eBay UK Ukes, Mahalo Les Paul

There are quite a few interesting ukes for sale on eBay UK right now. Hank’s Guitar Shop has a bunch of interesting ukuleles including Martins, Kamakas, KoAlohas, Fleas and Flukes.

Mahalo have been making Gibson Flying V style ukes for a while and now they’ve moved on to Les Pauls. You can buy them in Cherry and Black .

Also on eBay UK is this Gibson which has been attacked with a drill, but might still be worth watching.

Still in the UK, but confusingly on ebay US, is this strange “Trad Jazz Special” plastic ukulele.

There seems to be even more photos of topless ukulele girls than usual this week, but the photo that really caught my attention was this photo of a German boy from 1866. As well as the distractions of the hat and thrown, that’s a very interesting instrument he has there.

Jake and Bach, Pete Howlett, Ukes for Obama and other News

Jake Shimabukuro discusses JS Bach for a documentary and plays some stunning Bach uke.

Pete Howlett has a video series on how to build a ukulele.

Ukes for Obama: “a hub for ukulele players who share our desire for a better America.” Apply here for Ukes for Hilton.

Let’s Play Ukulele has been shut down after legal threats. Very worrying.

Uke Gal visits the Waikiki Ukulele Festival and hugs James Hill and Roy Sakuma.

The Ukulele Evangelist interviews Dale ‘Fluke’ Webb and Ken Middleton (and me in case you missed it).

Google have recently released their Wikipedia-killer, Google Knol. The idea, I think, is that one person writes the knol and others can come along and edit it. I gave it a test run and wrote one on ukulele history. I’ve left it fairly sparse, so feel free to add to it (and any inaccuracies you might find are there on purpose to get people involved, honest).

The Guardian’s Maddy Costa tests Sam Brown and Donal Coonan’s claims that you can Learn to Play the Ukulele in Under an Hour. (Thanks to John)

MP3s: Cover Me has Kirk Kelly’s uke cover of Springsteen’s Downbound Train, Guilt Free Pleasures has The Do’s Stay.

The UOoGB join the ukulele headgear crowd.

Hot for Words advises us to sell everything and invest in ukulele stock

Pineapple ukulele.

Uni and Her Ukelele and Her Ice Cream Truck.

Shorty Long – Vipermad

Shorty Long – Vipermad

This song is way too much fun. I’ve got a sore strumming finger after playing along with this on too hard and too long. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that Shorty Long’s Pops Bayless and Bob Guz are ukulele legends.

I couldn’t find Shorty Long’s version streaming anywhere. You can listen to a snippet here
or listen to this inferior version in another key here. But I’d suggest you buy it as it’s well worth 99c of anyone’s money.

Vipermad is made up of the same chord progression played in three different keys: C, F and Bb. This set of chords crop up all the time in these hokum type songs. It’s well worth setting them to memory. I’m a little ashamed at how long it took me to get the chords for the Bb section. I knew the other sets of by heart, but I don’t remember ever playing these in Bb before. They work well on the uke though.

Shorty Long have a few chord sheets of their own posted at the bottom of this page.

Requested by Vince

How to Play National Anthems

I admit it, I’m overexcited about the Olympics starting. I’m not much of a sports fan, but the Olympics gets me hooked every time. Which is why I took a little time out from writing the blues ebook (that I’ve promised loads of people is coming but is really big and involved) to have a bit of fun arranging various national anthems for the uke and putting them in an ebook.

I’ve written up eight anthems chosen by the countries that visit Uke Hunt the most: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, the UK, the USA plus Russia (for the benefit of my many hundred Communist readers).

I’ve kept the arrangements as simple as I could to make sure they’re accessible. If you’re fairly new to fingerpicking, they’re a good place to start. To give you an idea of the difficulty level, here’s my arrangement of Scotland the Brave:

Scotland the Brave (Tab)

The ebook is going to be sold for $7. But for the early birds, you can get it for $5 until the end of the Olympics (on the 24th August).

You can find out more here: How to Play National Anthems.

What you get: A zip file containing a pdf file with all the tabs and notes for each anthem, individual pdfs of the tab for each tune, mp3s of all the anthems. Once you’ve completed your payment, you’ll be taken to the download page where you can get it all.

If none of that makes sense to you or you have any other questions check out our FAQ or get in touch with me.

UPDATE: The ebook has been mentioned in the New York Times. You can read the article here. (Look out bestseller list, here I come).

Here’s how the arrangements sound:

Advance Australia Fair (mp3)

O Canada (mp3)

La Marseillaise (mp3)

Deutschlandlied (mp3)

God Defend New Zealand (mp3)

Hymn of the Russian Federation (mp3)

God Save the Queen (mp3)

Star Spangled Banner (mp3)

Cover by fadedpictures

Rod Thomas – Same Old Lines

Rod Thomas – Same Old Lines (Chords)

I think this is the fastest turnaround from first listen to post up since FotC’s Mermaids. It’s a fantastic song (and top notch video). A fact that wasn’t lost on the people of class and good taste who read the blog and pummelled me with chord requests. Way ahead of you guys.

There wasn’t enough room to write Asus4add9 all over the place. So wherever you see A49 use 4200. There’s also the A(alt) chord (or Aa). It’s just a plain A chord but I’ve called it that to distinguish it from the more common A chord shape.

