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View Full Version : Self-Examination Tool for Ukulele Proficiency



Uncle Rod Higuchi
02-25-2011, 05:58 AM
This is a SET-UP, lol :D - just for fun.

Still consider yourself a 'Beginner'? :confused:

Play through the following Chord Sheet, left to right, top to bottom, 4 times.

FIRST time - 4 strums per chord
SECOND time - 3 strums per chord
THIRD time - 2 strums per chord
FOURTH time - 1 strum per chord... end with C.

Set your own tempo and try NOT to 'break your stride'. Your eventual GOAL would be
1-2 strums per second.

If you can play through the chord sheet without breaking your stride/tempo, especially
at 1-2 strums per second, do NOT label yourself a 'Beginner'.

Hand someone a properly-tuned ukulele and ask them to play through the chord sheet.
If they can do it at an even tempo without interruption, how can you call them a
'Beginner'? :D



CHORD SHEET:

C Am F G7 C F C A7

D Bm G A7 D G D C7

F Dm Bb C7 F Bb F D7

G Em C D7 G C G E7

A F#m D E7 A D A G7 (return to top) / (last time end with C)



Enjoy and Keep Uke'in',

joeybug
02-25-2011, 06:53 AM
I tried, but keep getting stuck on some chords...I'm still a beginner!

SailingUke
02-25-2011, 07:01 AM
This is one of my favorite exercises.
It will really improve your chord transitions.
The one thing to add is while you are getting the chords under your fingers, be sure to listen to the change.
If you can get the progression(s) under your fingers and in your ears you will be surprised how quickly you will be playing new songs without a printed page in front of you.

cletus
02-25-2011, 07:07 AM
I will be practicing this exercise diligently. Thanks, Uncle Rod!

molokinirum
02-25-2011, 07:50 AM
This is like your Boot Camp...Uncle Rod!!

DAPuke
02-25-2011, 07:52 AM
Thanks Uncle Rod, you're one of the reasons the uke and UU are the best places to be:) You don't have to give a hoot how well we play, but you do. I'll try this tonight. Thanks,

DAP

Strom
02-25-2011, 10:56 AM
This is going to keep me busy for quite awhile. Thanks for all you do to make us better Uke players

Uncle Rod Higuchi
02-25-2011, 01:19 PM
Thanks for the nice words, fellow UUers!

I submitted this thread for two reasons:

1 - to encourage those who may still think that they haven't been making any progress in their attempt to learn to play the ukulele.

2 - to give beginners something to practice, accomplish, and master.

If you want more practice sheets, please click on my Boot Camp link below the picture of the Uncle Rod ukulele in my signature below.

Enjoy, and keep uke'in',

bottlegreen
02-25-2011, 01:24 PM
Bb gets me every stinkin time. We hates the B-flatsins! I still can't do any sort of barred chord.
Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom through UU and Boot Camp. You rock.

Plainsong
02-25-2011, 04:06 PM
Oh yeah?? I'm not a beginner?? Well, I dare you to tell me to play an E! ;)

... or chunk...

de24
02-25-2011, 06:24 PM
I'm currently working on the Boot Camp series now (wonderful resource, btw) and my toughie is the Fm6 chord. Using the the first finger to barre fret one seems impossible to do cleanly due to the higher string tension so close to the nut. Here's how I'm trying it:

1st fret: 1111
2nd fret: 0200
3rd fret: 0003

philpot
02-25-2011, 06:41 PM
Got it, except for the one strum switch to D7, hit a rough spot there xD

Chap
02-25-2011, 07:09 PM
Now I feel even more feeble. :P

brucemoffatt
02-26-2011, 12:53 AM
Hi Uncle Rod, and thanks for posting the exercise.

I've been doing a bit of practice with the 'boot camp' exercises and making steady progress. Great wisdom in those pages Uncle, especially the bit about not watching the fingers of the left hand. That has been a big help.

So, the self-examination tool for beginners looks pretty easy in comparison, doesn't it? No really mind bending chords among them. Should be pretty easy.

I'm still a beginner Uncle. First I had to look up F#m. I couldn't remember it. Of course, when I saw it I was embarrassed - of course, I know that one! So I did the strumming through, and had a bit of trouble making clean changes with some of the chords. I reckon another month or six weeks and I will pass the beginners self-test. Do I get a medal when I pass?? ;)

Also, do you have any tips to get over performance anxiety? I started out not caring what I sound like and who heard it. I had just picked up the instrument after all. Now I just freeze up and forget anything I know as soon as I turn on a video camera or try to demonstrate what I can do for friends and family.

roxhum
02-26-2011, 04:40 AM
I am thinking I will boycott Bm. Someday I will master Bb. I will master those pesky movable chords. But Bm? It doesn't even have a nice symbol.

Plainsong
02-26-2011, 07:08 AM
I forgot to confess that I used Bm7 because it sounds better to me, and it's just barring the 2nd fret anyway. There's only a few songs of the ones I play where I don't do that.

