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View Full Version : So, a C is a C is a C, right?



Chopped Liver
09-21-2015, 01:56 PM
So, I can use guitar tabs or other chord books as long as I use the ukulele chord shape, right?

In other words, if the guitar book has a C chord, I just play the ukulele C chord and I'm good? It works?

I know . . . probably a really stupid question . . .

CeeJay
09-21-2015, 02:29 PM
Yep ...and just to mess even more with your head ....if you play the FULL C chord on the uke 5433 take that shape and play it on the geetar at the 8th fret so that would be 10/988 ...hey ...it's a C on the geetar....cos from 5th fret down the guitar becomes ...GCEA the open strings of the Uke.....So in answer to the question is the ukulele a Toy Geetar .........

Well, no not when re-entrant soprano cos that gives it a whole different dynamic.....Now a Tenor with a low G ....well , maybe...(runs for cover , leaps rolls and lands in a foxhole):biglaugh::biglaugh::nana:


Just messing with ya...

k0k0peli
09-21-2015, 03:19 PM
Well, yes and no, mostly yes. If you're strumming / chopping chords, a git C and an 'uke C serve the same purpose. Devil in details, sure. I'm used to playing C inversions on guitar and very different inversions on 'uke and I try to fingerpick (counter) melodies so the effects are different. Gets even weirder with differently-strung 'ukes -- high re-entrant gCEa and low re-entrant GceA and linear GCEa use the same forms as guitar- or Chicago-tuned DGBe capo'd at the fifth fret. I manage to get by on most of these without getting good on any of them. Ratz.

CeeJay
09-21-2015, 03:34 PM
Well I think I specified GCEA....the ordinary plain Vanilla flavour, KoKo as I assumed (probably wrongly ,knowing me and my luck on this Forum) that I was talking with a relative newcomer.:biglaugh: (Damn ,just checked UkeMania's Join date...how daft do I feel now? ...sorry UM)

The fancy inverted stuff is more for us godamned inverts, and I have to say that I don't go near a dgbe tuned uke , I just gets me a grown up geetar with the two extra stringy thingys that go "boom" and the thin strings go "chikka"

Cheers

CeeJ PS Has the Fire gone out yet ? You know...the big bugger?

vanflynn
09-21-2015, 05:27 PM
Chordie.com is a great resource for music. For many of the songs you can change the instrument chord diagrams under " tuning", and change the key if you want.

Enjoy

Chopped Liver
09-21-2015, 06:49 PM
You have it exactly right: if a lead sheet says to play a C, play a C on ukulele (or guitar or banjo or whatever) according to how you play that chord on that instrument and tuning.

Of course, you can also transpose to a different key, but I doubt you're interested in that—yet.

Thanks! My head was about to explode from those first two answers!! :D I'll catch up to their level in a few years - maybe!


Chordie.com is a great resource for music. For many of the songs you can change the instrument chord diagrams under " tuning", and change the key if you want.

Enjoy

Thanks! I'll check it out!

Chopped Liver
09-21-2015, 06:51 PM
Yep ...and just to mess even more with your head ....if you play the FULL C chord on the uke 5433 take that shape and play it on the geetar at the 8th fret so that would be 10/988 ...hey ...it's a C on the geetar....cos from 5th fret down the guitar becomes ...GCEA the open strings of the Uke.....So in answer to the question is the ukulele a Toy Geetar .........

Well, no not when re-entrant soprano cos that gives it a whole different dynamic.....Now a Tenor with a low G ....well , maybe...(runs for cover , leaps rolls and lands in a foxhole):biglaugh::biglaugh::nana:


Just messing with ya...


Well, yes and no, mostly yes. If you're strumming / chopping chords, a git C and an 'uke C serve the same purpose. Devil in details, sure. I'm used to playing C inversions on guitar and very different inversions on 'uke and I try to fingerpick (counter) melodies so the effects are different. Gets even weirder with differently-strung 'ukes -- high re-entrant gCEa and low re-entrant GceA and linear GCEa use the same forms as guitar- or Chicago-tuned DGBe capo'd at the fifth fret. I manage to get by on most of these without getting good on any of them. Ratz.

AUGH! My head just exploded!!! :biglaugh:

k0k0peli
09-21-2015, 08:14 PM
AUGH! My head just exploded!!! :biglaugh: Yeah, I tend to do that, heh heh. By 'inversions' I mean the different ways a chord can be formed. And those tunings I mentioned are different (and fairly common) ways of putting CGEA strings on an 'uke, gCEa is the standard re-entrant high-G way, GCEa is the common linear low-G way, and GceA is the ancient Venezuelan cuatro way. Same notes, different octaves. ('g' is an octave higher than 'G'.)

Play 0003 or 0033 or 0433 or 5433 or 0707 or 0787 or 0-7-8-10 in any of those stringings and you get some version / inversion of a C major chord. All those forms serve the same basic purpose when chording, and all have different voices, so while they are all C major, they ain't the *same* C major.

