UkeTube: Lucy Wise, Ron Artis

Full Playlist

Tracklist

Lucy Wise – Solid Ground
Ron Artis – Don’t Give Up
The Ouse Valley Singles Club – Funky Skiffle
EatMyUke – Hippo Campus Bashful Creatures Medley
Jim Boggia – Born in the USA
The Hedge Inspectors – Leave Me Alone
Jósean Log – La Vida La Vida
J. Walter Hawkes – Old Devil Moon
Robin N – Ma Belle Evangeline
Wild Child – Expectations

Friday Links: eBay Shenanigans

Something very suspicious is going on with the eBay seller jp-cultures. They have a large range of very impressive ukuleles for sale. But some of their listings seem to be identical to listings by other sellers. They only have 17 feedback (despite having nearly 6000 instruments for sale) but their positive feedback seems to be all for cheap instruments while their two items of negative feedback are for expensive instruments never delivered. So avoid buying anything from them and just look at the pretty pictures.

Window Shopping
– Two double-neck Geoff Preston ukuleles.
Kanile’a talk shop with CNBC.
– Jake Wildwood has a bunch of banjo-ukes in his shop including 1920s Stromberg-Voisinet, 1930s Schoenhut, 1940s Orpheus and 1960s Marma Resonator from East Germany.

New Releases
– Danielle Ate the Sandwich wrote, recorded and produced a record in 24 hours.
The Tides from Krista Muir.
Amelia Coburn’s covers EP.
Victoria Vox’s Colorful Heart.

Feel Good Stories
UCLA Chapter making 3D printed ukuleles for disadvantaged children.
Playing the ukulele in the light: how darkness ended for one Puerto Rican woman.

Adele/Bob Dylan – Make You Feel My Love (Tab)

Make You Feel My Love (Tab)

Rounding off Valentine’s week with one of the few lovey-dovey songs I actually like. Make You Feel My Love first cropped up on Bob Dylan’s Out of Time (a record that was seen as Dylan’s “I’m nearly dead” album when it came out twenty years ago). But it became much more widely known when Adele covered it on 19. My arrangement leans towards the Adele version. But there’s not a lot to choose between the two anyway.

I’ve kept the arrangement very simple. I’m mostly using thumb and two finger picking. The only exception is when I strum all the strings with my thumb in bars 7, 24 and 26. But it is arranged in such a way that you could play the whole thing with your thumb.

The one part that might be a challenge is the jump down the neck between bars 10 and 11. If you’re having a hard time with that you could try playing that section like this:

Links

Buy the Bob Dylan version
Buy the Adele version
More love song tabs and chords

Anti-Valentine Tabs and Chords

Happy St Skeletor’s Day to all the cynics and the heartbroken. Here’s a selection of songs of loneliness, loss and despair to keep you company through the long, empty nights.

If you’re not one of those people you can enjoy the (much shorter) list of Valentine’s tabs and chords.

Anti-Valentine Chords

Ryan Adams – To Be Without You
Bacharach and David – Anyone Who Had A Heart
The Beatles – Girl
Bon Iver – Skinny Love
Joe Brown – I’ll See You in My Dreams
Zooey Deschanel – You Forgot About Valentine’s Day
Lana Del Rey – Terrance Loves You
George Formby – Why Don’t Women Like Me?
Garfunkel and Oates – The Fade Away
Ryan Gosling – You Always Hurt the Ones You Love
Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know
Cee Lo Green – F**k You
Haim – Want You Back
Etta James – I’d Rather Go Blind
Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love
Lyle Lovett – God Will
Brendan Maclean – Stupid
The Misfits – Dig Up Her Bones
Julia Nunes/The Foundations – Build Me Up, Buttercup
OK Go – Needing/Getting
Paramore – Interlude: Moving On
Kelli Rae Powell – Some Bridges are Good to Burn
Prince/Alicia Keys – How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore
She and Him – Gonna Get Along Without You Now
She & Him – I Could’ve Been Your Girl
She & Him – Turn to White
Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra – It’s A Heartache
Amy Winehouse – Back To Black

Anti-Valentine Tabs

Burt Bacharach – Walk On By
Patsy Cline/Willie Nelson – Crazy
Lana Del Rey – Shades of Cool
Lana Del Rey – Video Games
Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know
Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why
Irving King – If I Had You
Biz Markie – Just A Friend

Valentine’s Day Tabs and Chords

Happy St Valentine’s Day to all you lovebirds. Here’s a selection of tabs and chords of love songs I’ve done over the years which you can croon to your boo while everyone around you vomits from the gooiness of it all.

If you’re not one of those people you can console yourself with the (much longer) list of anti-Valentine tabs and chords.

Valentine Chords

Andrews Sisters – Bei Mir Bist du Schon
The Beach Boys – Good Vibrations
The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice
Mama Cass – Dream a Little Dream of Me
Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt – What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
Hellogoodbye – Oh, It Is Love
Karen O – The Moon Song
The Pogues – Sally MacLennane
Cole Porter – You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To
Sophie Madeleine – I Just Can’t Stop Myself (Writing Love Songs About You)
Sophie Madeleine – Take Your Love With Me (The Ukulele Song)
The Magnetic Fields – Andrew in Drag
Dent May and his Magnificent Ukulele – Love Song 2009
McFly – Love Is Easy
Ingrid Michaelson – You and I
Steve Martin – Tonight You Belong to Me
Edith Piaf/Cristin Milioti – La Vie En Rose
Carly Simon – Nobody Does It Better
Percy Sledge – When a Man Loves a Woman
Velvet Underground & Nico – I’ll Be Your Mirror
WIUO/Starland Vocal Band – Afternoon Delight
WIUO – I Love You, Raylene

Valentine Tabs

Bjork – It’s Oh So Quiet
Guns n Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine
Iron & Wine – Naked As We Came
Michael Jackson – The Way You Make Me Feel
Sonny and Cher – I Got You Babe

The Cure – Lovecats (Chords and Tab)

The Cure – Lovecats (Chords)

The original plan was to post a love song ahead of Valentine’s Day. But it turns out every love song ever written is a steaming pile of garbage. So instead I went with a great song that happens to have love in the title.

There’s a surprising amount going on in this song. As well as one of the all-time great bass riffs and piano riffs, there’s a lot going on with the chords. Those piano nerds love throwing in extra notes to show off. I’ve written up two slightly different versions of the chord shapes. The one above is the more straightforward of the two.

The Cure – Lovecats (Alternative Chords)

And this one has chord changes that move up and down the neck more. They also include chords where the g-string is muted (I do that by reaching my thumb around and resting it on the g-string).

You can, of course, mix and match the chord shapes between the two versions to your taste.

Suggested Strumming

If you can, keep the chords short so they’re just quick chord stabs. If you’re using the easier chords that means muting the strings just after you’ve played them. If you’re using the other set of chords you can just release the pressure on with your fretting hand right after you strum.

Intro: For both Am and F you play this:

d – d – d – d –
d – d – d u – –

But on the F you switch to F6 on that final up-strum.

Here it is first with the alternate chords then with the more straightforward chords.


Intro Strum

Verses: Use the same strum but play the first chord of the line (Am or F) for the first four down-strums. Then switch to the second (Asus4, Am7 or F6) for the rest of the strum.


Verse Strum

Chorus: For each line strum the first chord (C or Dm7) strum this:

d u d – d – d –

And the second chord (C9 or Dm9):

d – d – d u – –


Chorus Strum

Twiddly Bits

A post shared by @ukulelehunt on

Bass riffs are always a bit ridiculous on the uke. But that just makes it more fun to play.

A post shared by @ukulelehunt on

The piano riff, on the other hand, works very well.

Links

Buy it on iTunes
More 80s tabs and chords

UkeTube: Camila Cabello, The Helmsmen

Full Playlist

Tracklist
Camila Cabello, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots – Havana
Honoka & Azita – Bodysurfing
The Helmsmen – Alright
Jim Boggia – 10th Ave Freezeout
Elvy Yost – After You’ve Gone
Alina Gingertail – The Parting Glass
Jonathan Lewis – Walk into da Parlour
Victoria Vox – Same Dirt
dodie – bitter content
BananaCactus – The Lumineers Ukulele Medley
Isaac Balson – Delilah*

Friday Links: Mike Lynch

Ukulele Mike, the original YouTube ukulele teacher, has sadly died at the age of 72. The Edmonds Beacon has an excellent obituary for him. Including the fact that he worked with Hans Zimmer on the soundtrack to the Robin Williams movie Toys.

Another sad death was that of Thomas Boardman. You may not recognise his name but there’s a good chance you’ve seen the picture of him with the ukulele he built while a POw during World War II.

New Releases
– My Ukulele 2018 Spotify playlist is off to a flying start with artists including Amanda Palmer, Saintseneca, Dodie Clark, Look Yonder and more.
– Phredd, the only happy uker allow around here, has another excellent, fun filled album out.
– Jake Shimabukuro is giving away a sampler EP of live tracks.
– The I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats podcast discusses one Mountain Goats song per episode and includes a newly recorded cover of the song. The latest episode (episode 9) includes Amanda Palmer’s ukulele version of The Mess Inside.

Pictures
The McCartneys in 1971.
Ukulele board meeting.

Portugal. The Man – Feel It Still (Tab)

Portugal. The Man – Feel It Still (Tab)

One of 2017 most unexpected hits. Portugal. The Man have been knocking around for years without bothering the charts. But last year’s instantly catchy Feel It Still changed that. And made me tackle arranging it despite it being not immediately uke-suitable. So this one is a bit tricky to play and uses a range of techniques.

The arrangement starts with the bass riff which sets up the C – Eb – F chord progression that is used through most of the song. (The original is in the key of C# so you play in the original key by putting a capo on the first fret.) In this section I’m muting the strings slightly by lightly resting the palm of my picking hands on the strings. The muffled sound makes the melody stand out more once it comes in.

In the spirit of, “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus,” the verses are ultra short. It’s all played with fingerpicking with thumb, index and middle fingers.

You can blast out the choruses by bringing in the strums. The tricky part is fitting the strums around the rapid fingerpicking required. I’m using a lot of alternate picking to fit them in. I’m also flicking my index finger up when picking some notes to create a fuller sound.

Links

Buy it on iTunes

Uke Hunt 2017 Ukulele Favourites

It’s award season and time to hand out the most coveted of them all The UkeHunties. Let me know your ukulele favourites of 2017 in the comments. Particularly if it’s something I’ve missed.

Ukulele Record of 2017: Tyrone and Lesley – Optimism

Optimism is the fifth album from Australian uke and double bass duo Tyrone and Lesley and their best yet. It perfectly combines their highly textured, deftly played music with their humorous and silly lyrics. And the album’s overture Ukulele Sunrise is the best opening on any album I heard all year.

It’s great to see people keeping the ukulele weird.

Runners Up
Jeremy Messersmith – 11 Obscenely Optimistic Songs For Ukulele: A Micro-Folk Record For The 21st Century And Beyond: A lovely collection of melancholy, understated tunes.
Sam Trump – Sam Trump Plays the Uke Redux: It’s not often you hear a record that blends the ukulele with R&B, hip hop and modern jazz. And you’ve never heard it done as well as this.
Lil Rev – Sing Song Daddy: Rev has an uncanny ability to channel various styles of American roots music. And they’re all perfectly delivered on this record.
The Burning Glass – Happiness is Egg Shaped: With the demise of Allo Darlin’, it’s great to see another ukulele band packed with infectious indie-pop tunes.

Ukulele Song of 2017: Zoë Bestel – Tail of the Sea

Zoe’s been busy working away on a new album that’s due out in April. Hearing this beautiful track and knowing she’s been recording with fellow Uke Hunt favourite Tobias Elof means it’s up there with Kanye and Arctic Monkeys as my most anticipated records of 2018.

