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aamiikaa
08-23-2014, 12:45 PM
Hi all!

I'v been trying to learn notes on ukulele for a while. Playing the C scale is fairly easy but following the musical notation is just like watching black dots jumping between lines :)

It feels like sound, notes and the notation is disconnected in my brains. I tried to learn notes from fretboard diagrams but that only made me more confused. So, after a while i came up with one solution: fretboard diagram (https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1R4MT3drHgJ3P2s8F2LDt4N_-NVotx8W_K9SosA2M93Q) that relates names to the notation using color coding. (Iv seen similar color coding with piano scores before)

This helps a bit but its still hard. Anyway, wanted to share the idea with you and was wondering if you know any tips&tricks to play the uke from notes.

CeeJay
08-23-2014, 01:25 PM
Well that's a nice chart ...not sure why the flats/sharps are left out ...but as long as one realises that they are there, that's ok......

Slowly and carefully I believe is the way to learn the fret board...I think ,anyway....... I utilise the fret markers as "WayPoints" so you know that the open tuning is GCEA(for e.g.) then the fifth fret is CFAD so you can work back and forward then go from there...&th 10th 12th etc.
But even after a lot of years I still have to quickly mentally do the alphanumerical shuffle... ( fret 1 string 1 is Bb...so 3 is C...sh**) .
Especialy in a performance ...That damned "Observed Effect" turns your fingers to sausage , the brain to mush, and the fretboard becomes enemy territory.......

aamiikaa
08-24-2014, 04:13 AM
It's an interesting chart, the way the scale is divided into to three equal sized ranges. Would it help to do the higher notes the same way, but using a different color?


You are right, i coloured the second octave as well. Not sure about the colours though :)

That "very simple fretboard" is nice too but it doesnt help that much if you struggle with scores. Playing from flute notes is nice idea - but can be frustrating. Anyway, starting from somewhere is the only way to learn.

aamiikaa
08-31-2014, 09:33 AM
Here is a new version of the notation coloured fretboard (or whatever):

https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1p7pXrXtiXCc9z0oJilo4yCxcNUUO6Z8QN8s88VrXv84

I experimented with some color ranges and enden up with this. I think using this helps with the notation and its more fun, not sure yet if this really helps in long run :)

kypfer
08-31-2014, 01:11 PM
aamiikaa wrote :
...wondering if you know any tips&tricks to play the uke from notes. I taught myself to read music just a couple of years ago simply because I wanted to play whistle from some tunebooks I had. So first job was to familiarise myself with which note was where on the instrument. Simply playing scales and reciting (in my mind) each note in turn. Then sit down with tunesheet (copy) and pencil and write down the appropriate letter of each note above each note. The very act of physically writing the letters down makes the association start to stick. Note on a line, must be D, B, or G, note in a gap, C or A. The very top and bottom notes on the stave were obvious and took very little remembering. Now play the notes as written using the fingering I'd already "learnt". After a couple of weeks, practising most evenings for as long as I didn't get bored, I didn't need the letters written on the paper ... I could "read" music :) .. OK, only in a couple of easy keys, but I was on my way, playing recognisable tunes, albeit very slowly.

Just in case anybody's interested, I'm 60+ with a full-time job ... if I can learn, anyone can, if they really want to ;)

So, fast-forward a couple of years and I decide to move on from hacking chords on a guitar (which I had done for many years) to playing melody on a variety of other strung fretted instruments ... banjo, ukulele, mandolin etc ... all different fingering. Admittedly my previous experience with the guitar did mean my left hand was used to finding it's way around a fretboard, but I still needed to use the C D E F G A B C notes-out-loud association technique I'd used on the whistle to help me remember where the individual notes were. Once I could play a couple of scales with no mistakes (and without looking at the fretboard) get out the sheet music and go for it ... within a relatively short period of time reading music for a variety of instruments became almost second nature ... then it was just down to practice to get up to speed ... we're getting there ;)

So, you asked for tips, these are the tips and tricks I used ... and a LOT of practice, practice, practice!

