Six Lessons for Beginners and Beyond
Adam Traum’s long-running weekly Ukulele Club was the basis for this terrific lesson, which takes you, in six sections, from the very basics of uke playing well into intermediate territory.
Lesson One starts with the fundamentals of rhythm, then quickly moves into some basic chords and how to change them in time. An old favorite, Buffalo Gals, with an integrated fingerpicking pattern, takes this simple tune to a more musical level.
Lesson Two brings a new rhythm based on the African classic, Wimoweh, and introduces a new chord so you can play the Carter Family classic, Worried Man Blues.
Lesson Three covers the Woody Guthrie mainstay, This Land is Your Land, in two keys, C and G, in which Adam shows how to transpose the song to a new key. It also covers a “boom-chuck” strum to bring in a folk aesthetic, and a minor chord substitution to enhance this perennial favorite.
Lesson Four features two great standards, The Tennessee Waltz and Greensleeves, in 3/4 and 6/8 times. Some of the features of these two songs include moving “color” tones and chord melody ideas. Adam shows a right hand “Calypso strum,” a cool accent that you can add to many songs.
Lesson Five introduces a minor key song, House of the Rising Sun, with some new “closed” chord shapes (no open strings ringing). Adam also talks about troubleshooting the closed positions if you are having difficulty forming these new shapes. He also adds a flamenco roll, fingerpicking techniques, and a special ending chord.
Finally, in Lesson Six, Adam introduces blues on the ukulele with Hot Tamales, the Robert Johnson staple, and Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out, which has been covered by many artists. The final two songs include fingerpicking integrated with strumming, more “Calypso strumming” and tremolo as an accent. Adam shows how to move closed chords around the neck.
So grab your ukulele and join the Club!