Anyone who’s been following the blog for a while will know I’m a big fan of Brian Hefferan‘s playing and this tune is certainly no exception.
Unlike a lot of Brian’s ukulele pieces, this is a strummed song – which makes it much easier to play. There are a ton of interesting chord shapes in the tune. The trickiest part for me was working out what the chords were best referred to as (Brian steered me right on a number of them).
The trickiest part of The Mama Bear Bounce, particularly if you’ve never tried it before, is the string bending section. It’s not a technique you come across often on the ukulele – the nylon strings and short scale length are suited to it – but Brian uses it very effectively to add an extra moan to the chords. You play these by holding down the chord shape, grabbing the note that is to be bent, strumming the chord, then pushing the C-string up towards your head. This sharpens the note. Ideally, you should bend the string so it’s one fret higher than played. For example, when you’re holding down the C7 chord, the note bent on the C-string at the third fret should have the same pitch as the open E-string.
This tune is huge fun to play. It’s now one of those tunes I play whenever I pick up the uke ‘just for a quick strum’ before I do whatever I’m supposed to be doing.