Spinal Tab – Stonehenge (Instrumental Tab)


Spinal Tap – Stonehenge (Mandolin Solo)(Tab)

I could pretend I wrote this post Spinal Tap 30th Anniversary. But I actually wrote it to brag that I got 10 out of 10 in The Guardian’s Spinal Tap quiz. Bow down before me. I am your new god.

For this arrangement I’ve taken the intro and outro of the song and made a mandolin solo sandwich. Mandolins are built for speed so I had to slow it down a fair amount to play it. And even still I didn’t play it as smoothly as I’d like.

The intro and outro is mostly octaves picked with thumb and middle finger. If your uke only has 12 frets you can just play the lower half of the octaves and it should work out okay.

The picking for mandolin section is a complete mess! Where I can I’m using running man picking (alternately picking the same string with index and middle fingers). But mostly I’m using whatever finger gets there first. Which would explain why I’m not playing it smoothly.

Links

Buy it on iTunes
Sex Farm tab
This is Spinal Tape

ukulelezaza – Happy Days are Here Again: Book Review

ZaZaBook

I’ve long been a fan of ukulelezaza (aka Remco Houtman). In fact he was in the third ever UkeTube in 2007. Back when MySpace was the obvious place to link to. So I was very excited to try out his tab book Happy Days are Here Again. Which Shelley of The Jumping Flea Market was kind enough to send me.

What You Get

A book containing:

- Tabs (no standard notation) for 16 tunes:

Bei Mir Bist Du Schön/Für Elise – Caravan – Drifting and Dreaming – Freight Train – Georgia On My Mind – Happy Days Are Here Again – Home – I Surrender Dear – Margaret’s Waltz – On The Sunny Side of the Street – Pa’au’au Waltz – Painting the Clouds with Sunshine – Sweet Lorraine – When You’re Smiling – Who’s Sorry Now?

- Descriptions of the techniques used in the DVD.
- Two-page histories of Martin and National ukuleles (used in the DVD) and shorter descriptions of a few other ukuleles.

A DVD containing:

- Performances of all the pieces (in a more ornamented fashion than they’re tabbed).
- Short demonstrations of the techniques described in the book.

The Good Stuff

- Having a Style: The biggest lesson I took from the book was an abstract one. The tabs as they’re presented in the book are really straightforward. Then for the DVD he pours that ukulelezaza-sauce all over them. He has a jazz-ear style, sound and set of techniques that make his playing immediately identifiable. I admire that because I feel like I don’t have a style at all. And it was interesting to watch him transform the simple arrangements.

- Clean, Simple Arrangements: All the tabs are simply arranged. Mostly combining single notes for the melodies with chords. If you wanted to play them straight they’re comfortably in an intermediate difficulty.

- Concise Tutorials: The tutorial bits in the book and the DVD are short and to the point. The trend on YouTube seems to be for long, boring ukulele tutorials. I’m much more into doing things the concise way.

- Well Presented: The book is nicely laid out with easy to read tabs and (black and white) photos of vintage ukuleles for some eye-candy.

The Not So Good Stuff

- Tab/DVD Differences: It’s my favourite aspect of the book but I know from experience some people are going to be really annoyed by that the tabs don’t match his performance. They’re just the basis of his version.

- Nitpicking: There were a few points in the book fingering suggestions would have been useful but I picked it up from the videos. And DVD menus are never a pleasure to use.

Overall

If you’re a fan of golden era jazz and that style of ukulele playing the book is a must. Ukulelezaza is a master of that style and this is the best book around on that style.

Links

You can buy Happy Days are Here Again at The Jumping Flea Market’s Etsy for £11.59 (or the equivalent where you are).
ukulelezaza on YouTube

Pharrell/WotE – Happy (Chords)


Pharrell Williams/Walk off the Earth – Happy (Chords)

Walk off the Earth do a great job of making the covers they do look like a ton of fun. Every time they make a new one I get the urge to write it up. And I caved once again with their version of Pharrell Williams’s Happy with Parachute. It combines a funky riff with some tricky jazzy chords.

I’d recommend trying out a few variations of the chords. For example, you could use these for the F7sus4 – F move:

Happy 2

Suggested Strumming

You can use this once for every chord in the choruses:

d – d u – u d –

Which sounds like this:


Happy Strum 1

For something more involved you could do this on the first two chords:

d u x u – u d -

Then on F7sus4:

d – d – - u d

And on F7:

u – u – u – u d u

So you’re switching to the F7 on the last up strum of the bar.

Together they sound like this:


Happy Strum 2

And for the intro and the outro just do five down strums.

Twiddly Bits

Here’s the verse riff:

Happy

Here it is played slowly then up to speed:

Links

Buy the Pharrell version
Visit WalkOffTheEarth.com
More Walk off the Earth chords

Damon Albarn, Molly Lewis: UkeTube

Full Playlist

Read the rest of this entry »

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

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