Friday, August 26, 2016

UKULELE LOVE

LOVE strings! -- violins, guitars, violas, dulcimers, cellos, mandolins, basses, harps, banjos, and UKULELES. During my career as a musician and music educator, I've grown to appreciate the ukulele because of the simple pleasures and hands-on learning it provides. 

Over the years, I've collected and created a folk repertoire for teaching ukulele, based on a natural learning sequence and common patterns. Whether you're a teacher or student, I hope you find this site useful and enjoyable!  
This is my offering to parents, children, self-starters and music educators. All material on this site is protected by an international Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 License.C-ND

This means that if you use my materials in other than home or classroom settings, credit must be given for my work. Commercial use is not allowed, and you may not claim any part of this work as your own nor alter it. My logo / blog URL should be included on any copies you make or share: http://ukulelenotes.blogspot.com/. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Click on the tabs in the menu bar to explore resources by keys, concepts, and levels. Use the index below to guide the learning/teaching sequence. You may click on the embedded pages to enlarge them for projection or printing. Enjoy!

             ~ Jeri     

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Index and Teaching Sequence

Basics
Getting to Know 'YOUke' - Parts of the Ukulele
'Youke' Can Tune - Open Strings, Tuning Tune, Suggestions, Tuner Links
From Folk to Fantastic - Pictures and Videos of Popular Ukulele Performers
Ukulele Playing Position - How to Hold and Strum the Ukulele
Frets, Fingers and Batman - Finger and Fret Numbers, Finger Placement, First Melody Pattern
The Chromatic (all colors) Fingerboard - Chart of the Ukulele Fingerboard

One-Chord Songs
Strumming and Singing with the C Chord - One-Chord Songs and Rounds in the Key of C
Strumming & Singing with the F Chord - One-Chord Songs and Rounds in the Key of F

Two-Chord Songs in F
F & C7 Songs - Pattern #1 - Two-Chord Songs in the Key of F, Two Changes (with measures), Rounds and Partner Songs
F & C7 Songs - Pattern #2 - Two-Chord Songs in the Key of F, Two Changes (with measures)
Two-Chord Songs in F, Pattern #3 - F and C7, Two Chord Changes (mid-measure)
Two-Chord Songs in F - Pattern #4 - F and C7, Four Changes (one mid-measure)
Partner Songs in F - Chord Pattern #4 - Two-chords: F and C7, Partner Songs
Two-Chord Songs in F - Pattern #5 - F and C7, Four Changes (two mid-measure)
Two-Chord Partner in F, Pattern #5 - F and C7, London Bridge and Bunny Foo Foo

Introduction of Minor Chords with One-Chord Songs/Rounds
One-Chord Minor Tunes and Rounds -

Introduction of G7 with C
Key of C - Two-Chord Songs - Pattern #1
Two-Chord Songs in C, Pattern #2
Two-Chord Songs in C, Pattern #3
Two-Chord Songs in C, Pattern #4
Celebration of Two-Chord Songs in C

Review C Chord and Combine with F Chord
Rounds with C and F Chords (I IV) - Rounds, Review C Chord with F (more difficult than F with C7, prepare for three-chords songs in C)

Three-Chord Songs with C, F, and G7
Three-Chord Songs in C - C, F, and G7
Accompaniments for Jambo Bwana -
12-Bar Blues in C

Four or More Chord Songs
Four-Chord Pop Progression - Long list of pop songs which use the same progression - fun!

Exploring Scales
Major Scale Pattern
Minor Scale Pattern
Blues Scale Pattern

Exploring Tablature and Melody Picking
Folk Melodies in Tab and on the Staff - Introduction to tablature (TAB) and Melody Picking
America Melody and Chords, Staff and Tab
Simple Gifts Chords and Melody - Staff and Tab

Chord Charts
Big Three for Key of D
Big Three for the Key of G

More to come... Feel free to request something in the comment box.

Copyright information: All material on this site is protected by an international Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 License. This means that if you use my materials in other than home or classroom settings, credit must be given for my work. Commercial use is not allowed, and you may not claim any part of this work as your own nor alter it. My logo / blog URL should be included on any copies you make or share: http://ukulelenotes.blogspot.com/. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Friday, August 12, 2016

From Folk to Fantastic

Ukes can take us 

In recent years, ukuleles have become very popular. Ukes are now appreciated as much more than 
a simple folk or beginner's instrument, thanks to artists such as these: 


                                                 Elvis Presley                          'Iz" - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole                  Jake Shimabukuro
                                                                                            Somewhere Over the Rainbow                 While My Guitar Gently Weeps                


                                                                                  The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain          
                                                                               Concert Performance of James Bond Theme  




Thursday, August 11, 2016

Getting to Know 'YOUke'


 Note: The chord charts in this resource are for ukuleles that use C tuning.


   




Wednesday, August 10, 2016

'Youke' Can Tune

Soprano, Concert and Tenor ukuleles are tuned to these notes:



Here's a little ditty I wrote (based on "My dog has fleas") to help students solidify the tuning pitches in their ears. Sing it first and then pluck strings on "my dog has fleas" as you sing. A teacher may add the optional chordal accompaniment.




Here are some links to great online ukulele tuners: 
YouTube Ukulele Tuner 1    
YouTube Uke Tuner 2     
Pineapple Pete's Uke Tuner

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Ukulele Playing Position

'Youke' Can Have Excellent
Posture & Technique

  Sit straight and forward (or stand).
      Right arm cradles the uke against ribs.
      Right arm is parallel with the neck.

      Left arm comes forward @ 90 degrees.
      Left  palm faces upward.
      Fingers curve as if holding a baseball.   
      Thumb rests against back of the neck.

      Left fingers bend toward the fingerboard.   
      Fingertips press the strings against the  
          fingerboard just behind frets:
          first finger in the first space,
          second finger in the second space,
          and third finger in the third space.
    
      Strum downward (to start) with the side
           of your thumb or the back (nail) of your 
           index finger (built-in pick). Strum near
           the point where the neck joins the body.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Frets, Fingers and Batman


Frets, the metal strips across your fingerboard, create different contact or end points for strings, which changes the pitch. (Pitch refers to a specific note/frequency and how high or low it sounds).

When an open string is pressed to the fingerboard just behind a fret, the string touches the fret instead of the nut, and the length of the string that can vibrate changes.  Experiment with frets and how they change the pitch of a string by pressing your left index finger in different frets while picking the string with your right index finger. Listen. Does a shorter string length sound higher or lower?


Left hand fingers are numbered starting with the index finger as #1. Frets are numbered according to their relationship to the nut, with #1 being closest to the nut. As you begin to learn to play ukulele, your finger numbers should match fret numbers as in the picture above. 

Practice pressing the first three notes on the first string (A with A#, B, C). Keep your left hand and fingers in their correct positions. Then pick the string with your right hand while pressing fretted notes. Now, use the fret numbers in the "Batman Theme" box to play your first melody

The Chromatic (all colors) Fingerboard


"Chromatic" means all colors. The chromatic scale uses all twelve half-steps in the western music system. Frets are placed in the fingerboard one half-step apart. The sharp and flat signs indicate that a note has two names. For example, the note between C and D is called C-sharp (up one half-step from C) in some keys/chords, and D-flat (down one half-step from D) in others.