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Reading Music on Ukulele - Primer
Published: 2014-02-26 12:44:03

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.

14 Lessons in the “Reading Music on Ukulele - Primer” Series

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Reading Music on Ukulele Series - The Basics

The first step in learning to read is to first recognize the notes on the staff and know where on the fingerboard they are located. Knowing the name is also a beneficial skill.

UKEREAD1P-LT

Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Tuning Your Ukulele

It is important to always have your ukulele in tune.

This lessons covers the various ways of getting you ukulele in tune.

UKEREAD1P-L1

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

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.

UKEREAD1P-L2

Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, String One

From the available natural notes in open position there are three notes on string one. A, B and C.

NOTE: - Open Position is the open strings and frets one, two, three and four.

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Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, String Two

From the available natural notes in open position there are three notes on string two. E, F and G.

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Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, String Three

From the available natural notes in open position there are two notes on string three. C, and D.

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Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, Strings One, Two and Three

Open Position Review

All the natural notes covered on string one, two and three comprise the C Major scale. Here is the fingerboard shape on ukulele.

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Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, Alternate Note Locations

One of the reasons it is hard to read music on the guitar and the ukulele is, alternate note locations.

In the open position there is one alternate note location. The open E, string two can also be played on string three, fret (3). If there is no overwhelming musical reason to play one location vs. the other. Then play the one that is easier to play.

Use your ear as the final judge as to which one you prefer.

UKEREAD1P-L7

Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Rest and Ties

A tie extends the rhythmic value of the first note by the value of the next note. Ties can span multiple notes. Rests are symbols for silence. Each note each has an equivalent symbol for silence.

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Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, Drills and Exercises

You can get the fingers working and trained to follow our ear by playing scales, intervals, sequences and arpeggios. These are the four elements used to create melodies and improvisation.

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Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, What About String Four?

“C” tuning with a low “G” extends the melodic range to G below middle “C”. This expanded range allows for a wider selection when selecting songs to play.

The G, A and B are the same names as a high “G” string four but sounding one octave lower.

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Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, Songs

The following songs can be played in open position using the natural notes covered in the previous lessons of this primer.

These songs do not use any signatures, no time or key signature is shown. All songs are played with a quarter note taking one beat.

Signatures - both time signatures and key signatures are covers in book 1 of Ukulele - Reading Music. Playing the rhythms correctly insures that you are playing in the proper time signature.

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Reading Music on Ukulele Series - Reading in Open Position, Rhythm

The Ukulele - Reading Music Series uses the Modular Phonetic Rhythm System by Chuck Anderson for learning rhythm.

( from Chuck Anderson’s Modular Phonetic Rhythm - The Foundation book )

Modular Phonetic Rhythm is based on 23 fundamental rhythmic syllables. These rhythmic syllables vary in length from 1 note to 6 notes and from 1 beat to 2 beats. The system is divided into 4 levels based on the subdivision of the beat. Level I does not subdivide the beat. This is the level in which all notes are struck only on the downbeat. Level II divides the beat into 2 parts. Level III divides the beat into 3 parts. Level IV divides the beat into 4 parts. The levels do not express progressive difficulty, just progressive subdivisions of the beat.

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Reading for `Ukulele - The Next Level

Congrats, you have finished the Reading Music on Ukulele - The Primer series. This next series of lessons will take your reading to the next level and have you reading like a pro.

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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