L3: Duets for One

SUGGESTED TABs FOR THIS SECTION

  • Silent Night (Part 1) from Christmas Carols for Ukulele Orchestra. With the exception of three barre chords (see the note below to ‘pare down’ these chords if you wish), this tablature arrangement is essentially a ‘solo duet’ (where two notes are played at the same time throughout).
  • Chopsticks from UkulelePlay.com. With the exception of a few triple stops (three notes played at the same time), this tablature arrangement is essentially a ‘solo duet’ (where two notes are played at the same time throughout).

PRELIMINARY NOTES

  • Choose a tablature solo that interests you. Be sure the arrangement is for the most part in the ‘solo duet’ category, where two notes are played at the same time throughout. See the above suggestions, peruse the sites in the introduction to this section for a list of places to find other tablature arrangements, or (if you’re feeling ambitious) create your own.
  • Pare down more complicated arrangements. If you’re using a tab that has 3 or more notes being played at the same time for a good deal of the piece, carefully go through the score and find the two notes out of those combinations that sound best to you. Cross out the other numbers on the tab. This will turn any tablature arrangement into a ‘solo duet’ arrangement for your use. Feel free to leave in a few triple stops (three notes played at the same time) if they don’t trip you up.
  • Fingering becomes more complicated when more than one note is involved. You’ll be playing various ‘slants’ (two finger reductions of full chords). Slants have three possible directions: up, straight and down. You’ll find that each direction of slant uses different fingerings to be comfortable (for instance, straight slants are often most comfortable with fingers 2 & 3), so you’ll need to take into consideration where you are coming from and where you are going to play a ‘solo duet’ smoothly.
  • Practice slowly, using a metronome, and gradually increase your tempo as you become more comfortable playing the piece.

CHALLENGE

Earn your Instrumental Level 3 patch by demonstrating playing ‘solo duet’ (as defined above) of your choosing. The performance should highlight the following skills:

  • Ability to play in tempo, keeping a steady beat.
  • Ability to smoothly navigate the fingerings required for the various ‘slants’ involved in the piece.
  • Ability to sustain the phrases of the arrangement (playing is not choppy).