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Author: Subject: Beginner on oud
mike123333
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[*] posted on 4-1-2015 at 12:40 PM
Beginner on oud


Hello, I just wanted to reach out an get some advice on learning the oud and be able to play for the enjoyment of it. I attempted many years ago to learn how to play and out of frustration and daily life activities, I just place them aside an gave up...I love listening to arabic music and every time I hear the oud I get the urge to pick up the ones I have and play a bit.

I am interested in learning to play the correct way and be able to play music. I have done allot of reading and gathering information on the web. I need some basic understanding or teaching to get me going...

Any advise on how to proceed is greatly appreciated.


MJ
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mike123333
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[*] posted on 4-2-2015 at 05:11 PM


I guess there was not to many beginners or newbies playing the oud.
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Giorgioud
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[*] posted on 4-2-2015 at 06:27 PM


Oh well, I'll get the ball rolling then. Welcome to the forum Mike. Here you'll find a lot of help regarding your oudism.
What I would suggest at the very beginning is to take particular care about the posture. A good posture is the foundation of a good oudist. There's not a standard posture that you can apply to everybody and every body. The oud has to be moulded, so to speak, within the shape of your body.
First make sure that you solve the tendency of the oud to slip forward because of its rounded back. You do that by playing tilting the oud so that the surface is not straight and perpendicular to your body, but the upper part of the soundboard is tilting ever so slightly forward. The lower part can be stopped from sliding by physically stopping it. either with a crease of your trousers or with a small towel placed on your thigh. There's also some material, made in flexible plastic and used in construction, which adheres to the rounded part of the oud attached to the thigh, effectively stopping it completely. But I am sure that the more you master how not to make it slide, the more you will like the freedom of edging it into position when needed, rather that having an implement stopping the oud from sliding, yes, but also limiting the movements you might need to carry out in order to adjust the posture during performance.
Now, the right arm, or the other one if you're a leftie. The upper part of the arm needs to lay on the surface closer to your body as though it was glued to it, but the secret is not to apply any pressure on it. The key is complete relaxation. When you're in place, let the forearm dangle. Then bend the wrist of the hand holding the risha at an approximate 120 degrees angle
(a 180 degree should mean the wrist is completely straight and parallel to the forearm, a 90 degree is that the wrist is bend in such a way to form a right angle with the forearm, but that hurts. My last notions of geometry are from secondary school in the early 80's so I might be quite wrong on this degree business. I hope you'll know what I mean) .
It is not advisable to have the hand parallel to the strings like you would do with a guitar.
Lastly, the way you hold the risha. Let the tip protrude a bit, and experiment with what kind of sound you like most. Some player like to play with only a small part showing, others like to have a longer part protruding to hit the strings with. But, very important, never bend the thumb of the hand you are holding the risha with. It is a wrong posture that eventually will result in tendons damage. The thumb has to be straight, pushing for pressure on the tip of the risha (naturally ease the tension as soon as you start playing, but don't let the thumb bend).
I hope this helps. If you like some more tips please do contact me via U2U. Good luck with your learning.

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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 4-2-2015 at 08:34 PM


Most of the reason for the lack of response is that this is a very very very common topic, and we sometimes get tired of repeating the same things to every beginner. In particular, just a few days ago, someone started an essentially identical topic:
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=15601


You can make good use of the search button to find relevant threads, here are some (searched "beginner"):

A month ago:
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=15513#pid10...

And two months ago:
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=15445#pid10...

And three months ago:
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=15293#pid10...
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=15294#pid10...
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=15292#pid10...

etc:
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=15155#pid10...
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=15139#pid10...
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=15102#pid10...
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=14660#pid99...
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=14643#pid99...
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=14527#pid99...
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=14571#pid98...

I would recommend listing your location in your profile. This has several advantages:
People may be able to suggest a teacher near you
A member might live near you and be willing to get together and give you some pointers
When you need a luthier to fix your oud (and you will, eventually), it will be easier for someone to help you find one

Generally, specific questions will get better answers than a general "I want to play oud, what next?" post.




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Lysander
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[*] posted on 4-3-2015 at 02:42 AM


Brian / Admin do you think it would be worth making one of these topics a sticky, or writing one? I think it would be productive from the point of view that it would give new players a frame of reference as well as give amateurs somewhere to come back to to remind themselves of direction.
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 4-3-2015 at 08:34 AM


Oh yeah, there's also a FAQ aimed at newcomers:
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=6809

I'm not an admin, but a "beginners read this/post here" thread sticky might not be a bad idea. It could work as an introduction and source of info. Someone has to take the time to write/compile stuff though.




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