UkeTube: Nick Offerman, Raelyn Nelson

Full Playlist

Tracklist
Sara Veras – A Rita Via @ukeist
Trio Mandili – Dililme On panduri. Thanks to Liz.
Raelyn Nelson Band – Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)
Iris Wagner – Isolation
Reformed Whores – Keep it in Your Pants
Nick Offerman – The Ukulele Song
Wild Child – The One
Ukeba Squad Unplugged – Cintanya Palsu
Daniel Estrem – Double (to Bourree) from Partita 1Gerald Ross – Undecided

Friday Links

New Releases

– Herman Vandecauter has released a selection of pieces played on the rajão (the Madeiran precursor to the ukulele). They’re fantastically played. Highly recommended.
– Jolly new Christmas song from Phredd: Bob the Snowman.
– A jazzy Christmas record from the Ladybugs.
Macy Warner’s Apologies to Myself.

Window Shopping
Lichty’s U127 Fretless Tenor. I’m sure I’d could make that uke sound absolutely awful.
1929 Martin 5K
Custom Martin Tree of Life.
Santa Cruz UK-3.
Lyon & Healy Bell soprano.
1930s Regal Concert Banjo Ukulele.

Contests
I don’t usually cover contests but there are two at the moment that have good aims:
Rachel Manke is giving away a customised Ohaha and all you have to do to enter is give to the ukulele charity of your choice.
– The Levy Sheet Music Collection is running the Save our Songs Contest. To enter you record a version of any of the songs in their collection. There are hundreds of with ukulele chords to choose from.

A heartbreaking story of ukulele theft. An Oakland man had the uke his late-wife playing during chemo stolen. It was a Kala Ukadelic Tropical Day if you’re in the area and see one in suspicious circumstances.

A while back I wrote a post on No Hassle Chord Changes. Now Mark of Ukulele Bedford has added a few to the list.

Ever wondered what it would sound like if you recorded one note on your uke in every town in Massachusetts? Wonder no more.

Camila Cabello – Havana (Tab)

Camila Cabello – Havana (Tab)

It’s been a pretty good year for pop music. There were great songs from Charli XCX, Selina Gomez and Lorde. Even the Cash Me Ousside girl released a banger. But Camila Cabello’s Havana immediately struck me as prime for a ukeing.

There’s nothing massively challenging in this arrangement but there are a few leaps up and down the fretboard. You can make things a easier with a bit of planning though. In bars 10 and 12 moving your hand up so you play the 3rd fret with your index finger makes it a much easier transition into the next bar.

Links

Buy it on iTunes
More pop tabs and chords

Natasha has done a fantastic version of this arrangement with some nice little tweeks:

Malcolm Young’s Unmistakable Groove

This is a guest post by Daniel from Aloha Akademie. It original appeared on his blog in German but he was kind enough to adapt an English version for us.

Malcolm Young´s unmistakable groove and what you can learn from his style for your playing

To all of you who haven´t heard of Malcom Young, let me give you a short introduction: He was one of THE most important and influential rock guitar players on this earth. With his younger brother Angus he formed the band AC/DC – who played a leading role for me and millions of other kids in term of musical rock-education.

Sadly, Malcolm passed away on the 18th November 2017 after suffering from a stroke and a following dementia.

So this was more than enough reason to once again put on all those classic LP records. Malcolm´s rough style shaped the band’s sound so elementary. He had always been AC/DC´s rocking and pounding heart. He had always been the pulse, the unyielding rhythm and the foot on the rhythm.

If you are not blown away when listening to the intro of Live Wire, I presume you must be dead. Or Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap: a rhythm monster that will eat you alive. Whole Lotta Rosie, Bad Boy Boogie… the list goes on.

So let us take a closer look at what Malcolm’s style has to do with playing the uke.

Actually his style was more or less the essence of what you should be aiming for as a ukulele rhythm player, who accompanies songs. Malcolm carried the songs with his riffs, he was the driving force, the rhythmic skeleton and the band´s spine. Holding everything together without losing flexibility.

Isn´t that exactly what you are supposed to do? You and I know the answer is YES! Thou shalt groove!

