Ukulele For Geeks: Secrets of the Pentatonic Scales

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My five minute talk on how to hack the ukulele fretboard with the universal key: pentatonic scales

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Ukulele For Geeks: Secrets of the Pentatonic Scales

  1. 1. ukulele for geeks secrets of the pentatonic scales ignite sydney ’09 christian crumlish mediajunkie.com @mediajunkie
  2. 2. An easy instrument to learn <ul><li>Just four strings! </li></ul><ul><li>Punk as hell </li></ul><ul><li>Enthusiasm beats expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Learn a few chords (not from me) </li></ul><ul><li>Learn a few fingering patterns (yay) </li></ul><ul><li>??? </li></ul><ul><li>Profit!! </li></ul>
  3. 3. Pentatonic Scales for the Win <ul><li>Pentatonic means five tones </li></ul><ul><li>The black keys on a piano are a pentatonic scale </li></ul><ul><li>Every combination, even random ones, sounds good </li></ul><ul><li>Pentatonic scales can be used to accompany any song </li></ul>
  4. 4. Many songs use just 5 notes <ul><li>My Girl </li></ul><ul><li>Under the Boardwalk* </li></ul><ul><li>Suicide is Painless </li></ul><ul><li>First There is a Mountain </li></ul>
  5. 5. Open strings <ul><li>The open strings on a guitar are in a pentatonic scale </li></ul><ul><li>The open strings on a uke are in several pentatonic scales (as there are just four) </li></ul><ul><li>Thus “accidentally” hitting open strings is usually fine </li></ul><ul><li>The uke is basically “in C” </li></ul>
  6. 6. C maj pentatonic <ul><li>C D E G A </li></ul><ul><li>To make it bluesy add Eb (aka D#) </li></ul><ul><li>C D (Eb) E G A </li></ul>
  7. 7. C min pentatonic <ul><li>C Eb F G A </li></ul><ul><li>To make it bluesy add Gb (aka F#) </li></ul><ul><li>C Eb F (Gb) G A </li></ul>
  8. 8. Forget the note names <ul><li>It’s all about the patterns, yo </li></ul><ul><li>Little dippers, all in a row </li></ul><ul><li>That one weird string interval </li></ul><ul><li>Find the root or key and the patterns “just work” </li></ul><ul><li>Make “big dippers” to go to big-boy scales </li></ul>
  9. 9. Cowboy Scale (C maj)
  10. 10. Little Dipper (C maj)
  11. 11. Little Dippers (C maj)
  12. 12. Little Blue Dippers (C maj)
  13. 13. Cowboy Scale (C min)
  14. 14. Blue Cowboy Scale (C min)
  15. 15. Little Dipper (C min)
  16. 16. Little Dippers (C min)
  17. 17. The Key <ul><li>Dippers are movable </li></ul><ul><li>Whatever key a song is in, just find the relative dippers </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t need to know the key </li></ul><ul><li>Just fiddle around till it “locks in,” then follow the pattern up and down the fretboard </li></ul>
  18. 18. Big Dippers <ul><li>Five notes often not quite enough </li></ul><ul><li>“ Under the Boardwalk” is hex atonic </li></ul><ul><li>Many songs are diatonic, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>So learn how to extend the little dippers into big dippers to make larger sales </li></ul>
  19. 19. Big Dipper (C maj)
  20. 20. Big Dippers (C maj)

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