Lesson 3 – Chromatic Scale

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Historical Comment Archive:
  • Susan Murry Jun 1, 2023

    Outstanding exercise to strengthen the ring finger and pinkie.
    Definitely made easier using a metronome instead of foot tapping.
    Switching the strings made it more challenging and enjoyable.
    It looks easier than it is to keep even pressure and speed.
    Very similar to playing piano scales.

    1. Our we suppose to be able to do this without looking at our hands?

    2. Do we look at the dots on the side of the neck?

    3. What is the thumb position when doing the third and fourth strings? Do we shift the thumb position or over stretch the the fingers?

    • Brad Bordessa Jun 2, 2023

      Great questions, Susan! Hope you don’t mind if I number them for anyone who sees this in the future.

      1. At this point I don’t expect anyone to play without looking, but it’s a wonderful goal to work towards with any material. Especially since you’re touching the neck almost the whole time and have a steady reference point to feel, it’s theoretically a good exercise to work on without looking. Playing blind is more difficult when you start jumping frets.

      2. If your ʻukulele has side dots, use them! This allows you to play with an upright posture since you don’t need to crane your neck over as much to see the front of the fretboard. You might still have to check your fingers with a lean over peek sometimes, but always try to return upright.

      3. I glide my thumb up the back of the neck, towards the ceiling, by a centimeter or so that the neck rests closer to the side of my index finger. My fingers make up the rest of the distance. Adjusting your whole hand and thumb usually allows your fingers to stay more relaxed, which in turn allows them to move around easier. Depending on the size of your hand, this approach might change. Feel free to post a video of yourself playing this and I’ll give you some feedback.