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jimdville
06-29-2011, 05:00 AM
Memorize songs using the Circle of 5ths? You bet! Find out how. http://playukulelebyear.blogspot.com

Ukuleleblues
06-29-2011, 05:14 AM
Jim,

I've been trying to get our club to deep six the paper for years. Any suggestions? Also do you have a simple explaination of the Circle of 5ths I could share with them?

Dougf
06-29-2011, 05:52 AM
Here's the wiki article, pretty interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_of_fifths

70sSanO
06-29-2011, 09:17 AM
Ukuleleblues,

I'vr played guitar and ukulele for years and whenever I see something on the Circle of Fifths, I'll read up a little on it but don't find that practical use moment. I do understand the major-minor relationship, especially when you look at chord shapes.

So when this thread came up, again, I decided to do some searching, even looked at the Dummies stuff. But I found the link below that actually has some practical use in understanding the if-I-have-this-chord-what-do-I-play-next stuff. I don't know if it will help but...

http://www.guitarforbeginners.com/forum/index.php?/topic/5079-the-circle-of-fifths/

John

jimdville
06-29-2011, 09:25 AM
For an easy to understand explanation of the Circle of 5ths, starting from the beginning, go the The Circle archives on my site (right-hand column and scroll down. Also, if anyone has any basic questions about applying Circle of 5ths knowledge to their playing, I'd be more than happy to answer them. http://playukulelebyear.blogspot.com

mm stan
06-29-2011, 09:48 AM
Aloha Jim,
As always good stuff....I appriciate you sharing it with all of us...Many thanks and happy strummings..MM Stan

SailingUke
06-29-2011, 10:01 AM
Jim,

I've been trying to get our club to deep six the paper for years. Any suggestions? Also do you have a simple explaination of the Circle of 5ths I could share with them?

I met Jim a few years ago and he was preaching to get out of the book. I so identified with his mission that I too work with folks to ween themselves from the paper.
It is a tireless mission and is met with much resistance. My hint to you is to make arrangements with Jim to come visit your club (Jim, Charleston is a nice place).

I have Jim coming to Ventura 7/10/2011 for a workshop and hopefully assist with the mission.

jimdville
06-29-2011, 07:17 PM
Jim,

I've been trying to get our club to deep six the paper for years. Any suggestions? Also do you have a simple explanation of the Circle of 5ths I could share with them? An easy way to get folks excited and learning about the circle is to simply show them the I to V7 to I relationships and how to play simple two-chord songs in any key (C-G7-C, G-D7-G, D-A7-D etc. a 5th up at at time all the way around the circle). That's the first step.

ricdoug
06-29-2011, 07:48 PM
I have musicians scotch tape this to the top side of their ukes:

Key_Chord Progression.......................Key...Vamp

C - ..C.....C7....F....Fm....G7....C...........C -...D7...G7...C....

F - ..F......F7....Bb..Bbm..C7....F............F -...G7...C7...F....

A - ..A.....A7....D....Dm...E7.....A...........A -...B7....E7...A...

G - ..G....G7....C....Cm...D7....G...........G -...A7...D7...G...

D - ..D....D7....G....Gm...A7....D............D -...E7...A7...D...

I show them how to playing each line straight through. This familiarizes them with common chords in common keys. There are many who feel the need for songsheets. To them, I say "Cool!!". Not everybody's wired the same way - NO SHAME! When it comes to playing by ear - some will, some won't, so what?!

Circle of 5th's:

http://ukuleletonya.com/files/transposing_wheel.pdf

When I see videos of groups like Yesterukes and CC Strummers performing at retirement homes or by themselves, using songsheets, I also see the smiles on the faces of their audiences:

http://www.calirose.com/calendar.html

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=cc+strummers&aq=f

http://yesterukes.blogspot.com/

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=yesterukes&aq=f

That's the kind of musical experience that makes the hairs on your arms stand straight up! Don't misinterpret my message, here. I'd like to see as many as possible play ukulele by ear as I do, but I'm equally O.K if they prefer songsheets. Ric

ricdoug
06-29-2011, 07:54 PM
Ukuleleblues,

I'vr played guitar and ukulele for years and whenever I see something on the Circle of Fifths, I'll read up a little on it but don't find that practical use moment. I do understand the major-minor relationship, especially when you look at chord shapes.

So when this thread came up, again, I decided to do some searching, even looked at the Dummies stuff. But I found the link below that actually has some practical use in understanding the if-I-have-this-chord-what-do-I-play-next stuff. I don't know if it will help but...

http://www.guitarforbeginners.com/forum/index.php?/topic/5079-the-circle-of-fifths/

John

John, are you in San Onofre? If so, come on down to:

http://www.meetup.com/ukulelesundays

Ukulele Sundays 5PM - 7PM every Sunday
Hulaville
2720 Camino Capistrano
San Clemente, CA 92672
(949)369-1905

Lori
06-30-2011, 06:38 AM
I am still going to need song sheets for lyrics. I have lots of song lyrics memorized, but these ukulele groups have introduced me to many songs that are kind of familiar, but not really memorized. Also, some of the old-timey songs have a lot of "extra" uke chords that add a lot of interest. I would like to get to the point where I could anticipate those changes too.

–Lori

Canuke
06-30-2011, 08:37 AM
I find it just takes a day or two to memorize a song from a sheet. But there are a couple of songs that I cannot find chords for and I am not musical enough to figure out the chords. Or even the key.

jimdville
06-30-2011, 11:09 AM
I find it just takes a day or two to memorize a song from a sheet. But there are a couple of songs that I cannot find chords for and I am not musical enough to figure out the chords. Or even the key. I'll be posting something soon about how to find the key of a song.

sbarron
06-30-2011, 11:19 AM
Thank you for these articles, they are superb. I've bought the first dvd download, going to pick up the second, too. Great stuff!

