You might be wondering what the title of this week is about. Well, I currently have strep throat and cannot sing or even talk very well! So, to protect my throat and my overall health this week, I will most likely not be singing alongside my playing. I am hopeful that my throat will recover by the end of the week, but for now I am going to plan as if I cannot sing. Therefore, in order to continue to challenge myself this week, I chose to introduce a song that includes unfamiliar chords.
This week I will be playing a classic ukulele song called “You and I” by Ingrid Michaelson. The popularity of this song made it very easy to find a new sheet music resource. The sheet music I initially thought that I would be using this week was from a site called Ukulele Cheats. Here is what the sheet music looks like:
Like week two of my learning project, and unlike week three, this sheet music outlines all the required notes for this song at the beginning. I have realized that this is a super helpful component to include on the sheet music, so I am very happy that Ukulele Cheats has done that! Like the last two weeks the notes are lined up with the lyrics, which lets me know when I should be transitioning. Two downsides of this site is that there does not appear to be a strum pattern listed, and there is no option to auto scroll. Since these are vital components for my sheet music, I decided to search for a better sheet music resource.
While searching for a sheet music that had a strumming pattern and an auto scroll, I stumbled upon a better sheet music resource called DoYouUkulele. I have never heard of this site before, but it looks very good. This resource includes the strumming pattern, the required chords at the beginning of the sheet music, auto scroll, and lines up the chords with the lyrics. It also includes various videos that are connected to this song. One slight difference is that the first sheet music uses the D7 chord, while this music uses a D chord. Since the second sheet music hits all the components that I am looking for, I will be following their instructions.
I will check in again tomorrow to show you how I am doing with learning new chords!
As I mentioned last week, I wanted to find an online resource for tuning. My second resource that I am using this week is an app called TuneforUkulele. I downloaded this app thinking that it was just a simple tuner, but this app has so many more amazing features! Here is a recording of me going through some of the features this resource offers:
As you can see from the video, this app has a lot of different sections, so let’s break them down:
- Chords Category – Here you can test your knowledge of the chords G, D, Em, and C. All the other chords cost money. You can test your knowledge by naming them, drawing them, matching the audio with the correct chord, and playing the chords yourself and see how many you can get correct in one minute.
- Tabs Category – For free you can practice playing Mary Had a Little Lamb in either game mode or sheet music mode. However, you have to pay for all the other songs on the beginner, easy, normal, hard, and pattern songs.
- Fretboard Category – Unfortunately this whole category is not free. Bummer.
- Ear Training Category – Here you can practice identifying notes by sound. You can practice the individual chords E4, G4, C4, and A4, and with different instruments. You can also practice 100 cents resolution and practice identifying pitch on a fretboard.
- Metronome – You can choose the speed you want, or you can tap the speed you want to follow. You can also alter the time signature and add accents to the notes.
- Tuner – This feature allows you to record yourself and tune your ukulele live.
- Chord Identifier – You can look up so many chords and see them on the fretboard.
- Weekly Plan – You can create a customized plan on how much you want to practice on a daily basis. The app records how often you are practicing and charts it on the home screen.
Now, in terms of the actual tuner, it was very accessible and easy to use! I wanted to try to screen record my phone while using the speaker, which I discovered how to do here, but since the app is listening to your microphone the two features cannot work simultaneously. So here is what the app looks like when you are tuning:
I thought it would be a good idea to compare the app to my ukulele tuner. Here is what I found:
Finally, I practiced the new strumming pattern. It went pretty well, but the new chords are definitely difficult! This song includes the chords C, F, Am, E7, G, and D. The two new chords I introduced are E7 and D. They are tricky to get my hands wrapped around, but it is definitely coming. Here is me practicing the strumming pattern and the new chords with the strumming pattern.
See you tomorrow with another update!
Today I practiced the chorus of the song, which is probably the most difficult. In general I am starting to get the hang of it and I think that I will be able to play the full song by tomorrow. My throat is still not great, so I am humming in this video. Here is what I accomplished today:
Can you tell that I enjoy playing outdoors? I think it makes the experience that much better. See you tomorrow with the final video for this week!
