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Walkerville Uke n Rock

Civic and Community Centre
66 Walkerville Terrace
Gilberton SA 5081
COST $45.00 for 8 weeks

Beginners Ukulele 4.00pm - 5.00pm
This course introduces participants to learning the ukulele in a fun and enjoyable way. Basic chords and simple strums are included for new beginners and for those who have just begun to play. Course material included. Bring your own uke or borrow one of ours.

Beyond Beginners 5.30pm - 6.30pm
The course is for ukulele players who have mastered the basics and want to move on. The course content varies to accommodate the skill levels of participants. Course material included. Bring your own uke or borrow one of ours.

Suitable for adults and children aged 10+. Presented as part of Council's wellbeing program.

To book email walkerville@walkerville.sa.gov.au or call 8342 7100 during business hours.
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TERM 3 Beyond Beginners: Rhythm is the name of the game this term.
9/8/2021  - 27/9/2021

SHOWCASE PERFORMANCE 
Friday 1st October 6pm

Rhythm Lesson Plan Term 3
Walkerville Beyond Beginners.

My 8 Essential Left and Right-Hand Techniques to Learn and Master.

  • Swinging Time Vs Straight Time.
  • Left Hand muting Z Chord.
  • Left Hand Mute with Chord Tone.
  • Right Hand Mute.
  • Right Hand Chunk.
  • Calypso Strum.
  • Tremolo Strum.
  • Boogie beat.

 

STEP ONE
Download a Metronome and Drum Loops Apps to your Phone/Tablet.

I Use two apps, both from the app store,
Pro Metronome      AND    2.  Drumbeats+ 
==========================================================

Exercise: Conscious Listening. 
Use the Z Chord to feel the pulse / beat / rhythm / groove of the songs below.

 


 

 

 

Building a Better Rhythm Brain: How musicians count time and Exercises to connect your Brain to your Hands.

Often students spend more time learning lots and lots of chords but neglect the Rhythm and their playing suffers.  Remember that Music is 50% Rhythm (The Beats and Bars), and 50% is Melody (The Notes and Chords).

Imagine two bands playing the same song with the same chords. One band Rocks the house down and the other is the musical equivalent of a damp sponge on the excitement-o-meter. 

Q. Why is one band good and the other poor. They are playing the same song with the same Chords, what is it?
A. 
It must be the different counting and timing abilities of band members.  Good players and bands are “Tight” as we say in the business.

 

WHAT IS THE STRUMMING PATTERN?
A common but tricky question I get asked all the time is, “What’s the strumming pattern for this song?”  It is a tricky one because most times there is no real answer to it.   It is not a chord progression where there is a right chord and a wrong chord.   You can use different strumming patterns and a song will still ‘work’.  In Fact, using different patterns, rhythms and swing is what makes performers stand out as interesting.  Players put their own Stamp on a song by the way they play the notes and chords.

DON’T PUT THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE: Do not Focus on The Strumming Pattern Before Your Timing Skills Are Developed.

Often people struggle to play a song because they are trying to play strum patterns but have not learned to count music first. 

IMPORTANT  Ukulele students often think of music incorrectly, they are concentrating so much on the down down up up down direction of the strumming hand that they pay little if no regard to counting time. 

‘Strum Patterns are DIRECTION information for your hand,

Strum Patterns are not TIMING INSTRUCTIONS.’

Down up down is not how musicians think when playing songs.  What is important is counting the beats and the bars and never losing The Beat, or The Groove of the song.

HOW OUR BRAINS TO COUNT TIME: 

Rhythm is a strong repeated pattern of movement or sound. When individuals are preparing to tap out a rhythm of regular intervals the left frontal cortex, left parietal cortex, and right cerebellum are all activated.

The middle part of the brain, the parietal lobe helps a person to understand spatial relationships   e.g. where one's body is compared to objects around the person.    Where your rhythm hand is in relation to your ukulele strings.

Right brain – left brain. The cerebrum is divided into two halves: the right and left hemispheres. They are joined by a bundle of fibres called the corpus callosum that transmits messages from one side to the other. Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body.  

THE SKILL OF ANTICIPATION
When we count time and move our arm/wrist to strum we are anticipating wherethe beat will be in the future.  The cerebellum is involved in the timing and coordination of motor programs.

