Wilfried Welti’s Ukulele Tabs


Solo Ukulele für Einsteiger (PDF)

I’ve long been a fan of Wilfried Welti‘s arrangements of classical tunes for the ukulele. He brings a classical guitar like tone and clarity to it.

So I was very pleased that he’s allowing to spread round his tab book Solo Ukulele für Einsteiger. He insists I tell you it’s not finished, but seems pretty fantastic as it is to me.

The book contains a number of classical tunes along with folk songs from Germany and the rest of the world (such as Scarborough Fare, Kean O’Hara and Aloha Oe). You can hear a number of tunes from the book on his YouTube Channel.

Wilfried does also have a rather low-key physical book and CD of more arrangements for sale: Alte Musik mit der Ukulele. Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to get your hands on. You can buy if from Wilfried at one of his performances or by reading up on it at the Deutscher Ukulelenclub. Hopefully, he be willing to make it more widely available because it’s also excellent.

Loudon Wainwrigtht III – Got a Ukulele


Loudon Wainwright III – The Ukulele Song (Chords)(PDF)

Nowadays, Loudon Wainwright is most most famous for being Dad to Rufus and Martha and marrying Dame Edna Everage. Which is a shame as he’s a shining example of what a singer-songwriter should be. So many singer-songwriters just churn out dour dirges. But even when Loudon writes miserable songs, he makes sure they have a big singalong chorus (Unhappy Anniversary) and he really knows how to push the button and push it hard (White Winos). Plus, when they make a big Hollywood blockbuster of my life story, One Man Guy is going to be the theme song.

Loudon also has a few ukulele songs such as Things Should Be Getting Better, Passion Play and this ode to the uke itself.

It’s fairly simple to play. You can strum down, up, down, up pretty much the whole way through. The only tricky part is the, “…could be bright and breezy…” part. Just one down strum each for those quick chords.

Loudon Wainwright stuff

Jacob Borshard: Interview

Jacob Borshard – Mary 2007 (MP3)
Jacob Borshard – Pigeon’s Blood (MP3)
Jacob Borshard – In Love Again, Again via creebobby.com

New music from Jacob Borshard is always cause for celebration in the Woodshed household and I’m still a little hungover from my own private release party for his latest album A Glow in the Dark. As with his previous albums, they’re available for free download on his website (scroll right and you’ll find them). And Jacob was kind enough to answer a few ill considered questions from me.

How does A Glow in the Dark compare to your previous albums?

It’s the third in a set of three, a sequel in the way a movie is a sequel. Some stories reach an ending and others come back from the dead. I tried to make this album intertwine with the others in a way that would reward careful listening.

Also, I tried very hard to advance the lyrics and find new sounds.

(By the way, the electric sounds are all ukulele. I had a solid-body concert Danelectro uke made. The bass is a bass, though, a mini Fender P-Bass.)

How does playing the ukulele influence your song writing?

It keeps me going. I’m out to win the title ‘King of Ukulele Songwriting’. Who gives out those sorts of titles? Is there a descendant of Liliuokalani that has such jurisdiction?

First I write songs in my head. Then I try to work it out with the ukulele and find the chords. After that stage the uke is sort of the Excalibur that points the way. With some songs I’ll record and scat with the uke to find parts I hadn’t imagined. All solos are written while recording. Otherwise I would never remember them.

My main uke for this album, by the way, is an Earnest Instruments ‘La Paula’. It sounds and plays like an angel.

Did the Hollywood glitz and glam of winning the Music & Lyrics contest give you a taste for stardom or put you off for life?

It gave me a definite lust for more glitz and glam, but also showed me quite clearly that I’m not gonna get it!

What three songs does everyone need to hear?

Mary 2007
Pigeon’s Blood
In Love Again Again

How did you get involved with WeePOP? And are there any more releases planned?

Thor from WeePOP emailed and asked if I’d do it. I said yes. It was the artwork for ‘Cocktail’ that got me serious about drawing again. No more WeePOP releases planned, but one never knows . . .

What can we expect from you in the future?

I’d like to make an album of lyllabyes, a loud all rock n’ roll album, a collection of cover songs, some really fun new music videos, and a one page comic every week.

You can download all three of Jacob’s albums on creebobby.com, buy Last Brontosaurus and Songs for a Small Stereo here and Cocktail on WeePOP!

Aloha de Chocobo (Final Fantasy)


Aloha de Chocobo (Tab)


MP3

I’ve been meaning to tab this one out since I did Ukulele de Chocobo. It has a lovely Hawaiian flavoured tune and works very well as a solo ukulele piece (even to those who have never ridden a bright yellow, overside galliforme).

It is possible – and more technically correct – to fingerpick this tune with your thumb on G, index on C, middle on E and ring on A throughout. However, I like to move everything up a string (thumb on C, index on E, middle on A) for bars like two and four.