Runners Up
Ukulele Death Squad – Paris On A Train
Bud Sugar – VIRAL
Anne Janelle – In The Morning
The Tallest Man on Earth – All I Can Keep is Now
Swellshark – Ransom
The Burning Glass – Portland Stone
jeremy messersmith – Everything Is Magical
Desirée Dawson – Wild Heart
Tyrone and Lesley – Dung Beetle

Instrumental Performance of 2017: Vinícius Vivas – Santa Morena

I can’t get enough of this version of choro player Jacob do Bandolim’s Santa Morena by Vinícius and his buddies. He has such fluid runs interspersed with punchy strums. Brilliant stuff.

He’s also the second Brazilian winner of a UkeHunty after A Banda Mais Bonita da Cidade’s best video win way back in 2011.

Runners Up
nico’o & the Kapiolani Boyz – Surf y Tequila
Led Kaapana – Nani Ka’ala
Jan Laurenz – The Ukulele Song
Natasha Ghosh – New Rules
Corey Fujimoto & Kalei Gamiao – Hawaiian Medley
Jonathan Lewis – Tri Martolod
EatMyUke – Back To Black Medley
Rachel Manke – Dogstreet Rag

Ukulele Cover 2017: Tiffany Topol – Sonya Alone

Runner-up in this category last year and winner this year. Pretty impressive since she’s only put up two ukulele videos in the last two years. If you want to hear more you can listen to her soundtrack for Monica West’s web series Best Thing You’ll Ever Do.

This song is from the musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and was performed on Broadway for a spell by fellow uker Ingrid Michaelson.

Runners Up

Karlie G – Havana
Shine – (Little) Coquette
The Poor Boys of Worcester – La La Blues

Most Lusted After Ukulele of 2017: Tie between Jay Lichty Lucky Strike and Beau Hannam Lucky Strike

I loved following the Luthiers for a Cause project in 2017. I first covered the back in March when the luthiers had just received the highly prized wood that would be turned into ukuleles and sold to benefit the Ukulele Kids Club. By the end of the year all six ukes were finished and were sold to a single donor for $100,000 quadrupling the project’s original goal.

You can see all the luthiers involved discuss and play their ukes on the Luthiers for a Cause website.

Favourite Song Chorded: Woody Guthrie – All You Fascists Bound to Lose

2017 was the year to dust off those anti-fascist songs you didn’t think you’d need after the 1940s. But they’re back and once again need reminding they’re bound to lose.

Get the chords here.

Runners Up
Rebecca Sugar – What’s the Use of Feeling (Blue)?
Foals – Spanish Sahara
Old Crow Medicine Show – Wagon Wheel
Radiohead – Paranoid Android (Chords)

Favourite Song Tabbed: They Might Be Giants – Birdhouse in Your Soul

I’ve noticed that the tabs I most like in retrospect are the ones that give me most trouble while I’m making them. And this one definitely had me tearing my (beard) hair out.

Get the tab here.

Runners Up
Camila Cabello – Havana
The Beatles – Blackbird
alt-J – Fitzpleasure
Bon Iver – 00000 Million
Max and Chloe Theme (Life is Strange)

Best Non-Ukulele Record of 2017: Rosalía – Los Ángeles

I was blown away by this album. It’s an incredibly emotionally raw album. And the wails of despair on this album are exactly what I needed in 2018.

The album has 10 updated versions of old flamenco songs (and one old Bonnie Prince Billy song). Usually these “updating the traditional” things mean just adding a bunch of bleeps and bloops over defanged versions of the original. But this is just her and her guitarist and it’s mesmerising.

Runners Up
The Weather Station – The Weather Station: This was so close to being my album of the year. I’ve been obsessed with this album to the extent that I’m now listed as the top Weather Station listener on Last.fm. It’s an absolute must-listen for anyone into Joni Mitchell-ish singer songwriters.
Swet Shop Boys – Sufi La
Julie Byrne – Not Even Happiness

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