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Basic Music Theory for Ukulele Players

Ever wondered what the 7 on a G7 chord meant? Have you heard of the “Circle of 5ths” and not known what it means? Is there a song that is too high for you, but don’t know how to change the chords so that it’s easier for you to sing?

Many people start playing the ukulele as it is a very approachable and easy instrument to start playing songs. A lot of people start from a “string sides up” understanding of music, and start playing with others by being shown where to put your fingers for a C chord and brushing your fingers across the strings. While that’s a great introduction, people usually don’t know why they are putting their fingers in certain places.

This series is to help get a baseline of musical knowledge to start to understand why they are doing certain things and how they go together. The different levels of BMTU are:

  • BMTU1: Chord Families – This starts at the basics:
    • Scales and Keys
    • Intervals vs Chords
    • Chords Naming IV-V-I
    • Extended Chords (e.g. C6 or G7)
    • Circle of 5ths
    • Changing Keys of Songs
  • BMTU2: Minor Chords – This workshop builds upon BMTU1 and includes:
    • Minor Chords
    • Relative Minor Chords
    • Chord Substitutions
  • BMTU3: Changing Keys – This workshop introduces different ways of looking at chord possibilities:
    • Chord Inversions
    • Diminished Chords
    • Augmented Chords
    • Key Changes within songs

These workshops are currently offered through Zoom. See the Ken Mattsson Music Performance and Teaching Calendar for the next events.

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