FlakMonkey
02-26-2011, 12:36 PM
Well, I dare you to tell me to play an E!

Anything but that!

Uncle Rod Higuchi
02-26-2011, 01:39 PM
Now, now... make friends with E. a

After that everything else will be a piece of cake... except FM7 (shivers). lol : )

Keep uke'in',

Plainsong
02-26-2011, 05:29 PM
I tried to make friends with E, but it started talking about me behind my back. ;)

brucemoffatt
02-26-2011, 07:29 PM
I can do FM7, it just takes about 3 seconds to get there :)

Bon
02-27-2011, 08:15 PM
Thanks Uncle Rod. Now I know for sure that I'm a beginner...that should be Beginner with a capital B. I'll keep practicing. I have a long way to go.

rreffner
02-28-2011, 02:40 AM
Mahalo Uncle Rod.

Eric Blooduke
02-28-2011, 04:05 AM
Well I now know that I am an official beginner........of course, it it wasn't for Bm, oh and Bb........

But seriously, Uncle Ron, thanks for such a great exercise and I will keep doing the "p" word!!!

Pittsy
03-02-2011, 08:00 AM
Thanks Rod.
Looks like I've got some homework to do. haha

luschen
03-02-2011, 01:44 PM
Yay! I'm not a beginner - does that mean I need to start finger-picking? Uh-oh!

collin415
03-02-2011, 05:01 PM
Thanks for this, Uncle Rod. I've added this exercise to your Boot Camp that I'm trying to work my way through.

GKK
03-02-2011, 07:44 PM
I'm familiar with all the chords but, Bb is the most difficult too me, even when done properly Bb just sounds dull...

Plainsong
03-03-2011, 02:26 AM
So the ideal tempo something like a quarter note = 120?

fitncrafty
03-03-2011, 02:38 AM
I'm familiar with all the chords but, Bb is the most difficult too me, even when done properly Bb just sounds dull...

I know what you mean about Bb. However, I started playing a song that had B in it. Interesting thing, same formation one fret over, and now Bb isn't so bad anymore, Still slows me down a bit, Why? I have no idea... maybe practice the formation in B instead for a little bit. Just my own personal thoughts.

Hippie Dribble
03-03-2011, 02:57 AM
great stuff uncle rod. great exercise....it was like a tongue-twister for me...couldn't help but increase the speed until the inevitable finger confusion and chaos!!! lots of fun mate. Thanks so much

Uncle Rod Higuchi
03-03-2011, 03:00 AM
Hey Eugene Ukulele,

I like the word picture of 'finger confusion and chaos'. Sometimes it does feel like, at speed, our fingers
have minds of their own and start going all over the place. I wonder if Jake, James, et al have the same
experience?

keep uke'in',

hopkid
03-03-2011, 10:12 AM
Mahalo for the test, Uncle Rod. It's nice to have something to judge our progress (I've been playing for 5 weeks now....seems a lot of us are in the same "class" as it were). Since this seems to have morphed into a discussion that includes your Boot Camp, I thought I'd ask a couple of questions regarding my confusion over how some of the chords are noted. I'm sure these are complete beginner questions but I can't seem to figure them out and I haven't run across anyone else asking them. Anyway, my questions are:

- On Sheet #2, Fdim shows a fret positioning of 1010 but the tab looks like it should be 1212.
- On Sheet #3, Am7 shows all open strings but so does C6. I looked online and found Am7 to be 0403. Is that correct?
- On Sheet #4, Adim shows a fret positioning of 3232 but the tab looks the same as Cdim (2323).

Eric Blooduke
03-03-2011, 11:52 AM
Mahalo for the test, Uncle Rod. It's nice to have something to judge our progress (I've been playing for 5 weeks now....seems a lot of us are in the same "class" as it were). Since this seems to have morphed into a discussion that includes your Boot Camp, I thought I'd ask a couple of questions regarding my confusion over how some of the chords are noted. I'm sure these are complete beginner questions but I can't seem to figure them out and I haven't run across anyone else asking them. Anyway, my questions are:

- On Sheet #2, Fdim shows a fret positioning of 1010 but the tab looks like it should be 1212.
- On Sheet #3, Am7 shows all open strings but so does C6. I looked online and found Am7 to be 0403. Is that correct?
- On Sheet #4, Adim shows a fret positioning of 3232 but the tab looks the same as Cdim (2323).

Fdim & G#/Abdim are 1212
Am7 & C6 are 0000
Adim & Cdim are 2323

hopkid
03-03-2011, 01:27 PM
Fdim & G#/Abdim are 1212
Am7 & C6 are 0000
Adim & Cdim are 2323

Mahalo, Eric!

Uncle Rod Higuchi
03-04-2011, 04:19 AM
Thanks Eric!

Sorry for the mistakes. I'll see what I can to do correct them.

