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Jazz Ukulele - Reading

Yes! You can play jazz on a ukulele!!!

Reading is the ability to reproduce music from written notation. It includes five phases: note recognition, alternate note locations, rhythm recognition, fingering considerations, communication terminology and interpretations.

WidipediA link

Reading Standard Music Notation

Reading on guitar and to a lesser extent on the ukulele is hard. With note duplication and alternate locations. The fingering issues inherent to the non-equal distant tuning. It's no wonder guitar and ukulele players a like avoid learning to read.

Sight Reading vs. Reading

There are two types of reading. One, is sight reading. This akin to reading a book or magazine. Your reading it in real time without having seen it before hand. This is what studio and show musicians do as part of they job.

The second is reading music to learn a new song or exploring music written in standard music notation. This is a lot easier obtainable goal.

Either way, reading is the ability to read notes, chords and rhythm. Whether it's a simple chord chart or a full blown score. It's definitely doable with the right plan.

The easiest place to start is the open position on the guitar or ukulele.

Reading TAB is NOT reading music.

Learning the Fingerboard Resources

If there in one thing that has the most bang for the buck, and these are FREE,. It's really learning the names of the notes of the ukulele fingerboard in your favorite tuning. This is not reading it's just knowing that fret (5) is C F A D and fret (2) is A D F# B. being able to know the name of any fret on any string like second nature.

Standard Music Notation

Reading Lessons

  • Reading Music on Ukulele - A Primer - A series of nine lessons for learning to read music in open position on ukulele. For C tuning.<
  • Reading TAB & Chord Grids - TAB or Tablature is a form of musical notation, which tells players where to place their fingers on a particular instrument rather than which pitches to play.

    Generally speaking, TAB or tablature is commonly used by informally trained musicians in folk, popular and rock music.

Reading Lessons

Here are all the lessons tagged covering reading.

Enharmonic Equivalents • Updated: Feb 13, 2020

An Enharmonic Equivalent is where a musical pitch can have different names depending on the context in which it is functioning. An example is G# produces the same pitch as Ab.

The Trouble with TAB • Updated: May 14, 2020

TAB, short for tablature is a form of musical notation using numbers and letters on a staff that that corresponds to the number of strings of fretted string instrument. Theses number tell a player which fret to place their fingers on the fingerboard. TAB has a history with lute music from centuries ago and has found wide use in the music publishing industry catering to the guitarist who can?t or doesn?t want to learn to read. TAB doesn?t exist in mainstream music, primarily by some music magazines and on the internet. Learning to read TAB can be accomplished in minutes. Learning to read standard music notation takes a little longer.

Reading Music on `Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position • Updated: Sep 4, 2013

This series of lessons will allow you finally, to check that Reading item off your music To Do list. Learning to read standard music notation opens a world of music to you. Music notation is the Lingua franca of amateur and professional musicians alike.

Natural, Sharp and Flat Notes of the `Ukulele Fingerboard - C Tuning • Updated: Aug 3, 2018

Standard music notation, the natural, sharp and flat notes of the ukulele fingerboard for C tuned ukuleles. Covers both high C and low G tuning variations.

Natural, Sharp and Flat Notes of the `Ukulele Fingerboard - D Tuning • Updated: Jan 2, 2005

The D Tuning comes in two versions where string four is either tuned to the "A", a major second below string one or low "A" where string fours is a perfect fifth below string three.

The D tuning with a low A is the same as the thin four strings of a standard tuned guitar with a capo at fret (9).

Demystifying Cut Time by Chuck Anderson • Updated: Feb 25, 2019

Cut Time is a source of confusion for many musicians. What exactly does it mean and how do you apply it? Here is a guest esson by internationally renowned jazz guitarist and educator Chuck Anderson

Key Signatures and the Circle of Fifths and Fourths • Updated: Nov 18, 2019

There is a load of information in traditional Key Signatures. Unlocking the principles in this circle leads to a better understanding of music and how things work.

A key signature is a series of sharp or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating the notes that are to be consistently played higher or lower than the equivalent natural notes. Key signatures are generally written immediately after the clef at the beginning of a line of musical notation. Each major and minor key has an associated key signature that sharpens or flattens the notes which are used in its scale.

Key Signatures - C Major and A Minor • Updated: Sep 21, 2011

Learn the recognize the key signature for C Major and A Minor. Learn their corresponding Major and Natural Minor scales with basic ukulele chords for each scale. Sometimes called the learning key, the key of C Major is one of the easiest keys to memorize and begin using.

Key Signatures - G Major and E Minor • Updated: Sep 14, 2011

G major (or the key of G) is a major scale based on G, with the pitches G, A, B, C, D, E, and F#. Its key signature has one sharp, F#.

Its relative minor is E minor, and its parallel minor is G minor.

Key Signatures - D Major and B Minor • Updated: Sep 12, 2011

D major (or the key of D) is a major scale based on D, consisting of the pitches D, E, F#, G, A, B, and C#. Its key signature consists of two sharps: F# and C#.

Its relative minor is B minor and its parallel minor is D minor.

Key Signatures - A Major and F Sharp Minor • Updated: Sep 15, 2011

A major (or the key of A) is a major scale based on A, with the pitches A, B, C#, D, E, F#, and G#. Its key signature has three sharps: F#, C# and G#.

Its relative minor is F-sharp minor and its parallel minor is A minor.

Key Signatures - E Major and C Sharp Minor • Updated: Sep 12, 2011

E major is a major scale based on E, with the pitches E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, and D#. Its key signature has four sharps: F#, C#, G# and D#.

Its relative minor is C-sharp minor, and its parallel minor is E minor.

Key Signatures - B Major and G Sharp Minor • Updated: Sep 12, 2011

B major is a major scale based on B. The pitches B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, and A# are all part of the B major scale. Its key signature has five sharps: F#, C#, G#, D# and A#.

B major's relative minor is G-sharp minor, its parallel minor is B minor, and its enharmonic equivalent is C-flat major.

Key Signatures - F Sharp Major and D Sharp Minor • Updated: Sep 12, 2011

F# major or F-sharp major is a major scale based on F#, consisting of the pitches F#, G#, A#, B, C#, D#, and E#. Its key signature has six sharps: F#, C#, G#, D#, A# and E#. Its relative minor is D# minor, and its parallel minor is F# minor. Its enharmonic equivalent is Gb major.

Key Signatures - C Sharp Major and A Sharp Minor • Updated: Sep 12, 2011

C# major (or C-sharp major) is a major scale based on C#, consisting of the pitches C#, D#, E#, F#, G#, A#, and B#. Its key signature has seven sharps: F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, E# and B# - ALL sharps.

Its relative minor is A# minor, and its parallel minor is C# minor. Its enharmonic equivalent is Db major.

Key Signatures - F Major and D Minor • Updated: Sep 14, 2011

F major (or the key of F) is a musical major scale based on F, consisting of the pitches F, G, A, Bb, C, D, and E. Its key signature has one flat: Bb. It is by far the oldest key signature with an accidental, predating the others by hundreds of years.

Its relative minor is D minor and its parallel minor is F minor.

Key Signatures - Bb Major and G Minor • Updated: Oct 29, 2013

Bb major or B-flat major is a major scale based on B-flat, consisting of the pitches Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, and A. Its key signature has two flats, Bb and Eb.

Its relative minor is G minor, and its parallel minor is Bb minor.

B-flat major is a suitable key for most wind instruments, especially those for which it is their home key, such as clarinets, trumpets, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone and flutes in B-flat.

Key Signatures - Eb Major and C Minor • Updated: Sep 12, 2011

Eb major or E flat major is a major scale based on E flat, consisting of the pitches Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C, and D. Its key signature has three flats: Bb, Eb, and Ab.

Its relative minor is C minor, and its parallel minor is Eb minor.

E flat major is often associated with bold, heroic music, in part because of Beethoven’s usage.

From the primary and secondary chords of a major key countless songs and chords progressions can be played.

