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If you are not sure of your current level then visit the Determining Your Level page. It will help you determine where you are in your development.
You might be an intermediate player as far as chords go but a beginner for scales and improvisation. A great strummer but just starting to explore fingerstyle. So one level doesn't fit all players and/or all subjects.
This is where a experienced teacher can really help out. It's sometimes hard to evaluate where you are in your own development. A outside set of ears and eyes can help determine a good course of development, depending on your goals.
Teaching your self can be frustrating at times. One problem with going the self taught route is the glut of information available on-line. There is no one controlling the flow of information, no one to guide you from the basic foundation skills and knowledge needed to more advance concepts for any particular topic. Patience is paramount with yourself is crucial — there’s nothing in the world that someone hasn’t managed to learn, starting from right from where you are. And, it's probably written down somewhere, either in a books or on-line.
Determining you current technical skills and musical level – is where you need to start to develop as a musician.
You might be an intermediate player when it comes to chords. But, a beginner when it comes to improvising single note lines and reading. You might have a good grasp of the principles of music from other instruments and want to use this knowledge on ukulele.
The Ukulele is a valid musical instrument just as any other. You can take the ukulele to any level you desire with the right plan of attack.
A beginner ukulele player is just starting out with ukulele and pretty much knows nothing about the ukulele or music – clean slate. This is a great place to start, no bad habits, a blank musical canvas and only forward progress is possible. You're just beginning a musical journey with this wonderful instrument.
A Beginner might know a chord two. Might need some work switching between chords and playing in time. They might only know the names of the open strings as you need those so you can tune your ukulele — but not much more.
A little beyond the beginning stages is when you can switch between simple chords, if you are familiar with the song. A beginner needs to have the chords written to play the song or have someone teach you the song. Only knows the basic chords in open position.
A beginner's strumming patterns typically consist of one or two patterns learned by ear. A beginner doesn’t know any scale patterns or have the ability to improvise or play single note lines.
Here are a few recommended lessons and resources to get started. These are the things that ALL ukulele players need to know.
A short disclaimer - All players and students are different and have different goals, likes and current skills they bring to learning the ukulele. This makes it somewhat hard with any of the individual lessons below to address without knowing someone's goals, current skills and likes are. This is problem with books and on-line lessons that can only be addressed with custom one-on-one private lessons – which I naturally do locally at our family music store and via skype from anywhere in the world. With all that said you'll find each lesson pretty darn good, if I don’t say so myself. A lot of work goes into each lesson and is based on my many, many years of private study and research.
Start with my FREE Learning Ukulele - A Recipe for Success monthly ukulele workshop handout that all workshop attendees get. This is a great overview of what you can learn on ukulele. Take a casual read through it and then checkout the lessons below to dive right into learning the ukulele.
Most beginners are drawn to the ukulele want to play songs right out of the gate. This is the song based approach to learning a musical instrument.
What you’ll do the most as a beginner ukulele play is to play chords.
After you learn a few chords you need to have a vocabulary of strumming or fingerpicking patterns to turn the chords into a progression, which are the core of songs.
The Learning Ukulele - A Recipe for Success lesson covers the four famous strums that all players should know. After the initial four patterns are master we can take the individual rhythmic syllables that make of the patterns and create additional patters for strumming and finger picking.
After the introductory lessons above the most common goal for beginning students is to play songs with others.
The Basic Ukulele Chord chart above is organized into common keys and the primary and secondary chords for each key.
Start with the most common of the common keys, the Key of C Major.
Beyond these initial lessons and recommendations it’s impossible to know where a player's goals, skill set is, what styles they want to play and how far they would like to take their ukulele player without a personal one-on-one meeting or correspondence.
An intermediate player can hold a steady rhythm. Knows the basic chords open position chords E Em E7, A Am A7, D Dm D7, C C7, G, G7, F and B7. Can figure out the primary I, IV and V of the common keys C, G, D, A and E. Can play major, minor and seventh movable form chords up and down the fingerboard. Can figure out the name of a note on the fingerboard.
An intermediate player can hear when chords change in a sng or progression. Usually learns new songs from friends or tablature (TAB). If making their own arrangements, they are usually fairly simple. An intermediate player nows there's life above the fifth fret but not what to do with it.
An intermediate player can sing and strum at the same time easily; learns chords to simple tunes fairly quickly.
An advanced player should know the fingerboard across the strings and along the strings. Be able to instantaneously identify any note on the fingerboard – this needs to be second nature.
An advanced player should be able to read music and know where the notes are on the fingerboard. They might not be able to sightread on demand - but read to figure out and learn new material.
An advanced player can play any chord that is required. They have a understanding of open position chords, movable form chords and 4-part, aka “Jazz” chords.
An advanced player can hear I, IV, and V chords, has mastered chord inversions, knows there is life above the fifth fret. Plays lead and backup easily with others and keeps steady rhythm.
An advanced player knows the difference between a scale and a mode.
An advanced player knows the names of the notes in the chords they are playing.
These are the ukulele gurus and players that stand out from the masses.
An master ukulele player is really a master musician who happens to play the ukulele.
An master ukulele player knows the principles of music and can apply them to the ukulele. A master has studied for years and years and is always learning and developing.
Some have called me a ukulele master, virtouso, guru and a few names I can't print - and, I guess after 30 plus years of SERIOUS study as a jazz guitarist and the last 10 plues years dedicated to applying those skills and knowledge to ukulele I'd place myself in that category.
Content is always being added and updated. So check-in often. Thanks, Curt
Over 500+ lessons, 54 songs and TABS, 240+ archtop luthiers, 200+ ukulele builders, festival information, ukulele links on the web. On the web since the early 90's and growing everyday. This site just never stops growing!!!
[ UL0 ] (lessons) WHAT_LEVEL_ARE_YOU_AT.PHP | Updated: Monday, 19th August, 2013 @ 11:44am