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Author Topic: Struggling with guitar  (Read 4236 times)

violajack

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2016, 01:49:33 PM »
Thanks! You guys are awesome. Sadly, I only get the kids for music once a week, 45 minutes. We've got 7 more classes before we have to pull off the winter program, so right now, we'll have to just go with whatever we can play on two, maybe three chords. I was hoping to have the ukes accompany the recorder groups, but I either have to teach F natural to the 3rd grade recorder group (nope) or teach the D chord to the middle school uke group (also nope), so I'll probably have them provide accompaniment for the younger grade songs instead. I really want to get the various classes playing together.

I then have a whopping 18 classes for the second half of the year. I'm not sure how much we'll be able to do in those 18 lessons as I'm also responsible for theory and history lessons as well as the practical playing of the ukulele. I want to do some scales and melody line playing in the second half of the year too, in addition to building their repertoire of chords and understanding of chord progressions.

There really is a lifetime of musical growth and enjoyment to be had. I hope I can set a good foundation for them.

Tom

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2016, 02:20:42 PM »
What's the issue with teaching the D chord? In its simplest form:

http://www.ukulele-chords.com/D

I use 2 fingers for the 3 adjacent strings. Smaller fingers might use 3.

Meanwhile, I'm sure you're aware of the multitude of 2- and 3-chord songs. Google will show long lists of them with lyrics and chords.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 06:38:10 PM by Tom »
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Tom

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2016, 06:32:19 PM »
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I just finished reading a book ...

I'm not a lover of learning from books, prefering hands-on and relying on my ears. But I ordered the book based on the positive reviews; Thanks for the link.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 06:36:35 PM by Tom »
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SeilerBird

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2016, 06:55:38 PM »
I don't do well learning from books but this one is exceptional. Even though I knew most of the material I still completely enjoyed reading it. He really does have a great method for learning the uke. He starts with songs with only one chord and then progresses to songs with two chords. Then three chords. And he explains everything very clearly.

BTW I play a D chord several different ways depending on the context. My favorite way is to use my index finger as a bar and just not playing the A string or putting my pinkie on the fifth fret of the A string.
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Tom

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2016, 07:10:50 PM »
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BTW I play a D chord several different ways depending on the context. My favorite way is to use my index finger as a bar and just not playing the A string or putting my pinkie on the fifth fret of the A string.

Yes, but many of us can't do that (i.e. we/I have a weak barre).
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 01:37:21 PM by Tom »
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Tom

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2016, 05:59:48 PM »
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I ordered the book based on the positive reviews;

Ordered with 2-day prime, but it arrived in 1 day. Started reading, interesting story so far. Couldn't resist peeking ahead to see what was coming in other chapters ... can't wait.
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Helmerb

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2016, 06:13:46 PM »
I've been puttering with the guitar for the last couple of years, and have gotten fairly comfortable with the simplest chords.  Just when I was getting cocky I tried to learn how to play an F chord.....are you kidding?  My fingers don't bend that way!!
Bill and Cindy
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Tom

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2016, 06:19:08 PM »
LOL on a ukulele that's a Bb chord. It's a real challenge for some of us. On the uke I play a cheater chord, but haven't tried it on guitar.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2016, 06:30:42 PM »
I've been puttering with the guitar for the last couple of years, and have gotten fairly comfortable with the simplest chords.  Just when I was getting cocky I tried to learn how to play an F chord.....are you kidding?  My fingers don't bend that way!!
Actually it might be your left arm that doesn't bend that way. Most beginners hold the neck too close to their body making an F chord almost impossible. Your left arm should be holding the neck way away from your body at about a 45 degree angle. Kinda like how you would hold a machine gun if you were going to shoot some one at your 10 o'clock. I have posted a photo to give you an idea. If you are already holding the guitar that way and still having trouble then try this. Start by only playing the top four strings instead of all six strings. In other words the four strings closest to the floor. Forget about the two bass strings. It will still be an F chord just without the bass. Then when you can play that way comfortably you can add the two bass strings.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Tom

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2016, 09:25:18 AM »
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Your left arm should be holding the neck way away from your body at about a 45 degree angle.

