Isn't self-teaching and experimenting the BEST??

  1. 5 years ago

    Don't you just love it when you try placing your fingera in a new position and you find out that it's an awesome-sounding chord?
    It's one of the things i love the most about playing the uke. I for one have never looked up how to play any chords, i just try what sounds good and then find out what chord it is.
    That's how i discovered the C9, the F9 and a few others
    What does everyone else think about this? Do you stick with traditional learning or do you like to play arund with it?

  2. thongar

    4 Sep 2012 Moderator

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by traditional learning (unless you're referring to getting lessons?), but I always find experimenting fun.

  3. UT

    4 Sep 2012 Administrator

    I'd say that traditionnal learning is the best way to learn the ukulele. Nothing really replace a teacher when your learn an instrument. We know very good guitar, drums, ukulele and bass players, their common characteristic is that they all took lessons for a few years.

    It doesn't mean that you can't reach a good level by yourself, but it usually takes longer and it's more complicated. In any case, most important point is to enjoy playing. If you thing that taking lessons is boring, you shouldn't take lessons. Otherwise it's a good idea to find a uke teacher.

    Oh and experimenting is always fun !

  4. I have self taught myself all of the instruments that I play. There are some instruments that I would love to get lessons for. Unfortunately it's hard to find teachers for some of these instruments that I play, such as lap steel guitar. That's the downside of playing less common instruments.

  5. The one downside to self-taught is that you tend to rush to learn something. You then have to relearn the song properly. I hate it when that happens.

  6. "sjhilbel" The one downside to self-taught is that you tend to rush to learn something. You then have to relearn the song properly. I hate it when that happens.

    Yeah, I've noticed that when I learn harder songs. I feel like I make too many mistakes. When I played the double bass and had a teacher for it, she had me go through each song slower and examine difficult measures. I should start learning songs on the ukulele that way again.

  7. A teacher can teach you to play an instrument, but not to really use it. Only you can learn to write. People who take lessons still experiment and write all the time. The only difference is that schooled players tend to know more about music theory and can get their ideas out more quickly that the self-taught guy fumbling through his chord chart.

    I have played with a lot of musicians over the last decade, and met a lot of people who play instruments. I have never heard anyone say they wish they never took lessons. In fact, I always hear the opposite. Most people who are self taught wish they had been taught theory. It just helps to know why the next chord in the progression is there, and not have to play wrong chords over and over again until you figure out what you should have done.

  8. yes it is! i Definitely love figuring things out for myself and trying different techniques to get the sound i want. although they say you learn faster with a teacher...

  9. thongar

    9 Sep 2012 Moderator

    I'm self-taught on the majority of instruments I play (except when I had violin and drum lessons), but I guess I'm pretty lucky because I was taught music theory and had performance lessons throughout high school. I found having an instrument tutor slightly restrictive - since they'd choose what you had to learn, even if you hated the song (I always like playing something I actually want to, because it motivates me to really learn it). I also didn't have that much luck with 'good' music teachers. I'd have my tutors discouraging me or put down the way I was playing without being helpful, so I'd end up browsing the internet/reading books to help me learn instead.

    The benefit of having the music teacher was learning all the techniques, terminology, correct positioning, and also, how to pull apart a song and fixing your mistakes. E.g. rather than playing a song a million times over, play the song once - take note of which parts were difficult to play/where you made mistakes, and go over them. Figure out why you made the mistake, and try to fix it. You could do this by maybe playing that part a different way - playing it at a slower rate, or mixing around the rhythm. It all depends on how you learn best though. I know a lot of musicians who have been self-taught all their life and are brilliant at what they do now.

    /End of life story.

  10. One thing that I'm weary of taking lessons from a teacher for long is that you would eventually adsorb their own style, and not have a style of your own. I don't know if that could really happen, but I always thought that you shouldn't listen to just one artist so that your playing style isn't a carbon copy of their's.

