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joeybug
09-23-2010, 10:33 PM
Hi, it's Joey again, sorry I seem to be posting with a new question or two every day...

However, when I try to play Bb I can't seem to get the sound right or all the fingers in the right place, so is there another way to play it?

I also have a problem with F and Dm sounding the same, I'm using a felt pick so I know I'm hitting all the strings, but I think maybe my fingering is wrong, I'm doing 2010 for the F and 2210 for the Dm, are they similar in sound anyway and my ears are just not picking up the difference or is it a problem with my fingering...

I'm doing the practise sheet #2 of "Uncle Rod's Ukulele Boot Camp' if that helps people see where I'm going wrong..

Thanks for all your help and sorry I keep asking newbie questions...

Joey

SuzukHammer
09-23-2010, 11:22 PM
practice.

Trust in the force.

Months from now, you will play that Bb chord like its 4 aces.

Don't run and hide. Play it.

joeybug
09-23-2010, 11:25 PM
practice.

Trust in the force.

Months from now, you will play that Bb chord like its 4 aces.

Don't run and hide. Play it.

I will keep practising it!

Thanks for the input :D

Hippie Dribble
09-24-2010, 01:41 AM
hi joey

simplest, (slightly cheating) alternative way to play a Bd is by playing a standard G shape on the fifth fret: 0565 . But that may sound a little strange if the rest of your song is 1st position chords - it may sound to "high" if you're with me...

But really there's no easy way to play a Bd anywhere on the fretboard without having to barre it. Like suzukhammer said, press on, keep practicing and one day it will click. It really will. You're on a steep learning curve so if you stay passionate and keen, the results will take care of themselves.

As far as your "F" and Dm" question goes, yeah, they do sound very similar don't they. Your finger positioning is spot on. It takes one's ears a little while to adjust to the nuances of the ukulele, especially when you're new to it. One suggestion: maybe try and learn a song with F and Dm and C etc in it, you'll soon start to hear the differences in those chords, especially if you start to sing along as well...

joeybug
09-24-2010, 01:45 AM
hi joey

simplest, (slightly cheating) alternative way to play a Bd is by playing a standard G shape on the fifth fret: 0565 . But that may sound a little strange if the rest of your song is 1st position chords - it may sound to "high" if you're with me...

But really there's no easy way to play a Bd anywhere on the fretboard without having to barre it. Like suzukhammer said, press on, keep practicing and one day it will click. It really will. You're on a steep learning curve so if you stay passionate and keen, the results will take care of themselves.

As far as your "F" and Dm" question goes, yeah, they do sound very similar don't they. Your finger positioning is spot on. It takes one's ears a little while to adjust to the nuances of the ukulele, especially when you're new to it. One suggestion: maybe try and learn a song with F and Dm and C etc in it, you'll soon start to hear the differences in those chords, especially if you start to sing along as well...

Thanks for the advice, I shall press on with the Bb and try to hear the difference between F and Dm :D

Dibblet
09-24-2010, 05:16 AM
hi joey

simplest, (slightly cheating) alternative way to play a Bd is by playing a standard G shape on the fifth fret: 0565 . But that may sound a little strange if the rest of your song is 1st position chords - it may sound to "high" if you're with me...
...


How long has a Bb chord had a G in it?

mm stan
09-24-2010, 05:23 AM
Aloha Joeybug,
It's good you're asking all the questions to understand more...just be patient with the learning curb..and listen to what you strum..
As when I'm learning new chords, the first time...I don't strum fast and try to listen. I finger my chord and strum lightly and slow
with my thumb one time down and get a good listen of the chord....try that method out..and for Bb chord for beginners, it's a
doozie..you could barr the first fret and use your middle finger on thr third C string and your ring finger on the forth G string third
fret. I gotta admit for beginners it'll take some time to strenghten and strech your fingers in that position...Practice, Patience, and
Perserverence is the Key!!! Try not to get fustated with the learning curb and practice on easier chords until you get better. Choose
songs with easy one or two chords which are easy and familiar to you..As for the Dm and F chords, you've got them right!!!
Don't rush the learning process, everyone learns at a different pace and don't skip ahead too far..everything will come naturally eventually..
Good Luck and "Keep strumming them strings" and Have Fun...MM Stan

cjensen91910
09-24-2010, 05:52 AM
You might want to go here and download the chord finder. It is quite flexible for all tunings.

http://www.ukulele.nl/

SailingUke
09-24-2010, 06:03 AM
Dm is the relative minor to F. The Dm has a flat 3rd making a minor, it is a subtle difference.
The minor should have just a slightly darker tone. Try strumming switching between the two until you can hear the change.
Many times the "C" string booms a bit and you may need to lighten up your strum.
Many beginners strum to hard, practice getting smooth, speed will follow.
As far as Bb goes just practice. I like to play Bb barring the first fret.

misterpk
09-24-2010, 06:06 AM
How long has a Bb chord had a G in it?

G is in the Bb major scale. It's the sixth. So that chord would work, but its really a Bb6.

JoeyBug, why not practice the F Dm Bb C7 chord progression. That will kill 2 birds with 1 stone. You'll practice hearing the difference between F and Dm and you'll learn to play Bb well. :) You can sing a lot of the oldies to that like Earth Angel, Donna, etc.

Ronnie Aloha
09-24-2010, 06:17 AM
Joey,

Like everyone here has said, "Practice." The Bb barre fingering is used up the neck (like all barre chords.) Thus, it is a very important fingering. It might help to practice with a Gm7 (0211) first then add your middle finger later for the 3211. As mentioned, you could just bar the entire first fret with your index finger too if that is easier. That method makes playing "White Sandy Beach" easier. However, just keep at it with the regular fingering and you'll have it down soon enough.

Also you might be having issues playing Bb if your uke's action is too high. If you try another uke and have no problems with the Bb then that might be something to check out.

patient0
09-24-2010, 06:36 AM
This is the site I use for all my chord lookups (+ alternate fingering) and transposing... sorta like a periodic table of uke chords.

http://www.ezfolk.com/uke/chords/

Gmoney
09-24-2010, 07:28 AM
JoeyBug, why not practice the F Dm Bb C7 chord progression.

That works well for a couple of reasons - the reasons that misterpk mentiones but another that helps me with the fingering. If you watch your fingers going from an F to a Bb, you can kind of "roll" your hand so that your first finger on the 2nd string 1st fret from the F is now barring the 1st & 2nd string & the 2nd finger that was on the 4th string 2nd fret is now on the 3rd string 2nd fret w/your 3rd finger dropping in to the 4th string 3rd fret position. HARDER to explain that to see when you do it. Moving from F to Bb is pretty simple once you get the feel of that "roll" & once you get used to barring those 2 strings, you have a movable chord form that takes you up the neck for other chords.

Works for me! Hope this helps

Uncle Rod Higuchi
09-24-2010, 10:02 AM
If you really have difficulty with Bb and absolutely need a substitute chord, I like Ronnie Aloha's suggestion to use a Gm7, which I describe as 2/3 of a Bb anyway. Also, a Gm (0231) could work sometimes. Remember I'm speaking as a singer who plays the uke, so it's with accompaniment in mind, not solo picking work.

I like Misterpk's suggestion re: learning songs in the key of F and playing the F, Dm, Bb (or Gm7 or Gm), C7 progression.

Try to make it fun. Also the suggestion re: height of 'action' has merit. Low action seems to aid in holding the Bb. But nothing but practice will get me to FM7 (2413)! Yikes!

Keep uke'in',

misterpk
09-24-2010, 11:02 AM
You could also do the F C Dm Bb chord progression when you get bored with that! There is a master list of all the songs you can play using C G Am F. You can play the same songs, just know that you'll be in the key of F rather than C. :)

roxhum
09-24-2010, 12:08 PM
I have trouble with the Bb too. It is like my finger is not flexible enough or large enough to hold down two strings and to barr it, well then I can't reach with my other fingers. I actually have used my first finger bent and used the top of my finger to press the strings. That is probably a really bad thing, huh. Don't suppose I will ever smoothly move from chord to chord doing that. Bb flat is not my friend. Not yet anyway.

Ukulele JJ
09-26-2010, 08:21 AM
JoeyBug, why not practice the F Dm Bb C7 chord progression. That will kill 2 birds with 1 stone. You'll practice hearing the difference between F and Dm and you'll learn to play Bb well. :) You can sing a lot of the oldies to that like Earth Angel, Donna, etc.

That's a great idea, Mr. Pk.

I wonder if the reason you (JoeyBug) are having trouble hearing the difference between F and Dm is because you're not fretting the two chords cleanly enough? Maybe you're accidentally muting the open third string (the C string) with your middle finger of your left hand? (This has nothing to with whether or not you're strumming all four strings. You can strum a string all day long, but it won't make a sound if you're keeping it from vibrating with your other hand.)

Try this exercise:

Fret an F chord. Put down the pick and just pick individual strings with your fingers. Pick them in this order: 3rd, 2nd, 4th. (That's the C string, E string, and G string). Repeat that over and over: 3 2 4 3 2 4 3 2 4 3 2 4. You should hear every note ring out. There shouldn't be any "muffled" notes.

(I like to use my thumb for the 3rd and 4th strings and my index finger for the 2nd string. You can use whatever finger you want though.)

Now do the same pattern with the Dm chord. Pick the same strings with your right hand. You should hear a difference--specifically in the first note you pick in the pattern.

