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FromTheWayside
06-21-2010, 10:15 PM
Hi Everyone -

I just have a quick song-writing question. If I wanted to write a song featuring guitar and ukulele, do I need to do any transposing? For example, if I played an open C on the guitar, and a typical C on the uke, would I be playing (approximately) the same chord?

The notes are the same:

Open-C on guitar:
E A D G B e (strings)
x 3 2 0 1 0 (fingering)
x C E G C e (resulting notes)

Open-C on a GCEA tuned uke:
g C E A
0 0 0 3
g C E c

Shouldn't these be the same? If not, did I miss something? How exactly do you get the guitar and uke to play nice together?

For the record, this question comes from this comment:
"I played it in C too. It's just that the uke is tuned like a guitar with a capo in the 5th fret, and since I play the same guitar chords it sounds in F. I never bothered to learn "new" names for the uke chords."
from this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py_e20gFC8o&feature=related

seeso
06-21-2010, 10:37 PM
No transposing is necessary. A C on the guitar is the same as a C on the ukulele.

The comment you have quoted is confusing. He says he "played it in C." He's actually not. He's playing it in F. The shape for an F on the uke looks like the shape for a C on the guitar. Since he played the song in C on the guitar, he's just using the same shapes when he plays it on the ukulele.

*Also, for future reference, when you put the word "open" before a chord it usually means that you have your instrument tuned to that chord.

FromTheWayside
06-21-2010, 11:00 PM
No transposing is necessary. A C on the guitar is the same as a C on the ukulele.

The comment you have quoted is confusing. He says he "played it in C." He's actually not. He's playing it in F. The shape for an F on the uke looks like the shape for a C on the guitar. Since he played the song in C on the guitar, he's just using the same shapes when he plays it on the ukulele.

*Also, for future reference, when you put the word "open" before a chord it usually means that you have your instrument tuned to that chord.

Oh! That makes a good bit of sense. I was worried for a second; I thought I had missed some important facts about how the uke and guitar play together. Thanks for the clarification. Also, I thought open could be taken to mean, "played as close to the nut as possible / played without a barre." Maybe that definition isn't as common as I thought? I mean I've heard of open tunings (i.e. you strum the instrument and it plays a chord like C major), but I thought that was something different?

Sorry to ramble on (it's late!). Thanks for answering my question. =]

lambchop
06-22-2010, 04:19 AM
Hi Everyone -

I just have a quick song-writing question. If I wanted to write a song featuring guitar and ukulele, do I need to do any transposing? For example, if I played an open C on the guitar, and a typical C on the uke, would I be playing (approximately) the same chord?


I know it has already been answered, but, yes, it is the same. Not like when my daughter plays a C on her clarinet and it sounds as a Bb. I know there's a reason for that, but I have never been smart enough to understand it. I am really getting into theory lately, though, and doing a lot with chord construction. As to notes on the ukulele, not to turn this back to my blog, but I'm kind of proud of this and you may find it helpful:

http://lambchopukulele.blogspot.com/2010/05/how-to-learn-13-of-ukulele-fingerboard.html

pulelehua
06-22-2010, 10:27 AM
I know it has already been answered, but, yes, it is the same. Not like when my daughter plays a C on her clarinet and it sounds as a Bb. I know there's a reason for that, but I have never been smart enough to understand it. I am really getting into theory lately, though, and doing a lot with chord construction. As to notes on the ukulele, not to turn this back to my blog, but I'm kind of proud of this and you may find it helpful:

http://lambchopukulele.blogspot.com/2010/05/how-to-learn-13-of-ukulele-fingerboard.html

It has to do with hundreds of years ago when you had a different instrument to play in different keys, and it allowed players to just learn one set of fingering. It meant that composers had to be a bit clever in order to save players work. Today, it only has the "old" effect for people who switch from alto to tenor sax, for instance. The sound coming out might be different, but the names of the fingering positions are the same. C fingering makes a Bb on a tenor, and Eb on an alto. But the player doesn't need to know that. He or she just needs to know where to put his or her fingers.

Sorry to hijack. I will stop now. :)

chiefnoda
06-22-2010, 11:31 AM
[QUOTE=FromTheWayside;398085]Oh! I thought open could be taken to mean, "played as close to the nut as possible / played without a barre." Maybe that definition isn't as common as I thought? I mean I've heard of open tunings (i.e. you strum the instrument and it plays a chord like C major), but I thought that was something different?

I think the more common definition of an "open chord" is that a chord shape uses open strings. So "X 3 2 0 1 0" is an open form of C major, and "X 3 2 0 0 X" an open chord form of Cmaj7. If you play "X 3 5 4 5X", that's a closed form of Cmaj7.

A barre chord is one of closed chord shapes, but not all closed forms have to be barred (see above Cmaj7, for example).

"Open" is also used in guitar music as in "open G tuning", where that means when strings are strummed in "open" positions (that is, un-fretted), the strings will produce a G chord when strings are tuned in a non-standard way.

Confusing.....

Cheers
Chief

pulelehua
06-22-2010, 11:21 PM
To make things more confusing, "open" and "closed" are normally used in music to describe what is called "voicing".

A closed chord has no gaps where notes might be. So, the "normal" C chord on a guitar has the notes, from bottom to top, C E G C E. There is no chord note that could fit in between any of those. It is therefore in "closed" voicing.

Playing X 3 5 5 5 3 gives the notes C G C E G. The first two notes COULD fit an E between them (one of the notes of the C chord). The chord is therefore in an "open" voicing.

The terrible thing about learning music is the overlap in terms. For instance, the 3rd of a 4 chord is the 6th of the scale, but if it's in 1st inversion, there is a 4th between the 5th and 1st of the chord. (Yes, that was meant to be confusing...)

Keep at it. The more things click into place, the more the whole pattern makes sense. And music is basically a series of patterns.

seeso
06-23-2010, 07:03 AM
Oh! That makes a good bit of sense. I was worried for a second; I thought I had missed some important facts about how the uke and guitar play together. Thanks for the clarification. Also, I thought open could be taken to mean, "played as close to the nut as possible / played without a barre." Maybe that definition isn't as common as I thought? I mean I've heard of open tunings (i.e. you strum the instrument and it plays a chord like C major), but I thought that was something different?

Sorry to ramble on (it's late!). Thanks for answering my question. =]

You're welcome. :)

I've never heard of "open" referring to non-barred chords or chords close to the nut. If someone said "open C" to me, I'd assume they were playing in open C tuning and nothing else.

pulelehua
06-23-2010, 11:57 AM
You're welcome. :)

I've never heard of "open" referring to non-barred chords or chords close to the nut. If someone said "open C" to me, I'd assume they were playing in open C tuning and nothing else.

In traditional terms, those are 1st position chords, really.