Pick a Melody Riff ala Smokey Robinson

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PIDU pluck a melody 3 – Smokey Robinson.mp4: Video automatically transcribed by Sonix

PIDU pluck a melody 3 – Smokey Robinson.mp4: this mp4 video file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

This dance.


There we go. Good morning. Good afternoon, good evening, good night. Wherever you may be in the world, good something to you and welcome to Ukulele Practice Time with Danno. Ukulele Practice time with Danno.

We're going to be specifically working on songs today. And apart from the distraction that I already got distracted by, no distractions. We're going to work, work, work, work, work. We're going to be like the Seven Dwarves of Ukuleles. Hi ho. Hi ho. It's off to ukulele work we go.

Reaching INTO the strings for a melody note

Yesterday, friends, we talked about this idea of being able to reach into the strings. And find a single note from the middle of the strings when I say the middle.

Oh, no. This happened yesterday, the close up Ecamm is showing me something from my reminders section.

So if you see me using a newspaper montage, you'll know it's because I searched for a newspaper montage generator.

Oh, you're learning way too much about my life.

Yesterday, it was to call Linda Harris.

And she wanted me to let everybody know how appreciative she was for all the calls she got from ukulele players. All right. Once again, I can't easily get rid of that. So my apologies.

When I say reaching within the strings to pick out a single note, you see how my fingertip literally is grabbing a single note.

Now, when I say within, maybe your. Grabbing that one, which is on the outside.

Or that one, but because you're often picking up, I sort of feel like reaching in describes it well.

All right, so does that make sense, just as a concept, we're going to take this one step at a time and I hope really drive it home to you today. It's a neat, fun technique that can be simplified as much as much as you want to for a song or complicated as much as you want to, and I'm going to show you kind of two ends of that spectrum today, one with an all 1920 song called Singin' in the Bathtub and one with a song by Smokey Robinson, which I previewed yesterday.

But the thing is, I'm not teaching you the songs today. Right. I'm using the songs as examples to teach you the technique. So don't get frustrated and say, oh, I'll never be able to learn the chords of a complicated 1920s song in a 20 minute session with Danno. That's not the point.

The point is Something else. I keep being reminded, this is actually pretty good for me to see this reminder every time I switch into close up Ecamm because these are things that now I have to get done because I'm being reminded so frequently.

Maintain the drive of the strumming hand

The idea is that you don't want to lose the drive, the sound of your strumming hand. OK, so whatever you're strumming hand is doing, you don't want it to stop. That's the secret of this technique. That's the whole idea we're trying to create two sounds at once, keep this drum going while adding in. Single notes of melody, what is the melody? The melody is the tune of the song All right. the part that you would sing or whistle

Demo: Sugar Sugar

I'll give you a quick demo of Sugar Sugar from yesterday.

I messed it up.

So let me play just the drums without the little melody piece that I'm putting in, all right, and then I'll play it with the melody and you'll hear that the strum sound doesn't change. So here goes.

Just the strums and now the melody.

Like I said, the goal is to keep the strumming going so you keep the beat going, so you keep that drive that makes the song feel like it's moving forward. Now, don't forget that those single notes can be picked out to learn them. You can pick them out individually. And that's what I'm going to demonstrate the Smokey Robinson song for you. But just looking at sugar. Sugar.

Those are the single notes of the melody.

We marry them together, and I'm going to move on to today's song to clarify that a little bit, Ben, can you take me over to the close up cam, by the way, if anybody knows of a newspaper montage generator, let me know.

Demo: you really got a hold on me

All right, do you know Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, the Beatles covered the song, too, which is how a lot of people know it.

So it's this one.

Let me play that right.

It goes.

And so now.

But that's the gist of it, right? So the chords in there are nice common chords. Again, I'm not teaching you the song, but I want you to understand what we're working on here. So it's f, d minor.

That's most of the verse is just back and forth between those two parts.

And B-flat and C, some of you know what I just did –second position C, but you can play regular C, but if you see that, you know, it's the C doesn't matter in the song.

The strum vs…

That's not part of the melody. All the melody is happening within the drive of those two chords, the F and the D minor. All right, so again, let's break it apart, OK? We've got the Down strum, which is.

… the melody

Victoria, I see your question, I'm going to answer that in just a second. Now the melody is.

To answer Victoria's question, how do we know the melody notes, and that's a very smart question, Victoria, in this case, yes, learning by ear, learning by eye in this case because you can see what I'm doing and follow along. But in most cases like this, I'm picking it up myself. I'm just saying that's the part of the song that I want to learn. I'll work it out. And always in the cases that I'm showing you and most time in real life, the single notes are going to be right around the chords, often a note that is already in the chord, as I'll show you in a second. That said, if you know how to read music and you've got music for the song or tablature for the song, then you can take the single notes that the tablature or the music gives you and follow this process to work it in to a driving, strumming, picking melody.

Now, yesterday, when I showed this to you, I didn't give you the middle step. I went from single notes to strumming with single notes.

