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Adding upstroke to custom ukulele Strum

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Custom ukulele – Up to this point, parents and kids have patiently put up with a basic down stroke to practice a steady rhythm. It’s time they were rewarded with a little more fun in their custom ukulele strums.

How to Perform Upstroke on Custom Ukulele

So far, the right hand has been taking it easy by only strumming with a downward motion on the downbeats. If parents and kids have mastered a steady rhythm, it’s time to add an upstroke to the custom ukulele`. On the other hand, if they’re not quite ready, they shouldn’t rush it. Parents need to wait until both they and their kids are ready to move on, or practicing will become frustrating.

Here’s what to do:

  • Make a C chord on the custom ukulele.
  • Strum four times with downward sweeps of the hand.
  • Repeat these groups of four strums while counting, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4…
  • Add upstrokes after the 2 and 4 by catching the strings on the way back up.
  • The count will sound like 1, 2-and, 3, 4-and, 1, 2-and, 3, 4-and…
  • If counting is too complicated for kids, try repeating “Strawberry, strawberry, strawberry,” with down strokes on the syllables “straw” and “berr” and upstrokes on the “y.”
  • Play Upstrokes on Three Great Tunes for the custom ukulele
  • Here’s three traditional campfire songs that’ll sound great with those jazzy upstrokes. They’re both in the key of C and only have the C and G7 chords learned so far in parts 3, 4, and 5.

Each line of “Buffalo Gals,” “Skip To My Lou,”and “Go Tell Aunt Rodey” has four of the “Strawberry” strum patterns. Parents and kids should Take it slow until they’re comfortable. Changing chords smoothly will be more challenging with the upstrokes.

Skip To My Lu


(C) Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou.

(G7) Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou.

(C) Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou.

(G7) Skip to my Lou, my (C) darling.

Go Tell Aunt Rodey


(C) Go tell Aunt Rodey,

(G7) Go tell Aunt Rodey,

(C) Go tell Aunt Rodey,

(G7) The old gray goose is (C) dead.

Buffalo Gals


As (C) I was walking down the street,

(G7) Down the street, (C) down the street,

A pretty little girl I chanced to meet,

And we (G7) danced by the light of the (C) moon.

Buffalo (C) Gals won’t you come out tonight,

(G7) Come out tonight, (C) come out tonight,

Buffalo gals won’t you come out tonight,

And (G7) dance by the light of the (C) moon?

Wow, parents and kids can play more than ten tunes on the ukulele now. They can go back over the songs in parts three, four, and five to see how they sound with their new and improved strumming.

Christmas Songs for Guitar and Custom Ukulele

In the first part of this article, guitarists played five holiday songs–Silent Night, The First Noel, Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella, Felíz Navidad, and Good King Wenceslas–using the five popular chords: G, C, D7, D, and Em. Now, it’s time for seven new Christmas songs with the chords of A7, Am, Bm, and B7.

Away In A Manger

A7 is the only new chord guitarists will need to learn before they can add the beautiful tune Away in a Manger to their holiday play list.

(D) Away in a manger,

no (G) crib for a (D) bed

(A7) The little Lord Jesus

lay (G) down his sweet (D) head

(D) The stars in the sky

look (G) down where he (D) lay

The (A7) little Lord (D) Jesus

(Em) asleep on (A7( the (D) hay

Oh Christmas Tree

Guitarists who’ve mastered the previous Christmas songs, no all the chords they’ll need to play Oh Christmas Tree.

Oh (D) Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,

Your (Em) leaves are so (A7) un chang- (D -ing.

(A7) Oh (D) Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,

Your (Em) leaves are so (A7) un chang- (D -ing.

Not only (G) green when (A7) summer’s here,

But also winter’s cold and (D) drear;

(A7) Oh (D) Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,

Your (Em) leaves are so (A7) un chang- (D) -ing.

Go Tell It On The Mountain

Adding the A minor chord will allow guitarists to strum along with the fun Christmas spiritual, Go, Tell It on the Mountain.

(G) Go tell it on the mountain

(D7) Over the hills and (G) every- (D) where

(G) Go tell it on the mountain

That (Am) Jesus (D7) Christ is (G) born

When (G) I was but a seeker, I (C) sought both night and (G) day

Verse:

I (G) asked the Lord to (A7) help me, and (D( He showed me the (D7) way

Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel

B minor is the only new chord guitarists will need to render the haunting carol, O Come, O Come, Emanuel. When strumming the B minor chord, they’ll want to avoid striking the two thickest bass strings.

Oh (Em) come, Oh (Am) come, E- (D) mmanu- (Em) el

And (G) ransom captive (Am) Isra- (Em) el

That (Am) mourns in lonely (G) exile (D) here

Un- (Em) til the Son of (Am) Go- (D) -d a- (G) -ppear

Re- (D) -joice! Re- (Bm) -joice! E- (Am) –mmanu- (Em)-el

Shall (G) come to thee O (Am) Isra- (Em) -el

Deck the Halls

Guitarists are already set to play Deck the Halls with the chords they’ve learned in the previous carols.

(G) Deck the halls with boughs of holly

(D7) FA LA LA LA (G) LA, LA (D7( LA LA (G) LA

‘Tis the season to be jolly

(D7) FA LA LA LA (G) LA, LA (D7( LA LA (G) LA

(D7) Don we now our (G) gay apparel

(Bm) FA LA LA, (Em) LA LA LA, (A7) LA LA (D) LA

(G) Troll the ancient yule tide carol

(D7) FA LA LA LA (G) LA, LA (D7) LA LA (G) LA

We Three Kings

We Three Kings is another fun Christmas song with a beautiful minor sound. To play this, guitarists will need to pick up the four finger chord of B7. When strumming the B7 chord, they’ll want to avoid striking the thickest bass string.

(Em) We three kings of (B7) Orient (Em) are

Bearing gifts we (B7) traverse a- (Em) -far

Field and (D) fountain, (G) moor and mountain

(Am) Following (B7) yonder (Em) star

(D) O- (D7) -oh

(G) star of wonder (C) star of (G) night

Star with royal (C) beauty (G) bright

(Em) Westward (D) leading (C) still pro- (D) -ceeding

(G) Guide us to thy (C) perfect (G) light

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Of course, the last song has to be We Wish You A Merry Christmas, and it’s ready for the playing with no new chords.

We (G) wish you a Merry (C) Christmas,

We (A7) wish you a Merry (D7) Christmas,

We (B7) wish you a Merry (Em) Christmas,

And a (C) Happy (D7) New (G) Year.

Good (G) tidings we (D) bring to (A7) you and your (D7) kin,

We (G) wish you a Merry Christmas and a (Am) Happy (D7) New (G) Year.

Guitarists in the Christmas spirit won’t want to stop with these twelve holiday tunes. In the third part of this article, they’ll only need four additional chords, to play guitar along with The Little Drummer Boy, Jingle Bells, What Child Is This?, Angels We Have Heard on High, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, and Do You Hear What I Hear?

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