Keep uke'in',

Eric Blooduke
03-04-2011, 09:23 AM
No worries Uncle Rod. I think the chord diagrams are all correct. On sheet 5, key of D, the F#7 chord is again displayed correctly but the fret numbers are 3424 (listed as 2313). I use the diagrams in all cases on your pages anyway as they are a great visual way to display the chord structures.

Thanks again for such a great teaching tool.

Thumper
03-04-2011, 10:45 AM
Now, now... make friends with E. a

After that everything else will be a piece of cake... except FM7 (shivers). lol : )



Try 5500 for F maj7 - easy! :)

ichadwick
03-07-2011, 02:23 AM
I can play it, but had to think about F#m a bit. Can't recall using it recently, although I use Fm, so building it in my head wasn't too hard.

But the progression just doesn't make musical sense to me. It doesn't sound like a song...

downtoearthed
03-07-2011, 06:58 AM
That darn B flat...

Thank you Uncle Rod for the bootcamp and this exercise!

YolaGP
03-09-2011, 10:21 AM
Wow! This, plus the boot camp, is a great tool! Thank you Rod!

mailman
03-09-2011, 12:07 PM
Interesting! The thing that strikes me most is that my problem areas seem different than everyone else's. I have no trouble with Bb and Bm. I have a very slight hesitation switching into Em and E7. But my biggest problem is getting a "clean" D. I can polish up Em and E7 with just a bit of practice, but D seems to be really giving me trouble. I've been alternating between fretting the G&C strings with my index finger while my middle finger gets the E string, and trying a three fingered approach, which I form like a squashed G7, all on one fret. Neither is working real well at the moment, and I wanted SO much not to have to call myself a beginner amnymore....

Viola Harpstrings
03-09-2011, 01:15 PM
Alas, it seems as though I will always be a beginner...

devvyleys
03-09-2011, 01:59 PM
Thanks so much, Uncle Rod. My uke just arrived this morning, and I'm doing the boot camp from the start. Naturally I'm not up to it yet, but what is the recommended fingering for Dm6? I'm just trying to put together the fingering notations with the chords.

strumsilly
03-10-2011, 04:19 AM
what, no E chord! my fav, ha ha

hey mailman, I also had problems with a clean D, especially on a soprano w/ limited room, I barr the 2nd fret and use my pinky on the 5th fret, 1st string. make my E the same way, 2 frets up . works for me.

mailman
03-10-2011, 10:36 AM
I have done it that way, as well. But, for the purposes of this self-examination tool, would that be considered cheating?

Uncle Rod Higuchi
03-10-2011, 10:53 AM
There is NO Cheating when it comes to playing the ukulele.

By that I mean, "whatever works for you, works". The locals have a beautiful saying,
"if can, can. If no can, no can".

We watch one another play the uke to learn. But the bottom line is what it sounds like.

Beautiful (read proper or correct) technique that sounds bad is not good ukulele music.

Poor technique that sounds beautiful... and who cares?

So, a D (2220) or (2225) by any other formation is still a D. Go with what you can do.

Keep uke'in',

ukulelecowboy
03-10-2011, 11:13 AM
Thanks so much, Uncle Rod. My uke just arrived this morning, and I'm doing the boot camp from the start. Naturally I'm not up to it yet, but what is the recommended fingering for Dm6? I'm just trying to put together the fingering notations with the chords.


First position would be:
Index: first fret/second string
Middle: second fret/ 4th and 3rd string
Ring: second fret/ first string

Same fingering for a Bm7b5

mailman
03-10-2011, 11:18 AM
There is NO Cheating when it comes to playing the ukulele.

By that I mean, "whatever works for you, works". The locals have a beautiful saying,
"if can, can. If no can, no can".

We watch one another play the uke to learn. But the bottom line is what it sounds like.

Beautiful (read proper or correct) technique that sounds bad is not good ukulele music.

Poor technique that sounds beautiful... and who cares?

So, a D (2220) or (2225) by any other formation is still a D. Go with what you can do.

Keep uke'in',

Glad to hear it! I'm on my way past the "beginner" title!

devvyleys
03-11-2011, 12:49 AM
First position would be:
Index: first fret/second string
Middle: second fret/ 4th and 3rd string
Ring: second fret/ first string

Same fingering for a Bm7b5

Thanks for that, ukulelecowboy. Honestly, that's what I was afraid it was!

cb56
03-11-2011, 02:33 AM
hmmmm.... I use four fingers on the Dm6. I use the normal fingering for a Dm and add my pinky on the 1st string 2nd fret. Seems to work.

Strings 4321
Frets 2212
Fingers 2314

mailman
03-12-2011, 06:50 AM
hmmmm.... I use four fingers on the Dm6. I use the normal fingering for a Dm and add my pinky on the 1st string 2nd fret. Seems to work.

Strings 4321
Frets 2212
Fingers 2314

This works best for me, also....

UncleElvis
03-12-2011, 08:11 AM
Dear Uncle Rod,

I got a bone to pick with you, sir! *grin*

I was quite happily chugging along thinking I was an awesome beginner.
Now, after doing this exercise, I find out I'm just an ok intermediate?

