Lacewood, More SpongeBob Ukuleles and Ethel Formby

Some ukes made of unusual wood this week. Kala have a new range of ukuleles with lacewood bodies and spruce tops including this concert and an eight string baritone. Then there’s this bamboo ukulele.

But you really can’t beat koa for a handsome uke. Just check out the grain on this Peter Bermudez and on the back of this KoAloha tenor.

Another week, another shape of SpongeBob SquarePants ukulele. This time it’s a pinapple ukulele. If The Simpsons is more your thing, there’s a pink ukulele featuring Maggie and Lisa.

Ukulele Photo of the Week: George’s kid sister Ethel Formby.

For fans of ukulele kitsch, there’s a ukulele dish.

Friday Ukulelinks

A big thanks to everyone who’s written to me saying nice things about How to Play Blues Ukulele. I’m completely knocked out by how well it’s been received. There was one small hitch, a couple of the examples got lost somewhere. If you bought the ebook – you should have an email from me. If not, you can download them here:

Example 34
Example 35

That caused a bit of a mix up with a few of the track titles as well (the file names are correct but Examples 15 – 33 had the wrong names in the MP3). Sorry for any confusion caused.

On to the real uke news…

The US version of the ad for Wii ukulele. Just as bad as Wii ukulele ad #1.

Ukulele Tonya has a write up of the Wine Country Ukulele Festival and Uke Gal has one in the works. A few videos of the festival have cropped up and James Hill and Ralph Shaw‘s unusual duet is my favourite so far.

Chord charts for those weird people who are either left-handed or play baritone (or both).

Songsheet Generator: I couldn’t get the chord shapes to show in ukulele mode, but you might be more successful.

Buy an Amy Crehore t-shirt between now and Halloween and get a signed drawing – dang, wish I’d have waited.

Peter Delaney‘s EP Duck Egg Blue is now available outside of Ireland and Oslo. You can pick it up on his MySpace (which I’ve just done).

Strange ukuleles all over the place in this photo.

Lock your doors, the ukulele killer is on the loose.

Dent May‘s debut album announced.

Learn CSS with the ukulele. Everybody now, “H1 curly bracket property colon value semi-colon curly bracket…

Ingrid Michaelson – Be OK

Ingrid Michaelson – Be OK (Chords) (PDF)

A lovely, simple uke tune from Ingrid Michaelson. Even simpler if you’ve still got your uke tuned down from the Eddie Vedder – Goodbye post (this one is in B tuning also).

The chords are straightforward, but the strumming is a little trickier. It involves plenty of chnks – rather than strumming, you bring the bottom of your hand down onto the strings as you strum to produce a click. The strum pattern for the verse goes like this:

Ingrid Michaelson chords

The up arrows are down strums and vice versa. The row of x’s are chnks.

Here’s me strumming it slowly then up to speed.


For the chorus you play the strumming pattern of bar 1 for the A chord and the strumming pattern of bar 3 for the next two chords.

Requested by Maz

How to Play Blues Ukulele

I’ve been mentioning that I’m working on a Blues Ukulele ebook for a while now and had a bunch of people asking me when it would be out. Well, it’s finally here.

It’s taken so long because I wanted to make absolutely sure you’d be blown away by it and I think you will be.

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll have noticed that I’m on a bit of a mission to change how people think about the ukulele. What music it’s capable of playing and, more importantly, what it’s capable of expressing. The reputation of the uke is pretty high right now, but there are still far too many people out there who don’t have a clue what it can do. By the time you’ve mastered everything in this ebook, you’ll have the chops to leave people in no doubt that the you can play the blues on the ukulele.

It’s going to give you the skills to jam along with ukers and non-ukers and cut heads Karate Kid style.

The book covers blues chord progressions, intros, outros, turnarounds, riffs and solos. To give you some idea, here’s an mp3 of little tune that’s tabbed out at the end of the book containing many of the ideas and techniques in it.

Blues Ukulele Example (MP3)

You can read more about it here: How to Play Blues Ukulele

Or, if you can’t stand to wait a moment longer, you can buy it here:

Buy it here

Cover photo: e-uke by R.W.W. under Creative Commons licence.

Eddie Vedder – Goodbye

Eddie Vedder – Goodbye (Chords)(PDF)

Having done one of Vedder’s mandolin songs, it’s about time I had a go at one of his uke songs, Goodbye from the soundtrack to A Brokedown Melody (pleasingly from Woodshed Films).

