Folk Uke – Motherfucker Got Fucked Up (Chords)


Folk Uke – Motherfucker Got Fucked Up (Chords)

I’m so excited that Orange is the New Black is back. As well as being fantastic, there’s often some ukulele tucked in there. There was Miss E’s Hummingbird in season three and O’Neill’s anti-nun banjolele song in season two. Season four features this ditty from superstar-progeny duo Folk Uke at the end of the first episode.

The song is just three chords and has easy strumming so it’s perfect for beginners.

Suggested Strumming

You can use the old faithful strum almost all the way through:

d – d u – u d –

In the chorus and the solo: Play that pattern twice for the C chords at the end of the first and third lines. Play it once for everything else. So it sounds like this:


Strum

The only place that strum doesn’t work is in the outro. There switch to just down-strums. One for the G at the end of the line and two for everything else. For the very last line go back to the main strum for two chords then end on a down-strum on the C.

Twiddly Bits

With a little octave shifting, the solo transfers neatly to ukulele:

MFSolo

It sounds like this:


Solo

Links

Buy it on iTunes
More easy chord songs

Bonus: Papa Roach – Last Resort

The first episode also featured this song and I couldn’t resist.

Tune the C-string down to B for this one.

A video posted by @ukulelehunt on

LastResort

Buy it on iTunes

Honoka & Azita, Jeff Linskey: UkeToob

Full Playlist

Read the rest of this entry »

One Handed Ukulele: Friday Links

Building
– The Strum Buddy is designed to help ukulelists who only have use of one hand. It allows you to tap you foot to create the strums. You can read about a student who is using it to play in his school’s uke group. And learn how to make your own.
– Instructables tells how build a flag shaped ukulele.
3D printable ukulele.

New Releases
– New album from Lil Rev Claw and Hammer.
– You begged, you pleaded, it’s finally here: a ukulele tribute to Blink 182.

Ukes
1920s Harmony-made Supertone soprano.
1920s Slingerland-Style Victory banjolele.
Collection of recent Mya-Moes.
Electric axe ukulele.

The internet has gone crazy for ukulelist Grace VanderWaal on America’s Got Talent.

Scott Joplin – Cleopha (Tab)


David Beckingham – Cleopha (Tab)

After a bit of a break, David Beckingham is back with one of his excellent tabs. This time it’s a classic ragtime tune from the master Scott Joplin.

Links

David Beckingham on YouTube
More David Beckingham tabs

Top Eight Chord Progressions of All Time

I’ve covered a lot of incredible chord progressions over the years. And I wanted to pick through them to find the tricks they used. And how those tricks added to the story the song was telling.

Let me know your favourite progressions in the comments.

8. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black

The Chords

BackToBlack

Full chords

How it Sounds


Chords

What Makes this Progression So Good?

First, it’s in saddest of all keys D minor. But my favourite part is the chromatic move down from Bb to A (chromatic means you move up or down one fret). That falling back feels so resigned and deflated. It’s perfect for the song.

7. Dream a Little Dream of Me

The Chords

Dream

Full chords

How it Sounds


Chords

What Makes this Progression So Good?

This song, written by Fabian Andre and Wilbur Schwandt and covered by everyone, uses the same chromatic trick twice. Being in a major key it gives the move a lazy and dreamy quality.

6. Bon Iver – Skinny Love

The Chords

This one is in open-C tuning i.e. the A-string is tuned down to G.

SkinnyLove

Full chords

How it Sounds


Chords

What Makes this Progression So Good?

This song makes great use of drones i.e. notes that stay the same through all the chords. And I made sure that carried through on the ukulele version by using an open tuning. So the C-string rings through the whole progression and the E-string for all but one chord.

Skinny Love also makes use of dissonance on the D7sus2. That chord has three notes close to each other: B, C and D. These clash to create an uncomfortable feeling that propels the progression forward. I wrote more about that in the best ukulele chords post.

5. Carly Simon – Nobody Does It Better

The Chords
NobodyDoesIt

Full chords

How it Sounds


Chords

What Makes this Progression So Good?