Not cool, man! Not cool! *lol*

(Jus' kiddin'! Thanks for this! I've written it out as an exercise.)

Plainsong
03-12-2011, 12:39 PM
I know, right? Right now I'm just working to get up the tempo without the brains in each finger wandering and thinking of something else during the modulations, and playing different chords suddenly because I wasn't paying attention and they thought a change up would be nice.


Dear Uncle Rod,

I got a bone to pick with you, sir! *grin*

I was quite happily chugging along thinking I was an awesome beginner.
Now, after doing this exercise, I find out I'm just an ok intermediate?

Not cool, man! Not cool! *lol*

(Jus' kiddin'! Thanks for this! I've written it out as an exercise.)

Gmoney
04-02-2011, 01:28 PM
So, tried this when you first poste it... snagged a few places (don't remember where), so moved back to strumming & singing from the 365 days songbook from Jim Beloff. Came back today & the ONLY transition that I consistently stumble over is that dang D --> Bm -- an almost barre to a full barre chord just seems to trip me up. Even the dreaded F --> Bb that some complain about is smooth as silk for me, but that dang barre'd Bm trips me up. Part of it is how I hold the uke & maybe even a bit of old habits. I was a wanna-be-guitarists for most of my adult life & never got past simple chording due to lack of persistence. But, dang it! I'm going get past this Bb & out of the safe "first position" chords if it kills me!

Thanks of the challenge, Uncle Rod. You'll forgive me if I hate you a little in the meantime?!

OldePhart
04-02-2011, 01:35 PM
So, tried this when you first poste it... snagged a few places (don't remember where), so moved back to strumming & singing from the 365 days songbook from Jim Beloff. Came back today & the ONLY transition that I consistently stumble over is that dang D --> Bm -- an almost barre to a full barre chord just seems to trip me up. Even the dreaded F --> Bb that some complain about is smooth as silk for me, but that dang barre'd Bm trips me up. Part of it is how I hold the uke & maybe even a bit of old habits. I was a wanna-be-guitarists for most of my adult life & never got past simple chording due to lack of persistence. But, dang it! I'm going get past this Bb & out of the safe "first position" chords if it kills me!

Thanks of the challenge, Uncle Rod. You'll forgive me if I hate you a little in the meantime?!

Here's a tip that might help, when you're going to be playing a D->Bm sequence play the D with a full barre - i.e. 2225. Then, all you do to go from D to Bm is lift the pinky off the first string as you drop the ring finger onto the third. Piece o' cake.

John

Gmoney
04-02-2011, 01:46 PM
Here's a tip that might help, when you're going to be playing a D->Bm sequence play the D with a full barre - i.e. 2225. Then, all you do to go from D to Bm is lift the pinky off the first string as you drop the ring finger onto the third. Piece o' cake.


SEE!?! There you go getting me our of my "first position" safe zone! It works, of course, but now I cringe getting BACK to A7.

Thanks for the nudge - I'm gonna beat this thing!

Uncle Rod Higuchi
04-04-2011, 01:31 PM
'Hate' away.

All I can say is,

Keep uke'in',

OldePhart
04-05-2011, 12:18 PM
SEE!?! There you go getting me our of my "first position" safe zone! It works, of course, but now I cringe getting BACK to A7.

Thanks for the nudge - I'm gonna beat this thing!

Heh, heh. "Barre" the A7, too, except that your index finger would be "barring" the nut so there is no need to actually lower it. I.e. instead of completely changing the shape of your hand to make the A7 with your index finger on the third string, use your second finger instead. You can also make the G as a barre at the second fret and...wait a minute...the whole song gets played at the second fret except for that little slip up to the open A7 with the second finger! :)

This is why I keep stressing the point that when you are learning a song you shouldn't think of it as a collection of chords, but a collection of chord changes. So, the first thing you do when you look at a new song is "map" it in your head to figure out which fingering of each chord that you are going to use to facilitate the changes.

John

Ambrosius
04-06-2011, 12:18 AM
...
This is why I keep stressing the point that when you are learning a song you shouldn't think of it as a collection of chords, but a collection of chord changes. So, the first thing you do when you look at a new song is "map" it in your head to figure out which fingering of each chord that you are going to use to facilitate the changes.
...


I've seen you have been on to this before, John. It's a VERY good advice. Keep this in mind all my dear fellow beginners.

PS. My add4s rings like a bell thks to you :-)

OldePhart
04-06-2011, 11:19 AM
I've seen you have been on to this before, John. It's a VERY good advice. Keep this in mind all my dear fellow beginners.

PS. My add4s rings like a bell thks to you :-)

Ahhh, shucks. <scuffs toe>

Seriously, we won't talk about how many years it took me to figure this out for myself (one of the problems with being self taught, I guess)! It clicked for me a few years ago when I was learning "California Dreaming" on guitar. I suddenly had a "duh!" moment and realized that some places I needed to play an open G and other places I needed to barre the G if I was ever going to get a smooth presentation and in and out of the minor chords fluidly.

