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Kurtulele
07-25-2015, 06:33 AM
Hi- I just got a my first ever Uke- a Concert Ukulele.
I've played guitar (electric) for 40 + years and tried many times to switch to acoustic, but I never took to it.

But the ukulele seems like a perfect fit.

Currently (on guitar) I'm playing instrumental music. Mostly (but not all) single note stuff, like Irish tunes, Classical and Early music.
Right away I started Jonathan Lewis's Campanella style offering. It's real nice, but very slow going because of it's unorthodox fingering.

SO- is there a good finger style technique other than Campanella style that would be good for intermediate/advanced single note (not chord strumming) Uke playing?

Sorry for the run-on explanation!

Also- I can play both finger style (w/four fingers) and picks (I wouldn't scratch the wood).
Thanks!

Kurt

pulelehua
07-25-2015, 07:27 AM
Hi- I just got a my first ever Uke- a Concert Ukulele.
I've played guitar (electric) for 40 + years and tried many times to switch to acoustic, but I never took to it.

But the ukulele seems like a perfect fit.

Currently (on guitar) I'm playing instrumental music. Mostly (but not all) single note stuff, like Irish tunes, Classical and Early music.
Right away I started Jonathan Lewis's Campanella style offering. It's real nice, but very slow going because of it's unorthodox fingering.

SO- is there a good finger style technique other than Campanella style that would be good for intermediate/advanced single note (not chord strumming) Uke playing?

Sorry for the run-on explanation!

Also- I can play both finger style (w/four fingers) and picks (I wouldn't scratch the wood).
Thanks!

Kurt

Campanella is orthodox, just for the ukulele, not so much the guitar. I picked up the ukulele after about 20 years of guitar, and the best moment was when I realised it's just a different instrument. You more or less have two choices:

1. You are playing a small guitar missing two strings with one string tuned up an octave.
2. You are playing a ukulele.

I had to actually go through the process of composing music for ukulele to learn the difference. I'm not saying it's easy, and some steps along the way feel unnatural, because you want to say, "Why don't I just play it like" (fill in with guitar-style playing)? But you come out the other side understanding the ukulele on its own terms, which I, for one, think is eminently worth it.

If you still want to play without Campanella style, and can read standard notation, most books have notation and tab, and you could just ignore the tab. Campanella is really just about taking advantage of re-entrant tuning and dealing with the fact that the instrument has very little sustain.

Kurtulele
07-25-2015, 07:49 AM
I think I'll stick with the Campanella style. Although it's a bit odd, it's getting to be fun having all of those unisons ringing on- very harp-like as many have said.

It seems like it's going to be very rewarding to stick with it.
Regarding the g tuned up an octave: WOW! I can't believe I missed that fact. So I just played the open g string followed by the c- e- a strings all fretted on the 12th fret- all the exact same intervals of the d-g-b-e strings of a guitar. Now I can visualize the fretboard in a very familiar way.

Thanks, Pulelehua.

kypfer
07-25-2015, 08:49 AM
Kurtulele wrote:
SO- is there a good finger style technique other than Campanella style that would be good for intermediate/advanced single note (not chord strumming) Uke playing?

How about the reason I took up the ukulele ... clawhammer :)

I do other stuff on the ukulele as well, now, lute music for example, but I initially took up the ukulele 'cos I could clawhammer it, with it's high drone string !!

There is a definite case for treating the ukulele as a separate instrument in it's own right, rather than an under-developed guitar ... it's just coincidental that the chord shapes are the same :)

As always ... YMMV !

PhilUSAFRet
07-25-2015, 09:04 AM
Google Ukulele for Guitar Players for many links on comparisons.

Fleacia
07-25-2015, 09:30 AM
I'd stick with campanella - ringing bell, and that's exactly how it sounds.

I play acoustic guitar. But only since last year. I've been playing uke much longer. I get the most out of both instruments when I treat them differently. I.e. love both, but the uke is a uke to me, and guitar is a guitar. I compose different types of things on each, and that alone opens up more musical possibilities than when I tried to always relate them.

