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Leonard Cohen 1934-2016 RIP
Time to go back and look at the post for "Hallelujah" This was his biggest hit. His original words differ from some that other musicians have added to them.
Need a copy of the song and chords, e-mail me.
Play A Duet
A simple way for two, or more, ukulele players to enhance a song is to also play the chords up the fretboard Take a simple I, IV, V7, song, we'll use the key of C. One player plays the chords off the nut as usual, while the other player plays those chords further up the fretboard
Chords in the key of C played up the fretboard would be :
C = 3345 F = 8555 G7 = 8777,
It is easiest to use barre chords, and is really a simple chord pattern to play.
Try it with another player, it gives an added texture to your playing.
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 11/10/2016 (11:50)
THE Em CHORD
I tend to do a poor job of fingering the Em chord. So do others. So here is a practice song to work on that finger shape.
SWAY is the song. Em and Bm7 chords used, switching between the two and using the same finger shape.
Its a fun song, too so give it a good latin rhythm.. DDU UDU and have fun with it. Emphasis on second down stroke,
Em = 0432 Bm = 4320 It is the same finger shape switched back and forth.
(yes, you could play the Bm7 with a barre chord, but let's work on the finger shape.)
Song sheet available if you want one. Email me.
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 11/6/2016 (01:46)
Has anyone considered what Leonard Cohan's lyrics are about in this first verse of the popular song. There is a bit of a music theory lesson here.
"It goes like this," (Starting at the Tonic) "the Fourth, the Fifth, the minor (vi) fall, the Major (IV) lift" ...
And the chords go: C tonic: F G Am F, .... just what he's talking about.
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 3/29/2016 (12:59)
With all the violence in our world I was reminded of John Lennon's song: "Imagine."
A song from another turbulent era. But, too true today.
The verses of this song follow a simple three chord pattern: C, CM7, F
C............ CM7 ,,,,,,,,,,,,, F
Imagine - there's no - countries,
It isn't - hard to - do,
Nothing to- kill or - die for
And no - religion - too.
The variations on the chorus and bridge throw in some other chords: Am, Dm, E7
If you are interested in my arrangement of this song send me a request with your email address and I will send you a Word and a PDF file of the song.
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 11/10/2016 (11:54)
With beginners, the ends of their fingers soon hurt too much to do much practice. So I give them a musical chord sequence that uses Barre Chords and saves the ends of their fingers (somewhat).
1. Start with an A major chord (ouch,) and give it four beats.
2. Next barre the second four frets and strum for four beats.
(See the post in this topic about playing barre chords)
3. Then barre the fourth frets and strum for four beats
4. Return to the A major chord for four beats .
And, keep repeat ing this chord sequence
This is a fun chord sequence that allows you to practice your strumming and saves the ends of your fingers half the time.
Want to sing a song to this? Try singing the chorus to: "It Never Rains In Southern California". In my classes we use it as a warm up, call it a "Rain Dance," and hope it pours!!!
Yes, I'm in California.
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 8/6/2015 (01:48)
Remember, for Barre Chords:
1, Get your thumb solidly behind the chord and a bit further up toward the tuners so you get some leverage and not totally a squeeze as when your thumb is right behind the barre.
2. Tuck you uke in and hold tight with your strum arm. Push with your barre finger. This lets some of your pressure just come from pushing back on the uke.
Its not all squeezing of the chord hand. If you just do a squeeze, the web of you hand will soon complain.
Learn to make the barre with you index finger. Some people want to start with their middle finger. By using the index you are ready to play chords up the fretboard as you skills improve.
Make sure you use the fleshy parts of the finger not the joint to hold down strings.
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 8/6/2015 (01:21)
Summer is coming, get ready
George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward
Porgy and Bess, 1935
4/4 Slowly Intro: Am, Dm Am E7…
[: [E7]. Summer [Am] time … [E7] and the livin’ is [Am] easy. [E7]
.. Fish are [Dm] jumpin’ … and the cotton is [E7] high.
Your daddy’s [Am] rich.. [E7] and your mama’s good- [Am] lookin’,
So [C] hush, little [Am] baby, [E7] don’t you [Am] cry. *coda
[Dm Am E7..]
..One of these [Am] mornings, [E7] you’re gonna rise up
[Am] singin’ [E7]
..Then you’ll [Dm] spread your wings, and you’ll take to the [E7] sky.
But till that [Am] morning, … [E7] there’s a’nothing can [Am] harm you, |
With [C] daddy and [Am] mamma [E7] standing [Am] by.
Dm Am E7 :] and repeat to coda
* Ending: Dm Am E7 Am.
rit > res
If you would like a copy in a WORD or PDF file, sent me an e-mail with you e-mail address so I'll know where to send it
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 8/8/2015 (14:56)
Counting = Music and Math
So, I'm still counting my song to get the sequence correct.
However, the arrangement suggest: RABATO
So, first get the timing, then free it up with some emotional phrasing
I'm a flute teacher and I tell parents that learning music is backdoor math. They are learning math without realizing it!
Move more, eat less!
You preach it, now do it yourself!
Yes, I'm trying to learn to play the beautiful Hawaiian song " Akaka Falls." It is a chord melody arrangement in 3/4.
#1 Learn the chords and string plucks.
#2. Get it in sequence.
#3. Now, get the correct timing. It helps if you count: 1&2&3&
Now that I've started to count it out it is coming together.
Music is far more mathematical than many people realize, including simple counting.
Here is a repeat of the suggested play for the Holidays from last year. It is still a good play. I've been doing it myself lately.
PACHELBEL'S CANON (in C)
C, G, Am, Em, F, C, F, G7 and repeat
It is good any time of year, but fits well with the Holiday music spirit .
Have fun with it:
1. Strum the chords, first with a simple strum, then try different strums. Mix it up..
2. Strum with your thumb.
I especially enjoy this. Then use the thumb to pick different strings. Listen to what you are playing and sing it in your head as you play it ; (a technique for improvising.)
You can play it in a variety of meters, but start with 4/4.
If you are a Picker, try both a Travis 4/4 pick, and a 6/8 pick
Have fun with it and enjoy.
P.S. I play the Em chord with just three strings held. Top down it is 0 4 3 2
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 12/4/2014 (02:15)
1 Minute / Day
To keep the goal you have to keep your ukulele out and accessable so you can get in that minute.
Don't put it away so it takes you several minutes just to get it out.
Hey, ukuleles are beautiful! Keep it where it can be seen.
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 11/19/2014 (12:08)
A recommended Goal I recently heard for learning to play ukulele was to promise to:
" PLAY/PRACTICE ONE MINUTE EACH DAY". just one....
But, you have to pick it up to practice, and .....
Hope you enjoy the Autumn Leaves.
I will look this up on youtube. I'm guessing I've heard it before, I just don't know the name of the tune!
Yep, It is the time of year to play the popular standard: "Autumn Leaves"
(Most recorded jazz standard in the world)
Besides playing it with a simple shuffle strum, try it playing with your thumb and pluck some of the strings to bring out the melody and enhance your strum. You'll enjoy what you can do with this beautiful song,
And, If you need a ukulele arrangement I can email you one.
Autumn Leaves was a French song, 1946. Brought to this country and the English world with English lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 10/10/2014 (12:48)
Remember those old Doo Wop songs? Doo Wop supposedly began in 1953 and ran on through much of the 1960"
I've pulled together a simple "Doo Wop Memories" medley for my students. It is based upon verses from the songs. Songs include:
All I have to Do Is Dream
Heart and Soul
26 Miles Across The Sea
It uses a repeating: C, Am, F, G7 chord sequence. Easy and fun to play. Includes 10 verses, and it avoids the harder bridge sections of these songs. Even the experienced strummers enjoy playing and remembering those oldies.
Available, if you email me.
in WORD format
I'll try it and let you know how it goes. Thanks for posting!
Summertime is a good song to play this time of year. Simple, easy song primarily using an Am, E7 and Dm, with a brief appearance of a C chord.
Start strumming the E7, then Am, E7, Am, E7, (four beats each) Then two measure of Dm and E7. Hear the melody? Repeat and on to the bridge.
The brief use of the C chord is with the phrase: " hush little" Then back to Am for "baby" and E7 for the rest.
Try it. It is a good "Play By Ear"
A Vamp to use with it: Am Dm Am E7 Or just Am Dm E7
It can be used as the Intro, between verses, and as the ending with a final Am.
Okay grab the words and put it all together.
Happy 4th of July and a fun summer of strumming.
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 7/4/2014 (14:53)
Feeling Groovy ???
Simple chord set makes a fun strum. Good for play by ear, no music book strumming.
Chords: C, G, Am, G and keep repeating, two beats per chord.
Now sing Paul Simon's "The 59th Street Bridge Song" (aka Feeling Groovy) to this chord rhythm.
The younger generations in my class wanted more contemporary songs. 400 year old folk songs were okay ( The Water Is Wide), But..
So, I gave them a chord pattern to sing Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" with.:
C, G, Am, F, two measures of each chord.
Now squeeze in all those Rap like lyrics of the verses.
The chorus is simpler to do.
They were happy, They knew all the lyrics, Although they began to realize the extent of the lyrics and the task of getting them all into the music once they had the pattern going.
Want a contemporary song? Try it.
(At the turn around of love, love, love... use a D chord )
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 2/27/2014 (23:13)
I hope you enjoy playing with Pachelbel's Canon. You can get a lot of variations. Good fun and practice.
I'm working on the Pachelbel's Canon you sent. Thanks!
The video is great, too.
I'm glad you sent this! I will check it out.
Kanikapila = Hawaiian get together and sing and strum
A kanikapila of sorts on the windward side of 'Oahu featuring Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (lead vocalist), Robert Cazimero (of the Cazimero Brothers), Martin Pahinui (one of Gabby Pahinui's sons), and Henry Kapono Ka'aihue (of Cecilio and Kapono) singing Aloha 'Oe.
C, G, Am, Em, F, C, F, G7 and repeat
It is good any time of year, but fits well with the Holiday music .
Have fun with it:
1. Strum the chords, first with a simple strum, the try different strums. Mix it up..
2. Strum with your thumb. Then use the thumb to pick different strings. Listen to what you are playing and sing it in your head as you play it ; (a technique for improvising.)
You can play it in a variety of meters, but start with 4/4.
Have fun with it and enjoy.
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 12/4/2014 (01:55)
Yes, Ukulele Mike is a good source of lessons. His earlier lessons were more basic. Recently he has been doing advanced playing skills.
Learning to hear the chords in the song and to hear the chord you are strumming are extremely important skills to develop.
1. It helps your playing because you began to anticipate chord changes.
2. It is a much needed skill when you start strumming with others.
Try playing Jingle Bells by ear.
It is a simple three chord song: I, IV, V7, = C, F, G7 or G, C, D7
And, it has multiple verses so you can keep playing.
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 11/26/2013 (00:33)
Would you believe, I just picked up a book of Holiday songs, arranged in a three-chord, strum along style. (I'm a little slow at being able to do it by ear.) I'm also working on a version of "Jingle Bell Rock" that I'm learning from Ukulele Mike on youtube.
Hope things are going well for you. Keep strummin' and Sparkin'!
Holiday Ukulele Song Strum.
Holiday Songs are a good time to practice your "play by ear" skills. Many are simple three chord songs and everyone knows the word and melody, so songbooks are not required.
I ended the five week ukulele class last Thursday. Students wanted holiday songs to take into the season so ended the session with a little play by ear session. No music, no songbook, you know the words and melody, listen and play.
True, you can't do all holiday songs that way. Some have much more involved chord structures. But, if you try the simple ones, you'll find many to play this way. Try It!
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 11/24/2013 (00:39)
Well, this sounds like something I could try. Thanks!
CURRENT GENRE, Please.
Younger students in my class wanted something more modern than 400 year old folk songs: "The Water Is Wide" or 60 year old Doo Wop.
"I'm Yours", Jason Mraz, is really a simple four chord, repeating cylcle song: C, G, Am F. The words are what make it more difficult. There are a lot of them, some said very quickly, (like BeeBop), and a lot of lyrics.
Strum: Works well with a simple D DUDUDU strum, or dress it up with some chunks and minor variations.
PLAYING BY THE NUMBERS
Chords get assigned Roman numerals depending on where they are on the scale of the key you are playing in. Lets look at the key of C.
C= I, D= ii, E= iii, F= IV. G= V, A= vi
Major chords are indicated by the capital letter, minor chords by lower case.
The common three chord song is indicated as a I, IV, V7 song.
In the key of C that would be: C, F, G7 chords. Thousands of songs are written to that chord sequence.
The Doo Wop four chord sequence is noted as: I, vi, ii or IV, V7
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 9/28/2013 (22:55)
Keep your uke out and just pick it up and strum and have fun with it. It doesn't have to be a regular song. Make up a song and strum and just entertain yourself. Try switching around between the I, IV, and V7 chords in whichever key you like and varying your strum. Or just strum a four chord Doo Wop cycle (aka Ice Cream Changes or Vanilla Chords).
Then go find the local strum group and join the fun!
Sounds like fun! It's been a few weeks for me since I've played. I need to make the time to practice!
I've got 26 students in my Begining Ukulele I class. We've been at it for three weeks with two more to go for this session. The continuing 5 week class starts mid-October. The indications are that most of these students will continue. And, I have some other people that want into the second class. Looks like another full class.
I'm just glad so many people are having fun learning to play the ukulele.
Just got word the recreation department will run my Beginning Ukulele class.
It strarts Aug. 27th, one evening a week for five weeks. A second five week class starts mid October. It will be a continuing class for those in the first session or for beginning players who can strum a few chords and need mentoring to further them along.
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 11/12/2016 (11:26)
Add an E7 to that series of chords and do them in a different order: A, C#m7 (barre 4th), Bm7 (barre 2nd), E7. One measure of each.
It makes a good backdrop for songs like "Drop Baby Drop."
Thanks for the tips here, and in your other post. I need practice with barred chords - I really have trouble with that. I'll give this some practice, and hopefully, it will help my b-flat, too!
A discussion for sharing some ideas for playing Ukulele.
Barred Chords - Movable Chords that let you move up the fretboard
Here's a simple chord pattern that is a good way to start playing barred chords:
Start with an A chord. Next barre all four strings at the 2nd fret. Then barre all four strings at the 4th fret. Finally return to the A chord. Strum that sequence a few times to hear the pattern.
Albert Hammond, and later the several other performers made it a standard back in 1972 "It Never Rains In Southern California" Try putting this song to these chords.
(FYI This song was written by Albert Hammond, a Brit. and was popular in GB before it ever got to So Cal.)
We do this song as a warm up in my classes just sing the chorus, and call it the "Rain Dance." California need rain !!
Stick your index finger fully across the strings, even let it stick over at the top. And, get you thumb strongly behind on the back of the neck. For extra help you can add another finger on top of your index finger.
Edited by: RICHE38 at: 11/12/2016 (11:25)