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Uke Strumming #5 - Shuffles

You still strum up and down - but the rhythm changes.

This is the fifth in our series of beginner's lessons on how to strum a uke.

This type of rhythm is called a shuffle. The UP strum comes just before a DOWN strum, not halfway between two, as we have seen up to now. A great many songs have some sort of shuffle, or swing, feel to them. I personally find it easier to play shuffles than straight rhythms. You will find that a lot of songs will have you doing a bit of swinging, or shuffling, and so the last of the one-chord strum-training exercises here in the beginner's section will give you a chance to play along with a shuffle, before you move on to the task of learning songs.

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Remember that you can choose have the ukulele or the band playing or muted in the trainer above. And don't forget to check if your ukulele is in tune - you have to get in the habit of keeping it in tune, then your ears and fingers will know exactly what to do. Take a moment and compare your strings to the ukulele tuner up top. Excellent habit, staying in tune...

There is a lot of 'feel' involved with playing a shuffle. You have to become at one with the groove. You have to feel the UP strokes. In country music, they sometimes refer to these as the "UPchuck". In other forms of music, it is the "UPstroke".

If you're feeling comfortable playing along with this, there is something fun you can try. Try playing ONLY the UPchucks. Don't play on the beat - just the UPchucks right before it. This is a common, and very effective, technique you can use on any rhythmic instrument. Give it a try, I think you'll find it fun! Next, we will dissect a shuffle, in case you have any confusion at all about all this "upchuck" stuff.


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