Damon Albarn, Molly Lewis: UkeTube

Full Playlist

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Friday Links

“Craze my be over, but uke sales still going strong”. An interesting survey of 1,000 ukulele retailers. There’s not much to backup that headline though. Over half of the retailers have seen sales rise over the last year and only 9% expect sales to drop in the next few months. Seems like Kala’s basses might be included which would swell their numbers.

Pictures

- 2014 entrants in the Pimp my MUF ukulele art competition (warning: contains boobs).
- Alright, got three chords memorized. Let’s try and play Saria’s Song now

Videos

- YouTube, ukuleles and participatory culture.
- Rejected Bachelor contest, Lucy Aragon does some naked ukuleling in solidarity with fellow rejectees.
- Pray silence please for the Electric Light Orchestra.

New Releases

- New one from The Quiet American: Songs from a Rocking Chair. You can download a couple of tracks free on Soundcloud.
- Craig Robertson sings Just Another Ukulele Song. If you want to play along the chords are here
- Svavar Knutur – Girl from Vancouver

James Hill is touring the UK with Anne Janelle and doing some ukulele workshops.

And Happy Pi Day! There’s ukulele tab for pi here. And tab for Magnum PI here.

Herman Vandecauter – Aire (Tab)

aire tab ukulele

 
Herman Vandecuater – Aire (MP3)

If you’ve been following along with the UkeTube you’ll be familiar with Herman Vandecauter’s consummate classical ukulele playing. He was kind enough to let me put up one of his handwritten tabs for Francois Duval’s Aire.

The piece is fairly straightforward but if you want to play it as well as Herman does you’ll need to work hard on getting the tone and feel of the piece right.


Herman Vandecauter – Aire (Tab)

Links

Visit Herman’s site UkuleleBelgium.be
Subscribe to Herman on YouTube

Songs With Chords You Know – Updated

I like to keep a list of songs that use just the most common ukulele chords. Arranged by the order people usually learn them in. That way you can find some songs to play no matter how few chords you know.

And here’s the updated list including some notable new additions like:

- Lorde’s massive hit Royals as ukuleled by Walk off the Earth: C, Bb and F.
- Skinny Lister’s summer hit Colours: G, Em, D and C.
- Kelli Rae Powell’s massive singalong Some Bridges are Good to Burn: C, G, Am, F.
- Darlene Love’s Crimbo classic Christmas (Baby Please Come Home): C Em F G Am

C, F and G

If you prefer, you can use G7 in the place of G or vice versa for any of these songs.

NeverShoutNever! – Your Biggest Fan/Did It Hurt?
Noah and the Whale – Five Years Time
OK Go – This Too Shall Pass
Paolo Nutini – High Hopes
SoKo – I Will Never Love You More
The Bobby McGee’s – A Dog At All Things
The Lancashire Hotpots – He’s Turned Emo
The Tiger Lillies – Start A Fire
Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra/Kings of Leon – The Bucket

Plus Am, Dm and Em

Addams Family Theme Tune
Alton Ellis – Rock Steady
Black Kids – I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend to Dance With You
Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Darren Hanlon – All These Things
Electrelane – Cut and Run
Garfunkel and Oates – Me, You and Steve
Florence and the Machine – Dog Days Are Over
GUGUG – California Sun
Israel Kamakawiwoíole/Jason Castro – Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Julien Dore – Cet Air-La
Kate Nash – Foundations
Kate Micucci/The Gooch – Mr Moon
Kelli Rae Powell
Last Shadow Puppets – Standing Next to Me
LP – Into the Wild
The Lumineers – Ho Hey
Phosphorescent – Wolves
She & Him – Sentimental Heart

