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Tag Archives: Chords

PLUC Weekend Workout

PLUC - Circle of Fifths - Whole Wheel

PLUC – Circle of Fifths – Whole Wheel

Christopher Davis-Shannon, aka the Tinman, has a website with playalongs of old-time tunes as well as various tutorials and Uke Minutes with different tips and techniques, including singing whilst playing, practice exercises, strumming methods, picking patterns, chord melody, using a metronome and showboating tricks:.

His latest YouTube series 12 Keys In 12 Weeks (#12Keys12weeks) gets you playing a different scale each week. He provides a number of exercises, including a little melody up the scale for each one using broken – arpeggiated – chords that ‘fit’ within that key by containing just notes from that specific scale (known as a chord family).

In the first video, below, he is demonstrating C major – check the original YouTube page for links in the description for his free worksheets (and more detailed lessons on scales and chords within them). As he progresses, he’s starting to add in different chord voicings to get you to follow the melody notes and play further up the neck. By the end of the series you should be more confident at playing in any key.

Should you want to understand a little more how he arrives at the chords for each scale, have a quick look at a Circle of Fifths.

If you’re playing in the key of C major, take all the chords nearest C on the wheel in a little ‘L’ shape. These chords are made up from the same notes that you’ll find in that specific scale. Go through the letters alphabetically from C right round to C again to get the whole scale.

PLUC - Circle of Fifths - C Major Chord Family

PLUC – Circle of Fifths – C Major Chord Family

 

When playing chords in this key, the letters on the outside are major chords, the ones on the inside are minor ones and the one out on the leg of the ‘L’ is a diminished chord (dim7 or sometimes written as °):

C major – D minor – E minor – F major – G major – A minor – B dim – C major

 

PLUC - Circle of Fifths - G Major Chord Family

PLUC – Circle of Fifths – G Major Chord Family

 

 

 

For G major, you’ll get: G major – A minor – B minor – C major – D major – E minor – F# dim – G major

 

PLUC - Circle of Fifths - D Major Chord Family

PLUC – Circle of Fifths – D Major Chord Family

 

 

 

 

For D major, you’ll get: D major – E minor – F# minor – G major – A major – B minor – C# dim – D major

 

And so on, round the wheel in the same way for each different key.

 

 

See more of our posts covering improving your chord playing; musical keys, the PLUC Transposing Tool and other PLUC Weekend Workouts. Original Circle of Fifths diagram from Wikipedia’s public domain images.

Here’s Christopher, with the first video in the series – C major:

 

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Twelve Days Of Ukemas – Day Eleven

For Day Eleven, why not try a bit of folk & country music? Richard Hefner’s ezFolk site is another one with masses of free information, from beginners to advanced.

Sections & YouTube playlists include tutorials for a basic uke course; clawhammer; fingerstyle; strumming and a selection of playalong songs & lessons.

Also included is a useful ukulele chords section, showing many variations of chords up the fretboard (plus baritone chord variations).

Here’s Richard with an introduction to the bum-ditty strum – part of his clawhammer course:

 

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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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PLUC Weekend Workout

Why not whip out your ukes and have a go at Ukulele Hunt’s Annual Chord Quiz?

There are twenty-five questions, covering five different areas – from naming the chord in the diagrams to identifying different chord progressions (that’s where your instrument might come in handy!).

Good luck.

More Uke Hunt quizzes.

More PLUC Weekend Workouts.

 

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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UkeTubes

It’s Paul McCartney’s 75th birthday today (or maybe not, if you subscribe to the Paul Is Dead conspiracy rumours!). Here’s Cynthia Lin with her version of Maybe I’m Amazed. If you’ve not viewed her YouTube channel yet, it’s well worth a look & includes some interesting free uke tutorials. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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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.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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