We’ve mentioned in some of our previous postings that it can be helpful to split up your playing into different components – eg chords (melody), strumming (rhythm) & singing – either to help you focus on improving each of those aspects or just when learning a new song.
Rod Higuchi (Uncle Rod), from Seattle Ukulele Players Association (SUPA), has produced a number of useful free resources to assist with developing your ability to make smooth, consistent chord changes:
- Try his self-assessment test to see at what level you are currently with your chord playing.
- If you feel you need improvement, try using Uncle Rod’s Ukulele Boot Camp chord drills regularly in your practice. When you can do them fluently, you should be able to work through them like in this video. This also shows effective use of a metronome to help keep time.
- To put this into even more useful context, try out his disposable method of learning songs. This is also useful for tackling tricky new chord progressions you encounter, even if you’re a more experienced player. Full details are in the songbook but:
- Separately write out the chords needed in the song.
- Practice changing between those progressions without worrying about other aspects of the piece.
- Then hum or whistle the tune’s melody to allow you to keep in time to the actual rhythm.
- Now return to the songsheet & lastly add in the appropriate strumming pattern.
Some other posts where we’ve concentrated on improving technique (or use our search function on the right to find specific topics):