Newk Lesson #2, Nov 16, 2017

In Lesson 1,  some important items were covered that you’ll want to review:  Tuning: GCEA,” my dog has fleas”, using our tuners.  A is closest to your knee, G is closest to your nose.  Most of you have “re-entrant” tuning, meaning the G is pitched higher than C and E, but lower than A. You may some day put a “Low G” on your uke, making the G string the lowest-sounding string, then consecutively: C, then E, then A. Chording hand: flat wrist, fingers curved over the fretboard to direct the tops of your fingers to the strings; thumb behind fretboard about 1 or 2 inches down from headstock.  Elbow of chording arm: approx 8 inches away from your body. If it is sticking up or touching your side, this will contort your wrist, making for difficult chording. Aim to position your elbow to keep a  flat wrist.  Muscle memory and the slap method to learn chords. (position your chord, then strum 8 times. Remove chord hand and slap your thigh, restore chord then strum 7 times: slap, strum, strum, strum, strum, strum, strum, strum. Remove chord hand, slap twice, re-form chord & strum 6 times.  Each time, add one more slap, until at the end you’ll have 7 slaps and 1 strum of the restored chord. Keep the movements in rhythm, whether slaps or strums. C and F chords: C is played with ring finger, but think about F; it needs two fingers: index and middle. Think of those two fingers as a unit, landing on the  E and G strings at the same moment. That is part of muscle memory.

We used a single strumdown, down, down, down. Some used their thumb, others lightly braced their index finger with their thumb, others may have used all four fingers brushed at once against the strings.  All’s fair!  Each gives a different quality.

In Lesson 2, we’ll recheck our body ergonomics while strumming and forming C, then F.  Yah, I know, lets get going on having FUN!!  You’ll be glad for the extra time getting the basics right, though! (So will I!) Then we’ll dive into Buffalo Gals and Iko Iko and spend a little time looking at Ukulele Chord Chart for Absolute Beginners from your previously-downloaded material. That is a valuable page, showing all the chords we’ll learn in the 20 weeks.  If time, we’ll go on to the double strum and the G chord.