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Beginners: What rhythm to choose for a song

With trying out new songs in lessons comes the tricky situation of what rhythm to choose. The more experienced player listens to the rhythm from the original song or projects the melody in his head to find out how many periods the song is on.

Let’s just say right off the bat that you can’t do either as a beginner, but don’t despair of playing without it. In, my not-so-favorite, “I Song”, the measure is listed at the beginning of each song. It’s those numbers at the beginning, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 or something like that. You can easily deduce the rhythm from the beat.

But you want to play that song from the radio on the ukulele.

If you can change chords quickly to a heavier rhythm. Try looking on the internet, you’ll find what measure the song is in. If you can’t eavesdrop. Try changing the rhythm and see what rhythm you’re comfortable with.

However, you probably can’t change chords fast enough to produce a “smooth” singable melody. The simple solution is to just swipe the strings from top to bottom at the beginning of each measure. This will help you learn to change chords without unnecessary pauses. It’s not “virtuosic”, but it’s enough to practice your hand and chords. And as an accompaniment, it’s also good.

After a while you pick up the pace and you can play with someone more experienced and it will fit together. So yay for practicing ukulele rhythm.

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