The Uke Hunt t-shirts have passed their goal. So they’ll definitely be printed. A massive thanks to everyone who has ordered already. Still plenty of time if you want to order one. You can find them on Teespring.
– James Hill’s new album The Old Silo is out now. You can stream it here and download the opening track free here.
– The Staves are working with Justin ‘Bonnie Bear’ Vernon on their new album and you can listen to the first track from it here.
– Tyrone and Lesley’s Gentlemen’s Songbook has chords for a bunch of their songs. Including the much requested Unaccompanied.
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain failed to get an injunction against The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra’s UK tour. More court battles to come. And it won’t be hard for the UOGB to find evidence of people who are confused. Here’s an exchange from TUKUO’s own Facebook a couple of weeks ago:
No prizes for guessing who has played Helsinki.
Don’t even get me started on the People’s Ukulele Front of Great Britain. Splitters!
After posting this tune a few weeks ago on the UkeTube I immediately got a couple of tab requests. And Alexander “DerMitDerUkulele” Wandrowsky was kind enough to send me his tab. Two versions, in fact. The one above is in D tuning as it’s played in the video. And here’s one in F minor and played in standard tuning:
Quick warning: the chords here have been changed to match F minor but the standard notation is still in G minor.
I absolutely love this tune so I had to have a crack at my own arrangement.
I’m playing it in G minor but in C-tuning. I start of playing the tune campanella style. Then go into combining the melody and chords. Then back to the campanella style to rip through the tune at double(ish) speed.
It’s Uke Hunt t-shirt season again! I’ve had a few requests for another run of the shirts. You can pre-order yours here.
I’m using Teespring again this year. It is sort of a Kickstart for t-shirts. So you put in an order for your shirt, if there are enough orders by the end of the campaign the shirts are made and sent out. You’re not charged until the end of the campaign (and you’re not charged at all if the shirt doesn’t reach its goal). This way of doing it means all the shirts are printed at once and exactly the right shirts and sizes are made.
So if you want one of the shirts they’ll only be available until 14th October. After that you’re all out of luck.
The system worked very well last time. My shirt came here (the UK) quickly and without any hassle. It’s nice quality and it’s still in good shape. You can see me modelling it in my recent videos.
There are two different styles. The standard fit American Apparel crew-neck (at the top of the post) and after a couple of requests for a v-neck the other is a Bella Missy slim fit (directly above). Both are $22 plus shipping.
This time you can combine the different shirts into one order. Just click ‘Reserve now’ then ‘Add another style’.
Teespring is based in the US so shipping outside of that is more expensive and will take longer.
Domestic (United States): shipping $3.85 + $1.00 for each additional t-shirt. Your shirt will arrive within 7-14 days from the end of the campaign.
Domestic (Canada): $9.50 + $4.00 for each additional t-shirt. Your shirt will arrive within 14-21 days from the end of the campaign.
International Ahipping is $12.50 + $4.00 for each additional t-shirt. Your shirt will arrive within 14-21 days from the end of the campaign.
For more information on the shirts and the system take a look at Teespring’s FAQ.
I’ve written up a few Smiths songs in the past but there aren’t many Smiths songs that translate smoothly to the ukulele. This one is a rare exception. It’s a strumalong with some nice, jazzy chords.
Plus it’s been on a bunch of movie and TV soundtracks so people are bound to know it.
It’s in 6/8 time so this strum should see you all the way through the song:
d – d u d –
When there are quicker chord changes just change half way through this pattern.
The song finishes up with a tremolo picked mandolin solo. You can do the same on ukulele if you like but I’ve gone with just picking each note once.
Very sad news this week that Marko van der Horst of The Uke Box and the Jumping Flea Circus has died at the age of 45. My thoughts are with Shelley and Marko’s family.
There are a bunch of nice ukulele tunes on the Rayman Legends Soundtrack.
I got a request for this one and went with it because the whole thing is done with chords. That means you don’t have to be able to read tab to play this one. I’ve included all the chord charts you need above the tab.
Feel free to vary the strumming in the piece. That happens in the original and in my version.
If you’re looking for someone to inspire your ukulele playing you couldn’t do much better than Kimo Hussey. He’s about the smoothest and classiest ukulelist around.
Lucky for us he’s also a great teacher and he’s put up a series of masterclasses on his YouTube channel. I find them incredibly inspiring and highly recommend you give them a watch. To start you off here’s a selection of my favourites.
– “We’ve become very accustomed to hearing and playing music on the ‘ukulele that goes relatively fast. But the degree to which we play the ukulele slow opens up some wonderful horizons in what we can hear the ‘ukulele do.”
– “One of the things about the right hand that we can utilise in terms of musical interpretation – the way we express songs – is how we use tempo and dynamic.”
– “The degree to which you try and improve the quality of your music is the degree to which you create a balance between the left and the right hand.”
– “The right hand controls five things that are extremely important: melody, harmony, rhythm, dynamic, tempo.”
– Try out these chord shapes.
– Play a descending C scale:
– Then for each note play a triplet strum on all the strings:
– “One of the wonderful things about ‘ukulele is that it can play anything. This little instrument is so smart it can play any song that’s ever been written.”
– Tobias: “With the ‘ukulele you can have so many layers. You can have the rhythm, the chord and the melody at the same time.”
– “I think it’s most important for you to learn 36 chords: 12 major chords, 12 minor chords and 12 7th chords.”
– You don’t have to memorise them all but you have to know how to derive them if you need them.
I’ve been decidedly tardy putting up this 1920s song by Isham Jones and Gus Kahn. It was meant to go up about 7 years ago. But it’s here at last.
The song has been recorded by a huge number of people including Ukulele Ike. But it became an instant ukulele classic when Joe Brown played it at the Concert for George Harrison. And it’s his version I’ve written up.
I’ve tried to capture all the nuances of the arrangement. Which has resulted in 26 chords. Equaling So Long and Thanks for All the Fish as song with most chords. So I’ve also written up a simplified version.
26 chords is a lot to get your head around in one go. So I’d recommend having a play through this version first so you know what’s going on. Then you can introduce elements from the full version as you see fit.
For this version I’ve also simplified the F – F6 – Fmaj7 move to F – Dm – Am to make it easier to play.
There’s a few little ukulele licks in the song. Here’s the line that leads into the solo:
The solo itself uses notes mainly picked from the chords. With this to end it off:
And the lick right at the end: