The uke is a rhythm instrument in old time music
- The melody is amply covered by fiddle and banjo
- There is already a lot of rhythm - bowing and syncopation.
- Guitar and bass have the downbeat covered
Play the off-beat
- Example from Winkin' Eye:
V V V V V V V V <-- downbeat Oh me Oh my You better watch my winkin' eye! ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ <-- off-beat
Make the chop
- You want the duration of your strum to be as short as possible for maximum rhythmic effect and to not mask the melody.
- no open strings
- pick noise contributes to the chopping sound
- You can do a lot to affect the overal band sound by slight changes in where you put your chop.
- It can drive people crazy if you do not sync up with the other instruments
- I can be very satisfying when everybody is working together
- The banjo uke can be loud - save this for special occasions.
- Play uke so that you don't really notice it until it stops.
- Play rhythm, not melody.
- Play mostly a regular pulse, with a few little extra strokes occasionally.
- Don't speed up or slow down - stick with the other instruments.
- It's hard enough to do this simple thing.