My friend Chuck “Chainsaw” Holloway was visiting from Oregon last week. I was helping him with a beginning bluegrass banjo instructional DVD. What’s that have to do with the ukulele? Loops. Chuck employs a system of memorizing snippets of melody he calls Looping. His looping technique is not simply playing the lick over and over and over, but adding the loop into your mind and muscle memory. It’s almost akin to a cross between Professor Harold Hill’s “think system” and a finger aerobics class. You are not only playing the loop repeatedly, you are internalizing the sound and how it feels in your hands to play it.
Here’s an example of looping a portion of a melody using James Hill’s ukulele big band arrangement of This Little Light Of Mine.
I also incorporate the solfege syllables (do-re-mi etc.) in my looping practice which helps me to transpose and play the same melody in any key.