We do not count 1 then move our arm/wrist, count 2 then move our arm/wrist.   We must start the movement of our arm/wrist before the beat is due, therefore strumming seems hard at first.

The cerebellum is to coordinates the timing and force of these different muscle groups to produce fluid limb or body movements. The actual motor programs are generated in the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia are several subcortical regions that are involved in organizing motor programs for complex movements. The basal ganglia and motor cortex form a processing loop whereby the basal ganglia enable the proper motor program stored in motor cortex circuits. 

ESSENTIAL WORK TO DO. 
Developing the cerebellum and the Right and Left Motor Cortex will improve your timing and coordination.

HOW?  
We do this with daily exercises (counting/strumming practise) to grow neural connections from our brain to our hands and grow larger brain control centres.  You are building a bigger, stronger, better brain with practise, and remember nerve cells grow slowly, and they grow fastest with daily stimulation, it takes time.

LEARNING TO COUNT TIME AN INTRODUCTION TO BEATS & BARS
We divide music/songs into smaller manageable bits called Beats and Bars.  In a 4/4 song, there are 4 Beats to the Bar.  In a Waltz, there are 3 beats to the Bar expressed as 3/4.  And we count Bars to make progressions. Musicians learn to recognise different ‘Divisions of Time’ within the Bars of music.

e.g.  In the song Achy Breaky Heart we play 3 Bars of the F Chord, then 4 Bars of the C chord, and then 1 Bar of the F Chord.  This Progression is repeated throughout the song.  If you are not counting, then you are guessing, you will get lost.

 

THE FOUR DIVISIONS OF TIME TO LEARN. 

 

Beat

 

Beat

 

Beat

 

Beat

 

Pattern  1 (1/4 Note)

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

Pattern  2
(8th  Note)

1

&

2

&

3

&

4

&

Pattern  3 (Triplet)

1

&     a

2

 &     a

3

   &     a

4

&     a

Pattern 4 (16th Note)

1

e    &    a

2

e    &    a

3

e    &    a

4

e    &    a

 

VERBAL EXERCIES

That is why we get school children to say the alphabet and count out times tables.  It makes the knowledge ‘stick’ faster.  Remember if you can say it you can play it.  But saying it comes first.

Ex 1.   Quarter Note Pattern.  
Counted out load as a simple 1 2 3 4 with 4 strums (pulses) per bar.

It is the Basic 4/4 Beat, we divide the Bar into 4 beats.  

Ex 2.   Eighth Note pattern   
Adds the ‘and’ is counted out loud as 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  

Ex 3.  Triplet Note Pattern.
The Triplet pattern is counted out loud as  1   &  a   2   &  a   3   &  a   4   &  a
OR Counted out loud as     1   Trip let   2   Trip let   3   Trip let   4   Trip let

Ex 4.  16th Note Pattern
You have 16 strums (pulses) per bar
Counted out loud as  1   e   &   a   2   e   &   a   3   e   &   a   4   e   &   a

PHYSICAL EXERCISES.

Use your foot and head to count out the beat too. The foot and head go down on the 1 2 3 4 beats and the foot and head go up on the “and’ beats in between.  

If one part of your body is moving a certain direction the other part of your body will want to follow suit.  That is why it is hard to Pat your Head and Rub circles on your tummy at the same time.

Your body is very used to sending neural messages to your foot and head to move up and down in time with music.  We will co-opt this existing neural signal and reroute it to your hands and arms.

 

3 STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR RHYTHM

Step 1 TAP.
Use your Strumming hand to tap out the timing
.  You can do these anywhere even without your ukulele, simply use your hand on your desk or legs to tap out the beats.

Step 2 BRUSH.
Use your strumming hand fingers
to brush in a strumming motion up and down against your clothes.  This is great as you do not even need a uke.  Just think how many exercise sessions you can fit in throughout the day. 

Accent (play Louder) the 1 2 3 4 beats and tap out the beats in between quieter.

Step 3 STRUM.
Muted z chord strumming.
Play using a muted sound with the Z Chord (lightly hold the strings and neck taking care as not to press down so hard strings touch the frets). 

