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Tag Archives: Music Theory

PLUC Weekend Workout

Sometimes people get a bit daunted at looking at sheet music or playing along to it. The fun TED-Ed animation below from Tim Hansen is a good way to see the basics without having to delve into too much detail.

After watching through, you could initially practice using a few tunes you know well. Try concentrating on the rhythm first and think about the pitch (ie the notes on the fretboard) later.

If you pick a simple familiar piece and look at the music whilst listening to it, you can follow the notes before even trying to keep up playing.  YouTube handily lets you slow the speed right down in the settings feature.

We have links to other quizzes and different ways of learning more about reading music and the basics of music theory in other articles to help you widen your skills. Plus more PLUC Weekend Workouts.

 

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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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PLUC Weekend Workout

Colour-coded musical notes: uke fretboard, tab & musical stave

Rainbow Music Ukulele Map

People learn ukulele & music theory differently, so I was interested to find the Rainbow Music site, which offers free on-line music lessons, basing learning round colour-coded musical notes.

Although you need to register to access the members’ area, once you’ve done so there is plenty to see & practice without needing to buy their paid-for resources: Read the rest of this entry »

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Yet another free courses website is ALISON. There are over 300 courses available, including an Introduction To Music Theory. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2014 in Playing Help – Sites & Resources

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Yhancik's LastGraph - Rainbow

Yhancik’s LastGraph – Rainbow Music Soundwaves (Photo credit: yhancik)

Try Hooktheory’s daily ear training challenges to see if you can identify the notes or chords in a song. There are three levels: beginners, intermediate & advanced. See if you can top the leaderboard for solving the puzzle accurately & quickly.

Other PLUC music theory postings.

Other quizzes include: A Question of Uke – TV & Movie ThemesPLUC Weekend Workout – Flashcard Machine Ukulele ChordsPLUC Weekend Workout – Theta Music TrainerPLUC Weekend Workout – memrise on-line coursesPLUC Weekend Workout – Speak Ukulele Challenge!PLUC Weekend Workout – On-line Ear TrainerPLUC Weekend Workout – EarMaster Reference Songs For IntervalsPLUC Weekend Workout – Music Tech Teacher; PLUC Weekend Workout – Fretboard Master GamePLUC Weekend Workout – Guitarator Chord QuizPLUC Weekend Workout – Vocal Match Game; PLUC Weekend Workout – Open University Intro To Music Theory

 

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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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