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mm stan
12-11-2010, 08:01 AM
I remember when I first started, the Bb chord used to give me so much trouble..

But now I realized my voice sounds good in the F key which includes the Bb chord..1,4,5
Now I enjoy the souund of it too..What is your favorite chord or key??? and why????:):)

Tudorp
12-11-2010, 09:04 AM
That one used to give me a mess too. I had to modify it to get my fingers to play it because of artritis. But, I can play it now, and sometimes depending on what I chord I am coming off of to it, it might give me some issues, but I manage.

TCK
12-11-2010, 09:09 AM
I like F too...same key as Bob Wills :) Looks I better go practice that darn B-flat some more

Ukulele JJ
12-11-2010, 09:14 AM
If I'm in F, I hardly ever play a plain Bb. I go with a Bb(add2): 3213 Much easier, IMHO.

If you play the F as as 2013 then you can play F, Bb(add2), and C without ever moving your pinkie off the 3rd fret of the first string.



JJ

SuzukHammer
12-11-2010, 10:29 AM
If I'm in F, I hardly ever play a plain Bb. I go with a Bb(add2): 3213 Much easier, IMHO.

If you play the F as as 2103 then you can play F, Bb(add2), and C without ever moving your pinkie off the 3rd fret of the first string

JJ

Do you mean 2013?

SuzukHammer
12-11-2010, 10:35 AM
I find that I experiment with 5 chords (2 note chords) because it just sounds more unique than normal chords.

arpegiated chords. I can't get enough of strumming then arpegiating. Most people call that fingerpicking; but I'll pick any chord progression and just run through the strum/arpegiating sequences. Its just sounds so good and fun and so many ways to do them.

The DGA chord progressions seem to be strongest on my play list

dkcrown
12-11-2010, 10:50 AM
Bb was a stickler for me too. It still is tricky for me to play, but is becoming easier the more I play it. The transition to and from F seems pretty natural. You know what they say. Practice, practice, practice....

Hippie Dribble
12-11-2010, 01:33 PM
Hi Stan, my favourite key is "F" too...George Formby used it a lot in his music...love bringing in the ol' minor chords in in the F progressions; Dm and Am, the F7 and Bb diminished and minors. It's a great key

Also love the key of "Eb" and of course the good ol' "C"

I also find that the house key and car key come in handy sometimes...:o

Papa Tom
12-11-2010, 04:31 PM
The first chord I always strum when I pick up a uke is a G. There's just something about it that makes me feel good. That said, I prefer to play most tunes in either G or C.

fitncrafty
12-11-2010, 05:28 PM
I remember when I first started, the Bb chord used to give me so much trouble..

But now I realized my voice sounds good in the F key which includes the Bb chord..1,4,5
Now I enjoy the souund of it too..What is your favorite chord or key??? and why????:):)

Well Stan, you know all too well about my love/hate relationship with Bb... Then you challenge me to learn Molokai Slide (which I love because my daughter comes running after she hears the first few strums, to sing) I have no idea how to even know what key to sing in, truthfully my singing just sounds bad! I will just have to keep on going...

marymac
12-11-2010, 07:07 PM
Ah - good to know I'm not alone in my difficulty playing Bb. I'm not really knowledgeable about keys yet but I've been playing Uncle Rod's Boot Camp pages since I started and F is one of my favorites. Except Bb. Oh and Abdim (1010). Actually any of the four-finger chords like Cdim and Abdim are still tough for me to do with any speed. Still, I can tell that I'm better than I was at them 6 weeks ago so hopefully in another year I'll be able to do them more readily.

ADD
12-11-2010, 09:10 PM
I find that I experiment with 5 chords (2 note chords) because it just sounds more unique than normal chords.

arpegiated chords. I can't get enough of strumming then arpegiating. Most people call that fingerpicking; but I'll pick any chord progression and just run through the strum/arpegiating sequences. Its just sounds so good and fun and so many ways to do them.

The DGA chord progressions seem to be strongest on my play list

Have you ever done any tutorials. Do you have video of this technique? Thanks.

ytmr
12-11-2010, 09:41 PM
I find myself leaning towards the D key, and the chords are easy enough, so yeah! Of course, there's C, but that sounds a little empty to me sometimes.

marymac
12-11-2010, 09:47 PM
I find myself leaning towards the D key, and the chords are easy enough, so yeah! Of course, there's C, but that sounds a little empty to me sometimes.

That's funny - when I play the D key it somehow feels unfinished. Doesn't feel like it resolves as well as the other keys when I come around (ie D Bm E7 A7 F#7 Bm E7 A7 D). Somehow the D at the end sounds like it's still waiting for something...

