bumble_Bard
    Participant

    @sarahmusic, that’s so awesome how much you learned since being here!! Thank you for sharing your experiences!

    I grew up playing piano and played into adulthood so I had that musical background but no experience with stringed instruments (the kind you pluck by hand, as opposed to the hammered strings of a pianer). But my problem is that I would play a lot by ear, and after I stopped taking formal piano lessons my discipline for learning theory dropped off a lot. And I’m still bad at learning it… πŸ₯ΊπŸ˜…

    And yes, it’s so cool with each song you learn you get better at all the songs you know and the growth compounds that way!

    It’s so fun that you went from no musical experience to already knowing so much! I love to hear about other people’s stories and experiences and often want to go off on these tangents in the Monthly Challenges but I’m already obnoxious enough as it is. πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚πŸ₯Ί Also those threads get so wild just with all the entries and Andrew giving such in depth feedback to everyone which is so informative and fun.

    So that’s one thing I love to do, is figure out songs by ear but because my theory game is so weak, I may not be able to transcribe them. I feel like that’s just something that comes with experience as well, by trial and error, playing by ear. Maybe even by picking a song that you love and figuring out the melody one note at a time. If you do that enough and with everything else you learned that will come with time.

    Oh neat!! Thank you for sharing that! I’m definitely going to try that because that’s probably in my top three greatest struggles, is being able to visualize the notes on the uke. I mean, there are more than three struggles but you get it… πŸ˜…

    Thank you so much for sharing! In your post in the September challenge I lol’ed at your description of your “creeper video” and how it looked like you were being held hostage. πŸ˜… I feel like that could be a plot of a movie with Morgan Freeman and Cary Elwes.

    Anyway, that’s really all! Thanks for sharing!! 😁

    #53972
    gi_gi_
    Participant

    My ukepiphany is that I never would’ve known how much I would love this instrument. Never in a million years πŸ˜‚. I’m totally hooked. I’ve never enjoyed an instrument so much.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by gi_gi_.
    #53979
    The_Bumble_Bard
    Participant

    Awwwww that’s so dang sweet, gi_gi_ ! I love that. πŸ˜πŸ’•

    I think I never would’ve realized just how much of a thing the uke world is without this site. I found a lot of people who played it on YouTube but I didn’t realize how much of a community, a ukeverse, exists. I may never have made such connections to that community without this site.

    #54525
    sir_anzalot
    Participant

    I think my biggest Ukepiphany was the insight how crazy different classical and modern music are from each other.

    When I learned the Songs for the April and May Challenges, which were Prelude in C nd Yesterday respectively for me, there was such a huge difference in time necessary to learn them it blew me away. I grinded away at the Bach piece for weeks just to memorize it and even more to be able to play it halfway clean. When I started learning Yesterday immideately afterwards, it only took me two days and I was done with the whole Song.

    This was quite the experience for me. My learning capacity has noticibly grown by that and I am now far quicker to memorize pieces structured in a modern way πŸ™‚

    #54526
    The_Bumble_Bard
    Participant

    @sir_anzalot, that’s such a good one and I couldn’t agree more with that!

    I love classical music and there’s often a huge difference in the complexity of it compared to modern music (especially pop music but the Beatles are slightly more involved than say Katy Pary). I’m sure there are exceptions, like maybe jazz music, but to me it’s the difference between a Rembrandt and Andy Warhol. Not sure everyone would agree with that, lol, and that may be a bit extreme but your examples are such a good illustration of this. Bach is also crazy; there’s just so much material to learn and there are often only slight variations between measures.

    I also was reminded of this same thing this month while learning Lacrimosa. I’m actually still working on it and probably will for some time before it’s close to perfect.

    If you want to see crazy classical music you should go look up Chopin, unless you know off-hand. That man was a psychopath as a composer. πŸ˜‚

    There’s this but the first one isn’t crazy. The second one is:

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