Archive for the ‘Tutorial’ Category

Intricate Strumming & Slash Notation

For simple strumming patterns the usual ‘du-’ strumming notation works just fine. But for more intricate rhythms you need a more comprehensive system. And that’s where slash notation comes in. Slash notation looks a lot like standard musical notation. But it’s a lot simpler. It dispenses with all the notes because you only need it […]

Fingerpicking Patterns

Following on with this week’s fingerpicking accompaniment theme with some popular ukulele picking patterns. I’ve put up a few mini-posts earlier today covering: – One Finger Per String Picking Method – Thumb and Two Fingers Picking Method – Fingerpicking Notation This post follows on from those and the Fingerpicking Ukulele – First steps post with […]

Fingerpicking Notation

In ukulele tab the finger you use to pluck the note is indicated by a letter in italics above the tab. They look like this: Each letter corresponds to a finger on your picking hand: t or p = Thumb i = Index Finger m = Middle Finger a = Ring Finger So when a […]

Thumb and Two Fingers Picking

The Thumb and Two Finger Method of fingerpicking differs from the One Finger Per String Method in two ways: – You don’t use your ring finger. All the picking is done with thumb, index finger and middle finger. – The thumb plays notes on both the g- and C-strings. So the fingers cover these strings: […]

One Finger Per String Picking

The One Finger Per String Method is the most logical way of arranging your picking hand. Each string is allocated a finger. Each string is only played with one finger and each finger only plays one string. They are arranged: Thumb – g-string Index Finger – C string Middle Finger – E string Ring Finger […]

Three More Weird-Ass Scales

The last Three Weird Ass Scales proved popular so here are three more to introduce some new sounds to your playing. A quick restatement of the disclaimer: – The “weird ass”ness of the scales depends entirely on your perspective. – The examples are a lame pastiche rather than an authentic example of use. Double Harmonic […]

Ten Arpeggio Exercises Plus a Song to Improve Your Fingerpicking on Ukulele

If you don’t know that I wrote Ukulele for Dummies I obviously haven’t been doing enough shameless self-promotion. It did well enough that the Dummies folks wanted a follow up: Ukulele Exercises for Dummies. I’m highly allergic to the word “exercise” – I had to take half a dozen Benadryls just to write this intro […]

Three Weird-Ass Scales

I’m going to backtrack from the title right away. Whether these scales sound weird to you depends entirely on your cultural perspective. But they are rarely heard on the ukulele. There are plenty of good reasons to learn unfamiliar sounding scales: – Rut busting: Ever find yourself playing the same set of notes over and […]

Alternate Picking

Usually when I’m arranging for the uke I try to spread things across the strings, campanella style, so you’re not playing the same string many times in succession. But there are times when that doesn’t work out. It’s then I bust out the running man: You pick the string (the E-string in the case) alternately […]

Fake Strums Tutorial

The fake strum is a simple technique that I use a lot in my arrangements. So it’s about time I gave it a post of its own. It’s used in fingerpicking pieces to play full chords. It sounds like a strum but it’s just done by picking individual strings in sequence. Here it is played […]

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