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What does playing perfectly mean?

I want to dispel a myth right here, right now: Practice does NOT make perfect.


What is this "perfect" that you seek, anyway? Take just a second and snap a picture in your mind of what it is about playing the ukulele that lights up your heart ... that's how I define the kind of "perfect" I'm looking for.


Now, ask yourself some questions:

"I want to play like __________. Why?

"Because I love the sound and the song means a lot to me." Why?

"Because it's so beautiful!" Why?

"Because I love the melody." Now we're getting somewhere! (unless you want to keep going with the Why?'s to drill even deeper.)


Maybe you're a fingerpicker at heart, pulling the melodies out with your fingertips.

Maybe you love the way the song feels in your body and you simply want to be able to strum along while singing.


Sometimes it takes just jumping in and working on something to reveal what your next step needs to be. But having an idea of what is not "perfect," or, more kindly, not helping you approach your goal, can help you focus on forging a more direct route.


  • Is it a particular chord change that's hanging you up? Work on finding your best way to get from Chord A to Chord B.

  • Is it not sounding like the song? Listen to what you're trying to sound like. Damp your strings while strumming to it. Don't try to fit a song into your default strum.

There are many ways to focus on ways to sand down the rough edges, rather than focusing on your frustration that there are rough edges.


What is your picture of "playing perfectly"?

Is it a picture of you, playing joyfully with your friends?

Is it simply a feeling of being at ease while strumming a song?

Is it finally playing your favorite song with flowing chords - maybe even from memory?


Always go back to that feeling of what "perfect" means to you and string those sweet moments together like beads on a strand. Let that guide you to finding your path to learning the skills you need. And - because it's coming from your heart - it will guide your progress even as it draws you towards it.


Keep playing, my friend! Drop me a line if you'd like some help focusing on getting back on track with your ukulele - or to help you keep your focus on gaining on that "perfect" feeling.

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