Read on! The pursuit of healthy mind-body-spirit balance through Yoga and how we engage with life through the ukulele present synergies worthy of your consideration.
YUGA is a discipline.*
It's the pursuit of ukenlightenment through regular repetition of progressive patterns called SONG SALUTATIONS.
There's nothing new about studies and exercises to develop technique: pianists have Hanon, cellists have Dotzaur and Popper -
and there are several good how-to methodologies for the uke.
YUGA is not about how to play, it's about how to improve - in every direction.
The YUGA concept, its practice and constituent SONG SALUTATIONS were developed by Toronto's Corktown Ukulele Jam co-host/founder, Steve McNie.
* no mat required
Apply any manageable and consistent meter, tempo and strum or picking pattern to any of these SONG SALUTATION progressions.
Work toward performing each SONG SALUTATION in these "open" keys at a comfortable tempo that allows you to run them fluidly and cleanly all up the way the neck and back.
- move the progression upward by one fret (semi-tone) with each repetition until you have reached a pre-determined arrival point (the 7th or 12th frets are logical arrival points)
- repeat the pattern at your arrival point and descend similarly, one fret at a time to open position where you began
- name the first chord of each bar out loud. For accidentals, use the note's sharp name ascending, and it's enharmonic flat name descending
When you master one tempo, increase it marginally to establish a new achievement goal.
Try more complex 2 and 4-bar strum/picking patterns, but stay consistent with each repetition.
C major I=C 0003 | IV=F 2010 | V7=G7 0212
F major I=F 2010 | IV=Bb 3211 | V7=C7 0001
A major I=A 2100 | IV=D 2220 | V7=E7 1202
A minor I=Am 2000 | IV=Dm 2210 | V7=E7 1202
D minor I=Dm 2210 | IV=Gm 0231 | V7=A7 0200
C minor I=Cm 0333 | IV=Fm 1013 | V7=G7 0212
Here are the first two of several YUGA Song Salutations:
Song Salutation I-IV
|: I | IV |
| I | V7 |
| I | IV |
| I V7 | I - :|
Song Salutation I-V7
|: I | V7 |
| I | IV |
| I | V7 |
| I IV | I - :|
CAUTION: stop immediately if your arm, wrist or hand begins to tense. Shake it vigorously to help release tension and continue only after it's gone. You will quickly build the strength and stamina you need but take it slowly. Achievement is a constant process that comes with regular practice.
YUGA Song Salutations are deceptively simple and awesomely holistic.
How you integrate YUGA into your practice is up to you. There's no right or wrong, no too much or too little.
It begins with regular repetition of the SONG SALUTATIONS.
With just a little familiarity, YUGA begins to feel like drinking freshly squeezed orange juice or eating organic beets - and return is almost immediate.
No matter how experienced you are as a uke player, YUGA will efficiently improve your:
While in itself YUGA is utterly simple, the impact of its practice is quite profound.
- fretboard awareness
- ear and chord sense
- dexterity and agility
- sense of pulse
- phrasing and fluidity
- strum and picking technique
Margaret Mulligan's CUJAM portraits are outstanding. Order prints from Margaret any Wednesday evening at the Corktown Ukulele Jam or contact Margaret by email.