Key Signatures - Ab Major and F Minor • Updated: Sep 12, 2011

Ab majorr is a major scale based on A flat, consisting of the pitches Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, and G. Its key signature has four flats: Bb, Eb, Ab, and Db.

Its relative minor is F minor, and its parallel minor is A flat minor.

Key Signatures - D Flat Major and B Flat Minor • Updated: Sep 12, 2011

Db major is a major scale based on D flat, consisting of the pitches Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb and C. Its key signature has five flats: Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, and Gb.

Key Signatures - G Flat Major and E Flat Minor • Updated: Sep 12, 2011

Gb major is a major scale based on G flat, consisting of the pitches Gb, Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, and F. Its key signature has six flats: Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb and Cb.

Its relative minor is E flat minor, and its parallel minor is G flat minor, usually replaced by F-sharp minor, since G flat minor, which would have nine flats, is not normally used.

Key Signatures - C Flat Major and A Flat Minor • Updated: Sep 20, 2011

Cb major is a major scale based on C flat, consisting of the pitches Cb, Db, Eb, Fb, Gb, Ab, and Bb. Its key signature has seven flats: Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb, and Fb.

Cb is a some what easy key and scale to memorize as all the note are flat.

Which Way Is Up? - Up, Down, Ascending, Descending, etc... • Updated: Oct 17, 2011

What is up, down, higher, lower, top, bottom, ascending, descending on a guitar? Up, down, higher, lower, top, bottom, ascending, descending should refer to musical pitch and not to direction as we know it. Up and higher refers to the raising of musical pitch. Down and lower refer to the lowering of musical pitch. Top refers to the upper note of a chord voicing or musical phrase and bottom refers to the lowest note.

Which Way Is Up? - Up, Down, Ascending, Descending, etc... • Updated: Jun 11, 2019

Up, Down, Ascending, Descending, Higher, Lower, Top, Bottom, What is up, down, higher, lower, top, bottom, ascending, descending?

Standard Music Notation • Updated: Oct 11, 2019

Musical Notation - Music notation or musical notation refers to various systems of writing music. Diverse systems of musical notation have developed in various cultures. In fact, many cultures simply do not notate their music in any form.

Reading Ukulele TAB - Alternate Notation • Updated: Feb 12, 2020

TAB or Tablature Tablature is an alternate form of musical notation, which tells players where to place their fingers on a particular instrument rather than which pitches to play. TAB is sort of a secret language between guitar players and ukulele players. Although a shortcut to getting started it actually serves to alienate one from the rest of the music world. With fewer alternate note locations than the guitar, reading music on ukulele is a lot easier than you might believe.

QuickStart Chord Progressions Play-along Tracks, Introduction and Tuning Notes • Updated: May 6, 2012

The QUICKSTART Rhythm Section CD contains 24 unique styles designed for contemporary lead guitar. Each track is devoted to a scale covered in the QUICKSTART Scale Fingerings for Lead Guitar. There are four background tracks for each scale featuring the chords of the scale. These tracks give you the opportunity to explore the sound of each scale in a lead guitar setting.

QuickStart Chord Progressions, Ionian Play-along Tracks • Updated: May 6, 2012

Four premium practice play-along tracks for mastering and exploring the Ionian scale. Suitable for any instrument.

QuickStart Chord Progressions, Aeolian Play-along Tracks • Updated: May 6, 2012

Four premium practice play-along tracks for mastering and exploring the Aeolian scale. Suitable for any instrument.

QuickStart Chord Progressions, Mixolydian Play-along Tracks • Updated: May 6, 2012

Four premium practice play-along tracks for mastering and exploring the Mixolydian scale. Suitable for any instrument.

QuickStart Chord Progressions, Dorian Play-along Tracks • Updated: Apr 20, 2018

Four premium practice play-along tracks for mastering and exploring the Dorian scale. Suitable for any instrument.

QuickStart Chord Progressions, Pentatonic Play-along Tracks • Updated: May 6, 2012

Four premium practice play-along tracks for mastering and exploring the Pentatonic scale. Suitable for any instrument.

