The Learning Process - The Mind, Hands and Ears
For music and learning an instrument like the ukulele or guitar, it's all about the making the connection between the Mind, the Hands and the Ear.
When listening to music, we enjoy it at the tempo the composer or artist intended, in real time. Only the ear is involved in listening. This is passive listening and you're simply enjoying the music. This is what we do everyday and it's what draws us to want to learn a musical instrument.
Performing - When trying to reproduce music on any musical instrument, you're now an active participant in reproducing music. The mind and ear are in control, telling the hands what to do. When performing, it's mainly the ear that is driving the show and telling the hands what to do. And this is in real time and at the intended performance tempo.
Learning - Learning an instrument is all about making and reinforcing the connection between the mind, hands and ears. This typically can't be done in real time.
Of the three, the mind, the hands and the ear - the ear can grasp simple melodies, basic chords and simple songs without much effort. How easy is it to hear when Auntie Marie sings Happy Birthday out of tune. We don't even need to know what the right notes are or the key. We can just hear that it's wrong or right - we've hear it before.
Of the three elements involved, it's the hands that need the most work and the most repetition. Just as the skills needed in sports - it's the technique where all the work is. Take golf, looks pretty simple on the surface. Hit the little white ball in the hole – or, shooting a foul shoot in basketball - put the basketball in the basket.
The concepts are pretty simple - it's the implementation that's all the work.
The hands take up most of the training time. It's the hands that provide the technique to actively reproduce music. This training of the hands needs to be done accurately and efficienct. This training CAN NOT be accomplished in tempo. Training needs to be deliberate and SLOW. Building the tempo as facility is gained.
I tell all my students that: "Fast is nothing more than slow quicker".
Technique can not be taken for granted. You have to work on it.
Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within, Book & Includes Online Downloadable code
"Effortless Mastery is a book that the world really needs. It was not written by a philosopher or an academic. Kenny Werner, is one of my favorite pianists I've ever had the pleasure of working with, and in my opinion one of the best pianists living on the planet. Kenny teaches that 'The joy of practicing is concentration. The joy of playing is liberation.' Effortless Mastery teaches the seeker how to achieve both at the highest levels. It also shows how to practice effectively, promoting real growth and how to play and perform free from fear and self-judgment. I highly recommend this book." ---Quincy Jones
For Ukulele Players, take the first chord your typically learn is the C chord. It's pretty simple, one finger, one string. And, strumming chords on ukulele is somewhat easy, in that you can just strum all four strings. Initially it doesn't have the strumming accuracy that the guitar requires. By itself it pretty easy to memorize and play. There aren't many one chord songs so additional chords need to be learned and memorized.
A new twist is you need to use more than one finger and learn additional chords. Three or four of the most common chords you initially on ukulele, all come from the Common Key of C Major and are the primary chords in the key. They are C, F, G and G7. None of these first chords use more than three fingers. So the wimpy pinky, finger four doesn't need to get involved.
When you know two chords, you need to be able to switch efficiently between both chords at various tempos from slow ballads to fast up-tempo songs. This is where all the work is needed between the mind, hands, and ear in the learning process. The ear will learn the sounds of these common, basic chords with little effort. The mind can memorize them with a bit more effort - there's only two of them.
Then add G and G7. Four chords and a little more work. There are hundreds of songs that use these primary chords in the key of C. Use the recommended fingerings for the chords shown above. Although alternate fingerings are possible and need to be explored, these initial fingerings will get you started.
Then all the work is in switching chords, efficiently and in tempo. Ultimately any chord can switch to any other chord. So try C to F, C to G, C to G7. C to C is easy. Then F to C, F to G, F to G7. G to C, G to F, G to C, G to G7 and finally G7 to C, F and G. That's all the possibilities.
End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!
Related Lessons for The Learning Process - The Mind, Hands and Ears at this time.
Related Songs for The Learning Process - The Mind, Hands and Ears at this time.
Site Access Plans for LearningUkulele.com
Basic Access - A limited selection of basic lessons — ( currently over 140 ) and 100+ songs for ukulele as well as basic general music reference material — Completely FREE — Simply Register/Signup. HOWEVER - I've been doing ukulele and LearningUkulele.com since 2003 and probably have given too much away already - as reflected in my income from the site in relationship to the time spent on the site. So help support this site and its continued development by signing up for one of the below Premium Access Plans or buy a few of my books. - Thanks, Curt
Forever Access - With Forever Premium Access you get Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources and related assets. As well as ALL books by Curt as FREE downloads. Pretty much everything on the site and NEVER worry about a subscription or surprise payment again. And jump the queue for my responding to any questions.
NOTE: Each higher access level includes ALL the benefits of the lower levels. Private Lessons include all the benefits of a Premium Access Plans as long as you remain a student on on the schedule.
Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books! — Peter Rhee
Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the best — Glen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys
Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too. — Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg
I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent. — fatveg — Portland
Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!
Original Curtie Animation from 1987 for my first web site on a Macintosh II.
33 years ago.
“Built for myself (Curt), and sharing with the `Ukulele community!”
LearningUkulele.com has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. I’ve been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!
Content is added and updated almost daily - so check back often.