Other than that, you’re good to go.

Same Old Lines isn’t out until the end of September, but when it is you’ll be able to buy it on Self Raising Records (the single includes a remix by James Yuill who also remixed this modern ukulele classic).

Until then, you can sign up for his mailing list and get a free track.

Requested by Tom, Cardboardfrog and Ukulelezo.

Monday Exposure: UKEit Volume Uno

Anyone who saw the clips from the UKEit Festival will know that Italy has a very healthy ukulele scene going on right now and it’s in no small part due to, radio and TV stars, Cappa & Drago. With their UKEit site, they’ve set out to, “create an original Italian ukulele scene, starting with those who have already mastered the instrument, working in the live scene and making records, as well as welcoming other artists from all sorts of musical backgrounds to experiment on the four strings.” And if the festival wasn’t enough to convince you they’ve really got something going on, then the CD UKEit Volume Uno should do they trick.

The album is packed with excellent performances. You might already be familiar with Veronica Sbergia and Max de Bernardi‘s fantastic take on Se Stasera Sono Qui and, the Uncle Fester of the ukulele, Fabio Koryu Calabro. But there are also many acts on the CD that are completely new to me.

There’s a great variety of styles on the CD. Along with more traditional ukulele fare, there’s hip hop uke from Frankie Hi-NRG MC and Scampaforce sounding like Daft Punk’s long lost ukulele song. Other tandout tracks include Thomas Blackthorne’s cover of Tom Waits’s I Don’t Want To Grow Up (which, like all the tracks on the album, is sung in Italian), Cappo & Drago’s Paroxetina 20mg and
Enrico Farnedi’s Lena (which you can hear on his MySpace).

But highlight of the album is the incredible voice of Musica Nuda’s Petra Magoni covering Un Calpo Al Cuore (with Gaetano Cappa on uke duties) which, I should point out, isn’t anywhere near as far out as the performance in that video but just as wonderfully melodramatic.

I’m already looking forward to Volume Due.

Buy UKEit Volume Uno here.

Star Wars Theme (Dodge Brothers Version)

Dodge Brothers – Star Wars Theme (Tab and Chords)

Watch the video here.

For his review of the new Star Wars film, BBC film critic, Mark Kermode has forgone the raised eye brows and in-depth analysis in favour of playing the theme tune on the ukulele with his skiffle band The Dodge Brothers.

He inspired me to tab out a ukulele duet of their version. It looks like he’s in D tuning, but I’ve written it up in C. This version differs significantly from the original, so I’ll probably do a full uke version at some point in the future.

You can also watch Mark on his uke here.

Buy The Dodge Brothers

Poopy Lungstuffing, Rod Thomas, Hailey Wojcik: Uke Videos

I had a nightmare time deciding which video to feature on the front page this week. I couldn’t decide between Rod Thomas’s ukulele pop, the eagerly anticipated – by me at least – return of Hailey Wojcik and Poopy Lungstuffing’s cover of The Kink’s Oh Demon Alcohol (many times better than the pretty terrible original). Read the rest of this entry »

eBay Ukulele Window Shopping

Purple is obviously this season’s colour. Kanile’a are producing a range called ‘Exotic ukuleles’ and a purple heart wood tenor ukulele has cropped up on eBay. This purple SG-alike is described as a ‘four string guitar’, but with a scale length of 19.5″ it’s fair to call it baritone ukulele.

A couple of nice, vintage Hawaiian ukes: 1927 Kumalae and a Nunes Taropatch.

If this banjolele looks like it’s been through the wars, that’s because it has. According to the etching on the uke, it was at the Somme during WW1. As much as I love the uke, I think lugging that thing around the trenches would be a hassle I wouldn’t need. But obviously this is my lack of battle experience talking as this photo from WW2 features a very similar 8 string banjolele.

Prize for most kitsch item I have ever seen goes to this Marilyn Monroe ukulele strumming figurine.

Neil Armstrong, ukebucket and other Ukulinklinks

Herald Tribune interviews the guy who took the infamous picture of Neil Armstrong strumming his ukulele on return from the moon.

ukebucket have just released two albums: one of originals, Bad Ukulele, and one of covers, Covered. You can download the covers album for free here. And buy the originals album, and I can tell you it’s worth it, here (although if you’re stuck in the 1920s and want a rotating disc, you’ll have to wait a while).

The LA Times comes out in defence of ukuleles.

17 Dots (the blog of eMusic) has a series on the ukulele.

Todd the Ukulele Evangalist sings of life as a Ukaholic (MP3 link).

Tab for the X Files theme on Des Cordes er Dubois.

The Curtis Covers Project is a kind of karaoke request blog. People suggest a song for him to cover and he posts his version – often played on ukulele. My personal favourite is Jet’s Are You Gonna Be My Girl.

Blogotheque’s Take Home Shows is an idea too good not to steal. The latest imitator, Shoot the Player, has some fine ukulele videos from Via Tania here and here. But my favourite is Laura Jean’s So Happy It Hurts.

Eddie Vedder discusses the uke’s size to melody ratio.

Fawlty Towers and Dream a Little Dream on Uker Tabs.

How much should you pay a menstruating ukulele player?

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