This is easily one of the best protest songs ever written. And one of the best songs of any sort. The lyrics are as nuanced and thought-provoking then any other. But it’s the music – written by Clive Langer – that really makes it shine.
The song is in the key of E minor but you’re hardly ever using the Em chord. In my arrangement there’s a grand total of three bars of it. So the song never feels relaxed or settled. It’s always shifting. The jazzy elements unsettle the tune. All that is added to in Robert Wyatt’s version with his vocal wobbles.
I could keep rambling on but I’ll let you play it.
Every time the subject of the ukulele video of the year comes up, regular commentor, Ron Hale enquires as to the status of previous winners. So for him here’s a rundown of what happened to the ukulelists after the career peak of winning the award.
2007 Winner: Molly Lewis (Sweetafton23) – Tom Cruise Crazy
Back then: Bedroom-uker covering Jonathan Coulton.
Since then: As a direct result of this video, she ended up regularly performing and touring with Coulton and buddies like Paul and Storm, and John Hodgman.
Back then: Adorable Japanese puppets covering Ventures songs.
Since then: They followed up the Ventures album with a set of Beatles covers. But whilst touring the record 900′s spiralling drug-use caused friction with U and the band split. U travelled to Bhutan and a spent a year’s retreat at the Punakha Dzong monastery. After a disastrous 13-day marriage to Heidi Hippo, 900 vowed to get sober.
These hip hop riff posts fast becoming my favourite posts to do. With this one I’ve gone way down hill from the firsttwo posts in terms of credibility. But at least there’s a long-overdue Nas riff in there.
I’m going to backtrack from the title right away. Whether these scales sound weird to you depends entirely on your cultural perspective. But they are rarely heard on the ukulele.
There are plenty of good reasons to learn unfamiliar sounding scales:
- Rut busting: Ever find yourself playing the same set of notes over and over again?
- Lame Pastiches: This is how they’re most often used. And that’s what I’ve done for the demo examples in this post. But that’s certainly not the best way of using the scales.
- Integrating into your own style: Much more satisfying is take ideas and sounds and integrate them into your own playing.
So, for starters, here are three lesser-uked scales for you to try out.