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Tag Archives: Stuart Fuchs

PLUCking Ukes – Rhythm Without Blues 2

It’s always more difficult to play the slowest numbers, such as Abilene – which we play in a much more leisurely fashion than the original – because you have to be very accurate with your tempo and there is always a temptation to start speeding up!

Spending just a few minutes a day for a few weeks working on your strumming (eg with a metronome, to a steady backing track or using other rhythm tools) will soon improve your sense of timing.

We’ve discussed this previously in an earlier PLUCking Ukes – Rhythm Without Blues entry. This introduced some useful rhythm exercises from Rhan Wilson’s All In Good Time site, which are always worth recapping.

Several of the music theory sites we’ve covered contain fun rhythm games – a good one to try out is Theta Music Trainer.

If you’re confident with those, moving on you could try some of the rhythm tutorials from Stuart Fuchs. Stu has a number of lessons concentrating on different strums and rhythms, such as ones from his ‘Uke-a-Billy‘ rockabilly collection, which are suited to rock ‘n’ roll numbers – including straight strums, shuffle, backbeat, Bo-Diddley beat (aka clave) & boogie. He also explains how to play many different rhythmic styles in his playalongs, including swing, rhumba, calypso, boom-ditty, funky, reggae & more.

Get out your metronome (Google brings up its free one or there are plenty of free apps available) and try out Stu’s backbeat lesson:

 

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Twelve Days Of Ukemas – Day Twelve

Stuart Fuchs is another great performer I found early on with a clear & relaxed teaching style, predictably through some of his Beatle posts. He plays a wide variety of styles which reflect the versatility of the uke – here are links to a few YouTubes with him playing on a couple of road trips (a spot of Bob Marley up a mountain top and Billy Joel in the desert); concerts showcasing jazz medleys and stunt ukulele; followed by some more sedate Bach and Brazilian pieces.

I was lucky enough to attend two of his workshops at the 2018 Ukulele Festival of Scotland (UFoS) – Ukulele Zen (giving practice tips, such as how to play more easily without too much tension) and Fingerpicking Skills – & they were really interesting and useful.

He has lots of free stuff in his store (look in the FREE TABS section – most have videos to accompany them in his YouTube Channel); several different YouTube themes (eg Beginners’ Ukulele; Ask Stu Feature; Ukulele Lessons (weekly)Ukulele Circus Skills; Rockabilly for Uke (containing Rock & Roll numbers – to support the book of the same name); Chord Solo Tutorials (supporting another book); Blues; Jazz; Gypsy Swing etc); some good books (such as Rockabilly for Uke – aka Uke-a-billy) and he also offers Skype lessons.

(Stuart has recently set up a Patreon page and is busy adding extra content there from as little as $2 per month, for those looking to obtain more detailed lessons and techniques.)

Here’s one of his Beatle medleys:

 

I hope you’ve found this short Twelve Days Of Ukemas series informative. People learn differently: whilst some prefer dipping in randomly, others fare better with a more structured approach, or find paying for a formal course or membership motivates them to progress better. With any luck, we’ve introduced you to some new sites and tutorial sources to help you vary and structure your practice so you can improve your uke skills for the New Year!

Jeanette

 

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PLUCking Ukes – Ten Minute Practice Tips

Stu Fuchs (aka Stukulele / Ukulele Dojo) is doing a new series of beginners’ videos, starting with the basics & progressing as he teaches his latest class. He says these are for anyone who wants a refresher or check to see if they need to get out of any bad habits they’ve picked up whilst playing. This first one covers strumming; keeping rhythm; accenting the backbeat; fretting chords without too much tension; & a simple strumalong to Jamaica Farewell. In Week Two he introduces 3/4 time & plays a long-distance duet with you of Amazing Grace.

There are also plenty of other interesting items & tutorials on his website, at all levels, so do have a look round.

 

 

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