Learning Ukulele with Curt • Lessons, Songs, Books, Links and Ukulele Resources

Learn a New Chord Each Day!!!

Today's Chord Each day of 2018 there’s a new chord you can learn and add to your chord vocabulary. If there is one thing you'll do more that anything else - it's play chords. Here's the chord for: Jan 20, 2018.

Learn a New Strum Each Week!!!

Learn a new strumming pattern(s) starting each week 2018 with my new video series!

Curt, your CD was fantastic. You are amongst the ukulele masters of our day. - John K.

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Learn a New Ukulele Chord Each Day of 2018!!!
Today's Chord a Day, January 20th - D •

Each day of 2018 there’s a new chord you can learn and add to your chord vocabulary. First time here? Start with the January 1st chord.

There is also a series of lessons I ran 2013 called Chord a Week, “Open Position Chords” Series . This series explores several open position chords and their movable versions.

Learn a new strumming pattern(s) starting each week 2018 with my new video series!

Strum a Week

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Dominant Seventh Chords?

Not all seventh chords are actually "dominant" seventh chords.

by Curt Sheller, Curt Sheller Publications

When is a Dominant Seventh Chord NOT a Dominant Seventh?

Dominant - In music, the dominant refers to the fifth degree of a scale. For example, in the C major scale (C D E F G A B C') a fifth of the scale or dominant is G. The chord that is built on this scale degree is a G major or G7. In music theory, dominant chords are symbolized with an uppercase Roman numeral V.

Players will often refer to all seventh chords as dominant or dominant seventh chords. In the key of C major when referring to the G or G7, this is correct. But - Dominant, in this context does refer to the chord's harmonic function within its scale and harmony. So, unless you can determine the seventh chord is functioning as a V or dominant chord in the tonality. The chord is just a seventh chord and does not need the additional dominant designation.

To determine the function of a chord, you need to do a harmonic analysis and is beyond the scope of this article.

Here are the traditional names of the scale degrees of a diatonic major scale:

  • First note: Tonic
  • Second note: Supertonic
  • Third note: Mediant
  • Fourth note: Subdominant
  • Fifth note: Dominant
  • Sixth note: Submediant
  • Seventh note: Leading/Subtonic

We don't call other chords Tonic Seventh, Supertonic Seventh, Secondary Dominant. Dominant is the harmonic function of a chord - NOT part of its name.

End of Lesson


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Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation

An introduction to the series of lessons for building your core, essential 4-part chords.

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Learning Core Seventh Chords on `Ukulele

Learning the principles of how chords are constructed using seventh chords.

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A Guide to Advanced Ukulele Chords - Volume I

Beyond learning basic Ukulele chords most players struggle with advanced chords. Commonly called 'jazz' chords, these more sophisticated voicings find a wide use in all forms of music.

A Guide to Advanced Chords for Ukulele - presents a highly organized and efficient approach to the mysterious subject of advanced chords. Chord dictionaries are not the answer. Even chord theory does not offer any insight into unraveling the complexity of Ukulele chord voicings.

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Exploring jazz chords using a variety of common chord progressions based on songs from the standard jazz repertoire.

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This books focuses on the 4-part core "jazz" chords. These jazz'€ chords are advanced chords that find their way into a wide range of music.

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The Blues are at the heart of all American music. It has influenced Country, Rock, Folk, Jazz, Bluegrass and just about every form of American music we listen to today.

26 blues progression in C and G tuning, progressing from basic to advanced jazz progression, with chord grids and substitutions explained.

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The Advanced Guide to Chord Progressions for Ukulele - Volume I

Before individual chords become the background of songs, they must be put into orders called chord progressions. The Advanced Guide to Chord Progressions for Ukulele organizes progressions according to string family, position, voice leading and chord magnetism. The Advanced Guide to Chord Progressions for Ukulele is an excellent preparation for the art of melody and chord on the ukulele and more advanced accompaniment.

Volume I features the principles of voice leading applied to chord progressions. These principles are explained using chords from volume I of The Advanced Guide to Ukulele Chords. Chapters with common major and minor full diatonic, partial diatonic and chromatic chord progressions are also included to further explore voice leading principles presented in the book.

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Finally, learn the names of the notes of the fingerboard. Learning the notes of your instrument allows you the flexibility of not having to remember so many shapes. There are simply way too many chords, scale and notes patterns, and shapes to remember. It all comes down the notes.

Beyond knowing the names of the open strings, most players find it hard to learn the whole fingerboard. You need to know the names of the notes like it's second nature - just being able to figure them out is too slow.

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Giant Steps

Giant Steps is a jazz composition by John Coltrane, first appearing as the first track on the album of the same name (1960). The composition is a milestone in jazz, given the difficulty of improvising its rapid progression of chord changes that progress through three keys (see Coltrane changes) shifted by major thirds, creating an augmented triad.




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Girl From Ipanema

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No videos for Dominant Seventh Chords? at this time. Filming a lot of videos for various lessons, songs and books.

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 bestGlen 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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