Merry Christmas See You in 2022

Merry Christmas, Chanukah Sameach, Io Saturnalia, Feliz Natal and Happy Holidays! (If you can be arsed with it this year.)

That’s it from me for another year. I’ll be back sometime in January 2022 (year of the D7add13 chord, wonderful).

If you’re after some Christmas music and you’re as Spotify user here’s my Christmas Ukulele playlist. Or, if you’re sick of Christmas music, my playlist of ukulele selections from 2021.

If you can’t stand to be without a steady stream of uke, I’ll be posting on Instagram, on Twitter and Patreon. Speaking of which…

Patreon

I’ve been blown away by the amount of support I’ve received since starting the Uke Hunt Patreon. The amount of support has far exceeded my expectations and I’m overwhelmingly grateful to everyone who has supported the site. Your support has meant that, by my count, there have been 57 full tabs added to the site this year. Plus 12 more Patreon-only tabs.

And extra thanks to December’s Tenor backers:

– Arthur Foley
– Colleen Petticrew
– Dan
– Elizabeth Beardsley
– Fi Keane
– Jeff K
– Kelby Green
– Kie77
– Leia-lee Doran
– Lisa Johnson
– Nick Parsons
– Olga deSanctis
– Pat Weikle
– Pauline LeBlanc
– Robert
– Thorsten Neff

If you join Patreon at the Concert level or higher, you’ll get access to all previous exclusive tabs including December’s Fairytale of New York by The Pogues:

Christmas UkeTube 2021

Watch on YouTube

It’s here. With cheer. It’s the same every year. It’s the Christmas UkeTube.

Tracklist
The O’Pears – Bleak Midwinter / River
The Mad Tea Party – Oh Shit, It’s Christmastime!
Eliel Carvalho – Jingle Bells
Vinícius Vivas – White Christmas
Memphis Ukulele Band – Holidays Ain’t the Same (Without You)
Taimane – What Child is This/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Carol of the Bells
Allison Young – The Christmas Waltz
Kamakakehau Fernandez – Christmas Luau
Ukulele Solos – Fairytale of New York

UkeTube: Andrew Molina, Duo Travessia and Jeremy Choi

Watch on YouTube

If you want even more uke action, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’s bust one out in their Tiny Desk. The uke starts at 7:30 but it’s all worth a listen.

Playlist
Andrew Molina – Nutcracker Russian Dance Trepak
Duo Travessia – Feeling Good
Jeremy Choi – 3 Gymnopedies: No. 1, Lent et douloureux
KimaMusic – Los Angeles
Adrian Demain – City Of Stars
James Hill – It Had To Be You
Eliel Carvalho – Jessé
Uklectic Fred – 40 Below Blues
williwaw – passing trains

Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time (Tabs)

Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time (Tab)

There’s a terrible version of Time After Time doing the rounds this Christmas. And, of course, Jake did a uke version back in the day. But this arrangement is based on Cyndi Lauper’s original version.

The little instrumental break in the original song sounds great on the uke. So I decided to use that as the intro. It is also the most difficult part of the arrangement to play, though. After that, the verse and pre-chorus are straightforward. The chorus does have a couple of trips up the neck to contend with.

Links

Buy it on Amazon
More 80s tabs and chords
Uke Hunt Patreon

Uke Hunt’s 2021 Ukulele Favourites

It’s award season and time to hand out the most coveted of them all The UkeHunties.

Ukulele Record of 2021: Tyrone and Lesley – Have No Words

I don’t think there’s a better instrument pairing than ukulele and double bass. They’re made for each other. And that pairing is shown off on Tyrone and Lesley’s beautiful record Have No Words. The album almost entirely forgoes vocals in favour of their perfectly crafted music (which has always been my favourite aspect of their releases). I highly recommend giving it a listen.

Runners Up
The Backyard Revival – Live Tracks 2018-2020
dodie – Build a Problem
Ra – Happy in the Haze of a Drunken Hour
Bridge City Sinners – Devil Like You
The Sonder Bombs – Clothbound

Ukulele Song of 2021: Polo G and Einer Bankz – RAPSTAR

For the past few years Einer Bankz has been playing ukulele with a vast number of young rappers. As in all genres, a ukulele accompaniment really separates those with skills from those without.

In 2021 he teamed up with Polo G to create the instantly catchy RAPSTAR. The song went straight to the top of the charts and became the first ukulele record to hit number 1 since Hey Soul Sister.

Runners Up
Sonder Bombs – What are Friends For
dodie – Hate Myself
The Staves – Paralysed

Instrumental Performance of 2021: Vinícius Vivas – Eureka

Vinícius’s is so smooth and graceful. I love it and I wish I could play like that. Every time he puts out a new video it’s a treat.

Runners Up
SeattleUke – Jerry’s Breakdown
Vivian Kim – Mozart Symphony No.40
Ryo Natoyama – Absolute Zero
Remi Harris – All of Me
Mathias Cévé – Vivaldi's Summer
Abe Lagrimas, Jr. – Take The A Train

Ukulele Cover 2021: Kawehi – Hawai’i ’78

Written by Mickey Ioane and made famous by IZ, Hawai’i ’78 is such a musically and emotionally powerful song. IZ’s version is so great most covers leave me cold (even those by people whose music I’m a fan of). But I found Kawehi’s version deeply touching.