Good luck and have fun!

pulelehua
07-25-2015, 09:31 AM
I think I'll stick with the Campanella style. Although it's a bit odd, it's getting to be fun having all of those unisons ringing on- very harp-like as many have said.

It seems like it's going to be very rewarding to stick with it.
Regarding the g tuned up an octave: WOW! I can't believe I missed that fact. So I just played the open g string followed by the c- e- a strings all fretted on the 12th fret- all the exact same intervals of the d-g-b-e strings of a guitar. Now I can visualize the fretboard in a very familiar way.

Thanks, Pulelehua.

I used to play in a mariachi band on an instrument called a vihuela. It has unisons, but they're deliberately a bit out of tune, to "thicken" up the sound. Which they actually do in the top register of pianos. And in lots of hip-hop recordings.

Sound is amazing. I feel really lucky to be a musician.

Don't feel bad about not realising. I'm a music teacher and I only worked out about three years ago that the Alphabet Song and Twinkle Twinkle are the same. :)

ubulele
07-25-2015, 09:54 AM
Clawhammer produces a very characteristic sound, but you don't really have to play with the back of the nail; you can just up-pluck with the finger(s), though the sound won't be as distinctive or driving.

Some other melodic fingerstyles for reentrant ukes that are more intuitive than campanella are slack-key and slide. Chord/melody arrangements also generally avoid the brain-twisting use of the 4th string for melody. They can be trimmed down if the frequent chord changes are too daunting.

Or (heresy!) you could switch to low-G, which is exactly like playing guitar without the bottom two strings, albeit sounding a fourth higher. I like having both high- and low-4th ukes, in both C and G (bari) tunings. For some things, a high 4th is best; for others, a low 4th is best: it's a matter of trade-offs.

Kurtulele
07-25-2015, 11:10 AM
Hey- thanks to everyone for the replies.
I think there might (?) have been a little misunderstanding the way I wrote my question.
I don't want to necessarily play a Ukulele like a guitar. I just want to play Ukulele in addition to guitar. I just prefer melodic playing than chord strumming.

I feel like the diffrences between the guitar and uke are a good thing for me. Otherwise I'd just be trying to treat the uke like a wittle baby guitar:)

For now, Campanella here I come-a.

k0k0peli
07-25-2015, 01:24 PM
I've been finger-picking guitars (mostly acoustic) for a half-century; I just got into 'ukes a couple of years ago, and more seriously only in the past year. In the last 3 months I've gone from three 'uke-like objects to over a dozen, with more on the way. Why? There's no such thing as 'a' 'uke -- new strings and tunings make each a different instrument. I now have 4- and 6- and 8- and 10- and 12-string 'uke-like objects. Some *can* be played like little guitars. Some can be strummed like classic 'ukes. And some, those multi-string guys with double and/or triple courses in octaves and/or unisons, or those with odd tunings, can only be played as themselves.

Let's forget about those multi-string things now and look at some ways to configure a vanilla concert 'uke:

* gCEA -- standard re-entrant stringing with a high-G; the classic 'uke sound
* gCEG -- traditional 'taropatch' slack-key tuning, a sweet Hawai'ian sound

* GCEA -- low-G linear stringing, same intervals as a guitar's top courses
* GCFBb - straight-fourths tuning, same intervals as a guitar's bottom courses

* GcEA -- low-C high-C re-entrant stringing; and
* GcEG -- slack-key tuning version of high-C

I play mando too, and I string 'ukes like this:

* GDAE -- I use Aquila Fifths strings in standard ('Italian') tuning; and
* GDAD -- I'll slack the top string for 'Irish' tuning (singing high drones)
* BbFCg - Or I flip a gCEA string set and re-tune to fifths, for strums

Notice that the first group above includes 3 distinct stringings which are then tweaked for different tunings. Within just the standard (gCEA) stringing are many possible open and modal tunings -- in his book SLACK-KEY UKULELE, David Heaukulani lists at least a couple dozen and suggests more. And for fingering, each stringing and tuning makes a distinct instrument, same as with guitars. Change the intervals and we change the axe.

