Golden Skies

Below is the lesson for “Golden Skies” by Rock Class 101.

Helpful Tips

In this lesson, you’ll learn a catchy ukulele etude that introduces you to complex strum patterns. The big takeaway in this lesson, is that you’ll be strumming 16th note patterns, some of which are syncopated. Syncopation means that we are hitting off the beat. This can be tricky as playing off the beat doesn’t come as natural as playing on the beat.

There are two learning approaches we can take for tackling the strum patterns. The first is to play by ear. This will be the easiest way, as you simply have to memorize the beats. For example, to do this, listen to bar 9 (first bar of Melody B). After you listen to it (looped, if needed), sing back the strum pattern. This will help you memorize it.

The second approach is to view it from a rhythmic standpoint. Which looks like:

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This requires an understanding of rhythmic notation. As these rhythms are tricky, I’d recommend counting sixteenth notes out loud and clapping on the beats before putting it onto the instrument. If you really want to gain a deep understand rhythmic notation, there is no better way than by learning to read standard notation.

Lastly, with 16th notes, remember to strum down on the downbeat and up on the upbeat. This looks like:

1 (down)
e (up)
& (down)
a (up)

Part 1 – Performance & Free Lesson

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