EDTC 300 · Learning Project

Week Six – Stringing It Together

MONDAY:

This is it folks, my final learning project post. I thought that for my last week I would play one of my favourite songs, which is “For Emma” by Bon Iver. This song is short and sweet and is a perfect way to end my learning project.

The sheet music I will be using this week is from a new online resource called Tabstabs. Here is what the sheet music looks like:

So far, this resource is decent; however, it is not my favourite sheet music I have used throughout this learning journey. That being said, it does hit all of the necessary features that help me complete my goal of learning the song. There is not a specific outline of all the necessary notes in the beginning; however, the introduction shows all of the notes! If you hover over the chords, there is a pop up of what the note looks like with the correct fingering. There is also an option for auto scrolling which is really great for when I am going to start playing the song. The downsides to this resource is that there is no strumming pattern, the lyrics and notes seem to be a bit off-kilter, and the website is less aesthetically pleasing compared to other sheet music sites I have used.

Since this is my last week, I thought it would be fun for me to create my own strum pattern! Throughout this journey I have been watching a lot of ukulele and guitar videos. In my own exploration I found a strum pattern called “The Strum Slap”. This is where you hit all of the strings on the ukulele to add a percussion type sound and beat. Since I have not done anything like this before, I thought that creating a strum pattern for “For Emma” that incorporates this technique would be really fun. The strum pattern I have created is Down * Up Down * Up Down * and so on. The “*” represents the strum slap technique. Here is a short video of me practicing the strumming pattern.

Tomorrow I will check in and show you how I am putting together the chords and the strumming pattern!

TUESDAY:

Like last week, I wanted to try out another online ukulele tuner. If I did not own my own handheld tuner, I would definitely be searching the web for a reliable, easy to use, accurate ukulele tuner. The online tuner I will be looking at this week is from Ukulele Tricks. This website has a really clean layout and looks pretty easy to use. You have to allow access to your microphone, and then there is a big red dial that shows where your note is falling, and how much you need to adjust it to get the desired note. Below the dial there is also audio recordings of what each note should sound like so you could tune by ear, or simply just check that your note sounds similar. At the very bottom they also offer instructions on how to use their website properly, in case you are confused or can’t quite figure it out. Here is a video of me trying the website out for the first time:

Just as I have done for the past two weeks, I wanted to check the accuracy of this website using my handheld tuner. Since people without a handheld tuner will be completely relying on the website to tune their ukulele, I think that checking that the website is accurate is an important step to take. Here are my results for Ukulele Tricks online tuner:

Now that my ukulele is in tune, I can show you my progress for today! I mainly focused on putting the strumming pattern and notes together. I really like how this strumming pattern is unlike anything I have done so far! The song is definitely coming together.

I will check back in tomorrow to piece more of the song together!

WEDNESDAY:

This song is a little bit more difficult than I initially expected. The strumming and notes are fairly easy, but adding the singing on top is more difficult! There are times during the song where the singing is not meant to directly sync with the ukulele. I am just going to keep practicing and I am sure that I will get it! Here is my progress so far:

One way to that I have helped myself overcome this obstacle is to look up the song on YouTube and play along to keep myself on time. While looking at different videos, I stumbled onto a blog that features a video that combines all the songs from Bon Ivers album into one video. It is an incredible video to watch, so I highly recommend that you check it out! I even noticed that the creator, EatMyUke, used a similar strumming pattern to the one I created! That was super cool to see, and made me really excited to keep practicing this song to show you the final result tomorrow. Here is the video if you were interested:

THURSDAY:

I have completed my final ukulele video! I am so proud of myself for actually completing my goal that I set out in week one. This is my fifth full song that I have learned through online resources.

The last new resource that I used this week was an online video editor called Kapwing. Since the only editing that I do is trimming my video and adding captions, this editor seemed like an ideal option to use!

It specifically adds captions to videos, which means that I was unable to trim the video in this editor. However, my windows photo application has the option to trim the video, so I did this and then used the online editor. How was using this editor? Honestly, editors can be overwhelming, especially to people who do not use them super often. This editor was not overwhelming at all! It was really simple to use, and it allowed me to add in captions one by one, and it even automatically lined them up beside each other, which is something that my favourite editor, Windows Movie Maker, fails to do. If you are looking to simply add captions or subtitles to your video, I highly recommend checking out this video editor. As you can see from my video, there is a little watermark in the corner. However, it does not take up a lot of space and doesn’t cover the captions, so I don’t mind it! Here is my final performance of “For Emma” by Bon Iver:

Final Review Friday:

For my last week of my learning project, I think that I found some amazing online resources to help you learn ukulele. Let’s dive into the final breakdown of the new resources I used this week:

Tabstabs:

Although I admit that this is not my favourite sheet music resource, it was helpful to learn “For Emma” this week. Let’s go into the pros and cons.

PROS:

  • when you hover over the chords, there is a pop up of what the note looks like with the correct fingering
  • there is an auto scrolling option where you can control the speed
  • the introduction shows all the chords needed in the song
  • lyrics and chords are in one place

CONS:

  • there is no strumming pattern
  • the lyrics and notes are off-kilter
  • the website is not very aesthetically pleasing
  • there is no outro indicated, so I made up my own

Ukulele Tricks Online Tuner:

This was probably the most accurate tuner that I have used throughout this journey! I highly recommend that you check it out if you are trying to tune your ukulele but do not own a handheld tuner.

PROS:

  • you can play your ukulele and the tuner tells you the exact number that you are trying to reach
  • it gives you a check-mark when your note is correctly tuned
  • there are audio recordings if you wanted to tune by ear or double check that your note is in tune
  • they link to free 14 day video lesson course at the bottom
  • they have a video on how to use a handheld tuner if you own one
  • they give instructions on how to tune by ear

CONS:

  • the notes were slightly off; however, not enough to make a huge difference

Kapwing:

This editor was only designed for adding captions to videos, so if you are interested in doing this simple feature, I would highly recommend this online editor.

PROS:

  • it is simple to use and has a clean layout
  • you could pause the video and add captions to that specific spot
  • you could automatically place captions one right after the other to remove any space between them
  • you can change the font to how you want it to look
  • you don’t have to download this editor, you can just edit online

CONS:

  • there is a small watermark on the video
  • the only thing this editor can do is add captions

I hope that you enjoyed following me on this learning journey! I really enjoyed completing this project, and I know that I will continue to learn ukulele from online sources. Check out my next blog post when I review the entire learning journey. Have a great day everyone!

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4 thoughts on “Week Six – Stringing It Together

    1. Thanks so much! I’m so happy with everything I accomplished during this assignment. It was so fun to learn the ukulele. Honestly, I think that the level difficulty varies depending on what song you are wanting to learn. There are so many songs that you can play with only three simple chords! It does take practice, but once you get familiar with the main chords, it isn’t super difficult! I hope that you try the ukulele out at some point, it is so fun!

      Liked by 1 person

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