The Pentatonic scale is also referred to as the Country or Nashville scale. Eric Clapton has been very successful in weaving the bright pentatonic sound with the dark blues sound creating an unmistakable sound.

QuickStart Chord Progressions, Blues Play-along Tracks • Updated: May 6, 2012

Four premium practice play-along tracks for mastering and exploring the Blues scale. Suitable for any instrument.

Modular Phonetic Rhythm • Updated: Aug 1, 2018

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. This approach is applicable to all ages and to all styles of music. It has applications for the individual musician as well as for groups such as orchestra, jazz band, marching band, small groups etc.

Modular Phonetic Rhythm, Level II Pairs Worksheet • Updated: Jun 2, 2020

Level II rhythmic syllable pairs for developing your ukulele strums vocabulary and sharpen your reading chops.

Modular Phonetic Rhythm, Level I Pairs Worksheet • Updated: Jun 2, 2020

Level I rhythmic syllable pairs for developing your ukulele strums vocabulary and sharpen your reading chops.

Understanding a Guitar Chord Diagram • Updated: Jun 4, 2012

The traditional/standard guitar chord diagram typically used for showing chords. It is also used for showing scales shapes, licks and runs.

Metronome - Playing in Time • Updated: Feb 13, 2020

There is no way around it. A musician must be able to play in time. Playing in time is an important musical skill for ALL musicians. A metronome is an external time device for developing an accurate internal time.

Rhythm and Strums Level II Rhythmic Pairs - Lesson Three • Updated: Nov 18, 2017

Modular Phonetic Level II Rhythmic Syllable 4 of 6

Rhythm is inseparably linked to strums

Strumming requires a specific set of skills. They are:

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

This is where these series of lessons will help.

Rhythm and Strums Level II Rhythmic Pairs - Lesson Five • Updated: Apr 26, 2016

Modular Phonetic Level II Rhythmic Syllable 6 of 6.

Reading Music on `Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, Introduction • Updated: Sep 4, 2013

There are a few things in music that students and players avoid. These are things like learning to read and knowing the notes of their own instrument. It is hard on guitar - but not so hard on ukulele. With the right guidance and plan of attack. IT IS EASY.

It is really quite easy on a uke. Starting with natural notes in in the open position you can finally check off the Reading Music to do item.

Learning to read standard music notation is really, really easy.

Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, String One • Updated: Sep 4, 2013

From the available natural notes in open position there are three notes on string one. A, B and C.

NOTE: - Open Position is the open strings and frets one, two, three and four.

Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, String Two • Updated: Sep 4, 2013

From the available natural notes in open position there are three notes on string two. E, F and G.

Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, String Three • Updated: Sep 5, 2013

From the available natural notes in open position there are two notes on string three. C, and D.

Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, Strings One, Two and Three • Updated: Sep 4, 2013

Open Position Review

All the natural notes covered on string one, two and three comprise the C Major scale. Here is the fingerboard shape on ukulele.

Reading Music on Ukulele Series - The Basics • Updated: Mar 23, 2019

The first step in learning to read is to first recognize the notes on the staff and know where on the fingerboard they are located. Knowing the name is also a beneficial skill.

Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, Alternate Note Locations • Updated: Jan 2, 2006

One of the reasons it is hard to read music on the guitar and the ukulele is, alternate note locations.

In the open position there is one alternate note location. The open E, string two can also be played on string three, fret (3). If there is no overwhelming musical reason to play one location vs. the other. Then play the one that is easier to play.

Use your ear as the final judge as to which one you prefer.

Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Rest and Ties • Updated: Sep 5, 2013

A tie extends the rhythmic value of the first note by the value of the next note. Ties can span multiple notes. Rests are symbols for silence. Each note each has an equivalent symbol for silence.

Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, Drills and Exercises • Updated: Jan 2, 2006

You can get the fingers working and trained to follow our ear by playing scales, intervals, sequences and arpeggios. These are the four elements used to create melodies and improvisation.

Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, What About String Four? • Updated: Jan 2, 2006

“C” tuning with a low “G” extends the melodic range to G below middle “C”. This expanded range allows for a wider selection when selecting songs to play.

The G, A and B are the same names as a high “G” string four but sounding one octave lower.

Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, Songs • Updated: Jan 2, 2006

The following songs can be played in open position using the natural notes covered in the previous lessons of this primer.

These songs do not use any signatures, no time or key signature is shown. All songs are played with a quarter note taking one beat.

Signatures - both time signatures and key signatures are covers in book 1 of Ukulele - Reading Music. Playing the rhythms correctly insures that you are playing in the proper time signature.

Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Tuning Your Ukulele • Updated: Jan 2, 2006

It is important to always have your ukulele in tune.

This lessons covers the various ways of getting you ukulele in tune.

Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, Rhythm • Updated: Jan 2, 2006

The Ukulele - Reading Music Series uses the Modular Phonetic Rhythm System by Chuck Anderson for learning rhythm.

( from Chuck Anderson’s Modular Phonetic Rhythm - The Foundation book )

Modular Phonetic Rhythm is based on 23 fundamental rhythmic syllables. These rhythmic syllables vary in length from 1 note to 6 notes and from 1 beat to 2 beats. The system is divided into 4 levels based on the subdivision of the beat. Level I does not subdivide the beat. This is the level in which all notes are struck only on the downbeat. Level II divides the beat into 2 parts. Level III divides the beat into 3 parts. Level IV divides the beat into 4 parts. The levels do not express progressive difficulty, just progressive subdivisions of the beat.

Understanding Chord Symbols? • Updated: Jan 18, 0202

A chord's name is comprised of it's letter name, either A, B, C, D, E, F, or G and it's type information symbols which encapsulates the instructions for building a chord.

Reading for `Ukulele Series - C Tuning • Updated: Dec 26, 2014

This is a series of lessons for reading music for ukulele at a pro level.

Reading Music can be thought of on many different levels. 1) the ability to slowly and painfully work out the written music. 2) the ability to hear the music by looking at the notation. 3) the ability to notate your ideas in standard music notation. 4) the ability to read music as you read a book or an article. 5) the ability to communicate with other musicians in the written language of music. 6) the ability to learn songs that you've never heard.

Reading for `Ukulele - Lesson One, Introduction • Updated: Feb 17, 2014

This is a series of lessons for reading music for ukulele at a pro level.

Reading can be thought of on many different levels. 1) the ability to slowly and painfully “work out” the written music. 2) the ability to “hear” the music by looking at the notation. 3) the ability to “notate” your ideas in standard music notation. 4) the ability to “read” music as you read a book or an article. 5) the ability to communicate with other musicians in the written language of music. 6) the ability to learn songs that you’ve never heard.

Reading for `Ukulele - Lesson Two, Note Recognition • Updated: Feb 18, 2014

Once you understand the basic concept of reading, it’s time to get down to the development of the skills. We know our goal is to read music as well as we read words. Now, how do we get there?

Note Recognition

If you can’t recognize the notes on the staff, you certainly can’t read them. For anyone who is past this step, great! But in many cases, the recognition of notes on the staff is not as good as it should be. If you can’t read music, this skill doesn’t exist at all.

Reading for `Ukulele - Lesson Three, Open Position • Updated: Feb 18, 2014

Now that you can recognize the notes on the staff in the Treble clef, it’s time to start connecting that knowledge to the ukulele.

One of the most significant problems in reading for the ukulele, is that many of the same notes can be found in multiple locations on the neck. For example, the same A note is an open string one, string two - fret (5) and string three, fret (9) and if using a high G tuning - string four fret (2). The only way to cut down this complexity is to organize the ukulele into positions where this duplication is either eliminated or at least, minimized.

Reading for `Ukulele - Lesson Four, Key Signatures, Sharps • Updated: Feb 18, 2014

This lessons covers the natural symbol and the sharp key signatures keys.

