How to Buy Your First Ukulele
Last Saturday I sent out the reading and watching materials for the first Ukulele Basic Workshop. We will have the first practical workshop this Saturday.
You can always visit the materials in the Notes section. All information related to the workshop will have this title UBW201403. Please revisit if you have missed it earlier.
To supplement the material, here is an additional video on hour to buy your first ukulele. The content is quite comprehensive covering various aspects of choosing an ukulele.
How To Buy Your First Ukulele - Got A Ukulele Beginners Guides
In conjunction with the performance at Canberra Day, we are going to have the preparation practice for the event this Wednesday. We are going to rehearse the song Oh Carol with the Rumba strumming. Cousin Kim Hoong has done a detailed analysis how to do the strumming. All of you are encouraged to come to learn this interesting strum. As a bonus, you will also learn the dreaded Calypso strum.
The Ukulele Girls
Happy Monday! It’s the start of the week. You may be busy with work or other things, but please promise to yourself that you will take out and play/practice with your ukulele.
Thanks to Mr Poh who pointed out this article from Today, here is a write-up of Singapore’s own homegrown ukulele duo: Ukulele Girls.
Everything just happened as if it was prearranged. From the forming, performing, shooting for TV shows including the music writing and production, all just happened and happened miraculously well.
Various Genres with Ukulele
UBW Lesson One
Let’s start our first lesson. There are many materials here. We start with history, followed by information on buying ukulele. I also include a short information on basic music theory and few important basic strummings.
I’ll suggest you go through the items according to the suggested sequence below to Gabe a thorough understanding.
History of ukulele
Read the sections on Intro, History, Types, Tuning
Parts of ukulele
How to hold your ukulele For Dummies
Music basics: Time Signature, Measure/Bar, Note, Key
Left hand holding chords and fingering exercise
Ukulele Lessons - Left Hand Position
Right hand strumming style (thumb, index, etc)
Read the sections on The Basics, Advanced, Strumming Notation and Quick Tidbits
Reading chord chart
Basic Strumming Patterns
I know there are lots of information. It’s very important that you really take time to read through the reading assignments and to watch all the videos carefully.
During the practical workshop we will go through all these very quickly. You are encouraged to ask questions in the learners group. I’ll answer them there if it can be done by writing. Otherwise I’ll show you during the practical workshop on Wednesday and Saturday.
家後 & 猫の恩返し
Happy International Women Day to all my cousins in the Ohana!
I posted the first lesson of ukulele basic workshop earlier today. Did you have a chance to to go through the materials? They are not just for the new learners joining the program. It’s also for everyone in the team. I think it’s good for everyone to run through all materials together again.
I had a family gathering tonight to celebrate the Women Day. We also had a chance to sing the few new songs introduced last Wednesday. Along the way we also found better ways to sing them.
While learning the Hokkian pronunciation from the grandparents, Alison introduced this video featuring the 家後 presented by Super Junior M in the renowned Taiwan Variety Show. It showed a genius way to learn the pronunciation interestingly. You can start the video at about minute 5:45. The song is about 2 minutes from minute 6:00.
[Eng Sub] Variety Big Brother (110618) - Super Junior M
Earlier this morning during our breakfast gathering, Yuki shared the song sheet of a Japanese song which is the original version of 小手拉大手. The song is called 猫の恩返し (neko no ongaeshi). It means the returning if gratitude by a cat. It was featured in a movie called 風になる (kaze ni naru) meaning becoming wind. I chose this particular video as it is an ukulele cover so that you can learn to sing the song with your ukulele. The chords and lyrics are included in the YouTube video.
Kaze ni Naru - Tsuji Ayano by Claire (Ukulele)
How to Fingerpick on Ukulele
How are you today? Did you manage to do your daily practice especially with the Uncle Rod’s materials? It’s a good habit to develop.
Last night we introduced three new songs. The first part of the first song 家後 (Ka Hou) was played with arpeggio which means that we use finger-picking to spell out the chords. Since this is the first time we introduced fingerstyle, it is understandable that many of you were confused. This is normal.
To help everyone to master the basics, here is a video that introduces two ways of playing arpeggio. Although Brett McQueen suggested the first method using three fingers, I personally prefer the second one using four fingers.
How to Fingerpick on Ukulele (Fingerpicking Technique)
We have good news. After a break of more than 3 months, our club is going to conduct an ukulele beginner workshop. It will be a combination self learning and practical workshop. That means you need to read the material and watch learning videos on your own at home. The information will be sent in the notes with this specific headline UBW201403. During the practical we will then fine-tune and troubleshoot any issues and challenges.
The workshop is free for all members using English as the medium covering English. Chinese and Malay/Indonesian songs. Access to LINE apps is very important as I’m going to use it as the main communication method.
I’m going to start sending the self-learning materials from 8 Mar 2014. The first workshop will be on 15 Mar 2014 from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. There will be a total of 4 workshop days. Subsequent workshop dates will be on 22, 29 Mar and 5 Apr 2014. Since I’m using workshop format, you can always ask questions to all my co-leaders during our Wednesday or Thursday sessions.
In the mean time, please let me know if you are joining the workshop so that I can pay special attention to you. As of now, I have 11 names.
This is a handy chart if you want to play the major scale in various keys. See if you can spot the common patterns.
Playing scale is not as difficult and complicated as you think it is. If you know how to read the number (numerical) scale and understand the tone and semi-tone distance of the major scale, you will understand the common pattern and how to use it to play all the keys along the ukulele neck.
This is the major scale distance:
Full - Full - Half - Full - Full - Full - Half
Full is basically two frets and half is one fret.
We discussed all these during the ukulele clinic free weeks ago.
Knowing When to Change Chords
While preparing material for the ukulele lessons, I’ve come across many good resources especially for beginners.
Looking at the normal song sheets, we can’t normally determine when to change chord while strumming. Of course we need to know the song.
Here is a great article about knowing when to change chords while strumming a song.