Monday, August 25, 2008


Here’s the quote from Richard Hefner (topic Dueling Banjo’s)

This was in response to a question on the website and is matching the direction I want to work towards. Picking out a tune on the ukulele. Playing the melody.

“… It's probably not nearly as brilliant as it appears to be. … it's just a 3-chord tune with a simple melody so it's really not difficult at all. It's hard to explain but after you play for a while tunes like that practically play themselves. On that particular tune, I didn't even learn it really. I just knew the tune and played it. Before that video I probably played it 10 or 12 times to work out anything I wasn't sure of but it's not a song I've played much.

In the beginning I know that doesn't sound logical because everything is in tab form or standard music or whatever. I think tablature is really good for people learning to play. I used it myself in learning and of course I write tabs now for people to learn. I do believe that learning arrangements in tablature form is good for people learning to play, but after you learn to play it's good to stop relying on the tabs and start just working out songs on your own. It's hard to say how long that process takes. I was stuck on tablature for quite a few years before getting to the point of just playing what was in my head.
I heard an old fiddler say that when he wanted to learn a song he'd get the tune in his head then go out and work in the field all day and keep whistling or humming that tune until he really knew it, then he'd come in and figure out how to play it. That's pretty much what I do. If I want to learn a song I'll get a recording of it then just listen to it while I'm driving around until I know the tune really well, then once I know the song really well I'll figure out how to play it. Once you can hear it in your head it's a lot easier to figure it out on an instrument.

As far as practice, it's good to practice (or play) all you can. If you can practice an hour or more each day that's great, but if you can only manage 15-30 minutes that's okay too. One of the great things about the uke is that it seems to be a lower stress instrument. It's generally easier to play than the guitar or banjo and when I have very little time to practice I prefer playing the uke over other instruments because I'm able to play and enjoy some music without being overwhelmed by the feeling that I'm not keeping up with something that's hard to play.”
:>) Thanks to UkeGal for the encouragement to press on,

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