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Tag Archives: Scales

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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Chord A Day

Csus4 ukulele chord

Csus4 ukulele chord – 31 Jan (Photo credit: Ukulele Chords)

Fancy learning a new chord every day? Then hop over to Curt Sheller’s All Things Ukulele site.

There are also a number of other useful free resources on there – including lots of lessons covering chords, techniques, learning the fingerboard, strumming, finger-picking, scales, rhythm, ear-training & songs.

Jeanette

 

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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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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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