If you see a lead sheet specifying C major, you get to decide which of those positions to use and how you want it to sound. A song might end C-G-C and I may play that 0033, 0232, 0787 -- that last just slides the G form up to the 7th fret, easy-peasy.

Some joy in playing with others is hearing the different instrument voices working together, playing the 'same' chord with very different sounds. I can hit 332xxx on a guitar for a bass thump while you play 0787 on the re-entrant 'uke for a treble ring. Just different expessions of C major.

Is your head re-assembled yet?

VegasGeorge
09-22-2015, 01:21 AM
You got your right answer, a C chord is always a C chord, regardless of the instrument being played.

That being said, perhaps the initial confusion results from having played a "transposing instrument." For instance, I used to play the French Horn, which is an F transposing instrument. When I saw a C note written on the third space of the treble clef and played it on the French Horn, it actually sounded a concert F. Many of the common band and orchestra instruments are transposing instruments. The powers that be (whomever the heck they are!) scramble the notes on our pages according to the key of our instruments, but the DO NOT scramble the chord names. As a French Horn player, if I saw a C chord and wanted to play the notes in the chord, I'd actually have to play G B D on the Horn. Even now, it gives me a headache!

Chopped Liver
09-22-2015, 06:19 AM
Yeah, I tend to do that, heh heh. By 'inversions' I mean the different ways a chord can be formed. And those tunings I mentioned are different (and fairly common) ways of putting CGEA strings on an 'uke, gCEa is the standard re-entrant high-G way, GCEa is the common linear low-G way, and GceA is the ancient Venezuelan cuatro way. Same notes, different octaves. ('g' is an octave higher than 'G'.)

Play 0003 or 0033 or 0433 or 5433 or 0707 or 0787 or 0-7-8-10 in any of those stringings and you get some version / inversion of a C major chord. All those forms serve the same basic purpose when chording, and all have different voices, so while they are all C major, they ain't the *same* C major.

If you see a lead sheet specifying C major, you get to decide which of those positions to use and how you want it to sound. A song might end C-G-C and I may play that 0033, 0232, 0787 -- that last just slides the G form up to the 7th fret, easy-peasy.

Some joy in playing with others is hearing the different instrument voices working together, playing the 'same' chord with very different sounds. I can hit 332xxx on a guitar for a bass thump while you play 0787 on the re-entrant 'uke for a treble ring. Just different expessions of C major.

Is your head re-assembled yet?

Yeah, my head is slowly adjusting! :D Thanks for the explanation. That makes sense.

Chopped Liver
09-22-2015, 06:26 AM
You got your right answer, a C chord is always a C chord, regardless of the instrument being played.

That being said, perhaps the initial confusion results from having played a "transposing instrument." For instance, I used to play the French Horn, which is an F transposing instrument. When I saw a C note written on the third space of the treble clef and played it on the French Horn, it actually sounded a concert F. Many of the common band and orchestra instruments are transposing instruments. The powers that be (whomever the heck they are!) scramble the notes on our pages according to the key of our instruments, but the DO NOT scramble the chord names. As a French Horn player, if I saw a C chord and wanted to play the notes in the chord, I'd actually have to play G B D on the Horn. Even now, it gives me a headache!

So, on your French horn, if you saw C you were really playing F. But you could still play the song ok because you would still be playing the same note intervals? Or would you have to account for sharps and flats?

Uh oh! Watch out, head! Explosion could be imminent! ;D

VegasGeorge
09-22-2015, 02:00 PM
On a French Horn if you wanted your notes as written to sound the same as a piano (or other concert pitched instrument) you'd transpose the notes up a fifth (or down a fourth) and add one sharp (or take away one flat) from the key signature.

Did your head explode?

Chopped Liver
09-22-2015, 02:23 PM
On a French Horn if you wanted your notes as written to sound the same as a piano (or other concert pitched instrument) you'd transpose the notes up a fifth (or down a fourth) and add one sharp (or take away one flat) from the key signature.

Did your head explode?

KABOOM! :D

OK, so if I didn't care if it was in tune with a piano, could I still play the French horn and it would still be the right tune and song - just higher or lower than the original?


Why am I doing this to myself . . . .

k0k0peli
09-22-2015, 02:44 PM
Why am I doing this to myself . . . . For the masochistic joy of it, probably. ;)

I'm still twisting my own head around from a half-century of playing guitar fairly intensively and a few decades of mandolin rather more spotily. Despite a couple years' exposure, I've been deep into 'ukes for only five months. Got a mandola a couple months ago, too. Therein lies my mental glitch.

I look at a fretboard and I see guiitar chords laid out on it, except for thinner mando necks where I see chords of my preferred 'Irish' tuning. The diagrams I see in my mind are labeled, named. And when I see them on an 'uke, I see the guitar chord name. C major in 'uke still looks like G major to me. And I have the same guitar-vs-'uke problem with mandola-vs-mandolin -- C on the larger instrument looks like G on the smaller, which I'm more familiar with.

