Loading...

Follow Ukulele Tricks on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

I haven’t had this much fun lately learning to play a song as I did learning Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself.

In this heart-felt and soulful tune, you play unexpected chord variations for the verse giving the song it’s signature sound and instant recognition. With a subtle strumming hand slap, you create a percussive rhythm that carries the song’s melody. By the time you get to the chorus, you play the same chords but change the variation to create a fuller sound.

I chose to perform this song on baritone ukulele for two reasons. For one, Love Yourself is played in the key of E, and the key of E is a much more player-friendly key on the baritone ukulele versus a standard-tuned ukulele. And secondly, the baritone’s smooth, mellow sound lends itself well for this particular song’s soulful style.

First, listen to my performance, and then, once you’re ready dive into the ukulele chords for this song below (skip ahead and go right to the chords).

“Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber Baritone Ukulele Cover

Watch the video to hear me play Love Yourself on the baritone ukulele cover and get the baritone ukulele chords on the screen so you can play along with me.

"LOVE YOURSELF" BY JUSTIN BIEBER BARITONE UKULELE COVER & PLAY-ALONG - YouTube

For this song, you’ll want to count out loud as I play along so you can hear what beats the chord changes happen on. It varies throughout the song creating a nice challenge as you’re first learning!

You can also play along with me using your standard-tuned ukulele, but you’ll need to look up the standard ukulele chord diagrams for the chords below in the Ukulele Tricks Chord Library.

Baritone Ukulele Chord Diagrams for “Love Yourself”

Here are the baritone (D-G-B-E) ukulele chord diagrams for the chords I used to play this song.

Verse Chords

For this first set of chords, you use these positions to play the verses, giving the song it’s signature sound.

To play the verse E chord on baritone ukulele, place the index finger on the 2nd fret of the top D-string, little finger on the 5th fret of the B-string, and ring finger on the 4th fret of the bottom E-string. Do not let the G-string ring open.

To play the verse B chord on baritone ukulele, place the index finger on the 1st fret of the top D-string, little finger on the 4th fret of the B-string, and index finger on the 2nd fret of the bottom E-string. Do not let the G-string ring open.

To play the verse C#m chord on baritone ukulele, place the index finger on the 1st fret of the top G-string and middle finger on the 2nd fret of the B-string. Let the bottom E-string ring open. Do not let the top D-string ring open.

To play the verse F#m chord on baritone ukulele, place the index finger on the 4th fret of the top D-string, little finger on the 7th fret of the B-string, and ring finger on the 5th fret of the bottom E-string. Do not let the G-string ring open.

Chorus Chords

You use this second set of chord positions to play the pre-choruses and choruses of the song starting at the lyric “My mama don’t like you” and so on.

To play the E chord on baritone ukulele, place the middle finger on the 2nd fret of the top D-string and index finger on the 1st fret of the G-string. Let the bottom two strings ring open.

To play the Bsus chord on baritone ukulele, place the middle finger on the 4th fret of the top D-string and ring finger on the 4th fret of the G-string. Let the bottom two strings ring open.

To play the C#m7 chord on baritone ukulele, place the middle finger on the 6th fret of the top D-string and ring finger on the 6th fret of the G-string. Let the bottom two strings ring open.

To play the A2 chord (sometimes referred to as Aadd9) on baritone ukulele, place the middle finger on the 2nd fret of the top D-string and ring finger on the 2nd fret of the G-string. Let the bottom two strings ring open.

“Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber Ukulele Chords

This song is written and played in the key of E major. If you’re playing on a standard-tuned ukulele, look up the chord diagrams in the Ukulele Tricks Chord Library.


LOVE YOURSELF

            E	       
For all the times that 
    B          C#m
you rain on my parade
	    F#m	  	     
And all the clubs 
	     E        B
you get in using my name
	      E 	      	 
You think you broke my heart, 
	 B		   C#m
oh girl for goodness sake
	      F#m     	
You think I'm crying, 
	    E 	       B
on my own well I ain't

		   E	     B	
And I didn't wanna write a song 
	     	     	
'cause I didn't want 
C#m
anyone thinking I still care
  F#m        E 		      B
I don't but, you still hit my phone up
	      E	       B		
And baby I be movin' on 
		C#m
and I think you should be somethin'
	      F#m 	
I don't wanna hold back, 
E   	          B
maybe you should know that

	      C#m7     A2 		  E
My mama don't like you and she likes everyone
	    C#m7   A2		     E
And I never like to admit that I was wrong
		 C#m7	      A2  
And I've been so caught up in my job, 
	     E   	     Bsus
didn't see what's going on
	  C#m7  A2	   Bsus
And now I know,  I'm better sleeping on my own

	      E           Bsus  C#m7 	     A2
'Cause if you like the way you  look that much
	E		       A2   E
Oh baby you should go and love yourself
	   E		 Bsus	
And if you think that I'm 
   	C#m7	   A2
still holdin' on to somethin'
E		       A2   E
You should go and love yourself

	     E		      B	       C#m
But when you told me that you hated my friends
	 F#m		  E 	      B
The only problem was with you and not them
	  E		   B  		  C#m
And every time you told me my opinion was wrong
	     F#m	    E 		 B
And tried to make me forget where I came from

		   E	     B	
And I didn't wanna write a song 
	     	     	
'cause I didn't want 
C#m
anyone thinking I still care
  F#m        E 		      B
I don't but, you still hit my phone up
	      E	       B		
And baby I be movin' on 
		C#m
and I think you should be somethin'
	      F#m 	
I don't wanna hold back, 
E   	          B
maybe you should know that

	      C#m7     A2 		  E
My mama don't like you and she likes everyone
	    C#m7   A2		     E
And I never like to admit that I was wrong
		 C#m7	      A2  
And I've been so caught up in my job, 
	     E   	     Bsus
didn't see what's going on
	  C#m7  A2	   Bsus
And now I know,  I'm better sleeping on my own

	      E           Bsus  C#m7 	     A2
'Cause if you like the way you  look that much
	E		       A2   E
Oh baby you should go and love yourself
	   E		 Bsus	
And if you think that I'm 
   	C#m7	   A2
still holdin' on to somethin'
E		       A2   E
You should go and love yourself

E  B  C#m  A
E  A  E
E  B  C#m  A
E  A  E

	    E 		   B 		C#m
For all the times that you made me feel small
	  F#m	  	   E	      B
I fell in love, now I feel nothin' at all
	E		 B	     C#m
I never felt so low when I was vulnerable
	F#m		E		 B
Was I a fool to let you break down these walls?


	      E           Bsus  C#m7 	     A2
'Cause if you like the way you  look that much
	E		       A2   E
Oh baby you should go and love yourself
	   E		 Bsus	
And if you think that I'm 
   	C#m7	   A2
still holdin' on to somethin'
E		       A2   E
You should go and love yourself

	      E           Bsus  C#m7 	     A2
'Cause if you like the way you  look that much
	E		       A2   E
Oh baby you should go and love yourself
	   E		 Bsus	
And if you think that I'm 
   	C#m7	   A2
still holdin' on to somethin'
E		       A2   E
You should go and love yourself

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Today we’re playing Lady Gaga’s famous song Million Reasons on ukulele.

This emotive and powerful ballad has just four ukulele chords making it a perfect song for beginners to learn on ukulele. With simple down strums in the verse and full-sounding down-up strums in the chorus, you have the ability to make this song sound dynamic and emotional when just played as a solo ukulele player.

I perform this song on baritone ukulele, but you can also perform it on a standard-tuned ukulele without a problem (I include both versions of chords below).

First, listen to my performance, and then, once you’re ready dive into the ukulele chords for this song below (skip ahead and go right to the chords).

“Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga Baritone Ukulele Cover

Watch the video to hear me play Million Reasons on the baritone ukulele cover and get the baritone ukulele chords on the screen so you can play along with me.

"MILLION REASONS" BY LADY GAGA BARITONE UKULELE COVER & PLAY-ALONG - YouTube

In the video above, I chose to transpose and perform Million Reasons in the key of F. Lady Gaga originally recorded this song in the key of C. As a male singer though, I found it easier to sing in the key of F, however, if you’re a female singer, you may wish to play this song in the original key of C. I’ve included both versions below.

You can also play along with me using your standard-tuned ukulele, but you’ll need to look up the standard ukulele chord diagrams for the chords F, Dm, Bb, and C in the Ukulele Tricks Chord Library.

Baritone Ukulele Chord Diagrams for “Million Reasons”

Here are the baritone (D-G-B-E) ukulele chord diagrams for the chords I used to play this song.

To play an F major chord on baritone ukulele, take the index finger and press down or barre the bottom two strings at the first fret, place the middle finger on the 2nd fret of the G-string, and ring finger on the 3rd fret of the top D-string.

To play a Dm chord on baritone ukulele, place the index finger on the 1st fret of the bottom E-string, middle finger on the 2nd fret of the G-string, and ring finger on the 3rd fret of the B-string.

To play a Bb major chord on baritone ukulele, place the middle finger on the 3rd fret of the top D-string, ring finger on the 3rd fret of the G-string, little finger on the 3rd fret of the B-string, and index finger on the 1st fret of the bottom E-string.

In the video, I perform a variation of this finger position where I wrap my thumb around to press down on the 3rd fret of the top D-string and then place my middle finger on the 3rd fret of the G-string, ring finger on the 3rd fret of the B-string, and index finger on the 1st fret of the bottom E-string.

To play a C major chord on baritone ukulele, place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the top D-string, index finger on the 1st fret of the B-string, and little finger on the 3rd fret of the bottom E-string.

Standard Ukulele Chord Diagrams for “Million Reasons”

Here are the standard-tuned (g-C-E-A) ukulele chord diagrams for the chords I used to play this song.

To play the F major chord, place the middle finger on the 2nd fret of the top g-string and index finger on the 1st fret of the E-string. Let the other strings ring open.

To play the D minor chord, place the middle finger on the 2nd fret of the top g-string, ring finger on the 2nd fret of the C-string, and index finger on the 1st fret of the E-string. Let the other string ring open.

To play the Bb major chord, perform a barre by pressing your index finger on the E-string and bottom-A string on the 1st fret, ring finger on the 3rd fret of the top g-string, and middle finger on the 2nd fret of the C-string.

To play the C major chord, place the ring finger on the 3rd fret of the bottom A-string. Let the other strings ring open.

“Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga Ukulele Chords

The chord chart below matches the chords in the above video in the key of F, but I’ve also included the chords for the original key of C in brackets. For standard-tuned ukuleles, look up the chord diagrams in the chord library.


MILLION REASONS

       F [C]	
You're giving me a million reasons to let you go
       Dm [Am]
You're giving me a million reasons to quit the show
       Bb [F]
You're givin' me a million reasons

Give me a million reasons
C [G]
Givin' me a million reasons

About a million reasons

F [C]
If I had a highway, I would run for the hills
       Dm [Am]
If you could find a dry way, I'd forever be still
	   Bb [F]
But you're giving me a million reasons

Give me a million reasons
C [G]
Givin' me a million reasons

About a million reasons

Bb [F]   F [C]     Dm [Am]
I bow    down to   pray
		  C [G]
I try to make the worst seem better
Bb [F]         F [C]      Dm [Am]
Lord,     show me     the way
                       C [G]
To cut through all his worn out leather
Bb [F]         F [C]   		  Dm [Am]	    C [G]
I've got a     hundred million    reasons to walk  away
    Bb [F]  			      F [C]
But baby, I just need one good one to stay

F [C]
Head stuck in a cycle, I look off and I stare
     Dm [Am]
It's like that I've stopped breathing, but completely aware
	      Bb [F]
'Cause you're giving me a million reasons
Bb [F]
Give me a million reasons
C [G]
Givin' me a million reasons
C [G]
About a million reasons

F [C]
And if you say something that you might even mean
     Dm [Am]
It's hard to even fathom which parts I should believe
	      Bb [F]
'Cause you're giving me a million reasons
Bb [F]
Give me a million reasons
C [G]
Givin' me a million reasons
C [G]
About a million reasons

Bb [F]   F [C]     Dm [Am]
I bow    down to   pray
		  C [G]
I try to make the worst seem better
Bb [F]         F [C]      Dm [Am]
Lord,     show me     the way
                       C [G]
To cut through all his worn out leather
Bb [F]         F [C]   		  Dm [Am]	    C [G]
I've got a     hundred million    reasons to walk  away
    Bb [F]  			      
But baby, I just need one good one to 

Dm [Am]      Bb [F]        F [C]
Sta - a -    a - a - a -   ay
	 C [G]
Baby I'm bleedin', bleedin'
Dm [Am]      Bb [F]        F [C]
Sta - a -    a - a - a -   ay
			   C [G]
Can't you give me what I'm needin', needin'
Bb [F]	   F [C]	  C [G]		   Dm [Am]
Every heartbreak makes it hard to keep the faith
    Bb [F]
But baby, I just need one good one
Bb [F]
Good one, good one, good one, good one, good –

Bb [F]   F [C]     Dm [Am]
I bow    down to   pray
		  C [G]
I try to make the worst seem better
Bb [F]         F [C]      Dm [Am]
Lord,     show me     the way
                       C [G]
To cut through all his worn out leather
Bb [F]         F [C]   		  Dm [Am]	    C [G]
I've got a     hundred million    reasons to walk  away
    Bb [F]  			      
But baby, I just need one good one, good one
Bb [F]
Tell me that you'll be the good one, good one
Bb [F]		      Dm [Am]
Baby, I just need one good one to
Dm [Am]      Bb [F]        F [C]
Sta - a -    a - a - a -   ay

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Learning the notes of the ukulele fretboard takes a lot of discipline and effort, but it’s nothing you can’t accomplish!

In this lesson, you learn the fifth and final position of the C major scale on the ukulele fretboard.

So far we’ve looked at C major scale in four other positions:

You’ll want to learn the other positions first before learning this last position.

Upon completing this lesson, you’ll know the natural notes of the ukulele fretboard (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) and where to find them. With this knowledge, you can eventually go on to learning other scales in other keys, playing solos, finding melodies, coming up with riffs, and more. But first, it all starts with learning and memorizing these C major scale positions.

Learn this fifth and final C major scale position now!

Ukulele Scales: How to Play C Major Scale Position #5 on Ukulele - YouTube

Watch the video to learn the C major scale in position #5 on ukulele and keep reading to discover the scale diagrams and notes in the position.

How to Play a C Major Scale in Position #5 on Ukulele

Let’s first review the other positions you’ve learned:

  • In the first position, you started and ended the scale on a C note – the root note of a C major scale.
  • In the second position, you started and ended the scale on a D note – the second scale degree of a C major scale.
  • In the third position, you started and ended the scale on an F note – the fourth scale degree of a C major scale.
  • In the fourth position, you started and ended the scale on a G note – the fifth scale degree of a C major scale.

In this fifth and final position, you start and end the scale on an A note – the sixth scale degree of a C major scale.

This means even though this scale position starts and ends on an A note, it’s still a C major scale position because it contains all the notes of a C major scale (C, D, E, F, G, A, B).

C Major Scale Position #5 sheet music and ukulele tab

Note: If you’re a keen student, you might notice that the above scale position is also known as A natural minor – the relative minor key to C major.

C major scale in position #5 is trickier than the other positions in that it spans the 9th to 12th frets.

This means if you have a smaller sized ukulele like a soprano or concert you might run out of room for your fingers on these frets! Not to worry because that’s to be expected – just do your best. I find that this fifth scale position is easiest played on a tenor ukulele.

Pay close to attention to the fretboard scale diagram below to where you assign the fingers of the fretting hand to fret the notes of the scale. The number 1 indicates the index finger, number 2 the middle finger, number 3 the ring finger, and number 4 the little finger.

C Major Scale Position #5 ukulele fretboard diagram

Make a note where the root note of the scale is located – the C note on the 12th fret of the C-string.

Here’s Where You’re Headed Next

With that, you’ve learned the final C major scale position on the ukulele fretboard!

Give yourself a nice pat on the back for all your effort.

If you’ve followed along with me for this C major scale lesson series, then, you’ve successfully learned the natural notes of the ukulele fretboard. Natural notes are the letter notes indicated by the first seven letters of the alphabet A, B, C, D, E, F, G. Now that you know these notes, it’s possible to learn scales in other keys with sharps and flats as well as learn melodies, riffs, and solos.

Learning scales takes hard work and practice to commit all the positions to memory, but what you often find is that from this foundation, these scale positions will “repeat” themselves in other ways, meaning, the hard work and effort you put into learning these positions only helps you as you progress forward.

More on that later.

Until next time, keep up the great work!

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

By now you already have C major scale in position #1, position #2, and position #3 under your belt. It’s important you get those positions under your belt before moving forward with the last two positions.

In this lesson, learn how to play C major scale in position #4 on the ukulele.

But first, why all these positions?

Why can’t you just learn one position and call it a day?

For one, by learning the C major scale in all positions across the ukulele fretboard, you learn the natural notes of the fretboard (A, B, C, D, E, F, G). If you know where these important notes are, it’s easier to learn other scales later, especially those with sharps and flats.

Secondly, by learning multiple positions of the C major scale, you make it easier to play certain single-note passages in pieces of music (like those in Fingerpicking Tricks) or solos and riffs (more on that later).

Thirdly, learning the notes of the fretboard can help you build chord variations across the fretboard to find a new sound.

Overall, by learning the C major scale in multiple positions across the fretboard you build an important foundation for understanding your instrument and for soloing later.

Let’s look at this fourth position!

Ukulele Scales: How to Play C Major Scale Position #4 on Ukulele - YouTube

Watch the video to learn the C major scale in position #4 on ukulele and keep reading to discover the scale diagrams and notes in the position.

How to Play a C Major Scale in Position #4 on Ukulele

Let’s do a quick review on the C major scale so far:

  • In the first position, you started and ended the scale on a C note – the root note of a C major scale.
  • In the second position, you started and ended the scale on a D note – the second scale degree of a C major scale.
  • In the third position, you started and ended the scale on an F note – the fourth scale degree of a C major scale.

