Here is an easy way to create ‘ukulele intros and outros for swing style songs like Sophisticated Hula or Little Rock Getaway.
I learned this trick from Kimo Hussey who said that the most important thing is that it sounds good – it doesn’t matter what chord progression you use. That said, the idea in its most basic form is based around a I, vi, IV, V7 progression. This is the progression used in numerous R&B songs like Earth Angel and many others. To jazz things up we will use substitution chords to create more complex sounds.
Substitution chords are shapes that add interesting notes without disturbing the tonality of the main chord. Here is a chart of C substitution chords.For example, C6 can fit over C, F6 fits over F, and G7 could become a G9.
Here is a list of possible substitution chords for this progression. Pick any chord from the left column, and work your way across, picking one chord from each column. By the time you get to the right side you will have a snazzy intro or outro.
C | Am | F | G7 |
C6 | Adim | F6 | G9 |
Cmaj7 | Am7 | Fmaj7 | G11 |
Cmaj9 | A7b9 | Fmaj9 | G13 |
C6/9 | Am6 | F6/9 | G7b9 |
Cadd9 | | Fadd9 | |
You can transpose this into any key.
The options above are only a few out of many possibilities. For more shapes, instruction, and tips, check out my eBook, ‘Ukulele Chord Shapes.