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PLUC Weekend Workout

Sometimes people get a bit daunted at looking at sheet music or playing along to it. The fun TED-Ed animation below from Tim Hansen is a good way to see the basics without having to delve into too much detail.

After watching through, you could initially practice using a few tunes you know well. Try concentrating on the rhythm first and think about the pitch (ie the notes on the fretboard) later.

If you pick a simple familiar piece and look at the music whilst listening to it, you can follow the notes before even trying to keep up playing.  YouTube handily lets you slow the speed right down in the settings feature.

We have links to other quizzes and different ways of learning more about reading music and the basics of music theory in other articles to help you widen your skills. Plus more PLUC Weekend Workouts.

 

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Twelve Days Of Ukemas – Day Eight

We know Phil Doleman – he’s a nice chap! He’s a good teacher & performer – always doing workshops at every ukulele festival he’s at. He explains things very clearly, so his sessions are well-worth attending.  In fact, it never seems like a proper uke fest if he’s not there!

Phil has interesting online lessons (see his blog & YouTube Channel – or even via Skype) & a really good uke music theory book, How Music Works on the Ukulele (all based round the uke fretboard, so perfect for beginners or those who don’t read music).

From his selection of over twenty Two Minute Tips, here’s a demo on how to use your left hand more efficiently, without strain (and a little more on barre chords here – learning to play the Bb chord with ease).

 

By the way, if you’ve never attended a ukulele festival, it’s a great way to expand your knowledge. See many uke performers of differing styles; attend a few workshops to learn new skills, jam along with others and maybe even pluck up courage to play in an open mic session! The Got A Ukulele Calendar is international & updated regularly throughout the year as folk send in information. I’ve been a few – some small & local and others large-scale & national. My favourite to date is the Ukulele Festival of Scotland, which is held in lovely surroundings at Dumfries. It’s fantastically well-organised & packs in a lot from mid Fri afternoon to early Sun evening.

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Tamás Gáll has just developed a new chord training site called It’s Chordtime, which allows you to change chords to a regular metronome tempo and help become a smoother player. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Happy 2015!

Top Referring Sites 2014

Top Referring Sites 2014

Our free downloadable PLUC 2015 Calendar shows the movable major chord shapes for year-round reference, in a handy diagram from UkeGeeks.com. Thanks to Buz for kindly tweaking the layout for us! (He also runs PizzaByTheSlice, which contains many uke-related designs & is well worth a look.) Read the rest of this entry »

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

The latest Ukulele Underground YouTube tutorial fits in perfectly with our current moveable chords theme. Aaron explains how to work out how to play the same chord in different ways by using a fretboard diagram. He also shows you tips for easy chord progressions, ways of working out unusual chords you don’t know & learning how to play scales with that same diagram,

If you haven’t understood the principles behind it up until now, I’m sure you’ll find this really helpful as he illustrates it very clearly:

Other PLUC music theory postings.

 

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Colour-coded musical notes: uke fretboard, tab & musical stave

Rainbow Music Ukulele Map

People learn ukulele & music theory differently, so I was interested to find the Rainbow Music site, which offers free on-line music lessons, basing learning round colour-coded musical notes.

Although you need to register to access the members’ area, once you’ve done so there is plenty to see & practice without needing to buy their paid-for resources: Read the rest of this entry »

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Music note bokeh cutout

Music note bokeh cutout (Photo credit: rob.wiss)

EarMaster is another interactive music theory site, with a useful page for learning how to recognise the interval (ie musical gap) between two notes. You can listen to ascending & descending intervals and play a daily quiz, Plus there is a long list of songs that start with each interval: choose the ones you know to make a customised reference chart as an aide-mémoire.

Other quizzes include: PLUC Weekend Workout – On-line Ear Trainer; PLUC Weekend Workout – Speak Ukulele Challenge!PLUC Weekend Workout – memrise on-line coursesPLUC Weekend Workout – Theta Music Trainer;  PLUC Weekend Workout – Flashcard Machine; PLUC Weekend Workout – Music Reading Knowledge; A Question Of Uke – TV & Movie Themes; PLUC Weekend Workout – Fretboard Master GamePLUC Weekend Workout – Guitarator Chord Quiz; PLUC Weekend Workout – Vocal Match Game

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Woman listening to Music

Woman listening to Music (Photo credit: RelaxingMusic)

Here’s a free on-line ear trainer from Rick, who writes the I Was Doing All Right blog. There are full instructions on the page & it has several different customisable options for you to identify note intervals, chords & melodies, so you can make it as hard or easy as you wish.

You’ll need Java running (answer any prompts you receive on-screen & scroll down to the bottom of the page for troubleshooting if you encounter any problems).

Rick’s article also describes other hints & tips for ear training & gives his song mnemonics for learning intervals (you may want to use your own – it;s easier to pick tunes you know well if you use this method).

The ear trainer is also available for free download if you want to use it off-line.

Other quizzes include: PLUC Weekend Workout – EarMaster Reference Songs For IntervalsPLUC Weekend Workout – Speak Ukulele Challenge!PLUC Weekend Workout – memrise on-line coursesPLUC Weekend Workout – Theta Music Trainer;  PLUC Weekend Workout – Flashcard Machine; PLUC Weekend Workout – Music Reading Knowledge; A Question Of Uke – TV & Movie Themes; PLUC Weekend Workout – Fretboard Master GamePLUC Weekend Workout – Guitarator Chord Quiz; PLUC Weekend Workout – Vocal Match Game

 
 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Reading Music Mnemonics - Treble Clef Acronyms from http://cars.blurtit.com/

Reading Music Mnemonics – Treble Clef from http://cars.blurtit.com/
Notes on the lines are
E – G – B – D – F =
Every Good Boy Deserves Football
Notes in the spaces spell
F – A – C – E

 

 

Another interesting learning resource site I found this week is memrise. Its main section is on-line language courses, with novel ways of getting you to learn the vocabulary (along with mnemonics, submitted by fellow learners, which may or may not seem useful to you!) but it covers a lot more under Other Topics..

It’s a free sign-up. You do short, timed tests to build your knowledge & can return as often or infrequently as you wish to practice. There is a reasonable Musical Notation section with all manner of items to help your music theory knowledge, such as:

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Very, Very, Very Basic Understanding of Music for Absolute Beginners

In this article I shall attempt to lay out the very basis of how music works in a straightforward, easily understood fashion. Please, if you’re a beginner, don’t be put off by the idea of learning and understanding anything about music. The basic stuff is really easy to grasp and will enhance your playing and following of what’s going on when you play with others. If you’re already into music this isn’t for you, it’s for those with no understanding at all.

Musical Notes – The Octave & Chromatic Scale

If you play a note and then double the frequency (ie the number of times a string vibrates in one second) you get the same note but higher. This is called an octave and can be heard on a ukulele if you play an open string and then count 12 frets up the fingerboard and play that note. It’s the same note an octave higher.

Listen to an octave being played from Wikipedia:

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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