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airmanfoote
09-28-2011, 04:29 PM
Hey all!

I am brand new to the 'ukulele and stringed instruments in general. I have not played an instrument since I graduated high school, over 10 years ago. My experience is with wind instruments, mostly the clarinet.

I am basically looking for some real guidance. A structured lesson plan of sort. I have picked up a book, Ukulele for Dummies, but it focuses more on teaching how to play a song in 5 minutes and going from there, and lacks quite alot of music theory related to the uke.

I don't want to just learn some common chords and strumming patterns to be able to play songs. I'm used to reading sheet music and would love to just be able to SEE and know the notes on the fretboard. I would really love to master the instrument itself, and not just songs.

Are there any actual 'ukulele teachers out there? Teaching myself a new instrument is a new path for me. I guess what I'm saying is; I was in the military. I got used to structure and order. I'm lost without an organized lesson plan. Anybody? Thanks in advance!

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
09-28-2011, 05:21 PM
Chalmers Doane has been teaching music via the ukulele up in Canada since the 70s. He and James Hill have put together the books you're describing. Check out Ukulele Yes! (http://www.ukuleleyes.com/issues/vol10/no3/) to get an idea where they're coming from, and check out their Ukulele in the Classroom (http://www.ukuleleintheclassroom.com/) series of books.

BTW, many mahalos for your military service.

airmanfoote
09-28-2011, 05:52 PM
OnlyUke- Thank you. I think those sites may be the only ones that matter ;) Yes! That is exactly what i'm looking for. Again, thank you. Also, I never had the luxury of learning piano either, so I lack the knowledge of the theory behind chords and such. Any good pure music theory books you can recommend? I would eventually like to be able to transpose and arrange music myself.

BTW, there really is no need to thank me, but thanks. :)

foxfair
09-28-2011, 06:02 PM
I'd suggest to sign up UU+ (http://ukuleleunderground.com/uuplus) too, there are series of organized lessons you can take and learn on Internet. UUU 101, 102, blue and others...

airmanfoote
09-28-2011, 06:43 PM
Sh-shoot! I was leaning towards joining Plus, but wasn't sure exactly what it was. I scrolled through the video categories and noticed there are quite a few different lessons. What exactly is the University?

Thanks!

foxfair
09-28-2011, 07:13 PM
UUU is a set of pre-recorded videos which Aldrine gave recently, lesson contents are covered by basic chord, strumming, song learning and later on picking, musical theory etc.
Check this link out and there are topic highlight for each section at the right side. I'm in UUU101-- week 7 or 8 now and I would say it worths every penny.

http://school.ukuleleunderground.com/

cheers,

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
09-29-2011, 06:14 AM
OnlyUke- Thank you. I think those sites may be the only ones that matter ;) Yes! That is exactly what i'm looking for. Again, thank you. Also, I never had the luxury of learning piano either, so I lack the knowledge of the theory behind chords and such. Any good pure music theory books you can recommend? I would eventually like to be able to transpose and arrange music myself.

BTW, there really is no need to thank me, but thanks. :)Glad to help.

No clue on music theory books. Luckily music theory's not as esoteric as quality ukulele instruction. Your local library should have more than a few options---shouldn't be difficult to find one that works for you.

Ah, you've reminded me to head down to my library and find just such a book. Great thread!

KamakOzzie
09-29-2011, 09:28 AM
Hi Nick, welcome to UU. You might want to check out the "Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory" by Micheal Miller. It's not instrument specific, but covers a lot of ground in the theory department. Scales, intervals, chords & chord progressions, keys & time signatures, etc.
With your woodwind background, you already have a head start.

Bill

sukie
09-29-2011, 11:16 AM
Here is my thought (and it comes from experience) --

Spend time learning the fret board. Get it memorized.
Learn the scales. They come in handy.
Learn the different positions for chords. This has many uses.
Find some easy fun stuff to play around with. Practice should be fun.

OldePhart
09-29-2011, 01:18 PM
Probably the biggest thing to remember is that in moving from wind instruments to the ukulele you are pretty much moving from a monphonic melody instrument to a polyphonic rhythm instrument. It's not that you can't play melody on a uke, but as a solo instrument the melody alone is very thin because ukes don't have much sustain. If you watch the truly virtuoso solo performers like Jake, James Hill, etc., they all combine elements of rhythm and "chord melodies" into their performance. It's a totally different approach than playing a wind instrument.

As a wind player you may not have absorbed a lot of chord and interval theory and that is pretty essential to learn playing uke (or guitar, etc.) if you are going to go beyond just aping what you see in various tutorials.

I'm not aware of any books covering that kind of theory specifically for the uke (doesn't mean there aren't any, I'm just not aware of them). However, any good guitar resources that discuss chord construction, intervals, scales, and modes will apply equally well to ukulele (in fact, capo a guitar at the fifth fret and play only the four highest strings and you're playing a "low-g" tuned ukulele).

John

joeybug
09-29-2011, 01:34 PM
I second joining UU+ and doing 101, 102 etc, I've just finished 102 and am starting 103 soon, it's well worth the money, in fact I just did a blog post about both 101 and 102 and the link to my blog is in my sig, gives you some idea what goes on in each lesson :D

I'd also recommend Music Theory For Dummies, I bought it (and again reviewed it at my blog) and found it very useful, it's basically all music theory but with the parts from Ukulele For Dummies you can add the two together, there's also "Ukulele Fretboard Roadmaps", there's a group I run for that here (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/group.php?groupid=156) and again, a review (and lesson notes) on my blog. I, like you have some musical experience with woodwind (Oboe for me) but came to the Ukulele with just that and have learnt so much from the above resources as well as with UU+ :D

Hope that helps!

And welcome to UU :D

gtrk
09-29-2011, 08:23 PM
Here's the Music Theory book I'd reccomend
http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiots-Guide-Music-Theory/dp/1592574378/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1317360066&sr=1-2
ANd to fallow that book up with this one
http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiots-Guide-Music-Composition/dp/1592574033/ref=pd_sim_b1

jamesboorn
09-29-2011, 08:58 PM
Check your library for Music Theory books. I checked out several, and found 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory' the best of the half dozen I checked out. Will definitely set you up with the basics and some idea of what to google to go more in depth with what interests you.