One of the ways to improve your ukulele playing is to play in front of others. Nobody wants to play their ukulele badly when playing to an audience. So here are ten good reasons, in no particular order, to play for others as suggested by kids:
- It provides an incentive to practise.
- You can tell if your playing was good by the applause you receive. If you get a standing ovation – wow!
- It can make your playing more popular
- It boosts your self esteem
- It makes you look cool
- It can give you a bigger profile
- A talent scout may pick you up
- Your confidence improves
- You inspire others to play
- You do it for the pleasure of sharing.
On Thursday the Kapiti Primary School senior and junior ukulele groups performed a range of songs at Coastlands Shopping Mall, Paraparaumu, New Zealand. The kids had a good time and a new audience to applaud them. They enjoyed playing and loved the ice-blocks they got at the end (REASON 11). View the photos of them performing below.
Here is an inspirational story. Matthew was born with a left hand that had three stubs, a half finger and a thumb. At four years of age his toe was transplanted to his hand, and he had bone from his hip transplanted into his half finger to make it straighter. He didn’t let this get in the way of learning to play a ukulele.
What does Matthew say. “When I heard my teacher Mr. Madge was starting up a ukulele orchestra, I thought it would be fun to give it a try even though I thought I would never be able to play it because of my hand. I like playing the ukulele and I think it is fun. If you want an easy instrument to play, you should give the ukulele a go and remember, even when it gets hard to shift from chord to chord, keep trying and never give up.”
I consider him an inspiration to all – go Matthew! Below watch Matthew play the Beach Boys classic Surfin’ USA.
A school production is a great place to share a school ukulele group’s playing abilities. Recently, Kapiti Primary School held their school production and the school’s junior and senior ukulele groups both performed. Members of the junior ukulele group range in age from 5 to 8 year old. They have been playing for five months.
The junior ukulele group led by Richard Bamlett played:
- Row Your Boat
- Found a Peanut
- Five Little Monkeys
They played great – good job! Watch their performance below:
Without doubt, to get better at anything you need to practise. To begin with, a little and often is the best way to start. Practise for twenty to thirty minutes a day, everyday if you can. This is better than practising one day a week for a few hours.
Regular practise will also allow the strings on your ukulele to break in a lot quicker, so that you don’t have to keep tuning your ukulele all the time.
Just don’t take my word for it.Ruby says, “I’m getting better with practise.” Ruby has improved from playing basic one and two chord songs, to playing Beach Boy classics like Surfin’ USA.
Tristain says, “I practice for twenty minutes a day, and I’ve got way better.” He now plays a wide range of songs and can be heard practicing during his spare time at school. His favourite song to play is ‘Hey Soul Sister’ by Train.