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xbeezer
04-06-2015, 05:55 PM
I have a newbie question. When looking at a chord chart piece of music. This is the one that shows the chord above the word in the song. Am I to assume that you will change to that chord when you get to that song. My other question is how do you know if it is all up down strumming for the song that you are looking at. Does the music show you, or is up and down pretty much standard. Thanks for the direction on these silly newbie questions.

cdkrugjr
04-06-2015, 07:43 PM
USUALLY a chord over a word means "change on that word." Unfortunately not everyone is that careful and the alignment can be wrong. Or they just made a mistaks.

I gotta say that we worry about finding the right "Strum Pattern" more than Just About ANYTHING. It's not that difficult. Listen to the song. Feel the pulse. Any time you feel a strong pulse, down strum. Any time you feel a weaker pulse, up strum.

That word "You" is important. Play the song the way You feel it, not me, not anyone else.

Now it IS useful to have a vocabulary of patterns to use, but remember that it's about making MUSIC out of the notes, not just finding the pattern someone tells you is "right."

Ukejenny
04-07-2015, 03:42 AM
I've done plenty of songs where the actual chord name is over the wrong word or wrong syllable. It can be hard to get it in the right place when you are typing out arrangements, and especially when changing from one font to another. I usually go back and listen to a song several times to make sure the chord changes are in the right place.

As for the strum, you will get the feel of it the more you practice different strums and the more comfortable you get with a song.

Down Up Dick
04-07-2015, 06:52 AM
I have given up trying to memorize strums. Sometimes I think I have early onset Alzheimer's. Anyway, I still study the Down Ups, but then they promptly slide off into a secret place in my brain.

So now, I sorta strum freestyle. For all I know, I might be strumming some that I learned. I don't know if I'm strumming this way incorrectly, but it sounds okay to me most of the time.

I guess it's improvisation, anyway, it's better than Down Up, Down Up, Down Up, Dddooowwwnnn Uuuppp . . . :old:

mailman
04-07-2015, 08:34 AM
I've found that I like the song sheet format that inserts the chord name, in parenthesis, right exactly where the chord change goes. You can even place the chord name within a word, when the chord change doesn't happen on the first syllable. This format (I'm sure there's a name for it that I can't recall) does away the problem of chord names not lining up correctly above the lyrics when you change fonts, or copy and paste. It also requires less paper, as the chords no longer need their own separate line. I've saved all of my songs this way....

Ukejenny
04-07-2015, 11:55 AM
I've found that I like the song sheet format that inserts the chord name, in parenthesis, right exactly where the chord change goes. You can even place the chord name within a word, when the chord change doesn't happen on the first syllable. This format (I'm sure there's a name for it that I can't recall) does away the problem of chord names not lining up correctly above the lyrics when you change fonts, or copy and paste. It also requires less paper, as the chords no longer need their own separate line. I've saved all of my songs this way....

I, too, really appreciate this kind of song sheet, but the members of UBA seem to not like it and ask for the style with the chords above the lyrics. I think it is easier to learn a song with the brackets and it is also easier to get something fixed up to hand out, as well as saving space on the page and saving paper.

ubulele
04-07-2015, 06:43 PM
There are a few web sites that will take text with interspersed chords (enclosed in either parentheses or square brackets) and nicely reformat with the chord names (and sometimes chord charts as well) aligned over the proper spots. Best of both worlds. Sorry I can't oblige offhand with a link to one.

bunnyf
04-08-2015, 12:05 AM
When I was an absolute beginner, I loved the songs formatted with a little chord diagram for every chord change, especially if there were a lot of new (to me) chords in a song. As chords became more familiar, I began to favor just chord names above. Now I actually prefer chord names in line (which I use to find too crowded and hard to focus in on). With my onsong ap, I always enter songs as inline bracketed chords and then can easily change with a flick of a setting to above placed names or even diagrams, depending on the needs of the player that I'm printing for. If you enter them as bracketed chords, they don't get wonky when you share them in a different format. I like to be particular about placing the chord right before the syllable that you change on. I find it helpful especially for beginners who don't have as great a natural feeling for when the chord change is or for folks completely unfamiliar with a tune. For my own viewing, I like my songs formatted as compactly as possible (one page if I can) with chords in line (just a different color). I also like that it saves ink and paper when you might need to print and I like not having to scroll. You will find though, when you pull song sheets off the internet, that chord changes can be in crazy places and that is usually some combination of formatting mix ups and errors. I usually play thru it and make corrections or check a couple different versions (if I'm not certain) for consensus. I struggle a bit with strum pattern and can get stuck in a rut, using the same"Swiss Army dduud" strum on practically everything I play. I still occasionally look for strum suggestions in tutorials, if I not happy with what I'm doing naturally, or want to replicate the original more.