Comments such as this give me an "aha moment", although they don't always register the first time I read them &/or I forget until I'm reminded. Thanks.

I have no plans for a machine gun though.
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violajack

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #40 on: October 29, 2016, 11:30:48 AM »
What's the issue with teaching the D chord? In its simplest form:

http://www.ukulele-chords.com/D

I use 2 fingers for the 3 adjacent strings. Smaller fingers might use 3.

Meanwhile, I'm sure you're aware of the multitude of 2- and 3-chord songs. Google will show long lists of them with lyrics and chords.

These kids just learned F. They struggle to go from C to F. We'd also need to have G before D would be useful in the context I need. I'm going to try G with them next class, but right now, they don't even all have F. Going G to D is an even bigger leap. I'm sure it'll be doable in the second half of the year, but at least 6 ukes are left on the shelf at the end of class. G to D is not something you can learn in 30 minutes, one day a week.

I don't even like playing D. We'll probably use D7 when we get there anyway. Stupid smushed up fingering. (my violin background probably plays a role in my bias here)

I do have a curriculum shared from a fellow teacher taking us through about a dozen easy singable tunes to get us through a handful of basic chords and then the Ukulele in the Classroom set to get some scales and melody playing in too. I've started combing through some of the websites with chord charts, but I'm also hoping to work with the songs the younger grades are learning on recorder (as that's also the background the middle school kids have).

Tom

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2016, 11:47:09 AM »
Understood. You don't get a lot of time with the kids, and it's not contiguous time either.

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We'll probably use D7 when we get there ...

Some forms of D7 are harder for me to play than D (see here). I play a cheater D7, also known as a "Hawaiian D7", that requires just 2 fingers (see attachment).
« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 06:44:41 PM by Tom »
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SeilerBird

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2016, 12:06:43 PM »
I was lucky learning how to change from A to D (D to G on the uke) since I learned at the time Gloria by Them was big hit. I spent many hours learning the E to D to A chord progression that repeated endlessly and very fast. I spent hours of my youth practicing it.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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violajack

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #43 on: October 29, 2016, 10:07:18 PM »
Understood. You don't get a lot of time with the kids, and it's not contiguous time either.

Some forms of D7 are harder for me to play than D (see here). I play a cheater D7, also known as a "Hawaiian D7", that requires just 2 fingers (see attachment).

Yes, that's the D7 I'm planning on going with if they can't quite get a good D. Since I'll be using it in the context of pieces in the key of G, a "sort of" D7 will fill the role of Dominant nicely.

Ideally, any performing instrumental class should meet at least 3 times a week, or for a longer class period if it's only twice, but I get what I get and I will give them the best I can with the time we have. I'm really going to try to push for a twice a week music experience for the kids in the future, but the school is currently limited by facilities and schedule. I share the studio with Art and Spanish.

Tom

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #44 on: October 31, 2016, 06:47:58 PM »
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Started reading, interesting story so far.

Finished the book, but was somewhat disappointed. The first 35-40% was merely 'history', and most of the rest covered subjects somewhat superficially. Maybe my expectations were too high, based on the celebrity status of the author and the orchestra he plays in. I suppose I'd have a different perspective if I hadn't been playing (or trying to play) the ukulele for 5 years.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Struggling with guitar
« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2016, 06:57:39 PM »
I was not disappointed since I know what to expect from books about music. They can only teach you so much. I just finished it yesterday also. Near the end is a list of uke players to check out so I have been on YouTube checking them all out. I love music from the 20s and 30s and there is a lot from that era.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
My new Pixel camera:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/rMSw5eVkCfKuuEOP2
My portfolio:
https://goo.gl/photos/Cx4SaYhGfYFShSty7
My Grand Canyon shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nc1AT8tQp25wJwfm1

 

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