Arpeggiated Chords

Jaden

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I want to know how to make and use arpeggiated chords instead of simply strumming the chords. Are there any instructions on how to do this?
 
An arpeggiated chord is created by slowing down the playing of a regular strummed chord. You’ll want to slow your strum to the point where you can hear each of the four notes in the strummed chord one at a time, very clearly and distinctly. The timing of an arpeggiated chord (i.e. how fast or slow you choose to strum or pick it) will depend on the music you are playing, and how much time you have before you need to switch to the next required chord.
 
An arpeggiated chord is typically played from low to high string pitch. On a low-G ukulele, you start with the G string and play a linear pattern. On a high-G ukulele, you start the arpeggio with the C string then play an inside-outside pattern.
 
You can also think about adding notes outside of the chords by using slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs, like they do in jazz playing.
 
Can make this sound more interesting by fingerpicking the notes of the chord by hitting notes in different order from strumming.

Ploverwing referenced Daniel Ward's book - he & Heidi sat in on one of our gigs a few years ago. Outstanding ukulele/guitar player.
 
How beginner are you? (I have lots of things I could recommend, but want to pick the right ones!)
 
How beginner are you? (I have lots of things I could recommend, but want to pick the right ones!)
I have been playing for about 4 years but I play what I read. In this situation I have essentially been given the melody line which I could finger pick but it would sound more interesting if I could use the chords more imaginatively. I dont do much in the way of strumming as I like to finger pick. I have used Travis picking. I had not heard the phrase arpeggiated chord previously and thought it might be a particular pattern. It seems that i can actually pick the strings in a variety of ways which could help picking out the melody but making it sound fuller at the same time. I am grateful for everyones advice and if you want to recommend anything that would be great. This is the first time that I will be doing my own "arrangement".
 
I have been playing for about 4 years but I play what I read. In this situation I have essentially been given the melody line which I could finger pick but it would sound more interesting if I could use the chords more imaginatively. I dont do much in the way of strumming as I like to finger pick. I have used Travis picking. I had not heard the phrase arpeggiated chord previously and thought it might be a particular pattern. It seems that i can actually pick the strings in a variety of ways which could help picking out the melody but making it sound fuller at the same time. I am grateful for everyones advice and if you want to recommend anything that would be great. This is the first time that I will be doing my own "arrangement".
Okay, you’re way more advanced than me, then! Daniel Ward’s book is great. I also like this YouTube channel (tabs available on Patreon for <$5/mo, but his videos may give you plenty of ideas).

One thing both of them are very good at is arpeggiating versions of the chords other than the standard ones, so you can begin to see how to throw other notes into the mix. AKA prepare to use your fretting hand pinky a lot 🤣
 
Sounds like you’re more advanced than me as well. This will make no difference if you’re not familiar with the tune but is Yowling Tom’s reentrant soprano Key of C cover of Neil Diamond’s “Blue Highway” the sort of “non- Travis” 3-finger roll you have in mind?
View attachment Blue Hwy.m4a
 
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Well, it didn't work out trying to use the computer for tabbing arpeggios, so I did it old school - five rows
The first two rows could be done with or without a swing feel.
The second examples in each of the firest two rows are in waltz time (3/4)

!st Row - Some examples of Arpeggiated Chords to use for ballads and slower songs

2nd Row - Lullaby Licks - Peggy Seeger invented this name for this arpeggio

3rd Row - Educated Thumb (This is called Patterrn Picking and is a good introduction to Thumb/Travis/Cotten Picking which keeps an alternating thumb on the beat while the fingers pick the melody and fill in notes on the treble strings). As long as the thumb keeps the beat, you can combine different patterns or make up your own.

4th Row - A Banjo style: a couple of common banjo rolls: a forward roll and a Foggy Mountain Breakdown roll

5th Row - This is how the FMB roll might sound in context. It works better on a re-entrant tuned uke.

Arpeggios.jpg
My apologies for spelling "roll" incorrectly in the last example.
 
