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Tag Archives: Beginners Music Theory

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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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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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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PLUC Weekend Workout

The Justinguitar Interval Ear Trainer

The Justinguitar Interval Ear Trainer

Justinguitar has a section for ukulele lessons & also some good ear training resources. There’s a detailed page with a number of video lessons which take you through a structured way of looking at the topic or you can just jump straight into the on-line app to test yourself & see how well you can recognise musical intervals.

Do also have a look at the other music theory topics down the left hand side of the page, which include transcribing, scales, arpeggios, chords & rhythm.

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

The latest Ukulele Underground YouTube tutorial fits in perfectly with our current moveable chords theme. Aaron explains how to work out how to play the same chord in different ways by using a fretboard diagram. He also shows you tips for easy chord progressions, ways of working out unusual chords you don’t know & learning how to play scales with that same diagram,

If you haven’t understood the principles behind it up until now, I’m sure you’ll find this really helpful as he illustrates it very clearly:

Other PLUC music theory postings.

 

 

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