Six Secrets of Ukulele Fingering

Published: Mar 15, 2006 Updated: Mar 15, 2006

ukulele | Subjects: techniquefingerboardfingering

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Six Secrets of Ukulele Fingering

Author(s): Curt Sheller, Chuck Anderson
Publisher(s): Curt Sheller Publications
Published: 2006-03-15
ISBN-10: 1-60321-041-5
ISBN-13: 978-1-60321-041-6
Size: 8.5 x 11
Pages: 42
Product Code: 6SUF

Learn the six fingering principles to navigating the ukulele fingerboard.

Fingering is one of the most universal topics. Whether your style is Rock, Blues, Country, Jazz or Classical, these principles will improve your technique, your solos, even your sight reading.

Think of fingering as a series of pathways. When you learn to connect these pathways, there are benefits not only to technique but also to creativity. All fingering on the ukulele can be reduced to 6 principles of motion. Each principle has physical and musical characteristics that you can use to improve your playing.

Technically, fingering problems are linked to an instruments tuning. The characteristics of a tuning can force constant adjustments in fingering and contribute to the difficulty of learning the notes on the neck*. Note duplications, open strings and unequal tuning all contribute to the complexity of fingering. Since strings vary in diameter, notes produced on different strings vary in tone color. Generally, thicker strings produce warmer or darker tone color. Thinner strings produce a brighter or more cutting tone color.

This book is devoted to the application of the six principles of guitar fingering as applied to the ukulele. The study of fingering can be broken down into several topics of study. They are: position and technique, finger independence and strength and the principles of motion with their applications. The first step is a good hand position. Critical for technique, a good hand position eliminates the needless waste of effort and energy so typical of under developed fingering technique.

  • The fingering principles in the books are suitable for ANY ukulele tuning.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents: Six Secrets of Ukulele Fingering

  • Introduction 5
  • Hand Position and Technique 9
  • Finger Independence and Strength 10
    • 4 Finger Combinations 11
    • 2 Finger Combinations 11
    • 3 Finger Combinations 11
  • Notes on the Fingerboard 12
  • Motion Principles and their Applications 13
    • Stationary 14
    • Mobile 14
  • Summary of Fingering Principles 17
  • Basic Applications of the Motion Principles 18
  • Priority of Motion Principles 19
  • Motion Principles - the Details 19
    • Basic 19
    • Slide 19
    • Pass 20
  • Ascending Passes 20
  • Descending Passes 21
    • Contraction 23
  • Ascending Pitch Contractions 23
    • Descending Position Changes - Same String 23
  • Descending Pitch Contractions 24
    • Ascending Position Changes - Same String 24
  • Ascending Pitch Contractions 25
    • Descending Position Changes - Cross String 25
  • Descending Pitch Contractions 25
    • Ascending Position Changes - Cross String 25
  • Stretch 27
  • Leap 29
  • Double Stop Fingering 30
    • Double Stops on Adjacent Strings 30
  • Non Adjacent Strings 31
    • Motion Principles Applied 33
  • Model One - Single Principle Solutions 34
    • Basic 34
    • Slide 34
    • Passing 34
    • Stretch 35
    • Contraction 35
    • Leap 35
  • Model Two - Combined Principle Solutions 35
    • Slide and Stretch 35
    • Passing and Slide 35
    • Contraction and Passing 36
    • Stretch and Contraction.36
    • Slide and Contraction.36
    • Passing and Leap 36
  • The Art and Science of Fingering 36
  • Reading 38
  • Improvisation 38
    • Phrasing 40
  • Conclusion 41

Errata

Errata: Six Secrets of Ukulele Fingering

  • 21 JAN 2010 - Book updated and corrections made.

    Any owners of the book can e-mail curt@curtsheller.com for an updated version.

    Changes when made to a few of the examples.

  • 17 OCT 2003 - Book Released and Errata Log File Created

The latest download ( PDF or eBook ) always has the latest changes and errata changes incorporated and contain the most up-to-date version of the file. If you download the book from LearningUkulele.com you'll be notified when there is a new version of the book available.

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Related Lessons

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Four Finger Slide Fingering Drills for Ukulele

Slide is used when the passage can not be played within a single 4 fret span or when more notes per string are needed to produce a particular effect. It’s also used in situations where a gradually ascending or descending diagonal motion best solves the physical and musical demands of the passage.

Four Finger-Four Note Basic Single String Fingering Drills for `Ukulele

To play the ukulele effectively, your fingers need physical strength, agility, flexibility, and coordination. These four finger-four note drills are designed to get your fretting hand in shape.

One Finger-One Note Basic Single String Fingering Drills for `Ukulele

To play the ukulele effectively, your fingers need physical strength, agility, flexibility and coordination. This one finger-one note drill is designed to get your fretting hand in shape.

Three Finger Slide Fingering Drills for `Ukulele

Slide is used when the passage can not be played within a single 4 fret span or when more notes per string are needed to produce a particular effect. It’s also used in situations where a gradually ascending or descending diagonal motion best solves the physical and musical demands of the passage.

Three Finger-Three Note Basic Single String Fingering Drills for `Ukulele

To play the ukulele effectively, your fingers need physical strength, agility, flexibility and coordination. This three finger-three note drill is designed to get your fretting hand in shape.

Two Finger Pass Fingering Drills for `Ukulele

Pass maximizes the number of notes per string, making the timbre consistent. It’s used to move up or down the neck to cope with a passage in which the range is unusually large. The pass provides an effective way to move straight up the first string. It’s particularly useful in developing 3 octave fingerings and in playing melodies with an adjacent drone stringy.

Two Finger Slide Fingering Drills for `Ukulele

Slide is used when the passage can not be played within a single 4 fret span or when more notes per string are needed to produce a particular effect. It’s also used in situations where a gradually ascending or descending diagonal motion best solves the physical and musical demands of the passage.

Two Finger-Two Note Basic Single String Fingering Drills for `Ukulele

To play the ukulele effectively, your fingers need physical strength, agility, flexibility and coordination. This two finger-two note drill is designed to get your fretting hand in shape.

What Finger is What?

Just what are the fingers of the plucking and fretting hand called.

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Pass Gymnastics for Ukulele

Beyond the basic four fret fingering position, it's on to the remaining fingering principles for navigating the fingerboard. The second in the series is the Pass.

Related Book Files, Resources and Assets

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Ukulele Fingerboard Chart for C Tuning, Low or High G

Ukulele Fingerboard Chart for C Tuning, Low or High G. Shows natural, sharp and flat notes for the ukulele fingerboard. This tuning can be used on a soprano, concert, tenor and baritone ukuleles.


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Ukulele Fingerboard Chart for D Tuning, Low or High A

Ukulele Fingerboard Chart for D Tuning, Low or High DG. Shows natural, sharp and flat notes for the ukulele fingerboard. This tuning can be used on a soprano, concert or tenor ukulele.


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Ukulele Fingerboard Chart for G Tuning, Low or High D

Ukulele Fingerboard Chart for G Tuning, Low or High D. Shows natural, sharp and flat notes for the ukulele fingerboard. This tuning can be used on a baritone or tenor ukulele.


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QuickStart Arpeggio Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Major Triad

Scale Arpeggio Fingerings for Ukulele - Major Triad is a concise, well organized book ideal for any ukulele player beginning to explore the ukulele's full potential as a musical instrument. Arpeggio Fingerings for Ukulele - Triads keeps a sharp focus on essential arpeggios and their fingerings. All material is covered in every key.

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Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

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