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Author Topic: Uke to banjo to drums  (Read 4043 times)

Tom

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Uke to banjo to drums
« on: January 02, 2013, 04:41:29 PM »
I'm currently at our son's home near Columbus, OH freezing my tootsies off, while Chris is driving 2700 miles with our daughter and grandkids to their new home in the same town.

I need to practice the uke while here, so I bought an el cheapo uke on amazon.com and had it shipped here. When I pulled it out of the carton, our DIL pulled out an inexpensive uke owned by our 5 year old grandson. He doesn't (yet) play, and his uke wasn't in tune anyway. I expect to have him strumming before we leave to return to CA.

Meanwhile, in discussion with our DIL, I learn that she comes from a musical family; She played banjo and drums, her father plays guitar, her brothers play guitar &/or drums, and one bro teaches banjo. Wow! None of this came out in our prior visits here or their visits to CA.

Today our DIL was lamenting the fact that she'd given her banjo away to someone, and expressed a desire to get back to playing. Google turned up several local musical instrument stores, but we came away disappointed.

On the way 'home', we stopped at a Thrift store and found a used kid's 'drum kit' (apologies to serious drummers), and I learned our grandson, who has and sorta plays several 'instruments', has been wanting one. We get back to the house and he announced "I'm going to practice for a concert and you're all invited". The 'concert' involved our GS playing the drums to a background song. All I can say is WOW! He was on the beat, introduced some variations, and ended on the beat. He then announced we were invited to a second 'concert' this evening. Meanwhile, his Mommy gave him a little instruction from her drumming days, and proceeded to accompany him on the uke.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 05:58:16 AM by Tom »
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SeilerBird

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Re: Uke to banjo to drums
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 04:53:01 PM »
No need to say your are sorry to serious drummers. I started taking drum lessons at such a young age I can't even remember how old I was, probably 6 or 7. I had to play on a Ludwig practice pad, which was a piece of brown rubber about 6 inches long, 4 inches wide and an inch deep shaped like the Ludwig Logo. I used to play rudiments for hours on the silly thing. Talk about boring. Of course that made it so no one else would have to suffer through an hour of ratamacues. I didn't get a real set of drums until I was 11 years old. I would have killed for a set like that at age 7. I am very jealous of your grandkids. If they are looking for things to practice the 40 rudiments are the best place to start (there were only 26 when I was a kid).

http://www.vicfirth.com/education/rudiments.php
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Re: Uke to banjo to drums
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 06:11:01 PM »
My son the drummer confiscated my pots, pans and lids when he was about 9 years old.  He stacked them in his closet and hung the lids from the rod (for cymbal effect).  We realized he had some talent and finally bought him a nice set when he was 12.  Gotta start somewhere!  ;)
 
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Tom

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Re: Uke to banjo to drums
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 06:51:24 PM »
Quote
Gotta start somewhere!

You're so right Margi.

Our DIL takes care of a couple of kids a few nights a week. The gals turned up this evening, and one of them headed straight for one of the ukes. Their mother was concerned, but I told her not to worry, and that I'd have them strumming by the time they left. A picture says a thousand words.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 06:56:07 PM by Tom »
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Re: Uke to banjo to drums
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 06:56:49 PM »
Priceless!  They'll remember you and the lessons forever.  Love it!
 
Margi

Tom

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Re: Uke to banjo to drums
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 07:04:21 PM »
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I learn that she comes from a musical family

Here's her brother's web presence.
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Tom

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Re: Uke to banjo to drums
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 05:32:25 AM »
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... the 40 rudiments are the best place to start ... http://www.vicfirth.com/education/rudiments.php

Thanks for the link; I finally got to spend some time on the site this morning, and had no idea about the rudiments.

I always wanted to.play drums when I was a kid, but knew we couldn't afford them, so I didn't ask. Like Margi's son, I "played' on pots and pans, although in my case they were from  friend's home.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Uke to banjo to drums
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 06:09:17 AM »
You are welcome. The reason for learning rudiments is to learn how to control your hands and to learn timing. What you do is start very very slowly playing one of the rudiments and then slowly speed up to as fast as you can do it correctly and then slow back down again. About five minutes total is good. Very few drummers learn all of them, the best way to start is learning the first one in each category.