John

Ambrosius
04-06-2011, 10:54 PM
Ahhh, shucks. <scuffs toe>

Seriously, we won't talk about how many years it took me to figure this out for myself (one of the problems with being self taught, I guess)! It clicked for me a few years ago when I was learning "California Dreaming" on guitar. I suddenly had a "duh!" moment and realized that some places I needed to play an open G and other places I needed to barre the G if I was ever going to get a smooth presentation and in and out of the minor chords fluidly.

John

John, you are a modest man :-) Your advice has helped me more than once.

For me, I can make most of the chords to ring clean by tweeking, streching and bending my poor fingers. (Even the add4 now). The problem is the "access" time. That's the hinder to make the music I like. Music is timing and flow, - dynamics. I've found planning ahead and practising chord changes is crucial. One of the very fine things with the ukulele vs. guitar is, - four strings / four fingers. With that I mean access to higher part of the fretboart without the use of barre chords. Hard to do, but good (and fun) practise.

siesta171
04-07-2011, 01:56 AM
Thanks so much for the practice exercise. Been a struggling beginner for a few months having the usual highs and lows. You have re-energized me. Looks like I am am making progress... sort of...

Inner Prop
04-07-2011, 02:01 AM
I noticed that when I'm going fast changing chords that if I can just get my fingers down before I strum the string they're on I can get it (does that make sense?). It's like my left hand is racing my right. Of course some chords I can just grab, but for more complicated ones, or to re-orient myself (sometimes I just need a starting point) I need to get at least one finger down.

I'm still a beginner by this test btw, playing since Christmas day (pitiful I suppose).

I also noticed that some people say they can't barre chords, but I find the barre chords easiest. Any time I can get more than one string down with one finger is best for me. Am I doing something wrong?

Uncle Rod Higuchi
04-07-2011, 09:22 AM
Remember the FIRST 'rule' of playing the ukulele - It must be fun! or something like that.

Don't be too hard on yourself. The neat thing is that eventually you'll experience that
"Ah-Ha" moment when it all comes together.

If we handed you a uke a few months ago - What would you do with it? But NOW, hey,
you can actually PLAY it. That's real progress!

'Beginner', 'Intermediate', even 'Advanced' are NOT clear-cut 'levels'. We throw them
about and may try to categorize ourselves or even others. But, like beauty, it's really
in the eyes (or in this case - ears?) of the beholder/be-hearer!

The post is a 'SET-UP' - just for fun... but with a little bit of challenge for sure.

Hey, if you're having fun with it... Great! If not, forget it.

Glad to be a fellow uker with all of you!

keep uke'in',

SuzukHammer
04-07-2011, 07:44 PM
Uncle Rod,

I dig it. You provide something that is somewhat a core question for persons studying any instrument.

I think its great as a method for the strummers.

I can envision more "setups" for topics in fingering , music theory (chord families), knowledge of strums, knowledge of turnarounds and intros.

As always, you provide easy and cheap methods for gauging and practice.

ADD
10-07-2011, 12:06 AM
I am thinking I will boycott Bm. Someday I will master Bb. I will master those pesky movable chords. But Bm? It doesn't even have a nice symbol.

I'm with you on that Bm especially on a tenor uke.

Manalishi
10-07-2011, 01:09 AM
ADD,You ought to try Bm,and E on a Baritone Ukulele!
Reminds me of my guitar playing past!

Coconut Willie
10-07-2011, 05:09 AM
Hey....my graduation day is here!!!! No longer a beginner!!!!!

Uncle Rod Higuchi
10-07-2011, 06:32 AM
Congratulations to any and all who were able to work through the "SET UP"!

In lieu of an achievement certificate, go out and feed your UAS! (Only if you can afford to do so)

Keep uke'in',

GKK
10-07-2011, 09:48 AM
I'm with you on that Bm especially on a tenor uke.
I first wanted to substitute BM with BM7 when playing the proficiency test but, I said to myself "you're going to learn it the correct way!" So, I took it slow and formed the chord and kept practicing.

Now, BM is no problem!...In fact, I play the test like a song sometimes just for fun.

Nickie
10-07-2011, 10:01 PM
Dear Professor Higuchi,
Thanks for your help. It seems that I am still waaaaay a beginner.
However, I often take my ukulele to work with me, and my caregivers ask me to play for my patients. I played for a lady who was so restless one night, that she was up every 10 minutes or so, checking out the rest of her house. Her deceased husband was a jazz pianist, and so I figured, what the heck, while she is on her own bed for a minute, let me practice. She sat there and watched me and didn't move from her bed the rest of the night. She didn't sleep, but she stopped getting up and walking around. Her daughter couldn't thank me enough times. She went and got a laptop, put her grandchildren on Skype, and asked me to play for them. I watched their little mouths hang open and stare at me (I thought they were thinking, "What a geek") but they were going, "look at that, I wanna do that, Daddy."
So I guess even a rank beginner like me can show off a little.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
12-05-2011, 11:43 AM
Thanks so much for sharing the anecdote. It truly is amazing how much delight it gives some people
when we play and sing for them.

