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A Guide to Ukulele Strums Published: 2008-07-12 Updated: 2015-12-03

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A Guide to Ukulele Strums

Author(s): Curt Sheller
Publisher(s): Curt Sheller Publications
Published: 2008-07-12
ISBN-10: 1-60321-019-9
ISBN-13: 78-1-60321-019-5
Size: 8.5 x 11
Pages: 28
Product Code: UKESTRUM1

Learn a variety of strums and rhythmic patterns in wide range of musical styles.

One of the first skills a ukulele player learns is the art and craft of strumming, playing rhythm. This refers to an accompaniment technique suitable for the singer, singer - songwriter or someone who plays a support role for another instrument.

Strumming requires a specific set of skills:

  • Memorization of chords
  • The ability to switch chords smoothly
  • The ability to choose and execute a suitable rhythmic strum

It's this 3rd skill that is our focus in A Guide to Ukulele Strums and Rhythmic Patterns.

Though strumming looks natural to the casual observer, it is anything but natural to the beginning ukulele player. Even experienced players have difficulty in identifying and executing certain strums. Though this is one of those topics that is typically taken for granted, there is much to learn about rhythmic feels, accents, dynamics, strum direction, feel, percussive accents, idiomatic styles and tempo variation.

First and foremost, the subject of strumming is inseparably linked to rhythm. Though an ability to read rhythm is helpful, it's not necessary to profit from this material.

Each strum is identified with a term that differentiates it from every other strum. This term is typically called a feel. Drummers learn these terms early in their studies so learning this language is not only helpful to learning the strums, it's also helpful with communications among musicians in general and drummers in particular.

The strums in this book work in any tuning or instrument. Chord examples shown for ukuleles in C tuning.

One strum is different from another based on the stroke direction, the stroke density, the subdivision of the beat and the accent pattern.

Strums covered include: Quarter Note, Sustain, Rock, Light Rock, 12/8, Shuffle, Power Shuffle, Double Time, Gallop, Flowing 3/4, Ska, Bass Note Patterns, 3/4, Reggae and Broken Patterns

Table of Contents

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Table of Contents: A Guide to Ukulele Strums

  • Introduction 7
  • Some Fundamentals 8
  • Preliminary Exercises 8
  • Symbols 9
  • Quarter Note Strum 13
  • Sustain Strum 13
  • Rock Strum 14
  • Light Rock Strum 15
  • 12/8 Strum 15
  • Shuffle Strum 16
  • Power Shuffle Strum 16
  • Double Time Strum 16
  • Gallop Strum 17
  • Flowing 3/4 Strum 17
  • Ska Strum 18
  • Bass Note Strum Patterns 19
  • 3/4 Strum 20
  • Reggae Strum 22
  • Broken Patterns 23
  • Variations 25
  • Modular Phonetic Rhythm 26
  • Conclusion 27

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Book Samples: A Guide to Ukulele Strums

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Rhythm is in-separately linked to strums. Using the Modular Phonetic Rhythm System developed by Chuck Anderson this series of lessons start with the core four strums all ukulele use and throughly digs in to the many variations possible.

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Modular Phonetic Rhythm by Chuck Anderson

Modular Phonetic Rhythm represents a significant advance in the teaching and application of rhythm. Eliminating many inefficient aspects of rhythm education, Modular Phonetic Rhythm streamlines the traditional educational approach, resulting in a reflexive reaction to rhythm.

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Rhythm is in-separately linked to strums. Using the Modular Phonetic Rhythm System developed by Chuck Anderson this series of lessons starts with the core four strums all ukulele players use, need to lknow and throughly digs into the many variations possible.

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Any Song Will Do

This is not really a song, but simply saying that for the purposes of a lot of the lessons and lesson series on this site ANY song will do for exploring the lessons material and concepts in the lessons.

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

Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the best — Glen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys

Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too. — Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg

I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent. — fatveg — Portland

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