Plus D

Allo Darlin’ – Tallulah
Allo Darlin’ – Space Christmas
Amanda Palmer – In My Mind
Antsy Pants/Bear Creek – Vampire
Belle and Sebastian – The Boy with the Arab Strap
Daniel Johnston – Living Life
Gothic Archies – Shipwrecked
GUGUG/The Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop
Keston Cobblers’ Club – You-Go
Phredd – Elmer’s Electric Tricycle
Skinny Lister – Colours
The Dubliners and The Pogues – The Irish Rover
The Pogues – Fiesta
The Little Ones – Tangerine Visions
Vampire Weekend – Oxford Comma
Velvet Underground and Nico – I’ll be Your Mirror
Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London

Plus A and E7

Camera Obscura – Cock Up Your Beaver
Florence & the Machine – Kiss With A Fist (don’t panic, you can use E7 instead of E in this song)
Joan Jett – Bad Reputation
Kate Micucci & Ted (Scrubs) – Screw You
Paolo Nutini – Pencil Full of Lead
The Pogues – Streams of Whiskey
The Weavers – Pay Me My Money Down

Plus Bb

Beirut – A Candle’s Fire
Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know (You can use C instead of C5)
Ingrid Michaelson – Be OK
Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love
Lorde/Walk off the Earth – Royals
Mumford and Sons – The Cave
Nevershoutnever – First Dance
Neutral Milk Hotel – King of Carrot Flowers
Noah and the Whale – Jealous Kind of Love
Sufjan Stevens – Lumberjack Christmas
The Tokens – The Lion Sleeps Tonight

More…

Mastered all those? Tackle more:

Easy ukulele songs
Beginner ukulele lessons

Edith Piaf/Cristin Milioti – La Vie En Rose (Chords)


Edith Piaf/Cristin Milioti – La Vie En Rose (Chords)

After dating half the population of New York it took a ukulele player to win How I Met Your Mother‘s Ted Mosby’s heart. Although if he wanted a ukulele chanteuse he could have married Kate Micucci in series 2 and saved us and those poor kids a whole lot of time.

I’ve written up the chords as Cristin Milioti played them in How I Met Your Mother. It’s a dead simple version. The only chord you might not be familiar with is Gmaj7. But that’s just the same shape as D with everything moved along one string.

Suggested Strumming

You can use this as the main strum:

d – d u – u d -

Use that once each for all the G-Gmaj7-Em bits. Then:

In the Intro: Do two down strums on the Am and one each on D and D7.
In Verse 1: Do two down strums each on Am and D. The main strum once each for D-D7-D. The two down on G and D.
In Verse 2: One down strum for each chord.
In Verse 3: One down strum for every chord from C onwards. On the final G she picks each note individually (like playing a really slow strum with your thumb).

Links

Buy the original version
Buy the Cristin Milioti version
How I Met Your Mother on CBS.com
More tabs and chords from TV shows

George Elmes, Becca Stevens: UkeTube

Full Playlist

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Friday Links

I’ve started on the 2014 Ukulele Spotify Playlist. It’s short at the moment so if you want more here’s the 2013 list.

Kickstarting

- Ukes and Music to Pasajquim – a project to provide ukuleles for a remote Mayan community in Guatemala.

Wallet Looseners

- Caravan Gogh’s The 3 Faces of Steve featuring the ukulele stylings of Jim D’Ville
- Sounds from the Empty City by David Megarrity who you may recognise as half of Tyrone and Lesley. But this record is very different. It’s an atmospheric, instrumental album and it’s gorgeous.
- Ukulele Hangers made with parachute chord.
- Ewan Wardrop (he of In Da Club Formby parody is touring the UK with his Formby show

Pictures

- Belgian Groen party’s ukulele campaign – I think the implication is that the ukulele boom is down to climate change (thanks to Herman VDC).
- Ukulele couples

Tabs

Craig Robertson has added more of his songbooks.

Video

- Gary Oldman playing ukulele (Thanks to Ron Hale).
- Ukulele acrobatics.
- Ukulelist and Olympic luger and dancer has been up to mischief in Sochi.

