Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Ukulele Playing Guitarist

If you play guitar you can also play the ukulele. The chord shapes for the uke are the same as strings 1, 2, 3, and 4 on the guitar. However, the chords pitch is not the same. The chords on the uke are a 4th interval higher. For example, if you play a G chord shape on uke, the chord is actually C. Another way to think about uke is to put a capo on the 5th fret of the guitar. If you capo the 5th fret of the guitar you will have the same chords as the uke. Because I am well acquainted with the guitar fingerboard, when I play uke, I am actually thinking about a guitar with the capo on the 5th fret.

The Advancing Guitarist By Mick Goodrick

Joel White, one of my students, placed first chair in All State Jazz Band in Texas for the year 2015-2016. He has been visiting colleges and they are offering him scholarships. When talking shop with guitar teachers at Berklee, the book, The Advancing Guitarist, by Mick Goodrick, is the most popular guitar method   book. 

Tommy Emmanuel

I saw Tommy Emmanuel in concert last night at The U of H campus. Tommy has reinvented the acoustic guitar. He is a one man band with just an acoustic guitar.

The Irish Bouzouki

I have been practicing my bouzouki. Guitar is my first and the mandolin is my second instrument. When playing a string instrument I always compare the tuning to guitar or mandolin. The guitar is tuned in fourth intervals except for the second string, which is tuned a third interval from the third string. The mandolin is tuned in fifth intervals. The bouzouki is a combination of fifth and fourth intervals. The third course (set of 2 strings) is a fifth interval from the fourth course. The second course is a fifth interval from the third course. And, the first course is a fourth interval from the second course. Therefore, the bouzouki feels like  a combination of guitar and mandolin. The first and second courses feel like a guitar while the third and fourth courses feel like a mandolin.

The bouzouki is also similar to dadgad tuning on guitar. The bouzouki is tuned gdad. Therefore, the one, two, and three courses on the bouzouki are identical to the fourth, fifth, and six strings on the guitar. 

The one, two, and three courses of the bouzouki are identical to the three courses of the mountian dulcimer.

In conclusion, the bouzouki is similar to the guitar, mandolin, and mountian dulcimer. When learning any string instrument, compare them to the instrument that you know.