Seryn, Queen Porter Stomp: UkeTube

Full Playlist

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New Ukulele Blogs: Friday Links

My ebooks are available in the EU again thanks to Gumroad getting on top of the VAT situation. Sorry about the delay on that.

Learning

– Two great new ukulele blogs: Jonathan Lewis has a site for tabs of his spectacular campanella arrangements of traditional tunes, and Ukulele Go! covering everything uke related including reviews, lessons, links and general uke miscellany.
Aaron and Nicole Keim’s A Ukulele Handbook: a beautiful, illustrated beginner’s guide.

New Releases

– I’ve kicked off the Ukulele 2015 playlist on Spotify with Victoria Vox, Kimo Hussey, Seryn, The Vespers and the ubiquitous Meghan Trainor.
– Speaking of Kimo Hussey, he has a new album Low G.
– Not often I come across some ukulele on my trips to DatPiff but my last visit turned up two: a fantastic uke riff on Vee Tha Rula and Kid Ink’s fantastic Out In Pari on the VRSES EP and a much more brief the IZ-sample on Jermone N Da House by Trinidad James.

Ukes

KoAloha have been busy. They’re relaunching their entry level KoAlana ukes and introducing a the new Opio range of mid-priced ukuleles.
The Brian May Uke.

Kickstarting

Animals EP by EdwardAlice.

Videos

Ukulele controlled quadcopter
Why make uke videos?
Musical preview of Portlandia.

New ruling for air travel: U.S. Department of Transportation now say musicians who board planes must be allowed to carry on their instruments provided they fit in the overhead bin.

Hanging Tree (Hunger Games) (Instrumental Tab)


James Newton Howard ft. Jennifer Lawrence – Hanging Tree (Tab)

After last week’s two nightmare difficulty posts something much more straight forward this week.

Like the original, I start my version off with just the melody. It’s a great traditionally inspired melody (written by the guys off of The Lumineers) and is plenty strong enough to hold your attention alone. I’m just picking this with my thumb but you can use fingers if you’re comfortable with that.

Then from bar 17 I introduce a few chords but still keep it very minimal. Again, I’m just using my thumb to play these. Strumming down the strings whenever there’s more than one note.

Links

Buy it on iTunes
More movie theme tabs

Ukulele Festivals 2015

Here’s the preliminary list of 2015 ukulele festivals. If you know a festival that needs adding send me a message or leave a comment on this post with the details.

USA and Canada

Allegheny Ukulele Soiree

Location: Penn State Altoona, Altoona, PA 16601
Date: March 22, 2015
Performers: Victoria Vox, Stuart “Stukulele” Fuchs, Colin Coleman
Website: http://soiree.alleghenyukes.com/

Ashokan Uke Fest

Location: Conservation Hall, Ashokan Center
Date: May 22 to 25, 2015
Performers: Joel Eckhaus, Ben Hassenger, Paul Hemmings, Marcy Marxer, Heidi Swedberg, Gerald Ross and Ruthy Ungar
Website: http://ashokan.org/camps/uke-fest/

Denver Ukefest

Location: The Brew on Broadway, 3445 S. Broadway, Englewood, CO 80113
Date: May 14 to 16, 2015
Performers: Leftover Cuties, Victor & Penny, Victoria Vox, Lil’ Rev, Danielle Ate The Sandwich, and Stuart Fuchs
Website: http://swallowhillmusic.org/events-and-festivals/denver-ukefest/

Dock Street Uke Camp

Location: Shelburne, Nova Scotia, Canada
Date: September 18 to 20, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://ukecamp.blogspot.co.uk/

Funky Frets Uke Fest

Location: Trinity Church, 250 Sweinhardt Rd, Boyertown, PA 19512
Date: October 2 to 4, 2015
Performers: Victoria Vox, Lil’ Rev, Gerald Ross, The Aloha Boys, Ben Carr.
Website: http://www.funkyfretsukefest.com/

Lake Anne 6th Annual Ukulele Festival

Location: Lake Anne Plaza, Reston, VA
Date: July 11, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://lakeanneplaza.com/event/6th-annual-ukulele-festival/

Martha’s Vineyard Ukulele Festival

Location: Featherstone Center for the Arts, Oak Bluffs, Ma.
Date: September 19, 2015
Performers: Faith Ako, Jim & Liz Beloff, Ken Middleton, Steve McNie
Website: http://www.mvukefest.com/

May Day Play Day

Location: Modesto Church of the Brethren, 2301 Woodland Avenue, Modesto, CA 95358
Date: May 16, 2015
Performers: Strummin’ Wonders of Woodbridge Manteca, River City Ukulele Band of Roseville, Strum Bums of Grass Valley.
Website: http://funstrummers.com/4.html

Menucha Ukulele Band Camp

Location: Corbett, Oregon
Date: March 23 to 27, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://menucha.org/programs/uke-band-camp

Midwest Uke Fest

Location: Folkcraft Instruments, 22133 Main Street, Woodburn, IN 46797
Date: August 15 to 26, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.midwestukefest.com/

Mighty Uke Day 5

Location: Old Town Lansing, Michigan
Date: May 8 to 10, 2015
Performers: Victoria Vox, Stuart Fuchs, Gerald Ross, Susan Picking, Saldaje, Andy Wilson, Ukulele Dwight
Website: http://mightyukeday.com

The Oakridge Ukulele Festival

Location: TBA
Date: TBA
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.oakridge-lodge.com/events/ukulele-festival/

Palm Strings Ukulele Festival

Location: 400 E Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA
Date: February 6 to 8, 2015
Performers: Victoria Vox, Michael Powers, Craig Brandau, Cali Rose and Jason Arimoto.
Website: http://playuke.net/2015-palm-springs-details

Port Townsend Ukulele Festival

Location: Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, Washington
Date: October 7 to 11 or October 14 to 18, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://centrum.org/the-port-townsend-ukulele-festival/

Reno Ukulele Festival

Location: Nugget Resort, Sparks, Nevada
Date: April 30 to May 3, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://playuke.net/reno

Santa Monica Ukulele Festival

Location: Santa Monica High School. 601 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405
Date: April 18, 2015
Performers: Abe Lagrimas, Jr., Jim and Liz Beloff, Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel and Cali Rose and Craig Brandau
Website: http://www.santamonicaukulelefestival.com/

Silver Creek International Ukulele Carnival

Location: Two Harbors Minnesota, USA
Date: August 21 to 23, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.twoharborsukulelegroup.com/

South Florida Ukulele Fest

Location: 1350 East Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL
Date: March 20 to 21, 2015
Performers: James Hill, Gerald Ross, Steve Boisen, Tommy Lee Stryder
Website: http://www.southfloridaukulelefest.com/

Tunes In The Dunes V

Location: Lincoln Cultural City Center, Oregon
Date: September 18 to 20, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://tunesinthedunes.com/

Uke-nique Festival

Location: The Makeout Room, 3225 22nd St, San Francisco, California 94110
Date: March 15
Performers: Alzara & Brother Spellbinder, Sylvie Simmons, Amity Rose, Karla & Khoi (Corner Laughers)
Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/1575521006021552

Ukulele Festival of Northern California

Location: Chabot College Campus, 25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward, CA 94545
Date: April 26, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.ukulelefestivalnorcal.org/

Ukulele University

Location: Cascades Academy, Bend, Oregon, USA
Date: July 17 to 19, 2015
Performers: Craig Chee, Sarah Maisel, Aaron and Nicole Keim, and Rhan Wilson
Website: http://ukeu.info/

Ukulele World Congress

Location: Needmore, Indiana
Date: June 5 to 6, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: https://ukuleleworldcongress.wordpress.com/

Utah Uke Fest

Location: Historic City Hall, American Fork, UT
Date: July 18, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://utahukefest.org/

Utah Ukulele Festival

Location: Willow Park, Logan, Utah
Date: August 1, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://utahukefest.com/

Vancouver Ukulele Festival

Location: St James Hall, Vancouver, Canada
Date: March 6 to 8, 2015
Performers: Sarah Maisel, Craig Chee, Victoria Vox, Aaron & Nicole Keim, John Nash, Ralph Shaw and Daphne Roubini.
Website: http://www.rubysukes.ca/vancouver-ukulele-festival/

West Coast Ukulele Retreat

Location: Asilomar, Monterey Peninsula
Date: May 13 to 17, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://westcoastukuleleretreat.com/

Hawaii

Great Waikoloa Ukulele Festival

Location: Kings’ Shops and Queens’ MarketPlace, Waikoloa Beach Resort
Date: March 7, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.ukulelefestivalhawaii.org/en/waikoloa.htm

Uke Ohana

Location: Pu’u O Hoku Ranch & Halawa Valley, Molokai, Hawaii
Date: May 22 to 26, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://ukeohana.com/

Ukulele Festival

Location: Kapiolani Park, Waikiki, Oahu
Date: July 19, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.ukulelefestivalhawaii.org/en/oahu/index.htm

Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii 2015

Location: Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii
Date: February 8, 2015
Performers: Mark Yamanaka, John Keawe Kohala, Kris Fuchigami and Brittni Paiva.
Website: http://www.ukulelepicnicinhawaii.org/en/

United Kingdom and Ireland

Cardiff Ukulele Festival

Location: St David’s Hall, Cardiff
Date: March 28, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.ukenights.co.uk/

Grand Northern Ukulele Festival 2015

Location: Lawrence Batley Theatre
Date: May 22 to 24, 2015
Performers: Manitoba Hal, Sarah Maisel, The Quiet American, Craig Chee, Phil Doleman, Zoe Bestel, Chonkinfeckle, Mother Ukers, and U.K.E.
Website: http://northernuke.com/

Grand Southern Ukulele Festival

Location: Albert Rd & The Kings Theatre, Portsmouth
Date: October 9 to 11, 2015
Performers: Victoria Vox, Phil Doleman, Ukulelezaza, Ben Rouse, Krabbers
Website: http://www.southernuke.com/

Leamington Ukulele Festival

Location: Newbold Comyn Arms & Grounds, Leamington Spa. CV32 4EU.
Date: July 4, 2015
Performers: Lynda Styne & Red Hot Duo, Chonkinfeckle, Matt Richards
Website: http://spa-strummers.co.uk/fest2015.html

Lincoln Ukulele Band Birthday Bash

Location: Bishop Grosseteste University, Longdales Road, Lincoln LN1 3DY
Date: April 19, 2015
Performers: Phil Doleman, Lincoln Ukulele Band
Website: http://www.lincolnukuleleband.moonfruit.com/

Rye Ukulele Festival 2015

Location: The Cinque Ports, Cinque Ports St, Rye, East Sussex
Date: May 24, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://ryeukuleleexperiment.co.uk/rye-ukulele-festival/

Summer Strum

Location: Hoylake Rugby Club, Hoylake, Wirral, UK
Date: July 4 to 5, 2015
Performers: Wirral Ukulele Orchestra, Mighty Flea, Splintered Ukes, Ukulele Club Liverpool
Website: http://summerstrum8.wix.com/summerstrum

Ukes for UNICEF – Ukulele Festival

Location: Berkhamsted Civic Centre
Date: February 28, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.ukesforunicef.com/

Ukulele Day

Location: Reeth Memorial Hall, Reeth, Swaledale, North Yorkshire. DL11 6QT
Date: March 28, 2015
Performers: Yoredale Ukulele Strummers, Keith Stephen Hot Club Trio
Website: http://reethmemorialhall.weebly.com/coming-soon.html

Ukulele Festival of Great Britain

Location: The Norwood Arms, 1 Leckhampton Rd, Cheltenham GL53 0AX
Date: June 19 to 21, 2015
Performers: James Hill, Ryo Natoyama, Herb Ohta Junior, Ukulele Bartt, Tobias Elof, Tomoki Sato, Hot Potato Syncopators and Zoe Bestel
Website: http://www.ukulelefestival.co.uk/Home.aspx

Ukulele Hooley

Location: Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
Date: August 22 to 23, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.ukulelehooley.com/

Europe

Czech Ukulele Festival

Location: Unetice, Prague, Czech Republic
Date: July 24 to 26, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.ukulelefestival.cz/?sJaz=en

Helsinki Ukulele Festival

Location: Helsinki, Finland
Date: May 22 to 24, 2015
Performers: Ken Middleton, Chris Hough
Website: http://www.uke.fi/start/

Morkelele – Morecambe Summer Ukulele Spectacular

Location: Morecambe, Lancashire, UK
Date: July 10 to 11, 2015
Performers: Uff & Dave Trio, Mersey Belles, Dead Mans Uke
Website: http://www.etickets.to/buy/?e=12267

My Big Fat Greek Ukulele Adventure

Location: Askeli Beach, Poros Beach, Greece
Date: September 19, 2015
Performers: Seeso, Matt Lindahl
Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/678798715542758/?notif_t=plan_user_joined

Paris Ukulele Festival

Location: La Bellevilloise – 21 rue Boyer – 75020 Paris
Date: May 14 to 16, 2015
Performers: The Sweet Hollywaiians, Les Poupées Gonflées, Les Rois du Macadam, Yan Yalego, Dust Sweepers
Website: http://www.ukuleleboudoir.com/festival/

