UkeTube: Aerosmith, Feng E, Victoria Vox

Watch on YouTube

Tracklist
Feng E – Silence in the Storm
Victoria Vox – Sound of Silence
João Tostes & Vinícius Vivas – Brasileirinho
Molly Lewis – Pantsuit Sasquatch
Aerosmith, The Roots & Jimmy Fallon – Walk This Way
MARLOWE and MATTHEW – My Favorite Part
Eden Kai – Imagination
Herman Vandecauter – Valse nr.1 Luigi Sagrini
Skippa Da Flippa x Einer Bankz – Faze Me
Choan Gálvez – Nana para Greta

Friday Links

On Video
– I’m back doing seven second ukulele lessons on Instagram (that are rarely seven seconds long). Tabs so far include Sweet Child O’ Mine, Anyone Who Knows What Love Is and the new ones from You Me At Six and Rodrigo Y Gabriela.
George Formby Society president bungees off Tees Transporter Bridge.
Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick celebrate 30 years of marriage by ukeing together.

Listening
– Buke and Gase are back after a long hiatus with their heavily modified bariton uke and two new songs: Pink Boots and No Land.
– Recent additions to the Ukulele 2018 Spotify playlist include Spiritualized, Amanda Shires, twenty one pilots, Mt Joy and Molly Lewis.

Window Shopping
Kamaka ukulele celebrating their 100th anniversary.
Little River ukulele with humuhumunukunuku?pua’a fish inlay.
KoAloha Naupaka Tenor.

Rodgers and Hammerstein – You’ll Never Walk Alone (Tab)

You’ll Never Walk Alone (Tab)

This Rodgers and Hammerstein was originally from the musical Carousel. But I know it exclusively from the Gerry and the Pacemakers version that lead to it becoming the anthem of Liverpool FC (narrowly beating out the Anfield Rap). The already emotionally powerful song was given extra weight by the role in played in commemorating those who died in the Hillsborough disaster.

For this arrangement I’ve threaded the melody together with fingerpicked, arpeggiated chords. With this style of playing it’s really easy for the melody notes to get lost amongst the backing notes. So it’s really important to more forcefully pluck the melody notes (indicated with arrowheads above them in this tab) so it doesn’t end up just sounding like picking practice.

I recommend using one finger per string picking all the way through this one.

Links

Buy the Gerry and the Pacemakers version

Tutorial: What’s the Deal with Augmented Chords?

Following on from the What’s the deal with sus chords? post, here’s a post demystifying another strange but highly effective chord type: augmented chords.

The Basics

On chord sheets you’ll usually see augmented chords represented by aug or +. So C augmented would be shortened to Caug or C+.

Augmented chords are very similar to the major chord shapes you’re familiar with. The only change is moving one note up a semitone (i.e. one fret higher). So to change C into Caug the g-string changes from open to the first fret to give you this:

Similarly Faug, Gaug, Aaug and Ebaug are all just one note away from their major counterparts:

If you’re on the ball you’ll have noticed that Gaug and Ebaug are exactly the same. As are Faug and Aaug. Not only that but the Gaug shape is also Baug and Faug is also C#aug. Because all the notes in an augmented chord are an equal distance apart, the same works for any augmented chord: each chord shape can be used as the augmented chord of any of the notes it contains. For example, the Caug chord shape contains the notes C, G# and E so it can be used as Caug, G#aug or Eaug.

As usual, the E chord brings up a few problems. You could play it the first way shown below but that’s a little fiddly. The easiest thing to do is mute the g-string entirely (either with the edge of your middle finger or by bringing your thumb around the neck) to create the second chord shape. Another alternative is to fret the A-string, 7th fret to create the third chord shape.

These chord shapes are all moveable so, for example, you could move them down two frets to create Daug chords:

Uses of Augmented Chords

Augmented chords sound disgusting. Compare these two progressions. In the first the progression is a perfectly nice F – G7 – C and the second is F – G7 – Caug.