In musical notation, a key signature is a collection of sharp or flat symbols placed together on the staff. Key signatures are generally written immediately after the clef at the beginning of a line of musical notation, although they can appear in other parts of a score, notably after a double barline. A key signature is use to indicate the “auto sharping or flatting of specified notes. Key signatures are also used to identify the key of a composition.

Reading for `Ukulele - Lessons Five, Key Signatures, Flats • Updated: Feb 18, 2014

This lessons covers the natural symbol and the flat key signatures keys.

In musical notation, a key signature is a collection of sharp or flat symbols placed together on the staff. Key signatures are generally written immediately after the clef at the beginning of a line of musical notation, although they can appear in other parts of a score, notably after a double barline. A key signature is use to indicate the “auto sharping or flatting of specified notes. Key signatures are also used to identify the key of a composition.

Reading for `Ukulele - Lesson Six, Ties • Updated: Feb 18, 2014

This lessons's work will advance rhythm by introducing Ties. Many ukulele players can find the notes on their instrument but can't read rhythm with enough accuracy and speed to be considered "sight readers". Remember that sight reading is just a level of reading. It's not some special and mysterious skill. When you read a book or magazine, you don't have to "work out" the words before you "read" them. You just read them.

Reading for `Ukulele - Lesson Seven, Rests & Position II • Updated: Feb 19, 2014

Lesson seven covers reading in position II.

After spending time on open and first position, we’re ready to move into the second position. The second position is defined as the notes on frets 2, 3, 4 and 56 on all four strings. The first finger will play notes in fret 2. The second finger will play notes in fret 3. The third finger will play notes in fret 4 and the fourth finger will play notes in fret 5.

The second position is a natural position for the key of C major and G major as well as their two relative minor keys, A minor and E minor.

Reading for `Ukulele - Lesson Eight, Position III • Updated: Feb 23, 2014

After spending time on open, first and second position, we’re ready to move into the third position. The third position is defined as the notes on frets 3, 4, 5 and 6 on all four strings. The first finger will play notes in fret 3. The second finger will play notes in fret 4. The third finger will play notes in fret 5 and the fourth finger will play notes in fret 6.

The third position is a natural position for the key of Db major and Ab major as well as their two relative minor keys, Bb minor and F minor.

This lesson also cover level III rhtyhm.

Reading for `Ukulele - Lesson Nine, Position IV • Updated: Feb 19, 2014

Lesson nine covers reading in position IV.

The fourth position is defined as the notes on frets 4, 5, 6 and 7 on all four strings. The first finger will play notes in fret 4. The second finger will play notes in fret 5. The third finger will play notes in fret 6 and the fourth finger will play notes in fret 7.

The fourth position is a natural position for the key of D major and A major as well as their two relative minor keys, B minor and F# minor.

Reading Music on `Ukulele Series - Primer • Updated: Jun 19, 2014

There are a few things in music that students and players avoid. These are things like learning to read and knowing the notes of their own instrument. It is hard on guitar - but not so hard on ukulele. With the right guidance and plan of attack. IT IS EASY.

It is really quite easy on a uke. Starting with natural notes in in the open position you can finally check off the Reading Music to do item.

Learning to read standard music notation is really, really easy.

Alternating Thumb Style, Embellishments • Updated: Oct 11, 2019

Hammer-ons, Pull-offs, and Slides are the most basic embellishments and an integral part of rock, folk, country, bluegrass, and pop music styles.

How To Use Metronome • Updated: Jun 11, 2019

A metronome is a device that produces an audible click or other sound at a regular interval that can be set by the user, typically in beats per minute (BPM)

Modular Phonetic Rhythm, Level IV Pairs Worksheet • Updated: Feb 10, 2016

Level IV rhythmic syllable pairs for developing your ukulele strums vocabulary and sharpen your reading chops.

Modular Phonetic Rhythm, Level III Pairs Worksheet • Updated: Feb 10, 2016

Level III rhythmic syllable pairs for developing your ukulele strums vocabulary and sharpen your reading chops.

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