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Well, it didn't work out trying to use the computer for tabbing arpeggios, so I did it old school - five rows

!st Row - Some examples of Arpeggiated Chords to use for ballads and slower songs

2nd Row - Lullaby Licks - Peggy Seeger invented this name for this arpeggio

3rd Row - Educated Thumb (This is called Patterrn Picking and is a good introduction to Thumb/Travis/Cotten Picking which keeps an alternating thumb on the beat while the finger pick the melody and fill in notes on the treble strings). As long as the thumb keeps the beat, you can combine different patterns or make up your own.

4th Row - A Banjo style: a couple of common banjo rolls: a forward roll and a Foggy Mountain Banjo roll

5th Row - This is how the FMB roll might sound in context. It works better on a re-entrant tuned uke.

View attachment 174753
That's awesome! Thank you!!!
 
Well, it didn't work out trying to use the computer for tabbing arpeggios, so I did it old school - five rows

!st Row - Some examples of Arpeggiated Chords to use for ballads and slower songs

2nd Row - Lullaby Licks - Peggy Seeger invented this name for this arpeggio

3rd Row - Educated Thumb (This is called Patterrn Picking and is a good introduction to Thumb/Travis/Cotten Picking which keeps an alternating thumb on the beat while the finger pick the melody and fill in notes on the treble strings). As long as the thumb keeps the beat, you can combine different patterns or make up your own.

4th Row - A Banjo style: a couple of common banjo rolls: a forward roll and a Foggy Mountain Banjo roll

5th Row - This is how the FMB roll might sound in context. It works better on a re-entrant tuned uke.

View attachment 174753
Thank you so much for this! I saw the original version and it was not cooperating with you 😝
 
I highly recommend Arpeggio Meditations for Ukulele by Daniel Ward. It's pretty much all arpeggiated chords in variations, great exercises that sound beautiful when you develop skill with them.
Amie,
Is this targeted to beginner, intermediate or advanced player?
I purchased it anyway.
 
Amie,
Is this targeted to beginner, intermediate or advanced player?
I purchased it anyway.
I purchased it as an almost rank beginner, and took some time to master some of the needed skills for the first three studies (the first one is the least challenging, except a chord change that is a little tricky for a beginner at the end). So if you're patient, and take it slowly, you can definitely play at least a few of the pieces from this book as a beginner. I still consider myself a beginner, but let's call it a slightly less rank beginner level, and I find some of the pieces more difficult, and some less difficult, but I really enjoy working through them. I've now tried most (but not quite all) of the pieces in the book, and can play them each at least somewhat, some of course with less struggle than others. Pay attention to the left hand fingering, usually it's spot on to set you up for the next chord change; at the very least, it's a solidly good suggestion. I hope you enjoy the book. I feel that it's really helped me with my skill development, and that it will continue to do so as I become smoother at playing them. Plus, if you've got a buddy, there's a companion book that you can play duets on. I'm not really in that category yet that I can confidently play the melody parts for those pieces that have the duet available (not all do), but I play them with my teacher, and it's beautiful to play them together.
 
Amie,
Is this targeted to beginner, intermediate or advanced player?
I purchased it anyway.
I think it depends what kind of beginner you are. Meditation number two heads to fifth position, third one has pull-offs, fifth one has a barre chord + pinky (pinky of fretting hand is very busy in this book, lol). Quite a few of the chord shapes are going to feel fairly stretchy for beginner hands, especially if you’re on a longer scale instrument.

I dove in, but I come from violin and I’m comfy reading music and tab. I’d also done a solid six weeks with Sam Muir method books and Lute to Uke. I didn’t know what a pull-off was, and still can’t play that meditation worth crap, but I’m fine with adding my pinky and shifting up the fingerboard and looking up alternatives to barre chords. Guitar/banjo/mando players would have stuff they could lean on, too. Pure beginner, I think this is not. It certainly wouldn’t be very meditative 😝
 
If you want something even easier and just want to get your feet wet with fingerpicking (mixed metaphor), just take a song you know already and for every time you would haved strummed, pluck the outside strings (G and A) and then the inside strings (C and E). It will kind of still sound like the song you know but it will be dulcet and beautiful. This works with random chords as well and even for made-up chords. Just put your fingers anywhere and strum it. Ugh! It will be cacophonic. But pluck outside/inside strings and it becomes hauntingly beautiful
 
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