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Tag Archives: Beginners Music Theory

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 Three

For those of you who are new to playing, Bernadette Teaches Music recently produced a 30 Day Challenge on YouTube which makes a good practical introduction if you have no experience of the instrument.

It takes complete novices through the basics, showing how to hold a uke, first chords, how to read tab, to play a few songs & an intro to music theory. Here is the full YouTube playlist & the worksheet booklet to accompany the videos (links also underneath each YouTube in the series).

Anatomy of the ukulele (video one):

 

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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 Weekend Workout

Uke Nut is an interesting blog, covering various ukulele resources, including links to a selection of fingerstyle tunes & practice drills. Amongst the instructional postings are some links to a useful site of tools – MusicTheory.net.

Uke Nut has customised the Fretboard Memorisation Tool for a standard gCEA-tuned uke. Use it to practice identifying the notes up to the 10th fret. This will help you develop your skills, including helping you form moveable chords more readily.

Ukulele Fretboard Memorization Tool from MusicTheory.net, customised by Uke Nut

Ukulele Fretboard Memorization Tool from MusicTheory.net, customised by Uke Nut

 

More PLUC fretboard-relatedmoveable chord & quiz posts.

 

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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