Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Chords up the neck - help at hand - from Aaron Keim!

It's so often said that one of the reasons the ukulele has become so popular in recent years is that it's so easy to learn to play. And that's true.... at least, it's easy to learn some basic chords and get strumming quickly. But if you want to play more challenging music that demands a little more skill, you need to establish just what those skills are and start getting them under your belt.

One of the skills necessary to start learning chord melodies, for example, is knowing alternative fingerings up the neck for those basic chords. I've been well aware of this fact for ages, but the truth is that when faced with pages of alternative fingerings for lots of chords, it's easy to lose your way among them, and end up learning nothing at all. BUT - I have discovered a great web page, while browsing the new(ish) website of one of the best American players around, Aaron Keim, "The Quiet American". I featured Aaron a couple of times in July of 2012 - you can find the posts if you look across to the blog archive on the right there......

You can browse Aaron Keim's website and watch his youtube videos at leisure, but what I want to share with you today is the fact that on his website, Aaron has a kindly put up a download page with links to tabs AND..... chords up the neck.

The difference between Aaron's page and others I've seen is that on his page, Aaron limits the chords up the neck to just a handful of the most basic ones, e.g. C, C7, F, F7, G and G7. Just enough to have them printed off in front of you and sit and learn them. Learning a load of alternative chord fingerings up the neck of the uke is rather like eating an elephant - but how to eat an elephant? Easy - on bite at a time! Which is exactly what Aaron Keim gives us here!

There's also a link to a page of "magic moveable shapes" - check it out! And you know, it's great to be given all this help and information completely free - but Aaron does invite us to drop him a donation if the free tabs and worksheets are useful. Fair do's, I reckon ... and actually, you'll find that you can buy Aaron's ukulele songbooks from his website, too.

Lovely stuff... thanks Aaron...

And thanks to you for dropping in!

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HI! I hope you enjoy this blog and I'd love to hear your comments! But I know you'll forgive me if I read them over before I click the "publish" button! Thanks!