Thanks for taking the time and making the effort, getting out of your comfort zone, and all that.

Have a very Merry Christmas,

Here's an early gift for you:

http://www.4shared.com/audio/5_P2YQpM/The_Burglar.html

keep uke'in'

Steedy
12-05-2011, 03:19 PM
Awesome thread. Mahalo!

sugengshi
12-05-2011, 09:22 PM
I love the chords sequence provided by Uncle Rod Higuchi. Using those as exercises, they have become like a music of its own. I am enjoying every moment of the exercise.

RonnieD
12-06-2011, 09:37 AM
I want to say a big Thank You also, as a total newbie to playing this is certainly what I need to practice. I wrote the chords down and then put tabs underneath the chords I didn't know, and played for at least an hour. This is the kinda of practice material that makes learning fun, and not work. Thank you again for the post.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
12-06-2011, 11:22 AM
I'm glad some of you are enjoying the 'Test'.

Merry Christmas,

keep uke'in',

kaizersoza
12-06-2011, 01:02 PM
this challenge is damn good, it shows me how i am progressing with my uke, yes Bm is a sticking point and yes Bb is also an awkward chord, i am nearly there, but i am going to practise till my fingers bleed to get this progression down to pat, thanx for the challenge Uncle Rod you are da man!, Are there any more of these challenges on the site, i have been doing Uncle Rods boot camp for months and i use it everyday as part of my warm up

Uncle Rod Higuchi
12-06-2011, 03:34 PM
Anyone can create their own 'test' using each of the keys (first chord in each line).

What you'll need to do is to find the 7th chord at the end of the line just BEFORE the line/key you want to use,
as that would be the 'natural' lead-in chord for that key. Clear as mud?

OK you will want to play a G7 before going to the key of C,
C7 will lead in to the key of F,
E7 will lead in to the key of A
A7 will lead in to the key of D
D7 will lead in to the key of G

If you follow these guidelines you can mix up the order, just remember the 7th chord that leads into the next key.

Have fun and keep uke'in',

UKEON TERRITORY
12-06-2011, 03:43 PM
Dear Professor Higuchi,
Thanks for your help. It seems that I am still waaaaay a beginner.
However, I often take my ukulele to work with me, and my caregivers ask me to play for my patients. I played for a lady who was so restless one night, that she was up every 10 minutes or so, checking out the rest of her house. Her deceased husband was a jazz pianist, and so I figured, what the heck, while she is on her own bed for a minute, let me practice. She sat there and watched me and didn't move from her bed the rest of the night. She didn't sleep, but she stopped getting up and walking around. Her daughter couldn't thank me enough times. She went and got a laptop, put her grandchildren on Skype, and asked me to play for them. I watched their little mouths hang open and stare at me (I thought they were thinking, "What a geek") but they were going, "look at that, I wanna do that, Daddy."
So I guess even a rank beginner like me can show off a little.

Now that is what life is ALL ABOUT ! Good job !

UKEON TERRITORY
12-06-2011, 03:53 PM
Just now ran across this thread and it fully varifies that my self learning techniques may not be as odd as I thought they were . I've only bought my first Uke about 4 weeks ago with NOONE to help me learn . I've been working on chords everyday for an hour or more since I got the thing .

I've ( sort of ) learned about 15 chords and have just been sitting around doing random chord changes with no rhyme or reason with little to no concern whether I am in any key . I've just been going through the chords as of they are ABc's from front to back , back to front alphebeitically in all majot chords . Then going back through on a second sequence throwing in the minor chords I've learned along the way alphabetically as well . Then of course going back through the akphabetical chord progressions with all the majors , minors and adding the 7ths .

Any critiques on me doing such as that would be all to appreciated . I've been having an outlandish blast with this little Concert Uke since minute one and can't put it down unless my fingures get so sore I can't touch the strings or my hand and wrist cramps so bad I can't move them . lol lol

Glad I saw this as a challenge . Made me feel pretty good about my self teaching tactics . lol lol

Teek
12-07-2011, 12:03 AM
Merry Christmas Uncle Rod!

I have to thank you for Boot Camp, I have had it in my practice practice practic folder and moved it to my desktop a couple of months ago so I would try to pick up a uke once in a while. My jobs were excessive and my hands were feeling the strain, with hot swollen sore joints, and I was so discouraged and depressed I just looked at a uke and felt it was pointless. Too often it seemed when I had a bit of time my fingers were wrecked from work, when they were better I had no time to slow down for some uke minutes. But every now and then I would just sit down and go through Boot Camp. I knew it was a great exercise.

So for not really trying to play anything for at least the last 8 months, but doing a little Boot Camp, I was mostly able to go through the exercise mostly cleanly on two strums. So I added it to my exercises. For how much time I have had off from my ukes, it was encouraging, and it's all because you offered BC to the community.

