Podcast #2 - You're going too fast!

podcast Sep 09, 2020
 

1) How can I follow along when you're playing too fast? 2) How are you strumming in Booster Uke? 3) What part of the finger is hitting the strings on the down strum?

John on "Lesson 3: The Jazzy Twins"
When you're playing Lil Liza jane fast it very hard to follow you specially when your learning those notes.

James answers:
Good point, John. You can slow down both the video and the interactive score. To slow the video, click on the "gear" icon at the bottom of the video, click "speed" and select a slower speed. For the interactive score, use the "speed" buttons (+/-) below the score. Also, if you want to take it *really* slow for practise, you can switch to "synthetic" playback using the "Recordings" menu at the bottom of the sheet music. That will switch to a fake ukulele sound (not ideal) but the advantage is that it will play the melody clearly at any tempo. Give it a whirl!

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Pankaj on "Lesson 2: The Gentle Twins"
Hi James!!! You are awesome. Can you please tell me how you are strumming?? It's too fast for me to follow... Not able to recognise that whether it is only up or down or both. Not getting the sound how it is produced. It will be great to know.

James answers:
Thanks, Pankaj! My favourite strum pattern is: down, down, down, down. Seriously. I use it more than any other pattern. Sometimes I accent the 2nd and 4th beats to give a bit of extra oomph: down, DOWN, down, DOWN. And sometimes I even add a little upstroke here and there to give it a little kick: down, DOWN-up, down, DOWN. Honestly, that's 99% of what I'm doing in these lessons. When I'm going fast it can seem more complicated. But it's not! Does that help? Link to James' free YouTube tutorial "How to Strum Really Fast": https://youtu.be/pRFPci9rZrQ

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Camille on "Lesson 6: The Minor Twins (Part 2)"
Enjoying my lessons! I found your strumming video on youtube very helpful. My question is-what part of the finger is hitting the strings on the down strum? Is it the nail itself? It sounds kind of "clicky" when I do that? Thanks

James answers:
Glad to hear it Camille! I'm using the nail on the downstrum. But what teachers (including me) often omit in their explanations is that the nail doesn't come *straight* down toward the floor. There's an angle to the way it makes contact with the string. If you're meeting the string head-on then it might explain the "clicky" sound. Try slight changes in the angle of the ukulele neck as you strum (don't change your strumming hand). You might find that a small change in the angle makes a big difference in the sound. Let me know!
 

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