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Category Archives: Playing Help – Sites & Resources

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.

We’ll be back strumming at the Lewis Club from Tue 3rd January.

Jeanette

 

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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.

Here he takes you through the song Lava, from the Pixar short animation of the same name, which was shown alongside the movie Inside Out. The song was written by Pixar director, James Ford Murphy. This was the first time that I saw this Lava video and fell in love with this small motion picture and the very catchy chorus. I love the play on the lyrics ‘someone to lava’.

My son and I often sing through the words, at times making them up as we go along, but just keeping to the style of music.

It is very easy on the ukulele, although I need to keep practising my Up, Up, Up-Down, Up-Down, Up, Up, Up-Down, Up-Down (SMILE). However, whenever I’m practising my son always comes along and perches on the side arm of the sofa and sings the words as I attempt to play. It’s always a comical time/moment.

Tina

 

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All I Want For Christmas…

Festive greetings everybody! Here’s Richard Hefner with a playalong video for I Want A Ukulele For Christmas:

 

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PLUC 2015 Top Ten – Dec

Steve J, Bob & Maria - Xmas 2014

Steve J, Bob & Maria – Xmas 2014

After much deliberation, we voted for Girl On Fire from Tina’s songs back in October. That joins Kevin’s three songs, as we felt they all had interesting aspects to work up.

Here are Bob’s selections for our final Top Ten. As ever, PLUC members please go & grab the actual versions we’ll be using from our Box (reminder: ask Ed, Steve or me if you don’t understand how to get Box to email you automatically as we post new songs etc in there). If enough people have printed them for this week we’ll play them Tues 8 Dec.& then again in the New Year to pick the one to keep & work on.

Song One – Any Old Time – a country hit for Jimmie Rodgers. Here’s the Sara Watkins Band with Sean Watkins & Chris Thile (making a Nickel Creek reunion). We could add some variety with mandolin or banjolele & even Andrew’s Jew’s Harp:

 

Song Two – Loves Me Like A Rock – Paul Simon. This has nice call & response harmonies. Cover by Isaiah Mosteller:

 

Song Three – ELO’s Mr Blue Sky. Anthony Loh & friends produce a fun version (maybe we can dig out more cowbell…):

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Want to brush up on your knowledge of the fretboard? Need to know how to relate written music to the notes you play? Then head over to Tom Potts’ handy Ukulele Note Finder tool.

All you need to do is hover over a position on the fretboard & it’ll tell you where else you’ll find notes of the same pitch (ie octave) elsewhere on other strings. Or, if you are looking at a piece of music, go to the bottom of the screen, find the note on the stave you have to identify, & it gives you your various playing options on the fretboard.

In the example below, you can see there are four high Cs (C5) on a standard gCEA-tuned 12 fret instrument. The open C string is an octave lower –  C4 / middle C. Use the various search boxes on the right hand side of the PLUC site pages to look up more articles, tools & tips from us about very basic understanding of music, notes & fretboards if this is all unfamiliar to you!

 

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PLUC 2015 Top Ten – October

Xmas 2014 - 04 Steve H & Tina 01

Steve H & Tina

Tina has picked three tunes that she always sings aloud, usually whilst hoovering or in the shower!

As before, we’ve put the versions of the songs we’ll be using in the PLUC Box for members. Have a go at playing them & be ready to perform them as a group on Tues 20 & 27 October, after which we’ll vote upon the one that works the best & to keep playing for the next few months.

Song OneHallelujah – by Leonard Cohen (a tune that’s been covered by over 300 artists). Here’s Richard Hefner, who plays it through first, then gives a tutorial:

Song Two – Valerie – by The Zutons (& also well-known by Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse). Aldrine from Ukulele Underground thrashes out a version:

Song ThreeGirl On Fire – by Alicia Keys. Wisa89 gives her uke cover here:

 

 

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PLUCking Ukes – Ten Minute Practice Tips

Stu Fuchs (aka Stukulele / Ukulele Dojo) is doing a new series of beginners’ videos, starting with the basics & progressing as he teaches his latest class. He says these are for anyone who wants a refresher or check to see if they need to get out of any bad habits they’ve picked up whilst playing. This first one covers strumming; keeping rhythm; accenting the backbeat; fretting chords without too much tension; & a simple strumalong to Jamaica Farewell. In Week Two he introduces 3/4 time & plays a long-distance duet with you of Amazing Grace.

There are also plenty of other interesting items & tutorials on his website, at all levels, so do have a look round.

 

 

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