This is a first for Ukulele Go – a guest post from Andrew Hardel of Rock Class 101. I’ve been pretty impressed with Andrew’s ukulele lessons so I’m really pleased that he’s contributed to the site. Over to Andrew…
Backbeat the word is on the street
Adding a backbeat, or a slap, is a great way to introduce a percussive quality to your rhythm playing. The chord progression we will be using is in the key of C, and consists of: C G Am F. This is a 1 5 6 4 chord progression. It is commonly found in many popular songs, such as ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz.
Our slap will be on beats 2 and 4 throughout the chord progression. The easiest way to slap on the ukulele is to keep your right hand in a ‘claw-like’ shape and hit directly over the body/strings of the instrument. Try not to open your right hand and ‘high-five’ the ukulele when slapping. This is not proper form and will actually make it more difficult to incorporate in-time slapping/strumming. Practice slowly and work bar-by-bar until up to speed. Counting the rhythms out-loud will also be helpful.
This technique is very useful and really takes your rhythm playing to the next level. Have fun!
Download the tab for adding a backbeat
Big thanks to Andrew for putting this lesson together, head on over to his site for more lessons!