Saturday, February 18, 2017

3 Secrets to learn and play ukulele faster

How do you learn faster?

Take it slow and easy!

These 3 things are something I find myself always reminding my students.

All students will have the tendency to play to quickly too fast, to not concentrate on playing in time, and to work on far too many things.

As a result, they can't master the things that need to be mastered before moving on.

You will need to constantly remind yourself of these three things if you don't have a teacher to do so.

1. Start Slow

A common mistake most people make is trying to play a complicated part up to speed right away. A complicated part for a beginner might be a simple chord change, for a more advanced player, it could be a complicated finger-style passage.

The secret to playing that part cleanly and clearly is to start slow. Play the part very slow and then gradually bring it up to speed as you start to get it down.

2. Play in time, with a steady beat

Make sure what your playing has a steady and even beat. always count out loud, start slow, and be sure you are playing evenly and keeping a steady beat.

Even if it's the most basic strum you are learning, start very slow and count evenly. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, etc... and strum along. It may help to tap your foot as well, while you count.

It would be most helpful if you had a metronome. A metronome has a steady clicking sound that you can play along with. You can adjust the speed of the clicking so that you can play slower for faster songs.

Using a metronome is the best way to make sure you are keeping steady time.

3. Take it one step at a time

Don't try to do to many things at once, work on a few things and when you get good at them add to them. For example, if you are just starting out don't work with a whole bunch of rhythms or lots of chords, take a few chords that work well together, and a basic rhythm or a few basic rhythms and work with a few songs that use those chords and that you can use the basic rhythms with.

Playing the songs will be your practice, and it will help you to get down the rhythm you are working with as well.

For example: in the FREE Play ukulele NOW eBook, you'll learn two chords and a basic rhythm. You'll then have quite a few songs that you can play that use just those two chords and that basic rhythm.

In the Play Ukulele NOW Method and Songbook, after you get better at that basic chord change and that basic rhythm, it's time to add a chord that works good with those two chords, and then you'll have some songs that use those three chords to play. After you get better at that, it's time to look at a little more advanced rhythm or strum, etc...

It is important that learning is like building blocks and each thing builds a little bit more on what you have already learned.

It is important have an understanding of the step you are on before you move to the next step. This is what the Play Ukulele NOW Method and Songbook dose.

Don't know where to start get the Play ukulele NOW eBook FREE, click here to get yours

The Play Ukulele NOW Method and Songbook teaches Ukulele one step at a time quickly and easily learn to master chords and rhythms, click here to get yours

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Transposing Music, Changing the key a song is in for ukulele

This is an advanced lesson and for those that have completed the Play Ukulele NOW Method and Songbook or have a good understand of the basics. Feel free to post any questions you might have about it.

Why would you need to change the key?

1. You found the song you'd like to play but it's in the wrong key:

You may find a song on the internet you'd like to play but it's not in the right key. It could be a song that's normally in G but the only example showing all of the chords is in C, and you've found it dose not sound right in C

2. It's a songs that you found in piano music so it has the chords but it's not in a good key for the ukulele:

You may find something in some piano music and it's in Bb and you'd like to play it in a more suitable key for the ukulele like C or A. It also may be that you need to play the song in a key that's easier for you to play or sing.

3. The song is too high or low for you to sing:

Perhaps you found that the song is too low for you to sing and you need to play it just a little bit higher

If you run into any of these problems you can still play the song using the sheet music or any version you found, you'll just need to know how to change the key so that you can play it in a more suitable key.

Here's how you can change the key of any song

​If a song is too high, too low or in a key you don’t want to play it in, you can change the key of the song, so that it is easier to play or in a key that you know better! To do this change all of the chords using the chart below.

Most songs for the ukulele are transposed into the keys of C or G.

Songs that are in Minor Keys are usually in Am or Em. The relative minor keys of C and G.

This is because those are some of the easiest key to play

click on the chart to see it up close

Down in the Valley and Skip to my Lou are in the Play Ukulele NOW Method and Songbook and in the Free eBook and are great easy songs that can be used to try new things.

When trying new accompaniments or techniques, it's a good idea to use easy songs you are already familiar with.

Down in the Valley and Skip to my Lou appear in the key of C in the Play Ukulele NOW Method, If you would like to play Down in the Valley or Skip to my Lou it a little higher, transpose it to D, the C becomes a D and the G7 becomes an A7.

Songs in C can be transposed to D if you would like to play them a little higher. Songs in G can be transposed to A, etc… 

Let's try it!

Take a few songs and transpose them to different keys. Don’t move too far up or down the chart away from the original key, the song could easily get too be high or too low.

First try some songs that are in C and have only 2 chords, (typically, for a song in the key of C with  2 chords, the chords would be C and G7). You'll find some songs like that here in our FREE eBook, click here to get yours.

1. First transpose them to D, the C becomes a D and the G7 becomes an A7.

2. Then try them in A, the C becomes an A and the G7 becomes an E7.

This covers just the basics of using the transposition chart. There is allot to this chart and we can have quite a few future lessons on using it.

For teachers, future lessons may include: 

How about minor keys?