Runners Up
Jake Shimabukuro and Willie Nelson – Stardust
Laura Anglade – You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
Keston Cobblers Club – Happy Hour

Favourite Song Tabbed: David Bowie – Space Oddity

These days, almost all tabs I do are requests from Patreon members. Which means I’m tackling a lot of songs I really should have done years ago. And Space Oddity is certainly one of those. I had a lot of fun putting in harmonics to suit the spacey setting and messing with the solo. A lot of fun to play.

Runners Up
Warren Zevon – Keep Me in Your Heart
Childish Gambino – Redbone
Dolly Parton – Jolene
Guns N’ Roses – Patience
Robert Schumann – Vanitas Vanitatum Mit Humor
Frightened Rabbit – I Wish I Was Sober

Best Non-Ukulele Record of 2021: Kanye West – Donda

I was expecting this album to be a disaster. If it even came out at all. Kanye has been increasingly unhinged, the first listening party for the album was unimpressive and he decided to make the album in a football stadium he refused to leave. But it turned out to be one of the best albums of his career.

The record makes an honest account of his mistakes, moral failings, the breakdown of his marriage and the loss of his mother. Along with his attempts to create a more fulfilling and spiritual life. Culminating with the most cathartic moment on any album I’ve heard: Come to Life. The build up of shimmering pianos and distorted guitar at the end breaks me down every time I hear it.

Runners Up
Arca – KicK iii
Tyler the Creator – Call Me if You Get Lost
Typhoon – Sympathetic Magic

Bruce Springsteen – I’m On Fire (Tabs)

Bruce Springsteen – I’m On Fire (Tab)

Springsteen’s steamy I’m On Fire has to be the only seduction song that goes into detail about how wet the protagonist’s bed is.

The intro is my favourite part to play. It’s just and F chord and Dm7 both with the g-string open. But it’s very effective. I add a bit of palm muting here (i.e. resting the side of my picking hand very gently on the strings near the bridge).

The intro is picked thumb and two finger style. After that I go rogue. Throwing in alternate picking and a few strums where it suits.

Links

Buy it on Amazon
More 80s tabs and chords
Uke Hunt Patreon

Friday Links: Top Ukes of 2021, Personal Revelations

Last chance to pick up my tab ebooks at up 70% off in the Black Friday sale.

Southern Ukulele Stores runs down its top 10 ukes of 2021.

I was interview by Lil’ Rev. There were in-depth questions and he did a great write-up. Including some very kind quotes from people who I thought had no idea I existed.

The ukuleles-in-schools debate seems to have resurfaced. As well as taking over the recorder (not a bad idea to move away from an instrument that involves inhaling the spittle of the previous player), the ukulele is now killing off the classical guitar. Even the UOGB’s George Hinchliffe has weighed in.

New Releases
– Jake Shimabukuro’s star-studded Jake and Friends.
– Craig Robertson’s Ukulele ’21 includes rerecordings of 9 previously released songs and a couple of new ones chord charts for all the tunes.
– Markus Rantanen’s instrumental Ukulele 2.

Patreon

A massive thanks to all Uke Hunt’s Patreon backers for keeping the site up and running. And double thanks go to these legendary patrons of the arts:

– Arthur Foley
– Colleen Petticrew
– Dan
– Elizabeth Beardsley
– Fi Keane
– Jeff K
– Katherine Penney
– Kelby Green
– Kie77
– Leia-lee Doran
– Lisa Johnson
– Mr Daniel Barclay
– Nick Parsons
– Olga deSanctis
– Pat Weikle
– Pauline LeBlanc
– Robert
– TAUDY Stark
– Thorsten Neff

If you join Patreon at the Concert level or higher, you’ll get access to all previous exclusive tabs including November’s Cavatina from The Deer Hunter:

The Temptations – My Girl (Tabs)

The Temptations – My Girl (Tab)

My Girl is a Motown classic written by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White. And first performed by The Temptations. A bit of the Otis Redding version might have slipped into this arrangement, too.

The riff in My Girl (first played in bar 3) shows how effective a very simple riff can be. It just goes up the major pentatonic scale in C and later in F. Things get a little more complicated when you try to mix the melody in. Make sure you play the riff more softly because the notes are in the same range as the melody. For example, in bar 8 the first time you play the A-string, 3rd fret it’s part of the riff and the second time it’s part of the melody. So you need to distinguish the two or it’ll all blur into one.

I’ve used a couple of artificial harmonics in the chorus. If you haven’t got those down yet, you can play those notes at the 15th fret or just keep them at the third fret and play them softly.

There’s a key change in the original version. But it’s pretty tricky to play in D so I’ve cut the solo section before the change to keep things simple.

Links

Buy the original
More Soul tabs and chords
Uke Hunt Patreon

Giuseppe Verdi – Triumphal March from Aida (Tabs)

Giuseppe Verdi – Triumphal March (Tab)

Today’s post is a guest tab from Herman Vandecauter.

Verdi’s Triumphal March is one of those ubiquitous tunes you’ll know even if you don’t think you do. And Herman’s minimal and highly effective arrangement draws out those elements.

You can listen to and buy (on a pay-what-you-like basis)
Herman’s arrangement on Bandcamp. And you can follow him on YouTube.

Bernstein and Sondheim – Somewhere from West Side Story (Tabs)

Bernstein & Sondheim – Somewhere (Tab)

A little tribute Stephen Sondheim who passed away last week.

Like the original, the arrangement is sparse. Which lets the melody shine all the more. It also makes it fairly simple to play. There’s a stretch with the pinkie finger in bars 13 and 29. But otherwise not much to trip you up.

Links

Buy it on Amazon
More 50s tabs and chords
Uke Hunt Patreon

Older Entries