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Category Archives: Playing Help – Sites & Resources

PLUC Weekend Workout

Chris has found this interesting lecture from the basic Listening To Music course by Yale University and feels it would repay many members of our group for the time spent watching it.

It opens with a preamble about musical notation & the reasons we use it (also mentioned in last month’s PLUC Weekend Workout & other music theory postings if you need more detail). Then the majority of Prof Craig Wright’s talk covers rhythm in many music styles, showing how different time signatures sound & getting students to listen to various pieces of music so they can conduct along to the beat.

Given how important it is to recognise the rhythm of the songs you play & be able to keep time, this is a very useful exercise. Several people have been puzzling over how to work out strumming patterns to fit tunes, so they will find it handy to be given these practical tips to aid them in improving their listening skills.

 

The lecture is number three in Yale’s full free course, available online. Coincidentally, it has been updated for 2015 & is being run by Coursera (about whom we wrote recently) as part of their Introduction to Classical Music. Their courses are also free & include lectures, interactive quizzes & discussions with tutors & other participants. Even if you only decided to register to watch the videos from the first two weeks & not bother with any of the exercises, they would help your music skills.

Week 1
Music in Our Lives
Rhythm: We’ve All Got It!
What is Melody?

Week 2
Harmony: From Bach to Do Wop
Tone Colour: Welcome to the Orchestra!
Texture, Form, and Style

(Weeks 3 – 8 cover music styles from the Middle Ages to Postmodernism.)

The recent Coursera Songwriting course was excellent – hugely interesting; ideal for making you pay more attention to the style, structure & nuances of songs; & the assessments kept you focussed on learning, so this should also be good.

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

There are so many online learning resources out there, it’s difficult to know where to start! One of the interesting sources is TED-Ed, who create ‘lessons worth sharing’. They produce fun & informative videos & lectures on numerous topics. Here are three for you to view for starters.

How To Read Music – by Tim Hansen:

 

To help you consider your strumming: A Different Way To Visualize Rhythm – by John Varney.

And a fascinating lecture by Evelyn Glennie about How To Truly Listen.

Why not look at their site or channel and recommend any music-related YouTubes you’ve enjoyed in the comments section below?

 

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PLUCking Ukes – Free Fingerpicking Lessons

Brett McQueen, from the excellent Ukulele Tricks site is offering a free three-week Fingerpicking Tricks Mini Lesson Series to subscribers on his mailing list & PLUC website readers. For any of you that have followed his free videos or enrolled in his Strumming Tricks onine course, you’ll know he’s a very clear & articulate teacher. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Here’s a fascinating stop-frame animated YouTube from Vi Hart talking about how musical notes are made up of different frequencies. It uses an unfretted instrument (viola) to show how you can work out where along the fingerboard the different notes appear, so you can see how this translates to the uke & why the frets are where they are. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Course You Can

If you fancy improving your skills with some free online courses, do have a look at Coursera. They offer video lessons from lecturers at universities & colleges around the world; you’re assessed by answering quizzes & submitting assignments. There’s no need to pay for the certificates (which are meaningless, as they aren’t recognised qualfications), just enjoy learning & enhancing your skills.

They cover a huge variety of subjects and have some very interesting music topics. A six-week Songwriting course has just started if you’re interested & quick off the mark (or you can opt to be informed when the future sessions are held). Others currently available or in the pipeline include music theory; history of western music; classical music; history of rock; appreciations of The Beatles & Rolling Stones; the American South (which includes roots music & the blues); world music; rehearsing musical ensembles; musical sounds/electronics & several more.

We’ve also previously posted about other online courses, such as the Open University & ALISON, under our PLUC Weekend Workout topic if you wish to explore further options.

 
 

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PLUC 2015 Top Ten – April

Xmas Strumalong 2013 - 07 Tina, Anthony & Kev

Tina, Anthony & Kev

Kevin’s has dug out an excellent three numbers for us to try in April. We’ll be playing them as a group on Tue 31 March & Tue 7 April, as people seem to need a little longer than a week to practice & it worked well this month playing everything on two weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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PLUC 2015 Top Ten – March – The Winner

Voting for the new March song, selected by Ed, took place at this week’s session, fittingly on his 42nd wedding anniversary, so congratulations again to Ed & his wife! Read the rest of this entry »

 

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