Achieving My Goal

Over the course of the semester I was assigned to learn something using online resources only. I chose to learn the ukulele, something I would be interested in continuing after the semester was over. I was really surprised at how easy it was to find the necessary resources I needed to learn the song Interlude: Moving On by Paramore. It took lots of time and mistakes but thanks to the help of UkuTabs.com and YouTube I was able to achieve my goal of being able to play and sing this song.

I made three videos of my progress throughout the semester. This first video showed my progress on learning the chords and the strum. One of the challenges I had during this stage of learning was moving my fingers from the G chord to the B7 chord quick enough, so there wasn’t a pause between them.

This second video was to show how I was able to play with the music at 75% speed. I had tried at 100% but it proved to be a little to fast for me still.

For the third and final video I learnt the lyrics, so I was able to play and sing the song at the same time. This was a little challenging as I either tended to forget the lyrics while concentrating on the chords or forget the chords or strum while focusing on the lyrics. But with lots of practice I was able to achieve my goal.

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Singing Away

So, this week I promised that I was going to sing while playing the ukulele. It was a bit of a struggle at first. Sometimes I would be so focused on the lyrics I would lose the strum that I was doing as well. Sometimes it was the other way around where I would be so focused on the strum, I forgot the lyrics. But I kept trying and it got a little bit easier every time. I was really nervous during this video and I tried my best, I hope you like my attempt.

Here is my video:

Teaching Chords

This week we were instructed to help others learn. I decided to make a Piktochart of how to play the chords to the song I am doing for this learning project. It was pretty easy to use and I was able to add my own photos of what the chords looked like. Unfortunately I was not able to make the pictures very big, but here is what I made with Piktochart:

If you want to view this in a bigger version on the Piktochart website here is the link: https://create.piktochart.com/output/37883106-learning-project

 

 

Discovering Animoto

This week we were assigned to use a new tool or app to document our learning project progress. I chose to use Animoto. It is a tool that allows you to create videos with text, photos and video clips. Animoto also allows you to add music to the videos you create. It is pretty straight forward to use, there were a set of templates to choose from, and once I had chosen a template the editing and adding  of photos was pretty easy. I think Animoto would be great for making presentations.

This is what the main editing page looks like:

This is what it looks like when you are editing a page:

All of the editing options are on the left and right side of the screen.

Here is my first Animoto video:

Getting Closer!

This week I have continued practicing at 75% speed. I have played the song a couple times without the chords in front of me and I did well remembering them. But as soon as I started recording this week’s video (below), I needed to look at the chords again.

So now, I have gotten to the point in my learning project where I am supposed to learn the lyrics to this song, but I do feel like I have been procrastinating on this part a bit. I am very nervous about recording myself singing. But I said I would, so I will try. By next week I am hoping to have the lyrics memorized so it is easier for me to play and sing at the same time.

Video I played along with…

 

I’m not angry at the ukulele! I was just extra focused since I was on camera!

 

Full Speed Ahead!

In the last couple of weeks, I have not practiced the ukulele a whole lot. I have been busy with work and school. So, this week when I started up again I kind of went all in right at the start, playing at full speed instead of partial speed. It was SO FAST…it was CRAZY! So, after my first attempt I slowed it down to about 75% speed and continued to practice. Eventually I put it back up to full speed again and while it was a little intimidating and still difficult, I enjoyed the challenge and even managed to finish the song a couple of times. I still get mixed up on the chords from time to time, but I’m sure if I keep at it I will continue to get better.

This is the video I practice with!

Reading Week!

So I’m not going to lie, I didn’t get much practice time in during reading week. I took this time to relax and take a break, and unfortunately that also meant from playing the ukulele. Although during the little practice I did today I realized I am a little more comfortable with playing the ukulele in front of others. Usually I am anxious when playing in front of or around others. Today I didn’t even think about if others were around to hear my playing. For my next blog post I will be practicing along with the music, and will hopefully be able to get faster to play the song at full speed.

Learning Ukulele At My Own Pace

This week I didn’t have much time to practice, but when I did have the chance to practice for a bit, I continued working on chords and strumming. I am slowly getting the hang of it and am getting better at playing the right chords. Also because of the trouble I was having with strumming with my index finger, I decided to look into ukulele picks. I found a pack of six ukulele felt tips on Amazon for $6.88. They just came in the mail this Monday and I found that I am more comfortable using the pick for strumming. Anyway, here is my progress so far…

Next week I will try and play with the music at the speed of 0.75. I tried this last week, but I found it difficult, so hopefully if I keep practicing I will be able to keep up with the music by next week.

Strumming Away

At the beginning of this week I continued practicing chords. I still get the ukulele and guitar chords mixed up, but not as often as I used to. I also learned the strum to the song. I started with UkuTabs.com being open and a YouTube video of the song open at the same time. I tried to switch between both pages, but that was not working for me. Instead I decided to copy out the chords and lyrics on a piece of paper so I could follow along on that. It was so much easier!

I got part of the strum from UkuTabs.com. DDUUDP (down, down, up, up, down, up) was given for the verse, I just had to figure out how many of each chord I would have to play. I listened to the song a lot, first in increments. I listened to the first fours seconds, then moved onto the verse, then the chorus, then the end of the song. Since the song is fast as well, I listened to it in 0.75 speed to slow it down. I did this by clicking on the settings button beside the mini player button, then switching the speed to 0.75. I also watched a couple of YouTubers play the song. These videos were very helpful as the videos were taped close to the ukulele, so it was easy to follow the strumming and chords. Once I figured out the strumming by listening and watching others, I would write in down on the paper right away. Strumming has been a bit difficult to me as well. This is because I am used to playing the guitar with a pick, and with the ukulele I am trying to strum with my index finger. Because I am not used to this my strumming doesn’t sound the greatest, but it will get there.

Below are the videos I viewed:

 

Next week I will try and memorize the chords and try to speed up the strumming a bit. And then hopefully the week after that I can begin to play the song at full speed. And I will post a video soon, I promise. I’m a little camera shy…

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