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Reading Music on `Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, Introduction

by Curt Sheller, Curt Sheller Publications

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 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 interpretation.

There are two levels of reading. One is sight reading, the ability to reading a piece of music on demand with out ever seeing it before. This is what studio and show musicians do all the time. The other is, to be able to read to figure it out and learn learn a piece of music for performance or reference.

Reading standard music notation in open position on the ukulele is a lot easier than on guitar. It only has four strings and a limited range. In open position in C Tuning with a high G for string four, the range is middle C on string three open to C above middle C on string one, fret three.


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String Four

There are two common “C” tunings for ukulele. One with a high “G” string 4 and another with a low “G” string 4.

Here is a lessons that compares the two tunings:

Alternate Note Locations

When using a high "G", C Tuning, string four contains alternate note locations for G A and B in open position. These are alternation locations of the G A and B notes found on strings two and one.


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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

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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