Tag Archives: Strumming

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.



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PLUCking Ukes – Rhythm Without Blues

Over the last few club nights we’ve had discussions about how it’s important to consider the ukulele as both a stringed AND percussion instrument. We’ve talked about varying our strumming patterns to add more interest to songs. And also seen how easy it is to fall into the trap of speeding up when we play!

So I was pleased to find Rhan’s Wilson All In Good Time site. Subtitled Rhythm & Music Explained Simply, Rhan is both a drummer & uke player & has an excellent set of tutorials which urge the reader to be patient & not rush into playing the next song before mastering the basics.

I need a new strum! – Part 1

See also his lessons on: Put some “feel” into your strumming!How to be a better “strummer” – revised

In addition to his very good strumming technique pointers, he covers finger-picking & playing in a group / performing. Well worth dipping into – or even reading from the beginning, as the older posts give a good grounding in improving your timing & listening skills.


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PLUCking Ukes – Striking A Chord

To help in playing chord progressions more smoothly, Doctor Uke has two simple PDFs with the most common progressions for three- & four- chord songs in all the main keys:  I – IV – V7 & I – I7 – IV – V7. If you take these nice & slowly at first, paying attention to getting a good clean sound, then increase your speed gradually, you will build up good muscle memory of how to play these chords.

Also useful is the Ukulele For Dummies Chord Families sheet, which shows the basic chords for the main keys.

These three items make a nice warm-up at the start of your practice & can be varied by you changing the order of the chords or visiting the Doctor Uke’s Music Theory page, where he gives a number of songs in different keys for you to try.

Alternatively, you can add in practicing different strumming patterns whilst working through the chord progressions, with or without a metronome, to help you keep in time.


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PLUC Tales – It’s Been A Year…

Jeanette's Purple Mahalo Uke

Jeanette’s Purple Mahalo Uke

I realised with surprise the other day that I’ve now owned my ukulele for a year!

I’d been going upstairs to a neighbour’s flat, to water his plants & feed his cat over the summer, & found myself coveting his uke, which sat there winking at me along with piles of songs showing chord diagrams. It looked like it would be fun to have a strum.

Knowing it was bad manners to play with someone’s instrument without prior permission, I joked with a friend that, if I could find a cheap uke in my favourite colour, maybe I’d get one & teach myself. Within about thirty seconds on Google I realised that I could indeed purchase a purple Mahalo, reviewed as a good entry level cheap beginners’ ukulele, for £15. There seemed to be masses of on-line resources of tutorials & songs, so the deed was done & it arrived to my work the next day, much to the amusement of my colleagues!

Having dug out my notes from my first steps in learning, I thought some of the info might be useful to other recent beginners: Read the rest of this entry »


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Uke Blogspot

This time’s random uke-related blog is Ralph Shaw’s The Ukulele Entertainer. The fortnightly articles give tips to help your uke playing and performance.

Fixby, Fobes & Co., St. Louis paper bag factor...

Fixby, Fobes & Co., St. Louis paper bag factory, by National Stereoscopic Advertising Co. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The article which caught my eye is UE #85 Uke-less Strumming Practice, in which he suggests using a paper bag  (or piece of card) on which to practice your strumming whilst listening to music, to make you pay more attention to the rhythms of tunes & to stop you getting stuck in a rut using the same strumming pattern all the time.

There’s also a link to an old Wheeltappers & Shunters Club clip, where Tessie O’Shea encourages the entire audience & viewers at home to play their paper bags. Eh, we had to make our own entertainment in them days…


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