Děti úplňku: Terka Zajícová – Fool Moon Kid

Citujeme ze stránek www.detiuplnku.cz, které si rozhodně zaslouží podporu:

Tereza Zajícová je sestra autistické Dorotky z celovečerního dokumentu Děti úplňku, který vloni uvedla Česká televize. O leckdy nelehkém soužití a náročných situacích složila tehdy šestnáctiletá Tereza písničku. O dva roky později “Full Moon Kid” natáčí a hraje k tomu na ukulele. Chce tím upozornit na neuspokojivou situaci v péči o lidi a rodiny postižené poruchou autistického spektra (PAS). Tereza se v rámci dubna – měsíce autismu, zapojuje do kampaně spolku Naděje pro Děti úplňku, který usiluje o systémovou změnu fungování sociálních služeb v Česku.

Uke chords 5 - Minor tonal keys

Author of this post is Jiří Cvrkal, thanks go his way !

All parts of this series: 1 - Transposition2 - Main chords3 - Secondary chords4- Turnarounds5 - Minor tonal keys6 – Mimotonální dominanty

Minor tonal keys - main and secondary chords

I continue on my post for beginners. We already learnt about major tonal keys and now we will learn about minor tonal keys. Don't be afraid, there won't be more of such - just major and minor. If you understand how to use the rulers you have drawn in major tonal keys, it will be piece of cake to learn the same in minor tonal keys. The basic chords arethe same distance from each other again, the "secondary" chords are moved a bit, but the main difference is that the main chords are minor and the "secondary" chords are major. The dominant is exceptions, as it is always and everywhere major. I will talk more about dominants in next post.

You have to draw again the rulers according to picture below on a strip of paper. Just the lower one is enough. You can use the upper one from previous chapters. The basic minor tonal key is A minor, so the arrow points to A. As before, you can find the tonal key that fits you by moving the arrow. I'm not going to show turnaround this time, but you can practice (or transpose) the basic chords on some songs, like (Czech songs) Slavíci z Madridu and Ryvola's song Ze všech chlapů nejšťastnější chlap. You can find the "secondary" chords in song Ďáblovo stádo (Nebeští jezdci) and Hudsonský šífy from Wabi.

One note at the end: songs in minor tonal keys use often also chords borrowed from major tonal keys. They combine often the minor and major in so called parallel tonal keys: Aminor/Cmajor, Dminor/Fmajor, Eminor/Gmajor. You can set the rulers tool for transposition and find more combinations as you need.
Songs are often written also in such a way that verses are in minor and chorus in major. It usually uses the parallel tonal keys (like A minor to C major), or to tonal key of the same name (like A minor to A major). This may be already a bit more difficult. In this lesson the main task is to learn those three basic minor chords in your favorite tonal keys. That is the tonica - minor, subdominat - minor and dominant - major. You can retiurn to the rest later when needed.

Uke chords 4 - Turnarounds

Author of this post is Jiří Cvrkal, thanks go his way !

All parts of this series: 1 - Transposition2 - Main chords3 - Secondary chords4- Turnarounds5 - Minor tonal keys6 – Mimotonální dominanty


Now we can already play turnarounds in every tonal key, by moving the tool strips. What is turnaround. That means some common sequence of chords, which repeats in many songs. I show here two most usual and then third one, on which you can verify you understand it.

Note: the minor chords are marked by "mi" or "m" suffix. Am or Ami. I would like to note once again, that for dominant chords the 7th variant is usually used. But don't make any science of that. E.g. if the dominant is shown as D by the tool, you simply change it to D7 and find the needed fingering in chords table. It is better to try all this on some songs. E.g. in the well known song Dajana the turnaround 2 is repeated again and again.

I hope that these simple rules will help some beginners with their start and learning to not be so lost in the chords.

Uke chords 3 - Secondary chords

Author of this post is Jiří Cvrkal, thanks go his way !

All parts of this series: 1 - Transposition2 - Main chords3 - Secondary chords4- Turnarounds5 - Minor tonal keys6 – Mimotonální dominanty

Secondary chords

I'm continuing on my post for beginners. Last time I explained what are the three basic chords in each tonal key and I hope it was not difficult to understand and so it won't be hard to understand the "secondary" chords. Those are, in contrary to the main chords, a minor ones. These chords are on II, III and VI step. When you enhance the table tool from previous post according to the picture below, you can easily find the "secondary" chords for all tonal keys.

Uke chords 2 - Main chords

Author of this post is Jiří Cvrkal, thanks go his way !

All parts of this series: 1 - Transposition2 - Main chords3 - Secondary chords4- Turnarounds5 - Minor tonal keys6 – Mimotonální dominanty

Main chords

I would like to continue on my post about transpositionIt is again for complete beginners who want to understand those many chords. It is nothing world-shaking, when we start from the basics we find it is actually quite simple.

Let me repeat what tonal key is. We usually say that we play something in C, or in C major, and that means we play in C major tonal key. If we would like to play it higher or lower for easier singing, easier playing, or to adapt to other players, we can use other tonal keys like D major, E major, F major, G major, A major and B major (in Czech notation H major). There are also tonal keys C# (read C sharp) major, D# major, Eb (read E flat) major and other, but we probably won't use those on ukulele, so let's not complicate our life with those yet.

Each tonal key has three basic chords. The main one is called TONIC. We usually start and end the song with it and it also says how the tonal key is named. The next one is called DOMINANT. It is sort of opposite to tonic and some songs use just these two chords. The third chord is SUBDOMINANT, which means lower dominant. As you can find from the table it is located the same distance from tonic like dominant, but in opposite direction. Using these three chords you can play most campfire songs , folk, rock and similar songs. And this is for now all we need to know from the theory.

In practice you can use this tool. If you already have made the strips for transposition, you are half way done. Now just make another strip where you mart the tonic, dominant and subdominant, according to the picture. (Note: the subdominant is shown twice on the strip, just to not make the strip too long.) Working with this tool is simple: set the arrow on tonic to chord, which corresponds to the tonal key. E.g. if you want to play in D tonal key, set it to D, and you directly see where the dominant and subdominant are. Use the same way for other tonal keys too.

As soon as you become friend with the tool, learn those three chords for basic tonal keys (C, D, E, F, G and A major) by memory. This is what every guitarist, ukulelist and every musician knows. But don't hurry. Add next tonal key only after you are sure on the previous one. You will find that each chord has it's name but also it's function for particurat tonal key. E.g. G chord is dominant in C tonal key, but in G tonal key it is tonic, etc. I would like to point out also that the dominant is played often as 7th chord, but you don't have to play it as 7th when starting, it will make no problem. Example again: the dominant in D major tonal key is A or A7.

Next time we will talk about "secondary" chords and later also about minor tonal keys. It won't be anything complicated and there will be a tool again.

At the end here is a link to song Zuzana which uses the three chords and can be transposed, so you can use it to verify this tool works.

Uke chords 1 - Transposition

Author of this post is Jiří Cvrkal, thanks go his way !

All parts of this series: 1 - Transposition2 - Main chords3 - Secondary chords4- Turnarounds5 - Minor tonal keys6 – Mimotonální dominanty


For many beginners the transposition is hard. Because of that I would like to show easy way that will make it easy to transpose to any tonal key, that is play higher or lower.

Why to transpose

  1. To be able to sing it
  2. To be able to play more comfortably
  3. Simply because someone started playing in other tone key. By tone key we mean playing e.g. in C major, E major, D major etc.

For this purpose we can make simple tool. Take two strips of paper and draw a scale including halftones on each strip. Better draw two octaves, to make it easier to work with. (For information: each half-tone corresponds to one instrument fret.) I recommend using different color for each strip, e.g. blue and red. Blue will be original tone key in which you have the chords, and red will be the new tone key to which you want to transpose.

On the picture you can see example when transposing chords from C major to G major. Set the two strips with C and G against each other, on the blue one there are original chords and on the red one the transposed chord. That means that e.g. instead of F you will play C, instead of G play D etc. If the original chord was Dm or Em then play of course Am or Bm (Hm in Czech notation). The same applies to chords like D7, Ddim, D6 - you play the new chords using the same variant, like A7. Adim and A6.

I hope it is clear that when you need to transpose e.g. from E to D, you set blue E against red D.

One more last thing: between the tones there are so called half-tones, which are marked by # (sharp, marked -is in Czech notation) -which makes the original tone higher by halftone, and b (flat, -es in Czech notation) -which makes the tone lower by halftone. Example: C# and Db means that tone C# is the same as tone Db. That is because some tones are sharp and some flat, but that is beyond this tool, so do not think about it.


Yousician - mini review of application for learning ukulele and other instruments

Yousician is application from Finland for learning ukulele, guitar, bass guitar or piano playing.

There are versions available for Windows on PC or Android and iOs (smathphones, tables). There was also version for Linux, unfortunately recently they stopped supporting it. For using the app you have to register on their pages. Basic free variant works with daily lesson time limited to about 15mins. The app does not work without Internet connectivity. It can be used with tyhe same account on more devices.

For the learning the app prepares a daily lesson, which usually includes some songs from last time, a new exercise and then some songs, sometimes also instructional video. Then you can also find songs for practice in database, with difficulty marked. The ukulele lessons are about both chords and melody and are structured into several difficulty levels, which unlock as you handle the previous level.

Samotné cvičení či hraní funguje pro ukulele tak, že aplikace vám zobrazuje pohyblivou tabulaturu s čísly pražců které máte použít, navíc s barevným vyznačením doporučených prstů. Přitom poslouchá mikrofonem co hrajete a rozpoznává tóny či akordy, u některých cvičení pak přímo přehrávání pozastaví dokud nezahrajete správně, nebo u písniček sice nezastaví ale barvně označuje co jste trefili správně zelenou barvou a také ukazuje zda jste zahráli brzo, akorát nebo pozdě. Je možné si zpomalit rychlost, nebo ji může sám upravovat podle toho kolik děláte chyb. Je také možné vybrat si jen část skladby a tu cvičit dokola. Zobrazení je také možné přepnout na notový zápis místo tabulatury. (Pro představu jak to vypadá v praxi stačí zadat „yousician“ na youtube, je tam hromada videí).

If you pay for one of the premium options, the app will not limit your daily lesson time to about 15min. You can select one or all insttruments for the premium, monthly (more costly) or year subscription. But I suggest first trying the basic free option thoroughly, for ukulele the lessons and songs amount is not so huge (in comparison to guitar or piano). You can also try premium for free for one week, but beware - if you not cancel it, it automatically starts and charges from you card the yearly subscription after the week.

The tone recognition has sometimes problem with G string, if you are using low G. Supported is only standard GCEA tuning. If your uku has a pickup (electro-acoustic or electric uku), it seems better to connect it directly instead of using microphone, the app then recognizes tones better and does not hear itself.

There is a discussion forum on the app pages for solving problems, but it doesn't look like the app developers pay attention to it.

Generally the app is not bad, but I would recommend it more like supplement, not replacement of lessons with human teacher.