Playing the Populele \ Image: Dakster Sullivan

Lessons Learned From The Populele Ukulele

Electronics Featured Reviews

Last month, I started on a journey to learn the ukulele with the help of the Populele. It’s been fun and while practicing I’ve had a few epiphanies that I’m not sure I would have had otherwise.

Epiphany 1.) Practice Doesn’t Always Make Perfect

They say practice makes perfect, but in my case, it’s been the breaks from playing that have made perfect.

Playing the ukulele is supposed to be fun so if you find your practice sessions are less fun and more work, take a few days off.

By not forcing myself to play when I didn’t want to I had more productive play sessions and went farther in the games.

Epiphany 2.) Study the Chords And Then Play The Game

In my fourth week of playing it finally hit me. The games would be easier if I studied my chords and learned them by heart before playing the songs.

This hit me after I unlocked Jingle Bells and finally saw the pattern. These weren’t random notes. They were an easily memorizable pattern.

Epiphany 3.) Just Because The App Says You Can Move To The Next Round Doesn’t Mean You Should

Back to Jingle Bells. I had finally advanced through the G chord and was ready for Dm. I was excited because G was a royal pain for my fingers to learn. I was also nervous because my G playing was still a little weak.

I went on to the Dm chord anyway and guess what? It was super easy. Way easier than G. I decided to give the next song a try. Jingle Bells.

Let me tell you, I played it so poorly, I’m pretty sure Santa put me on the naughty list. I moved on before I was ready and Jingle Bells taught me that.

This feels kind of like a “duh” moment but when you play the chords in the app and you do it right, it immediately advances you even if you are not entirely ready. You have to judge for yourself if you are ready; not the app.

Epiphany 4.) Strumming With Your Fingers Is Great But There’s No Shame In Using A Pick

I can strum with my fingers but after failing a few rounds because my finger strumming was too soft, I dug out the pick that came with my Populele and gave it a shot.

Damn. Talk about an improvement. Not only did I enjoy it more from a sensory point of view but also from a playing/achievement in the game point of view.

Past Methods And Final Review

The Populele has helped me move my ukulele practice forward faster than I can give credit to my past methods.

I’ve tried learning from books and the popular app, Yousician, and neither has helped me as much as the Populele. In fact, for a little more than Yousician’s $119 a year ($9.99 a month) subscription fee, Populele gets you a lovely instrument, an app, and an impressive song library for lifetime use. You really can’t beat that.

The Populele retails for $159 and is available from Popuband’s website and Amazon.

Disclaimer: GeekMom was given a review sample.

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