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2nd Sunday NVUS Lesson on the Lake (winter)

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Date(s) - 02/11/2018
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Number of Attendees: 13

Cafe Montmartre



This meeting may challenge the beginners, and does require some practice on your part.  But, have no fear!  Even for the more advanced members, there’s always something to learn.  Maybe even get you to teach what you know to the beginner/beginner-intermediate/intermediates of our club members.  In the end, we are a Society of Ukulele aficionados and need to help each other improve to play together as a group.

Basic agenda we follow is below with occasional excursions that might be appropriate to the songs and how we will play them in our club. Please, don’t forget the signature songs, too.

General 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



Bookings are closed for this event.

Number of Attendees: 13

  • Larry and Linda Burke
  • Bob Gibson
  • Sandy O'Shea
  • Quang Tran
  • Jack Dale
  • Eric R
  • Kimberlyn and John Bauhs
  • Moses Kamai
  • Alan Cyr
  • Barry Chovitz


  1. Still having problems with our website and how it’s configured with the tools that were originally integrated. No means of documenting attendance of those who did not RSVP in time — so manually adding them here for now:
    Nancy Fink
    John King
    Bryan Joyner (booked originally under Path Joyner)

  2. Great session. We got to review C scale, Chorded Scale in C, and Harmonic Chorded Scale in C; then reviewed strum patterns. Was great to get an email from one of the members tell me about S8C24 strum — COOL!!! So the strums?

    S4 – Straight 4 (1/4 notes) — all down beat
    S8 – Straight 8 (1/8 notes) — square down and up beats (1&2&…)
    Calypso – DxDuxuDu — think 1&-2&-… then Dx-Du-xu-Du — a classic go to strum for almost all ukulele clubs — goes well with a lot of Jimmy Buffet songs
    Sweet Wahine (S.W.) – Dx#uxu#u — look familiar? Calypso with chunks on 2 and 4 beats
    S8-C24 – straight 8’s with chunks on 2 and 4 beats

    So, good times and lots to practice… the one in my above note is Havana by Camila Carbello… yes, I’ll be teaching you to play that song as a Society… you’ll love it!

  3. We’re going to continue strum work for this group session. Think |DxDuDuDu|xuDuxuDu| Yes, this is a 2-barre/measure strum. over 3 chords – Am, F, E7… If you get froggy enough (and for the beginner/intermediates and above), add the chunk — |DxDuDuDu|CuDuCuDu| or |DxDuDuDu|#uDu#uDu|…

    And you ask where do the chords go? Am on the 1st down beat, F on the 3rd downbeat, and E7 on the “&” of the 4th beat…

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