Much 'uke literature is for standard gCEA or the older, brighter aDF#B 'English' tuning. Much non-traditional music is written for a low-G 'uke to be played rather like a guitar. Many musical traditions exploit slack / open / modal tunings. So many options! My suggestion: Before picking a fingering method / course, try different stringings / tunings and see which call out to you. If you want to pack the most single-note melodic playing into a 'uke's small fretboard, an Aquila Concert Fifths Nylgut string set may be just the ticket, for under ten bucks. Have fun!

kypfer
07-25-2015, 10:03 PM
k0k0peli wrote:
If you want to pack the most single-note melodic playing into a 'uke's small fretboard, an Aquila Concert Fifths Nylgut string set may be just the ticket, for under ten bucks. Have fun!

I'll second that ... they work even better on a pineapple body, the larger capacity gives just a little more response from the lower notes :)

sopher
07-26-2015, 12:45 AM
I assume Mr Lewis is a Youtube guy. If he has a book I can't find it. I would suggest to look at Rob MacKillop's book "20 Celtic Fingerstyle Uke Tunes". Some pretty songs, serves as a nice intro to campanella, and as a guitar guy, having tab in front of me is always nice - it also has a CD that has all the songs, although the recording quality is meh.

Kurtulele
07-26-2015, 05:57 AM
I've been finger-picking guitars (mostly acoustic) for a half-century; I just got into 'ukes a couple of years ago, and more seriously only in the past year. In the last 3 months I've gone from three 'uke-like objects to over a dozen, with more on the way. Why? There's no such thing as 'a' 'uke -- new strings and tunings make each a different instrument. I now have 4- and 6- and 8- and 10- and 12-string 'uke-like objects. Some *can* be played like little guitars. Some can be strummed like classic 'ukes. And some, those multi-string guys with double and/or triple courses in octaves and/or unisons, or those with odd tunings, can only be played as themselves.

Let's forget about those multi-string things now and look at some ways to configure a vanilla concert 'uke:

* gCEA -- standard re-entrant stringing with a high-G; the classic 'uke sound
* gCEG -- traditional 'taropatch' slack-key tuning, a sweet Hawai'ian sound

* GCEA -- low-G linear stringing, same intervals as a guitar's top courses
* GCFBb - straight-fourths tuning, same intervals as a guitar's bottom courses

* GcEA -- low-C high-C re-entrant stringing; and
* GcEG -- slack-key tuning version of high-C

I play mando too, and I string 'ukes like this:

* GDAE -- I use Aquila Fifths strings in standard ('Italian') tuning; and
* GDAD -- I'll slack the top string for 'Irish' tuning (singing high drones)
* BbFCg - Or I flip a gCEA string set and re-tune to fifths, for strums

Notice that the first group above includes 3 distinct stringings which are then tweaked for different tunings. Within just the standard (gCEA) stringing are many possible open and modal tunings -- in his book SLACK-KEY UKULELE, David Heaukulani lists at least a couple dozen and suggests more. And for fingering, each stringing and tuning makes a distinct instrument, same as with guitars. Change the intervals and we change the axe.

Much 'uke literature is for standard gCEA or the older, brighter aDF#B 'English' tuning. Much non-traditional music is written for a low-G 'uke to be played rather like a guitar. Many musical traditions exploit slack / open / modal tunings. So many options! My suggestion: Before picking a fingering method / course, try different stringings / tunings and see which call out to you. If you want to pack the most single-note melodic playing into a 'uke's small fretboard, an Aquila Concert Fifths Nylgut string set may be just the ticket, for under ten bucks. Have fun!

I might try those Concert Fifths. My concert uke has Aquila Nylgut high Gs (standard). Would I need to do any nut filing to put on the Concert Fifths?

Kurtulele
07-26-2015, 06:38 AM
Thanks to all!