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  Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques,

The above TAB / tablature uses horizontal lines to represent ukulele strings from string G to string A. Imagine tuning pegs to the left of the diagram and guitar body to the right. The numbers indicate which fret and string to play reading from left to right. Vertical bar lines indicate timing.

Try writing some TAB out by hand using Print Blank: TAB paper. Use a monospaced font such as Courier New when writing TAB on a computer; easier to achieve alignment of text.

Informal use of TAB or tablature may include various means of representing ukulele chords, music, songs.

Chord Boxes e.g. diagram below shows the neck of your ukulele as if viewed face on - tuning pegs above, ukulele body below. A number at the right side of the chord box indicates the fret number e.g. below, it is 3.

C = chord name

 _ _ _
|_|_|_3 3

Text Chords

C = chord name

0 0 0 3
Bold number = left hand finger
Horizontal lines = frets

Vertical lines represent strings
Left = String G
Right = String A

X = silent string
O = play open string or if not indicated then still play open string

Letter = string name
Number = fret
X = string not played
O = play open string

Online rock tab - Any student knows there is a vast amount of notation, mostly tab, available online and much of it is illegal. A thorn in the side of music publishers has been the rise of ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) tab. Since websites grew to increasingly encourage user-generated content (UGC), the amount of ASCII tab online has snowballed. But, of course, "users" don't have the legal permission to be distributing tab for copyrighted songs. Tab Library (www.tablibrary.com), on the other hand - which is run by the global music print publishers, Music Sales - is licensed in the UK. Source: www.musiciansunion.org.uk.

I like my ukulele for the kind of people it attracts. Bob Houlston Tel: St Albans 01727 851809. Please include your Telephone number if you send me an e-mail, thanks. E-mail - Bob Houlston guitar teacher St Albans.  The terms of my ukulele lessons are the same as my guitar lessons via: www.houlston.freeserve.co.uk

Budget ukuleles at about £25 are notoriously difficult to tune. Also, a guitar tuner is not adequate. You will need a chromatic tuner. You can get clip on ones but make sure it will work for you before leaving the store. Beginners are often attracted to these ukuleles but soon find them wanting and they may give up altogether with frustration at not getting a sound that they like. If you come to me for ukulele lessons, with one, be prepared that I might not have time to endlessly keep it in tune for you. (It's a bit like asking a surgeon to use a knife and fork.) They're ideal for young children upwards of four years to play at being a pop star. I don't have a problem with that because I used to sit in front of a mirror 'playing guitar' with my sister's tennis racket.

For an extra £50 you can purchase an electro-acoustic ukulele that has a socket for you to plug it into a chromatic tuner. This is a good way to tune your ukulele. Also, the electro-acoustic ukuleles can be connected to an amplifier and benefit from all the effects that are available to a guitarist e.g. reverberation. This will enhance the sound of the ukulele and make it easier for an audience to hear the beautiful fragile sound of the ukulelele without having to play it abusively hard just to be heard.

At £100 upwards to £500 we move into the professional range of ukuleles which will probably be electro-acoustic and have an onboard tuner built in. In view of the cost of a chromatic tuner then the extra money from £50 to £100 seems relatively trivial. With the tuner built in you can be sure to keep your ukulele in good tune constantly and of course being electro-acoustic you will benefit again from connectiong to effects and amplifier.

A padded gig bag at £15 or even a hard protective case at £40 is a fine way to protect your investment and ensure that your instrument will be fit for performance. Even a £25 ukulele deserves the best protection you can afford if you are going to gig with it.

The relationship of the top four strings of a guitar: e B G D is the same as the four strings on a ukulele: A E C G. So, if you already play guitar chords then you will soon adapt to the ukulele. You will recognise the chord shapes albeit with their different names. Should you require to transpose the names of chords then my Transposer is a good place to start. Ukulele strings from ceiling to floor - Good Cooks Eat Alot. A ukulele is tuned exactly as a guitar with a capo at the 5th fret if you look at the first four strings only, except that the fourth string (the G) of the ukulele is tuned one octave up. In other words, a guitar player can get a feel for it by capoing the 5th fret and stick to the first four strings.

Bear in mind that any instrument that has active electronics e.g. a ukulele with pre amp and tuner then when you insert the plug into the body of the instrument it switches on the circuit. If you leave the instrument plugged in after you have finished playing the internal battery will run down. Also, remember to turn the tuner off when you have finished using it.

You may play the ukulele with your fingers but if you want to use a plectrum, without damaging the strings, then use a felt plectrum not a plastic plectrum that you might use on a steel string guitar. I find that a strap for my ukulele is most useful rather than trying to hold it with my foream whilst playing the strings at the same time. To view songs/tunes Full Screen on this web site toggle F11 on your keyboard.

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