EXERCISES
Use the Three Step TAP BRUSH STRUM process outlined above to play the below timings. 

Ex. 3.1 Strum a Quarter Note Pattern.  
You strum 4 even down strums.

Ex. 3.2 Strum an Eighth Note pattern   
Adds the ‘and’ between the beats, you play the up strum between the down beats counted as 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 

Ex. 3.3 Strum a Triplet Note Pattern.
Your hand is now strumming 3 pulses per beat eg 1& a 2& a 3& a 4& a.
Each syllable is a strum.  No doubt it is tricky at first as now beat 2 and beat 4 are UP-STRUMS.  You may find it easier at first to play all down strums for every syllable.

Ex. 3.4 Strum a 16th Note Pattern
You have 16 strums (pulses) per bar
Counted out loud as 1   e   &   a   2   e   &   a   3   e   &   a   4   e   &   a

 

EXERCISES TO CONNECT BOTH HANDS TO YOUR BRAIN.
Q. Do you have the problem of your Strumming hand stopping when you change chords with your fretting hand? 

  1. You need to build a better Corpus Callosum, the Brains Telephone exchange.

If you cannot strum and change chords at the same time then do these simple Right- and Left-Hand HAND exercises to connect BOTHyour hands and arms to your Brains Rhythm Centre.  Right- and left-hand coordination exercises strengthen the Motor Strip and develop a stronger Corpus Callosum. 

The exercises here are simple, they are challenging at first, but they work!

HOW WE PRACTICE THEM
Using your ukulele as a drum (or your thighs or desk) we will play the with both hands. 

The aim is legato ([leˈɡaːto]; Italian for "tied together", smooth and connected, without breaks between the successive notes.  The notes are played in a continuous loop, we want each bar of music to seamlessly move to the next bar of music.

THE SINGLE STROKE ROLL.
The Single Stroke Roll is no more complex than walking.  Just as you walk Right foot, Left foot, Right foot down the street for this exercise we will be using out hands to count time on out ukulele (desk, legs, steering wheel).  In Music Notation a roll is written as below, bars of 4 quarter beats, but tied together with out gaps between the bars, they are played Legato.

 4 SINGLE STROKE ROLL EXERCISES

 

Ex. 1

Beats Counted

Quarter Beats

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

 

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

 

 

Ex. 2

Beats Counted

Eighth Beats

1

And

2

And

3

And

4

and

 

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

 

 

 Ex 3.

Beats Counted

Triplet Beats

1

and

a

2

and

a

3

and

a

4

and

a

 

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

 

 

Ex. 4

Beats Counted

16th Beats

1

e

and

a

2

e

and

a

3

e

and

a

4

e

and

a

 

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

 

QUICKEST WAY TO GET GOOD TIMING? PRACTICE PARADIDDLES

WHAT IS THE PARADIDDLE
They are one of the best exercises to improve your timing, and you will see, hear and feel results within weeks.

One keys to becoming a better Ukulele player is getting good at rhythm and timing and to be good you need to build control lines (nerve Fibres) from your brain to your hands. To build these control lines and build a better rhythm brain, ukulele players should do the ‘rudimentary exercises. And one essential rudiment, used by musicians is the paradiddle.

A paradiddle is a group of eight beats that is played with both hands using the hand pattern Right Left Right Right  /  Left Right Left Left.  Drummers play them on a drum, we will use our ukulele as a drum or just using your hands on a desk, legs or even just fingers on the steering wheel. 

WHY WE PRACTICE THEM
Paradiddles come from the long tradition of military drumming but continue to be one of the fundamental skills to development of good timing and motor skills

Practicing paradiddles will exercise and build a better stronger Motor Cortex, corpus callosum and build nerve fibres from your brain to both hands. 

Paradiddle exercise result in better counting of beats and bars and you become more aware of where the beats are falling in a song. They also improve physical co-ordination and strengthen the non-dominate fretting hand leading to better anticipation skills and better chord changing. 

Doing paradiddle exercises will develop better counting, speed, endurance and precision.

RESULTS
1. Paradiddle Exercise benefits will be heard in playing songs and performances.

