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hatchet
09-30-2011, 12:30 PM
Hi All,
The Uke is my first fretted instrument, and I'm finding myself frustrated. I'd like to learn the fret board, in terms of notes and chord construction, so that I can get to a point where I just know what I'm doing. I picked up the Hal Leonard Fretboard Roadmaps for uke, but am even more frustrated from that - the movable chord construction, I mean c'mon, I only have 5 fingers. I don't think I could ever reliably hit a E7#9#5 chord in a song situation.

So, am I just being a cry baby over this? Or is there a better way to learn the music theory, fretboard, and chord progression?

Thanks!

ramone
09-30-2011, 02:54 PM
I'm new to ukes but have played music for many years. to learn the fretboard, study and memorize which note corresponds to each fret on each string. it's easier than it sounds!

for chord constructon, the first thing is to learn the major scale. each step of the scale can be numbered 1-7 with step 8 being the octave of the first note. from that, you can learn chord basics. a major chord is made up of the 1st, 3rd & 5th notes of the major scale. in the key of C, that would be C-E-G. in the key of C, an F chord would be 4-6-8 (F-A-C).

any chord in the key of C can be constructed by starting with any of the notes, then adding every other note, as in the examples I used. to make other chords, like a 7th or a 9th, etc, add an additional interval. when the numbers exceed the eighth step of the major scale, simple subtract 7. so a 9th chord (9-7=2) is really adding the second step of the major scale to the notes in the chord, but an octave higher. a 13th chord is constructed by adding a 6th above the octave (13-7=6).

hope that helps and wasn't confusing. keep plugging away and it begins to make sense. good luck and have fun!

Trinimon
09-30-2011, 03:09 PM
Have a go at Uncle Rods Ukulele Boot Camp. It helped me quite a bit.

http://www.4shared.com/file/RJISsOhb/Ukulele_Boot_Camp_rev.html

RawrGazzawrs
09-30-2011, 03:15 PM
its not like you need to learn those 7's, dim's, etc right away.
I personally think its better to learn some songs you like that have about 3-6 chords
that way you actually have some kind of motivation to learn chords since you like the song, instead of just practicing random chords over and over. if you play some songs you like then you'll eventually get better at chord progression, then maybe you could successfully use the more complicated chords. as for music theory the best way for a ukulele that i currently am aware of is Ukulele Underground University. You can go to the main site and pay to watch some videos aldrine makes to teach people music theory and more. its a learn-at-your-own-pace thing, so if you miss a video one week, you can just watch them later. all the UUU video lessons are saved.

hatchet
09-30-2011, 08:10 PM
Thanks guys. I have been playing chords/tabs for other songs already, just wanting to take it up a notch. Honestly the whole thing where you can have the same note on multiple strings just completely throws me for a loop. I can't follow it. I'll probably just stick with playing other folks' chords/tabs for a while longer. It just ain't clicking. I'm much better with a piano, where if I want to go to the next note, I go up one key. :)

olgoat52
09-30-2011, 08:14 PM
That's the part piano players never understand about stringed instruments like guitar and uke. You can play middle C here or here or here... (not really but ... )



Thanks guys. I have been playing chords/tabs for other songs already, just wanting to take it up a notch. Honestly the whole thing where you can have the same note on multiple strings just completely throws me for a loop. I can't follow it. I'll probably just stick with playing other folks' chords/tabs for a while longer. It just ain't clicking. I'm much better with a piano, where if I want to go to the next note, I go up one key. :)

joeybug
09-30-2011, 10:57 PM
I run a group for people looking for help with Fretboard Roadmaps here (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/group.php?groupid=156) if you're looking for help about working through that. I'd also recommend "Ukulele For Dummies" as a great starting point, or even singing up for UU+/UUU and working through the 101 course! I have notes from the Fretboard and Ukulele for Dummies on my blog which is linked in my sig, as well as reviews of everything mentioned here :D

Good Luck!

Oh, and Boot Camp is great!!

wolfybau
10-01-2011, 03:06 AM
That's the part piano players never understand about stringed instruments like guitar and uke. You can play middle C here or here or here... (not really but ... )

I've always told my student who learned piano first that each string is the equivilant of pianos lined up one in front of the other and offset by 4-5 notes. thats basicaly it. If you know the major scale up one string the other strings are exactly the same notes only the pattern/notes is shifted several frets with each adjecent string.


|C| |D| |E|F| |G| |A| |B|C|

next string higher from the C string starts at the same E

|E|F| |G| |A| |B|C| |D| |E|

same exact notes just higher and repeated. thats so you can play chords and on each string pick a differnt note to add to it. you basic chord is 1 , 3 , 5

|C| |D| |E|F| |G| |A| |B|C|
|1| |2| |3|4| |5| |6| |7|8|

1, 3, 5
C, E, G

its a math thing, like a puzzle, I kind of think of it like a 'word search' puzzle with numbers. sort of. you are finding scale patterns and chords.

hope this makes sense :p

Shastastan
10-01-2011, 08:02 AM
Thanks guys. I have been playing chords/tabs for other songs already, just wanting to take it up a notch. Honestly the whole thing where you can have the same note on multiple strings just completely throws me for a loop. I can't follow it. I'll probably just stick with playing other folks' chords/tabs for a while longer. It just ain't clicking. I'm much better with a piano, where if I want to go to the next note, I go up one key. :)

I wish I could tell you how easy it is to learn chord structures and progression, but I can't. There are no "shortcuts" to learning music theory. What I'm doing is learning stuff in small portions. Think of eating a pie. You can't put the whole thing in your mouth at once, you have to cut it into smaller portions. Try to learn the C scale. Hint--Start on the C string. Do re mi fa sol la ti do. I'm sure you've heard that before. C = Do. Listen for each note as you pick the string. Does it sound correct in relation to the others? This is a discovery exercise. You will discover which strings to fret and where to fret to make the notes sound right in the scale, starting from the lowest to the highest note. You will discover how each fret is a half step. Another thing that has helped me was to try and understand how chords are built. You can ask yourself questions like, "Why is the "A" string the only string fretted to play the C chord?" Is the note "A" part of the "C" chord? Don't spend too much time on this type of stuff though. Instead play songs and learn a few more chords or some finger picking. Take your time and enjoy what you are playing-- the things you like. Don't let it become a chore. If you really want to get into music theory, I recommend "An Idiot's Guide to Music Theory." Good Luck!

Markr1
10-01-2011, 09:50 AM
Have a go at Uncle Rods Ukulele Boot Camp. It helped me quite a bit.

http://www.4shared.com/file/RJISsOhb/Ukulele_Boot_Camp_rev.html
Are you supposed to download it and is it free?

Teek
10-01-2011, 11:23 AM
Click the "Download now" button middle left of the page. You will get a 20 second countdown with the download at the link above the counter. After 20 seconds the link will change to "Download file now". Click that link to download a .docx. There's a link to a PDF somewhere too but I don't have it. The course is great for developing some basic dexterity and and a little understanding of chord relationships. If I can't do anything else on a uke for the day I at least try to go through this a few times, and it's helped me improve chord changes.

I personally really dislike 4Shared because they put so much other crap on the page hoping you will click the wrong thing (which I have done and I used to do tech support for people who tech support couldn't help).

PhilUSAFRet
10-01-2011, 11:24 AM
Are you supposed to download it and is it free?

YES! It is free and you do download it. It's great.

hatchet
10-01-2011, 07:24 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. You've given me some good ideas to work on.