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Tag Archives: Circle of Fifths

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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Happy 2014!

As usual, WordPress have sent us a report to show how the site has done over the last year. And if statistics aren’t your thing, do grab our free 2014 PLUC calendar, which contains a handy Circle Of Fifths (our full-sized transposing tool is available here). 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

After discussions at recent club nights from Chris & Paul about movable chords & different chord fingerings, here’s another article to help those with little or no music theory background learn about major chords.

Do have a look at our very basic intro to musical notes for complete beginners; notes on the ukulele fretboard and the Circle of Fifths (which helps explain about the different keys) first if you’re totally new to these areas. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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PLUCking Ukes – Striking A Chord

learning chords

learning chords (Photo credit: khrawlings)

Especially when you are new to playing or are learning a tune with some unfamiliar chords, you often find it’s useful having the chord diagrams to hand on your songsheet. To save you drawing them on freehand, here are a few of our members’ tips:

  • Colin recommends the self-inking five-fret blank ukulele chord stamp bought recently from Shropshire firm Pencraft. He found it invaluable when going through his songbooks putting the songs into 2nd and 3rd positions. They do two sizes for ukes & each currently costs £10 plus £3 p&p. At present, they include a free Wheel of Fifths and a Ukulele World DVD with every order.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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PLUCking Ukes – Transposing

PLUC CIrcle of Fifths - Free Transposing Wheel

PLUC CIrcle of Fifths – Free Transposing Wheel

We now have our new PLUC Transposing Tool available for download, with full instructions.

Further sites with information about using the Circle of Fifths as a transposing aid include Tiki King – Tools pageInteractive Transposing Wheel.

Other Circle of Fifths music theory postings: PLUCking Ukes – Striking A Chord; PLUC Transposing Tool

 

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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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