Ukulele Advanced

Ukulele Advanced: Week #8

Hello class!  Great job on a very ambitious tune!  Below you'll find pages 1 and 2 of your score-- you will need to bring these both to the recital so don't forget to print them out!  Remember that we play the entire piece two times through.  The first line of page two is played 4 times before we repeat!  After repeating we play it again 4 times then finally end on a G chord.

Pleas practice to the recording-- I play the entire piece as we will perform it to a metronome at 65 BPM.

Happy practicing and I'll see you at the recital!

Here Comes the Sun

Here Comes the Sun (page 2)

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Ukulele Advanced: Week #6

List of Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up/ Scale: D MAJOR: Same as last week

  • Intro: We put last week's exercises together to form the final arrangement of the intro. As we saw, timing is very tricky on this part. The chart includes the beat count underneath the chords. The recording includes the intro as played, then with the rhythm counted, and finally only the rhythm count and claps, all done to a metronome at 60 BPM. Read and listen closely and use these tools to help you perfect your timing! Also remember to use rest strokes on any chord that doesn't use all 4 strings.

  • Finger style Part: we added to one of last week's exercises to round out the second part. Practice carefully. Your right hand fingering is labelled above the staff.

Here Comes the Sun Intro

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Ukulele Advanced: Week #5


List of Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up/Scale D MAJOR: Same as last week

  • Technique: keep experimenting with slides some this week. We'll put that to work next week

  • Repertoire: great work so far on the melody to Here Comes the Sun! This is a tricky section due to the emphasis on so many off-beats (the "ands"). Now that you have the right notes we are tightening the focus on timing. Take the time this week to imitate the timing on the recording. I recommend clapping the rhythm to each phrase every day until you are confident that your timing matches the recording.

  • We have a few tough exercises this week! Each one focuses on a different technique which we will see in our final arrangement.


Here Comes the Sun Intro Arrangement

Ex #2 utilizes the finger-style technique we learned in ukulele 3.  Be sure to use right hand T 1 2 for each triplet.

This is a work-intensive week: please put in your daily practice!  Next week we will build upon all of your hard work to start to shape our final arrangement.  I'm proud of all the hard work you've all done so far!  Each little piece of this song can lend a ton of musicality to any song you learn in the future.

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Ukulele Advanced: Week #4

List of Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up/Scale: D MAJOR: 1 quarter note per note (read from the chart below!)

  • Barre Chord Practice: set up each of our barre chord shapes with careful attention to your thumb and first finger 3 times each day. Play one note at a time to trouble shoot any weak notes. Make sure your first finger is pinched flat against the fret board while your other fingers remain hooked.

  • Slide practice: using your first finger, practice sliding from fret 2 to fret 4 on your C string a few times each day, then repeat from fret 4 back to fret 2. Try this with your second and third finger as well. Focus on keeping pressure on the string so that the second note is as loud as the first! Keeping your thumb planted in one position on the neck will help.

  • Chord Melody Exercise: practice a few times each day. Remember that you can use the first string as a target to stop your thumb for the first few chords.

  • Here Comes the Sun: practice the melody to the intro a few times each day. This week we are focusing on getting the rhythm to sound correct. Read the notes from the chart and see if you can count the rhythm as written-- remember how each tie requires you to hold the note for the duration of both notes tied together. This gives the intro it's syncopated feel. I've attached a recording to help you with the tricky rhythms on this part.

D Major Scale

Chord Melody Ex #1

Here comes the Sun (intro melody)

rick snellComment
Ukulele Advanced: Week #3

Good class today, folks.  We were introduced to the concept of metric modulation today.  We will continue to explore that in coming classes.  Remember that rest strokes are a big part of our practice from here on out.


List of Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up/Scale G MAJOR: rest strokes throughout!

  • Repertoire: This week we begin playing the melody to the intro of Here Comes the Sun. Learn the notes and familiarize yourself; we'll put it in time later. Again use only rest strokes.

Ex #3 Draws upon the chord melody technique we learned today, this time on a G chord shape.  Remember to focus on using rest strokes for every chord that doesn't use all 4 strings.

Ex #4 A similar chord melody exercise on a C chord shape.

Here comes the Sun (intro melody)


rick snellComment
Ukulele Advanced: Week #2

 List of Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up: C Major ascending and descending three times each day

  • Scale: read G major three to five times each day

  • Technique: rest strokes thumb on every scale

  • Repertoire: “Here Comes the Sun” intro melody

  • Additional Studies: clap rhythm to HCTS intro

We learned our G major scale this week!  We focused on using the thumb to play rest strokes on our scales, an important technique for this session’s tune and many other things in the future. We spent a lot of time reviewing syncopations and ties, including ties over the bar line. And we looked at the intro melody to our recital tune, “Here Comes the Sun.”

rick snellComment
Ukulele Advanced: Week #2

Great review this week class!  Remember that barre cords are an important staple in the repertoire of any ukulelist and at this point we are considering them fair game in any song we are studying.  If you still feel like you are having a hard time there it is probably time to schedule an office hours to resolve any lingering issues.  

This week we are reviewing our 6/8 finger style picking that we originally saw in "Hallelujah."  Before we apply it to our new song, spend this week playing through the finger style exercise 5-10 repeats each day.  Look closely at your right hand fingering which is labeled over each note in the first measure.  Then get your left hand prepared for our new song by strumming through the chords found on your chord chart below.

Fingerstyle Exercise

What A Wonderful World (week 1)

rick snellComment
Ukulele Advanced: Week #1

Welcome to our Ukulele Advanced class!  I'm really excited to work on music with you all this session; we will be solidifying many of the techniques we have seen thus far and exploring new techniques each week.

Here is our syllabus for this session:

UKE ADVANCED:  "Here Comes the Sun"


  • G scale: rest strokes

  • Review of ties

  • Basic strum review


  • counting syncopations and ties over the bar line

  • barre chord review

  • “ex 1”


  • intro to metric modulation

  • intro to chord melody

  • melody line to intro: thumb playing

  • themes intro, G D theme (ex 3, ex 4)


  • Intro with chord melody

  • review of finger style

  • slide practice


  • verse melody

  • finger style line (ex 2)


  • finger style line with slide

  • outro chords with metric modulation


  • final arrangement


  • review and prep for recital


We begin this session with a review of a basic strum:

D D U U D (U)

This is a very common strum in uke music and it bears some review.  We will apply it to Ingrid Michelson's "You And I": a song every ukulelist should know.  Remember that the last up stroke is optional so experiment with both as you play through the chord changes this week.

You and I

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