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  • Ukulele Beginner to Brilliant Book 1 Beginner A Complete Method For Playing The .

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    内容提示: UKULELE BEGINNER TO BRILLIANT BOOK 1: BEGINNER UKULELE BEGINNER TO BRILLIANT BOOK 1: BEGINNER by Doug Falconer Copyright © 2018 Doug Falconer All rights reserved. ISBN-13: 9781793950727 DEDICATION To Fraser, Freya, Lochlann and Patience with love. May your boats row gently and merrily down the stream, and your trains always be bound for glory. ...

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    UKULELE BEGINNER TO BRILLIANT BOOK 1: BEGINNER UKULELE BEGINNER TO BRILLIANT BOOK 1: BEGINNER by Doug Falconer Copyright © 2018 Doug Falconer All rights reserved. ISBN-13: 9781793950727 DEDICATION To Fraser, Freya, Lochlann and Patience with love. May your boats row gently and merrily down the stream, and your trains always be bound for glory. CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 1 HOW TO USE THIS BOOK – preparation – the naming of parts 2 LESSON 1: The Chord Box - Chords of C and F – Basic thumb strum – left hand finger exercise – Tab explained - the rule of minimum movement 9 LESSON 2: Chords: G and G7 to complete the “three chord trick”- 3/4 strum – Lavender’s Blue 14 LESSON 3: Learning to Read Music - The notes on the ukulele - Note values – melody for Lavender’s Blue – the dotted note 16 LESSON 4: Reading music: notes on all strings - Au Clair de la Lune 21 LESSON 5: Right Hand alternating finger technique: imim – triplets – syncopation – 2/4 and 6/8 time: Row, Row, Row Your Boat 26 LESSON 6: REVIEW & CONSOLIDATION - Daily Practice Routine - FINGER DEXTERITY: left & right hand exercises – “Layover” - Hall of the Mountain King 30 LESSON 7: This Train is Bound for Glory - Advanced strumming (palm muting; “Boom Chicka”; chord embellishment) - “Three Chords and the Truth” 32 LESSON 8: Pay me my money Down - more Boom Chicka 34 LESSON 9: An Introduction to Chord Melody - On Top of Old Smokey - 3/4 time – C major scale 35 LESSON 10: Ear Training (Twinkle twinkle; Oh Susanna) - Camptown Races chord melody 38 LESSON 11: Bunessan/Morning has Broken (chord melody) 44 LESSON 12: Music Theory (Chords and Keys) – Steps & half steps/Tones and semitones – what is a chord? – major and minor chords 46 LESSON 13: The Two Chord to the Three Chord to the Four Chord Trick – ear training – Am, D and Em 50 AFTERWORD: review – suggestions for practice 52 APPENDIX: I IV V7 CHORDS IN MOST POPULAR KEYS 53 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Cover by Graham Majin (singer, saxophonist and sketcher extraordinaire) A Note to the Reader This book is for an international readership so I have had to make some editorial decisions. I have used UK English for spelling and grammar, but favoured USA music terminology (although both UK and American terms are included). 1 1 UKULELE: BEGINNER TO BRILLIANT INTRODUCTION This is a four Book method that has a simple goal: to take you from a beginner with no knowledge of music or playing a musical instrument to an accomplished musician and brilliant ukulele player. Becoming a musician is a journey that is a lot of fun but also one that has many detours that can lead you into swamps, deserts and other musical wastelands where you can fritter away years aimlessly wandering (and wondering) without ever making any real progress. That pretty much describes my musical journey and if only I’d known then what I know now I’d have had a much better journey and be further up that road to brilliance. This is the book that I wish I had been able to buy when I was just starting out and I hope it, along with Books 2 3 and 4, will be a comprehensive guide that will take you the safest and shortest route from complete beginner to brilliant musician. This is what you will find: • A structured course that takes you from basics through to advanced fingerpicking and strumming techniques • An understanding of musical terms and an ability to read music and tablature • A practical understanding of music theory that you can apply to whatever you are playing, and which will help you to compose and make your own arrangements • A practical approach to improving your ear to finger connection so that you can play what you hear in your head and work out melodies and chords that you hear on radio, tv and online • A repertoire