28 comments… add one
  • Lori DIAZ Aug 19, 2023

    Hey Brad. I loved this series of videos. I am a new uke player – started just in Oct 2022. I am a senior and very much enjoying this new activity. I would like to ask about strumming to a song in 3/4 time. I first was taught to emphasize the first beat down and then strum beats 2 & 3 with a lighter up strum. I see others in my local Uke Club always hitting the strings down. To me that doesn’t show the emphasis of the first beat. What do you think? Thanks so much! Lori

    • Brad Bordessa Aug 19, 2023

      The grid still kind of works on the quarter note count for 3/4 time as a general guideline (depending on what you’re going for):

      1 + 2 + 3 +
      D U D U D U

      So changing to an up strum on 2 and 3 would reverse your hand to the momentum. I would probably just play down, down, down so your hand keeps a bob in it’s motion. OR, to keep the classic waltz accent, pluck, down, down.

  • Leslie Aug 19, 2023

    Great three part lesson which helped me understand why I would loose the rhythm when playing songs. You’re a great teacher!

  • Peter Geen Aug 19, 2023

    What a great lesson. I visualise a metronome arm swinging back and forward to the beat, a swing to the right is a ‘down’ while the return swing is an ‘up’.
    Like you said in another of your lessons Brad, “repetition is key” this is so true.

    • Brad Bordessa Aug 20, 2023

      Yes! Your hand is the metronome! <3

  • Graeme Aug 19, 2023

    Thanks Brad. Awesome set of videos. Really appreciate your help. Mahalo!

  • Tom Gettys Aug 19, 2023

    A helpful device I have seen is to use upper and lowercase letters to indicate strokes that are emphasized vs those that are not. For example, for a time signature of 3/4 the strumming pattern could shown as D d d, or D dudu. The capital letter D is meant to suggest that the first beat in the measure is to be emphasized.

    • Brad Bordessa Aug 20, 2023

      Interesting. I don’t know if I’ve noticed this in use before. Certainly makes sense for text-based documents (like if I want to share a strum here, for instance).

      The trouble I see with this for folks who aren’t as comfortable with strumming is the tendency to focus on the strum direction and not the momentum. I see it all the time. It’s all good until you focus them on the strum direction!

      That’s why I went with the highlight method in the book. Every “strum pattern” has a full bar of down, up arrows and the ones you hit the strings on are highlighted. That way there is no “DDUUD” and the timing and movement is forced to the forefront. I like to think it will keep folks focused on the rhythm. Time will tell, I guess!

      Mahalo for bringing this to my attention.

  • Mark Troy Aug 19, 2023

    I’ve been playing D Du uDu for years and never connected it to the grid, which is probably why I tend to lose the beat after a few bars. Now I’m going to concentrate on the beat instead of the strum. Thanks for the insight.

  • Carol Snyder Aug 19, 2023

    Hi Brad, I’m anxious to sign up for the strumming course because I’m now past the 3 year point in my ukulele journey, and strumming in time is one of my greatest challenges. I watch a lot of famous ukulele and guitar masters on YouTube, and I try to play along but I’m always end up in a different orbit. You asked if there was any well known player out there who doesn’t conform to the “grid”—maybe Nancy Wilson on guitar? Now I’m curious to slow down her videos and really study her right hand.

    • Brad Bordessa Aug 20, 2023

      I didn’t realize Heart had two guitarists! A quick look at “Crazy on You” has got me seeing some pretty steady hand movement. Please share your findings here!

  • ray rasmussen Aug 19, 2023

    Thanks Brad,
    I’m looking forward to the next part.

  • Trish Aug 19, 2023

    Thanks for this lesson!

  • Andrew G. Fountain Aug 19, 2023

    Thanks Brad,

    I knew all the pieces to the lesson and have seen the professional musicians with their constantly moving arm (like a clock’s pendulum). But here, you put all those pieces into a coherent logical framework, one that I can think about more clearly. And I appreciate your ’emphasis pattern’ rather than the strum pattern.

    Thanks! Andrew

  • bob seeley Aug 19, 2023

    Aloha Brad,
    Personally, I am so glad that you figured out the how to teach strum patterns without actually breaking down every possible strum pattern. Since every student eventually gets around to asking that question sooner or later. I feel honored to have been in included in your “Guinea Pig” group at UGSKUW 2023 while you were working out how to teach “Finding The Groove”. As I can see already from the responses, this is a series of lessons that will fill a serious need for ‘ukulele players everywhere. We’re all ready for the launch.
    Mahalo nui

  • Deb Aug 20, 2023

    Great technique we all learned ‘the hard way’. Now in teaching seeing so many impatient beginners who really don’t let the constant motion mature before they try to get into more complex strums. Now I can point them to your program! The ‘I am not the only one asking you to get this solid first’. Hopefully they will explore what you have to offer to supplement their live gatherings at the local libraries. Thanks!

    • Brad Bordessa Aug 20, 2023

      Mahalo, Deb! Glad I’m not the only one either ;-)

  • Nancy Ikeler Aug 20, 2023

    Thank you Brad! This is fabulous! Such an organic approach to rhythm playing and playing rhythms. I’m really looking forward to your course as I’m still benefiting from your course on 6ths. Your teaching style simply makes sense.

  • douglas powdrell Aug 20, 2023

    Aloha Brad; Great strum…..ready for more strumming ‘hawaiian techniques!!

  • David Pilpel Aug 20, 2023

    Hi Brad, does Groove Ukulele cover 16th notes?

    • Brad Bordessa Aug 20, 2023

      Yes! And triplets. Both things that most folks won’t use much, but instruction for the implementation is there if you need it.

  • Rosemary Camozzi Aug 20, 2023

    Thanks Brad! I really enjoyed these videos, as well as your Groove Ukulele class at Uncle George’s camp. Now I’m inspired to take the class!

    • Brad Bordessa Aug 20, 2023

      Mahalo, Rosemary! That was a major highlight for me! I’m afraid the book and videos won’t be as much fun as that class, but I’m glad you have some of the vibe to ride along on since you saw me at work in person.

  • Brian Dixon Aug 20, 2023

    You asked us for examples of pro players deviating from the down-up-down-up foundation you’re teaching us. Here’s your buddy James Hill doing something quite different with his strumming hand (and making it really work, I should say):

    These three videos have been good salesmanship for your new ebook. I’ll probably have to buy it pretty soon.

    • Brad Bordessa Aug 20, 2023

      Good find! That’s a weird one. Kind of a combo between the thumb down jazz strum and a reggae chank. I’ll have to ask him about it if I can remember!

  • Terry McAlear Aug 23, 2023

    Great series of lessons Brad. I have been crucifying strumming patterns for the last couple of years. This is the first time I have been able to follow a consistent flowing pattern and not lost the beat.
    This has been an eye opener for me.
    Thanks Brad

  • Karen Peterson Aug 23, 2023

    I have struggled with the DDUUDU pattern. The in person teacher I had just told to do it, but did not explain it the way you did. Your explanation makes so simple. I now understand it.

  • Leslie Lindeman Sep 3, 2023

    This simple three part series should be a requirement for all who decide to pick up an ukulele! SO many folks miss the beat. Thank you.

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