Category Archives: ukulele

Easy peasy ukulele duet on open strings

After arranging music for easy piano solo and duets for several years, I am now developing material for teaching the ukulele to complete beginners. It’s an eye-opener to observe how quickly, after a short introduction to this four-stringed instrument, one … Continue reading

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Only You by Yazoo for ukulele and four-part harmony

During Freshman orientation week, I heard the Pitchforks sing a song that was so beautiful that I spent the rest of my life looking for the sheet music. When I eventually found a copy with piano accompaniment, I begged my … Continue reading

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Opus: Live is Life for ukulele

On my first trip to Europe, I heard a song in the Greek islands that roused me to get up and dance. Because I heard it everywhere, it became the single defining song of my first backpacking trip as an independent solo … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday chord melody arrangement for ukulele

A chord melody arrangement is one in which the melody (of a song) is embedded in the chord. While you can play the melody separately from the harmony, the idea is that the notes you need for the melody is … Continue reading

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Anak for piano solo

When I lived in Singapore in the late eighties, I hung out with my Malaysian neighbors off River Valley Road. One of their friends, named Cel, sketched me (below). I’m not sure if he was the one who introduced me … Continue reading

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Most commonly used chords for ʻukulele

The common chord progression assignment I gave to my beginning music theory class caused an uproar. It was the secret formula that explained the Pareto Rule of Pop Music: 80% of pop music used only 20% of the chords. “You mean, … Continue reading

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Chord shape thinking from guitar to ukulele

In my forthcoming paper on teaching yourself to play the ʻukulele, I venture into similarities between guitar and ʻukulele chords. If you already play the guitar, thinking in intervals and chord shapes will give you a head start to playing the … Continue reading

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