Manalishi
12-11-2010, 11:09 PM
I remember learning the guitar forty eight years
ago,and the hardest chord was the F.Curiously
enough,that's the same fingering as the Bb on
a ukulele! I hated it,tried to learn songs without
using it...but in the end,you have to learn it,and
the Bb on ukulele is an essential chord,as has
been mentioned already!

Ukulele JJ
12-12-2010, 04:08 AM
Do you mean 2013?

Yes. Yes I did.

Thanks!

JJ

georgio
12-12-2010, 08:07 AM
Interesting... On a guitar Bb gives me a fit, but on the uke my fingers just fall into place it seems. Could be a message in that? :)

Jake_Loew
12-12-2010, 08:34 AM
F is the best key. Any body who thinks that there exists a key better than F is simply wrong. haha jk. But really, I love playing in F. Not necessarily the key of F, but that major shape (1st inversion) as the root chord of the key you're playing in. I love working with chord shapes in that key.

Matter of fact, rarely play an Fmajor chord. I usually play an F9 (0010) because it's really easy and I think it sounds a little bit more full. My song "As the Days get Longer" is entirely based on the F9 chord.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwEHFsY23yU

OldePhart
12-12-2010, 09:42 AM
Two things that are probably key (no pun intended) to being comfortable playing Bb on a uke. First, make sure the uke is set up. If the nut is high you have two problems, it's hard to finger a barre across the first fret (more on this in a second) and it probably won't sound right to your ear even when you do (because some of the notes are being pulled sharp by the high nut).

Okay, assuming our uke is set up properly, why barre at the first fret when we're fingering the third and fourth strings farther up the neck anyway? Let's say we're playing in the key of F, where your primary chords are going to be F, Bb, and C. If you finger the open F chord with your index and second finger and then try to pull your index finger back (or tuck it down) to cover the first two strings at the first fret, it changes the angle of your hand and throws your second and third fingers out of position. Sure, you can do it that way, but your whole hand is changing angle with respect to the fretboard. If, instead, you simply lay your index finger down flat across all four strings at the first fret, the angle of your hand and wrist doesn't change, you move your second finger over one string and plop the finger down on the third fret, fourth string. Reverse the process to go Bb to F. It's a very natural transition after you do it a few times and you'll notice that your hand doesn't change position at all. It stays pretty much perpendicular to the strings, arched about the same amount, etc.

You can throw in the C from either of the above chords by simply raising all fingers except the third or the pinky, either of which you drop down on the first string, third fret, again, without changing position of the hand and wrist very much. (Similar story for the C7, just curl the index back to put the tip on the first string.)

On any stringed instrument, the less that you have to change the position, shape, or angle of your hand and wrist, the faster you will be able to play with less fatigue. (Actually, I suppose that's probably true of any instrument, not just stringed instruments.)

So, if you're having trouble with the Bb / Bb7 (B, B7, etc) and you are trying to fret just the first two strings with the tip of your index finger - give the barre a try. It may feel wierd at first if you've been doing it the other way for a long time but it will probably become your favorite Bb fingering pretty quickly. Or not...I forgot to wear my fortune-teller's cap today. :)

HTH,
John


Any time you can make a transition by moving only fingers

Ukulele Jim
12-12-2010, 09:43 AM
I was going to suggest what John just suggested but he beat me to it.

OldePhart
12-12-2010, 09:47 AM
I was going to suggest what John just suggested but he beat me to it.

Wow, I must've beat you by mere seconds!

Meant to add another thing - when you use the barre you're set up for the Bb7 so you can "finger dance" between Bb and Bb7 - or if you're a little slow getting the third finger down it's no big deal, etc.

John

mm stan
12-12-2010, 10:19 AM
Aloha All,
Thanks for the input reguarding the Bb chord...I've got a easier way to accomplish it...sit in a chair and cradle your uke...and rest the bottom back end of your ukulele on you right upper thigh with a
slight angle about 170 degrees...hold your left elbow and a little forward against your left rib close touching it...open your left palm upwards, and make the Bb chord keeping your palm facing upward
in the finger position and strum...if you are right handed...it will be easier and you won't have to bend you wrist and arm into crazy uncomfortable positions...Let me know how it works out for you!! MM Stan..

marymac
12-12-2010, 10:25 AM
If, instead, you simply lay your index finger down flat across all four strings at the first fret, the angle of your hand and wrist doesn't change, you move your second finger over one string and plop the finger down on the third fret, fourth string. Reverse the process to go Bb to F.

Thanks for the advice John.

I tried this on three different ukes (all well setup as far as I can tell). On the Stradelele (concert) with Aquila strings - this is easy. I get it. But on the Koaloha soprano and the Black Bear I have trouble with the E string when I barre on the first fret. The Koaloha has Worth Clears and the Black Bear has Fremont Blacklines. Both sets have a pretty stiff feel to the E string at the first fret and I get a thunk from the E string instead of an F. The Aquilas ALL feel stiff so maybe it's easier to get even pressure across them?

On the softer strings it helps when I slide my finger a little further across the fingerboard so that the E doesn't hit the crease in my finger but then the barre feels awkward. I'll try practicing this a bit and see how it goes.

marymac
12-12-2010, 10:28 AM
Aloha All,
Thanks for the input reguarding the Bb chord...I've got a easier way to accomplish it...sit in a chair and cradle your uke...and rest the bottom back end of your ukulele on you right upper thigh with a
slight angle about 170 degrees...hold your left elbow and a little forward against your left rib close touching it...open your left palm upwards, and make the Bb chord keeping your palm facing upward
in the finger position and strum...if you are right handed...it will be easier and you won't have to bend you wrist and arm into crazy uncomfortable positions...Let me know how it works out for you!! MM Stan..

Thanks Stan - this works fine for me! Not sure that I can hold my uke in my lap all the time though. Is that how you play all the time?

Thumper
12-12-2010, 10:39 AM
Matter of fact, rarely play an Fmajor chord. I usually play an F9 (0010) because it's really easy and I think it sounds a little bit more full. My song "As the Days get Longer" is entirely based on the F9 chord.

Just a nit: that's actually an Fadd9 chord, not an F9.

F9 would include a flat 7th (Eb) in the chord. A couple ways to play it are 0310 and 2333.

But I agree, 0010 is a sweet sounding chord!

OldePhart
12-12-2010, 10:45 AM
Thanks for the advice John.

The Koaloha has Worth Clears and the Black Bear has Fremont Blacklines. Both sets have a pretty stiff feel to the E string at the first fret and I get a thunk from the E string instead of an F.

It's interesting that you mention that in the case of the Worth strings, anyway, because when I was fooling around with calculating string tensions using the data at the Worth site one of the things that I noticed is that the E-strings in their sets are almost equal in tension to the A and G strings, instead of closer to the C string. I don't know about the Aquilas, but the Martin M600 fluorocarbon strings are nearer uniform tension across all four strings (though the overall tension looks to be higher than for the worth sets).

John

mm stan
12-12-2010, 10:49 AM
Aloha Mary,
I use different technques for different things..I use this technique for the Bb to F..or the all of the Key of F and all those stubborn B something notes...MM
Try this progression...F, C7 , F, F7 ,Bb, F ,C7, F....Let me know how you like it...that techique should make things easier...Now I love the sound of Bb....MM Stan
Oh yeah, actually the ukulele is resting on my lap and holding it with my chording left hand...not really holding it but balancing it there..

marymac
12-12-2010, 11:05 AM
Aloha Mary,
I use different technques for different things..I use this technique for the Bb to F..or the all of the Key of F and all those stubborn B something notes...MM
Try this progression...F, C7 , F, F7 ,Bb, F ,C7, F....Let me know how you like it...that techique should make things easier...Now I love the sound of Bb....MM Stan
Oh yeah, actually the ukulele is resting on my lap and holding it with my chording left hand...not really holding it but balancing it there..

Very pretty progression. I'll practice that one all afternoon. Thanks Stan!

marymac
12-12-2010, 11:08 AM
It's interesting that you mention that in the case of the Worth strings, anyway, because when I was fooling around with calculating string tensions using the data at the Worth site one of the things that I noticed is that the E-strings in their sets are almost equal in tension to the A and G strings, instead of closer to the C string. I don't know about the Aquilas, but the Martin M600 fluorocarbon strings are nearer uniform tension across all four strings (though the overall tension looks to be higher than for the worth sets).

John

Hmm - maybe it's time to try the Martin flouros. That's one of the few brands I don't have yet.

mm stan
12-12-2010, 11:18 AM
Hey Mary,
I got few martins and two of them really sing...using Martin fleurocarbons on them, not sure why other ukers put them down...sounds awesome to me.....maybe it's their ukes...MM Stan..

Reisman
12-12-2010, 11:25 AM
I am so happy to read this post. I just started playing the ukulele about a month ago and the Bb has been driving me crazy. I am glad to see it is not just me. Thanks for the reminder to go practice!

mm stan
12-12-2010, 11:29 AM
Aloha Reisman,
Welcome to the UU and our forums...and the ukulele.....Have Fun and Enjoy!!! google musicteacher2010 and keonepax for awesome video tutorials and Dr uke for songs, chords, and instructions....
Happy Strummings!! MM Stan...

Jannet
12-12-2010, 01:09 PM
The B flat is hard! Oh, my !

Jake_Loew
12-12-2010, 01:10 PM
Just a nit: that's actually an Fadd9 chord, not an F9.

you're actually an Fadd9 chord, not an F9.

