Friday, May 31, 2013

beginning ukulele resources

i borrowed an instrument for the summer from Nick
sorry for the terrible lighting and picture quality, but i'm enamored with my new Magic SmartPhone right now :D

it's tuned like the ukulele (well, with low-G / low-4th/ linear tuning instead of the standard reentrant C tuning)

and here are some of the resources I've been using to learn ukulele. I have some advantage in that I already know how to read sheet music, play piano so I can play strange rhythms, and also got some tips from Nick introducing me to things like what are picking patterns and hammer on / pull offs. but essentially i'm a complete beginner.

top 100 ukulele sites:

well-done online tuner:

excellent video course: includes "ukulele minutes", short videos for when I'm feeling scatterbrained

excellent pdf and other resources:

more resources, these tend to be videos:

This video was excellent ("in 10 minutes"):

[Edit 12 Jun 2013] Another excellent site:

Then for some tabs:
Excellent stairway to heaven tab:

The only other full tab I found on that site, but I don't recognize the song, is Blackbird:

Folk music tabs:

Canon in C:

and others here:

including the crazy while my guitar gently weeps:
that is apparently a "rite of passage" for ukulele players

easier but still beyond my current skill level:

low G tabs:

I don't really get the "tabs" that only have chords. Am I supposed to sing the song and strum the chords? =__= I suspect that's what's expected, but I'm not much of a singer and I don't know many songs well enough to sing their melodies.

Ukulele underground also does play along videos:

And some inspirational videos:
Let's Dance (bukuro)
I'm Yours (Sungha Jung)
and the classic, While My Guitar Gently Weeps (bukuro again)

Hrm, in the meantime, a gazillion projects. More later...

Notes to self

Arkansas Traveler
wut. in this version this guy is playing the harmonica and strumming the ukulele at the same time
Ashokan Farewell (difficult)
Concertina Reel
Down by the Salley Gardens
Fanny Power

On the issue of linear (what I have, low-G) versus reentrant tuning:
" Songs written for ukulele, especially the early classics from the 20s and 30s nearly always sound better on a reentrant uke. So do bluegrass songs when strummed. Songs written for guitar, rock, blues, etc seem to sound best when played with a low G uke."
"Check out Herb Ohta Jr. if you're looking for a specific artist. He's the top dog when it comes to plain, beautiful low-g 'ukulele work. Something like his "Sand Castles" is a brilliant piece."

More tabs: has low-G pieces

Bookmarks of what I'm learning next: