It was never our aim introduce new players to the most basic rudiments of ukulele playing at our Wednesday jams. Our UKE-101 workshops are a perfect primer to get you going with enough of the basics to feel that you are benefitiing from participating and contributing to the outcome.
THE STARTING POINT
You should be comfortable with almost everything below to participate in our weekly Wednesday jams. At first glance it looks like a lot - but it really isn't. You'll need to understand these basics in order get meaning from our discussions about playing.
TUNING & HANAKOSAN
You should be comfortable tuning your ukulele accurately without help in two ways:
- from one single "G" reference tone
- with the use of a tuner. You can pick up a tuner online.
We use C6 tuning for soprano, concert and tenor ukes (G-C-E-A).
In place of "My Dog Has Fleas", we prefer the Japanese reference to tuning: "Ha-na-ko-san" where "Ha" is G, "Na" is C, "Ko" is E and "San" is A. Hanakosan.
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Finger 1 is your index finger
Finger 2 is your middle finger
Finger 3 is your ring finger
Finger 4 is your little finger
You should know at least one "position" for each of these:
MAJOR CHORDS: A B C D E F G Bb
MINOR CHORDS: Am Cm Dm Em Fm Gm Bbm
OTHERS: A7 C7 D7 E7 F7 G7 Dm6 Dm7/F6 Am7/C6 C+7
While you may not use "bar chords", you should be familiar with the concept.
We discourage use of the capo in uke playing.
You should know how to read graphic representations of chords (dots on the fretboard).You will often hear us use the tablature numbering system for chord mapping.
Please familiarize yourself with it:
Each chord is expressed as a series of 4 numbers (example: 0-2-3-2 which is a G major chord). The first number is the fret you place a finger on the 4th string (G string - the one closest to your chin). 0 always means open string. 1 means the first fret, 2 the second and so on. The second number in the chord series is the fret you place a finger on the 3rd string (C string).
The third number is the fret you place a finger on the 2nd string (E string).
The fourth number is the fret you place a finger on the 1st string (A string).
STRUMMING & RHYTHM
When strumming, you should know what we mean by "down stroke" or "up Stroke".
You should have a fairly comfortable, fluid strum style both down and up - and be able to keep time with a metronome at reasonable tempos up to 120bpm.
You should know what we mean by 4/4 time and 3/4 time.
PARTS OF THE INSTRUMENT
You should be able to quickly identify these parts of the ukulele:Strings by note name, headstock, tuners/gears/pegs, nut, neck, fretboard, frets, fret markers, body, bridge, sound hole. You should be able to quickly identify the 12th fret.
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