Good luck, YMMV but enjoy the journey and remember, they call it playing the ukulele for a reason, it's not supposed to be hard work ;)

Nickie
08-31-2014, 02:34 PM
I'm using the book Fretboard Roadmaps. Got in from Amazon.

Ukejenny
08-31-2014, 03:51 PM
I like the second one - it appealed to my my mind more and I could see the connections better. I also emailed a copy to myself. I think it will be helpful!

I started as a clarinet player, so I learned to read music years ago. Being able to do that made learning to read TAB a challenge, but I am getting through it.

Sometimes, when you want to voice a chord a different way or move a different direction, having a chart on hand can be a great help in plotting a course.

Down Up Dick
09-04-2014, 05:29 PM
Ukejenny, if you can read music, half of the battle is over.

Pluck the C string and say "C" (aloud). Fret the 2 nd fret and say "D". Pluck the E string and say "E". Fret the 1st fret and say "F". Fret the 3rd fret and say "G". Pluck the A string and say "A". Fret the 2nd fret and say "B". Fret the 3rd fret and say "C". Do this over and over 'til you know where the notes of the C scale are for sure. THEN try playing all the easy tunes you can find in the key of C. Play the tunes in C over and over and sing the note names.

Then move on to the next scale (D) down the line and do the same thing. Make yourself a fret board diagram. It's not difficult if you already know scales, and it'll teach you where the notes are. Say them as you write. Pay attention to those dots; they help you to know where the heck you are.

Learning the notes on the fret board is just like learning the keys on a flute. All down for D, ring finger up for E, etc.
And once you learn them you see a D on the music you finger it accordingly.

Just relax (don't TRY to learn). Just let the info flow in--have fun with it --learn. Later :old:

KaraUkey
09-04-2014, 09:28 PM
was wondering if you know any tips&tricks to play the uke from notes.
Not to dissuade you from learning to play from notes, but have you considered tablature as an alternative learning process.
You'll find lots of Uke tab here http://www.muffin.net.nz/muffin/Uke_Tab.html
The strings are GCEA from the bottom to the top. The number on the string tells you the fret to place your finger on. A zero is an open string.

aamiikaa
09-09-2014, 10:47 AM
Thank you all! Great tips. I'v used tabs for some time but never have bothered to learn notation before.

I started to do my own notations from (easy) songs im familiar with. Really slow process ... but i hope its worth it. Anyway, I was looking for online notation editor and stumbled to Noteflight and did my first score (Yee!): http://www.noteflight.com/scores/view/28fc28849932a2065fbb6548fd146508707bd56b

Ukejenny
09-09-2014, 11:33 AM
Ukejenny, if you can read music, half of the battle is over.

Pluck the C string and say "C" (aloud). Fret the 2 nd fret and say "D". Pluck the E string and say "E". Fret the 1st fret and say "F". Fret the 3rd fret and say "G". Pluck the A string and say "A". Fret the 2nd fret and say "B". Fret the 3rd fret and say "C". Do this over and over 'til you know where the notes of the C scale are for sure. THEN try playing all the easy tunes you can find in the key of C. Play the tunes in C over and over and sing the note names.

Then move on to the next scale (D) down the line and do the same thing. Make yourself a fret board diagram. It's not difficult if you already know scales, and it'll teach you where the notes are. Say them as you write. Pay attention to those dots; they help you to know where the heck you are.

Learning the notes on the fret board is just like learning the keys on a flute. All down for D, ring finger up for E, etc.
And once you learn them you see a D on the music you finger it accordingly.

Just relax (don't TRY to learn). Just let the info flow in--have fun with it --learn. Later :old:

Good advice for all of us!!!

KaraUkey
09-10-2014, 03:59 AM
Great effort. You must be very pleased.

Down Up Dick
09-10-2014, 03:11 PM
Ukejenny, do you finger pick or not? You've got me confused. I thought that I read somewhere that you can read music but not with the ukulele. That's why I went into that big C scale lesson. Now I find out you're a college trained music teacher. You've made me feel pretty silly -- bad for an old man. :old: