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Lesson 2 Rhythm Ukulele Chord Accompaniment

June 2010 9,813 views 3 Comments

by MaryLou Stout Dempler

I have played guitar since I was seven years old. I couldn’t learn to play my guitar fast enough. I had to take three guitar lessons a week. For my birthday, ten years ago my husband gave me a $2000.00 handmade concert ukulele. I fell in love all over again with music, my new uke and my husband. You can read the complete story, including how I became a Mel Bay author at my website www.allmarylou.com.

After teaching my first soprano ukulele class at Bellarmine University, I formed the Louisville Ukulele Association Unlimited club (L.U.A.U.) and Orchestra. To complete the orchestra’s sound, I wrote the Easy Baritone Ukulele Method Book and taught a Baritone Uke Class. The baritone ukulele is played exactly like the first four strings of the guitar and has the deepest sound of all the ukuleles. Using my guitar background, I developed an extremely easy method to learn to play the baritone ukulele instantly.   

Lesson 2

Rhythm Ukulele

Chord Accompaniment

Rhythm Ukulele and Lead Ukulele

In Lesson 1 you played chords to accompany yourself and sang Row, Row, Row Your Boat. This is called Rhythm Ukulele. Lead Ukulele is the melody of a song played by individual notes.  I have arranged this version of Row, Row, Row Your Boat with strum patterns that will allow you to hear the melody as you strum each chord without playing the individual notes.

Lyric Sheet and Sheet Music

A lyric sheet is comprised of the words to a song and usually has chord names and strum patterns. Or a lyric sheet may have only the words to a song. Sheet music has all the music notation, chord diagrams including the words to the song.

Down / and Up V Symbols using Strum Patterns 

“L” Letter Form © Mary Lou Stout Dempler

Look at the lyric sheet of Row, Row, Row Your Boat. The G indicates to play a G chord instead of a / (DOWN) strum symbol. Always play a DOWN strum when a chord letter is shown. The V symbol indicates to strum UP over the strings. Practice strumming / (down) and V (up) over the sound hole. With your right hand close your middle, ring and pinky fingers. With your thumb and index finger make a very stiff “ L” Letter Form © MLSD. With your left hand form a G chord. With your right thumb strum DOWN over all the strings, after striking the last string quickly flick your wrist UP and strum all the strings with your right index finger. Practice and practice until you feel the / strum and V strum with your wrist. After you’ve mastered the Down / Up V strum pattern using the “L” Letter Form © MLSD, you can choose to use your finger strum or a pick.

G Chord and D7 Chord

Fretted Notes and Open Strings 

G Chord Formation 

Left Hand Third finger at the Third fret on the uke fret board of the First string.  When you place your finger on string on  the fret board it is a FRETTED NOTE. The g is a fretted note.  OPEN STRINGS are when the strings are played but no fingers are placed on the fret board thus playing OPEN STRING notes. The notes forming a G chord: g (fretted note), b, g, d, open strings.

D7 Chord Formation

Left hand Third finger at the Second fret on the First string, fretted f # (f sharp) note.

Second finger at the Second fret on the Third string, fretted a note.

First finger at the First fret on the Second string, fretted c note. 

Finger Mapping © Mary Lou Stout Dempler

 Practice  strumming the chords until you can play all the notes in the chord clearly.  Stand your left hand finger tips on the string close to the fret but not on the fret wire,  that will produce a THUD sound. Do not slouch your fingers over the strings, touching  or bending the strings as this will produce the wrong sound and even the wrong chord.

You want to be able to change chords quickly without hesitation.  FINGER MAPPING © MLSD is the easiest, quickest connections to change from one chord to the next chord.

Form a G Chord.  To quickly switch to D7 Chord from G Chord, slide your Third finger up to the Second fret of the First string this finger is the foundation to make the D7 chord fast and accurate. Next lay your Second finger on the Third string at the Second fret and your First finger on the Second string at the First fret.   After a couple days of practice you will have these two chords memorized.  There are many songs that only use two chords.

Play the strum patterns exactly as written and you will hear the melody of the song without playing the individual notes.

   G       /        /         V      /
Row Row, Row, Your Boat

    /   V      /       V         /       /
Gently Down The Stream

 /    V   /     /   V   /   /   V   /    /    V   /
Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily

 D7   V   /   V      G       /
Life Is But A Dream!       For a real fancy ending play an extra   / V / Strum. For an exceptional ending after playing the / V / strum / /! It will be a FANTASTIC ending. This arrangement is in the Key of G.

