Friday Links

Long time friend of the blog, Shigeto Takahashi‘s album Roots Trip is for download on iTunes and on CDBaby. Must have tracks: Hilo March, Kohara March. Unfortunately, two of the best tracks (Peanut Vendor and Rhapsody in Blue had to be dropped for copyright reasons).

Hull Ukulele Group have made their Halloween/Guy Fawkes songbook available to all

Catalogue for Cairns Uke Art Exhibition (via Herman)

Stephin Merritt hasn’t been playing ukulele much recently but he still some nice things to say about it. But the most interesting parts of the interview was him and Claudia Gonson realising they’ve been playing Papa Was A Rodeo incorrectly for the last decade. (Thanks to Paul)

Humble Uker has more animated uke videos with this clip from Phineas and Ferb being the standout.

In the comments: A while back I took down Bess Rogers’s’s I Don’t Worry when it was made available (legit-style) on Abatabs. Since then it’s provoked a couple of negative comments.

I’m a bit ambivalent on the subject. I certainly support artists making money from their work. It’s my policy not to put anything up when there are official uke tabs available. (It helps that they were nice about it and didn’t threaten to send in the lawyers). Also, I’d like to see sites with official tabs on the net. There needs to be an iTunes for tabs. But there isn’t really anything like that for guitar so a uke site like that is a long way off.

On the other hand, I do think you can build up a big fanbase through teaching. Aldrine’s certainly won a big audience on the back of teaching on Ukulele Underground.

One issue I’m not ambivalent on: 95 years is a ridiculously lengthy term for copyright and absolutely has a negative impact on culture. The Economist, those famously anti-business hippies, suggest 14 years is more sensible.

View Comments


  1. zym October 30th, 2010 12:49 am

    thanks for the link Al:)

    With regards to paying for tabs, i have no problem with independent artists trying to make a buck or two, but I remember those heady days of my youth, before the internet was around. My mate and I were 15 years old and learning to play guitars. We used to travel 25 miles to the nearest music shop that sold guitar tablature books!!!!
    Being young and skint we couldnt actually afford to buy any of the books (they were pretty expensive at the time)so used to spend hours in there, frantically trying to memorize all the chords & riffs to Smashing Pumpkins songs until we got home!
    (which of course, we failed to do!)

    Ill say one thing about the free availability of tablature on the net – its made learning the guitar/uke etc a damn sight easier!

  2. Lyndsey October 30th, 2010 2:58 am

    I can understand the independent artist not wanting their tablature to be free if they’re planning to make a little extra change by selling them instead. A lot of people have a tight pocket these days. I’d probably do the same. It’s reasonable.
    As for the copyright business, I couldn’t be less clueless a person.

  3. Bam October 30th, 2010 10:51 am

    Apologies for interrupting the debate, but I love that Phineas and Ferb song. Its mint!

  4. Woodshed October 30th, 2010 2:29 pm

    zym: They were far too expensive. I don’t know how they got away with it. I pretty much learnt to play guitar from magazines. In fact, this blog is basically Guitar Techniques in blog form.

    Lyndsey: Yeah, it’s definitely reasonable. I think the price of those tabs are a bit much. But that’s their choice.

    Bam: Interrupt away.

  5. Lyndsey October 30th, 2010 11:18 pm

    How much are the tabs?

  6. Woodshed October 31st, 2010 3:08 pm

    Lyndsey: $3 each.

  7. Lyndsey October 31st, 2010 7:51 pm

    Oh, well yes that’s a different business. I can understand $1.50 maybe. But then again if you think about how hard she probably worked at getting the song out there and expenses for the video and such, she’s probably just trying to get the money back in any way possible.

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