- “Ukulele Orchestra play no thrills theatre show” – I think it’s supposed to be a compliment.

Gustavo Santaolalla – The Last of Us Theme (Tab)


Gustavo Santaolalla – The Last of Us (Tab)

Gustavo Santaolalla is my absolute favourite film composer. He first came to prominence with the films Amores Perros and The Motorcycle Diaries. Then went on to win Academy Awards for Brokeback Mountain and Babel.

No doubt part of the reason I love his music is his extensive use of a ronroco (a large version of, the ukulele’s cousin, the charango). It’s that instrument he used for the theme tune to his first game soundtrack The Last of Us. And it’s an incredibly beautiful tune. Here’s a fascinating video of him discussing his work on it with a short clip of him playing it live.

Because the ronroco uses reentrant tuning, the tune transfers nicely to the ukulele.

Performance Notes

All the way through I’m using thumb and two finger picking. The thumb plays the g- and C-strings, the index finger plays the E and the middle finger plays the A.

When you’re playing this try to always emphasises the melody. In the first section (bars 1 to 11) that’s every note on the g-string. So pluck more forcefully with your thumb.

Then it switches to the A-string in bars 12 to 24. So in that section pick more strongly with your middle finger.

The section in bars 27 to 34 is a little different. There isn’t a strong melody here. But do give a little more emphasis to the notes on the A-string on the third and fourth beats of each bar.

Also, try to vary the dynamics as you play. Having louder and softer sections through the piece.

Links

Buy the original on iTunes
TheLastOfUs.playstation.com
More game theme tabs

Ukulele Festivals 2014

Here’s a preliminary list of the ukulele festivals scheduled for 2014. If you have details on any others leave a comment or send me a message and I’ll get it added to the list.

USA and Canada

Vancouver Ukulele Festival 2014

Location: St James Hall, Vancouver, Canada
Date: March 8 to 9, 2014
Performers: Danielle Ate The Sandwich, Aaron Keim of The Quiet American, Ralph Shaw, virtuoso Guido Heistek and Ruby & Smith, Daphne Roubini, and more
Website: http://www.rubysukes.ca/vancouver-ukulele-festival/
Local Amenities: Map

4th Annual Menucha Ukulele Band Camp

Location: Corbett, Oregon
Date: March 24 to 28, 2014
Performers: Paul Hemmings, Gerald Ross, Greg Canote, Jere Canote, Aaron Keim, Nicole Keim
Website: http://menucha.org/programs/uke-band-camp
Local Amenities: Map

20th ‘Ukulele Festival of Northern California

Location: Chabot College Campus, 25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward, CA 94545
Date: April 6, 2014; 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.ukulelefestivalnorcal.org/
Local Amenities: Map

6th Annual Reno Ukulele Festival

Location: John Ascuaga’s Nugget, 1100 Nugget Ave., Sparks, Nevada 89431
Date: April 24 to 27, 2014
Performers: Leftover Cuties, Heidi Swedberg, Daniel Ho, Gerald Ross, Brook Adams, Ralph Shaw, Jim D’Ville, Dominator, Jason Arimoto
Website: http://playuke.net/
Local Amenities: Map

Arizona Banjo & Ukulele Blast

Location: Omni Tucson National Resort, 2727 West Club Drive, Tucson, Arizona 85742
Date: May 22 to 24, 2014
Performers: Del Ray
Website: http://www.4stringbanjos.com/ARIZONA2014/Welcome%20to%20the%20Arizona%20Banjo%20and%20Ukulele%20Blast!.html
Local Amenities: Map

Mighty Uke Day 2014

Location: Old Town Lansing
Date: May 9 to 10, 2014
Performers: Sarah Maisel, Craig Chee, Gerald Ross.
Website: https://www.facebook.com/groups/180847702019438/ and http://www.mightyukeday.com/
Local Amenities: Map