YOU DID IT! YOU SHOULD HAVE A BIG HUGE SMILE ON YOUR FACE!
 This arrangement uses the chords with strum patterns to play the melody.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

You can play this version of Row, Row, Row Your Boat on a guitar but do not strum the fifth and sixth bass strings. You need to form the notes on the 5th and 6th bass strings of the guitar fret board to form a full G Chord.

This was EASY and now you are playing music on your baritone ukulele!  You can use this same method to play a soprano, concert, banjo or tenor uke. Just tune the uke to the A E C G tuning. Of course the chord and note names will be completely different.

Sing while you play your ukulele. ENJOY MAKING BEAUTIFUL MUSIC!

 Play the Melody, Lead Individual Notes

Everyone thinks you have to read music or read tablature to play the lead/melody to a song. I have been teaching for years via email using words to teach music. To play the Lead for Row, Row, Row Your Boat in the Key of G just follow the steps below.

The words are above the steps to form the notes for the melody.

           ROW, ROW

Step 1 Strum / on the Third string G playing the G note open. This is a quarter note. Repeat above for the second word ROW. This is a quarter note.

            ROW

Step 2 Strum /on the Third string G playing the G note open. This is a Eighth note.

            YOUR

Step 3 Place your second finger on your left hand on the Third string G at the Second fret forming an A note. With you right hand strum V when you play the A note. This is the connecting Eighth note.

            BOAT

Step 4 Strum / on the Second string B, playing the open B note. This is a Quarter note.

            GENT-

Step 5 Strum / on the Second String, playing the open B note. This is a Eighth Note.

            LY

Step 6 Place your second finger on your left hand on the Third string G at the Second Fret forming an A note, with your right hand strum V when you play the A note. This a connecting Eigth Note.

            DOWN

Step 7 Strum / on the Second string B, playing the open B note. This is a Eight note.

            THE

Step 8 Place your First finger of your left hand on the Second String B at the First fret, forming a C note. With your right hand strum V playing the C note. This is the connecting Eighth note.

            STREAM

Step 9 Place your Third Finger of your left hand on the Second String B at the Third fret, forming a High  D note.  Strum  D note / with your right hand.  This is a Half note. Count one beat after playing the D note.

               MER-

Step 10 Place your pinky of your Left hand on the First String at the Fifth fret, forming a High A note.  Strum / playing the High A note.  This is a triplet note.

              RI-

Step 11 Place your pinky of your Left hand on the First String at Fifth fret, forming a High A note. Strum V playing the High A note. This is a triplet note.

              LY

Step 12 Place your pinky of your Left hand on the First String at the Fifth fret, forming a High A note.  Strum / playing the High A note.  This is a triplet note.

              MER-

Step 13 Strum / on the First String, playing the open E note. This is a triplet note.

               RI-

Step 14 Strum V on the First String, playing the open E note. This is a triplet note.

               LY              

Step 15 Strum / on the First string, playing the open E note. This is a triplet note.

              MER-

Step 16 Strum / on the Second string, playing the open B note. This is a triplet note.

              RI-

Step 17 Strum V on the Second String, playing the open B note. This is a triplet note.

              LY

Step 18 Strum / on the Second string, playing the open B note. This is a triplet note.

               MER-

Step 19 Strum / on the Third string, playing the open G note. This is a triplet note.

               RI-

Step 20 Strum V on the Third String, playing the open G note. This is a triplet note.

               LY

Step 21 Strum / on the Third string, playing the open G note. This is a triplet note.

               LIFE

Step 22 Place your Third Finger of your left hand on the Second String B at the Third fret, forming a High D note.   Strum D note  / with your right hand.  This is a Eight note.

              IS

Step 23 Place your First finger of your left hand on the Second String B at the First fret, forming a C note. With your right hand strum V playing the C note. This is the connecting Eighth note.

              BUT

 Step 24 Strum / on the Second string B, playing the open B note. This is a Eight note.

              A

Step 25 Place your second finger on your left hand on the Third string G at the Second fret forming an A note. With you right hand strum V when you play the A note. This is the connecting Eighth note.

              DREAM

Step 26 Strum / on the Third string G playing the G note open. This is a half note. Count one beat after playing the G note.

You have just played the entire note melody of the song Row, Row, Row Your Boat in the key of G without reading music at all or tablature. You also learned the names of the notes you formed on the fret board.

CONGRATULATIONS! Keep Practicing. Remember to have fun while you play your ukulele and sing along as you play beautiful music!

If you have any music or ukulele questions please email me at musiclou42@msn.com

MaryLou Stout Dempler   (Kentucky’s Ukulele goddess so they call me.)

 www.allmarylou.com   www.melbay.com  www.cdbaby.com

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