– Preview of the new Pixar short featuring Uku. A singing volcano voiced by Kuana Torres.
– You might have seen the movie Frank loosely based on Frank Sidebottom and other outsider musicians. Frank with an American accent is no big deal but Frank playing a guitar is egregiously wrong. But you can watch Frank play his ukulele and chat with Tony Slattery and Stanley Unwin. (Via Things I Saw that I Love.)
– Ukulele tap dancing.
Olympic gold medal diver and ukulelist, Matthew Mitcham is starring in an autobiographical ukulele musical.
To counteract yesterday’s gloomfest I decided to do a version of the most cheerful song of the summer. Plus I was feeling like a room without a roof so this is the smiliest I have looked in any video ever.
For the most part I’m playing the verses and the middle picking and the chorus with strums.
In the chorus I’m using a triplet technique (although I’m not actually playing triplets) by strumming down with my index finger, then flicking my index finger up, then my middle finger up. But that’s very much optional. You can strum it however seems appropriate to you.
In the middle section I’m recreating the soul-claps by playing muted notes on the g-string.
In the tab I’ve just indicated to repeat the verse twice. Which you can certainly get away with. For my version I’ve done a few variations in the timing. The only big difference is the “No offence to you…” bit. There I play this:
Making it Easier
This one is a bit tricky. So a couple of pointers for making it easier.
You can drop the harmony in the riff and just play it like this:
The muted notes in the middle section are very tricky. So you can just drop those in that section and play it with just the sparse melody.
A while back I got a comment by Michael asked me for suggestions of songs in a minor key. Which struck me as an excellent idea of a post because I’m always looking for an excuse to stick it to the ‘it’s impossible to play the ukulele without smiling’ brigade.
If you’ve got a favourite minor key song to play leave it in the comments.
So here are lists of tabs and chords in a minor key (or at least minor enough to be glum):
Tabs in a Minor Key
Angi (Davy Graham)
Breaking Bad Theme
Carol of the Bells
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
He’s a Pirate (Pirates of the Caribbean Theme
I Am the Doctor
The Last of Us Theme
Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence
Rolling in the Deep
Safe and Sound
Shades of Cool
Sonic the Hedgehog Boss Level
The Sweeney Theme
Tamacun (Rodrigo Y Gabriela)
The Godfather Theme
Video Games (Lana Del Rey)
Walk on By (Burt Bacharach)
We Three Kings
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Chords in a Minor Key
Anyone Who Had a Heart (Dionne Warwick)
Back to Black (Amy Winehouse)
Bei Mir Bist du Schon (Sophie Madeleine)
Big Bang 2 (Charlie McDonnell)
The Chimbley Sweep (The Decemberists)
Daisy Fraser (Snake Suspenderz)
Down in the Hole (Blind Boys of Alabama)
Elephant Gun (Beirut)
February Snow (Peggy Sue)
Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros (Flight of the Conchords)
Girl (The Beatles)
Golden Skans (The Klaxons)
Gulag Orkestar (Beirut)
Guyamas Sonoroa (Beirut)
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Daft Punk)
I Love the Things that People Make (The Burning Hell)
Standing Next to Me (Last Shadow Puppets)
You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch
Mount Wroclai (Beirut)
Mary (Oingo Boingo)
Somebody that I Used to Know
Stayin’ Alive (The Bee Gees)
Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard (Tom Waits)
I originally had this one planned for the Acoustic Intros post. But in a fit of nostalgia I blundered into writing up the entire thing.
The chords are a bit tricky. There’s a fast switch between G and the dreaded E chord. You can make the transition a little quicker by using these alternative chord shapes. Or you can put a capo on the second fret and play it like this.
For the intro, chorus and solos do this on the E chord:
d – d – d u d
And this on the D:
u – u – u – u d u
Notice that you switch chords on the up strum. Together they sound like this:
In the verses you can use this twice on E and D and once on A:
d – d u – u d –
One long down strum on A and two down strums on G.
Here’s the intro. It’s nice and simple.
The verse follows a similar pattern and includes a few bends. Things get very tricky in the solo. I’ve had to move things around to fit them onto uke.
Here’s how it sounds:
– Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra’s new album.
– Keston Cobblers’ Club new EP A Pocket Guide to Escaping.
Another excellent contribution from David Beckingham. This time an arrangement of Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust. This one isn’t as tricky to play as most of his arrangements. So there’s plenty of room there for expressive playing.
It’s looking like another golden year for ukulele music. Worryingly, more than half the year has already gone. So time for retrospective of the best ukulele videos of the year so far. Based on ratings on UkeToob, reaction on the blog and my personal tingles.
I’ll warn you now, it is 21 videos long. So if you find that woefully short there’s more ukulele music in the Ukulele 2014 Spotify playlist.
If there’s a video I’ve cruelly overlooked let me know in the comments.
It’s been a long wait but at last Garfunkel and Oates finally have a TV show. And it’s fantastic.
You can watch an episode on YouTube if you’re in the US (or can convince the internet you are) (you used to be able to). I couldn’t find a legit way to watch it in the UK but IFC shows usually show up on iTunes and Netflix eventually.
You can get the chords for all the songs from their two albums on their iOS app. But The Fade Away – the closing song on the first show in the series – isn’t on it. So here goes.
The chords are very simple (just remember to put a capo on the first fret) so there’s plenty of cognitive space to memorise the thousands of words in the song.
A fair chunk of the song is just one down strum per chord. This should see you through everything else:
d – d u – u d –
Here’s the simple little bit at the start: