Ukulele T-Shirts – Ukulele Hero and More

Ukulele Hero

ukulele t-shirt

The Ukulele Hero t-shirt was very well received last time I mentioned it and from what I’ve seen they’re the biggest sellers. There are also plenty of other Hero style T-shirts including Banjo Hero, Cowbell Hero and Kazoo Hero.

UPDATE: These t-shirts are currently unavailable. They’ve gone away and come back before, so who knows. I might even have my own design run up.

Price: $19

Uke the Whales


I think we all know by now that I’m a fan on the bad uke pun. And this is a particularly fine/terrible example.


White T-Shirt


La Domino Uke Ad Dark T-Shirt

I’m sure I’m not the only one with a uke crush on the LeDomino. For now the closest I’m likely to come to owning one is wearing a t-shirt reminding me to buy one at the earliest possible opportunity.

I’m not sure why it’s referred to as “La Domino” on the shirt. Possibly a trademark thing.


No Longer Available

Black Beauty Ukuleles

Black Beauty Ukuleles White T-Shirt

Another ‘slap an ad on a shirt’ design. They appeal to me more than the sloganeering type shirts.

I’m completely unaware of any Black Beauty ukulele. The ad is a little ungrammatical: “This is a pretty, well-toned and big value.” But if someone has spent long enough staring at your left boob to notice that, you’ve probably already pulled.


No Longer Available.

Ukuleles are Cool

Ukuleles are Cool! Organic Cotton Tee

Saying something is cool is like so totally lame and stuff. Nevertheless, that picture is cool.


No Longer Available.

Tab-U-Learn, Humble Uker and other Uke Links

Buke has made a very welcome return to the net under the new guise of Tab-U-Learn. There are a bunch of exercises, tips and tabs, divided by difficulty, for baritone and low-G uke.

Jeff West, who regularly points me in the direction of uke stuff and contributed the Lars Larrson series to the blog, has set up his own uke blog Humble Uker Ramblings.

Max the Ukulele Punk Blogger.

The War Ponies were rather less successful than Dubby Kirk in their appearance on The Gong Show. Unfortunately, the video has been deleted, but I remember a phrase along the lines of, “I’d rather whack my cock with an ax.”

Jupiter/I Vow to Thee My Country on Uker Tabs.

The New York Ukulele Ensemble wants ukulele marchers for the Art Parade on 6th September.

Teddy Thompson, son of Richard and Linda, performs a uke version of In My Arms. (thanks to Mary).

Ottawa Citizen doesn’t want you to mock the uke.

Six Eyes has an mp3 of Tut Tut’s Pins on Your Purse.

Zippy the Pinhead turns his back on ukulele fame. (Thanks to Pam).

The Ditty Bops – (I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My) Sister Kate

(I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My) Sister Kate (Chords)

The version of Sister Kate by occasional ukulelists The Ditty Bops might be the most famous and Bob Brozman’s version the most musically adept, but the ukulele version by, Blue Stone Folk School alumni, Pholly is certainly my favourite.

However, I’ve gone with my own favourite way of playing the chords. It’s in the same key as all those versions but with a few changes the quick chord run. It’s actually closest to Bob Brozman’s guitar version. I also like to throw in a few variations on the D7 and G chords: sliding in from one fret lower at the change to each chord and throwing in the occasional E note to create D9 and G6 chords.

How to Play Ukulele: New Look

My ebook site, How to Play Ukulele site has been in desperate need of a makeover for a while now. And it’s finally got one.

As well as the new look, there’s now a shopping cart and you can leave comments, reviews or questions. If you’ve read any of my ebooks, I’d really appreciate you letting me and everyone else know what you think of it.

I’ve had a few people ask me for a tab of the Chinese national anthem. I’ve put one together and I’ll be giving it away to the people on my mailing list this Friday. So if you want it and you’re not on the list, sign up sharpish.

The Olympics has gone flying by. I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself once it’s finished. Do some work perhaps. Once the Olympics end (Sunday) so does the $5 price tag for How to Play National Anthems ebook.

Mirah – Take Me Out Riding

Wow, Mirah’s new album The Old Days Feeling is incredible. Very sparse and low-fi, but the songs are fantastic. It’s a compilation album of various rarities and these albums are usually for completest fans only. While there are a few tracks on the album that don’t make much of an impression, most of the tracks are great unpolished pop songs. And there are a bunch of ukulele songs on there. Best of them is the ukulele-riffery of Take Me Out Riding which originally appeared on Pink Skull’s Zeppelin 3.

The song is made of up two main riffs. This one in the verse:

mirah ukulele tab

And this one in the chorus:

Monday Exposure: Jenny Jenkins

Jenny Jenkins – Birdwatchers (MP3)
Jenny Jenkins – Chance (MP3)
Jenny Jenkins – River (MP3) via Bicycle Records

The fact Jenny Jenkins shares her name with an old folk song makes it difficult to find out much about her or find any videos. I tried a Google search for ‘Jenny Jenkins ukulele’ and the first hit was me (and I’m no use at all). What I do know is that she appeared in a musical with Mirah and she makes some very nice ukulele songs.

Buy her album Oventoucher on Bicycle Records.

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain/Isaac Hayes – Shaft

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain – Shaft

After complaining that the Isaac Hayes obituaries kept going on about Shaft, I’m going to be a complete hypocrite.

It’s the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s version of Shaft in this video that I worked out the tab from (Director: “They’re playing Shaft. Quick, get me a shot of the only black guy at the Cambridge Folk Festival”). But with all those ukuleles on the go, it’s a compilation of parts.

The main chords are Fmaj7 and G6, but I haven’t always tabbed the full chord. For example, in the intro I’ve got the Em chord shape (all the notes in Em are in G6). This makes it easier to keep the sound of the chord short by releasing the chord right after you strum it.

For the next section, I’ve combined the chords with the melody. If you want to play just the melody, it’s the highest note of each chord.

Next up is the bass riff which, obviously, doesn’t entirely work on the uke. The way I’ve tabbed it, it’ll be right on a low-G uke. On a high-G, it’s not quite right but still fits.

There are a couple of places in the song where you really need to use a pick: playing over the bass riff and over the verse. In the tab, where you see a single note with two diagonal lines under it, that means you are tremelo picking semi-quavers (sixteenth notes).

Buy Precious Little

And if you’re yet to be convinced that Isaac Hayes’s real talent was for songwriting, you should download the mp3s from Soul Sides.

James Hill, Ukulele Masters, Emilyn Brodsky on Video

In this week’s videos: James Hill breaks out some hip hop beats and a pair a chopsticks, Byron Yasui, Lyle Ritz, Ledward Kaapana, Bob Brozman, Joel Eckhaus and Jim Beloff play together, while Craig Robertson and Phredd participate in Take Your Daughter to YouTube Day. Read the rest of this entry »

Mahalo and K Wave Telecasters, Bass Ukes on eBay

I caused a bit of a run on the Mahalo Les Paul copies when I mentioned them last week. eBay are now all sold out. You can listen to krabbers on his here. Obviously, I couldn’t resist. Mine arrived this morning and I’m very happy with it. It has some of the failings you’d expect from a cheap uke (the intonation is off further up the neck and the paint job is a bit shoddy in places) but the action is great and it plays very easily. I’ll have to get some Aquila strings on it and give it a real test.

Andy pointed out that Mahalo are also making Telecaster copies. I’m not so keen on them. Without the scratchplate on them, they look quite misshapen. But I am tempted by the Kiwaya K Wave Telecasters, and there’s this one currently for sale at £99. It’s a butterscotch (my favourite colour of telecaster) which, according to the Kiwaya website, is now discontinued.

UPDATE: Ambient Doughnut has put up a video demo of the Mahalo Telecaster:

Heather found this very nicely decorated Dresden Dolls themed uke.

MGM has a Bass ukulele up for sale at the moment – it’s the size of a baritone ukulele but, apparently, it’s in the range of a double bass. You can find out more and listen to it here.

I wish Weissenborn had made more ukes. There’s a nice early one here, but what the hell was that guy thinking with that description?

Jen Kwok, Uke Hunt Happenings and Other Ukulelinks

Gosh, it’s been quite a week for Uke Hunt. Probably one of my favourite blogging weeks ever. To stop this post being too self obsessed, I’ll keep it brief. This week I’ve: been mentioned in the New York Times, been asked if I want to work on a real life ukulele book by a real life publisher, been banned from ezFolk, and found out I had a world exclusive on the review of Clone Wars which had unwittingly meant the BBC was breaking the Clone Wars review embargo (a guy from the BBC emailed me telling me they’ve temporarily taken the video down and wanted to know how I found the Kermode uke post two weeks before they published it). I haven’t stopped laughing all week.

You might not have realised it from my previous references to it, but the NY Times article wasn’t entirely about me. It was mostly about Jen Kwok. Congrats, Jen. Now she’s a big star, we can say we knew her back when she was making uke playing, pipe cleaner dolls fellate Rabbi Bob L. Mensch.

I have to take umbrage at Jim Beloff’s quote in the article: “If you were a poor guitar player, you suddenly become a pretty good uke player.” If you’re a lousy musician, you’re a lousy musician on any instrument. Perhaps the ukulele will suit you more, but the idea that you automatically become better when you play the ukulele is bullshit.

Speaking of which, Gawker calls bullshit on the ukulele trend.

James Hill graphs out a new track.

Aldrine Guerrero ditches his talking cock in favour of Jake Shimabukuro.

Ian Chadwick has in depth reviews of a whole bunch of ukuleles.

Ukulele Tonya visits the Windy City Uke Fest.

Ladybugs Picnic on Uker Tabs.

Photos from the first Irish Ukahuli.

Stop Okay Go has an mp3 of Robin Gray’s These Days and an interview with the man.

Buy your own bobble headed Bob L Mensch. “Watch Him Bob at the Waist as he Davens.”

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