May Day Play Day 2014

Location: TBA
Date: May 17, 2014; 9:30 am to 4 pm
Performers: TBA
Website: http://funstrummers.com/4.html
Local Amenities: Map

Ashokan Uke Fest 2014

Location: Ashokan Centre, Olivebridge, New York, USA
Date: May 23 to 26, 2014
Performers: Sarah Maisel, Jim D’Ville, Lil’ Rev, Gerald Ross, Cathy Fink, Ruthy Ungar
Website: http://ashokan.org/camps/uke-fest/
Local Amenities: Map

5th Annual West Coast Ukulele Retreat

Location: Asilomar, Monterey Peninsula
Date: May 28 to June 1, 2014
Performers: Heidi Swedberg, Daniel Ward, James Hill, Stuart Fuchs, Rick Turner, Andy Andrews, Dave Egan, Elaine de Man, Kumu Pomaika’i
Website: http://ukuleleretreat.com/
Local Amenities: Map

California Ukulele Academy

Location: Alpine Meadows Conference Center, Southern California
Date: May 29 to June 1, 2014
Performers: Lil’ Rev, Fred Sokolow
Website: http://playuke.net/ca-uke-academy
Local Amenities: Map

Ukulele World Congress VI

Location: 4600 Plum Creek Road, Needmore, Indiana, USA
Date: June 6 to 7, 2014
Performers: TBA
Website: https://www.facebook.com/groups/236184839465/
Local Amenities: Map

Mighty MO Ukulele Festival

Location: Cedar Creek
Date: July 10 to 13, 2014
Performers: Brook Adams, Flea Bitten Dawgs
Website: http://www.mightymoukefest.com/
Local Amenities: Map

Ukulele University 2014

Location: Deschutes County Fairgrounds, Redmond, Oregon, 97756, United States
Date: July 18 to 20, 2014
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.ukeu.info/
Local Amenities: Map

Utah Ukulele Festival

Location: Willow Park, Logan, Utah, USA
Date: August 1 to 2, 2014
Performers: TBA
Website: http://utahukefest.com/
Local Amenities: Map

Oakridge Ukulele Festival 2014

Location: TBA
Date: August 1 to 3, 2014
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.oakridge-lodge.com/events/ukulele-festival/
Local Amenities: Map

Midwest Uke Fest

Location: 22133 Main Street, Woodburn, IN 46797
Date: August 16 to 17, 2014
Performers: Lil’ Rev, Bing Futch, Richard Ash
Website: http://www.midwestukefest.com/
Local Amenities: Map

The Port Townsend Ukulele Festival

Location: Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, Washington
Date: September 3 to 7, 2014
Performers: James Hill, Joel Eckhaus, Francis Doo, The Hula Honeys (Ginger Johnson and Robyn Kneubuhl), Cathy Fink, Marcy Marxer, Fred Sokolow, Gerald Ross, the Canote Brothers, Del Rey
Website: http://centrum.org/the-port-townsend-ukulele-festival/
Local Amenities: Map

Blackwater Ukulele Festival 2014

Location: Cypress Gardens, South Carolina, USA
Date: September 13, 2014
Performers: TBA
Website: http://festival.charlestonhotshots.com/
Local Amenities: Map

Albuquerque Ukekopelli Family Music Festival

Location: African-American Performing Arts Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Date: September 26 to 27, 2014
Performers: Heidi Swedberg, ‘Lil Rev
Website: http://abqukefest.com/
Local Amenities: Map

Tunes In The Dunes IV

Location: Westwind, Oregon
Date: September 19 to 21, 2014
Performers: James Hill, Anne Janelle, Sarah Maisel, Craig Chee, Kate Power.
Website: http://tunesinthedunes.com/
Local Amenities: Map

Milwaukee Ukulele Festival 2014

Location: Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove
Date: October 18, 2014
Performers: The Flea-Bitten Dogs, Stu Fuchs, Mitch Chang, Seeso, Aaron Baer, John Nicholson, Denny Rauen, Jon Prown, Lil’ Rev, Matt Daniels
Website: http://mufest.com/
Local Amenities: Map

Tampa Bay Ukulele Getaway

Location: Tampa Bay, Florida, USA
Date: November 7 to 9, 2014
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.tampabayukulele.com/
Local Amenities: Map

Hawaii

14th Annual Waikoloa Ukulele Festival

Location: Kings’ Shops and Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort
Date: March 1, 2014; 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.ukulelefestivalhawaii.org/en/waikoloa.htm
Local Amenities: Map

Uke Ohana Molokai 2014

Location: Pu’u O Hoku Ranch & Halawa Valley, Molokai, Hawaii
Date: May 23 to 27, 2014
Performers: Lono and Hui O Mele Nei
Website: http://ukeohana.com/
Local Amenities: Map

6th Ukulele Picnic Picnic in Hawaii 2014

Location: Sunset at Kakaako Waterfront Park
Date: May 25, 2014; 8:30 am
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.ukulelepicnicinhawaii.org/en/index.html
Local Amenities: Map

44th Annual Ukulele Festival

Location: Kapiolani Park, Waikiki, Oahu
Date: July 20, 2014; 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.ukulelefestivalhawaii.org/en/oahu/index.htm
Local Amenities: Map

9th Annual Maui Ukulele Festival

Location: Maui Arts & Cultural Center – Kahului, Maui
Date: October 12, 2014; 1:00 to 6:00 pm
Performers: Herb Ohta Sr. (Ohta-San), Jake Shimabukuro, Holunape, Raiatea Helm, Manoa DNA, Paula Fuga, Richard Ho’opi’i, Brittni Paiva, Kelly Boy Delima, Derek Sebastian
Website: http://www.ukulelefestivalhawaii.org/en/maui.htm
Local Amenities: Map

United Kingdom and Ireland

Ukes for UNICEF 2014 – Ukulele Festival

Location: Berkhamsted Civic Centre
Date: March 1, 2014; 11:30 am to 5:00 pm
Performers: The Fog, Nico’o: Kapiolani Boyz, Sam Brown and the International Ukulele Club of Sonning Common, Sunnyside Serenaders, Katie’s Jumping Fleas, Ken Middleton, Keef Jackman, UkieToones, BURP!, BSUS, David Powell, Ver Players and most importantly krabbers.
Website: http://www.ukesforunicef.com/
Local Amenities: Map

First Cardiff Ukulele Festival

Location: St. David’s Hall, Cardiff, UK
Date: March 22, 2014; 2 pm to 6 pm
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.ukenights.co.uk/
Local Amenities: Map

N’Ukefest 2014

Location: The Cotton Arms, Cholmondely Road, Wrenbury, Cheshire CW5 8HG
Date: May 16 to 18, 2014
Performers: Phil Doleman, Chonkinfeckle, Krabbers, The N’Ukes, Ooty And The Cloud
Website: http://www.nukefest.com/
Local Amenities: Map

D’Ukulele Festival

Location: Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford; Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch, Essex
Date: May 17, 2014 and July 26, 2014; 12 pm to 5 pm
Performers: TBA
Website: http://www.d-ukes.co.uk/dukulele/
Local Amenities: Map

York Ukulele Festival 2014

Location: 13, Goodramgate, YO1 7LW York
Date: June 2014 (no specific date yet)
Performers: TBA
Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/408274069295867
Local Amenities: Map

5th Annual Ukulele Festival of Great Britain

Location: Cheltenham Town Hall
Date: June 20 to 22, 2014
Performers: Taimane, Sarah Maisel, Craig Chee, Ukulele Uff & Lonesome Dave, Ryo Natoyama, Tomoki Sato, UKE, Ukulollo & Siwar, Phil Doleman and more
Website: http://www.ukulelefestival.co.uk/Home.aspx
Local Amenities: Map

Leamington Spa Ukulele Festival

Location: Leamington Spa, UK
Date: July 12, 2014
Performers: TBA
Website: http://spa-strummers.co.uk/
Local Amenities: Map

Ukulele By The Sea

Location: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Date: August 23 to 24, 2014
Performers: TBA
Website: http://ukulelehooley.com/
Local Amenities: Map

Grand Northern Ukulele Festival 2014

Location: Huddersfield Town Hall
Date: September 13 to 14, 2014
Performers: Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Del Ray, Andy Eastwood, Chonkinfeckle, The Mother Ukers, Krabbers, Zoë Bestel, The Anything Goes Orchestra, Tricity Vogue & her All Girl Swing Band, The UKEBOX.
Website: http://www.northernuke.com/2014-festival/
Local Amenities: Map

Europe

FIUL 2014

Location: Rue Du Haut Du Mont, Charmois Devant Bruyères, France
Date: July 4 to 6, 2014
Performers: TBA
Website: http://fiul.weebly.com/programme.html
Local Amenities: Map

2nd Czech Ukulele Festival

Location: Ún?tice, Prague, Czech Republic
Date: July 25 to 27, 2014
Performers: Ken Middleton, Ondrej Šárek
Website: http://www.ukulelefestival.cz/
Local Amenities: Map

UkeTown 2014

Location: Ploossche Hof 85, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
Date: October 5, 2014
Performers: The D’Ukes
Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/758508337499425/?fref=ts
Local Amenities: Map

Pulga Saltitante

Location: Largo Conde, 4550-102 Castelo de Paiva, Portugal
Date: TBA
Performers: TBA
Website: https://www.facebook.com/pulgasaltitante001
Local Amenities: Map

Australia and New Zealand

5th Blue Mountains Ukulele Festival

Location: Carrington Hotel, Katoomba, Australia
Date: February 7 to 9, 2014
Performers: Ukulele Ladies, Three Little Boys, The Central Coast Ukulele Club, Uke-East Big Band, The Shining Wits, CSUkes, and more
Website: http://www.bluemugs.com.au/
Local Amenities: Map

The Melbourne Ukulele Festival 2014

Location: Local Haunted Castle (the Northcote Town Hall)
Date: March 7 to 9, 2014
Performers: The Nukes, Ukulele Russ (Alaska), Matthew Fagan, Manitoba Hal (Canada), The Melbourne Ukulele Kollective, The Brass Traps, Cat House
Website: http://www.muf.org.au/
Local Amenities: Map

Sunshine Coast Ukulele Fest

Location: Borumba Deer Park, Imbil, Queensland, Australia
Date: March 14 to 16, 2014
Performers: Jim D’Ville & Gideon Freudmann, Manitoba Hal, AJ Leondard & Jenny Rowlands
Website: http://www.sunshinecoastukulelefest.com/
Local Amenities: Map

2014 Cairns Ukulele Festival

Location: TBA
Date: July 3 to 6, 2014
Performers: TBA
Website: http://cairnsukulelefestival.net/2014-dates/
Local Amenities: Map

Asia

Ukuleles For Peace Galilee Gathering

Location: Harashim, Galilee, Israel
Date: March 21 to 23, 2014
Performers: TBA
Website: https://www.facebook.com/ufpgalileegathering
Local Amenities: Map

3rd Thailand International Ukulele Festival

Location: Parc Paragon, Siam Paragon, Bangkok, Thailand
Date: October 19 to 20, 2014
Performers: Kalei Gamiao, Aldrine Guerrero, Derick Sebastian, Benny Chong, TJ Mayeshiro, Rio Saito, Pao Gumba, Alan Soo, Malaysia Ukulele, Loco Mango, Apple Show, Gail Sophicha, and more
Website: http://thailandukulelefestival.com/
Local Amenities: Map

Oyama Ukulele Festival

Location: Water Square Special Stage, Oyama, Tochigi Prefecture Kizawa 147
Date: August 23 to 24, 2014; 10 am to 6 pm
Performers: KYAS, Lagoo, Frog Sleep
Website: http://oyama-ukulelefestival.com/
Local Amenities: Map

Ukulele Video of the Year 2013: Rob Pachol, Adrien Sala & Tesia Rhind – As the Living Do

After a hard fought battle and over 1,000 votes in the Ukulele Video of Year vote the winner is Rob Pachol (AKA Sanford and Song) with Adrien Sala and Tesia Rhind playing As the Living Do.

The video is the first in Rob’s “Sanford and Songwriter” series where he hooks up with a local songwriter and adds ukulele accompaniment. It’s a real masterclass in how to use your ukulele to enhance a song without overwhelming it. He weaves his lines into the song so deftly that it seems the song was written with them in mind. I learned a lot from watching and listening and it’s a deserving winner.

It was a close run vote all the way and the runner up, Jontom’s Born to Run, deserves a shout out too.

Rob was kind enough to answer a few questions on how the video came to be and tips on how to accompany songwriters with your ukulele.

We’re used to seeing you playing solo, what made you start the Sanford and Songwriter series?

I started the series to freshen up the channel a bit, and to promote some songs by locals who’s material I happen to like, with an emphasis on Adrien Sala’s music.

I also wanted to join the ranks of players trying to pull the ukulele out of its pigeonhole a bit, as far as how it can sound as an accompaniment instrument. Adding ukulele to a song doesn’t mean your song has to end up sounding like a Prius commercial. You know what I mean. (As far as I know there isn’t even a ukulele in that Prius commercial, but you THINK there is!)

How did you get together with Adrien and Tesia?

I’ve known Adrien for awhile, but the three of us came together to play the ceremony at a friend’s wedding a couple years ago. That’s how I met Tesia. I really fell in love with Adrien’s songs and the way our picking styles complimented each other, and then Tesia’s voice.

What sort of preparation do you do before the video? How much rehearsing goes on beforehand?

The only preparation for the songwriter series stuff is my learning the song beforehand, and coming up with a complimentary arrangement. A week or so later we run the song a couple times, then video a few takes. Not much to it, unless the featured songwriter doesn’t like a detail I’m playing, then I have to fudge around a few minutes for replacement parts. (“As the Living Do” was of course video’d by Mike Latschislaw. That’s why it looks so much better than my usual Canon camera junk.)

What are your top tips for accompanying others?

I suppose the first tip is to play in service of the song, and to the songwriter’s wishes. Although this is where things can get touchy, especially if you’re like me and easily grow attached to the parts you create. Adrien and I were recording an instrumental track to one of his songs, and he didn’t like the way I was bending a note. A typical sort of blues bend, but on ukulele I thought it sounded somewhat unique. He thought it sounded “too Winnipeg”. Ha! I fought for the bend, and he acquiesced, but I really should’ve stopped being a jerk and stopped bending. I should just go out and write my own songs full of bendy ukulele if it means that much to me.

Another simple tip is to arpeggiate the chords instead of strumming along. Particularly when accompanying a guitar part. This is where the ukulele can really be used to it’s fullest potential. You can easily do suspended chords over the guitar’s simple major chords and they wont clash. They add a lot of “air” to the sound. If someone is strumming along in D, try arpeggiating a Dsus4 (maybe it’s a Dmaj add 11?) Anyway, the chord position is 0220. I LOVE that chord…

What can we expect from you in 2014? When are you releasing a record?

2014 is the year to get it in gear and record some music. Adrien? Tesia? We did record some demos in 2012 which we intended as a springboard to greater things, but life kind of got in the way. Adrien had a baby girl, Tesia got married and has been working hard on her band Sibyl, and I’ve been waiting for a kick in the ass.

Links

Subscribe to Sanfordandsong on YouTube
Adrien Sala on MySpace
Tesia Rhind’s band Sibyl

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