of chord melody arrangements • A solid grounding in folk, blues and jazz • Lessons linked to online videos which demonstrate the lessons in the books Good luck, and I hope the following pages will open a musical world for you. Video Introduction here: https://youtu.be/bPqlgRz0Fsc 2 2 HOW TO USE THIS BOOK Learning music from a book can be harder than learning it from a real, live teacher. To compensate for this, I’ve made videos, starting from the simplest of basics and covering all the lessons in this book. These can be viewed on my YouTube channel by clicking the link here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzqwFChU0wVl__suqYUKJiTGoBZU9KBKH or by searching on Youtube for “Ukulele Beginner to Brilliant” if you have a paperback copy of this book. I hope that seeing and hearing the videos will add a whole new level of clarity. This Book is the first of 4 books, arranged in order of difficulty. Each book builds on the knowledge and skills of the previous one and I think of the four books as four grades taking you from Beginner to Intermediate to Advanced to Brilliant! So, if you are a complete beginner then my advice is to start at the beginning and work your way through in order. Lessons are designed to be short but to be practised regularly (short bursts of 15 minutes to half an hour everyday are far better than one long session once or twice a week). We all learn at a different pace and some lessons you will find easy and move past swiftly, others may challenge you to the extent that you have to repeat them over and over for a week or two. Music theory is included at suitable places so that, as your playing improves, your knowledge will increase too. I haven’t put anything in that I didn’t consider essential and that doesn’t link with the practical lessons immediately before or after. Remember: there are video links and seeing me explain and play will fill in most of the gaps and make the lessons clearer. Focussed practice To make the most progress, approach every lesson this way: set your mobile phone timer for 3 sets of 5 to 10 minutes (so a session will be 15 minutes to half an hour maximum). This divides the lesson up into three chunks and keeps you focussed. PREPARATION Before you start you need two or three things. Not least - a ukulele. The Ukulele I am not sponsored by any company, and do not benefit financially from anything I say below, so I’m free to give you my honest opinion. 3 3 The good news is that the ukulele is one of the cheapest instruments you can buy. Just get down to your local music shop and they should sort you out pretty quickly. You can get a reasonable sounding ukulele for the price of a night out (a restaurant meal for two people) - in current 2018 prices in the UK, that’s about £50 ($50 -$60). I will use various ukuleles in different price ranges on my videos to give you an idea, but my “go to” ukulele is one of my cheapest (it cost less than £50): a blue, soprano Makala with a wooden top and plastic body (see picture below). The advantage of a cheap ukulele is that you are happy to let the kids play with it and to take it on your travels. My makala has been dropped, bashed, scraped and generally abused but, because it was so cheap, I don’t have to worry about it and get all precious. If you are starting out, and on a limited budget, look no further. Avoid the really cheap instruments, like the ones with cartoon characters, as they are not much better than toys and are usually fitted with awful strings. Make sure your ukulele comes ready fitted with Aquila strings (as my budget Makala did) or buy a set of Aquila strings and put them on immediately as they will improve the sound. If you are happy to spend a bit more you will get a truly fine instrument. There is a great deal of choice out there and, by and large, you get what you pay for. The bottom line is - you can get a great sounding ukulele for between £100 and £200 ($100 to $200). A well established brand is Kala and here is a picture of my Kala soprano ukulele (spalted maple with cedar soundboard) - on the right, and my blue Makala (on the left). I don’t think you can go wrong if you buy a Kala (and I believe Makala is made by the same company but is their budget range). Different woods affect the tone: Koa is the Hawaiian wood of choice but is very expensive; mahogany is a good alternative and I have three mahogany ukuleles by Mainland which have a lovely sound. 