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Thread: Learning Uke-Single Strum vs Strumming Pattern Question

  1. #1
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    Default Learning Uke-Single Strum vs Strumming Pattern Question

    Hello,

    Iíve recently started learning to play the ukulele and have a question. Iíve started by learning chords, chord progressions, and strumming patterns. I am working through the 30 Day Uke Challenge. I am working on the lesson for the John Lennon song Imagine. Itís chords with simple down strum patterns. I wouldnít call it finger style because you arenít plucking the strings. You are down strumming 4, 3, 2, 1 time(s) depending on the part of song. Here comes the question. I tried searching this forum and Google and couldnít find anything. Maybe Iím not phrasing the question the right way. What do you call this technique? I would like to learn more songs in this style. Hope this makes sense.

    Thanks,
    Les

  2. #2
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    I think you're simply referring to what we call "strumming." Typically, beginners, or players in a group setting, strum across all strings to the beat or rhythm of the tune their playing. Sometimes they strum on every beat (1,2,3,4 in a tune written in 4/4) or sometimes on accent beats (1,3, in 4/4 or 1,3,1 in 3/4, etc.). Even advanced players use a generous amount of simple strums while playing. So, just strum what sounds right to you, and when you get comfortable with the chord changes, you can branch out with some partial strums (fewer than all strings) and individual string picking. Oh, and the Up or Down thing. You start off with down strums, but start throwing in up strums to get a more rhythmic feel to the music, particularly when you use syncopation (when the timing between all strums is not equal). I hope I've answered your question, or at least helped. Keep on strumming!!!
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lclaypool20 View Post
    Hello,

    I’ve recently started learning to play the ukulele and have a question. I’ve started by learning chords, chord progressions, and strumming patterns. I am working through the 30 Day Uke Challenge. I am working on the lesson for the John Lennon song Imagine. It’s chords with simple down strum patterns. I wouldn’t call it finger style because you aren’t plucking the strings. You are down strumming 4, 3, 2, 1 time(s) depending on the part of song. Here comes the question. I tried searching this forum and Google and couldn’t find anything. Maybe I’m not phrasing the question the right way. What do you call this technique? I would like to learn more songs in this style. Hope this makes sense.

    Thanks,
    Les
    Are you saying that instead of strumming downward quickly and hitting all the strings, you are strumming a little slower--plucking the G string, small pause, C string, pause, etc.? If so, you're playing arpeggios or broken chords instead of strumming the chord and getting all the strings to ring at once.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    Are you saying that instead of strumming downward quickly and hitting all the strings, you are strumming a little slower--plucking the G string, small pause, C string, pause, etc.? If so, you're playing arpeggios or broken chords instead of strumming the chord and getting all the strings to ring at once.

    No, strumming all 4 strings. So strum all 4 strings down like this slowly:
    F x2, Am x2, Dm x2, F x2, G x3, C x1 and G7 x1.

    So instead of strumming all the chords with the same strum pattern, strum each chord number of times listed above.

    Les

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    To me, that's the chord sequence of your song/tune. you play the 'F' chord twice, then 'Am' twice, 'Dm' twice, back to 'F' twice, 'G' 3 times, a 'C', then finally, a 'G7'.
    Last edited by Croaky Keith; 02-15-2020 at 11:22 PM.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Croaky Keith View Post
    To me, that's the chord sequence of your song/tune. you play the 'F' chord twice, then 'Am' twice, 'Dm' twice, back to 'F' twice, 'G' 3 times, a 'C', then finally, a 'G7'.

    Yes, I agree itís a chord sequence. Whatís different about this chord sequence is the amount of strums for each chord. In my short learning period most song tutorials had the same number of strums per chord-4 or 8. Itís hard to tell what song it is without singing. With the Imagine tutorial I hear individual notes with each strum. I apologize because Iím probably not using the right terminology.

    Led

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    Assuming Imagine is in 4/4 time, it is not unusual for some songs to change the chord in the middle of the bar. Even several chord changes in a bar. So if your chord sequence is: Fx2; Amx2 then I am guessing that the chord changes after two beats. One, Two, <change> Three, Four.

    When you get to the G, you are strumming 3 times on the G (Often written: [G]///) and once on the C. Then possibly Once on the G7 (Indicated as [G7-] and letting it ring for the entire bar? (Rests) So: [G]One, [G]Two, [G]Three <change> [C]Four; <Change> [G7-]one, two, three, four.

    Single strums are sometimes indicated by [G]/ or [G-] let it ring or [G!] strum and mute immediately.
    The slash marks indicate the number of strums [G]// means: strum twice. [G] means all strum all four beats. (Or a particular strum pattern for all four.)
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you donít begin to know until you begin to try to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lclaypool20 View Post
    I am working through the 30 Day Uke Challenge.
    Where do i find that challenge? On this site?

  9. #9
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    Check out Dr.Uke arrangements. I have a bunch in my library (like "A Kiss to Build a Dream On").
    A lot of older tunes, tin pan alley style, have been arranged like that. Where the chord changes are so frequent that the almost "sing" the melody.
    Another related style would be chord melody arrangement, like Mike Lynch. There, you have frequent chords or partial chords interspersed with single melody notes to give you a recognizable instrumental tune.
    Last edited by bunnyf; 02-17-2020 at 12:12 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andreas Fischer View Post
    Where do i find that challenge? On this site?
    My guess is that it is a YouTube challenge on Bernadette's channel, Bernadette teaches music. It is aimed at beginners, it covers many simpler chords, basic strums, songs to practise chord progressions (and to get you to perform). However, I think that one of the main goals is actually to establish a daily routine, to find space in your day, your mind and your house to commit to daily practising.

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