The most important thing about learning drums is getting the proper grip. Here is a link to the "traditional grip":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_grip

But that grip is really a military grip developed so drummer could play a snare drum properly when marching. For playing on a drum set the trad grip doesn't work so well. Most drummer today use a "matched grip":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matched_grip

I started with the trad and switched to matched after about 10 years and I really prefer the matched grip. But let the kids try both and see what feels more comfortable to them.

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Tom

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Re: Uke to banjo to drums
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2013, 06:34:03 AM »
Quote
Google turned up several local musical instrument stores, but we came away disappointed.

Not entirely disappointed. When we walked into one of the music stores, our DIL spotted  an instrument that looked like a banjo.uke, but with 8 strings. It turned out to be a used mandolin on consignment. I wasn't sure about the correct tuning, but my ears told me it wasn't tuned. My best guess was that the top string was low-g. Being unfamiliar with the mandolin, I also couldn't figure out how the second set of strings should be tuned relative to the first ;The lady thought that, based on the fact that both strings in each pair were the same size, they should be tuned to the same note, whereas I was thinking about 8-string ukes having each pair of strings tuned an octave apart.

The lady tried calling the owner, but he's apparently lost his hearing, and they couldn't communicate too well. A little research this.morning confirms gdea tuning, and also confirms that each pair of strings sre tuned to the same note. That leaves me wondering why the same note; If they were an octave apart, you'd hear a "fuller" sound, but the same note would merely sound louder (?) Any mandolin players here who could shed some sound light on it?
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 03:29:51 PM by Tom »
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SeilerBird

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Re: Uke to banjo to drums
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2013, 07:37:39 AM »
That leaves me wondering why the same note; If they were an octave apart, you'd hear a "fuller" sound, but the same note would merely sound louder (?) Any mandolin players here who could shed some sound light on it?
It is a question of size. If you were to have the strings an octave apart the second string would have to be an octave lower not higher. That would be large heavy strings. It would make the instrument larger, heavier and more expensive. Mandolins have a very unique sound that comes from the unison tuning. If you wanted an instrument with double strings tuned in octaves then you would get a 12 string guitar.
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Tom

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Re: Uke to banjo to drums
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2013, 08:46:30 AM »
All 6-string and 8-string ukes I've seen or held have two of the second strings tuned an octave apart from the primary string. They have a wider neck, but they're not much heavier, and in fact are much lighter than my 4-string banjo uke. Doesn't mean there aren't any 6- or 8- string ukes tuned the way the mandolin is, just that I haven't seen any in my brief exposure to ukes.

A 10-string charango has one pair of strings tuned an octave apart, while the other 4 pairs are tuned in unison. The only charango I've seen and held was about the size of my concert uke and a little heavier, but still a lot lighter than my banjo uke of approx the same size.
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Luca1369

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Re: Uke to banjo to drums
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2013, 01:24:09 PM »
If you thinking tuning a mandolin is a problem, try tuning a Sitar...
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SeilerBird

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Re: Uke to banjo to drums
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2013, 01:37:01 PM »
If you thinking tuning a mandolin is a problem, try tuning a Sitar...
And then try playing it..... ;D

Or even worse, imagine changing strings on a sitar......... :-[
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Tom

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Re: Uke to banjo to drums
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2013, 03:02:51 PM »
No mandolin and no sitar for me. I was just curious about the mandolin we saw in the store yesterday. It didn't even look like a mandolin, more like a banjo uke.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Uke to banjo to drums
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2013, 08:00:11 PM »
I was tuning up my bass tonight before rockin' and rollin' and I thought of a tip that you might not be aware of Tom. When tuning any stringed instrument it is best to tune up to the note, from flat to on pitch rather than tune down to a note, from sharp to pitch. The string will stay in tune longer that way since it will have more tension on the string. This might not make sense until you try it both ways and feel the tension on the tuner as you are tuning.
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Tom

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Re: Uke to banjo to drums
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2013, 08:05:45 PM »
Thanks. I've heard/read that many times.

FWIW the combination of my Fluke ukulele and Aquila strings never goes out of tune. The uke has been accidentally booted across a room, and has crashed on the floor numerous times, and it stays in tune. All this is after the initial "stretch" period with new strings.
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