What if the chord is not on the chart.

What if the chord is a little bit different than a chord on the chart?

This chart can also be used to study the principal and relative minor chords.

Stay tuned for more!

Don't have the Play ukulele NOW Method and Songbook yet? Click here to get yours.

Your turn? Post a comment.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Great Ukulele News for Guitarists: Guitar Players, Play Uke instantly!

Did you know that ukuleles are like micro-guitars!

They make the perfect travel instrument for a guitar player or a perfect beginner instrument for someone that might like to play guitar someday. Ukulele is the ultimate beginner instrument because it is the easiest instrument in the world to play.

Ukuleles are tuned almost the same as a guitar, but a 4th higher, so your D chord would be a G and your C chord would be an F! Otherwise it will be very similar to the top 4 strings of a guitar!

Uke tuning is the same as guitar tuning!

Soprano, Concert and Tenor Ukes are tuned, G, C, E, A. The bottom string, (the closest to you when you hold the uke), the G string, is tuned an octave higher. It is possible to get a set of strings where the G string is not tuned an octave higher; these are called low G sets.

The Baritone ukulele is tuned exactly the same as the top 4 strings of a guitar. There are also sets for the Tenor Ukulele that are made for a D, G, B, E tuning, so that you can tune your tenor uke exactly like a guitar too.

Get yourself a copy of the FREE Play Ukulele NOW eBook here or check out the Play Ukulele NOW methods and songbooks here

Your turn!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Why play uke? 7 reasons to choose ukulele as your first instrument

Interested in Music? Start your musical adventure with the ukulele!

Ukulele IS the perfect beginner instrument, here's why:

  1. According to the Guinness book of world records the ukulele is the easiest instrument to play 
  2. Ukuleles are small and easy to transport and store
  3. You can learn to read music with a ukulele
  4. You can play instantly with some basic chords. 
  5. Ukuleles are very inexpensive compared to other alternatives for a starter in instrument. A quality beginner instrument can be purchased for around $30.00
  6. Higher Quality All solid wood ukuleles are also inexpensive, starting under $200.00
  7. After learning the basics it will be easier to switch to another fretted instrument, guitar uses similar chords.
This makes the ukulele the perfect starter instrument. Anyone can easily learn a few chords and play hundreds of songs with them.

Ukulele is also the perfect additional instrument for any musician. What other instrument could you put in a suitcase and take anywhere with you!

Get yourself a copy of the FREE Play Ukulele NOW eBook here or check out the Play Ukulele NOW methods and songbooks here

Your turn - what do you think?

Friday, August 12, 2016

What's different about the Play Ukulele NOW Method? Why is it better for beginners?

With the Play Ukulele NOW method you will easily learn the basics of music theory without even knowing it!

You will easily learn how and why chords work together, you will learn lots of great rhythms and understand how to create your own and you will have lot's of great songs to play!

Chords are presented in groups, along with basic theory

In most methods they give you a pile of chords, or randomly present chords, and they don't really tell you how the chords work together. The student is then confused, can't play anything, and quickly gets discouraged.

It's very important, when teaching chords, that the student understands why they work together, and that they know some of the very basic theory behind why they chords work together.

It's also very important to present chords in groups and to work on, master and understand those chords before moving on.

With the understanding of chords that the student will gain they will be able to create their own chord progressions that sound great!

 You get a wide variety of rhythm studies to work on

Rather than presenting on simple rhythm, rhythms are resented along with quite a few variations providing the student plenty to work on. Each time a rhythm is presented, some of the basic theory used to create the rhythm will be clearly outlined as well.

This allows the student to fully understand how the rhythms work and gives them the ability to create more rhythms on their own.

 You get a songbook too!

All the songs in this book are arranged for use chord with the chord and rhythm studies!

You get 30 great songs arranged for this method!

Click here for more information on the Play Ukulele Now method

Monday, August 1, 2016

Get your Play Ukulele NOW Quickstart and get started right away for $2.00!

With the Play Ukulele NOW Quickstart you get just the basics so you can get started right away!

Play instantly with this 24 page Quickstart method! Learn how to tune and hold the ukulele, basic chords, strumming and play 12 songs.

This book is the first 24 pages of the Play Ukulele NOW method and songbook, the Play Ukulele NOW Method and songbook is 64 pages

Get your copy of the Quickstart method here for just $2.00:

Learn more about the complete method:

Learn more and play more with Play Ukulele NOW. This method will have you strumming along with your favorite folk songs in no time! Then it will provide you with a wealth of fun rhythms and songs for further study. In this book you will find the unique Play Ukulele NOW Key sheets, chord charts and rhythm studies! 

The Play Ukulele NOW key sheets teach chords in groups so that you will have an understanding of which chords work well together and which chords are often played together. Without realizing it you will easily learn basic music theory! 

With the unique Play Ukulele NOW Chord Charts you will quickly and easily learn to play chords throughout the neck, using just a few chord forms! 

The comprehensive rhythm studies you will find in this book will provide you with a wide variety of fun rhythms you can use in many different songs!

Get the complete method here as an ebook for just $5.00: