Wilfried Welti has just released a new free tab ebook Erste Ubungsstucke fur Solo Ukulele and was kind enough to let me share it. The arrangements are very simple and suitable for people just starting out with solo ukulele.
It goes along with his solo ukulele crash course for people new to solo ukulele (it’s currently in German only but he’s working on an English version and Google does a reasonable job in the meantime).
I did the chords for this Bernard and Smith tune way back in 2008 so it’s long overdue a run through a tabbed version.
I’ve gone with a chord arrangement for most of the tune. That means I’m just holding down chords and strumming. Then emphasising the melody while letting the other strums hang back.
The other main technique is picking the C-string with my thumb and flicking my index finger up across the E- and A-strings. I do that right at the start of the verse (second half of bar 4) and in the, “In the meadow…” section (bars 14-19).
The only bit of pure fingerpicking comes in the descending line in bar 20.
For this tab of the intro I’m picking all the strings at the same time. That way all the notes are played simultaneously just like a piano (as opposed to strumming where they sound at very slightly different times). It seems like a subtle difference but it really helps match the sound of the original.
* Unexpected connection: That Colbert bit was directed by Christmas ukulele album maker Ballard C Boyd
Time for the annual Uke Hunt Christmas time-waster.
– Grab a pen and paper
– Display knowledge.
– There might be spoilers in the comments.
– Check the answers here (no peeking).
– Return in triumph or despair and share you score in the comments.
If you’re reading by email or feed reader you may need to click through to the post to see everything.
Name the Chord
Name the Brand
Click for a bigger version.
By The Donotron
By Kyle Nishioka
Name the Cover
Who first released the songs these ukulele orchestras are covering?
11. Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
12. Exeter Ukulele Club
13. Tickhill Ukulele Group
14. Jerome Ukulele Orchestra
15. Grand Old Uke of York
Name the Celeb
Name the Lyric
Which songs – oft covered on ukulele – are these lyrics from?
21. I see trees of green/Red roses too.
22. I look at the world and I notice it’s turning.
23. Magic, madness, heaven, sin/Saw you there and I thought/Oh my God, look at that face.
24. I’m laughing at clouds/So dark up above.
25. Your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my left side brains.
Name the Theme Tune
This is a uked version of the theme tune to which…
26. …recently revived 80s supernatural movie.
27. …90s sitcom.
28. …TV medical drama.
29. …animated series.
30. …blockbuster podcast.
I’ve written up the live version of this one because it’s lovely (as is Mark Kozelek’s version). The only difference in the arrangement is the long, faded in intro is cut down.
It’s dead easy to play. Just three chords and you can use one strum all the way through. The only weirdness is the lyrics fit around the chords a little strangely.
You can use this strum all the way through:
d – d u d –
In the verses play that twice for G then once each for C and D. In the bridges do it twice for each chord.
There are a couple of ways you can play the riff. This version sticks closely to the original:
But I like playing it adjusted a bit and with a capo at the 7th fret:
Here’s how that looks:
Playing the chords with a capo at the 7th fret also sounds great. You just need to change the chords you use. With the capo instead of C – D – G it’s F – G – C.
Here’s a version with one uke playing the low chords, one playing the high chords and one playing the capoed intro:
This quick descending lick crops up at the end of the intro to the original version:
I’m taking my How to Play Ukulele Chord Progressions ebook off sale at the end of the year. It was the first one I wrote and it’s a bit long in the tooth compared to my others. If you want to get it before it departs I’ve dropped the price from $17 to $7 until it leaves. You can pick up a copy here.
– New record on the way from UOGB Ever Such Pretty Girls. It’s a collection of punk songs including my all time favourite of theirs My Baby Does Good Sculptures.
– Elof & Wamberg’s – Byen Sover
– El Gran Rubí from La Familia de Ukeleles
– On a Christmas Morning by The Grand Old Uke of York.
– Tyrone and Lesley’s Baubles
You can hear a never before heard track from me on the new episode of the UNPLUGTHEWOOD podcast.
Eagles of Death Metal – Complexity
Weezer – El Scorcho
White Stripes – 7 Nation Army
CCR – Fortunate Son (Intro)
Enter Shikari – Sorry You’re Not a Winner
The Libertines – Gunga Din
Ghost – From the Pinnacle to the Pit
It’s been another golden year for the ukulele. Time to wrap it up with some of my favourites to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Feel free to share yours in the comments. Particularly if it’s something I’ve missed.
And for a more lengthy look at the year’s ukulele music have a listen to my Ukulele 2015 Spotify playlist.
