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THEORY/WHAT SHOULD I PRACTICE?

With the following examples, I hope to impart information to you which has been helpful for my understanding of playing music in general, and the ukulele in particular. If any of the concepts are not clear, please e-mail me with any questions you might have.

  1. I IV V7-Practice the most useful chord progression in several common keys. Because the "3 chord songs" often have a 4th chord (the I7, which leads to the IV chord), here is a more practical exercise: I I7 IV V7. FOR BARITONE TUNING: I IV V7 (BAR) and I I7 IV V7 (BAR)
  2. Approach To Learning Basic Chords   BAR-most chord dictionaries look like this, but this exercise shows you how to use them effectively. And here's the Approach to "More Jazzy" Chords   BAR
  3. Amazing Grace-Play this song in every key and learn all the major chords and dominant 7ths. When you've learned the chords, play without chord diagrams here.
  4. Five Foot Two-If you can play through this exercise, you will be able to play major and dominant 7th chords in every key. Note that the keys change in the order of the Circle of 4ths (also called the Circle of 5ths). Five Foot Two (no chord diagrams)
  5. Why Do Fools Fall In Love-With this exercise, you will play (also through the Circle of 4ths) majors, minors, dominant 7ths, and minor 7ths in all keys. Why Do Fools Fall In Love (no chord diagrams)
  6. Major Chords and Their Roots-Major chords and the roots of those chord forms.
  7. Dominant 7 sus 4-I find this chord, a variation on the dominant 7th chord, useful to use to add interest to a song when a 7th chord is held for a long time before changing to another chord. Go from the 7th to the 7 sus chord and then back to the 7th before changing to another chord. Sweet Georgia Brown and Five Foot Two, arranged with dominant 7 sus 4's, are two examples to practice.
  8. Minor 7th to Dominant 7th-More practice with this very important chord progression.
  9. Minor 7th to Dominant 7th to Major 7th and 6th-This is the same as above with the resolution to the "I"(1)chord.
  10. Minor 7b5 to Altered Dominant-This is a very jazzy sounding progression frequently played in jazz songs. Just as the minor 7th and dominant 7th chords resolve to a major chord, the minor 7b5 and altered dominant 7th chords resolve to a minor chord.
  11. Tiptoe Through The Tulips-Practice this song through all the keys (around the circle of 4ths) and you add diminished, augmented, and minor 6th chords to your repertoire! Tiptoe Through The Tulips (no chord diagrams)
  12. Chords With Different Names-Expand the number of chords that you can play, simply by renaming them.
  13. 9th Chords-How to think of, and to practice, dominant 9th, major 9th, and minor 9th chords.
  14. It's A Blue World-A beautiful jazz tune from 1939, popularized later by the Four Freshman, which provides an excellent exercise for major, minor, and dominant 9ths, altered dominant 7ths, and major 7ths. It's a Blue World (no chord diagrams). For those who are not familiar with this song, click here.
  15. Chord Construction and Tricks-How chords are spelled (what scale notes comprise the chord) and tricks to more easily think of, and play, the more complicated (interesting) jazz chords. If you use this in conjunction with the Transposing Table, you can spell the chords in any key. Chord Equivalents-this is a list of the "tricks."
  16. 2 and 3 Chord Songs-Learn to play by ear by playing simple 2 and 3 chord songs, and changing chords when your ear tells you to.
  17. Barre Practice-Barre exercises with "Fiddler On the Roof."   (Baritone version)
  18. MEDLEYS-an easy way to lengthen songs and add interest for singalongs.
  19. D,Eb,E Fingering-Many beginners wonder what is the easiest way to play these chords. I think this is the easiest and the best.
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