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Thread: How many chords to learn/practice at a time?

  1. #21
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    One method I use is to play the chords in a key (off my Key Chord Chart) using one of several strumming patterns I know, or make up. First I start with I-IV-V then add a VI and a II. I try fitting them in as they sound best for five or ten minutes then move on to a different key. However I find that many songs have 'wild card' chords in them or 7th's or minors which makes song work interesting. Playing without lyrics can be more difficult, but with my singing it might be best.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanflynn View Post
    Learning chord progressions is more important than just learning every chord.
    http://www.bytownukulele.ca/Portals/...ogressions.pdf
    Here's a great guide on different styles.

    Knowing C, F, and G can get you through a lot of songs.

    Please also learn the C, F and A chord shape in barre form (up the neck). It opens a lot of options for you.
    http://ukulelehunt.com/2011/04/06/ba...nd-inversions/


    Have fun and enjoy
    I love that Bytown Ukulele PDF, I shall be strumming my way through it tomorrow :-)
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  3. #23
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    I teach my beginners at least 3 chords in the 1st lesson, and teach them going back and forth between all 3. By the end of the 2nd lesson, they know 6 chords, and can go back and forth on at least 4 of them at a time. My Advanced beginners can play 4 chord songs after 2 lessons.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

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  4. #24
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    Feb 2017
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    Interesting thread which proves what I had learnt quite a while back: I am a freak. I have a vague sense of who Bruno Mars is, but I don't want to learn the four chords needed to play his current song (or anyone else's); I just love learning chords for the pleasure of attaining the ability.

    Of course I play songs, of a sort, by strumming and arpeggiating and progressing through the chords.

    However, back to the question at hand: I usually try to learn all twelve chords in a category. I started with learning all 12 major chords, then the minor chords, then dominant 7 chords, then minor dominant 7 chords.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by andy2353 View Post
    I have been playing since December and would recommend Uncle Rod's Ukulele Bootcamp practice sheets. He encourages learning the chords before the songs; I think you at least need to be practicing some songs otherwise your practice will get boring, but learning the chords by family as he lays it out puts you in a good place to be able to progress quickly in many simple songs. His sheets also serve as a good warmup routine.
    I know that this is an old thread, but I guess I'm here. Started with Uncle Rod's and can do a fair amount of chord changes, but just don't feel like I'm going anywhere. It's like they're complete separated from any music. I guess I'm trying to find something with a beat I can follow. Long term goal is fingerpicking like bluegrass

  6. #26
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    Have you seen the videos that I made that follow Uncle Rod’s progressions? They are intentionally designed with a “beat.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQBW...ZesInt2AlEAqCG
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanflynn View Post
    Learning chord progressions is more important than just learning every chord.
    http://www.bytownukulele.ca/Portals/...ogressions.pdf
    Here's a great guide on different styles.

    Knowing C, F, and G can get you through a lot of songs.

    Please also learn the C, F and A chord shape in barre form (up the neck). It opens a lot of options for you.
    http://ukulelehunt.com/2011/04/06/ba...nd-inversions/


    Have fun and enjoy
    Progressions like uncle Rod's or yours are nice to practise in many keys. I learned a new fingering today from that pdf. You favor like me letting often the 5th out in dominant 7th chords, because many times it sounds better.
    So G#7 I have played always 1323. That is easy to play, but the 5th on C string booms and maybe in many cases 1023 sounds actually better. I'm always so happy when I learn a new thing, so thank you. If you are still reading this thread that is

    captain_janeway, those progressions are used in songs, so yes they are related to music very much. I myself limit my progression practise to 3 or 4 chord sequences. That is what you should do too, separate some common progressions from them or form your own. Search internet for common progressions. As they are long continuous sequences, they serve better now for physical learning and with Choirguy's videos also as a relaxing play along.
    Last edited by Jarmo_S; 04-19-2018 at 06:46 PM.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    Have you seen the videos that I made that follow Uncle Rod’s progressions? They are intentionally designed with a “beat.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQBW...ZesInt2AlEAqCG
    Thanks! That's really helpful rather than me just running through 4 times, 3 times, etc. I find myself wanting to fingerpick your beat, but I guess I'm not there yet.

  9. #29
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    Glad they help—that’s the goal. I have been using videos (and making A LOT of them) this year, and it is pretty amazing how much farther and deeper we got into playing than my previous two years of teaching with ukulele. Admittedly, the focus is ukulele as an accompaniment, not ukulele as a “full” music education tool (i.e. The Doane/Hill methodologies) as the “core” class is choir (and there are a few kids/parents that complain about its integration—but most students move quickly to get the ukuleles when it is time to do so).

    Uncle Rod’s approach made me realize that I could make practice progression videos without a melody to get kids practicing a new chord in the context of the chords they already know without the complexity of playing along with a song or following a strumming pattern. After that, we played songs with only the chords they knew—and usually songs they knew/loved. I don’t stress out much about strumming beyond keeping a steady beat and keeping the hand moving (not freezing). And I use those Uncle Rod inspired progressions as occasional playing tests (I teach in a 1:1 iPad school, so students make a video of each other playing—focusing on both hands on the instrument at an angle that shows left hand fingers on the strings.

    By the end of our three month every-other-day ukulele unit, I’d say 85% of our students were able to play a longer progression (almost similar to Uncle Rod’s) with a high degree of accuracy.

    It works. I’m working on an inexpensive way to
    Package the approach for other teachers.
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  10. #30
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    Those videos are great, thanks for doing them, Chris, and Rod, for your Boot Camp.
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