UkeTube: Bobby Alu, Carly Rae Jepsen, Valerie June

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Tracklist
Bobby Alu – Dreamin’
mxmtoon ft. Carly Rae Jepsen – ok on your own
Valerie June – Somebody To Love
Xavi Sanchez – Untrue Blues
Natasha Ghosh – Wish You Were Here
Elisabeth Pfeiffer – Space Oddity
Nicolas Fingerstyle Ukulele – Agua De Beber
Demetrius78G – Sympathique
Edem Soul – Yellow
Frank Fairfield and Meredith Axelrod – Mythological Blues

Bruno Mars – When I Was Your Man (Tab)

Bruno Mars – When I Was Your Man (Tab)

Despite it having over 900 million views on YouTube, I’d never heard this song before it was suggested by Patreon Taras and a surprisingly large number of YouTube commenters.

But it’s a catchy song and has some nice elements to it. I particularly like his vocal bends. So I’ve incorporated those into the arrangement. The trickiest bend is in bar 23. There you’re fretting the C-string, 3rd fret without bending and playing the E-string, 5th fret with a bend. That takes a bit of practice to get right. And I recommend using your middle and ring fingers to bend the string.

Links

Buy the song
More pop tabs and chords
Uke Hunt Patreon

Gear I Use in 2020

It’s been many years since I did a gear list. So here’s a rundown of the ukes, strings and various other things I use.

Ukuleles

Main Ukes: For most of my videos I use a tenor Ohana TK-35G. The pointy uke I sometimes use is a tenor KoAloha Sceptre.

Practice Uke: I’ve been enjoying using my RISA solid tenor for practicing. It’s compact, indestructible and quiet.

Misc. Ukes: For non-tenor ukes I play: soprano Kala KA-ASLAS, aNueNue Lani II (which I have strung in low-G), and an Ohana baritone.

Accessories

Strings: Clear Worth strings most of the time (I’m not a fan of the brown Worths). Although I do use Aquilas on some of my ukes.

Tuner: Fender bullet tuner. Tuners keep getting smaller and smaller. And this one is tiny. It also has a clear, bright display and feels very sturdy.

Capo: Shubb ukulele capo. Although it doesn’t work on all my ukes. I also use a G7th ultralight capo which is more versatile.

Tabs and Chords

Tabs: Guitar Pro 7. I’ve been using Guitar Pro since I started the blog more than 13 years ago. I wrote a review of it here (tl;dr: I like it).

Chords: I’ve been Sibelius to make chord charts. But it is massive overkill if that’s all you’re using it for. And, since the version I own doesn’t work with recent versions of MacOS, I’m dumping it and switching to Fretspace.

Slow Downer: I use Capo 3 to help tabbing by slowing down songs and changing the key. Both of which it does very well. It does also claim to work out chords for you. But that is hit and miss at best.

Recording

Mic: Audio-Technica AT2020 USB. Super-easy to use and a decent sound for the price.

DAW: For recording audio, I use GarageBand. But I’ve been putting in more effort with the sound recently and I’m considering upgrading to Logic Pro X.

Instagram videos: A few people have asked how I do the scrolling tabs in my videos. And I do it in the most brainless way possible. I just use the “Ken Burns” effect in iMovie.

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (Tabs)

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (Tabs)

Considering what a massive hit this was, it’s not structured at all like a pop song. The verses are a jumble of words and the chorus doesn’t hit until two minutes into the song. But the guitar riff and the “You’ve got a fast car” refrain are both great hooks that sustain the song until the chorus.

The wordiness of the verses presents a bit of a problem for a ukulele version. There are long sections where it’s just the same note repeated. To make that manageable, I’ve done three things. First, I slowed it down. Second, I haven’t played every syllable she sings. Third, I’ve split the notes between the strings e.g. in bars 10 and 12 the A note alternates between the g-string 2nd fret and the open A-string. Even with all that, I found it a challenge to play.

Links

Buy the song
More 80s tabs and chords
Uke Hunt Patreon

UkeTube: Zoe Bestel, George Hinchliffe, Avett Brothers

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Tracklist
Zoë Bestel – Teardrop
Xavi Sanchez – Saturday Night Rub
The Avett Brothers – Prison To Heaven
Alamat Ni Ug – Nag-iisang Bituin
Kahi Kaonohi – Pohai Kealoha
George Hinchliffe – The Snig Hill Stroll
RMR x Einer Bankz – Dealer
Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq – One More Kiss, Dear
Tobias Elof – Circular Path

Friday Links: TV Screen Ukes, Ultraman, Ties for Straps

Covid rules force schools to ditch recorders in favour of ukuleles as it turns out kids sharing spit isn’t the best for hygiene.

On Video

Electronicos Fantasticos jam on their ukuleles made of TV screens.
Heart transplant recipient played ukulele, sang a duet before surgery
Billie Eilish's ukelele goes up for sale
Rebecca Black bows to the pressure.

Window Shopping
– I was agonising over whether to buy this Rebel Quark but someone more decisive beat me to it.
Ohana Custom Shop koa tenor.
Tsuburaya Ultraman ukulele.
G-String Sun concert.
Ties for ukulele straps (via @hermanvdc).

Patreon

A massive thanks to Uke Hunt’s Patreon backers. And double thanks go to August’s Tenor backers:

– Dan.
– Fiona Keane.
– Joseph Freeman.
– Katherine Penney.
– Olga deSanctis.
– Pat Weikle.
– Pauline Leblanc.
– Sandi Clement.
– Trevor Mccravy.

Augusts’s Patreon exclusive for Concert level backers is Queen’s Love of My Life.

Amazing Grace (Tab)

Amazing Grace (Tab)

I was inspired to take on this one after watching Andrea Bocelli at Easter near the start of the lockdown.

There are two run-throughs of the melody here. The first uses basic chords (although sometimes in inversions you might not be familiar with). The second uses jazzier chords that are sometimes a bit weird and tricky to play. Feel free to mix and match as you like and, as always, put in your own ideas and make it your own.

Links

More tabs and chords for traditional songs
Uke Hunt Patreon

The Noveltones – Left Bank Two (Vision On Theme)(Tab)

The Noveltones – Left Bank Two (Tab)

You might might not recognise the name of this but the tune is best known to Brits my age as the Vision On/Take Hart gallery theme. And to less grey people might recognise it as the theme to the intro level of LittleBigPlanet.

This arrangement is heavily focussed on the jaunty melody with just a few chord stabs thrown in to keep things bouncing along. That means it’s fairly easy to play once you’ve got the fingering sorted out. The only tricky bits are the quick runs up the neck in bars 13 and 28.

Links

Buy the song
More TV Theme tabs and chords
Uke Hunt Patreon

Pixies – Where Is My Mind? (Tab)

Pixies – Where Is My Mind? (Tab)

This song is the most requested so far by Patreons. I wasn’t sure whether it would work on uke but the Patreons were correct and, with a few adjustments, it works well.

Before I started working on this song, I didn’t full appreciate how unusually placed the melody is. The first line starts in a very standard way with two notes leading into the opening bar. After that, it drifts around all over the place. So I’ve taken a few liberties here and there to make the arrangement work.

For the picking, I’m using one finger per string with a few strums thrown in for the intro, verse and chorus. For the solo, I’m bashing it out to keep in the spirit of the original.

Links

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

UkeTube: Hula Hi-Fi, Overdriver Duo, Peter Moss

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Tracklist
Hula Hi-Fi – Crooked Hearts
Bridge City Sinners – Rock Bottom
Annier Trio – Bistro Fada
Overdriver Duo – Thunderstruck
Peter Moss – Some of These Days
Kahi Kaonohi – Beautiful Kauai
mxmtoon – bon iver
Jósean Log – Si Hay Algo
Allison Young – Hidden In The Sand
Sleepy Hallow x Sheff G – Tip Toe

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