4 4 Ukuleles come in many different sizes but the most popular three are: soprano, concert and tenor. For this book, and generally, I recommend one of these three sizes. All three are tuned the same so what you play on one can be instantly transferred to another (they all have a 4th string which is a “high G” or “re-entrant” string, which just means it breaks the order of the strings: e.g. if you pluck the strings in order from 1st to 4th on the ukulele then they go down in pitch but the 4th string defies the order and goes up in pitch. This gives the ukulele its unique chiming sound. The tenor can come with a low G 4th string but these are rarer and I’d avoid that in favour of the more common “re-entrant” g. The soprano is the smallest and has 12 frets. If you are under 12 years old or an adult with small or average sized hands this is perfect. I have fairly large hands but own several sopranos and play soprano the most. If you often travel by plane then this is the only one of the three ukuleles that is small enough to go as hand luggage. The concert is a little larger so may suit if you have larger hands. The tenor is worth considering, especially if you have large hands and thick fingers. The one advantage (and it isn’t one I count as being worth much) is that the concert and tenor have extra frets (14 + to the soprano’s standard 12 frets). Tenor is the favoured instrument of Jake Shimabukuro, possibly the world’s best ukulele player. The sizes all sound a little different but they all sound good so it is down to personal taste. If you get into the ukulele you’ll end up with one (or more) of each size anyway so, if you’ve researched to the point that your head is swimming and you just can’t decide, then my default advice is to get a soprano (it takes up the least room and is the easiest to take anywhere). Here are three of my ukuleles in size order: soprano, concert and tenor: 5 5 Note: there is a larger sized ukulele, called the baritone, which I hear is now popular. It is tuned the same as the guitar’s top 4 strings (D G B E). However, it is beyond the scope of this book, written for the soprano, concert and tenor ukuleles – which are all tuned gCEA. A DIGITAL TUNER – BUY ONE! The guitar is hard enough to tune by ear, but the ukulele borders on the impossible. I consider buying a digital tuner as a must. They’re not much dearer than a magazine: mine was £5 and I recently splashed out and got an expensive one (£10) because it also had a built in metronome and was chargeable by the mains. They all seem to have settings that help them recognise and tune the instrument you put them on (e.g. “Cu” setting for Ukulele, or a “Ukulele-C” setting). That’s it: a Ukulele and a tuner are all you need to get started. However, a recommended optional extra would be: A METRONOME This is a device that clicks at pre-selected speeds so that it keeps you in good time. Learning alone you can develop sloppy timing, but occasional practice with a metronome will develop your sense of rhythm and make you a joy for others to play with. Further, when learning difficult passages, the best thing to do is to go slow but in perfect time – the metronome will help you do that. Again, a metronome is inexpensive (mine is built into my £10/$10 tuner) – so recommended. Unconvinced? Don’t buy one yet; try downloading a free phone app metronome and use that for a while. Here is a picture of my old-fashioned, wind up, clockwork metronome and one of my new tuner/metronome clipped on to the ukulele headstock. 6 6 The Naming of Parts The parts of the ukulele Tuning The strings are numbered (with reference to the diagram above) from left to right: 4 3 2 1. They are tuned: gCEA (the lower case “g” denotes that the 4 th string is a high, re-entrant g). 7 7 The Notes on the Fretboard Tuning (manual method) My strong recommendation is to buy an electronic tuner. Having said that, it is good to know how to manually tune your ukulele. There are online tuners and apps that will play the notes: G4 C4 E4 and A4 and you can try to tune to these pitches by ear. In the good old pre-digital days, we used pitch pipes (still available in music shops) and, my favourite, the tuning fork. As a backup to your tuner, or just because you want to tune the traditional way, you can buy a tuning fork pitched at A440 Hz (the note A). This is the correct pitch for your 1 st (A) string. Once you have tuned your 1 st string to A440Hz, then, with reference to the fretboard chart above, you do this: Hold down the 2 nd string 5 th fret and compare that note with the 1 st string open. They should be the same. Soon you will be able to tell if it is flatter or sharper than A. Turn the 2 nd string tuning peg until that note at the 5 th fret is the same pitch as the open 1 st string. Once your 2 nd string is in tune, hold down the 3 rd string, 4 th fret. That should give you the same note as the open 2 nd string (E). Turn the 3rd string peg until it does. Finally, to tune the 4 th string, fret the 2 nd string 3 rd fret, which gives you the correct G note. Turn the 4 th string tuning peg until the pitches match. Alternatively, if you have a piano or electronic keyboard handy, then the ukulele 3 rd string open is tuned to middle C on the piano. Then you can tune the other strings to the 3 rd string, like so: Fret 3 rd string 4 th fret. Tune the 2 nd string open to it. Fret 2 nd string 5 th fret. Tune the 1 st string open to it. Fret the 2 nd string 3 rd fret. Tune the 4 th string open to it. Now, it gave me a headache just to write that, so heaven knows what it was like for you to read. Do yourself a favour – JUST GO OUT AND BUY AN ELECTRONIC TUNER – I implore you! 8 8 The Fingers Left Hand Right Hand The left hand fingers are numbered 1 to 4 (1 = index; 2 = middle; 3 = ring; 4 = pinkie). The right hand fingers are given letters based on the Spanish words for them: p i m a c (P = pulgar Thumb; i = indico Index Finger; m = medio Middle Finger; a = anular Ring Finger; the pinkie is rarely used but is denoted by c = chiquito, little finger or pinky. Often, in tablature, the thumb is denoted by T, instead of p). Let’s Get Started With your digital tuner clipped to your headstock and switched on, simply tune a string at a time by turning the tuners until the green light comes on. It can take a little while for new strings to “settle” and they may slip out of tune again pretty quickly so, at first, you may have to retune several times. A way to accelerate this settling in process is to stretch the strings by pinching one at a time and pulling it up, away from the fretboard, so that it loses some of its elasticity. 9 9 LESSON 1 (The Chord Box - Chords of C and F major - the Thumb Strum - a Left Hand finger exercise - TAB explained - the rule of minimum movement) The Chord Box A “chord” is three (or more) notes played together. A chord box for the chord C major looks like this: above the nut means you play that string open 3 The C chord 1. The 3 rd finger is just behind the 3 rd fret. 2. The thumb is behind the fretboard, countering the pressure of the fingers (not hooked over the top and visible). 3. The other fingers should not be tucked back but are here in order to clearly show the position of the 3 rd finger. N.B. Your fingers should be relaxed and hovering very close to the frets as in the next photo. The nut 1 st fret The finger you use to fret the note The dot shows where you fret the string. The dot is shaded black unless the note is the root of the chord – in which case it has a checked pattern 10 From your viewpoint this is what your left hand should look like when you play the C chord. Important Points Try relaxing your left hand by your side and observe the shape it takes. It takes a “claw” shape with the fingers and thumb curved inwards slightly. If you bend your elbow, lifting your hand until it is in front of your face then your hand will look something like the picture below. Keep relaxed and close your thumb and 1st and 2nd fingers together in a light pinching motion. This is the position you should strive for. Compare both photographs and see the similarity in hand position. Note in the first picture that the 3rd finger is lightly pressing down behind the 3rd fret but the other fingers are hovering close to the fingerboard. This illustrates the principle of Minimum Movement. In keeping with this principle your default position is for your fingers to hover over the appropriate fret: 1st finger over 1st fret; 2nd over 2nd; 3rd over 3rd; 4th over 4th (as in the top photo). 11 The First Two CHORDS and the Basic Strum C F The first step is to learn to play the chords C and F, learn both shapes and try to change smoothly from one to the other. To begin with you might want to try just playing the F chord as a one note chord by using only your 1st finger on the 2nd string, 1st fret (and playing the 4th string, as well as the 3rd and 1st, open). When you can move smoothly between the two chords, then add the 2nd finger. The Basic Strum Use the right hand thumb to brush down across all four strings. Alternatively, use your index finger. Try playing 4 beats (i.e. 4 downwards strums = D for down) on the C chord before changing to the F, as follows. The music below is divided into “bars”: | | is one bar. The first strum is on the chord symbol (C) and each / is one strum. Exercise 1: | C / / / | F / / / | (and repeat) Count: 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 Strum: D D D D D D D D This might take a while to learn – there is no secret, there is no shortcut, just repeat every day for 5 minutes and you’ll get there. Don’t overdo it; just set your timer, do your time, then rest and give your muscles and brain a chance to learn. Very soon, it will be as easy as breathing. Take it very, very slow. Enjoy each strum; listen to the individual notes of the chord ring out and make sure that every note is clear and there are no buzzes caused by your other fingers touching the strings. Use a metronome: rather than play fast and then break the rhythm when it comes to changing chord, set your metronome at a very slow speed and only increase the speed when you can make that change smoothly. Every click of the metronome is a D (downstroke of the thumb or index finger). Exercise 2: Strumming Patterns Continuing to use the thumb, we add an upstroke (drag the thumb back up the strings) on the off beat. D = downstroke. u = upstroke | C / / / | F / / / | (and repeat) Count: 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 Strum: D D D D D D D D 1 2 3 12 Count: 1 2 3 & 4 1 2 3 & 4 Strum: D D D u D D D D u D Count: 1 2 3 & 4 & 1 2 3 & 4 & Strum: D D D u D u D D D u D u Count: 1 2 & 3 & 4 & 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & Strum: D D u D u D u D u D u D u D u The Left Hand 1 2 3 4 The fingers are numbered as above. Think of each one as belonging to a fret. The 1st finger belongs to that 1st fret and it doesn’t want to stray from there without good cause. The 2nd finger belongs to the 2nd fret. The 3rd finger is at the third fret. The 4th finger is at the 4th fret. What we need to do is to train the fingers to move independently of one another and here is a great exercise for doing that: Exercise 3 (Left Hand Practice): Have all fingers hovering above the first string, at their allocated fret. Just use your right hand thumb to pick the notes as your left hand fingers fret in this order: 1 2 3 4 4 3 2 1 1 4 3 4 2 4 3 4 Try moving this same pattern up the fretboard, or onto a different string. In case that isn’t clear; this is the exercise in tablature: 13 Tab Explained: The four horizontal lines are the 4 strings of the ukulele: gCEA (or strings 1, 2, 3 and 4): The highest pitched string (the 1st string) is at the top. The numbers are the frets. So, in the 1 st bar you play frets 1 2 3 and 4. All the notes in this example are on The 1 st (i.e. A) string. N.B. Minimum movement is the principle here. Your fingers will want to make big, unnecessary movements and your wrist will want to twist and your hand will get very tense. Relax. Relax. Relax. The first bar is easy: 1 2 3 4 (leave the previous fingers on as you go up so that by the time you get to finger 4 all the fingers are on the fretboard, pressing down lightly). However, in the second bar, after you have played the note at the 4th fret the 4th finger has to lift off so that you can play the 3rd fret (focus here on not allowing the 4th finger to move too far, keep it hovering right above the string at the 4th fret). Similarly, when about to play the 2nd fret note, just allow the 4th and 3rd fingers to move a few millimetres away from the fretboard. This takes real effort and discipline at first but it pays great dividends in the long run. Persevere. This thick bar line with double dots means the section that follows is repeated This is a bar 14 LESSON 2 (the chords of G and G7 - the “three chord trick” - 3/4 strum - a first song, Lavender’s Blue) First, review Lesson 1 Exercises 1, 2 and 3. A) Chords G G7 Exercise 1: Practise holding the chords down using the fingering shown, then changing from one chord to the other. Next, play the F chord then change to G. Finally, try playing C and changing to G7. When we put G or G7 together with C and F we have the basis for an almost limitless number of songs. That is why C F and G/G7 are sometimes referred to as “the three chord trick”, and why a songwriter once said that to write a great country music song all you need is “three chords and the truth”. Time Signature: 3/4 or “Waltz time” Last lesson we practised strumming in what is known as “Common time” (or 4/4) which is, as the name suggests, the most common time used by western musicians: a 4 beat to the bar rhythm. The first number is the number of beats, or counts: so, you count to 4. The second number (also 4) represents the note we use for each count (the quarter note). So, every quarter note counts as 1 beat and there are 4 beats in every bar. The second most used time signature is called 3/4 (often referred to as “Waltz time”). So, we count to 3 in every bar, using the quarter note as 1 beat. Practise emphasising the 1st beat of this 3 beat rhythm as you change the chords. Practise thumb strums when changing chords (when the thumb gets tired; rest it and use the index finger instead): Exercise 2: | C / / | G7 / / | (and repeat) Count: 1 2 3 1 2 3 Strum: D D D D D D Count: 1 2& 3 & 1 2 & 3 & Strum: D Du Du D Du D u | F / / | G / / | (and repeat) Count: 1 2& 3 1 2& 3 Strum: D Du D D Du D 1 2 3 1 2 3 15 A First Song When I started out playing music I wanted to play trendy, chart music, and to play like my guitar hero Jimi Hendrix. I wanted to be “cool”. However, after many years I felt I just hadn’t made the progress I hoped for and I went back to studying the simplest and most basic music I could – simple folk songs and children’s songs. Don’t be fooled into thinking these songs are “uncool”, “babyish” or “twee”; they have stood the test of time and contain a wealth of good music. These songs are the building blocks to a deep understanding of music and to bypass them is a mistake. As I’ve got deeper into music I’ve realised that simple is best: if you can’t make good music with three chords and five notes then you will never make good music with more. Here is a simple, beautiful song to learn: Lavender’s Blue – a 17th C English folk song (it hit the charts when reworked by Marillion in the 1980’s). It is in 3/4 so the strumming patterns you practised earlier will work. If you don’t know the song you’ll find many versions on Youtube. Lavender’s Blue (3/4) Strum the following 8 bar sequence for every chorus and verse. |C |C |F |F | |C |C |G7 |C | |C |C |F |F | Lavender’s blue, dilly, dilly, Lavender’s green |C |C |G7 |C | When I am King, dilly, dilly, you shall be Queen Alternative 2nd line (for lady singers): When you are King, dilly, dilly, I shall be Queen Other verses: Who told you so, dilly, dilly Who told you so? ‘Twas my own heart, dilly, dilly That told me so Call up your friends, dilly, dilly Set them to work Some to the plough, dilly, dilly Some to the fork Some to the hay, dilly, dilly Some to thresh corn Whilst you and I, dilly, dilly Keep ourselves warm Lavender’s green, dilly, dilly Lavender’s blue If you love me, dilly, dilly I will love you 16 LESSON 3 (The notes on the ukulele - Note values - chords and melody for Lavenders Blue – the dotted note) Learning to Read Music You don’t need to learn to read music and many ukulele players and guitarists don’t as there is a system called Tablature (TAB for short) which is simpler to understand and read (introduced in Lesson 1). However, classical notation is widely used and worth the little time and trouble it takes to learn it. In the next two lessons we’ll cover the essentials and from then on use a combination of music notation and TAB. Music is laid out in a 5 line “stave” (as we call it in Britain) or “staff” (as it is called in the USA) with each line and space representing a musical note or pitch: The treble clef “ is an old style letter “g” and is wrapped around the line for the note G. On the piano these notes would be played by the pianists right hand, whereas the left hand would play the lower notes on a stave underneath called the “bass clef” which has this symbol at the beginning: ? This is an old style letter “f” and the two dots enclose the line for the note F. Note that on the treble clef this line is the note D so that makes reading music very confusing. The good news is that, as ukulele players, we need never bother with the bass clef, so just forget all about it. The notes on the treble clef The lines on the stave, or staff, are: E G B D F and an easy way to remember them is: “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour” (that’s a bit old-fashioned now, so maybe change the F to “Football” – or make up your own mnemonic). The spaces are the notes: F A C E. An easy way to remember them is, well, “face”. 17 The Range of the Ukulele: Note: there are extra “lines” below and above the stave. The lowest note on the ukulele is C (the open 3rd string) and the highest is A at the 12th fret of the 1st string (unless your ukulele has extra frets of course) so the staff above shows the entire range of the ukulele. Note Values So far, the Treble Clef shows you what the notes will be, but it doesn’t show you how long you should hold a note for. Here are the note values: So, if you think of one bar (or measure) of music in 4/4 as lasting 4 beats with every beat equalling a quarter note, then a whole note would fill the whole bar as its value is 4 beats. A half note is 2 beats; so you require 2 half notes to fill one bar. A quarter note is 1 beat; so you require 4 quarter notes to fill one bar. An eighth note is half a beat; so you require 8 to fill a bar. A sixteenth note is a quarter of a beat; so you require 16. 18 To make it easier to read music the notes with tails on them get joined up into groups like this: Two eighth notes together is 1 beat (count “1 &”). Note: the tails can go up or down depending on whether the notes are at the top or bottom of the staff/stave. Four sixteenth notes have their tails joined like this. They equal 1 beat and you could count: “1 e & e” When there is no note being played this is indicated by a rest. Here is a reference chart: NOTE NAME BEATS REST WHOLE (Semibreve) 4 V HALF (Minim) 2 W QUARTER (Crotchet) 1 X EIGHTH (Quaver) 1/2 Y SIXTEENTH (Semiquaver) 1/4 Z Note: the British names for the notes are in brackets in the second column, but from here on I use the American terms because an “eighth note” is easier to understand and remember than a “quaver”. Confused? Don’t worry, it all becomes much clearer when we start putting it into practice. Here are some exercises: 19 Exercise 1: Rhythm Practice in 4/4 To get the rhythm into your body, tap one foot on the beat as you count a steady 1 2 3 4 rhythm out loud. Then clap your hands together in the rhythm above. When you feel you have the rhythm, pick up the ukulele. The note is A, which is the 1st string open, so all you have to do is keep tapping your foot and counting out loud (or in your head) and use your thumb to pluck the string (note the repeat sign at the beginning and end of the music – keep repeating!). Exercise 2: Rhythm Practice in ¾ Again, the only note played is A on the open 1st string. You should be recognising the quarter, eighteenth and half notes by now, but I have put the count in to help you. As before: Tap your foot and clap the rhythm first. Keep the count going in your head. Transfer it to the ukulele, plucking the open first string in time. Exercise 3: This is what the chords for Lavender’s Blue look like tabbed and in musical notation. You have to work out the count/rhythm yourself this time. Keep counting, keep tapping a foot and try to change smoothly from one chord to another without a break in the rhythm. Use downstrokes on the beat and upstrokes on the offbeat (i.e. on the “and”). Use a metronome and START SLOW, only increasing the speed when the chord changes are seamless. 20 Exercise 4: The melody for Lavender’s Blue follows. The Time Signature is 3/4. The first number means that there are 3 beats in every bar or measure. The second number tells us that the quarter note (4) counts as one beat. So every bar will have 3 quarter notes in it, or to put it more accurately, each beat, or count, is a quarter note long. The second bar is counted: 1 2 and 3 and. The Dotted Note The 4th bar has a Half Note with a dot after it. A dot after a note means that you extend its length by 50% (or by half again). A Half Note is 2 beats long, extending that by half gives you 2+1=3 beats. So, in 3/4 time you hold a dotted half note for the whole bar. Fingering Which left hand fingers to use? In this example, use the same finger as the fret indicated. So, for the open string, no fingers; for the 1st fret, use the 1st f...

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