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Category Archives: Playing Help – PLUC Tips

PLUCking Ukes – Rhythm Without Blues 2

It’s always more difficult to play the slowest numbers, such as Abilene – which we play in a much more leisurely fashion than the original – because you have to be very accurate with your tempo and there is always a temptation to start speeding up!

Spending just a few minutes a day for a few weeks working on your strumming (eg with a metronome, to a steady backing track or using other rhythm tools) will soon improve your sense of timing.

We’ve discussed this previously in an earlier PLUCking Ukes – Rhythm Without Blues entry. This introduced some useful rhythm exercises from Rhan Wilson’s All In Good Time site, which are always worth recapping.

Several of the music theory sites we’ve covered contain fun rhythm games – a good one to try out is Theta Music Trainer.

If you’re confident with those, moving on you could try some of the rhythm tutorials from Stuart Fuchs. Stu has a number of lessons concentrating on different strums and rhythms, such as ones from his ‘Uke-a-Billy‘ rockabilly collection, which are suited to rock ‘n’ roll numbers – including straight strums, shuffle, backbeat, Bo-Diddley beat (aka clave) & boogie. He also explains how to play many different rhythmic styles in his playalongs, including swing, rhumba, calypso, boom-ditty, funky, reggae & more.

Get out your metronome (Google brings up its free one or there are plenty of free apps available) and try out Stu’s backbeat lesson:

 

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PLUC Tips – Gail

Here are some practical tips from Gail, who is always busy travelling around from her home in Colchester (where she plays in a U3A class and also in a group Ukulele for Fun, who do little gigs, mostly for old people’s homes) and her family, looking after her young grandchildren in Catford & elsewhere. So she is used to carrying round all her equipment effectively between locations and playing under different conditions! She’s also an avid crafter, doing knitting and other hobbies, and makes use of equipment she has from those activities to create some cheap and functional items for her uke-playing.

Gail's Essential Equipment - Nappy Carrying Bag, Clipboard, Handy Notes, Ring Binders, Book Stand

Gail’s Essential Equipment – Nappy Carrying Bag, Clipboard, Handy Notes, Ring Binders, Book Stand

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New Year’s Workouts

Happy 2017!

Sheila's 50th IMG_0844

Sheila’s 50th – PLUC

  • If you’ve just received your first ukulele, then have a look round our site for playing tips, such as our New Uke For Xmas? article which directs you to some beginners’ guide and handy resources. Or search down the right hand side of the page for the many topics we cover.
  • Should you wish to buy a uke, check out our recommendations for decent starter instruments in Good Buy To All That….
  • For those of you wishing to access some online lessons,  James Hill’s Booster Uke is free until the end of Jan 2017, which will get you moving up & down the fretboard.
  • For a bit of a workout, why not try out the Chord Quiz on Ukulele Go or head over to Uke Hunt’s more challenging Ukulele Quiz 2016.

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PLUC Tips – Tina

Here is one of my favourite uke tutorial YouTubes.

This is by Ten Thumbs Productions. Tyler Austenfeld produces a wide range of ukulele materials – he does a couple of new song tutorials every week (from beginners to advanced; classics to the latest chart hits) in addition to lessons covering different playing techniques.

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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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Happy 2014!

As usual, WordPress have sent us a report to show how the site has done over the last year. And if statistics aren’t your thing, do grab our free 2014 PLUC calendar, which contains a handy Circle Of Fifths (our full-sized transposing tool is available here). Read the rest of this entry »

 

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PLUCking Ukes – Ten Minute Practice Tips

transpose chart guitar

Transposing Chart  – Guitar (Photo credit: ljguitar)

Over the last few weeks, both Chris & Simon have mentioned how useful it can be to play the same song in a number of different keys, to expand your repertoire to learn the full range of chords. It is also a good way to start understanding more about music theory; to see how chords relate to musical keys & begin understanding how transposing works (ie putting tunes in another key).

Doctor Uke has a good selection of songs on his site in multiple keys: Five Foot TwoAmazing GraceWhy Do Fools Fall In LoveTiptoe Through The Tulips & It’s A Blue World. You’ll soon spot that some keys are easier to play on the uke than others. Going through one of these sheets until you can play all variations easily will give you a good workout.

If you look on several song sites, such as Chordie or Tontonremy & find a song you want to play, there are options on the page to trranspose it, so with a quick press of a button, you can have the song in a new key. Or you can use the PLUC Transposing Tool to work it out manually. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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