:smileybounce:

Uncle Rod Higuchi
12-07-2011, 09:31 AM
Hey RAGZDADDY,

please feel free to click the link below my signature for the Boot Camp.

I hope you find those exercises helpful.

keep uke'in',

UKEON TERRITORY
12-07-2011, 03:21 PM
Much graci !



QUOTE=Uncle Rod Higuchi;818052]Hey RAGZDADDY,

please feel free to click the link below my signature for the Boot Camp.

I hope you find those exercises helpful.

keep uke'in',[/QUOTE]

ukuleledaveey
12-21-2011, 03:57 AM
many thanks for this i was doing ok till i got to the Bb :) but on the positive side i knew all the chord shapes so that is a small achivement but im still a beginner :) i tried finger picking them all as well, im gonna practice this all over the xmas break, thanks so much for this exercise :) happy holidays everyone

kaizersoza
12-21-2011, 06:58 AM
Anyone can create their own 'test' using each of the keys (first chord in each line).

What you'll need to do is to find the 7th chord at the end of the line just BEFORE the line/key you want to use,
as that would be the 'natural' lead-in chord for that key. Clear as mud?

OK you will want to play a G7 before going to the key of C,
C7 will lead in to the key of F,
E7 will lead in to the key of A
A7 will lead in to the key of D
D7 will lead in to the key of G

If you follow these guidelines you can mix up the order, just remember the 7th chord that leads into the next key.

Have fun and keep uke'in',

Ok thats cool, i am gonna give it a go, as for progress on your original, after a couple of weeks i am actually getting somewhere, not there yet but almost, great fun and one hell of a challenge, thanx Uncle Rod

raiden590
12-22-2011, 09:44 AM
The one chord that will still give me problems isnt even Fm7, its just Fm. How different is Fm7?

toolate4chickenfries
12-28-2011, 05:46 AM
I can do 1 strum per second (60bpm) through the whole sequence, except for F#m! For some reason that one keeps throwing me off...

Uncle Rod Higuchi
12-28-2011, 07:00 AM
Happy New Year Everyone! Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!

UkuleleDaveey, keep up the good work. For a good picking pattern, look up Gordon Mark (2 min lesson) for a 6-pick pattern.

Kaisersoza, before you know it, it will seem natural and any ukulele songsheet with chord names will be a piece of cake for you and you'll be miles ahead of your peers and in a position to assist them along in their journey toward ukulele mastery.

Raiden590, way to go! If you can finger Fm7, then Fm should be no problem. Fm7 uses 4 fingers and Fm uses 3 in the same position except with the 3rd string open. I confess I generally like to substitute an Fm6 (1213) for the Fm (1013) chord. I like the sound, although it doesn't work all the time.

Toolate4chickenfries, just think of the F#m as a G7 shape using strings 2-3-4, instead of 1-2-3. PS I also use the G chord form on strings 2-3-4, at the 2nd fret, for my B7 sometimes.

Thanks for sharing your comments and progress! Please encourage your ukulele-playing friends to give it a try. Also, please direct them to the Boot Camp for a fuller, and more comprehensive, challenge. (Boot Camp and FREE Songbook links below my signature)

I'm glad that so many of you are enjoying this SET-UP, and that some of you are also moving on to the Boot Camp. Like Miltary Boot Camp it can seem like hard work and drugery at times (maybe all the time), but check out the FREE Songbook to see the 'system' as it is applied to learning new songs. Just create your own 'Practice Sheets' and you'll be playing your favorite songs in no time!

May your 2012 be even more rewarding than all years past! (wait until 2013, the chord will sound better!)

And may our beloved UkuleleUnderground.com welcome many, many more like-minded and sweet-spirited new Ohana members.

Mahalo Nui Loa, UU creators and maintainers!

Keep uke'in' everyone!

CountryMouse
03-03-2012, 09:28 AM
This is a SET-UP, lol :D - just for fun.

Still consider yourself a 'Beginner'? :confused:

Play through the following Chord Sheet, left to right, top to bottom, 4 times.

FIRST time - 4 strums per chord
SECOND time - 3 strums per chord
THIRD time - 2 strums per chord
FOURTH time - 1 strum per chord... end with C.

Set your own tempo and try NOT to 'break your stride'. Your eventual GOAL would be
1-2 strums per second.

If you can play through the chord sheet without breaking your stride/tempo, especially
at 1-2 strums per second, do NOT label yourself a 'Beginner'.

Hand someone a properly-tuned ukulele and ask them to play through the chord sheet.
If they can do it at an even tempo without interruption, how can you call them a
'Beginner'? :D



CHORD SHEET:

C Am F G7 C F C A7

D Bm G A7 D G D C7

F Dm Bb C7 F Bb F D7

G Em C D7 G C G E7

A F#m D E7 A D A G7 (return to top) / (last time end with C)



Enjoy and Keep Uke'in',

I've been playing since August 2009, but I'll never get beyond beginner, it seems. I just can't make some of those chord changes that fast (especially on the one strum per chord). And Bm and Em still kill me. I can get there, but not fast. And there's the ever-unpopular Bb. Hate it. I can't get a clear tone reliably on that one.

