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Too Many Chord Shapes!
Pick up any chord dictionary, and one thought that should go through your mind is. There is now way to memorize all those shapes. It would be better off learning how they came up with all those shapes. Most chord dictionaries are also just like pages transposed to all possible keys.
There is no way one can memorize ALL the possible chord shapes. Even learning a few hundred is time-consuming and not practical. Beyond the basic open position chords and basic movable form chords (major, minor and sevenths) – one needs to learn how to constructed chords when needed.
A chord shape is an only a function of a particular instrument and tuning. Knowing where chords come from as well as the notes of the ukulele fingerboard and you can build any chord you will ever need by moving or displacing a note or notes from a core set of basic chords. It's the notes NOT the shape.
What the Pros Do
Pro players build their chords on the fly when needed for the chords they do not use all the time. They can create ANY required chord from their core set of chords. If it's a one they need a lot it just gets memorized without much additional effort. It becomes part of an arrangement or voice leading situation.
A C chord is C E G, a D7 chord is D F# A C - it's not this shape or that shape. The actual notes of a chord are the smallest bit of information that is needed to memorize a chord.
Yeah, but John, if The Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists. Forget the fat lady! You're obsessed with the fat lady! Drive us out of here! Jaguar shark! So tell me - does it really exist? Hey, you know how I'm, like, always trying to save the planet? Here's my chance. - Jeff
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Altered Seventh Chords on `Ukulele
Beyond basic open position chords, basic movable form chords and a core set of 4-part chords. There are just too many chords shapes too memorize. Learning the principles of how chords are constructed and the ukulele fingerboard are the way to go. You can then create more advanced chords like 9#11, 7#5-9, 13b5, 7+9 on the fly as needed from your core set of chords.
Basic Ukulele Chord Chart
A chart of the most common ukulele chords in the most common keys.
Common Chord Progressions and Remembering Songs
Learning the similarities between chord progressions and songs helps you remember a lot of songs. There's a lot more in common between songs than one might think.
This series of lessons explores common chord progressions.
Remembering songs is lot like remembering the directions for a road trip. There are the turn-by-turn directions, road maps, signs and landmarks. Turn here, turn there, remember this and remember that landmark. With a songs it's the chords, the harmonic cells and form of the song.
With a few music tools and an understanding of the principles of how chords and chords progressions work. You can start unraveling what's going on in a song. There's a lot more in common between songs than you might think. Each song has it's own direction, signs and landmarks.
No videos for Chord Shapes and Learning `Ukulele Chords at this time. Filming a lot of videos for various lessons, songs and books.
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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
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