Thursday, March 31, 2016

Note 5, Learning Chords Up and Down the Fretboard, Part 3 of many: He who knows, and knows not he knows...

...he is asleep, wake him. Or so the proverb goes.

These are a few things that, once pointed out to me, I realized I already knew, but I didn't appreciate how much they applied to mastering the fretboard.

If the ukulele is like the first four strings of a guitar capoed at the fifth fret, then the ukulele capoed at the seventh fret is like a guitar, only an octave higher. That is, the notes at the 7-th fret are DGBE!

There are three places on the ukulele where there are no accidentals (sharps or flats):

  • the nut, or zero fret, (GCEA), as we all know,
  • the 7-th fret (DGBE) as we've just seen, and last,
  • the 5-th fret, (CFAD).
  • Everything repeats once we get to the twelfth fret.

Most of us know many first position chords and are comfortable moving from one to another. The same relative changes work all the way up the neck. For example consider, A (2,1,0,0) to D (2,2,2,x) [three string version]. If the A chord is made by using the middle and ring fingers, the index finger is available to be used as a bar, making the chord moveable. So, for example, (5,4,3,3) is the A chord moved up three frets making it, Bb, B, C. It's C! If one now does the same thing one did moving from A to D, the new chord (5,5,5,x) must be an F! You can see that by counting frets D, Eb, E, F, but it also follows automatically from changing the A shape to the D shape.

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