Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Falling Slowly

Learning the ukulele now as an adult, it is taking more time for the basics to become second nature. I've literally been working on a particular song for a couple of months, using different techniques of plucking, strumming, chiming. A little bit every day, most days. Trying to get muscle memory working in my favour, using a metronome to keep an even tempo, reminding myself to find the pulse and emotion of the notes and not just the pattern.

Falling Slowly is coming slowly.

So today's lesson with Steve M. we worked on a couple of Christmas carols I had picked out.  We were playing a pretty good rendition of Silent Night with me chiming, but then Steve suggested we record it on the iPhone and I kept flubbing the last phrases. Performance anxiety! Hopefully I will be able to play well enough for family by the holidays:  Silent Night and Huron Carol.

There is also another Open Mic coming up at the club, so our as-yet-unnamed uke band has another excuse to get a song or two together in time for the 27th. Will it be Sloop John B, I'm a Believer, Love Me Do, or Bye Bye Love?  All four are on the practice list.

Playing along with bands is fun, and less pressure because there are real musicians leading the group.

I usually get to the Scarborough Uke Jam about once a month. Last time we did a version of Sweet Dreams Are Made of This and I was actually able to strum along for the most part.

Playing the ukulele is definitely using a different part of my brain, helping me hear music in a new way, and connecting me to different communities. So although it is coming slowly it is bringing me lots of fringe benefits in addition to learning a new skill. Not to mention testing my patience with myself!

Thinking of music illustration
Neuroscience of music illustration

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