In fact, this post could just as well have been entitled ‘Some ideas on how to play the guitar with a ukulele player’. If you are playing the ukulele and your best friend is playing the guitar, there is a chance that you might tire after long hours spent arguing which of the two instruments is best. How about trying to combine both instruments to play together instead ?
My friend Gwilym and I would like to share our experience on playing the ukulele and the guitar together. Gwilym is playing the guitar and I the ukulele. For a few years now, we have been trying different ideas to play our instruments of choice together in a way that allows both of us to make progress. We have chosen to write this post and to make two videos to illustrate how the ukulele and the guitar can play different roles when played together.
Of course, in order to play together, we needed to have a common structure, which could be seen as the ‘spine’ of our tunes. This is where playing the blues is interesting : the ‘spine’ consists of 12 bars following a set pattern (see below). We have opted to play a minor blues in the key of A (Am and Dm are among my favourite chords). We have used the same structure for both videos but each of us improvised his/her part according to his/her fancy.
Our 12 bar blues is very standard and uses the following chords in I-IV-V progression :
(Am is I, Dm is IV and Em/E7 are V)
Am / Dm / Am / Am (The Dm here is a quick four)
Dm / Dm / Am / Am
Em / Dm / Am / E7
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