– Download a free ukulele calendar with some familiar faces. Including mine. (To clear up some confusion: I have no involvement in this calendar other than being in it. I don’t own the 5K either.)
– Rookie’s teach yourself to play ukulele.
– Ukulele star.
– Fact checking a t-shirt.
– Martin 5K.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this tune. Several hundred I expect. But not once did it occur to me that there might be a reason he’s going on about tossed salads and scrambled eggs. Frasier writer, Ken Levine asked the tune’s composer Bruce Miller who explained, “these were things that were “mixed up” like Frasier Crane’s patients”.
And it’s not just the patients. The theme is a mixed up, mouse painting, moon howling kinda song. For a tune that only lasts 36 seconds this really packs in a lot of different notes. My advice is to throw yourself into it an not worry much about any mistakes.
If you’re looking for something festive to learn here’s a complete rundown of everything Christmassy on the site.
You can pick up all three for the price of 2 by buying the whole Christmas Trilogy at once. And you can get an extra $2 off if you use this code in the shopping cart: theothertinytim
12 Days of Christmas
A Christmas Duel – The Hives and Cyndi Lauper
All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
Chiron Beta Prime – Jonathan Coulton
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love
Christmas for Cowboys – John Denver/Ballard C Boyd
Christmas in July – Jonathan Coulton and John Roderick
Cold Outside – Julia Nunes & Wade Johnson
Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
Fuck Christmas – Eric Idle
Give the Jew Girl Toys – Sarah Silverman
It’s Cliched to be Cynical At Christmas – Half Man Half Biscuit
iPod X-mas – Hello Saferide
Let It Snow
Lumberjack Christmas/Christmases Past – Sufjan Stevens
Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight) – The Ramones
Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade
No Christmas – Zee Avi
Present Face – Garfunkel and Oates
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Run, Run Rudolph – Chuck Berry
Santa Will Find You – Mindy Smith/Tripping Lily
Silver Bells – She & Him
Space Christmas – Allo Darlin
The Christmas Song – Weezer
The Christmas Song Song – Rocky and Balls
Year End Letter – Garfunkel and Oates
You’re a Mean One Mr Grinch
Away in a Manger
Carol of the Bells
Christmastime Is Here (from Charlie Brown)
German Christmas Carols
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Instrumental)
Jingle Bell Rock
Little Drummer Boy
Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence
O Christmas Tree (Single Note Version)
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Silent Night (Harmonics Version)
Silent Night (Single Note Version)
Sleigh Ride – U900 / The Ventures
Various – Wilfried Welti’s Musikalisches Naschwerk für Solo Ukulele
We Three Kings
Tripping Lily’s ukulele cover of Mindy Smith’s Santa Will Find You has been the video to kick off every Christmas UkeTube since 2009. The song has the perfect mix of melancholy and jazziness for a Christmas song. And Tripping Lily played it so well. So it’s well past time I wrote it up.
Two main strums will get you through this. Both of them just down strums.
For the more sparse parts you can just do two down strums per bar.
For the other parts you can do six down strums with the fourth being emphasised. Like this:
d d d D d d
In the verse and intro: Once each on E and Emaj7. Twice on everything else.
In the chorus: The first two lines the same as the verse. The last two strum the pattern once for each chord.
Here’s how that strum sounds:
Here’s the guitar line in the intro and throughout adapted for ukulele:
There’s a slight change right at the end. In the outro section replace the last two bars with this:
It’s been a busy couple of weeks. I’ve just released the final part of the Christmas Ukulele Trilogy: Christmas Ukulele III: Return of the Magi. And the updated version of How to Play Blues Ukulele (if you bought the previous version and haven’t had an email from me with a download for the new one send me a message with the email address you used when you bought it and I’ll hook you up.
There are discount codes for both if you buy before Christmas:
Blues: ibluemyself ($5 off)
Christmas: theothertinytim ($2 off the Christmas III or the trilogy)
– Tips for playing ukulele with a guitar player.
To give you an idea of the tabs in the Christmas Ukulele III ebook, here’s an arrangement in the same styles and with a similar difficulty.
The Little Drummer Boy is (supposed to be) based on an old Czech folk melody. But it only became well known when rearranged and given lyrics in the 1950s for the Harry Simeone Chorale version.
This arrangement is designed to be played solo. It can all be played with your thumb on your picking hand. When you play more than one string just strum your thumb down until you hit the last note in the chord.
The notes in brackets here are backing notes. They’re not part of the melody so play them softly.
This version is even simpler. It splits up the chords and the melody into different parts. So you can play this version with a friend or with this MP3. It’s stereo split so you can play along with either the chords or the melody.
For the strumming here I’m just doing two down strums per bar.
It’s the third and final ebook of the Christmas Ukulele Trilogy. I promise not to make any shitty prequels.
Ten more Christmas tunes arranged as easily as possible so you’ll be able to play them if you’re called on to provide a festive performance at any point.
This collection is the most varied so far. As well as a selection of Christmas carols it includes the Appalachian tune Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over (as made famous by Jack White’s version on the Cold Mountain soundtrack), the creepy English folk song Down in Yon Forest and Hanukkah O Hanukkah.
It’s priced $7 but you can get $2 off by using this code in the checkout before Christmas:
The code ‘theothertinytim’ will get you $2 off that as well.
What You Get
– Tabs of full arrangements for these traditional Christmas favourites:
Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over?
Ding Dong Merrily on High?
Down in Yon Forest
Hanukkah O Hanukkah
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (The “Hymn” version.)
O Holy Night
O Little Town of Bethlehem (The Ralph Vaughan Williams version.)
What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)
They’re all arranged without any fancy finger work. The picking hand can all be done with the thumb. (The exception is Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over which has a simple arrangement and a more difficult one). They’re intended for high-g tuning.
– Super-simple melody arrangements of all those tunes. Only one note at a time. These include tab, standard notation and lyrics.
– MP3s of the melody arrangements. Stereo split so you can play along with either the melody or the chords.
– A PDF with performance notes and tips on playing all versions of the tunes.
Quick warning: if you’re using iPad/iPhone/Android you can’t download everying directly to your gadget. But there is a link to download the main body of the book (with the performance notes and the full arrangements) directly to you device.
What They Sound Like
Full Arrangement Videos
Here’s what the melody-only versions sound like. The melody tab also has chord names so you can be accompanied by a friend. Or if, like me, you’re a badass loner you can play along with these mp3s. They’re split so the left hand side has the chords and the right has the melody.
Buy Christmas Ukulele III:
Get $2 of either of them using this code:
After 9 years of being together, the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra have put out their debut album Be Mine Tonight. It’s a collection of songs from New Zealand largely unknown in these more civilised parts. It serves as a guide to all the songs we’ve missed out on from impressively magnificent treasures that should have been global mega-hits to impressively, magnificent cheese.
One song that did make it global is Lorde’s Team. And that’s the one I chose to write up.
Slap a capo on the first fret and the chords are straightforward. Both songs are in the same key and the chords are pretty much identical. So this will work for playing along with both of them.
When I’m playing along with the Lorde version I like to do all downstrums as the main strum. But with the third strum in each group of four emphasised to match the clap. So with the capital D being a strong downstrum:
d d D d
The only difference is the short Dm chords in the chorus and outro. There I just do two downstrums.
Together it sounds like this (slow then up to speed):
The WIUO is a bit more laid back and I go with ‘d u’s as the main strum.
d u d u d u d u