The tuning is a bit of a nightmare. Vedder has his uke tuned down about three quarters of a step. If you want to play along with the original, you’ll have to tune your uke to the song itself. The chord names are written up in their standard tuning names to avoid confusion (hopefully).

It has to be said, the playing is a little shoddy in places. But there are some interesting chord moves in the song, particularly how he plays around with the Bb chord. And where did that B9 chord come from?

Requested by Patrick

Yoyoyo Acapulco

Yoyoyo Acapulco – Kamasutra Tsunami (MP3)
Yoyoyo Acapulco – Mexican Wolfgasket (MP3)
Yoyoyo Acapulco – The Fund Rug National Anthem (MP3) via NRK

I’ve been much enamored with Norwegian ukuleles since NRK was very nice about ukuleles and about Uke Hunt. I need to learn Norwegian as Google offers no translation of ‘oppgangstid’ and translates part of it as, “Here he publishes medical personnel, ukulele videos as well as notes and tabs to be a virtuoso.” (I’m pretty sure Dr Sparkles isn’t an actual doctor).

So, it’s time to pay it back and give some love to Norway’s greatest ukulele act. Again my translation skills have let me down, but here’s what I’ve been able to gather about Yoyoyo Acapulco:

– They’re not from Acapulco but Vestre Gausdal, Norway.
– They’re being harassed by an unfriendly UK record label.
– They make some lovely indie pop songs with ukuleles, cheap keyboards and kazoos.

Give me a few years to learn Norwegian and I’ll get back to you.

If you’ve got some spare Krone knocking around, you can buy their singles on their MySpace and you can download more tracks on NRK.

Frank Skinner – Osama Bin Laden

Frank Skinner – Osama Bin Laden (Chords)(PDF)

This will probably be another post entirely lost on my friends across the ocean, unfortunately. It’s a comedian you’ve never heard of at the Secret Policeman’s Ball doing a pastiche of someone who was never famous over there packed with references you won’t get (and even if I explained Michael Barrymore to you, you wouldn’t believe me). So apologies for that. You might want to busy yourselves with this clip of Kristen ‘Ukulele Sweetheart/Mel’ Schaal from the same event.

For the rest of you, it’s a dead easy song to play. Only three chords: F, C7 and Bb and that’s it.

Help Amnesty International.

Saturday UkeTube

There seems to be a Bushman/pirate theme developing: Krabbers and Jonathan Elder. In non-pirate videos this week: Victoria Vox, Old Blind Mole Orkestra, another killer from Toy Horses and the Ukulele Safari hits the UK. Read the rest of this entry »

Nice Ukuleles, SpongeBob and other Ukes on eBay

Nice Ukuleles has to be one of the worst brand name of ukuleles out there. It makes the sound cheap and tacky when it looks like they’re a long way from being that. There are a bunch of them for sale here along with a handsome 6 string Kamaka.

SpongeBob SquarePants ukuleles have been around for a while now, in the UK at least, but there are a couple of interesting developments this week. In the US, there’s this appropriately shaped but possibly trademark infringing painted uke. And in the UK, there are a number of Flying V Spongebob ukuleles.

D’oh. “I bought this Mele Soprano Uke a few months ago, and broke my hand the same day it was delivered.” If you feel sorry for him, you do a BIN on his Mele for over the asking price of a new one.

On eBay UK, there’s a Keech Banjolele signed by the man himself along with a couple of banjo ukes here and here that look like they’d scrub up nicely.

LoPrinzi Herb Ohta Model.

Ukulele photo of the week.

Friday Ukulinklinks

Some very diverting videos this week: Eddie Thomas & Carl Scott, Lego ukulele and KazooKeyLele.

On the subject of ukulele videos, UkeToob is a new blog and podcast showcasing the best ukulele videos.

Jumping Flea Market looks like it might be the recipient of a few of my hard earned Euros once the online store opens. Only two Euros for ‘Ukulele Huren’? (Except the sign is in Dutch)

A new, free and exceptionally good album from Minor Constellations.

Jonathan Coulton’s Just As Long As Me and The White Stripes’ Offend In Every Way.

Warren Buffett takes to the road with his uke, his son and Akon.

The KoAloha Ukulele Story: A film charting the rise of KoAloha.

Foggy Ruins of Time has an mp3 from and an interview with The Elated Sob Story (“Outta Me is my favourite song of yours…” “That’s a cover song.” Ouch.)

For everyone who was interested (Hi, Lonna) the tracks I quoted on Manha Manha were: While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Top Gun Theme, Top Hat by Woody Mann, Have Love, Will Travel, and The Stripper.

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