If you have ever tried to hold a song together with just a simple sounding rhythm and a few chords you might already know that results can vary. You are too fast, your chord changing is too slow, your speeding up the chorus and whatnot.

And then those rests! So many students seem to forget how important good sounding rests are. Yep, I´m talking good sounding rests! There is more than on possibility to make a rest sound crappy. It may be too long. Or too short. Or your hand produces noises while lifting it off the strings.

Bottom line and also significant for Malcolm’s playing style: rests. Work your rests, kids!

So let´s take a closer look at some riffs, that display the unique force that the right notes at the right time can produce. Play tight, play good sounding rests, play a lot of downstrokes.

Example 1

Slow:

Fast:

Classic AC/DC. Put some power in your downstrokes, let the rests breathe and feel them pumping. They are an essential part of this groove.

Play everything very slow at first, so you can get hold of the little licks at the end. Especially the 16th rest is a little bit tricky.

Example 2

Slow:

Fast:

More rests! This is a perfect example of an early 70´s AC/DC groove.
The ukulele pushes and shoves the whole riff through the accents. Take a careful look where the hits are on the beat and where they are in between. Once again this is supported by the rests that you should execute with your right hand.
Also use downstrokes only – this adds to the power and driving of this riff.

Example 3

This riff showcases how Malcolm could hold the entire band together: this kind of playing is like superglue for rocksongs. The palm muted 16th notes tighten the whole arrangement and keep everything in place.

Really dig into this groove – this is my advice. Do it slowly and keep an eye on the tied 16th notes. You don´t want to ruin a great groove by playing it sloppy, do ya?

Also if you want to spice things up, try to palm mute the whole sequence. It´s a typical rock guitar technique that muffles the sound a bit.
Just put your right hand´s palm on the bridge on top of the strings. They should still vibrate a bit (you can feel a light buzzing on your palm), but the sound goes from clear to muffled or muted.

Example 4

Here the focus is on the typical shuffle feel that this chord progression has.
Like many other greats of that time, AC/DC were heavily influenced by Blues and Rock´n´n Roll artists like John Lee Hooker or Chuck Berry.
Throughout Malcolm career he always came back to songs and riffs that had this bouncy feeling. It was AC/DC version of the Blues – just with a lot bit gain and a tad more volume.

Example 5

Let´s end it with rests :)

We ´re back to the typical 8th beat rock feeling and you will want to take some time for the following riff.
Why you wanna do that? Because you want to make it sound goooood! In this small part there are so many details – don’t just overlook them.

It starts with the first chord: let it ring for a quarter note. Not longer, not shorter.
Then be alert when playing the Csus4 and Gsus5 – both chords start on an „+“. The better the hit, the better the overall sound.

Last but not least: the staccato notes (the one with a dot on top). Play them really short and powerful – they drive the riff forward. Often the devil is in the details but it´s definitely worth the effort.
?Okay rockers – that´s it for today!

I hope you learned a valuable thing or two about rests and powerful rhythms. And please don´t just leave the rests to this rock context. Remember using them in your own patterns and songs. Try them every time you think of using yet another chord in your arrangement. You will be astounded how grown up and cleaned up your songs can sound!

Any further questions left or advice needed? Write it in the comments!

Mahalo for reading! Keep ukin`
Daniel

Thanks very much to Daniel. You can find more of his work at Daniel from AlohaAkademie.de

Loundon Wainwright III – Suddenly It’s Christmas (Chords)

Loudon Wainwright III – Suddenly it’s Christmas (Chords)

Loudon has a great line in exasperated Christmas songs and Suddenly it’s Christmas is my favourite. The track first appeared on the Career Moves album. But I’ve written up the ukulele version released as a single a few years ago.

The song is in the not so uke-friendly key of E with a key change to F#. So I’ve written it up with the uke tuned down half a step to f# B Eb Ab. That makes the tune in the easier keys of F and G. If you want the chords for standard tuning here they are:

Suddenly it’s Christmas (Standard Tuning)

You can, of course, play the chords for the retuned version in standard tuning. You’ll just be playing in a different key.

Suggested Strumming

For the most part, I use this strum:

d – d – d u d u

The only other part comes at the start of verses 3 and 6. With those I do two sets of three down-strums on the first chord.

Here’s how verse 3 sounds:


Verse strum

Twiddly Bits

There are a couple of guitar parts in the song that ape Christmas tunes. Here’s a version of the Jingle Bells crib after verse 1:


Jingle Bells Lick

And the Joy to the World bit at the end of verse 3:


Joy to the World Lick

These are for the tuned down version. If you’re playing in standard tuning just move everything down a fret.

Links

Buy it on iTunes
More Christmas tabs and chords
More Loudon chords

UkeTube: nico’o, Karla Kane, Jake Shimabukuro

Full Playlist

Tracklist
nico’o & the Kapiolani Boyz – Surf y Tequila
Gerald Ross – Ticket To Ride
Karla Kane – King’s Daughters Home For Incurables
EmiSunshine – Think Of Me
Jake Shimabukuro – Galloping Seahorses
Hannah Mae and the Hoodwinks – This Love
Wilfried Welti – Hoboecken Dans
DYAN – Set of Pieces

Game Tabs: Cuphead, Burly Men at Sea, Everybody’s Gone…, Life is Strange

I’ve built up a hefty backlog of game tabs. So this post is splurging them all in one go.

If that’s not enough for you, there are more game tabs and chords here.

Cuphead: Don’t Deal with the Devil

Kristofer Maddigan –
Don’t Deal with the Devil (Tab)

Cuphead is the most hyped game of the year. Unfortunately, I don’t own anything that can play it because I still haven’t forgiven Microsoft for Vista. So I’ve contented myself with playing the soundtrack. And a very good soundtrack it is too.

Like the game’s visuals, the music apes styles of the 1930s. So there’s plenty of big band jazz, ragtime piano and in Don’t Deal with the Devil barbershop.

To keep that barbershop feel I’m using fingerpicking rather than strumming in my arrangement. That means you can play all the notes at once as they sound in the original.

Buy it on Bandcamp
Cuphead

Burly Men at Sea: The Brothers Swim

Plied Sound – The Brothers Swim (Tab)

You might not have heard of Plied Sound before but there’s a good chance you’ve heard their music. They’ve scored ads for numerous companies. Most notably Apple. So if you’ve ever listened to Jonny Ive being precious about unibody aluminium and chamfered edges you’ve probably heard Plied Sound.

But they ditched the epic piano and spacey bleeps and bloops for the excellent, folky and ukulele-heavy soundtrack for Burly Men at Sea.

For my version of The Brothers Swim I’m using a low-G ukulele. In the first section, the thumb is picking everything on the G- and C-strings with the other notes played using alternate picking. In the second section (bar 9 onwards) I use one finger per string picking.

Buy it on Bandcamp
Burly Men at Sea

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture: Mourning Tree

Jessica Curry – Mourning Tree (Tab)

Being a walking simulator fan, I loved this game. The highlight for me was the glorious, Bafta winning soundtrack. It was written by Jessica Curry and is full of pastoral, Vaughan Williams style pieces. The Mourning Tree is an adaptation of the traditional British melody Down in Yon Forest which I tabbed in Christmas Ukulele III. When it cropped up in the game it took my breath away and I had to work up a version.

You could just about play this arrangement with just the thumb on the picking hand. But I’m using one finger per string picking up until bar 19. Then I use alternating index and middle fingers for the quick run and throw in some thumb and two finger picking.

Buy it on iTunes
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Life is Strange: Jose Gonzalez – Crosses

A post shared by @ukulelehunt on

I’ve done a ton of Life is Strange tabs and chords already. But there’s always room for more. Particularly since the prequel is currently halfway through its release. Speaking of which…

Buy it on iTunes
Life is Strange

Life is Strange: Before the Storm: Daughter – No Care

Daughter – No Care: 7 second ukulele lesson

A post shared by @ukulelehunt on

The Life is Strange prequel Before the Storm has taken a different direction with the music. Instead of a variety of acts, all the music is provided by the band Daughter. Which has made the soundtrack markedly less exciting to me.

But the use of No Care at the start of episode two saved what could otherwise be a slightly ridiculous scene.

The riff is challenging to play on ukulele but it’s just about possible.

Buy it on iTunes
Before the Storm
More Life is Strange tabs and chords

Christmas Tabs and Chords

We’re about a month out from Christmas so time to start polishing up the festive tunes and learning a few new ones. Here’s a rundown of everything Christmassy on the site.

Christmas eBooks

I’ve written 3 collections of easy Christmas tabs: How to Play Christmas Ukulele, Christmas Ukulele 2 and Christmas Ukulele 3.

You can pick up all three for the price of 2 by buying the whole Christmas Trilogy at once.

Chords

12 Days of Christmas
2000 Miles – The Pretenders
A Christmas Duel – The Hives and Cyndi Lauper
All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
Chiron Beta Prime – Jonathan Coulton
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love
Christmas for Cowboys – John Denver/Ballard C Boyd
Christmas in July – Jonathan Coulton and John Roderick
Cold Outside – Julia Nunes & Wade Johnson
Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
Fuck Christmas – Eric Idle
Give the Jew Girl Toys – Sarah Silverman
It’s Cliched to be Cynical At Christmas – Half Man Half Biscuit
iPod X-mas – Hello Saferide
Let It Snow
Lumberjack Christmas/Christmases Past – Sufjan Stevens
Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight) – The Ramones
Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade
No Christmas – Zee Avi
Present Face – Garfunkel and Oates
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Run, Run Rudolph – Chuck Berry
Santa Baby
Santa Will Find You – Mindy Smith/Tripping Lily
Silver Bells – She & Him
Somewhere Only We Know – Keane/Lily Allen
Space Christmas – Allo Darlin
The Christmas Song – Weezer
The Christmas Song Song – Rocky and Balls
White Christmas
Winter Wonderland
Year End Letter – Garfunkel and Oates
You’re a Mean One Mr Grinch

Tabs

Away in a Manger
Carol of the Bells
Christmastime Is Here (from Charlie Brown)
German Christmas Carols
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Instrumental)
Jingle Bell Rock
Jingle Bells
Little Drummer Boy
Mele Kalikimaka
Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence
O Christmas Tree (Single Note Version)
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Silent Night (Harmonics Version)
Silent Night (Single Note Version)
Sleigh Ride – U900 / The Ventures
Various – Wilfried Welti’s Musikalisches Naschwerk für Solo Ukulele
We Three Kings
White Christmas
Winter Wonderland

Lyle Lovett – God Will (Chords)

Lyle Lovett – God Will (Chords)

I absolutely love Lyle Lovett’s understated humour. And he’s written some of my all time favourite songs. So it’s well past time I wrote up one of his songs.

Suggested Strumming

God Will is in 3/4 time. Here’s a 3/4 time strum you can use almost all the way through:

d – d u d u

Intro/Chorus/Solo: Do the main strum once for each chord. Until the fast Bb – F – Gm move where you do one down-strum per chord. Here’s how that goes:


Verse Strum

If the fast chord changes are too quick you can just play the main strum on Bb through that change. And if it’s not enough you can go back up (as he does in the final chorus) and play Bb – F – Gm – F – Gm – F.

Verse: When the line has a Bb – F change do the main strum once per chord. Everywhere else do it twice per chord.

Twiddly Bits

Here’s a slide ukulele part based loosely on the steel guitar intro and solo (I wrote an ebook about playing slide ukulele if you want to learn). The main tip is to mute every string you’re not playing so you don’t hear anything you’re not supposed to.

I’m using open-C tuning which means you tune the A-string down to G.

Links

Buy it on iTunes
More country tabs and chords

Elton John – Song for Guy (Tab)

Elton John – Song for Guy (Tab)

David Beckingham is currently on a road trip. But that hasn’t stopped him filing a tab. This time a mostly instrumental piece from Elton John dedicated to a young employee of his who died in a motorcycle accident.

David plays it with his thumb and index finger only. But I’ve been playing the arrangement using thumb on the g- and C-strings, index in the E-string and middle on the A-string (just switching to one finger per string in bars 13-14 and 21-22). So play around and see which suits you best.

Links

Buy it on iTunes
David Beckingham on YouTube
More David Beckingham tabs

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