SuzukHammer
12-12-2010, 01:50 PM
Have you ever done any tutorials. Do you have video of this technique? Thanks.

the 3rd and 4th string are a 4th apart, meaning if you strummed both strings open xx00, you get EA, A being the 4th degree of E. To get the 5th you would would strum xx02.

If I play a melody on string 4, I will follow that melody by playing it with 1 and 4 notes together. SO the first melody is xxxn where n is any fret up the 4th string, then make it fuller by playing xxnn with the same melody, then you can go to 5ths by playing xxn(n+2), then do a pull verse with a pull off on the 4th string then, play a slow xxxn. good stuff.

I like to play "lean on me" like that.

Another way I do something similar and get fun sounds is to strum stings 3 and 4 down then strum variations on strings 1 and 2 upwards. its easiest using barres and it gives some nice sounds. Its fun to find the chord progressions and kinda makes you think more about position of notes on each string.

ADD
12-12-2010, 03:32 PM
Thanks for this wonderful description, but I'm such a visual person I need to see it; even tabbed helps. Looks like I really need Boot Camp and UUU.

Jannet
12-12-2010, 06:32 PM
Key of F and all those stubborn B something notes...MM
Try this progression...F, C7 , F, F7 ,Bb, F ,C7, F.

I tried this with moving my left elbow close to my body or waist and did make it easier to play the Bb. If you play the progression of F, C7 , F, F7 ,Bb, F ,C7, F it is almost an easy way to learn the Bb!
Bravo for the help!
Jannet
Currently -17 F, oh my!

mm stan
12-12-2010, 07:13 PM
Key of F and all those stubborn B something notes...MM
Try this progression...F, C7 , F, F7 ,Bb, F ,C7, F.

I tried this with moving my left elbow close to my body or waist and did make it easier to play the Bb. If you play the progression of F, C7 , F, F7 ,Bb, F ,C7, F it is almost an easy way to learn the Bb!
Bravo for the help!
Jannet
Currently -17 F, oh my!

Aloha Jannet,
I am sure this method is going to make the Bb and easier learning experience...thanks for trying and Have Fun and Enjoy!! Happy Strummings!! and Happy Holidays to you and your family!!!!Take Care and Keep Warm!!!! Many Blessings!!! MM Stan...
Wow ...Now that's what I call cold!!! Just play your ukuulele to keep warm..!!

roxhum
12-13-2010, 03:52 AM
Sorry Stan, I am with ADD, I need a picture. I like the note progression though and maybe the light bulb will click on.
Roxhum

Howlin Hobbit
12-13-2010, 08:29 AM
I find that I experiment with 5 chords (2 note chords)
A chord is 3 or more notes. The so-called "5 chords" are intervals that suggest chords.
</pedantry>

mm stan
12-13-2010, 06:41 PM
Key of F and all those stubborn B something notes...MM
Try this progression...F, C7 , F, F7 ,Bb, F ,C7, F.

I tried this with moving my left elbow close to my body or waist and did make it easier to play the Bb. If you play the progression of F, C7 , F, F7 ,Bb, F ,C7, F it is almost an easy way to learn the Bb!
Bravo for the help!
Jannet
Currently -17 F, oh my!

Aloha Add and Roxhum,
Just strum the chords in that sequence, it's not hard at all ...sounds good and alot of fun!!
Have fun and Enjoy!!! Happy Holidays to you and your famalies!!! Take Care and Keep
Warm!! God Bless...Your Friend, Stan:):)

Skottoman
12-14-2010, 04:52 AM
I had to search the internet to find what the Bb/A# chord was. I guess I use it all the time, just didnt' know it. I don't keep track of what chords I'm playing, just know the sounds and where they are on the fretboard.
I don't find it to be difficult, and I use it all the time. Great sounding chord.
Cheers,
Skottoman

ProfChris
12-14-2010, 06:09 AM
I know two ways to fret the Bb chord at the first fret position, 3211 (there may be others):

1. Barre all strings at fret 1, fret string 4 at fret 3, string 3 at fret 2.

2. Barre only strings 1 and 2 at fret 1, other strings as before.

I use both, depending on the chord transition. For example, I find no. 2 much easier when moving from F. I already have my first finger on string 2 fret 1, so if I roll my wrist a little then I'm automatically barreing strings 1 and 2 - just need to move the other fingers. C to Bb is easier for me if I use no. 1.

Try to learn both ways so they become automatic, and then your fingers will probably tell you which one to use.

Also, don't get stuck on always using the same fingers to fret a chord. As an example, most people would play A using finger 1 for string 3 fret 1, and finger 2 for string 4 fret 2 (2100). If, though, you are playing Bb then A, I'd use the full barre for Bb (no. 1 above), and then simply lift the barre and slide my fingers down one fret to make the A, thus using fingers 2 & 3 instead of 1 & 2.

Finally, don't forget there are other Bb chords around. x565 can sound very nice sometimes.