So, that happened. (Strum change, and still on the original tune)

I still haven’t properly memorized the song that I wrote. I can play through it and kind of wing the last two verses really, but I can’t actually strum them the same way twice until I remember the chord progression that I, myself, wrote.  Really though, for someone who doesn’t actually genuinely know what they’re doing, things are going surprisingly well.

So I’m sharing the same tune again. Just for sake of comparison so you can see what I’m talking about on the fly, I’m posting the same link to the last take on this song here:

Version 2 (in which I cleaned the song up and changed some of the lyrics, made adjustments to the chords):

Now, I’ve known for a while I’m pretty heavy handed when it comes to strumming. I figured either it was just my personality playing through, or I would eventually have some epiphany.

Today, while I was working on the song, trying to memorize it, suddenly – as if by magic – I lightened up considerably, which first of all gave the tune a much more traditionally uke sound (is that even a thing? It’s just an impression I got when listening to them back to back. An uke is an uke is an uke, right? But somehow the latest play through somehow feels more uke. Throw that paragraph of insanity into the wind; I don’t really know what I’m talking about, so I don’t expect you to, my dear readers. I’m still wrapping my head around my own thoughts on this one). But, it also majorly changed my flow.

I wish I could tell you what thought entered my brain that led to this, but I can’t. Maybe later it will be something I can put into words.

In any case, this is today’s play through, which you’ll hear is the same in terms of patterns and changes, but quite different in terms of overall flow.

Up side: a 4 minute song turned into a 3.5 mintue song, which is a bit more of a reasonable time span for a song.

You can hear towards the end that I start screwing up a bit if you’re listening. There are some not quite right chords in there, a wee bit of buzz. That’s the part where I change the chords and yeah, I’ll admit that putting one or two extra chord changes per verse has actually made a big difference in how tired my hand gets as I go. I mean, even at an average of 2 more chord changes per section, with 7 sections, that’s 14 chord changes I wasn’t initially doing, which adds up…especially when you’re strumming at a speed that knocks more than 40 seconds off of the song.

Still have a lot of practice to do, but somehow the creativity of doing my own thing seems to be moving my technique along much faster than trying to replicate someone else’s song. Go figure.

Until Next Time, strumming at the speed of light, or you know, just keeping it loose.


2 thoughts on “So, that happened. (Strum change, and still on the original tune)

  1. The tempo of the 3rd take seems faster. I think that the more you become comfortable with the uke, the more natural it will sound. I know – it’s a captain obvious statement from me. I have a friend who is still learning to play guitar and he grips the neck so tightly, almost intimidated by the guitar. I told him to let up a bit, be loose. It’s so much easier to play that way. Anyway, the song is coming along quite nicely, Shelby. Keep it going!


    1. Well, yeah, obviously it’s faster. Take 2 was 4:18 mins, take 3 is 3:26 without cutting anything. It’s why it’s faster that I found interesting – a slightly different hand motion that makes that speed more natural than a slower strum. I have no idea how to describe this in words. My strumming hand had a completely different approach that made speeding it up not only practical, but actually easier than slowing it down.

      Weirdly enough, I seem to only be able to do it on my concert sized ukes,preferably sitting. Something I can apparently not do on my soprano. Something about the smaller body just turns it into an unholy mess, but it’s actually really different, a lighter touch. I think I’d have a harder time accenting with this strum, since it’s less controlled, but it’s also very loose, so you can play fast without your hand getting tired. It may just sound faster, but ‘behind the scenes’ something very differnt happened that I wanted to make note of.


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