The IV to iv chord change (Bb to Bbm in this case) is an absolute classic. This change is the famous
strange change from major to minor in Every Time We Say Goodbye. You can also hear it in Radiohead, in Arctic Monkeys #1 Party Anthem and umpteen by the Beatles. It’s another case of a chromatic move down but this time on just the C-string. Going from 2nd fret to 1st fret and resolving to the open string for the F chord.

After that is another neat trick: introducing notes on top of a base chord. So the underlying chord is F and she adds 9 and 7 notes on top of it.

4. ABBA – Dancing Queen

The Chords

DancingQueen2

Full chords

How it Sounds


Chords

What Makes this Progression So Good?

This is a clever twist on changing notes over background chords. The notes on top of the chords (g-string, 1st fret to g-string, second fret) are repeated for each chord.

3. (I Wish I Could Shimmy Like) Sister Kate

The Chords

SisterKate

Full chords

How it Sounds


Chords

What Makes this Progression So Good?

This is my absolute favourite chord turnaround. It’s adapted from Bob Brozman’s guitar version. The first three chords combine drones on the g- and E-strings with chromatic notes on the C- and A-strings. But this time the notes are ascend chromatically. That creates the opposite effect and makes the song a lively, excited.

2. Prince – Purple Rain

The Chords

PurpleRain

Full chords

How it Sounds


Chords

What Makes this Progression So Good?

Another chord progression using drones. This time the notes on the E- and A-strings sound through the first three chords.

But the highlight of the progression is the use of Bb9 and Eb9. These are unsettled chords like the D7sus2 in Skinny Love. But they’re not discordant. They’re melancholy and restless. The song is in Bb and using a Bb9 means the progression doesn’t feel like it’s relaxed and complete. The chords keep cycling and never resolves.

I wrote more about Prince’s use of 9 chords here.

David Bowie – Life on Mars

The Chords

LifeOnMarsPreChorus

Full chords

How it Sounds


Chords

What Makes this Progression So Good?

The pre-chorus section of Life on Mars uses the ascending chromatic notes over chords trick and keeps doing it until your head is about to explode.

First there’s an Ab chord with ascending notes on the C-string. Then it moves to Db and ascends on the E-string (Note: I adjusted the chord names to make them more readable). This section is the perfect over-the-top build up for the contrast between the mundane life the mousey haired girl is living in the verse and grandiosity of what’s happening on the silver screen.

Prince – Purple Rain (Chords)

Prince – Purple Rain (Chords)

A few weeks ago I wrote about Prince’s favourite chord trick and it lead to an inevitable cavalcade of requests for Purple Rain. And why not? It has to be one of the best chord progressions ever written.

Suggested Strumming

Here’s the slightly sparse strumming pattern I like to play:

d – – – d – d u
– u – – d u d u


Strumming

You can use that everywhere except the few chords he strums once then brings a halt to the backing.

Twiddly Bits

I’m not going to write up the whole solo but here’s the little repeating motif:

PurpleMotif


Solo Motif

Towards the end of the song this little run is introduced at the end of the chord progression:

PurpleTurnaround1

If you’re really adventurous you can play it with full chords. Here’s how it sounds (easy version then hard):


Turnaround

Links

Buy it on iTunes
More Prince

Fidel and Sarah Anne, Stables: UkeTube

Full Playlist

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Links

Kala had $20.2 million of sales last year.

If you’re a fan of Keston Cobblers Club check out the new project from, Cobbler uker, Matthew Lowe Stables. Their uke-heavy debut album is out in July but you can stream it here.

How to become a professional ukulele player.

1920s Gretsch-made Tenor Banjo/Baritone Banjo Ukulele.

The Grand Northern Ukulele Festival kicks off today in Huddersfield.

Pictures
Marion Harris – 1917.
Carmel Myers

UK Punk Riffs (Tab)

Carrying on with this week’s posts inspired by the UOGB’s all-punk album (Ever Such) Pretty Girls with some riffs and licks from UK punk and post-punk bands. Some on their album and some not.

The Stranglers – Peaches

A video posted by @ukulelehunt on

Peaches

Buy it on iTunes

Ian Dury and the Blockheads – Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

A video posted by @ukulelehunt on

SexAndDrugsAnd

Buy it on iTunes

Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart

A video posted by @ukulelehunt on

LoveWillTearUsApart

Buy it on iTunes

The Jam – Town Called Malice

A video posted by @ukulelehunt on

TownCalledMalice

Buy it on iTunes

Bow Wow Wow – I Want Candy (Intro)

A video posted by @ukulelehunt on

IWantCandy

Buy it on iTunes

The Rezillos – Good Sculptures

A video posted by @ukulelehunt on

GoodSculptures

Buy it on iTunes

Gang of Four – Damaged Goods

A video posted by @ukulelehunt on

DamagedGoods

Buy it on iTunes

Spider Capo Mini Review

I’m a sucker for a new gadget. The more useless and ridiculous the better (e.g. I’ve spent the last year trying to not buy an Apple Watch). So I couldn’t resist picking up the most ridiculous bit of ukulele kit: a spider capo.

What the Hell is a Spider Capo?

A standard capo frets all the strings on the fret you put it on. But a spider capo lets you choose which strings it frets and which are left open.

For example, in this photo I have the capo on the second fret with the levers on the g-, C- and E-strings down and the A-string left open. That means when you play all the strings you get a D chord.

Spider Capo Fixed

They claim you get “hundreds of open string tunings”. But if you want to be picky – and I certainly do – I make it 15 possible combinations per fret (2^4 total combinations less one for none of the strings capoed). Being generous and saying it can fit on 12 frets that’s 180 combinations (181 if you count gCEA).

Why not just use an open tuning? The biggest reason is that all the chord shapes and scale patterns you know still work when you use a spider capo. E.g. if you tuned the ukulele to an open D chord an A chord is 0234 and C is 3213. But with a spider capo set up to a D chord an A chord is just the G shape (0232) and C is a Bb shape (3211).

The spider capo is also more adaptable than using open tunings. In the second piece in the video above I have the g- and A-strings fretted at the fifth fret. Making them higher than is practical through retuning.

The Good Stuff

Highly Adjustable: You can adjust the width of the entire spider capo and the distance between the levers a great deal. It’s fits on all my ukes from soprano to baritone without any problem.

Creates Unique Patterns: I had a lot of fun messing around and came up with things I wouldn’t have been able to play any other way. And it’s a fun trick to play below the capo as well as above it.

Quick Lever Switching: Flicking a lever on or off the string is lightening quick. Quick enough you could switch levers mid-song if the situation called for it.

Well Made: It feels like a sturdy and durable piece of kit.

The Not So Good Stuff

Spider capo closeup

Fiddly to Attach: It’s certainly not like a standard capo that you can slap on in two seconds. Even once you have all the levers properly aligned for your uke it takes time to get it fixed properly. It’s a lot easier to attach the capo wonky than to attach it correctly. You have to be careful that the little ridges under the capo rest on the fretboard rather than on the frets or dangling in mid air. And they really seem to repel the fretboard at every opportunity. Trying to make it flush against the fret often means that the ridges at the back of the capo are over the fret behind it.

Holding Thin Strings: I found that quite often it would produce buzzes or mute high-g and A-strings. The levers are concave where they touch the strings and the middle isn’t low enough to fret properly. So you have to position the string on one side of the lever.

Here’s a video with the capo attached as well as I can get it but with the string in the middle of the lever:

Not All That Useful: I had fun playing around with with it but I’ve not thought, “A spider capo would be useful to play this.” I haven’t found much practical, day-to-day use for it.

Overall

I can’t recommend getting a spider capo mini to most ukers. There are few situations where they’d come in handy.

The only type of player I’d even reservedly recommend a spider capo for are people who like writing their own tunes and has plenty of time to spend attaching it. If you use one I’m sure it’d inspire a few tunes you wouldn’t have otherwise come up with.

Buy One

On eBay US
On eBay UK

Older Entries
Newer Entries