Select Page

2nd Sunday NVUS Group Lesson

2nd Sunday NVUS Group Lesson


4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Bookings closed


Cafe Montmartre
Lake Anne Village Center, 1625 Washington Plaza N, Reston, VA, 20190

Event Type

In addition to the below, we are preparing you to be more comfortable standing up in front of people to play as members of the Northern Virginia Ukulele Society (Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center end of Summer Ice Cream Social & Ono Brewing Co. Anniversary Luau are the big ones). The Fall 2019 set list is below (so yes, you have to scroll past the main material for the Primer). It will also be covered Society’s group lesson immediately following the 2nd Sunday NVUS Primer.

This Society meeting may challenge the beginners, and does require some practice on the member’s part.  Have no fear!  Even for the more advanced members, there’s always something to learn.  You can even help your fellow beginner/beginner-intermediate/intermediates Society members.  In the end, we are a Society of Ukulele aficionados and need to help each other improve to play together.

Basic agenda we follow is below with occasional excursions that might be appropriate to the songs and how we will play them in our Society. Please, don’t forget the signature songs, too.  Signature songs are intended to be played without looking or needing lead sheets.  As each of you play these songs repeatedly, hopefully, it sticks and you can play them without the sheets.

Potential Meeting Agenda:

  1. Review of scales and chorded scales in Key of C and F. Note: Baritones can use the same lesson package in F, as your key of C. The Key of C for standard ukes is actually your key of G.
  2. Discuss Circle of 5ths. Note: With author’s permission, we posted a paper in our file store that was written by a former member of the KookieUkies who now has his own group but still associated to KookieUkies. This paper has a good technical description of how the Circle of 5ths works.
  3. More on Rhythms (Strums), Blues, or What-Nots. Note: download our Cheat Sheets from the “Lesson Pamphlets, Booklets, Sheets” folder and  and bring it with you.

Practice makes perfect! So, practice, practice, practice.
Here are some practice suggestions, even if for 10 min a day — ideally on each.

  • Practice Item #1: 1-2 min for scales going up the scale of C, then in reverse. Keep tempo.  If you can go faster without making any mistakes, then speed up.  If you have mistakes, slow down.  If you think you have the C scale down, then try F and G scales — remember they are only 1 note different from the C scale.
    Objective: correct notes in a key of a song, so you could play melody lines, riffs, or even solo breaks — in the right key
  • Practice Item #1 (for intermediate and higher): We’ve been practicing primarily using your thumb — try using different fingers (suggest trying pointer/index and middle only). An alternative is to start with thumb, then pick the next note using index finger, then alternate between them.  Then try playing the scales in thirds (see Moses, David, or Sandy).
    Objective: same as above but mo’ bettah!
  • Practice Item #2: Do simple chord pattern strum in C (C, F, G7), F (F, Bb, C7), or G (G, C, D7) for 1-2 min straight. Focus on 1 strum per count in 4/4 (4 beat bar/measure) with 4 beats per chord.
    Objective: able to easily transition between the common chord sets in the common keys used in ukulele groups or jams, eventually in any key.
  • Practice Item #2 (for intermediate and higher): Try the same thing as the regular Practice Item #2 with different progressions in 2 or 3 keys: Do Wop: I-vi-IV-V, Do Wop with 7th: I-vi-IV-V7, Wagon-Wheel: I-V-vi-IV — some songs we have in our jam book and play often follow these progressions — albeit not always in the key of C.  Know them for keys C, F, G, and perhaps A and D, too.
    Objective: play common progressions without lead sheets for any given key
  • Practice Item #3: 1-2 min 4-finger chromatic scale and arpeggiated closed chord exercise (see Moses Kamai’s finger practice cheat sheet in the files section – “Lesson Pamphlets, Booklets, Sheets“)
    Objective: clean, quality tones for each note held on the fret board for any chord shape — clean arpeggios = clean strummed chords
  • Practice Item #4: don’t forget the arpeggio’s that we started before Christmas. Practice the [41]-4-2-4-3-4 arpeggio that goes with Silent Night — it’s 3/4 time. If you get used to that arpeggio and want to try, 4-2-3-2-1-2-3-2 arpeggio, this is in 4/4 time.
    Objective: easily alternate between strumming patterns rhythmically to picking patterns over a chord progression
NVUS Fall Set List for 2019 — Will be used for Margaret Schweinhaut, Ono Brewery, or any other performance event for the Society


RSVPs are closed for this event.

Members who are attending/attended this meeting:
  • Moses Kamai
  • Jane Winchester
  • David Bartell
  • Paul Bigelman
  • Alan Cyr
  • John Dodds
  • John King
  • Lauraileen O'Connor
  • Ellen Mahan
  • Catherine Miranda
  • Daniel Aloisi


  1. Glad those who came to the Primer and stayed for the NVUS Group Lesson. On the high note, we did take a spin through the arrangements of the set list to be used for Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center AND Ono Brewing Co. 2nd Anniversary Luau.

    We also covered movable chords in detail because of a question about diminished chords from today’s Primer (BbDim as the 7th harmonized chorded scale chord). There is an ukulele finger exercise on the tutorials and packages folder where it shows the utility of ‘practice’ of chords as a movable chord exercise. (click here)

Submit a Comment