2. The Strum Patterns and Rhythms you play will feel tighter, easier, more polished.

WHEN AND HOW OFTEN DO WE DO PARADIDDLES?
I treat Paradiddles as part of my pre ukulele playing warmup routine, they get me into the ‘counting zone’ and get my hands and brain working in harmony.

HOW WE PRACTICE THEM
Using your ukulele as a drum (or your thighs or desk) we will play the Paradiddle with both hands. 

The aim is legato ([leˈɡaːto]; Italian for "tied together", smooth and connected, without breaks between the successive notes.  The notes are played in a continuous loop.

The name ‘paradiddle’ likely comes from the sound you speak out loud as you play them.


Remember “If you can say it you can play it”.

PA   RA   DID   DLE     PA   RA   DID   DLE     

It is done by playing a simple roll but using your right and left hand.  The first two notes are with alternate hands (the 'PA-RA'). The next two notes are played with the same hand (the 'DID-DLE). The second bar is the same, but with opposite hands.

TIPS
1. Start by saying the syllables PA RA DID DLE PA RA DID LE as you play.
2. Practise till the paradiddle feels natural and comfortable.
3. Start very slowly.
4. Make sure the notes are of equal length.
5. Legato No pause when you complete the loop and go back to the beginning.

THE BASIC PARADIDDLE EXERCISES

Ex 1

Beats Counted

Quarter Beats

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

 

Pa

Ra

Did

Dle

Pa

Ra

Did

Dle

 

R

L

R

R

L

R

L

L

 

 

Ex 2.

Beats Counted

Eighth Beats

1

And

2

And

3

And

4

and

 

Pa

Ra

Did

Dle

Pa

Ra

Did

Dle

 

R

L

R

R

L

R

L

L

  

 ADVANCED PARADIDDLE EXERCISES

Ex 3.

Beats Counted

Triplet Beats

1

and

a

2

and

a

3

and

a

4

and

a

 

Pa

Ra

Did

Dle

Pa

Ra

Did

Dle

Pa

Ra

Did

Dle

 

R

L

R

R

L

R

L

L

R

L

R

R

  

Ex 4.

Beats Counted

16th Beats

1

e

and

a

2

e

and

a

3

e

and

a

4

e

and

a

 

Pa

Ra

Did

Dle

Pa

Ra

Did

Dle

Pa

Ra

Did

Dle

Pa

Ra

Did

Dle

 

R

L

R

R

L

R

L

L

R

L

R

R

L

R

L

L

 

 SIX HOMEWORK PRACTISE TIPS.

 

  • Conscious Listening. 
    Use Music on the TV and Radio as Lessons and tap along to every piece of music you listen to and count.  Use your hands, fingers, head, and feet.
    Listen for the bars and concentrate on when you hear the chords changing. Listen out for Beat 1, can you tell where the bars start and end. Listen for the divisions of time, are the band counting eighth beats or triplets, maybe 16ths?  HINT Listen to the Drummer and the Bass player; they tell the band what the timing is.

 

  • Play against a metronome.
    It will help develop your inner Metronome. 
    B.  The Metronome is your best friend, embrace it. The BPM (beats per minute) is a simple way to gauge and measure your improvements.

  

  • Find time to practice.
    You learn by doing, not wishing. There are 1,440 minutes in a day, and just 10 minutes of these Daily Exercises gets results.

  

  • Do not Stop Practicing your Rudiments.
    Make the counting of your rudiments part of your daily pre-playing warmup routine.  To get you in The Counting Zone and warm up those Brain centres do some Right Left Roll Counting R L R L and Paradiddle Counting R L R R   L R L L

  

  • Take A Timing Walk.
    Extremely hard to walk out of time, count your divisions of time out as you walk. Turn your right step and left step into 1 2 3 4 and say the divisions of time between steps.

  

  • If you can Say It, you can Play It.
    Verbalise along to a song you are listening to some verbal rhythms to see what fits. If you can get your mouth to copy the rhythm of the music, then the next step is to get those neural messages sent to your hands and arms as well as your mouth. Ask yourself WHAT DOES the rhythm sound like? Boom Chick, Boom Chick, Boom Chick, OR Boom Chick A, Boom Chick A, Boom Chick A, Boom Chick A, OR Chatt a noo ga,  Chatt a noo ga,  Chatt a noo ga,   Chatt a noo ga. 

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