Now try shifting between the two chords:


F Dm

A |------------|------------|
E |---1----1---|---1-----1--|
C |-0----0-----|-2-----2----| (repeat)
G |----2-----2-|-----2----2-|

This is a good exercise for playing and hearing the two chords. You're also halfway to learning a nice arrangement of "Hallelujah". :cool:

As far as the Bb chord goes, there are several options:


Try changing the way you're fretting the chord. Standard practice is to barre the first fret entirely with your index finger. By itself, that's a Db6 chord (or Bbm7). Then add in the other two fingers. Be sure that your thumb is against the back of the middle of the neck--not curled around. Try pushing forward with your thumb more than pushing back with your fingers.
You can also use the same fingering, but only cover the 1st and 2nd strings with your index finger. This isn't quite as flexible as the fully-barred version, but you might find it easier.
With the standard 3211 shape, the first and fourth strings are actually playing the same note. So you can get rid of one of them and not miss much. Try playing 321X (don't pick or strum the first string... or mute it with part of your left hand) or X211 (don't play the fourth string, or mute it).
As others have mentioned, there are alternate positions for the Bb chord, such as 7565 and 10-10-10-13. These won't always be practical though.
You can change the chord to a somewhat compatible one, such as the Bb6 already suggested. Although if you're going to do a Bb, 0211 might be easier.
Me? I almost always play Bb as a Bb(add2) chord: 3213. I think it sounds hipper, is easier to play, and sets you up nicely for the C chord that usually goes along with it. (If you play F as 2013 instead of 2010 and the Dm as a Dm7, you never have to move your pinkie!)


JJ

joeybug
09-26-2010, 08:30 AM
That's a great idea, Mr. Pk.

I wonder if the reason you (JoeyBug) are having trouble hearing the difference between F and Dm is because you're not fretting the two chords cleanly enough? Maybe you're accidentally muting the open third string (the C string) with your middle finger of your left hand? (This has nothing to with whether or not you're strumming all four strings. You can strum a string all day long, but it won't make a sound if you're keeping it from vibrating with your other hand.)

Try this exercise:

Fret an F chord. Put down the pick and just pick individual strings with your fingers. Pick them in this order: 3rd, 2nd, 4th. (That's the C string, E string, and G string). Repeat that over and over: 3 2 4 3 2 4 3 2 4 3 2 4. You should hear every note ring out. There shouldn't be any "muffled" notes.

(I like to use my thumb for the 3rd and 4th strings and my index finger for the 2nd string. You can use whatever finger you want though.)

Now do the same pattern with the Dm chord. Pick the same strings with your right hand. You should hear a difference--specifically in the first note you pick in the pattern.

Now try shifting between the two chords:


F Dm

A |------------|------------|
E |---1----1---|---1-----1--|
C |-0----0-----|-2-----2----| (repeat)
G |----2-----2-|-----2----2-|

This is a good exercise for playing and hearing the two chords. You're also halfway to learning a nice arrangement of "Hallelujah". :cool:

As far as the Bb chord goes, there are several options:


Try changing the way you're fretting the chord. Standard practice is to barre the first fret entirely with your index finger. By itself, that's a Db6 chord (or Bbm7). Then add in the other two fingers. Be sure that your thumb is against the back of the middle of the neck--not curled around. Try pushing forward with your thumb more than pushing back with your fingers.
You can also use the same fingering, but only cover the 1st and 2nd strings with your index finger. This isn't quite as flexible as the fully-barred version, but you might find it easier.
With the standard 3211 shape, the first and fourth strings are actually playing the same note. So you can get rid of one of them and not miss much. Try playing 321X (don't pick or strum the first string... or mute it with part of your left hand) or X211 (don't play the fourth string, or mute it).
As others have mentioned, there are alternate positions for the Bb chord, such as 7565 and 10-10-10-13. These won't always be practical though.
You can change the chord to a somewhat compatible one, such as the Bb6 already suggested. Although if you're going to do a Bb, 0211 might be easier.
Me? I almost always play Bb as a Bb(add2) chord: 3213. I think it sounds hipper, is easier to play, and sets you up nicely for the C chord that usually goes along with it. (If you play F as 2013 instead of 2010 and the Dm as a Dm7, you never have to move your pinkie!)


JJ

Thanks for ALL this advice :D I've been practising the Bb chord, and I find my problem is that I can't seem to get the the 3 of 3211 easily and I wonder if it's sounding like it should be...

As for F and Dm, I play that in one of the other songs I'm trying to learn and I am starting to notice a difference between the two, not much of one, but definately a difference.

Thanks again :D

Sharada
10-03-2010, 05:55 PM
Oh good lord. Just tried this chord out for the first time today and it feels like a sin against nature and human anatomy. How's it going for you joeybug?

SpoonersBabe
10-03-2010, 06:54 PM
... --- ...

joeybug
10-03-2010, 10:09 PM
Oh good lord. Just tried this chord out for the first time today and it feels like a sin against nature and human anatomy. How's it going for you joeybug?

I think I'm getting there, on my practise list is a song that has Bb in it and I seem to be getting better at it!

SpoonersBabe
10-04-2010, 06:46 AM
... --- ...

joeybug
10-04-2010, 07:27 AM
You've got quite an ambitious list of songs to learn! I found that learning to play like that, with songs I love, was a big help. Keep at it, you'll be amazed at how quickly you'll progress. This time next month Bb will be natural to you and your muscle memory will just place your fingers there without you having to hardly even think about it! :)

It's getting there, Molokai Slide has Bb in and I'm learning to make it second nature on that!