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Tag Archives: Barre Chords

Twelve Days Of Ukemas – Day Ten

For Day Ten of our Twelve Days of Ukemas, we fittingly have Ten Thumbs Productions.

Tyler Austenfeld has been producing an amazing variety of lessons – at least two every week on Weds & Sats – since 2013. He loves teaching & is very encouraging, believing everyone can be musical given the chance. Topics covered in his YouTube Channel include:

  • Beginners: Here’s a thorough tutorial for brand new players (including holding the uke, tuning, first few chords, a couple of strumming patterns & links to several follow-on videos. Check the pinned comment for the PDF worksheet) and further beginners’ YouTubes.
  • There’s a wealth of songs, through many decades, right up to the current day: ‘How To Play’ Ukulele Songs; Song Tutorials Through The Decades (songs from 1950s – 2010s); Tutorials Of Popular Artists (eg Bruno Mars, Eric Clapton, Green Day, Jack Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Twenty One Pilots, Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, CCR, Queen etc).
  • Ukulele Tips, Tricks, Techniques & Songwriting –  this covers all sorts of interesting items, often in mini-courses, such as different types of strumming (eg reggae, palm mute, chnking, triplets, Mariachi etc); hammer on & pull-offs; percussive techniques; barre chords; Twelve Bar Blues – licks & turnarounds; right-hand dynamics; fingerstyle & fingerpicking; jamming with others, soloing & improvisation; pentatonic & other scales; jazz chord progressions; songwriting tips etc.

(If you like what you see & want even more detailed information, you can join Ten Thumbs’ Patreon scheme from as little as $1 per month to gain access to tabs for every lesson, jam tracks and more.)

Here’s a Twelve Bar Blues with Barre Chord Shuffle in A major:

 

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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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Twelve Days Of Ukemas – Day Six

If you enjoy browsing through uke blogs to see a mix of articles on improving your playing techniques, tips on how to tackle learning new songs, music from old-time tunes and bad jokes a’plenty, then you should enjoy Danno Sullivan’s Play It Daily site.

In addition to his entertaining blog, there are many free mini-courses (including alternative ways of tackling the E chord and how beating time to tunes on the radio can improve your ukulele strumming technique), Office Hours live interactive lessons & discussions that you can access from the Free Library. Plus there are a couple of Facebook pages with more tips.

You can also take out paid subscriptions to receive more detailed learning resources, such as supplementary daily emails to Chad Johnson’s Ukulele Aerobics training manual, if you wish.

Here’s Danno with a few tips for making barre chords easier & why you will find it useful to use them:

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Why not try livening up your playing by using a few different chord voicings?

Most regular ukulele songsheets often only give the basic open or first position chords but it’s possible to play each chord in numerous ways just by finding the same selection of notes elsewhere on your fretboard. By experimenting and trying a few of these out you can add texture and interest to even basic songs.

Chords.cc is a handy website that gives you chord shapes for a number of stringed instruments, including three tunings of ukulele, banjos, guitars, mandolins and more. In addition to showing fingering alternatives for a good selection of chord types, there are nice advanced features where you can customise it to show left-handed chords; open strings or not; rootless voicings; maximum stretch (good if you have short fingers); whether to include muted strings; and a ‘how many fingers’ options (approximating how you might play the chord).

Here’s the standard layout for a regular gCEA tuned uke for C major:

Chords CC (http://chords.cc) - C Major voicings for a gCEA uke

Chords CC (http://chords.cc) – C major voicings for a gCEA uke

Other options are being added by user request, including the ability to zoom in on the chords to see more detail if you’re on a mobile device and to generate PDFs.

More PLUC Weekend Workouts.

 

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