  11. If you are using a teacher to learn their style... you are not a fully formed musician. But it is far easier and faster and better to use a good, well-trained instructor at the beginning. Many self-taught players can develop improper habits and techniques which are difficult to correct after time. I was getting cramps and numb fretting fingers playing 3 to 4 sets on electric bass until Carol Kaye demonstrated to me a better way to use my left hand, including the thumb but especially to use both ring and little fingers together. Had I learned this common electric bass technique in 1966 when I switched from guitar to bass, I would have had fewer pains and cramps over the decades, and all it took is one lesson from her. But once you learn basic techniques, then books, experimentation, and playing with other musicians will develop your own personal style.

  12. "Joberst" One thing that I'm weary of taking lessons from a teacher for long is that you would eventually adsorb their own style, and not have a style of your own. I don't know if that could really happen, but I always thought that you shouldn't listen to just one artist so that your playing style isn't a carbon copy of their's.

    Teachers are going to teach you notes in scales, notes in chords, technique, and things like that. They do not teach you how to write or things like that. When they teach you to solo, they don't write a solo and make you play it, they make you figure out the key signature and play to it. They teach you how to identify notes and scales and operate in any key so that you can play along on the fly. In the end, it's not learning style. It's having the ability to play what is in your head without having to fumble around the fretboard to find it. The style is always your own, they just teach you where to anchor it and how to find it quicker.

  13. "Joberst" One thing that I'm weary of taking lessons from a teacher for long is that you would eventually adsorb their own style, and not have a style of your own. I don't know if that could really happen, but I always thought that you shouldn't listen to just one artist so that your playing style isn't a carbon copy of their's.

    Teachers are going to teach you notes in scales, notes in chords, technique, and things like that. They do not teach you how to write or things like that. When they teach you to solo, they don't write a solo and make you play it, they make you figure out the key signature and play to it. They teach you how to identify notes and scales and operate in any key so that you can play along on the fly. In the end, it's not learning style. It's having the ability to play what is in your head without having to fumble around the fretboard to find it. The style is always your own, they just teach you where to anchor it and how to find it quicker.

  14. I believe Paul McCartney was a self-taught musician who began by playing by ear.

  15. It sure is...

  16. It's pretty difficult for anyone to teach something that they don't know! But anyone can experiment and find out how to play the uke, and get different sounds with different chording. If you want to play other people's music, or play with other people, that's a little different. So, I suggest you decide what you want to do with the uke, then learn how to do that. I began studying music after learning to play the uke. Why, so I could learn to play better, and to play more kinds of music.

    I meet with a uke group every week or so, and we share new things we have discovered. We all learn, and one thing I learned early was that what I was discovering had already been discovered. I play the uke for my own enjoyment.

  17. I am anal so I must learn from an instructor and a book. Hubby just goofs around and sounds better than me. I hate him [not].

    Just do what you are comfortable with and enjoy!

  18. I don't really self teach too much:
    I use Chord charts and Tabs, but I also don't have anyone to teach me as i'm the only uke payer among my family and friends. I have taken advantage of YouTube and other ukulele sites such as this one. I have learned strum patterns from the helpful videos on YouTube and a Clawhammer technique.

  19. "ninjakevin" I don't really self teach too much:
    I use Chord charts and Tabs, but I also don't have anyone to teach me as i'm the only uke payer among my family and friends. I have taken advantage of YouTube and other ukulele sites such as this one. I have learned strum patterns from the helpful videos on YouTube and a Clawhammer technique.

    I assumed 'self taught' just meant you don't have a personal uke teacher. I was a big Youtuber when it comes to the uke when i first got my uke. But Im sure even the people who claim to be self-taught use chord charts.

  20. I'm the kind of person that ignores the directions for something. In my opinion, learning for yourself is where you get the best learning done.
    For example, if your going to be a teacher and you're a student teacher, you're only learning the basics, but learning for yourself when you eventually become a teacher is where you find how you run the class, how you teach the students. And that's just like a uke. You can take lessons, but does it give you everything you'd have if you taught yourself...no.
    Another plus side of self-teaching, is that it's more rewarding. If you're in a lesson and you learn a song, it's like 'yay, I'm doing it right', but if you're self-teaching it's like 'oh my goodness, I've made this song, and it sounds good!'.
    So basically, self-teaching/experimenting is the best!

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