The ToneWay® Project: helping people play music

I'm confused about floating patterns :/

Hi everyone,

I'm using the ToneWay Music Method Ukulele and Guitalele Songbook and I really love the process so far. I play ukulele with standard tuning with low G. I'm working my way through the activities one at a time and, although I still need a lot of practice, I understand them all conceptually. I just got to the floating patterns on 139, though, and I'm a little confused.

I understand that the floating patterns show where the second, third, fourth, etc., intervals are based on a key note you choose, identified as “1” on the picture. I don't understand what is meant by “C shape,” “F shape,” etc. Wouldn't C and F be the same patterns, just with a different root note?

For example, if I chose C for the root note and followed the pattern, I'd be playing in C. If I slid the root note up one fret, I could use the same pattern to play in C#, right? So shouldn't I be able to play all keys using only one pattern?

I'm very new to music so apologies if I'm missing something obvious and thanks in advance for any help!


Good to hear the method is working for you Thomas. I'll try to clear up the confusion…

“Shape” refers to the physical pattern your fingers make to make a chord. The “shape” term is used a lot when using a capo in guitar. You may be over thinking it.

If you look at p.128, you see the Pentatonic Patterns: 5 to 5 and 1 to 1. So for example, for the Key C you make a “C” chord by pressing down the tones that make in the Key C. Here you just press one string at the 3rd fret (a 1 tone), the other tones (5,1,3) are at the Nut and so are played automatically.

Yes, you can play all keys with one pattern, but you have to go WAY UP the neck. Better sound usually is found lower down the fret board. WAY UP creates intonation issues (sharp or flat). The Main Patterns (p.139) help avoid that problem.


Speaking of “WAY UP”, isn't that the technique to make the “teardrops falling” effect (like, for example, in Patsy Cline's “Fingerprints”)?


If you lay your pointer finger across the nut and put your pinkie on the 3rd fret on the 1st string, that is a C chord G, C E C. If you slide your pointer finger up 2 frets, you now have a D chord B D F# D and so on. The 'root' note of the chord is under your pinkie on string 1.

if you lay your pointer finger across the nut and put your ring and middle finger on the first fret on 3rd string, and 2nd fret on 4th string, that is an A chord. A C# E A. If you move it up 2 frets you get a B chord B D# F# B. and so on. the 'root' note of the chord is uder your ring finger on the 4th string.

It is a lot harder to read/write it than to see it on your fretboard.

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