I put Choan’s marvellous version of If I Had You (most known to me in Cliff Edwards’ ukulele version) on the UkeTube a while back. And he was kind enough to send me his tab of it.
The whole piece is full of interesting chord ideas. Even if you’re not going to learn the whole thing I’d recommend playing through the intro (bars 1 and 2), the turnaround (bars 9 and 10) and the outro (bars 30 – 33). You can use these directly in a jazzy piece in A or adapt them for other keys.
We’re coming up to the halfway point of the year so time for roundup of the best ukulele videos of 2015 so far. It’s turning into another vintage year for ukulele music so I had a nightmare time trying to get the list down to a reasonable length. In the end I’ve tried to represent the incredible breadth of ways the ukulele is being used these days.
YouTube is going all out to make itself impossible to use. With being capricious about which videos they show from subscriptions and turning off RSS feeds it’s been harder to keep up. So if I’ve missed something leave a link in the comments and I’ll check it out.
I’ve been a bit on the fence about twenty one pilots. But I’ve been looking for some good old ukulele punk pop since The King Blues called it a day and We Don’t Believe What’s on TV fits the bill very nicely.
The are some chord inversions in the song you might not be familiar with. I’ve written them up the way I think he’s playing them. But feel free to use inversions that are more familiar like your prefered way of playing E or the 0100 version of A7. If you’re using the chord charts as written remember that the fret number at the top right of some of the diagrams indicates the fret the diagram starts on. For example, the E7 starts with a barre at the fourth fret (not the first).
You can use this as the main strum:
d – d – d u d u
The ‘Tros and the Verses: One main strum each for F#m and E. Then twice for A except the ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ bits. There do the main strum once, then one down strum. Then either stop or do three down muted strums.
The tune works well as a solo piece but it’s a perfect piece for ukulele groups as it has parts for all abilities: simple chords for beginners, a picking part (below) for those starting on fingerpicking and the melody (above) for the show-offs.
How do you do it? Slap the palm of your strumming hand down on the strings around the noise-hole area.
Advantages: Easy to do. Very percussive sound.
Disadvantages: There’s no strumming sound to it.
How do you do it? A muted strum doesn’t require you to do anything different with your strumming hand at all. All you do is stop the strings from ringing by laying fingers on your fretting hand across the strings to stop them ringing. One finger will usually do the job but two fingers is safer.
In this example I’m playing a C chord. So I release the A-string then lay my index and middle fingers across the strings.
Advantages: You can do muted strums on down and up strums (not possible with chnks), they don’t break up the rhythm of your strumming hand, and they’re easy to do.
Disadvantages: They’re a bit wimpy compared to chnks.
Four Finger Muted Strum
How do you do it? Do a muted strum but strum with all four fingers. Try to line them up so they all hit the strings at about the same time.
Advantages: Louder and more in-your-face than a muted strum.
Disadvantages: Doesn’t have the same slap as a chnk.
How do you do it? Just like the four finger muted strum but you follow through and hit the body of the uke with your nails.
Advantages: They sound as close to a chnk as it’s possible to get without chnking. You can vary the sound you get my changing the amount of force you hit the uke with.
Disadvantages: Is a bit more tricky. It might damage your uke. Or your fingers.
It’s been a sad few weeks with three music legends dying: BB King, Ben E King and Percy Sledge.
In tribute to Percy Sledge I had to write up one of the greatest cheating songs: When A Man Loves a Woman. Bang a capo on the first fret and it works perfectly on ukulele.
Two ponderous downstrums per chord will get you through the verses.
In the verse it’s four downstrums per chord. But at the end of the first and second lines there’s a little walk down on the A-string. There do three long downstrums on the C. Then one quick downstrum each on C – Cmaj7 – C7. If you prefer you can just play 3 – 2 – 1 on the A-string.
From the second verse on there’s a great guitar part. Here’s my adaptation of it for ukulele:
Again, this is played with a capo at the first fret.