Today's Chord

Learn a New Ukulele Chord Each Day of 2017!!!
Today's Chord a Day, February 24th - A+

Each day of 2017 there’s a new chord you can learn and add to your chord vocabulary. First time here? Start with the January 1st chord.

Today's Chord

How to Remember Songs

Remembering songs is lot like remembering the directions for a road trip. Ther're the turn-by-turn directions, road maps, signs and landmarks. Turn here, turn there, remember this and remember that landmark - the GPS for the song.

With a songs it's the chords, the harmonic cells and chord functions, progression and form of the song - the road map.

With a few music tools and an understanding of the principles of how chords and chords progressions really 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 directions, signs and landmarks. With a lot in common used in songs over and over again.

Where to Start

ALL music comes from some sort of scale and there's no better scale to start with than the major scale.

Memorize the Major Scales

All music, the chords and melodies come from scales. And, the major is one of the most common and important scales to learn and MEMORIZE in ALL 15 keys.

Most popular songs are in major keys.

go to the Major Scales lesson….

Harmonic Analysis for Chords Substitution and Scale Selection

Harmonic Analysis is the understanding of the functional sequence of chords. It's the process used to analyze the harmonic structure of a progression, song or composition. This analysis is then used to make scale selections for improvisation and chord substitution.

go to the Harmonic Analysis Lesson Series….

The Nashville Number System

The Nashville Number System is a numbering system that allows for writing a song in NO key to be played in ANY key. Can also be used for comparing songs an identifying the commonality between songs.

The Nashville Number System is an informal method of transcribing music by denoting the scale degree on which a chord is built. It was developed by Neal Matthews, Jr. in the late '50s as a simplified system for The Jordanaires to use in the studio and further developed by Charlie McCoy. It resembles the Roman numeral and figured bass systems traditionally used to transcribe a chord progression. By writing chords as numbers, music may be transposed easily. As a simple system of transcription, it can be used with only a rudimentary background in music theory. Improvisation structures can be quickly explained using numbers and chord changes can be communicated mid-song by holding up the corresponding number of fingers. The system is flexible, and can be embellished to include more information (such as chord color or to denote a bass note in an inverted chord).

Nashville Number System

Nashville Number System

Chas Williams
The Nashville Number System
Nashville, TN
USA

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from the Nashville Number System web site

In the late 50’s, Neil Matthews devised a musical number system for the Jordanaires to use in the studio. Charlie McCoy and fellow studio musicians began adapting Matthews’ number system into chord charts. The Nashville Number System has evolved into a complete method of writing chord charts and melodies — combining Nashville shorthand with formal notation standards.


Even more information, discussion and comments on this listing.

UL124

The Harmonized Major and Minor Scale Charts

The Major Scale or Ionian scale is a diatonic scale, made up of seven distinct notes, plus an eighth which duplicates the first one octave higher. In solfege these notes correspond to the syllables “Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti/Si, (Do)”, the “Do” in the parenthesis at the end being the octave of the root.

The simplest major scale to write or play on the piano is C major, the only major scale that does not require sharps or flats. The C major scale uses only the white keys on the piano keyboard.

Common Progression: I V

I V refers to the tonic ( I ) and dominant ( V ) chords of a major or minor key.

  • Key of C: C, G or G7

    C Dm Em F G G7 Am Bdim

  • Key of F: F, C or C7

    F Gm Am Bb C C7 Dm Edim

See the Key Signatures series of lessons for all 15 keys.

Common Progression: I IV V

I V refers to the tonic, subdominant and dominant chords of a major or minor key.

  • Key of C: C, F, G or G7

    C Dm Em F G G7 Am Bdim

  • Key of F: F, Bb, C or C7

    F Gm Am Bb C C7 Dm Edim

See the Key Signatures series of lessons for all 15 keys.

There are a ton of songs using the harmonic sequence. too many to list. So common that you should learn to recognize the sound of this sequence. There's even commercial song books with some variation of "Three Chord Songs".

Here are a few:

  • Brown Eyed Girl

    I always get verse and chorus mixed up. It's one of those, the first part of the song, the verse and the intro.

    The chorus is IV V7 I VI IV V7 I V7 and back to the verse.

  • This Land Is Your Land

Nashville Number System

Nashville Number System

Chas Williams
The Nashville Number System
Nashville, TN
USA

Latitude:
Longitude:

Links

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the Nashville Number System web site

In the late 50’s, Neil Matthews devised a musical number system for the Jordanaires to use in the studio. Charlie McCoy and fellow studio musicians began adapting Matthews’ number system into chord charts. The Nashville Number System has evolved into a complete method of writing chord charts and melodies — combining Nashville shorthand with formal notation standards.


Even more information, discussion and comments on this listing.

D Ville Jim

D Ville Jim

California
USA

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from the D Ville Jim web site

I took up the 5-string banjo exactly 33 years after this photo was taken.

At age 43 after ten years of trying to memorize banjo tab and then play it back, my wife’s grandmother gave me a 70 year old Columbia Hawaiian soprano ukulele that had been in her closet for more than 50 years. To please grandma, I took the uke and bought an instruction book. But I was tired of memorizing music out of books!


Even more information, discussion and comments on this listing.

Nashville Number System

Nashville Number System

Chas Williams
The Nashville Number System
Nashville, TN
USA

Latitude:
Longitude:

Links

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the Nashville Number System web site

In the late 50’s, Neil Matthews devised a musical number system for the Jordanaires to use in the studio. Charlie McCoy and fellow studio musicians began adapting Matthews’ number system into chord charts. The Nashville Number System has evolved into a complete method of writing chord charts and melodies — combining Nashville shorthand with formal notation standards.


Even more information, discussion and comments on this listing.

RMA1

RMA1

Hard Copy Book
$19.95

RMA1

Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution

Harmonic Analysis is the understanding of the functional sequence of chords. It is the process used to analyze the harmonic structure of a progression, song or composition. This analysis is then used to make scale selections for improvisation and chord substitution.

Applying harmonic analysis principles with harmonized scale charts for scale selection and chord substitution.

Harmonic Analysis is the understanding of the functional sequence of chords. It is the process used to analyze the harmonic structure of a progression, song or composition. This analysis is then used to make scale selections for improvisation and chord substitution.

go to book
RMA1

RMA1

PDF Download
$9

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Hearing the Changes

Hearing The Changes are knowing what the chords of a song or chord progressions are and when the when the change. This lesson gets you on the road to developing this ability.

This involves know the chords of the keys and scales that are used for common progressions and songs. And the ability to recognize the sound of intervals, the distance between intervals.


UL124

The Harmonized Major and Minor Scale Charts

The Major Scale or Ionian scale is a diatonic scale, made up of seven distinct notes, plus an eighth which duplicates the first one octave higher. In solfege these notes correspond to the syllables “Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti/Si, (Do)”, the “Do” in the parenthesis at the end being the octave of the root.


UL31

Understanding Diatonic Intervals

An interval is the distance between two notes. An interval has a name and a type. Intervals can be played one note (melodic) or two notes (harmonic) at a time, ascending or descending.

Simple and Compound Intervals are taken from a major scale.

Chromatic Intervals are NOT taken from a major scale. They are derived from the diatonic intervals.


UL09

Key Signatures

A key signature is a series of sharp or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating the notes that are to be consistently played higher or lower than the equivalent natural notes. Key signatures are generally written immediately after the clef at the beginning of a line of musical notation. Each major and minor key has an associated key signature that sharpens or flattens the notes which are used in its scale.


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Ear Training

Ear Training is the 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.


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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