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Tag Archives: Chord Progressions

PLUC Weekend Workout

Tamás Gáll has just developed a new chord training site called It’s Chordtime, which allows you to change chords to a regular metronome tempo and help become a smoother player.

  • The initial page lets you select a number of chords to practice – either random or specifically picked ones. You can choose a set or random progression. Optionally it shows suggested chord diagrams (uke or guitar).
  • On the second page it’s possible to alter the playing speed & number of beats per bar. The next chord coming up is shown so you can ready your fingers to move efficiently.
  • You could easily adapt this to choose chords in a specific song you’re learning, to improve a strumming pattern or polish a new picking technique, increasing the pace gradually as you progress.
It's Chordtime - Screendump

It’s Chordtime – Screendump

Do give it a try and let him know any feedback you have for potential enhancements. And if you enjoy this, have a look at our other PLUC Weekend Workout & PLUCking Ukes postings, including Uncle Rod’s Ukulele Boot Camp chord drills & musictheory.net’s Fretboard Memorisation Tool, which can also aid your playing speed and accuracy.

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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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PLUCking Ukes – Ten Minute Practice Tips

transpose chart guitar

Transposing Chart  – Guitar (Photo credit: ljguitar)

Over the last few weeks, both Chris & Simon have mentioned how useful it can be to play the same song in a number of different keys, to expand your repertoire to learn the full range of chords. It is also a good way to start understanding more about music theory; to see how chords relate to musical keys & begin understanding how transposing works (ie putting tunes in another key).

Doctor Uke has a good selection of songs on his site in multiple keys: Five Foot TwoAmazing GraceWhy Do Fools Fall In LoveTiptoe Through The Tulips & It’s A Blue World. You’ll soon spot that some keys are easier to play on the uke than others. Going through one of these sheets until you can play all variations easily will give you a good workout.

If you look on several song sites, such as Chordie or Tontonremy & find a song you want to play, there are options on the page to trranspose it, so with a quick press of a button, you can have the song in a new key. Or you can use the PLUC Transposing Tool to work it out manually. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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PLUCking Ukes – Key Facts

Keys.

Keys. (Photo credit: Bohman)

Two different people asked me about musical keys this week.

A key is a collection of notes in a particular pattern. If you start singing a song on one note & then sing the same song but begin it on a different note, it’s still the same song but is in a different key.You’ll also have to play different chords to make it sound right.

Here are two different versions of The Kinks’ Lola – one on Ukulele Boogaloo & one from Richard G’s Songbook. You’ll notice the difference when you play them – you might find the chords easier to play in one version or that you can sing along better on one. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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PLUCking Ukes – Striking A Chord

Mojo practices the uke

Mojo practices the uke (Photo credit: petehoffswell)

We’ve mentioned in some of our previous postings that it can be helpful to split up your playing into different components – eg chords (melody), strumming (rhythm) & singing – either to help you focus on improving each of those aspects or just when learning a new song.

Rod Higuchi (Uncle Rod), from Seattle Ukulele Players Association (SUPA), has produced a number of useful free resources to assist with developing your ability to make smooth, consistent chord changes: Read the rest of this entry »

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Loud music warning campaign

Ear Training: Loud music warning campaign (Photo credit: .m for matthijs)

Theta Music Trainer has a huge variety of different music training games on their site. You can sign in for free & play the first few levels of all their ear training games without paying for a subscription, which gives you access to the higher levels.

Topics include Scales, Intervals, Melody, Chords, Chord Progressions, Theory & Notation, Rhythm, Tuning & Pitch and Sound. If you have a microphone, you can even test your singing! Just playing regularly for a few minutes at a time will help improve your listening skills.

Other quizzes include: PLUC Weekend Workout – EarMaster Reference Songs For IntervalsPLUC Weekend Workout – On-line Ear TrainerPLUC Weekend Workout – Speak Ukulele Challenge!PLUC Weekend Workout – memrise on-line coursesPLUC Weekend Workout – Flashcard Machine; PLUC Weekend Workout – Music Reading Knowledge; A Question Of Uke – TV & Movie Themes; PLUC Weekend Workout – Fretboard Master GamePLUC Weekend Workout – Guitarator Chord Quiz; PLUC Weekend Workout – Vocal Match Game

 

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PLUCking Ukes – Striking A Chord

For those of you brushing up on your music theory, especially if you’re learning ukulele chords for the first time, here is a nicely laid out chord chart from the DaSilva Ukulele Co’s songlist & tutorials.

English: Music theory circle of fifths diagram

English: Music theory circle of fifths diagram (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Instead of just listing the chords, it summarises a lot of information on one sheet. It’s tabulated by key signature, showing principal chords (I – IV – V7); relative minor (Vm – IIm – III7) & alternative chords (ie  I6/VIm7, diminished, augmented, IV6, VIm6 & IIm6).

This works well if you also print off the uke-specific Circle of Fifths diagram from Gary Jugert on Ukulele Underground. This page shows you the familiar wheel, with notes, chords & key signatures, along with ukulele chords.

These two pages are a good easy reference. If you are interested in knowing more of the basics, there are plenty of good lessons out there you can find – we will pick a few another time.

Even if you don’t understand the theory yet, many tunes will use these sequences of chords or chords from the same key, so it’s useful to recognise their patterns & be used to playing these progressions.

Other music theory postings: Learn Uke Notes Without Fretting; PLUC Weekend Workout – Music Reading KnowledgePLUCking Ukes – TransposingPLUC Weekend Workout – Theta Music TrainerVery, Very, Very Basic Understanding of Music for Absolute BeginnersPLUC Weekend Workout – memrise on-line coursesPLUC Weekend Workout – On-line Ear TrainerPLUC Weekend Workout – EarMaster Reference Songs For IntervalsPLUC Weekend Workout – Howard Goodall’s Story Of Music; PLUC Weekend Workout – Fretboard Master GamePLUC Weekend Workout – Guitarator Chord Quiz; PLUC Weekend Workout – Vocal Match Game

Also see the PLUC Transposing Tool

 

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