There’s not a heck of a lot to say in this post, but I still wanted to make note that late last night and today I’ve noticed the first signs of autopilot strumming.  Most of the songs I’ve been working with all use the same strum pattern (DDUUDU – which has so many names I’m just going to resort to calling it “THAT one”), so running through the tuns in the Ukulele Handbook, where it suggests strum patterns that would work well, and also revisiting that Amanda Palmer song in 3/4 time, I’ve noticed that when my brain starts to turn off, or when I try to speed up, my hands keep reverting to that one.  It’s not like I can’t perform other strums, but at some point I stopped thinking about that particular strum so actively. So when I start letting my mind wander while working on another one, before I know it, my hands have slipped back into it.

I think this is the first sign of autopilot – the ability to play somewhat without thinking. Of course, that’s only effective if I can do it with multiple strum patterns, but still, it’s worth mentioning that it has started to happen. My hand has gotten so accustomed to one strum pattern that it’s become the first instinct when the ukulele is in hand, even though I’ve worked with other strum patterns, I haven’t done so as extensively, and so my hands just think ‘this is how it works’. So, I have some practice to do, working with other strums and other time signatures, and getting them up to the point I don’t have to think about them much before worrying about memorizing chord progressions. If I’m going to slip in the wrong strum when I let my mind think of other things, then that has to be the first step.

Interesting, though, how these things sneak up on you.

Until Next Time, strumming away.

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