Getting Started

One of my favorite things about the ukulele is it’s versatility.  It can play literally any style of music.  It can be a lead/solo instrument, it can be a rhythm instrument, it can be a harmonic instrument, or it can be all of those at the same time!

My plan with these lessons is to give you all the ammunition you need to make yourself a better ukulele player in the genre of swing and jazz.  I will be focusing on these three areas of technical ability: Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm.  I’ll also be showing you how to put all that together along with a few tricks to make your playing shine.

To get you started, we need to work on the one thing that holds all of this together: Rhythm.  Remember that “it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”

There are a lot of different rhythm patterns in swing and jazz to choose from.  In the next video I will go over just a few to get you started.  Remember that you need to practice these to the point where you aren’t thinking about making the rhythm, you are just ‘feeling’ the rhythm (or groove) happen as you play.

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Some Basic Rhythm Types:

  • Four to the Bar
  • Basic Shuffle
  • Sock Rhythm (boom chuck)
  • Eight to the Bar
  • Charleston

There is literally an infinite number of rhythms you can choose from. The ones I have shown you are just the basic ones that you should get under your belt.


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