Oh well.

Mousie

Monami
03-05-2012, 08:41 PM
ahhh almost not a beginner! just need to get used to that Bb x]

Nickie
03-05-2012, 08:46 PM
Well, I can get to all of them pretty well, except the darn Bb. I had to look up F#m... never use it!

Gottaa
03-08-2012, 02:45 AM
Oops, two threads, well same thing though for those that like Chordpro

{t:Practise}
{st:Uncle Rod}

1 to 2 Strums a second is the target speed (1/1 Time)

4 [C]Strums, 4 [Am]Strums, 4 [F]Strums, 4 [G7]Strums, 4 [C]Strums, 4 [F]Strums, 4 [C]Strums, 4 [A7]Strums
4 [D]Strums, 4 [Em]Strums, 4 [G]Strums, 4 [A7]Strums, 4 [D]Strums, 4 [G]Strums, 4 [D]Strums, 4 [C7]Strums
4 [F]Strums, 4 [Dm]Strums, 4 [Bb]Strums, 4 [C7]Strums, 4 [F]Strums, 4 [Bb]Strums, 4 [F]Strums, 4 [D7]Strums
4 [G]Strums, 4 [Em]Strums, 4 [C]Strums, 4 [D7]Strums, 4 [G]Strums, 4 [C]Strums, 4 [CGStrums, 4 [E7]Strums
4 [A]Strums, 4 [F#m]Strums, 4 [D]Strums, 4 [E7]Strums, 4 [A]Strums, 4 [D]Strums, 4 [A]Strums, 4 [G7]Strums

3 [C]Strums, 3 [Am]Strums, 3 [F]Strums, 3 [G7]Strums, 3 [C]Strums, 3 [F]Strums, 3 [C]Strums, 3 [A7]Strums
3 [D]Strums, 3 [Em]Strums, 3 [G]Strums, 3 [A7]Strums, 3 [D]Strums, 3 [G]Strums, 3 [D]Strums, 3 [C7]Strums
3 [F]Strums, 3 [Dm]Strums, 3 [Bb]Strums, 3 [C7]Strums, 3 [F]Strums, 3 [Bb]Strums, 3 [F]Strums, 3 [D7]Strums
3 [G]Strums, 3 [Em]Strums, 3 [C]Strums, 3 [D7]Strums, 3 [G]Strums, 3 [C]Strums, 3 [CGStrums, 3 [E7]Strums
3 [A]Strums, 3 [F#m]Strums, 3 [D]Strums, 3 [E7]Strums, 3 [A]Strums, 3 [D]Strums, 3 [A]Strums, 3 [G7]Strums

2 [C]Strums, 2 [Am]Strums, 2 [F]Strums, 2 [G7]Strums, 2 [C]Strums, 2 [F]Strums, 2 [C]Strums, 2 [A7]Strums
2 [D]Strums, 2 [Em]Strums, 2 [G]Strums, 2 [A7]Strums, 2 [D]Strums, 2 [G]Strums, 2 [D]Strums, 2 [C7]Strums
2 [F]Strums, 2 [Dm]Strums, 2 [Bb]Strums, 2 [C7]Strums, 2 [F]Strums, 2 [Bb]Strums, 2 [F]Strums, 2 [D7]Strums
2 [G]Strums, 2 [Em]Strums, 2 [C]Strums, 2 [D7]Strums, 2 [G]Strums, 2 [C]Strums, 2 [CGStrums, 2 [E7]Strums
2 [A]Strums, 2 [F#m]Strums, 2 [D]Strums, 2 [E7]Strums, 2 [A]Strums, 2 [D]Strums, 2 [A]Strums, 2 [G7]Strums

1 [C]Strum, 1 [Am]Strum, 1 [F]Strum, 1 [G7]Strum, 1 [C]Strum, 1 [F]Strum, 1 [C]Strum, 1 [A7]Strum
1 [D]Strum, 1 [Em]Strum, 1 [G]Strum, 1 [A7]Strum, 1 [D]Strum, 1 [G]Strum, 1 [D]Strum, 1 [C7]Strum
1 [F]Strum, 1 [Dm]Strum, 1 [Bb]Strum, 1 [C7]Strum, 1 [F]Strum, 1 [Bb]Strum, 1 [F]Strum, 1 [D7]Strum
1 [G]Strum, 1 [Em]Strum, 1 [C]Strum, 1 [D7]Strum, 1 [G]Strum, 1 [C]Strum, 1 [CGStrum, 1 [E7]Strum
1 [A]Strum, 1 [F#m]Strum, 1 [D]Strum, 1 [E7]Strum, 1 [A]Strum, 1 [D]Strum, 1 [A]Strum, 1 [G7]Strum, 1 [C]Strum