Rattle On The Stovepipe

Rattle On The Stovepipe

By Traditional (arr. James Hill)

Download PDF (D6 tuning: a, d, f#, b)
Download PDF (C6 tuning: g, c, e, a)

This lively traditional Canadian melody is fun to play and full of teaching opportunities. Below is a point-form guide to teaching this arrangment to your class.

Focus On:

  1. The major scale (click here for ideas)

  2. Part-playing

  3. Dotted rhythm

Key Points:

  • Use Uke II as a sight-reading exercise. It's very repetitive and, for the most part, uses open strings.

  • Assign Uke II to beginner-level students. (Note: this part can only be played as written using ukuleles with a low 4th string. For more information on tuning options, click here.)

  • Prepare Uke I by reviewing the D major scale (C major scale for ukuleles tuned g, c, e, a). Play the scale in using a variety of different rhythms.

  • Vocalize the rhythm in m. 1: sing "rat-tle on the stove-pipe" in rhythm. Have students clap as they sing.

  • Don't prepare students for the accidental in m. 9. Sight-read it and let them make a mistake, if necessary. Then fix the problem.

  • Define "D. C. al Fine": Play again from the beginning and stop where you see the word "Fine" (which means "end" in Italian).

  • This is, essentially, a three-chord song. The chord in m. 15 can be played either as a 7 chord (as written) or as a regular major chord. Try it both ways: which do your students prefer? Why?

  • Strumming: have students try an on-beat strum (strum on beats 1 and 3) and an off-beat strum (strum on beats 2 and 4). Which do they prefer? Why?

Additional Suggestions and Comments:

  • Rattle on the Stovepipe essentially modulates to a new key in measures 9-16. This departure makes the main theme sound fresh on the repeat.

  • Challenge your advanced students to create a harmony part abovethe melody.

  • Challenge advanced students to create their own variation on the melody of Rattle on the Stovepipe.

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If you like the material in this free lesson you might also like Ukulele in the Classroom, a series of ukulele method books by James Hill and J. Chalmers Doane. Click here for free samples and additional information.