Today I downloaded a new video editing software called Wondershare Filmora 9. This was a free editing software, but it does offer higher versions that you can purchase. I found a video that explained how to add captions to my video; however, I just could not get it! Just as I was about to give up and go back to my other resource, I finally figured it out. Here is what the editor looks like:
In terms of usage, it was definitely more complex than Windows Movie Maker. Also, I did not realize that this puts a watermark onto your videos when you upload them onto YouTube. I spent a lot of time adding on the subtitles, so I am disappointed that they are covered up for half of the video. If you listen really closely, I am humming along. I find that singing actually makes playing easier and keeps me on track, so it is hard not to at least hum while playing. I apologize for the big watermark covering the chord subtitles, but I hope you enjoy my final version of “You and I” regardless!
Tomorrow I will be reviewing all the new resources that I used this week. This song was very fun to learn, and I highly recommend checking it out if you are interested in playing ukulele yourself!
Final Review Friday:
Week four has come to a close! Even though I was unable to sing this week, I think that I still found a way to challenge myself with this song. The three resources that I used this week were all very helpful in my learning journey, but let’s break them down to see if they might be a resource you would want to use yourself!
Like the last two weeks, this website is comparable to Ukulele Tabs and Ultimate Guitar Tabs. Last week I stated that Ultimate Guitar Tabs won over Ukulele Tabs. This week, I am going to confidently say that DoYouUkulele wins over both of them! This site is super user friendly and easy to use.
- provides a strumming pattern
- allows you to hear the strumming pattern
- provides sheet music, lyrics, and chords all in one place
- has a controllable speed for auto scroll
- introduces all needed chords at the beginning of the sheet music
- the chords perfectly align with the lyrics
- the website is clean, simple, and user friendly
- there are videos surrounding the sheet music that might help you successfully play the specific song
- you cannot hover over the chords in the sheet music to find out what the chords should look like
- the auto scroll is not voice activated – but this did not really impact my experience
I was looking for a simple ukulele tuner resource this week, but I ended up finding a really cool app! I did a detailed outline of everything in this app on Tuesday, but here are the general pros and cons of this app:
- you can play various games to test your knowledge of the chords G, D, Em, and C
- you can practice playing Mary Had a Little Lamb in a game mode or through an automated scrolling sheet music
- you can practice identifying notes by sound
- you can use the metronome and customize what speed you want
- the tuner is fairly accurate and easy to use
- you can look up different chords and see how they should look on the fretboard
- you can create a customized practice plan and the app charts how much and how often you are practicing
- the app gives the illusion that everything is free, but only the first option in almost every category is free – all other options require a membership purchase
- the entire fretboard category is not free
- ads pop up every once in awhile
Overall, I would definitely recommend this app to a friend just trying out the ukulele. I probably would not purchase the membership option because I think that you could find other apps similar to this one that are completely free.
Wondershare Filmora 9:
I initially really disliked this editor. It was a little bit confusing to use, and I could not for the life of me figure out how to get the subtitles to show up on the video. I followed the video step by step but it did not help. By a fluke chance I finally figured it out that you have to put the subtitles bar above the video bar. After using it to create my final video, I started to understand the structure a lot more.
- you can add fun titles to the beginning of your video
- you can add a clean credits page to the end of your video
- you can view the breakdown of your video and view the time expanded or crunch the time together while editing
- free to download
- you can directly export your video to YouTube
- the text automatically lined up in the same position as the last text
- adding text was extremely tedious – the editor put default writing on the subtitles which meant that I had to go in and delete all the initially writing, and then add in my own
- the editor adds a one minute watermark onto your video, which I did not realize until I uploaded it onto YouTube
- there is no walk through tutorial when I first opened the app – this would have been extremely helpful to understand instead of learning by playing around with the app
In comparison to Windows Movie Maker, this app is very confusing and decreases the quality of your video by adding the watermark onto it. Would I choose this software over Windows Movie Maker? For what I am trying to accomplish, no I would not. If there was no watermark I would most likely recommend this software to a friend, but otherwise I would not.
I hope that I introduced you to some new online resources this week. Do you have any recommendations for what I should check out next? I hope you all have a great day, and I am excited to jump into week four!