Ah, memorization. My social-security-age brain is a bit sloppy with memorization. Maybe I should paste cheat sheets to my mandolin and 'ukes. And another on the baritone 'uke which I have tuned like a plectrum banjo so I can learn yet *another* set of unfamiliar chords. And I'll eventually get a charango and a balalaika with their own chord structures. Yeah, it must be masochistic joy...

CeeJay
09-22-2015, 03:09 PM
Hey KoKo ...Balalaika ...tuned EEA ....its half a Uke chord (tuned GCEA) ...with the E string part doubled ...Ah ,but you have to fret with your thumb on the E or both E s and the A is steel....I love it ...oh and no nails or picks ...it all the fleshy part ....its mad ...and I luuuuurve it.

CeeJay
09-22-2015, 03:25 PM
For the masochistic joy of it, probably. ;)

And I'll eventually get a charango and a balalaika with their own chord structures. Yeah, it must be masochistic joy...

Hey KoKo

...Balalaika ...tuned EEA ....its half a Uke chord (tuned GCEA) ...with the E string part doubled ...Ah ,but you have to fret with your thumb on the E or both E s and the A is steel....I love it ...oh and no nails or picks ...it all the fleshy parts (ooer missus) ....its mad ...and I luuuuurve it.

Chopped Liver
09-22-2015, 04:37 PM
For the masochistic joy of it, probably. ;)

I'm still twisting my own head around from a half-century of playing guitar fairly intensively and a few decades of mandolin rather more spotily. Despite a couple years' exposure, I've been deep into 'ukes for only five months. Got a mandola a couple months ago, too. Therein lies my mental glitch.

I look at a fretboard and I see guiitar chords laid out on it, except for thinner mando necks where I see chords of my preferred 'Irish' tuning. The diagrams I see in my mind are labeled, named. And when I see them on an 'uke, I see the guitar chord name. C major in 'uke still looks like G major to me. And I have the same guitar-vs-'uke problem with mandola-vs-mandolin -- C on the larger instrument looks like G on the smaller, which I'm more familiar with.

Ah, memorization. My social-security-age brain is a bit sloppy with memorization. Maybe I should paste cheat sheets to my mandolin and 'ukes. And another on the baritone 'uke which I have tuned like a plectrum banjo so I can learn yet *another* set of unfamiliar chords. And I'll eventually get a charango and a balalaika with their own chord structures. Yeah, it must be masochistic joy...

Hm . . . tell me more about that 'Irish" tuning . . .

k0k0peli
09-22-2015, 05:52 PM
...Balalaika ...tuned EEA ....its half a Uke chord (tuned GCEA) ...with the E string part doubled ...Ah ,but you have to fret with your thumb on the E or both E s and the A is steel....I love it ...oh and no nails or picks ...it all the fleshy parts (ooer missus) ....its mad ...and I luuuuurve it. Yeah, I grok it's like a mutant dulcimer-'uke. If I can't find a decent one at a decent price I may have to build my own. Wow, I haven't touched one for a long, long time...


Hm . . . tell me more about that 'Irish" tuning . . . Talk to some old-time fiddlers and mando-pickers and they'll mention Eye-talian (standard) GDae tuning, and power-chord Sawmill GDgd tuning, and good old Irish GDad (Gee, Dad!) tuning. Sawmill is good for modal stuff, almost a heavy-duty dulcimer. Eye-talian is for the usual, and 'most everybody does it. Chord forms are simple and easy to move around but they make for some strange stretches, and the tuning isn't great for open strings and droning.

'Irish' Gee-Dad! is like a mix of mando and guitar, or a compromise between standard (closed chords) and Sawmill (open tuning). Chords aren't quite as portable and flexible as standard 'Eye-talian' but some are much easier, and I can play guitar tricks on the top courses. And 'Irish' (so named after a common Irish Bouzouki tuning) allows for singing drones in a few keys: F, G, A, C, and D especially.

Another mando trick is blues tuning. At least one blues-mando great, Yank Rachell, tuned down 3 half-steps from GDae to EBf#c# which allows easy playing along with guitars in E, a great blues key. My funkiest mando is now in Irish Blues EBf#b tuning which gives me the ease of 'Irish' chords with a low bluesy funk and chunk from detuning. I use medium-heavy strings for that lower range.

Probably the 'uke equivalent of 'Irish' (but with a very different effect) is slack-key, dropping ('slacking') the top on a re-entrant axe, going from gCEa to gCEg. Do that with a 8-string 'uke and it's Taropatch, or so I'm told. Both Irish and Taropatch allow a smoother approach to the instruments IMHO. And those singing drones give the music more texture.

bnolsen
09-22-2015, 07:26 PM
about transposing... in a band setting ppl are expendable. there's also multiple tunings of the same instrument, like sax has sop, alto, tenor and bari. To make it easier for players to switch between instruments (for filling in for someone else, like a tenor player playing bari, one tuned Bb, the other Eb), the notes given actually mean "which keys do I press" to get the desired pitch.