Practice Makes Permanent – Ukulele Practicing Strategies

by | Jun 8, 2021 | Beginners | 0 comments

I believe that practice makes permanent. So we named our latest ukulele endeavor the “Practice Makes Permanent Program.” Before we learn more about this program, let’s go through some ukulele practicing strategies.

Does Practice Make Perfect?

Have you heard this one?

A young tourist stops an older man on the streets of New York. He’s in a hurry because he is running late. As he runs up to the older gentleman, he asks, “Sir, how do I get to Carnegie Hall?” The older man answers the tourist, “Practice, my friend, practice will get you there!”

You’ve heard the old saying “Practice makes perfect.” But that is not completely true. Practice makes permanent is more accurate. Learning how to practice is an important skill. And we are developing a new product to help you get there. It will be our “Practice Makes Permanent Program.”

If you only play a song up to the “hard part” and always stop there, you are practicing how to mess up at the “hard part.” There are better strategies to help you learn your music. In this article, I’m going to address practicing strategies for real improvement.

 

Ukulele Practicing Strategies

Here are many of the things you can do to make your musical journey more rewarding.

  1. Growing musically is part of a life-long journey.
  2. Being part of a musical club is motivational and inspiring.
  3. Using online apps to help with practicing
  4. Systematic practicing builds musical skills

Do you want to learn how to practice better?

In our “Practice Makes Permanent Program,” we’ll teach you how to practice. You’ll get an online membership that gives you specific practice guidance on how to improve at your ukulele.

Sign Up Today!

1. Continuing to Grow as a Musician

During the pandemic, I had more time to practice and to take lessons. As a public school music teacher,  I know a lot about teaching and learning music. But I wanted to get better at ukulele and learn new styles of playing. Adding new strategies to my musical toolbox is fun and rewarding.

I took lessons from Lil’ Rev to learn fancier techniques for solo playing. Along the way, I  learned strategies for practicing these new music styles. Strategies I’d like to pass on to my fans!

You can click here to learn more about Lil’ Rev and the wonderful books and courses he offers.

 

2. Being Part of a Musical Club

It’s easier to get better when you are with other people to share the journey. Getting this feeling was difficult when schools were closed. My 5th-grade students had a beautiful piece on one of the pages of their method book, “Theme from Symphony No. 9” by Dvorak, also known as “Going Home.”  Yo-yo Ma recorded a version for solo cello from his project “Songs of Comfort.”

I played this video for my students who were struggling to learn their version of this piece of music. They were all inspired to learn this piece and play it solo for each other in the Zoom sessions. I told them that they were part of a worldwide club of musicians who can play this piece of music. Yo-yo Ma is a professional, but they are musicians in training. They are part of the same club.

As ukulele players, we can be part of musical clubs both online and in person. We can be part of an online group that is working to improve ukulele skills.

Joining an in person club is incredibly fun and rewarding too. Check here to find well-known ukulele clubs. You can also like to go to meetup.com  to find ukulele clubs that meet in your area.

 

3. Using Online Apps to Help with Practicing

We are fortunate to live in the 21st century and have computers in our hands every step of the way. With our cell phones, we have access to many practicing tools.

 

Practicing with YouTube

  • Listen to a song on YouTube to internalize the melody, harmony, and rhythm. If we are more advanced, we can internalize the musical style of the song.
  • Strum along and have the chords and lyrics on the screen for us. These videos are called ukulele play-alongs. Click here to see a play-along for Buffalo Gals, one of the songs in our books.
  • Slow a YouTube video down to play along. I find 75% speed often works the best when I’m learning a song. (This works great if you’re trying a fancy strumming pattern for the first time.)

Practicing with Your Cell Phone

  • Record audio on your cell phone and then play along. For example, you can record the strumming pattern of a song. Then you can practice the finger-picked melody along with your recorded accompaniment.
  • Make a video of yourself playing one of your songs. Then, watch and decide what you want to do better. You can also share these videos with fellow musicians and ask for advice.
  • Tune with your cell phone. Here’s a uke tuner.
  • Use a metronome to help us keep the beat with your cell phone.  Or, if you type “metronome” into your browser, you’ll get to a beat keeper immediately: online metronome.
  • Buy an app (such as Acapella) to play many parts at the same time in a video. Here is an example of me using the Acapella app to record a song in two parts.
  • Join an online community of strummers to practice our songs. Strum Machine is one of my favorite apps for practicing songs and gradually speeding them up.
  • Find free “slow blues” accompaniments to practice blues improvisation and make a song sound different each time.

 

4. Being Systematic with Practicing

With so many possibilities, it can be overwhelming to decide how to practice. That is why we’re designing our “Practice Makes Permanent Program.” As part of this program, you’ll get the following benefits:

Specific guidance on how to practice

We’ll show you how to use our free video courses and other resources to jumpstart your ukulele progress. You’ll go through all six of our books and get specific guidance for each chapter. As you learn, you’ll see your progress as you write and record what you’re doing.

Membership in a community of musicians through our closed Facebook Group

Here is where you can post your practice videos. You can get feedback from other community members on how they mastered specific problems. People will share their practice tips where you can learn from them.

You’ll create a journal and portfolio of your progress over time through all six of our books

The first 20 people who sign up will be Beta testers. For a $30 per month membership, we’ll take you through all six of our books. We’ll give you specific practice guidance along the way. You will have the chance to log in to a gated area of our site to access these resources. After 20 people have signed up, we’ll open the program to the general public at $45 per month. As long as you maintain your membership, you’ll be grandfathered into the lower price.

So, if you’re interested in making your practice count towards progress, click here.

Do you want to learn how to practice better?

In our “Practice Makes Permanent Program,” we’ll teach you how to practice. You’ll get an online membership that gives you specific practice guidance on how to improve at your ukulele.

Sign Up Today!

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