In this fourth position, you start and end the scale on a G note – the fifth scale degree of a C major scale.

This means even though this scale position starts and ends on an G note, it’s still a C major scale position because it contains all the notes of a C major scale (C, D, E, F, G, A, B).

C Major Scale Position #4 sheet music and ukulele tab

C major scale in position #4 spans the 7th to 10th frets.

For the fretting hand, this means you assign the index finger (represented by the number 1) to the 7th fret, middle finger to the 8th fret (represented by the number 2), ring finger to the 9th fret (represented by the number 3), and little finger to the 10th fret (represented by the number 4).

C Major Scale Position #4 ukulele fretboard diagram

Make a note where the root note of the scale is located – the C note on the 8th fret of the E-string.

You’ve Almost Learned All the Natural Notes on the Ukulele Fretboard

If you’ve been tracking along and have learned the C major scale in the first four positions, then, you’ve almost learned all the natural notes of the ukulele fretboard.

Make it your goal to memorize and learn each of these positions.

It’s hard work to dedicate the discipline required to learn the C major scale. It takes mental effort and physical effort from your fingers to remember where to go. If you put in this work now, you open yourself up to possibilities in the future like:

  • Soloing on the ukulele
  • Figuring out the melodies of songs on the ukulele fretboard
  • Building chord variations across the fretboard
  • Coming up with riffs

And more…

There’s one more position to learn which I’ll have for you next week. Until then, practice these positions as you make your way up the fretboard.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

So far we’ve looked at how to play C major scale in position #1 and position #2 on the ukulele fretboard. If you haven’t already completed those lessons, do that before moving forward!

In this lesson, continue to learn C Major Scale Position #3 on ukulele.

By doing this, you learn the natural notes across the ukulele fretboard (A, B, C, D, E, F, G). If you know these notes, it’s easy to fill in the sharps and flats later. In addition, learning these notes is the basis of playing melodies, solos and riffs on the ukulele.

The C major scale is where it all begins!

Learn how to play Position #3 now.

Watch the video to learn the C major scale in position #3 on ukulele and keep reading to discover the scale diagrams and notes in the position.

How to Play a C Major Scale in Position #3 on Ukulele

In the first position, the scale started and ended on a C note – the root note of the C major scale.

In the second position, the scale started and ended on a D note – the second scale degree in a C major scale.

For this third position, you continue with the theme of working up the fretboard and start and end the scale on the F note – the fourth scale degree. This means even though this scale position starts and ends on an F note, it’s still a C major scale position because it contains all the notes of a C major scale (C, D, E, F, G, A, B).

C Major Scale Position #3 sheet music and ukulele tab

C major scale in position #3 spans the 5th to 8th frets.

For the fretting hand, this means you assign the index finger (represented by the number 1) to the 5th fret, middle finger to the 6th fret (represented by the number 2), ring finger to the 7th fret (represented by the number 3), and little finger to the 8th fret (represented by the number 4).

C Major Scale Position #3 ukulele fretboard diagram

Pay specific to attention to where the root note of the scale falls – the C note on the 8th fret of the E-string.

Why Learning Scale Positions is so Important

Learning the ukulele fretboard has to start somewhere and this is where it all begins.

When you understand scales, you can do things like:

  • Figure out how to fingerpick the melody of a song on the fretboard
  • Discover how to build chords across the fretboard
  • Explore how to riff and improvise solos across the fretboard (like in the blues or jazz)

All of these things don’t happen at once but you’re taking the essential important steps to move towards these.

Learning scales requires a lot of hard work and effort with memorizing these positions and committing them to muscle memory. This is first required before you do those things above. Remember these scale positions require lots of repetition to become a part of your playing.

In fact, make the positions you’ve learned so far a regular part of your practice warm up each day. In a week, you’ll be surprised at how well you can navigate between the positions across the fretboard!

There’s still two more C major scale positions to learn. I’ll post those next week.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Last week we looked at how to play a C Major Scale in Position #1 on ukulele. Today we continue on and learn C Major Scale in Position #2 farther up the fretboard (there are a total of five positions).

By learning the notes of C major scale in all positions, you learn all natural notes on the ukulele fretboard (A, B, C, D, E, F, G), or any note that is not an accidental (sharp or flat). When you learn all the natural notes, it’s easy to figure out where the other notes are later.

Learning the C major scale is the foundation of learning the notes of the ukulele fretboard and opens up future possibilities like:

  • How to fingerpick the melody of a song on the fretboard
  • How to build chords across the fretboard
  • How to riff and improvise solos across the fretboard (like in the blues or jazz)

Let’s learn Position #2 now.

