Alas, spring is on it’s way – PLEEEEESE!!! – ( it’s April and we have snow storms in Ontario…sigh ) And with the promise of spring, I have been inspired to make some changes here. My observations of late have suggested that I need one more category added to the basic ‘Beginner’ and ‘Level 2’ – a ‘pre-Level 2’ you might say – to accommodate those ‘in-betweeners’.
So, as of May/2016, these will be the new Ukeology Level categories. Which one do you fit into?
1) The Ultra Newbie, who has never played a stringed instrument (or ANY instrument for that matter), and may have absolutely NO musical education or experience at all – Fresh Meat!
2) The Enlightened Beginner, who has taken the Newbie class with me, or has learned a few chords and simple tunes on their own, but is still feeling like they’ve only just begun.
3) The Advanced Beginner, the more confident player who is chomping at the bit to take on more challenging material, and has at least 8-12 chords firmly under their belts.
With these changes, I must add:
My workshops and classes will always be termed as ‘Beginner’ at some level… that’s what Ukeology is all about. We will never get into intricate finger picking or highly complicated strums. I do not profess to stand beside the James Hills or the Jake Shimabokuras as a player. I think I will always consider myself a ‘highly evolved Beginner’. However, as an experienced and well respected actress/musician/recording artist/singer-songwriter with 40 years of well-reviewed performance to my credit, I can confidently say that I know what works. I know how to handle this instrument to create satisfying and exciting sounds, instinctually, not theoretically. And that is what I teach – how to use all your senses…your instincts …to hear and feel the notes and the rhythm, the heartbeat….to feel it in your very core. There is a delicious kind of freedom that comes from playing ‘by ear’, when you are not a slave to the book or the paper. That freedom equals a unique kind of joy. That’s what we’re after.
So, there may be 3 ‘levels’ , but they are all ‘Beginners’. Just so’s ya know.