A single strum with a single note

The middle step is — Rather than trying to keep the Up strum going with pure rhythm, just practiced getting the strum a single strum with a single note, here's what I mean. So here's our first melody note. No, it's just string one open, right. If you can see that I'm holding the F chord and string one rings open. So my first strum actually incorporates that melody Note — easy.

The second note is that again, so it's only going to be tricky when we get to the next note of the melody, which is that one.

And I'm showing it to you with my pinky because I'm going to play it with my pinky while I'm holding the F chord.

Not quite selective strumming

But what I'm doing right now is something that I have called selective strumming in the past, but that's not what we're doing today. Selective strumming is where you just strum down to the string with the melody note on it.

I'm just showing that to you as an example right now.

And the last note of the melody is here, string three closed off the way it is closed off when you form a D minor chord. So can you hear it and see how those notes are related to the chords? Again, not can you do it right now, but do you see the logic of how those fall? Let me play it for you one more time. Super slow like that.

I'm going to strum up here, so my strumming hand is closer to the fingers of my keyboard hand.

All right, now, this is what I really didn't explain well, yesterday, I think.

IMPORTANT: fill in the space

Every time you hit one of those melody notes, Let the sound of the beat be playing in your head, and if you're not playing a particular melody note on a particular beat, in other words, if there's space between your melody notes, you're strumming hand fills in the space with strumming. Who it's a little bit of a mindbender. That's an example.

There's one more thing to mention, which is really the jumping off point for this. It's reaching in to get the melody note.

All right, so. When I demonstrated it to you at first, I was just doing down strum with my thumb.

They play the melody notes, but if you're going to keep the rhythm going, you're going to need to really practice this one particular skill, which is diving in to pluck out one single note on a single string.

I can hit it on the down. Watch my right hand, my strumming hand.

I can use my nail to grab String four three or two.

Or even one thing on the down strum.

On the Up strum Uke, I can do the same thing String four String four to String four three, so the hard thing is to do that while you keep the strumming going.

See that second melody don't where you add adding that note on.

And because of where it falls within my natural up down strum, I need to reach in and grab that string individually.

I have good news for you, if that feels hard. But let me show it to you now that you know what to look for.

Starting over again.

Good new — precision not needed

So all of those are actually falling on my down with the fingernail and here's the good news. You don't need to be super precise with those on some of them. Once again, I am not going to have time to get to singing in the bathtub, but let me use it as an example for singing in the bathtub. I want it to be real precise because I really am playing the melody of the song. Can you hear how I'm hitting individual single notes for that little melody with the Smokey Robinson song, you can be a little more casual about it. Now, I'm not recommending that. I'm saying if you happen to not be able to do it perfectly, your accidental casualness will not harm you. In fact. If you just played the chord changes, you're going to get, let's say, 65 percent of the sound F to D minor.

How to practice

So this is how I recommend you practice it. The trick comes in right there, the tricky part, not the trick to doing it that night.

So I recommend just hold the chord practice, get that sound in your head of the the the melody.

And see if you can do it with downs of your fingernail.

And then and only then would you start throwing in the additional strum.

I think really what you've got is two separate skills that you're combining and I guess becomes a single skill once you've combine them, but you can easily think of it as two separate skills that you can practice separately.

Putting it all together

Practice step one fingernail on the melody. In other songs, it will sometimes be an up instead of a down, but in this song it's not. So step one, fingernail, fingernail on the melody, step two, strumming rhythm. Step three, envision the overlap and see how it works. All right. So I'll play it for you one more time so you can hear it, see it and try to understand what's happening in the process of it happening. All right.

One never got another song in my mind.

So there's something I mentioned yesterday that's happening in there when I hit the melody note on one string.

Even if you're super precise, the vibration of the strings themselves will cause a little vibration on the strings around the most times and you'll get a little extra sound coming from the strings. But because that's it, they're coming out of the chord already, they're going to sound fine.

So even while you're practicing, even while you're learning, even while it's a little sloppy, it's still going to sound great on something like this. In my opinion, You always want to aim for precision.

Striving for perfection

It's like when I went to Blue Springs Elementary in Blue Springs, Missouri, and the motto of the school was striving for perfection. And I always thought that was very nice. They didn't expect us to be perfect, but we needed to strive for perfection in order to form a more perfect union. Right. It's that idea. So try to get it as close to perfect as you can, but realize that you'll never get it perfect and that in most cases, most of this stuff. Close to perfect is OK and even close to close to perfect is still OK. So that's what I wanted to touch on today.

Lynn, you're the best I'm going to follow this link. That cracks me up. She found a newspaper generator for me. You're probably one of the people that called Linda Harris yesterday t0o. And we'll be back again tomorrow. Same time by folks.

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Ukulele Chords for YOU REALLY GOT a HOLD on ME by Smokey Robinson

Not in our key, but take it as a challenge! Can you use the ideas we covered to work out the riff in this key?

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