Ukulele Song of 2015: The Vespers – Out West
I’ve featured a few songs by, Nashville folkies, The Vespers in the past but they’ve been a bit cutesy for my taste. With their latest album Sisters and Brothers they’ve really hit their stride. There are half a dozen tracks on the album that rank amongst my favourites of this year including this ukulele song .(I feel the need to point out that the album version doesn’t include the questionable bass solo that’s in the live version.)
Ukulele Album of the Year: Keston Cobblers Club – Wildfire
And prize for Most Predictable Choice of 2015 goes to… me for picking this. I’m a huge fan of everything the Cobblers have put out and this year’s Wildfire is no exception.
James Clem – Sugar Moon – Old school tunes played with old school class.
Elof & Wamburg – Byen Sover – Second album from the Danish duo cementing Tobias Elof’s place alongside the best uke players in the world.
Seeso – Kuya – Long awaited debut of Narciso Lobo.
Kimo Hussey – Low “G” – Instrumental covers played with understated ease.
Owl & Mouse – Departures – Debut album of antipodean indie poppers.
Instrumental Performance of 2015: Andreas David and Corey Fujimoto – Rondo alla Turca
It’s totally cheating for Hawaii Music Supply to have Corey Fujimoto demonstrate their ukuleles. He makes everything sound incredible. But it does mean we’ve been spoilt for blazing ukulele tunes from him this year.
Most Lust-Worthy Ukulele of 2015: Rebel Alchemist
Thailand isn’t a place you usually think of when it comes to high end ukulele making. But Rebel have changed that this year. The team grew out of makers trained by KoAloha to make their lower end ukes (KoAlana and Opio). And they certainly picked up KoAloha’s flair for making gorgeous instruments.
You can read an interview with Rebel here.
Favourite Song Tabbed: Dave Brubeck – Take Five
This one wins just for making me feel like a cool 50s jazz guy when I played it. It took me years to get it to a point where I was happy with my version of it. I love the tune and I really wanted to do it justice.
Back to the Future Medley – Only Back to the Future could make me think Huey Lewis was the epitome of cool.
Penguin Cafe Orchestra – Paul’s Dance – Really shows what you do can when you concentrate on playing well rather than playing fancy.
Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk – Really shows what I do when I concentrate on playing fancy rather than playing well.
Favourite Song Chorded: Percy Sledge – When a Man Loves a Woman
With Percy Sledge, Ben E King and BB King dying in quick succession this year it started to feel like a whole era of music was passing away.
Best Ukulele Tab Book 2015: Irish Tunes for Campanella Ukulele
Conflict of interest warning: If you buy it through this site I get a kick back (and I am purely interested in money – you can tell by the way I ditched working as an accountant for the lucrative world of ukulele blogging).
I’ve been a fan of Jonathan Lewis’s campanella arrangements for a while. So I was delighted when he released a tab book so I could try to get my fingers around them. Here’s my stab at his arrangement of Blarney Pilgrim.
Sam Muir – The Little Book of Giuliani – You can buy this one safe in the knowledge I don’t get a penny. And I recommend you do if you’re up for some challenging classical guitar tunes rearranged for ukulele.
Best Newcomer 2015: Owl & Mouse
When I first stumbled across Owl & Mouse I had deep suspicions they were a fake band in a Belle and Sebastian movie. Turns out they’re a Brisbane band formed around sisters Hannah and Jen Botting (sisters to Bill Botting of Australia’s other indie ukulelists Allo Darlin). Their debut album Departures is packed with great melancholy indie pop in the vein of B&S and Camera Obscura.
Ukulele Cover 2015: Zanuck Lindsey & Kimo Hussey – Blue Lei
How did Kimo Hussey get to be such a classy bastard? Every note he plays on this is perfect. And he knows not to play anything when nothing is needed.
Sir. O & Lir Shilton – Stand By Me – Another beautifully understated performance.
Cheerful Song of 2015: Jive Aces – La Dolce Vita
I like my music moody and depressing. And I don’t the ukulele is really suited to cheerful music. So I thought I should give cheerful music its own category to offset my bias. And the music of the Jive Aces is always fun enough to put a smile even on my grumpy, curmudgeonly maw.
Noisey Ukulele Song 2015: James Hill – She’s Still Got It
Ukulele Video of 2015: Gus Raucous – 100 Years of Ukulele
RedBand Porch Songs – Long Black Veil
Best Non-Ukulele 2015: Alabama Shakes – Sound & Colour