– Southampton Ukulele Jam are running a Kickstarter to make a documentary. It’s going great guns and has already passed the goal.
– The Mourning Glories are Indiegogoing their debut album.
– I might be a bit biased but West Yorkshire is killing it with the ukulele this year. Hope & Social’s FEEL (Spotify) and Astraluna’s The Pass of Storms (Spotify) are both in contention for my ukulele record of the year.
– The Coldharts’ Edgar Allan is a dark comic “manic lullaby”.
– Gigy gig bags are new colourful, customisable ukulele gigbags from a mother-daughter team.
– Cigar Box Nation profiles the weird and wonderful ukuleles of Rob Uker.
The Walking Dead theme uses a technique I should have included in my spooky ukulele sounds post: unusual timings. Each bar has a pattern that rises and falls twice but then cuts off half way through the third time. The bars themselves are played an odd number of times. The first pattern is played three times at the beginning in my version (seven in the original) and five times at the end. Usually you see bars in powers of 2 (1, 2, 4, 8 etc.) or at least an even amount. Having an even number gives it a unsettling feeling.
I went with low-G tuning here. It makes it so much easier to play. But I like the way it sounds even on high-g. Even spookier if you ask me.
The tune is very simple. It’s just one pattern on three different locations on the neck. It’s great for practicing your thumb and two finger picking. I’ve been using it as a little warm up exercise. The great part is you can move the pattern up and down the neck and it always works.
Now you’ve got your depraved nose-hair trimmer costume together, here are some tunes you may wish to bone up on before the big night. Including a band new version of Danse Macabre so you can compare version and judge whether I’ve improved or degraded in the nine years between arrangements.
Addams Family Theme Tune
Chopin – Funeral March
Jonathan Coulton – Re: Your Brains
The Fall – Mansion
The Gothic Archies – Freakshow
Harry Potter – Hedwig’s Theme
London Bridge Is Falling Down (From Halloween)
The Misfits – Dig Up Her Bones
The Misfits – Halloween
Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells (from The Exorcist)
Ray Parker Jr – Ghostbusters
The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil
This is Halloween (From Nightmare Before Christmas)
Tom Waits – Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard
Twilight Zone Theme
Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London
And a tutorial on spooking up your playing:
It’s Halloween week on Uke Hunt to give you some time to work up tunes. But you probably won’t need that long to get this one together. It’s just three chords: A, D and E7. You can make it even easier if you use the no hassle way of changing from A to D.
The challenge is how fast it’s played. So start off slow until you’ve got it under your fingers.
You can use this strum almost all the way through:
d – d u – u d –
The strumming in the verses and chorus are exactly the same:
In the first and third lines: Do the main strum twice for the first chord and once for the other chords.
Second line: Twice for each chord.
In the last line: Once for the first two chords, then twice for the last chord.
The only part that doesn’t work is when the song slows right down in the second and third lines of verse 3. He plays tremolo strums there. But I’d recommend just doing one down strum per chord.
Here’s how that sounds up to speed then slowed down:
Uke Hunt’s annual t-shirt release started this week. Pre-orders run until 26th October and you can get them in the US or in the UK. UPDATE: Both the UK and US t-shirt campaigns have hit their goal. So if you pre-ordered one you will be getting it. A massive thanks to everyone who has ordered already for supporting the site with both your wallet and your torso.
– Jake Shimabukuro has released a tab book of his album Nashville Sessions.
– Craig Robertson has released free chord songbooks for his albums That Dress and Practical Hypnotist. Lots of great, jazzy chord progressions to steal. I’ve already added Cm6 (2333) – G7 (from The Hypnotist) and Fm – Cm+4 (0313) (from Missing) to my repertoire. (Alternative links: Practical Hypnotism and That Dress).
– BariFever has a bunch of tabs for baritone ukulele.
Walk Off the Earth’s performance of O Canada got a furious backlash from ukulele haters and women haters alike.
It’s Uke Hunt t-shirt season again! Every year around this time I do a run of t-shirts. This year you can buy them from either the US or the UK:
I’m using Teespring again this year. It is sort of a Kickstart for t-shirts. So you put in an order for your shirt, if there are enough orders by the end of the campaign the shirts are made and sent out. You’re not charged anything until the end of the campaign (and you’re not charged at all if the shirt doesn’t reach its goal). This way of doing it means all the shirts are printed at once and exactly the right shirts and sizes are made.
So if you want one of the shirts they’ll only be available until Wednesday 26th October. After that you’re all out of luck.
The system has worked well for the last couple of years so I’m sticking with it. My shirt came here (the UK) quickly and without any hassle. It’s nice quality. The one I have is three years old and it’s still in good shape. You can see it on a devastatingly handsome model in my recent videos.
In the US there are two different styles: the standard fit American Apparel crew-neck (at the top of the post) and the v-neck Bella Missy slim fit (directly above).Both are $22 plus shipping from the US
The UK t-shirts are different from last year and should be higher quality. They’re described as “Unisex Organic T-Shirt”. They’re both £22 from the UK including VAT (if you’re in a different EU country VAT should be charged at your local rate).
Teespring is based in the US so shipping outside of that is more expensive and will take longer.
United States: $3.99 flat rate, plus $2.00 per each additional item. Your shirt will arrive within 7-14 days from the end of the campaign.
Canada: $11.49 CAD flat rate, plus $5.00 CAD per each additional item. Your shirt will arrive within 14-21 days from the end of the campaign.
International (from the US) £7.99 (€11.49) flat rate, plus £3.50 (€5.00) per each additional item. Your shirt will arrive within 14-21 days from the end of the campaign.
UK (from the UK): £2.75 for the first apparel item and £0.50 for each additional item. You can expect your package to arrive around 5 business days after the campaign finishes printing.
Europe (from the UK): £3.35 for the first apparel item and £1.00 for each additional item.
For more information on the shirts and the system take a look at Teespring’s FAQ.
This is one of Waits’s folkiest and most affecting songs. It’s also very adaptable. Making it great for a mixed ability group. And if Tom Waits can sing it anyone can (except me).
I’ve written it up in three levels of difficulty.
The very easiest way to play it is with just C, F and G. You can also substitute G7 for G if you prefer.
You can use this as the main strum:
d – d u
First two lines: Twice on C and F. Four times on G
Second two lines: Once on each chord until the last G where you play the strum four times.
Last line: One down strum each on F and G. Then back to the pattern until one down strum each on C – G – C – G at the end of the verse.
Together it sounds like this:
The last verse does mix up the strumming pattern. But you can easily make it fit the same pattern as the rest of the verses and I recommend doing that if you’re playing in a group.
The only difference here is your playing a G7sus4 to G7 move in place of the G at the end of the lines in the easy version. The strumming is exactly the same except on the long Gs you do the main strum twice on G7sus4 and twice on G7.
This version is based on the guitar picking in the song. I start off using one finger per string picking until bar 7 where I move my thumb to the C-string with index and middle on E and A. Back to one per string in bar 11 before changing again for the run at the end.