Down Up Dick
04-08-2015, 02:18 AM
I really don't understand what you peeps are talkin' about. Got a pic? :old:

Rllink
04-08-2015, 04:25 AM
When I first play a song, I don't really care if I make the chord change exactly at some point. First of all, I you aren't singing the song, or playing along, and if all you are doing is strumming the chord progression with no other context, it really doesn't matter, does it? You can change whenever you want to. But if I'm just learning a song, if I can change chords at a word, that will suffice. As I play it more, and as I get familiar with the song, as the words start to become a melody, I find that I start feeling the chord changes. There comes a point, when the chord change just goes there. It is natural. I don't think about it, I feel it. As a side, I have listened to different people playing their individual rendition of the same song, and they each take liberties with it. They don't always make the breaks and play the chords the same. So I think that you just need to get familiar with a song, get a strumming pattern that works, throw the chords in there relatively close to where they are supposed to be, then tune it to your own style. That is the way I do it anyway.

Jim Yates
04-08-2015, 07:20 AM
I became very frustrated trying to make chord sheets with the chords lined up in the proper spot for students and to share with the local uke club until I started using the bracket method. I now use it exclusively. I underline the title and put the composer's name in italics. If there is a bridge or chorus, I usually put it in italics as well.

The Sunny Side Of The Street Jimmy McHugh & Dorothy Fields 1930

(C) Grab your coat and get your (E7) hat,
Leave your (F) worries on the (G7) door-step;
(Am) Just direct your (D7) feet
To the (Dm) sunny (G7) side of the (C) street.(G7)

Can't you (C) hear the pitter(E7)pat?
And that (F) happy tune is (G7) your step!
(Am) Life can be comp(D7)lete
On the (Dm) sunny (G7) side of the (C) street.

I used to (C7) walk in the shade with those (F) blues on parade;
But (D) I'm not a(D7)fraid, this (G) rover crossed (G7) over!

If I (C) never had a (E7) cent,
I'd be (F) rich as Rocke(G7)feller,
(Am) Gold dust at my (D7) feet
On the (Dm) sunny (G7) side of the (C) street.

Down Up Dick
04-08-2015, 08:33 AM
Hi, Jim, I like tabs this way too, but what do you do for the tune? Learn the tune beforehand?

Anyway, thanks for the info. :old:

Jim Yates
04-08-2015, 02:17 PM
Well, this isn't really a tab, only a chord sheet. There are different types of tabs, but the accepted way of writing tabs these days is the one revived by Pete Seeger from old lute tablatures, where you use one line for each string and numbers to tell you which fret to put your finger on.
With a chord sheet, it's assumed that you already know the tune and are just looking for chords.

photoshooter
04-08-2015, 04:33 PM
This is a great post and sums up my current position. I'm a beginner and for now I find that chord diagrams above the lyrics are the easiest thing for me to see/play. Once I learn a song I don't need those diagrams and prefer to whittle a piece down to a page if possible. Saving my song sheets with the chords in brackets makes it easy to reformat the music as needed. I've been referring to this as ChordPro format although that might not be the correct term.

There's a website that can help format songs this way:
http://ukegeeks.com Click on the Song Editor
There are helpful tutorial docs on the site. I'm not affiliated in any way but had been using the site until recently when I bought the OnSong app which does the same thing and more.

The UkeGeeks site is free and gives options to print chord names above lyrics, chord names inline or chord charts above lyrics. There are other formatting options as well. The extra time I put in tidying up my music paid off greatly for me in terms of learning new songs. I should add that part of the reason I like chord diagrams also has to do with my vision being not so good as it used to be. In any case it's always good to have options.

