View Full Version : Hawaiian Vamps

06-08-2009, 08:55 AM
I hope this is in the right section, I've been waiting for an admin to start a thread based on the new Uke Minutes, http://ukuleleunderground.com/2009/06/06/uke-minutes-48-hawaiian-vamps/.

I got the idea of how to find the chords, and I can play it, I just know what a practical use for it is. When do you use the Hawaiian Vamps? Is it specifically for songs that use those chords or can you use them to make other songs sound "Hawaiian"?

Any help would be great. Thanks a bunch.

06-08-2009, 10:52 AM
The term vamp is another word for "riff" or "turnaround". So you could spice up a piece that doesn't already have those specific chords... by adding the hawaiian vamp. ...Or build an an entire song on this.

Two more good videos on hawaiian vamps:


06-08-2009, 11:04 AM
Vamps are also used to start/introduce a song especially when dancers are involved. It provides the necessary time for them to get into position to start. Here's a previous thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7647) on vamps/turnarounds. Note the link to the Vamp Chords article from Live 'Ukulele.

06-08-2009, 11:26 AM
Thanks for the info. As usual the help is greatly appreciated. Hopefully I can include this into my playing style:shaka:

06-09-2009, 03:22 AM
can someone post a list of popular Vamp/progressions......

06-09-2009, 04:32 AM
It's listed here (http://liveukulele.com/vamp-chords/).

06-09-2009, 02:05 PM
Vamps are used in most Hawaiian songs, at the intro, and transition. Most vamps are 3 chords some 2, always ending in the key you are playing in. There are also some vamps that you pick and strum. The vamps set the pace or tempo, and helps keeping it together in Hawaiian music, also helps the hula dancers get ready to go. Play with different strums and you'll get used to it in no time.

06-09-2009, 03:06 PM
Hey, that was really helpful. I seem to remember from long ago a pattern to this. In any particular key, the first chord of the vamp is the second chord of the key (normally minor) - made major + an added 7th. The reason it has a strong "pull" to the V7 is that the ii made into II7 becomes the V7 of the V7.

Say what????? :eek:

For example - in the key of C the C (the I) chord is major and the next scale step is D. A normal D chord in the key of C is minor (ii), ya with me? The fifth scale step of the key of C is G (V), often played as G7 (V7) to increase the "pull" to the C chord (the I). Now here is the cool part, making the D minor (ii) into a D major+7 (II7) temporarily makes it the V7 of the G7. In the key of G what is the V7? D7! This increases the "pull" toward the C (I) even more!

If you practice it that way, you can remember the pattern rather than the chords.