PDA

View Full Version : Ukulele Method Book for Fingerstyle with Standard Notation



Tsani
01-16-2012, 01:22 PM
I think I am asking for something that doesn't exist.

I am studying classical music on the uke with a classical guitar instructor. I want to learn standard notation so I can read music and make my own arrangements from classical guitar sheet music. He is asking me to find a "method book" that teaches how to play the ukulele in a fingerpick style by standard notation - not TAB.

Has anybody ever seen or heard of a book of this kind?

I do have a copy of the "cipher" or fingerboard chart for the uke - but that is really not what he wants me to have.

:anyone:

jackwhale
01-16-2012, 01:27 PM
I think that's a book waiting to be written. However if you can read music it shouldn't be too difficult to transpose to uke fingering.

Tsani
01-16-2012, 01:49 PM
I think that's a book waiting to be written. However if you can read music it shouldn't be too difficult to transpose to uke fingering.

Well, I wish somebody would hurry up and write it! I know several people who are very qualified to do it. Rob McKillop, Jamie Holding, and Val Sauvage all come to mind. I bet Ken Middleton could do a pretty good job of it as well. Money just waiting to be picked up out there people! ;)

itsme
01-16-2012, 02:31 PM
Money just waiting to be picked up out there people! ;)
Well, I tend to doubt it would be a big money maker because it'd be a double niche market. Classical ukers being one niche and classical ukers who want to learn from standard notation only being an even smaller sub-niche.

All of the classical uke books I've seen include tab along with standard notation.

This site has some teaching stuff in standard notation, but it's not classical focused.

http://www.ukuleleintheclassroom.com/index.htm

Gwynedd
01-16-2012, 02:35 PM
The closest I can recommend is FIngerstyle for Ukulele (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0786673427/bge-20) which has standard notation for the music, plus chords above and the tablature (string-number) I have the same issue: I read MUSIC not tablature, so I tend to read the notes and figure out what string they mean, which is not hard except for the re-entrant g, which for this former guitar-and-baritone-uke player is a bit new to me. But the music is written out, so it can be notated with guitar fingering if you want to pencil it in.

Lori
01-16-2012, 02:36 PM
Here are some books that might help... it's part of the Canadian method taught in schools. Make sure you get the one for the tuning you prefer. They offer C tuning and D tuning. C tuning is more standard in the US.
http://www.ukuleleintheclassroom.com/student_edition_C6.htm

This is a good resource too, with notation and tabulature... and it's free, but in German. Still, some nice classical and folk arrangements at a beginning level. Very nice.
http://ukulelehunt.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/solobuch.pdf

Good Luck
–Lori

itsme
01-16-2012, 02:48 PM
I have the same issue: I read MUSIC not tablature, so I tend to read the notes and figure out what string they mean, which is not hard except for the re-entrant g, which for this former guitar-and-baritone-uke player is a bit new to me.
As a long-time classical guitar player, I do read music. But when I took up uke, trying to translate the differently tuned strings to the actual notes they produce was daunting, so I learned uke basically from tab.

I'm comfortable reading standard notation on a low-G uke as if it were tuned like a guitar. I know the notes are not the same (but at least they're relative!). Sometimes you have to do a little adjusting when the notes go lower than the uke's range. Baritone tabs on a low-G work fine, but again, you're not actually playing the same pitch as written.

I agree that trying to read for re-entrant can be problematic.

laundromatt
01-16-2012, 02:56 PM
If you want books/resources with songs written in musical notation, there are plenty out there. Those links by Lori above, for example. There's also this book - http://www.amazon.com/John-King-Classical-Ukulele-Masters/dp/0634079794

If you're looking for a book that'll teach you how to play the ukulele in musical notation, like a Carcassi or Leavitt for guitar, let me know when you've found one - I've been looking for something like that for a while now.

Olarte
01-16-2012, 03:33 PM
IT's funny We just had my classical guitar teacher and his girlfriend over for dinner and I showed him the 5 classical books that I have, Sanz, fingerstyle, john kings, 20 progressive etudes and lute to uke.

And he took a crack at it and using mainly tab since he is not used to the uke GCEA strings, he played some nice renaissance pieces quite well.

I had asked Jamie Holding about the lack of standard notation in his ebooks and that I felt like I was cheating using tab, and Jamie reminded me that Lute music was not originally in music notation but had a tab system not unlike the Uke tabs.

So my point is that as long as you can understand how to play what you read regardless of notation being used, and focus on making a nice clear\clean\dynamic sound you should have little problem playing some beautiful classical pieces.

MY teacher really made my Mya-Moe sound like a Lute which is one of the things I want to achive with Uke.

I prefer books like John Kings which have both tab and notation, and eventually as I get more used to expanding from CG to uke, I plan to rely less on tabs and look at the standard notation more.

WArm regards,
Ivan

Dan Uke
01-16-2012, 04:06 PM
I used to read notes as a classical guitar player as well but reading tabs is so much easier!! It's like cheating but readily accepted in the uke world. That's why most uke players don't get beyond one or two ways to play each chord. If we like the song, we ask for the tabs and not the sheet music!! Even in UU, there's a tab section. I too have the John King Classical Ukelele Book and thank goodness for tabs!!

itsme
01-16-2012, 04:51 PM
I had asked Jamie Holding about the lack of standard notation in his ebooks and that I felt like I was cheating using tab, and Jamie reminded me that Lute music was not originally in music notation but had a tab system not unlike the Uke tabs.
Well, at least some of Jamie's stuff has been published using standard notation along with the tab.

Michael Parmenter's site has a wealth of uke tabs, with a high concentration in the Renaissance era. He offers PDFs in tab, or TablEdit. If you get the free TablEdit reader, you can print out his arrangements with standard notation along with the tab.

http://ukeclassicaltabs.blogspot.com/


I prefer books like John Kings which have both tab and notation, and eventually as I get more used to expanding from CG to uke, I plan to rely less on tabs and look at the standard notation more.
So do I. Like I said, I can read music and I can look at the notes and "read" them in my head as I play from the tabs.

I really don't like ASCII tabs (those done with nothing but a mono font) that give you no clue on the duration. At least some tabs have indications for that.

clayton56
01-17-2012, 12:17 AM
the good thing about tab is it shows the recommended fingerings, as there will be several ways to play the same passage on a re-entrant uke. Some good and some not so good.

I don't exactly read tab but can figure it out. When I learn a tune, like a fiddle tune, I end up trying several versions to get the best one and reading tab would save me that.

HoldinCoffee
01-17-2012, 02:48 AM
50 Easy Ukulele Chord Solos from Jerry Long and James Hill.

http://elderly.com/books/items/707-1.htm

Free low g string included!

pulelehua
01-17-2012, 12:25 PM
I've written a book of original ukulele etudes, many of which are in a classical vein, and all of which have lots of fingerpicking. The link is in my signature. It's not a method book per se, but like most collections of studies, is designed to cover a range of relatively isolated playing techniques.

I can tell you from a composer's point of view, tab is really the only logical option. Having two strings two semitones apart creates too many possibilities. And in terms of going for a particular sound, using a campanella style is quite an intricate thing to accomplish, and giving the player freedom to choose fingerings could really damage the effect you're going for. I've written arrangements which alternate between campanella and more ordinary fingering, and there's no good way of indicating what you want in the score without demanding quite a lot of work on the player's part, or having lots of string indications over notes.

I think a lot of people favour notation for its "seriousness" but keep in mind that tab has been around for centuries, and has always existed for reasons of practicality, to be used by talented players. Its primary purpose historically has been to clarify, not to simplify.

Plainsong
01-17-2012, 05:28 PM
Please someone write this book. I miss being able to sight read. It is so so so frustrating to be able to read music, just not on the instrument I actually play. Tabs are a pain in the ass to read, and I avoid them. My finger style involves learning the chords, then filling it in as I learn the song. Tabs suck. Please please please someone write a method book!

