A Practical Approach to Exploring Scales
On ukulele there aren't many positions where you can play a one octave scale from the root to octave. An instrument like the guitar with the additional lower strings five and six allows one to play a one octave scale in multiple positions in the basic 4-fret, 4-finger position. On ukulele there might be one or two depending on the scale and the key - and whether your using a low string four tuning.
Here are a few ways to practice all your scales. Ideally you should be able to play any phrase, list, riff or melody from ANY starting finger, in any octave and on any string. This is a lot of work and a long term goal well worth the effort.
- Ascending lowest note to highest note of the scale position. This is where knowing the notes of the fingerboard really comes in handy.
- Descending highest note to lowest note.
- Vary the rhythm with long and short notes.
- Explore in ALL 15 keys. There are no common keys for scales, scales can start on any root - any key.
- Explore the most common intervals of 2nds, 3rds and 6ths. And, ultimately all intervals.
Every Finger, Every String
Getting your fingers to behave and follow your inner ear and mind is a lot like trying to heard cats - They just don't like to cooperate and do as they are told. It takes o lost of patience and determination.
Most players, like myself typically didn't play all my melodies, scales, licks or riffs from ANY starting finger on any string. Not that we didn't see the value in being able to do that - it just seemed like a lot of work. This is especially true for guitar with six strings. And in my case as a seven string player, seven strings – HOWEVER, I did do all of this. With the ukulele it's only three or four strings and a lot less work. At least do it with melodies - there is a lot of value in this. All we are doing is reinforcing the inner ear to hands connection.
Frank Vignola said learn 200 songs - the melodies and you have no problem learning to improvise.
Finally you need to be able to play starting on any note, on any string and starting on any finger. This is where my book The Six Secrets of Ukulele Fingering comes into play. It's more of an exploration and discover and NOT the memorizing of any additional new patterns. It's navigating the various possible pathways available on the fingerboard that really open up the fingerboard.
Think of fingering as a series of pathways. When you learn to connect these pathways, there are benefits not only to technique but also to creativity. All fingering on the ukulele can be reduced to 6 principles of motion. Each principle has physical and musical characteristics that you can use to improve your playing.
End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!
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Six Essential Scales for `Ukulele • Updated: Apr 3, 2020
The six essential scales are: Blues Major Pentatonic Mixolydian Dorian Aeolian and Ionian From the six essential scales, you can get through a wide variety of traditional and contemporary music. A scale is simply a collection of pitches or notes, not really a "this is a Jazz scale", "this is a Blues" or "this is a Rock scale". It's how a scale is used that really matters not its name.
Six Essential Scales for `Ukulele - Pentatonic Scale Five Position Summaries • Updated: Mar 18, 2014
The five pentatonic scale positions - a summary.
This is the first steps for most players in learning the pentatonic scales in various positions on the neck.
The next step is to connect these five positions with various pathways. This is best accomplished using the principles from the book, Six Secrets of Ukulele Fingering.
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