Buy Final Fantasy music

UPDATE: ISeeDeadPixels has done an excellent video of this arrangement:

DOUBLE UPDDATE: And so has Anna (who played it better than I did):

Saturday UkeTube

Breaking the habit of a lifetime and including a Jake cover this week. There are a couple of differences from the usual Jake fare: it’s one of his less famous tunes and it’s backed by an orchestra. Other videos this week include Damien Rice, The Be Arthurs and a new version of my favourite Phredd song. Read the rest of this entry »

Ukulele Stands, Bushman Baritone Ukes

Dedicated ukulele stands a few and far between. Usually you have to make do with a mandolin stand. But now there are these ukulele cradles. They are more expensive than any ukulele I own. But, still, very pretty.

If you’ve got a few low level luthiering skills, this set of five Bushman baritone ukuleles could be a good investment. They’re factory seconds and are just the body. But stick on a bridge, a nut and tuners and you shouldn’t have trouble selling them on for a profit.

Despite some ferocious bidding, this Custom Martin Style 5 failed to reach its reserve. It’s very unusual: mahogany, black and monogrammed.

I’m not a big fan of pictures on ukuleles. The obvious exception is the ultra sexy Le Domino. But sometimes they work when they’re hilariously naff or on the back (as with this Gibson Royal Flush).

Ukulele Kitsch of the Week is a fiercely fought title this week. Any other week the ukulele sushi set and the Hawaiian Santas would have triumphed. But there’s no competing with a necklace covered in pink flamingos playing the ukulele.

Friday Ukulele Links

Borrowing ukuleles from libraries. Sounds like a good idea to me. I wasn’t aware libraries took donations of ukuleles.

Ukeumentary featuring Daniel Dixon, Dominator and the world’s handsomest ukulele blogger.

MP3 Blogs:The Cop Shop has Broken Records’ Ukulele Song (get it before they sign to a major), Songs:Illionois has tracks from Rose Polenzani.

Frank Skinner pulled out his banjolele for a quick rendition of the Indiana Jones theme on Graham Norton. And he’s not the only comedian at it: Lee Evans. But when it comes to offensive ukulele comedians there’s no beating the Americans: Hawaiian Death Folk Presents.

Cincy Groove chats with Victoria Vox.

Word Up on Uker Tabs.

Hey, New York your country needs you (to contract type 2 diabetes).

Build yourself a ukulele lamp.

Steven Tyler with uke.

Move over kazoos, the ukulele has a new best friend.

Friday time waste: What’s your key signature?

Ukulele Window Shopping

One day I’m going to cave in and buy the phono fiddle ukulele.

An interesting Italian ukulele on eBay UK. The neck engulfs the body – makes more sense than having the scratchplate in the guitar positioning.

Ukulele converted into a balalaika = good idea.

Announce yourself as a ukulele dude/babe on your Neon bag or T-shirt.

Uke kitsch of the week: Ukulele Santa.

Friday Ukulelinks

With the How to Play Blues Ukulele ebook being harder to finish and a much bigger hit than I had expected, October has been a bit of a crazy month. I’ve decided to take a little rest from the blog, so after today there won’t be any more posts until next Friday.

The Online Ukulele Tuner has got a new design. Looks a whole lot worse, but it lets you select different tunings for individual strings. Although not, strangely, common uke variations like low-G and baritone tuning (you can find those on my ukulele tuning page).

Tom Jones and Colin Murray do a ukulele version of It’s Not Unusual (download part 5). It is quite unusual.

The Daily Record chats with Mr KazooKeyLele.

Steve Earle, Eric Drew Feldman and some people who I must admit I’ve never heard of join the Million Ukulele March. Only 999,952 to go (would have been 999,951 if they’d bothered to accept my add). And Ukulala finds what looks like a non-photoshopped picture of Obama with a uke.

More Wii ukulele: Flea Waltz, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

I definitely shouldn’t have laughed at this.

Does anyone know where i can find a picture of a chimpanzee holding a ukulele aloft through a car sunroof?

Alton Ellis – Rock Steady


Alton Ellis – Rock Steady

I’m not a fan of all music that has come out of Jamaica, but I love rocksteady. So I was sad to hear of the death of the ‘Godfather of Rocksteady’ Alton Ellis last month.

The chords and strumming pattern for Rocksteady are fairly simple. The strumming is just down on every off-beat (1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and).

The biggest challenge is to make sure you keep the strums short and sharp. There are a couple of parts to this. Once you’ve strummed the chord, release your fretting hand. This will stop the fretted notes. You can use this technique alone if you use chord shapes where all the strings are fretted such as this inversion for A minor.

The second part is do dampen the strings with your strumming hand just after playing the chord. I do it by carrying the strum though and bringing the palm of my hand to rest on the strings.

For a bit of variation on the chords, I really like the sound of Dm7 and Em7 in this progression.

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