Gwynedd
01-17-2012, 11:10 PM
I have to tell you, I have the same problem. I read music, in fact I can sightread fast enough to play an unfamiliar Beethoven sonata or Mozart piece through without stopping on piano. Reading music is something that many people do. The tabs annoy the heck out of me. It's like moving my lips while reading! I happen to know there is some notation software, perhaps some of us will have to notate our own stuff. (Thank Mr. Pulelehua, however, for writing uke etudes the correct way. As soon as I am not a rank tyro, I'm off to buy them. And also when my Mainland shows up; right now I'm plunking on a Dolphin. A bit cramped for me.) The ukulele is a good instrument--not a joke. It can be played seriously and the music should be available in standard notation.

Tsani
01-18-2012, 01:04 AM
Thanks, everybody! I think I will check out the Canadian method books. That might be enough to get me started. I actually like TAB and understand the problem with figuring out the fingering with standard notation, but knowing standard notation should expand my ability to adapt new music that has not been tabbed for uke. It may not be a big market, but you can see that there are people out there who would buy a method book with standard notation - if it existed. I also think that the large number of people who are playing linear tuned, or Low-G tuned ukes would help the market for such a book.

Plainsong
01-18-2012, 01:29 AM
I have to tell you, I have the same problem. I read music, in fact I can sightread fast enough to play an unfamiliar Beethoven sonata or Mozart piece through without stopping on piano. Reading music is something that many people do. The tabs annoy the heck out of me. It's like moving my lips while reading! I happen to know there is some notation software, perhaps some of us will have to notate our own stuff. (Thank Mr. Pulelehua, however, for writing uke etudes the correct way. As soon as I am not a rank tyro, I'm off to buy them. And also when my Mainland shows up; right now I'm plunking on a Dolphin. A bit cramped for me.) The ukulele is a good instrument--not a joke. It can be played seriously and the music should be available in standard notation.

Oh thank goodness I'm not the only one! I try with tabs and it's like getting a headache. I know it's just a question of learning scales in different positions up the fretboard, but a nice little method book to lead you through that would just make it come together for me.

pulelehua
01-18-2012, 08:14 AM
In standard notation

--------------
-0--1--3--5--
--------------
--------------

and

----------0--
----1--------
-4-----------
-------0-----

would look identical. From my point of view, they are incredibly different. I wouldn't want to intend one, and have a player perform the other. If I wanted to notate that line in standard notation, I would need to have Roman Numeral string indications above every note. This seems a bit overcomplicated, when I could just use tab.

I'd like to stress again that I think a lot of people's opposition to tab is that it's what rock guitarists who have been playing for 6 weeks use. It's not an historically less serious form of notation.

It's just had a few decades of bad press. ;)

Plainsong
01-18-2012, 01:43 PM
No, my opposition to tabs has nothing to do with what musicians of another genre use. My opposition to them is that I've used standard notation since I was 8. Ukulele (or guitar and related instruments) does not have the market cornered on alternate fingerings. Because we learned music with method books, we know when and how to use an alternate fingering ourselves, without needing it notated above the note. Just about every note has two or three ways to play it on wind instruments. The player figures it out more or less on the fly, because method books exist.

pekelo
01-18-2012, 03:09 PM
Aloha-
I've got a ukulele method book series that could fit here.
I've got both standard notation and Tab
so it's easy to cover up the portion

All pages are viewable thru www.pekelosbooks.com

& I've had a lot of nice feedback from the UU folks on these:)
mahalo nui
pekelo

pulelehua
01-19-2012, 08:30 AM
No, my opposition to tabs has nothing to do with what musicians of another genre use. My opposition to them is that I've used standard notation since I was 8. Ukulele (or guitar and related instruments) does not have the market cornered on alternate fingerings. Because we learned music with method books, we know when and how to use an alternate fingering ourselves, without needing it notated above the note. Just about every note has two or three ways to play it on wind instruments. The player figures it out more or less on the fly, because method books exist.

I think the comparison with woodwinds doesn't really work here. In my above example, one is a note-at-a-time run, the other is like holding down the sustain pedal on a piano. It's not a matter of getting from one note to another, it's a matter of the sound produced. For me as a composer, one method would be right, and one would be wrong.

Plainsong
01-19-2012, 08:37 AM
The problem with being the composer is that once you write the notes, it's up to the player to play them. I know what you mean about wanting the sound of another string, and the notes around that one will usually tell the player where to go, but if they don't, then they just held down the sustain pedal without your permission. Piano players and percussionists also sight read.

What I'd do is probably play it the open default way, realize it was wrong, and mark it with a pencil. In the meantime I'm gonna go check out that method book link.

Plainsong
01-19-2012, 08:44 AM
Aloha-
I've got a ukulele method book series that could fit here.
I've got both standard notation and Tab
so it's easy to cover up the portion

All pages are viewable thru www.pekelosbooks.com

& I've had a lot of nice feedback from the UU folks on these:)
mahalo nui
pekelo

I guess what I'm looking for is the opposite. The book, judging from the opening samples, concentrates on teaching tabs. I don't want to mess with tabs. I want a method book that uses standard notation and starts from first position, building it up little by little with exercises, and then on up the fretboard.

pulelehua
01-19-2012, 10:50 AM
The problem with being the composer is that once you write the notes, it's up to the player to play them. I know what you mean about wanting the sound of another string, and the notes around that one will usually tell the player where to go, but if they don't, then they just held down the sustain pedal without your permission. Piano players and percussionists also sight read.

What I'd do is probably play it the open default way, realize it was wrong, and mark it with a pencil. In the meantime I'm gonna go check out that method book link.

Yes, but piano players can be told when to pedal. ;)

Plainsong
01-19-2012, 02:41 PM
All my years of music reading, invalid? Just, no. Not for any of the billions who read music. I'm no professional. The great thing about music is that anyone from anywhere can practice and build up that skill. Uke players should get that chance too.

Gwynedd
01-19-2012, 02:54 PM
Yes, but piano players can be told when to pedal. But we don't pay attention to those pedal marks, and they are missing from most editions.

Plainsong
01-19-2012, 03:09 PM
This reminds me of some of the myths about training horses. Some people think you can't let them hear anything above a whisper, no sudden movement, and certainly never ever let them step on their lead rope while on the halter. The horse will freak out. Well yeah, if you set them up to fail like that, they will.

But if give them the experience... It turns out that they do have a brain.

It's the same with reading music. Ok, so you might miss something on the first run through, but the musician has a brain, we can figure out when to change a fingering.

I'd love a method book that taught standard notation and built up that muscle memory, each level building on the last.

Tsani
01-19-2012, 03:55 PM
Aloha-
I've got a ukulele method book series that could fit here.
I've got both standard notation and Tab
so it's easy to cover up the portion

All pages are viewable thru www.pekelosbooks.com

& I've had a lot of nice feedback from the UU folks on these:)
mahalo nui
pekelo

Hey, thanks so much for this! I am going to check it out. This might be just what I need!

Plainsong
01-19-2012, 07:39 PM
Hey, thanks so much for this! I am going to check it out. This might be just what I need!

If you get the book, let us know if it teaches reading standard notation with uke, and how well it works for you, whether it does or doesn't do what I or the op is looking for.

pulelehua
01-20-2012, 08:59 AM
All my years of music reading, invalid? Just, no. Not for any of the billions who read music. I'm no professional. The great thing about music is that anyone from anywhere can practice and build up that skill. Uke players should get that chance too.

Whoa! Slow down. I didn't say that in any way, shape or form.

What I said is that for me, as a composer, tablature ensures that certain passages are played in the way I intended. I also said that I think tablature is more important for the ukulele than for another instrument, like the guitar, where the tuning does more decision making for you.

John King, who as you probably know spent most of his life playing classical guitar, switched to ukulele and wrote some wonderful arrangements which are meticulously thought out. I certainly wouldn't want to tackle some of them without the tab. Take Carol of the Bells, for instance:

http://www.nalu-music.com/ukulele-tablature/carol-of-the-bells-ukulele/

I'm not sure I would ever come up with that on my own. So my thanks to Mr King for his use of tab.

I suspect you're half using your notation reading anyway, as tab doesn't convey rhythm at all.

In the meantime, I think I'm going to stop posting to this thread. I feel like my thoughts aren't coming across correctly, and emotions are running much higher than I would ever want on this forum. Sorry if I've miscommunicated in any way.