Category Archives: How to practice

UD#46 Stopping and Starting: Building Fluidity in Your Playing

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UD #46  Stopping and Starting: Building Fluidity In Your Playing from Ukulele in the Dark w/ Guido Heistek “I have some pieces that I know quite well but I can’t seem to play them smoothly. Especially in front of an audience. How can I work on that?” I want to share with you two approaches to practicing that I feel help with fluidity in playing. You can try one or both of these exercises. They work with any level of piece, from picking the melody of Mary Had a Little Lamb to a sophisticated solo chord melody arrangement. Remember you’ll   …Continue Reading


UD#37 Horse First Then The Cart: One String Melodies

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UD#37 Horse First Then The Cart: One String Melodies from Ukulele in the Dark w/ Guido Heistek   LETTING THE INNER MUSIC LEAD YOUR FINGERS: I remember being amazed by this experience when I was a kid: I used to listen to the same album again and again. I became so familiar with the songs on the record that when one song finished, the next song would “pop” into my head before the song had even started. This always seemed magical. Have you ever had a similar experience?This effect is one of the most magical things about music making: When   …Continue Reading


UD#31 The Power of Ukeless Practice? (Mental Rehearsal)

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UD#31 The Power of Ukeless Practice?  (Mental Rehearsal) from Ukulele in the Dark w/ Guido Heistek I’ve got a show coming up at the end of the month.  So I’ve been thinking this thought a lot: “ACK! I’ve got to practice!” For most people (and me), practice means playing things again and again until they get them right. The problem is that practicing this way can be very tiring! And when you have a lot of things to practice you may not have the energy to practice this way. (Oh, my aching fingers!) When my hands need a rest but   …Continue Reading


UD#15 Gripping the Uke too Tight?

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Gripping the Uke too Tight? from Ukulele in the Dark w/ Guido Heistek Gripping the uke too tight? Maybe this will help. 1. TO THE FRET, NOT TO THE WOOD! Let me explain. To play an A note you can pluck the A string. To get other notes on that string you place your finger in the space between two frets. For example to play a B note you place your finger where the dot is in this diagram. Right? The note changes because the string comes to rest on one of the frets and becomes temporarily shortened. A shorter   …Continue Reading