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kahanamoku
09-10-2012, 07:58 AM
I just bought my first uke a couple days ago. To be honest, as a guitar and bass player of fifteen years, I picked it up and learned to play it almost immediately, but that being said, I'm having a little bit of difficulty wrapping my brain around the theory of this little instrument. Is there a resource out there somewhere (over the rainbow) that will help me understand how to play scales and whatnot geared towards somebody who already plays guitar? Sorry if this gets asked a lot. I've tried a couple of searches to no avail. Thanks!

DK

jonyoon
09-10-2012, 08:09 AM
This is what I usually tell all my guitar playing friends who are trying to learn uke:

1.) Capo the 5th fret on your guitar.
2.) Only play the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th strings.

That's pretty much it. Although the 1st string on the uke is typically high (e.g. High-G), that's just a small thing to deal with. Everything else you know with guitar playing and music theory should carry over easily.

kahanamoku
09-10-2012, 08:17 AM
Yeah I've read that somewhere else but it doesn't make sense to me. That isn't the order of the tuned guitar strings, so how does that translate...

guitar: EADGBE

uke: GCEA

I must be missing something...

DK

Gmoney
09-10-2012, 08:25 AM
Yeah I've read that somewhere else but it doesn't make sense to me. That isn't the order of the tuned guitar strings, so how does that translate...

guitar: EADGBE

uke: GCEA

I must be missing something...

DK

If you just look at the first 4 strings (highest to lowest), DGBE up 5 semitones/notes give you GCEA w/the difference being that the "G" is usually tuned reentrant AKA "high G" above the C string. So that's equivalent to a guitar capo'd at the fifth fret w/o the two lower strings. Does that help?

kahanamoku
09-10-2012, 08:51 AM
If you just look at the first 4 strings (highest to lowest), DGBE up 5 semitones/notes give you GCEA w/the difference being that the "G" is usually tuned reentrant AKA "high G" above the C string. So that's equivalent to a guitar capo'd at the fifth fret w/o the two lower strings. Does that help?

Oh yeah... duh! Got it now. I'm not a capo guy so I got a little thrown off. Makes sense now. Thanks guys!

cheekmeat
09-10-2012, 09:14 AM
I just bought my first uke a couple days ago. To be honest, as a guitar and bass player of fifteen years, I picked it up and learned to play it almost immediately, but that being said, I'm having a little bit of difficulty wrapping my brain around the theory of this little instrument. DK

I've been playing uke for over 10 years now, and I never seem to be able to entirely "wrap my brain" around the little rascal. For the last couple of years I've been concertedly trying to not "think guitar" while playing uke. Meaning thinking of uke chord names rather than thinking guitar-chord-shape-to-uke chord names.

I've been pretty successful. My first sign of success...? I sometimes get confused when playing guitar now! :D

PhilUSAFRet
09-10-2012, 09:18 AM
A fairly new book out there, nearly the same name as the title of this thread.

http://www.curtsheller.com/books/UKEGTR/

mike hardee
09-10-2012, 09:19 AM
Consider changing out the high G fourth string for a low G. You can use the wound D string from a classical guitar string set. Once you have the ukulele strung in a linear fashion it may make more sense.

bazmaz
09-10-2012, 09:21 AM
If you get guitar, you should get ukulele theory too as it is identical - the relationship between notes is exactly the same as those on first four strings on a guitar at 5th fret up.

cheekmeat
09-10-2012, 09:37 AM
Consider changing out the high G fourth string for a low G. You can use the wound D string from a classical guitar string set. Once you have the ukulele strung in a linear fashion it may make more sense.

I'll go ahead and disagree on this one. Re-entrant tuning is a big hunk o' the fun on uke--At least for me!

BassGuyukin'
09-10-2012, 03:16 PM
I'm mainly a bass player but I play a little guitar. I have a classical guitar that I haven't played very much but it sits on the stand in the living room. Since playing the uke regularly for several months now, I can pick up that classical and actually sound pretty good using just the top four strings. Granted those top four strings are tuned as a baritone, but with the same fingering as my tenors I have done all right.

I always thought that the baritone was more a small guitar than a large ukulele, but after playing those four strings on my classical, I was bit by the baritone bug and now have one on the way to my home. As a transitional instrument, the baritone has got to be the way to go.

LM in Kentucky
09-10-2012, 03:52 PM
Im a guitar player(? well sort of??) and 'got' the uke right away because all of my favorite players use open tunings almost exclusively. I think in open G when Im composing. It has totally reinvigorated my enthusiasm for both. The only issue Im having is playing without a pick. My right hand is not as precise as I need it to be, but I hope with time and practice that will come. :)

strummin'&hummin'
09-11-2012, 02:13 PM
I played guitar before I played uke. I understood the guitar fretboard because I played piano first. So when I picked up the uke, found out what the tuning was like, related it back to the guitar fretboard...I don't know but it came pretty easily to me. I'm not good but then again, I'm still learning both instruments.

There was an excellent article on this exact topic in "Acoustic Guitar Magazine" this month - they did a special Ukulele magazine that you can download for free this month. Here's the link:

http://www.acousticguitar.com/article/Default.aspx?ArticleID=28761

wendellfiddler
09-11-2012, 05:08 PM
Yah, I've learned to love the high G - but I play 5 string banjo as well as guitar. I've tried to make sense of the key change and quick transposing requirements by learning to play by number - like the Nashville system. It seems to be working pretty well so far, but it is somewhat slow-going. May take a while to get fluid.

Patrick Madsen
09-11-2012, 06:42 PM
For me as an old gitar player, it's about the shape of the chord. A "d" shaped chord on a guitar would be a G if moved up 5 frets. and A shaped guitar chord five frets up is a D and so on.

mds725
09-11-2012, 09:20 PM
There's always "Fretboard Roadmaps for Ukulele" by Fred Sokolow and Jim Beloff.
http://www.amazon.com/Fretboard-Roadmaps-Ukulele-Essential-Patterns/dp/1423400410/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347430824&sr=8-1&keywords=fretboard+roadmaps+ukulele