Learning to Play by Ear

The ultimate goal is to hear a melody, chord progression or anything musical and be able to identify it and play it. This a lot easier from a position of knowledge and knowing the principles of music. Don’t get Playing by Ear confused with Learning... Learning by Ear is typically a hunt'n'peck method of learning and fraught with errors.

Introduction

An introduction to the skills and tools needed to determine the chords of a song or chord progression by ear.

Chord probability, chord species, active and passive chord quality, harmonic rhythm, root movement

Basic chords in the key of C Major

These are the most common chords you'll use when first learning the ukulele.

Basic chords in the key of C Major

Ear Training

Development of the active and passive capability to relate to music aurally. This includes the ability to recognize melodic and harmonic intervals, chords, chords progressions, rhythm, melody and harmony.

Ear Training Lessons

Where Do Chords Come From?

Nothing magical here. Chords come from the notes of a scale. For simple progressions the most common scale that chords come from are the major scales.

Most basic chords, triads and even more complex 4-part contemporary chords, a.k.a "jazz" chords, are built in thirds. This is accomplished by taking every other note of a scale and playing them together or almost together. This every other note is an interval of a third to it previous note. An interval of a third can be a major third or a minor third. It is the mixing of major and minor thirds that give a chord its type and sound.

A chord contains two parts: Its letter name, using http://learningukulele.dev:8888/lessons/startingone of the seven letters of the musical alphabet: A B C D E F or G. And, its type or species information, such as major, minor, diminished, augmented, seventh, maj7, m7, etc.

The Major Scale

Not called the learning scale for a reason. The major scale is a great scale for learning how music and chords work. It’s a core scale from which a majority of your core, essential scales can be derived. There are 15 major scales.

Key Signatures - C Major and A Minor

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.

Core Chords - Building a Solid Foundation of Contemporary Chords

Core Chords are a concept that I typically apply to 4-part chords and your more contemporary modern chords. This where a solid foundation of a core set of chords really help in learning the massive amount of chords that are required for play contemporary music or jazz on ukulele or guitar. Not such a task on ukulele with on one four string set of strings to build your 4-part chords vs. the theoretically possible 15 sets available for guitar.

Building a Solid Jazz Chord Foundation for `Ukulele

Commonly called jazz chords, these more sophisticated, contemporary chord voicings find their way into a wide variety of music forms and styles. This lesson is the first on the series that builds your core foundation for these chords.

This is an expanded and improved version of my Building A Solid Jazz Chord Foundation for Ukulele workshop that I've presented several times at various ukulele festivals over the past several years.

Getting Started

A few basic open position and movable form chords are all that is needed to get you started on your life-long ukulele adventure and hours of fun.

Basic Open Position `Ukulele Chord Chart

A core set of basic ukulele chords that ALL Ukulele players should know - at least - in the five common keys of C, G, D, A and E. As well as the seventh chords for common keys. The chart is organized in common keys and covers basic chords in these keys. Of the 15 possible major and relative minor keys in music. There are five common keys to get started with: C, G, D, A, and E. These keys allow you to play quite a few popular songs. There's more in common between songs that your might think.

Basic Open Position `Ukulele Chord Chart for Lefties

A core set of basic chords that ALL Ukulele players should know in five common keys: C, G, D, A and E. With the common seventh chords in every key. This chart of for lefties.

The chart is organized in common keys and covers basic chords in those keys. Of the 15 possible major and relative minor keys in music. There are five common keys to get started with: C, G, D, A, and E. These will allow you to play quite a few popular songs.

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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 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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