Ukulele Scales: How to Play C Major Scale Position #2 on Ukulele - YouTube

Watch the video to learn the C major scale in position #2 on ukulele and keep reading to discover the scale diagrams and notes in the position.

How to Play a C Major Scale in Position #2 on Ukulele

You’ll remember from learning C major scale position #1 that the beginning note of the scale was a ‘C’ note or the root note of the scale. Even more so, the end note of the scale was also a ‘C’ note but played an octave higher.

This produced an ascending and descending major scale sound.

But for position #2, the starting and end note of the scale is a ‘D’ note or the second scale degree in a C major scale.

C Major Scale Position #2 sheet music and ukulele tab

This means the scale position starts and ends on a D note giving it a different sound that doesn’t quite sound like a normal ascending and descending major scale.

This can throw a lot of beginners off.

This is why it’s important to know that even though this scale position starts and ends on a ‘D’ note, this is still considered a C major scale position because it contains all notes found in a C major scale: C, D, E, F, G, A, B.

And where Position #1 spanned frets 1 to 3 on the fretboard, Position #2 spans frets 2 to 5 on the fretboard.

C Major Scale Position #2 ukulele fretboard diagram

For the fretting hand, this means you assign the index finger (represented by the number 1) to the 2nd fret, middle finger to the 3rd fret (represented by the number 2), ring finger to the 4th fret (represented by the number 3), and little finger to the 5th fret (represented by the number 4).

In every scale position, you should always know where the root note of the scale is. This is because the scale always wants to resolve back to the root note. When it comes to soloing later on, knowing where the root note of the scale is key. Because this is a C major scale, the root note is the C note. In the above fretboard scale diagram the “filled in” dark circle on the 3rd fret of the bottom A-string indicates the root note of the scale – the C note.

How Learning Scales Helps You Solo

If you’ve followed along with me through this lesson and the previous lesson and learned these positions, give yourself a pat on the back!

Learning scales across the ukulele fretboard is not easy.

Mentally, it’s a challenge to remember all the notes. Physically, it’s a challenge for the fretting hand to know which finger to use to fret which note of the scale position.

Be patient with yourself and know that it takes time.

You’re probably wondering how learning scales like this equals you riffing and soloing across the fretboard.

After learning these five C major scale positions, we will look at riffing and soloing, but for now, it starts here with the goal of:

  1. Learning the natural notes of the ukulele fretboard. If you know where the natural notes are, it’s easy to “fill in” the sharps and flats later.
  2. Remember the fretting hand finger positions for each position. These positions repeat across different keys so building this muscle memory is key.
  3. Hearing and listening to the small differences in sound between each position. This ear knowledge is later used for super advanced jazz modal theory and soloing.

Trust the process of learning these scales. The work you put into learning and memorizing these positions will give you a strong upper hand in understanding the ukulele fretboard.

It all starts here!

Keep up the good effort and I’ll see you in the next lesson.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

There are often several different ways to play the same ukulele chord.

In fact, you can search for many of these ukulele chord variations in the Ukulele Tricks Chord Library.

A perfect example of this is the easy-to-play Hawaiian D7 ukulele chord versus the more difficult standard D7 barre chord.

When you play a different variation of a ukulele chord, it’s still the same chord because it has the same notes contained in the chord, but those notes are often rearranged in a different order or in a different octave.

Some variations are easier to play than others.

And some variations create a different timbre or texture to the chord (bright vs. mellow).

But some variations are more preferable than others in certain circumstances.

In this lesson, let’s compare the Hawaiian D7 ukulele chord and the D7 barre chord and figure out which one is the best to use.

How to Play the Easy Hawaiian D7 Ukulele Chord

To play the Hawaiian D7 ukulele chord, place the index finger on the 2nd fret of the top g-string and the middle finger on the 2nd fret of the E-string. Let the other two strings ring open.

As many new ukulele players find, this is the easiest way to play a D7 chord on ukulele.

From the top g-string to the bottom A-string, this chord has the following notes which are found in a D7 chord (D-F#-A-C):

A-C-F#-A

Keep those notes in mind because you’ll use this knowledge to compare with the standard D7 barre chord.

How to Play the Standard D7 Barre Ukulele Chord

To play the standard D7 barre ukulele chord, take the index finger and barre or press down on all four strings at the 2nd fret. Place the middle finger on the 3rd fret of the bottom A-string.

This version of D7 is harder to play but is well worth the practice (you’ll see why in a minute).