Edit to add:
There are some songbooks available for download that are already formatted with the chord names in brackets. One really good one is the CPLUG songbook, download links on this page (http://vintageukemusic.com/cplug/sample-page/).
This is very convenient in that you can copy a song and paste it into an editor like the UkeGeeks editor and reformat the music in a way that's best for you.





When I was an absolute beginner, I loved the songs formatted with a little chord diagram for every chord change, especially if there were a lot of new (to me) chords in a song. As chords became more familiar, I began to favor just chord names above. Now I actually prefer chord names in line (which I use to find too crowded and hard to focus in on). With my onsong ap, I always enter songs as inline bracketed chords and then can easily change with a flick of a setting to above placed names or even diagrams, depending on the needs of the player that I'm printing for. If you enter them as bracketed chords, they don't get wonky when you share them in a different format. I like to be particular about placing the chord right before the syllable that you change on. I find it helpful especially for beginners who don't have as great a natural feeling for when the chord change is or for folks completely unfamiliar with a tune. For my own viewing, I like my songs formatted as compactly as possible (one page if I can) with chords in line (just a different color). I also like that it saves ink and paper when you might need to print and I like not having to scroll.>snip for brevity<

KaraUkey
04-08-2015, 05:38 PM
I went to the in line bracket method when I first started producing songs for my Uke group and students, as PDF files that could also be used with a big screen projector. I used square brackets for the chords so that I could use normal brackets for hints on tempo changes or key changes etc.

Of course a PDF file with square brackets gives no clue to the tune or tempo or suggest any kind of strumming pattern. To more easily convey these qualities I moved on to sequenced backing tracks. These provide the tune, the tempo and also make it easier to come up with a suitable strumming pattern to fit with the sequenced backing track. This eventually resulted in on line scrolling lyrics and chords synchronised with the music. That made it easier for everyone to read from a distance and stay with the tempo.

Beginners can also slow the tempo down when they are learning a new song. Because what I now use can actually be played on computers and tablets etc. I had to obtain a licence to share the music, so there is some cost to cover copyrights. There are now sufficient songs in my growing library to maintain a steady turn over of songs. This has allowed me to keep the costs down to less than one Australian dollar per song. But it is still a cost. If ever I can get visitor numbers to my site high enough to cover copyright costs with ads on the site, I might be able to share the songs for nothing, since it really is just a hobby.

However it is very gratifying that lots of people, including schools in various parts of the world, are using it to get more people playing Ukuleles and that's great.
Photoshooter, thanks for the links they look very handy. Cheers.

Icelander53
04-16-2015, 04:46 AM
I have given up trying to memorize strums. Sometimes I think I have early onset Alzheimer's. Anyway, I still study the Down Ups, but then they promptly slide off into a secret place in my brain.

So now, I sorta strum freestyle. For all I know, I might be strumming some that I learned. I don't know if I'm strumming this way incorrectly, but it sounds okay to me most of the time.

I guess it's improvisation, anyway, it's better than Down Up, Down Up, Down Up, Dddooowwwnnn Uuuppp . . . :old:

Once again I notice that you and I do this uke thing in a similar fashion.

Phuufme
04-16-2015, 10:03 AM
I became very frustrated trying to make chord sheets with the chords lined up in the proper spot for students and to share with the local uke club until I started using the bracket method. I now use it exclusively. I underline the title and put the composer's name in italics. If there is a bridge or chorus, I usually put it in italics as well.

The Sunny Side Of The Street Jimmy McHugh & Dorothy Fields 1930

(C) Grab your coat and get your (E7) hat,
Leave your (F) worries on the (G7) door-step;
(Am) Just direct your (D7) feet
To the (Dm) sunny (G7) side of the (C) street.(G7)

Can't you (C) hear the pitter(E7)pat?
And that (F) happy tune is (G7) your step!
(Am) Life can be comp(D7)lete
On the (Dm) sunny (G7) side of the (C) street.

I used to (C7) walk in the shade with those (F) blues on parade;
But (D) I'm not a(D7)fraid, this (G) rover crossed (G7) over!

If I (C) never had a (E7) cent,
I'd be (F) rich as Rocke(G7)feller,
(Am) Gold dust at my (D7) feet
On the (Dm) sunny (G7) side of the (C) street.




I have done it this way as well. Or, use the Courier font and it makes each letter take the same amount of space - makes it easier to line up. I use this to write tab and bass tab