-Scott

Rick Turner
06-30-2011, 11:42 AM
As someone who has played guitar for over 50 years, and now uke seriously for about four years, I'm finding it a real challenge...and treat...to be working up Ellington, Goodman, Reinhardt, Carmichael, etc. on uke...and not cheating by dumbing down the changes. I'm doing lead sheets in GoChords, then making sure I like the key...and that the singer in my band can sing in the key...and then I'm custom making chord charts of the inversions I need to play real chord melody parts.

Jim's work with instruction is outstanding, and learning things like the circle of 5ths will ultimately demystify a lot...especially transpositions from one key to another.

Another thing that helps is the "Nashville Number System".

When working up arrangements, I now scour the Internet for the music...and often find that the guitar tab or chord arrangements simply do not work or are flat out wrong. At least they are a start.

As far as finding the key goes, well, there's nothing quite like simply learning to play the basic melody single string style, then find appropriate chords one at a time. You'll find the key if you can play the melody unless it's something really outside. Ditto on finding the chords; play the melody single string, then add a second string harmony part, and you're literally at least half-way there. Sometimes the melody will be on top of the chord, sometimes it's at the bottom, but except for passing notes, the chords will be derived from the melody.

BTW, YouTube is invaluable for learning material...as long as you don't mind learning in some perhaps inconvenient keys.

Also, while open strings are nice, they're also a deadly trap. Try taking some familiar tunes and transposing them one half step at a time. Learn to get along without relying on open strings; learn those other inversions of the chords; and don't be afraid of going up the neck.

Dougf
06-30-2011, 11:57 AM
Rick, you should definitely check out wikifonia, which I just learned about recently from 23skidoo. Here's a link to that thread:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?49025-Wikofonia-free-lead-sheets!&highlight=wikifonia

And here's wikifonia:

http://www.wikifonia.org/sheet

Rick Turner
06-30-2011, 12:36 PM
Well, unfortunately, that's what I'm talking about! The first tune I looked for, Django Reinhardt's "Nuages" is not in the key found on the YouTube version I'm working from (F), and the changes themselves are not what I hear as appropriate under that melody. Django used a lot of diminished chords...and sometimes they were implied as extensions of minor 7ths, but that diminished sound is pure Django. Some of it's also in working the voicings and inversions appropriately to carry the melody through.

But it's another resource that I'll certainly use for cross-reference, and they've got the right material there.

Dougf
06-30-2011, 01:13 PM
Well, unfortunately, that's what I'm talking about! The first tune I looked for, Django Reinhardt's "Nuages" is not in the key found on the YouTube version I'm working from (F), and the changes themselves are not what I hear as appropriate under that melody. Django used a lot of diminished chords...and sometimes they were implied as extensions of minor 7ths, but that diminished sound is pure Django. Some of it's also in working the voicings and inversions appropriately to carry the melody through.

But it's another resource that I'll certainly use for cross-reference, and they've got the right material there.

I think that's pretty much they way it goes with lead sheets, and figuring out your own harmonic substitutions will always be a bit of an art. But they do have buttons to transpose to C, Bb, or Eb.

jimdville
07-01-2011, 10:27 AM
[QUOTE=
Jim's work with instruction is outstanding, and learning things like the circle of 5ths will ultimately demystify a lot...especially transpositions from one key to another. [/QUOTE]

Thanks for the kind words, Rick.

Ukuleleblues
07-01-2011, 01:41 PM
What great information!! I am still baffled that our club members are so resistant to even learning 1 song by heart. Even a 2 chord song like Jambalaya. It's so weird to be in a room with 10 people staring at sheet music and agonizing over the chord changes when it is only a C and G.

Folks in the group keep on saying "I want to get better at picking and playin" and I say deep-six the sheet music and they don't. Maybe I should say "Eat Granola for Breakfast and have pure thoughts." We have classes with different teachers, they pay for them and they go over simple theroy (I IV V) and they ask for more sheet music ("Can you write that down?"). I am about to give up. I started calling the "Jams" "Paper Jams". Maybe it's time to move on.

Rick Turner
07-01-2011, 02:21 PM
One issue with GoChords is that when you custom build chord inversions, if you use them in a version of a song and then try to use the transpose function...which allows for all keys...your custom chords do not transpose. Therefore it's best to use the standard catalog of chords, however you derive them, then transpose, save that version as your backup, then finally add in custom chord inversions as your working copy. You won't be able to easily transpose your working copy, but you'll have the simple first and second position changes correct in the backup, and you can always go back, automatically transpose that version, and then hand add in your custom chord shapes.

It would be a bit of a trick to get custom chords to transpose easily; you could find some chord shapes simply unplayable in new positions on the fingerboard.

A minor issue, though...

It would also be nice to be able to simply type in the chord name and have the fingerboard chart automatically appear. Oh, well, I'll be a software writer in my next life...

70sSanO
07-01-2011, 05:14 PM
John, are you in San Onofre?

My avatar pic was taken at SanO. I don't get out as much as I use to, but got out today.

Our daugthter mentioned Hulaville, but I haven't been there yet.

John

jimdville
07-02-2011, 05:08 AM
"I am about to give up. I started calling the "Jams" "Paper Jams". Maybe it's time to move on."

You must be strong! Do not hand out paper for two chord songs. If someone in a workshop asks me for a handout I say "I used to have a hand-out explaining why I don't give hand-outs, but I've run out of copies."