Australia and New Zealand

Blue Mountains Ukulele Festival

Location: Carrington Hotel, 15-47 Katoomba Street, Katoomba NSW
Date: February 13 to 15, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.bluemugs.com.au/

The Huskisson Uke Muster

Location: Huskisson, Jervis Bay New South Wales 2540
Date: June 16, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: https://www.facebook.com/vangonesinstumentalandchoralensemble

Lauder Ukulele Festival

Location: Lauder Green, Lauder, Omakau
Date: February 5 to 8, 2015
Performers: Keith Lightfoot, Hyram Ballard, The Misfits, Pic’N Mix, Aspiring Ukes and LX Ukes.
Website: http://www.lauderukefest.com/

Melbourne Ukulele Festival

Location: Thornbury Theatre, 859 High Street, Thornbury VIC 3071, Australia
Date: March 13 to 15, 2015
Performers: Victoria Vox, Ralph Shaw, Ukulele Russ
Website: http://muf.org.au/

SPRUKE 2015 – Brisbane’s Ukulele Festival

Location: South Bank TAFE campus, 66 Ernest Street South Brisbane, Queensland Australia
Date: October 2 to 4, 2015
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.spruke.net.au

Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival

Location: Borumba Deer Park, Imbil
Date: March 13 to 15, 2015
Performers: Sarah Maisel, Craig Chee, Matthew Fagan, Mic Conway and Mike Jackson.
Website: http://www.sunshinecoastukulelefest.com/

The Staves – Facing West (Chords)


The Staves – Facing West (Chords)

I’m more excited for the new Staves album than I am about any other record apart from Meow the Jewels this year. The Staves with Justin ‘off of Bon Iver’ Vernon producing is a dream team.

To tide myself over I’ve written up the chords to the ukulele song from the first album Facing West.

The chords themselves are dead simple. If you’re okay singing it in F then you’ve got no problems.

But in the original they’re tuned down one fret (so is Dodie ‘dodleoddle’ Clark in her version if that’s the one you’re interested in). So you’ll have to do that if you want to play along. Alternatively you could put a capo on the first fret and play these slightly more troublesome chord shapes:


Facing West (Capo Chords)

Suggested Strumming

You can use this strum twice for every chord all the way through the song:

d – d – – u d u

Or this strum sounds great with a touch strum on the first strum. You play a touch strum by just hitting the g-string (although if you hit the C-string as well it’s not a big deal). It gives the strum a bit more variety.

Here’s how it looks (slow then up to speed):

Links

Buy it on iTunes
Bon Iver chords for Skinny Love and Michicant

Wild Child, Nomke: UkeTube

Full Playlist

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Friday Links

Don’t forget you can get 50% off all of my How to Play Ukulele ebooks.

Learning

– New instructional DVD from Del Rey Memphis Uke Party (thanks to Howard).
Easy Ukulele Songs Podcast.
N.B. Bailey and Keoki E Ukulele Solo Book.
Halifax Ukulele Gang’s second songbook.

Ukes

– Lots of new ukes on display at NAMM 2015. Lots of great photos and videos in Hawaii Music Supply’s coverage: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4.
Three new ukes amazing looking ukes from KoAloha.
Amy Crehore’s Tickler # 3: “Twitch” Concert Ukulele. She talks about it with the Huffington Post.
Kala’s Elite Ukulele. Their first ukes made in the US.

New Releases

UkePunk’s Punk Police
Victoria Vox’s When the Night Unravels
Ukular Reactor – Mother Ukers

Lou ‘Bossarocker’ Armer talks to BBC Radio 4.

Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk (Instrumental Tab)


Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk (Tab)

Here’s one if you’re looking for a challenge. There are lots of jumps around the neck, syncopated rhythms, twists and turns, and tricky strum blocking to get to grips with.

On part that isn’t too difficult is the strumming hand. Most of the song my right hand is just strumming sixteenth notes. The rhythm is created by muting and playing strings with the left hand.

For example, in the intro you play a constant strum, hold down the chord stabs and mute the g-string (I use the thumb of my fretting hand), otherwise mute all the strings.

Here’s a video of it done slowly then up to speed:

The verse is done in a similar way. Strum constant sixteenth notes and mute the strings when nothing is played. The difference is you also have to mute all but one string. That can get tricky and it takes a lot of practice. I call this strum blocking and I did a tutorial on it here. It’s a great way to give a piece lots of attack and a strong rhythm.

In this song I mostly mute the g-string with my thumb, C-string with my middle finger, E-string with my ring finger and the A-string with the underside of my index finger. But you’ll need to play around with it and see what works best for you.