From the top g-string to the bottom A-string, this chord has the following notes which are found in a D7 chord (D-F#-A-C):

A-D-F#-C

Now, let’s compare these two chords and figure out which one is better to use.

Why the Standard D7 Barre Ukulele Chord is the Better Chord to Play

You’re playing a song and you come across a D7 chord.

Which chord variation do you play?

I always recommend to beginner students in the Strumming Tricks online lesson course to stick with the standard D7 barre ukulele chord. Yes, even though it’s harder to play.

But why?

If you remember, the easier-to-play Hawaiian D7 chord has the following notes in the chord:

A-C-F#-A

What do you notice about that arrangement of notes?

I notice two things:

  1. The Hawaiian D7 chord does not have all the notes in a D7 chord. This variation is missing the root note of the chord – a D note!
  2. The “seventh” note of the D7 chord is placed as the lowest note in the chord. Notice how the “seventh” note, or the “C” note, is played on the open C-string, making it the lowest note that rings out in the chord.

Because the Hawaiian D7 chord is missing the root note of the chord and because the seventh note is the lowest note in the chord, this variation is not always suitable for most songs.

The easier-to-play Hawaiian D7 chord variation is best used in songs played in the key of C major.

This is because of that low open C-string note that rings out through the chord. In songs where the key is in C, meaning the root note or “home base” is a C note, this Hawaiian D7 variation has a pleasing sound and works great.

But where things get a little “wonky” is when you try to apply the Hawaiian D7 variation to songs that are not in the key of C. For example, if you played the Hawaiian D7 variation in a song like Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane the chord can sound “off” and like it doesn’t fit with the song.

This is why I always recommend beginners to go the extra mile and learn how to play that standard D7 barre chord.

Yes, it’s more challenging to learn and to play, but you can be sure whenever you come across a D7 chord in a song that it will always work and sound amazing.

If you struggle with barre chords like D7, you definitely want to watch this video lesson.

One Last Note About the Hawaiian D7 Chord

If you’re more advanced and familiar with music theory, you might be tracking along and thinking:

“Wait a minute! The Hawaiian D7 chord is actually an F# diminished chord!”

You are right.

This position contains the notes F#-A-C which are the three notes in an F# diminished triad.

This is yet another reason why the standard D7 barre chord should be your chord of choice for the majority of songs you play.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Learning the ukulele fretboard unlocks a whole new way of experiencing the excitement and joy of making music on the ukulele.

When you understand the relationship of notes across the fretboard, you can do things like:

  • Figure out where to fingerpick the melody of a song on the fretboard
  • Discover how to build chords across the fretboard
  • Riff and improvise solos across the fretboard (like in the blues or jazz)

But to do these things, it all starts with learning the C major scale on ukulele.

Today, you learn the first position of the C major scale (there are a total of five C major scale positions).

Ukulele Scales: How to Play C Major Scale Position #1 on Ukulele - YouTube

Watch the video to learn the C major scale on ukulele and keep reading to learn the music theory behind the scale.

Why Start With Learning the C Major Scale on Ukulele

Why start with the C major scale?

Why not the blues scale? Why not the pentatonic scale?

What you might not know about the C major scale is that it contains all natural notes.

Natural notes are the white keys on the piano or the first seven letters of the alphabet:

A, B, C, D, E, F, G

Since the C major scale contains all natural notes, this means if you learn C major scale positions across the fretboard, you automatically learn where all natural notes are across the fretboard!

If you know where the natural notes are, it’s easy to modify these “home base” positions later on to create scales in other keys by adding in sharps or flats.

How to Play a C Major Scale in Position #1 on Ukulele

Let’s build a C major scale now.

In a major scale, there are just seven notes (eight if you include the octave note).

It’s easy to make a major scale in any key with a simple formula based on whole step and half step intervals.

The major scale formula is:

whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half

A whole step interval is a note two frets away, like from the 2nd fret of the C-string to the 4th fret of the C-string.

A half step interval is a note one fret away, like from the 4th fret of the C-string to the 5th fret of the C-string.

See an example of this in action by making a C major scale starting on the open C-string, which is a C note, known as the root note of the scale.

C Major Scale played on the open C-string of the ukulele

Now that you know the formula and how to make a major scale it’s more efficient to play the C major scale on the bottom three strings of the ukulele.

C Major Scale played on the bottom three strings in Position #1 of the ukulele

Pay specific attention where the notes are written on the music staff and where those notes are positioned on the fretboard.

From your fretting hand, assign the index finger to fret notes that fall on the first fret. Assign the middle finger to fret notes that fall on the second fret. Assign the ring finger to fret notes that fall on the third fret.

See this position indicated in the following fretboard diagram.