Example 1

If you’re anything like me your lap will be covered in vomit after listening to the second one. But when you use it properly that sound makes it very powerful in a chord progression. It propels the progression forward by making you itch for the augmented chord to resolve into something more relaxed.

Intros

Augmented chords’ mixture of suspense and melancholy make them a great opening chord. For example, The Beatles’ Oh Darling starts with an Eaug before settling into an A.


Example 2

This move that’s regularly used in blues songs. A classic example is T-Bone Walker’s Stormy Monday where the notes of a Daug chord are picked out before the song moves to the root chord of G.


Example 3

In theory terms, this is augmenting the V chord. This is the safest chord to augment since it’s the most tension-filled chord in most progressions anyway and will give a nice push back to the root chord.

Turnarounds

Augmented V chords also crop up at the end of blues turnarounds to add flavour to the usual sound. Here’s a typical C blues turnaround with the final G replaced by a Gaug:


Example 4

And here it is added to a blues shuffle example from my Blues Ukulele ebook:


Example 5

Two-Chord Progressions

It doesn’t take much to make augmented chords into an interesting progression. Here’s the intro of ABBA’s Mamma Mia which just switches between D and Daug:


Example 6

The tension and release of switching between the augmented root and the root chord is so compelling you make it the majority of a song. Eddie Money’s Baby Hold On spends the entire first minute and a half switching between D and Daug. And Eminem’s Lose Yourself is composed almost entirely of a riff switching between D5 and Daug.


Example 7

Chromatic Movements

Another place augmented chords crop up is in progressions that make use of chromatic notes. For example, both Led Zep’s Kashmir and Bowie’s Life on Mars both have chromatically rising notes set against otherwise static chords. The “Film is a saddening bore…” section of Life on Mars uses this trick twice in a row:


Example 8

And throws in another augmented chord in the chorus because it’s one of the great chord progressions of all time:


Example 9

Jonathan Coulton’s Chiron Beta Prime combines two tricks by switching between A and Aaug in the intro and incorporating Aaug into a chromatic line in the chorus.

Augmented 7 Chords

It’s not just straight major chords that can be augmented. Augmenting a 7 chord is doubly effective. Adding even more tension into the chord. This is why I listed Caug7 as one of my favourite ukulele chords.

You can find examples of the use of Eaug7 in Rebecca Sugar’s What’s the Use of Feeling (Blue)? and Cole Porter’s So Nice.

And Baug7 in Mariah’s All I Want for Christmas Is You.

Rebecca Sugar – Time Adventure (Tabs and Chords)

Rebecca Sugar – Time Adventure (Chords)

Rebecca Sugar made a welcome return to Adventure Time to provide this song for the finale. Her songs are easily my favourite part of the show and she doesn’t disappoint with this beautiful, moving tune.

I’ve written up two versions of the song: one with just basic chords and one with fancy picking. Both are based on the ukulele version she performed at Comic-Con.

The song uses some familiar Sugar-tricks. Like the last Adventure Time song I covered Everything Stays it uses plenty of maj7 chords and has a switch from Cmaj7 to C6. Plus the move from Gmaj7 to Cmaj7 in Everything Stays is the same relative move as Cmaj7 to Fmaj7 in Time Adventure.

Suggested Strumming

If you want to avoid the fancy picking you can keep it very simple. You use just down-strums the whole way though.

Intro and Outro: Do two down-strums on all the maj7 chords and one on all the 6 chords.

Verse and Chorus: Keep the two down strums on Cmaj7 but just one down-strum for everything else.

Middle: One long down-strum on the Gm. And you can play six down-strums each on the other until D7 (two down-strums) and G7 (one down-strum). For the G7 on the last line you can recreate the fast run of notes by just hold the G7 chord and slowly brushing your fingers over the strings in an up-stroke so that each string sounds individually rather than all together as in a normal strum.

Twiddly Bits

Rebecca Sugar – Time Adventure (Tab)

The picking starts out very simple. It’s sedately played and uses thumb and two finger picking. Things get a little more complicated for bars 15-22 where I switch to using one finger per string picking (with a quick return to in bars 27 and 28).

The picking gets much more involved in the second chorus. But the chords are the same so you can play them the same as the first chorus. Or mix and match to come up with your own version.

Links

Pre-order the final episode soundtrack
More Rebecca Sugar/Steven Universe tabs and chords

UkeTube: Jake Shimabukuro, Jerry Douglas, Tune-Yards

Full Playlist

Tracklist
Jake Shimabukuro and Jerry Douglas – If 6 Was 9
Maggie & Mr. Rogers – Harlem
Bill and the Belles – Finger Pointin’ Mama
Anne Janelle – Feeling Beautiful
tUnE-yArDs – ABC
Ukulele Road Trips – Hraesvelg
Iris Wagner – Stringflow
EmiSunshine – Wide Rive To Cross

Friday Links: Dennis Rodman, Lenny Henry

Jake Shimabukuro has a new album out: The Greatest Day. You can listen to clips from it and pre-order it here.

Videos
Dennis Rodman gives Eddie Vedder a uke.
Lenny Henry’s Formby-based This is America parody.
Kyotaro lays out on a UBass.

Window Shopping
1930s Martin 5K and 1920’s 3K.
Beansprout Port Orford cedar, pistachio and fir tenor.
Mugendo concert with a compensated saddle (i.e. the saddle is slanted to keep the intonation correct for the different sized strings – that’s the theory anyway).

Aretha Franklin – A Natural Woman (Tab)

Aretha Franklin – (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Tab)

Continuing my Aretha tribute with this outstanding song by Gerry Goffin and Carole King (who seems to be the world’s biggest Aretha fan). She delivers this song so simply and powerfully. She doesn’t rely on the pointless vocal runs that ruin many later versions (although some are absolutely terrible for different reasons).

In that spirit, I’ve kept the arrangement as simple as I could. The verses and bridge are played with one finger per string picking building up to strumming in the chorus and middle sections.

Links

Buy it on iTunes
More Soul tabs and chords

Leo Brouwer – Etude V (Tab)

Leo Brouwer – Etude V Allegretto (Tab)

Today is guest tab from Brazilian uker Aline Kelly. She’s one of the great ukulelists to come out of Brazil recently along with João Tostes and Vinícius Vivas. It’s been a real pleasure to see the ukulele take off there in recent years.

Aline’s performance was the first time I’d heard of Cuban composer Leo Brouwer and I immediately loved it. The switches between beautiful, flowing lines and sharp, dissonance are delicious. I recommend checking out his music if you’re at all interested in classical guitar.

Links

Buy the Timo Korhonen version on iTunes
Follow Aline on YouTube and Facebook

Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer for You (Chords)

Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer for You (Chords)

Aretha Franklin put to bed the argument sometimes made by idiots that singers who don’t write their songs are somehow lesser artists. She could elevate a song like no one else. Making her version the definitive one even stealing songs from greats like Otis Redding in the case of Respect and from Dionne Warwick for whom Bacharach and David wrote this song.

I Say a Little Prayer uses a bunch of jazzy 7 and maj7 chords. I’ve notated it with a capo on the second fret (or play in D-tuning) to make the moves easier to navigate.

Suggested Strumming

A simple main strum you can use is:

d – d u – d – d u

Intro and Verses: Do the main strum once for every chord except play it one and a half times on Am7 and half a time (i.e. d – d u) on D. Which sounds like this


Verse Strum

Chorus: The chorus is a little more complex and sneaks in a bar of 3/4. Start off with half the main strum each for C and D. Then d – d on D, u – u d – d on Em and d – d – on G7 (or d u – – if you prefer). Which looks like this:

At the end of the chorus there’s a triplet strum played twice on the C chord followed by one down-strum on B7.

Together they sound like this:


Chorus Strum

Links

Buy it on iTunes
More soul tabs and chords

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