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Ukulele Hunt

The Chordettes – Mr Sandman (Tabs)

The Chordettes – Mr Sandman (Tab)

The release of the new Sandman TV show seems like a good excuse to finally get around to tabbing this classic. My arrangement is heavily based on the Chordettes version. Although not the original version, it’s by far the best known.

Intro 1: I couldn’t resist rearranging Metallica’s Enter Sandman as an intro. Feel free to come up with an intro of your own or skip it all together.

Intro 2: You can’t skip this one! It sounds fantastic and fits on the ukulele very nicely.

Verse 1: Lots of tasty chords going on. And I’ve tried to incorporate some of the bass runs.

Verse 2: I’ve added some extra elements here. There are some changes to the melody and plenty of twiddles. I made al the twiddles have are descending to give it a feel of gently falling asleep. Plenty of room for your own ideas here. The verse starts with a few “dings and pings”. These are natural harmonics.

Links

Buy the original
More 50s tabs and chords
Uke Hunt Patreon

Riffs and Intros: Four Tops, Linkin Park, Wet Leg

Another rag-tag selection of musical snippets that have caught my ear recently.

Update: It looks like Instagram has been messing around again and some of the video are embedding in a janky fashion. You can find all the videos on Instagram. They’re currently the most recent six.

Four Tops – Reach Out I’ll Be There

Wet Leg – Chaise Longue

Linkin Park – One Step Closer

Kasabian – L.S.F.

Bojack Horseman: Sextina Aquafina – Get Dat Fetus Kill Dat Fetus

Atarashii Gakko! – Woo! Go!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Theme (Tabs)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Theme (Tab)

Here’s an absolute banger from my childhood: the TMNT theme.

The chorus is straightforward strumming. And it’s one of the rare occasions when the melody is all on the g-string.

The verse is much more challenging. The melody is very fast so I’ve skipped a few notes to make it more playable. Even so, it’s a bit of a finger-twister.

Links

Buy the original
More theme tunes
Uke Hunt Patreon

Friday Links: Jake at Abbey Road, Embarrassing Moms

Jake Shimabukuro plays While My Guitar Gently Weeps at Abbey Road Studios

The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra reformed to pay tribute to historian Lydia Wevers.

Son repairs the damage his dad’s uke picked up in the Vietnam War.

The unbearable embarrassment of your mom being in a ukulele group.

Kala have released a new range of ukes: The Metropolitan.

Patreon

A massive thanks to all Uke Hunt’s Patreon backers for keeping the site up and running this month. And double thanks go to these legendary patrons of the arts:

– Arthur Foley
– Colleen Petticrew
– Dan
– Elizabeth Beardsley
– Fi Keane
– Jameson Gagnepain
– Jeff K
– Jon Kenniston
– Kelby Green
– Kie77
– Lisa Johnson
– Monika Kolodziejczyk
– Moses Kamai
– Nick Parsons
– Pat Weikle
– Pauline LeBlanc
– Robert
– T S
– Thorsten Neff

If you join Patreon at the Concert level or higher, you’ll get access to all previous exclusive tabs including July’s: Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Under the Bridge.

Alanis Morissette – Hand in My Pocket (Tabs)

Alanis Morissette – Hand in My Pocket (Tab)

Another 90s classic today: Alanis Morissette’s Hand in My Pocket.

The intro and verses are very straightforward. It’s one chord all the way through and you don’t have to move up the neck.

But things get much trickier in the transition into the chorus. There’s more movement up and down the neck and some of the twiddles are a challenge. Bar 16 is the section I had to practice the most.

The harmonica solo is very simple. There’s lots of room for being more ambitious here (particularly with the chords just being a C drone) but I like the simplicity of the original.

Links

Buy the original
More 90s tabs and chords
Uke Hunt Patreon

The Big Chord Quiz 8

Time for the Uke Hunt Annual Chord Quiz. Test your chord knowledge, theory knowledge and musical ear. The method is as low-tech as ever.

– Grab a pen and paper.
– Answer the questions (using a ukulele to help you is entirely allowed and encouraged).
Check the answers here (no peeking).

If you’re reading by email or feed reader you may need to click through to the post to see everything.

Chord Diagrams

Name the chord from the chord diagram (the chords are either major or minor, nothing more complicated than that).

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Chord Flavour: Diagrams

All these are Bb chords but are they Bb, Bbm, Bb7, Bbm7, or Bbmaj7?

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Chord Flavour: Listening

All these are A chords but are they A, Am, A7, Am7 or Amaj7?

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

Chord Makeup

Each of these triads of notes makes up a major chord (e.g. the notes of a C chord are C, E and G). Which one? (The notes are listed in alphabetical order starting at C to make it harder.)

16. D, F#, A

17. D, F, Bb

18. D, G, B

19. C, F, A

20. Eb, G, Bb

Chord Progression

Match the MP3 to the chord sequence:

a) Bb – C – F – Bb – F
b) Bb – F – Bb – C7 – F
c) Bb – Dm – C – C7 – F
d) Bb – A – C – C7 – F
e) Bb – D7 – G7 – C7 – F

21.

22.

23.

24.

25.

Go here to check your answers

Links

Big Chord Quiz 1
Big Chord Quiz 2
Big Chord Quiz 3
Big Chord Quiz 4
Big Chord Quiz 5
Big Chord Quiz 6
The Big Chord Quiz 7
More ukulele quizzes

Neil Diamond – Song Sung Blue (Tabs)

Neil Diamond – Song Sung Blue (Tab)

I was completely unaware of Neil Diamond’s Song Sung Blue before it was suggested on Patreon. Although I was familiar with Mozart’s Piano Concerto 21 which heavily influenced it.

The chill organ intro is my favourite part of the song. I’m picking this using one-finger-per-string.

The picking in the verse is a bit more haphazard. But the basis is the thumb alternating between the g- and C-strings with each followed by a strum. Then the melody sits of top of that.

In the original, there’s a half-verse solo with an instrumental of the melody. Since we’re already doing that, I threw in a quick solo of my own making. Plenty of scope for your own ideas here.

Links

Buy the original
More 70s tabs and chords
Uke Hunt Patreon

UkeTube: Stables, Amanda Shires, Jacob Collier

Watch on YouTube

Tracklist
Stables – Solstice Soufflé
Laura Currie & George Hinchliffe – Johnny B Goode
Amanda Shires & Jason Isbell – Mineral Wells
Bobby Alu & Foloi Iulia – Si Fe’e (Story of the octopus & the rat)
Jim Boggia – Tenth Avenue Freezeout
George Elmes – Firefinger
Honoka – Ku’u Lei Puakenikeni
Allison Young & Joshua Lee Turner – Samba Ukulele (Thanks to Colin)
Tyrone and Lesley – Ending
Emily Elbert + Jacob Collier – Not Alone

Guitar Pro 8: My Thoughts

Guitar Pro has been my tabbing software of choice since I started Uke Hunt fifteen years ago. So the release of a new version prompts equal parts excitement and fear at Woodshed Towers. I’ve been using Guitar Pro 8 for a few weeks now (on a Mac) so I thought I’d share my experience with it (I’m a Guitar Pro affiliate in case that changes your opinion).

Should You Buy It?

If you’re starting fresh and wondering whether to buy Guitar Pro 8, I’d highly recommend it. I’ve done hundreds of tabs with it and have never been tempted to switch. It’s a well supported app and has regular updates between versions (e.g. I’ve been using GP7 and GP8 on Apple silicon without a hitch).

The one downside is the price. If you’re only doing occasional tabbing, MuseScore is a good free option (I only tried it briefly but it seems solid).

If you’re already a user and are considering upgrading from Guitar Pro 7, I think this upgrade is well worth the price. Other than a few bugs that will probably get worked out (there were a couple I was going to bitch about that already seem to have gone), it’s a solid improvement over GP7

The Good Stuff

Import Audio Files

The tentpole feature of Guitar Pro 8 is the ability to add an audio track alongside the tab. Meaning you can listen to the song you’re tabbing along with what you’re tabbing. You can also slow down the track and transpose it (something I’d been using the app Capo for).

The intended use of this is to import the original track and tab from that. But because I’m often messing around with the arrangement, that doesn’t fit my workflow. So I’ve been importing the audio from my final recording. When I record the video, the tab can be anywhere from not even started to basically done. Whatever stage it’s at, I’ve found it incredibly useful to have the audio synced to what I’ve tabbed making it easy to spot errors or slight differences. This feature alone was worth the upgrade price to me.

The only gripe with this feature is that it’s tricky to sync with tracks that aren’t played to a click. You can drag the bar lines around so it matches with the tab, but if the tempo is drifting it’s fiddly to try to get things to match up.

Command Line Interface

Guitar Pro has an overwhelming number of options. Which can make it difficult to find what you’re looking for. Now you can type what you want to happen in the “Command Line”.

For example, say you want to transpose a part down seven semitones. You select the section you want to transpose, press command+e, type “transpose -7”, press return and you’re done. Or if you want to add an A7 chord above the tab, you press command+e, type >A7 and bingo.

There are already keyboard shortcuts for many of the things you might use this for. And it’s well worth learning those for things you do regularly. But I can see myself using this feature a great deal.

Scale Diagrams

GP8 lets you add scale diagrams above the tab similarly to chord diagrams.

There’s a huge range of options including different shapes and colours of markers and a choice of having the diagram horizontal or vertical. You can also type inside the markers. Although, as you can see from the screenshot, there does seem to be a bug with the text not displaying on open strings.

I don’t know if I’ll use it a whole lot but I can see it coming in handy. My only complaint is that the diagram is always six strings by default even when the track you’re adding it to doesn’t.

No New File Format

In the past, new versions of Guitar Pro have come with new file formats that aren’t backwards compatible. Mercifully, this time is different. It still uses the .gp file which can be opened by GP7 without any issues.

Little Improvements

– More layout options. You can now adjust the position of individual notes. There are a bunch of times in the past this would have come in handy for me.
– Transposing a tab can now transpose the chords as well.
– More export options.
– You can now make copy/pasting include chords by default.
– Visually, it’s very similar to GP7 but it has been freshened up.
– A bunch of stuff I’m never going to use like nest triplets and drum tabs.

Not So Good Stuff

Bluetooth Headphones

In my review of Guitar Pro 7, I complained that the app would crash every time I connected by bluetooth headphones. That never got fixed. And with GP8 it’s only been half fixed. Now, instead of crashing, it will mute the sound and put up a message. Maybe it’s something weird in my setup but I don’t have this problem with any other app I use.

Messed Up Chord Names

When you’re adding chords you can plug in the chord shape and Guitar Pro will automatically added the name of the chord. Mostly this works smoothly but sometimes it will go with odd or completely insane chord names. For example, putting in an A7 shape has given me Dbdim in the past.

Also, even with the option to include bass notes in the chord turned off, it will sometimes include bass notes in the chord (which you’d never want for ukulele chords).

The Beautiful South – A Little Time (Tabs)

The Beautiful South – A Little Time (Tab)

The Beautiful South are one of those bands that are so British I can’t imagine them making it huge around the globe. Nevertheless, they have some great tunes so I wanted to tab A Little Time. Plus what remains of The Beautiful South recent toured with, Uke Hunt favourites, Keston Cobblers’ Club.

There are a few tricky manoeuvers in this arrangement. But one simple thing is the chords. The intro, verse and solo all have just one chord: G.

There are a few challenging aspects. First is the speed of some of the notes. I use a lot alternate picking to get up to speed. Plus my version is slightly slower than the original (I think you could go even slower and get away with it).

The second bit that’s a challenge is using your pinkie to slide up from the 5th to the 7th fret. I definitely need more practice with that to be as confident as I am with other fingers.

But the part I had most difficultly with was the switch between the verse and chorus. In the original, this is where Briana Corrigan interrupts David Rotheray mid-sentence. An effective way to represent an argument in a duet but challenging to create a separation on the uke.

Links

Buy the original
More 90s tabs and chords
Uke Hunt Patreon

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