Here’s the first line of the first verse played slowly then up to speed:

Note: in the tab I’ve noted the muted strums with just one x to keep the tab clean. But you do strum all the strings.

Other note: In the video I mess up the ‘Saturday night…’ bit in the middle section. It should sound the same as it does in the bridge sections.

Links

Buy it on iTunes
More funk tabs and chords
Five funky riff tabs

eBook Changes and 50% Discount

2015 started off with a fair amount of upheaval over here. A new batch of EU VAT rules (over here VAT means sales tax, troosers means pants, collywobbles is a three legged dog and peaky blinders are the things horses wear on their eyes) came into effect for digital products. And governments didn’t bother telling anyone smaller than a giant megacorp (I, like most single person businesses, found out via social media near the end of December).

Long story short: before VAT was charged at the selling country rate. I’m in the UK and comfortably below the threshold so never had to charge any. The new law means I have to charge VAT at different rates in every EU country I sell in, collect location information on every one and keep it for 10 years. Which is way more of an admin burden than I can manage.

So my How to Play Ukulele ebooks were off sale in January while I found a new seller and had the site rejiggered. And, unfortunately, the ebooks are still unavailable in EU countries other than the UK until I can find a good alternative.

But it’s not all bad news. I’ve moved sales onto Gumroad. They’re a great service and there are some big advantages of using them. No more PayPal and more mobile friendly downloads.

50% Discount & Price Drops

I’ve sold a few ebooks via Gumroad already and it’s gone very smoothly. But since the system is still bedding in if you buy before Sunday 8th February you can get 50% off any of the ebooks using this code:

UPDATE: Sorry, this offer has expired.

If you do have any problems ordering just shoot me an email at ukulelehunt@gmail.com

Also, there’s a new ebook multipack: the Soloing Multipack which contains How to Play Blues Ukulele and How to Play Slide Ukulele. Usually it’ll be $19 for the pair but I’m starting it at $17 (the price of the blues ebook alone). So with the discount code you can get both for $8.50.

I’ve also dropped the price of How to Play Classical Ukulele from $9 to $7.

The Good Stuff

No More PayPal

PayPal is very useful. But sometimes it can be a right pain in the arse (most notably a long-running inability for PayPal UK to get along with Amex). I’ve heard from a few people who have trouble with it or just don’t want to use it. And I completely sympathise with that opinion.

Gumroad just uses credit/debit cards. It’s all handled by Gumroad who are super safe payments and fully compliant. I never get to see any of your credit card info. So you don’t have to worry about me using your card to fund my plans to launch a line of ukulele-themed perfumes.

More Mobile-Friendly Downloads

I launched my first ebooks back in November 2007. Back then there was no iPad, no Android and the internet was in black and white. Nowadays many people are using the ebooks on their mobile devices. And Gumroad makes it much easier to do that than the old seller did.

Now you’ll be able to download all the PDFs and tabs straight to a mobile device and open it in your favourite ebook reader (e.g. iBooks, Kindle).

The only files you won’t be able to download to your mobile device (without an app that can handle zip files) are any audio examples accompanying the ebooks. Those you’ll still need to download to a computer and transfer if needs be.

The Bad Stuff

No Sales to EU outside the UK

Because of the VAT rules I’ve had to exclude buyers from EU countries other than the UK. But I am looking into ways of making them available in the near future.

Asylum Street Spankers – It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie (Chords)


Asylum Street Spankers – It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie (Chords)

It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie by Billy Mayhew is a big ukulele favourite so there are a ton of versions around. I the Asylum Street Spankers’ version because it’s a real education in chord inversions. You’re going to have to be on the ball to keep up.

Christina Marrs is using D-tuning for this but I’ve stuck with C-tuning (using similar chord shapes). That means it’s played high up the neck so pay attention to the fret numbers in the chord charts.

Easy Chords


It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie (Easy Chords)

Here’s a much simpler version of the chords. It’s in the same key so mix and match between them as you see fit.

I recommend starting by learning the simple version then gradually adding in elements you like from the difficult version.

Also, take a look at the Ukulele Boudoir version which is in the same key and take elements of that you enjoy.

Suggested Strumming

Other than the one-strum-per-chord into this should get you most of the way through:

d – d – d u d u

Links

Buy the Asylum Street Spankers version
I’m a Bear in a Lady’s Boudoir chords
Guy Forsyth – Waking Life (Tab)

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