C Major Scale Position #1 ukulele fretboard diagram

Memorize this position and take it to heart. As you pluck each note of the position, say the note name out loud to put it to memory. By learning the C major scale, you’ll learn the natural notes across the fretboard.

If you know the natural notes, it’s easy to figure out where the sharps and flats are (more on that later).

A Note About the Top String

You might be wondering:

“Why isn’t the top g-string of the ukulele in this scale position?”

The main reason is because in standard tuning the top g-string is tuned higher than the middle two strings. This means you are unable to play the scale position linearly or from the lowest to highest note.

For this reason, we learn the scale positions on the bottom three strings and then incorporate the top g-string very easily later on.

You’re On Your Way to Mastering the Ukulele Fretboard

Memorizing and learning scales isn’t easy.

It takes energy to commit a scale to memory. Take your time and enjoy the process of learning.

By learning the C major scale, you learn where all the natural notes are on the fretboard, which provides a solid foundation for you to make various scales like the blues scale, pentatonic scale, bebop scale, and more in various keys across the fretboard.

Watch out because next week I will post the next C major scale position.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I am left-handed and I’ve been playing ukulele for over 20 years.

But I don’t play left-handed.

Well, technically, I use my left hand all the time when I play ukulele, but I don’t play “left-handed” in the traditional sense, and if you’re a lefty, I don’t think you should learn to play ukulele left-handed either.

To play left-handed, you use the left hand to strum and right hand to fret chords.

Many famous musicians have played their stringed instrument left-handed like Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, or Justin Bieber.

The famous guitar player Jimi Hendrix shredding his left-handed guitar using the left hand to strum and right hand to fret chords

This is opposite to playing ukulele right-handed, the most common way, where you use the right hand to strum and left hand to fret chords.

If you’re a brand new lefty ukulele player and trying to decide to learn “left-handed” or “right-handed”, here are my two main reasons for why I tell new students to learn to play ukulele “right-handed” even if you’re a lefty and the two exceptions to consider.

Reason #1: Equal Use of Your Dominant and Non-Dominant Hand is Required to Play Ukulele

If you’re a lefty, it’s a bit of a myth to think learning to play left-handed will be easier for you.

This is because equal use of your dominant hand (your left hand if you’re lefty) and non-dominant hand (your opposite hand) is required to play ukulele. There’s never a time where you’re using your left hand more than your right hand or vice versa when playing. To play the ukulele, it’s a 50/50 split using both hands.

In fact, I believe lefties have a distinct advantage in learning the ukulele “right-handed”, where you use the left hand to fret chords and right hand to strum, because as a lefty, chances are you’ve already built a degree of dexterity in your left hand that doesn’t exist in your right hand simply because you write with your left hand. This slight edge can make fretting chords easier.

Now, I don’t want to make it sound like it will be a walk in the park. Chords will be a challenge to learn no matter what hand you use, but the point is, they won’t be significantly harder to learn using your left hand to fret chords and right hand to strum.

Reason #2: Learning “Right-Handed” Makes it Easier to Follow Instructional Material

What a lot of beginner lefties don’t consider is the fact that the majority of ukulele instruction, songbooks, chord diagrams, tabs, and scale diagrams, are taught from a “right-handed” perspective.

I know. It isn’t fair being a lefty living in a right-handed world.

This means if you decide to learn to play “left-handed” you have to do some more mental heavy-lifting to make the material compatible for your perspective. Some don’t mind this, but many find this to be burdensome and an additional barrier to learning to make music.

While I’ve added left-handed ukulele chord diagrams to the Ukulele Tricks Chord Library, you make it easier on yourself learning “right-handed” where you fret chords with the left hand and strum with the right hand.

And to be fair, some lefties who have joined me in the Strumming Tricks online video lesson course have told me they like how the video “mirrors” their fingers, but many left-handers who decide to learn to play “right-handed” are happy they went this route.

When You Should Learn to Play Ukulele “Left-Handed”

There are two specific cases where I recommend learning to play ukulele left-handed.

First, if you have a physical disability, missing fingers, or arthritis that prevents specific movement or functionality in your left hand, and your only option for playing ukulele is to use your left hand to strum and right hand to fret chords, then you absolutely should learn to play left-handed.

In this way, playing left-handed is your last resort option when you wouldn’t be able to play ukulele otherwise.

And secondly, if you already started to play ukulele left-handed and are achieving success, don’t change things now. In other words, if you’ve been playing left-handed for more than a week, continue on being a unique, one-of-a-kind, left-handed ukulele player.

One of the perks of being a left-handed player is that you’ll always stand out and be popular when playing with other musicians!

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview