Lesson 10 – Open Position

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Historical Comment Archive:
  • bob seeley Jan 10, 2023

    Brad, This has been a very helpful practice and one that I use daily as part of my finger warm up exercises. However, now that timing has become a main focus for me, the metronome with be incorporated into this routine. Major scales and Chromatic walks across the strings forward and backward. Calling out the names of the notes has also been useful for learning not only the notes in the major scales, but also the fretboard.

  • Peck Caroline Mar 1, 2023

    Hi Brad, I guess I don’t understand the term open position.If you were to do the B scale would you start on the B of the fourth string which means the scales don’t always start with an open string. Would Ab also start on the fourth string? Does open position mean find the starting note within the first 3 or 4 frets?

    • Brad Bordessa Mar 2, 2023

      Open position, to me, is defined a little looser than the other fingering positions in later lessons. It’s mostly just when you’re playing within frets 1-4 and using some open strings. I guess a B major scale would only be “open” if you played the open E-string. If you played E on the 4th fret, C-string, you’d be in 1st position! Maybe jumping ahead briefly to this lesson will help clear this up: https://liveukulele.com/my-account/left-hand-technique-course/intermediate/lesson-8/.

  • Peck Caroline Mar 3, 2023

    Thanks Brad. I briefly skimmed the info of the link you sent me and now I am much clearer. I’ll do the lesson thoroughly later today. Not starting on the root note of the scale is key to being able to do this drill. Thanks.

  • Susan Murry Aug 8, 2023

    How high are the fingers lifted above the strings?
    Should they all lift to the same height?
    I have previously used a variety of Spider exercises to gain control and strength of my ring and pinky fingers
    I have noticed when playing my index and pinky fingers turn inward while the middle and ring fingers are straight.
    Is that correct finger positions for playing the ukulele?
    Your fingers look like they curve inward.

    • Brad Bordessa Aug 8, 2023

      Depending on the situation, my fingers tend to be around 1/4″ above the strings. They won’t all lift to the same height and, as you move around, it’s natural for lifted fingers to dance above the strings. Just try to be mindful that they aren’t shooting up, away from the fretboard. Lower is better and the less your fingers move, the faster you can theoretically play.

      Index and pinky fingers do tend to angle in. Just make sure they aren’t sideways enough that you’re playing on the side of your fingertip or putting sideways pressure on your fingers.

      • Susan Murry Aug 8, 2023

        Thanks Brad for the quick response.
        I have been studying your fingers on the videos.
        Your very consistent with the height and your fingers
        seem to barely move yet are playing all the strings.
        I need to work more on finding the “sweet spot” for the
        finger pressure I am using to be consistent. I seem to
        press harder playing a new piece and more relaxed doing
        Spider exercises.