Monday, 27 April 2015

Ukulele Cover - Dedicated Follower of Fashion

Well I did say I would post asap. So here is this great classic by The Kinks, almost destroyed by yours truly, LOL.

I think I did say that I did this video because I was given a hat - yes, I am collecting hats at the moment for my videos and this song seemed to fit the chapeau just right. Why hats, I hear you say? Well, why not. I feel quite at home in a hat on video even though I rarely wear said accoutrements in real life. Only when the sun or rain dictates that it is a wise move.

Back with more of my crimes against music soon, enjoy!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Ukulele Tutorial: Brown-Eyed Girl from Ukulele Underground

Just found this tutorial on You Tube, hope the guys don't mind me posting it. Recently I have posted a couple of songs which I have been looking at to learn, well here is another.

I often find that ukulele strumming is so different to guitar work that it surprises me. I play my uke like a mini guitar, and I do not feel guilty about saying so. If I am going to play modern popular songs on the uke (well singing and accompanying myself really) then I shall play it to fit in with the versions of the song which  I know - which I may have known for decades. Can't do it any other way.

So here is the song/tutorial

Off for a little practice now, bye ...

Ukulele Concert - Sing Along - April

Just a very quick post to say how much I enjoyed the concert that the ukulele club/group put on for a local "old folks home", or a senior living residence as they call it. Although we originally offered to play for free (or perhaps a cuppa, during the break), a fee was offered and we did take it as we were told the home had a budget for theses occasions and we do need to save up for a PA system for the club.

Although some unkind people have talked of a captive audience, we had lots of great feedback from the staff and many of the old folk had joined in with the singing. The events organiser even asked us to return for a pre-christmas concert (and perhaps we could fit in one before then as well?). On top of that, we were asked to play at another location also. so the one concert begat another three - impressive!

Here I am with our new club polo shirt, a fetching purple with an embroidered motif on the left-hand shoulder - natty isn't it? The hat is optional. I had just done a video of "Dedicated Follower Of Fashion", a classic from The Kinks. A forthcoming release on this blog in the very near future, LOL.

With another concert  (??) coming up soon at the beginning of next month, we feel that after such a short time the club (now numbering some 50 signed up singers/players) is doing very well to get our name known around the area.

A video was taken of the event and hopefully will be available at our next club night, maybe I will be able to share a few stills with you.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Ukulele: San Francisco Bay Blues Cover

The best laid plans o'mice and men gang aft agley - Burns.

Well I thought that the song I mentioned in my last post would be the next for the YouTube treatment. But I came across this blues number from Eric Clapton - I loved it and as the chord chart was in one of the songbooks from Ukulele Central UK, the club/group I have joined, I decided to make it happen (LOL, Jean Luc Goddard).

So here it is, a first go at "San Francisco Bay Blues" on the ukulele. I used my new Gretch 9120 tenor.

Whilst in the get-up, I decided to replace a video on the Tube which for some reason I do not understand was very unfocused. Focus great now - pity about the vocal.

I will be doing "Hold Back The River" and most probably "Livin' On A Prayer", but later.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Hold Back The River - will this work on a Ukulele?

In the ukulele club which I have joined there is an objective, which can be stated as ... to not just be another George Formby fan club. I had no problems with this as I love all kinds of music. I have been extending my scope however as I learn more chords and am getting to feel comfortable with the UKE.

Take this song for example:-

I have been hearing this on the Radio quite a lot and felt that I would like to have a go aat it on the unaccompanied UKE. Just possibly?

Another song I have been learning is Livin' On A Prayer. OK, seems a little much but it can work as an acoustic number:-

I will be keeping you up-to date with my progress with these numbers and more.

Enjoy them for now, I do!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Lyrics and Chords: My Uke Is Gonna Get Me Through The Day

I have been asked for the chords to this song (quite flattered really) so I give the lyrics and the chords I play, in full here.
NB at the end of some lines I play G/Gsus4/G, etc as a little riff.

My Uke Is Gonna See Me Through The Day 
by John Dyhouse

[G]/ When I ‘m feeling [E7]/ low
[A7]/ Got no place to go
[D7] And no one’s ‘round to raise my sorry [G]/[Gsus4]/[G]/ mood.
[G]/ I don’t sit a [E7]/ round/
[A7]/Staring at the ground
[D7 ] I Pick up my 4-string and I start to [G] play … [D7]

verse 1
Oh my [G] uke is gonna [C] get me through the [G] day
[C] Raise my voice and [D7] strum along and [Bm7] play
[C] My spirits soon will [D7] rise, [G] soaring to the [C] skies
Oh my [G] uke is gonna [D7] get me through the [G] day [D7]

verse 2
The cheerful sound of strumming is so cool
Takes me back to days I spent in school
No cares to weigh me down, no sign of a frown
Oh my uke is gonna get me through the day

verse 3
No pills or potions do the same for me
I’ve tried them all, they fail it’s plain to see
But when I hear those chords, I’m never ever bored
Oh my uke is gonna get me through the day [no D7 chord]  [G / Gsus4  G]

Monday, 30 March 2015

A New Song - After all This Time!

One of the original objectives of this blog was to talk about and possibly pass on to my readers some thoughts about song writing. When I look back, it was clear that I did not have a lot to write about on this subject. Disappointing, but it was started at a time when I was in a bit of a trough as regards my output of new songs.

I did include some videos and share some advice from around the web including a couple of articles now on Hubpages:-

A review of useful websites on song writing
How to write a memorable song

That "trough" lasted a long time. I guess to write effectively one of the best practices is to write lots often and be prepared to crop out the dross. It was always said that the old tin-pan alley writers used to write several songs each day whilst in the "office", but most were thrown away the next day.

My song writing activity virtually stopped quite some time ago, although I still sing my own material for my own enjoyment. Most of those songs now sound dated, but then I think my musical taste stopped developing in the sixties. A couple of years ago, someone asked me, how do I write a song, what goes into a good song?"

I answered, "A little bit of this and a little bit of that". Of course, I mentioned that anything could trigger off the process of writing a song. Even the answer I had just given to the question". And I actually did take that phrase (which of course wasn't in itself an original idea) and write a song. In fact the first I had written in years. I did of course (?) video my self, performing the song using my Fender Stratocaster as a backing.

Well, last Friday, I was walking to work and thinking about a song we had been rehearsing at the ukulele club, and for some reason my mind was wandering after the 20-30th run-through of the intro in my mind. We had been having some issue with the timing, when we played the number and it was to be the opening song in our next concert. Anyway to cut a long story short, the idea for a new song began to form in my head. I hadn't even though about writing a new song BUT I could not stop once it started to appear. I always keep a notebook in my pocket even now and wrote the lyrics down as fast as I could so as not to forget them.

Later that evening, I took out my uke and started to strum a few easy chords, and before long the melody was written as well. Then I had to record it so that it wasn't forgotten. So of course, here it is for you to hear, warts and all, as they say. There is a slow refrain (think George Formby and songs from that era) but it takes off after about 45 seconds. I may split the refrain up so that it doesn't take so long to get into the verses.

I am hoping that this is the start of an awakening of my song-writing and creative writing endeavours which has been becalmed for lack of inspiration lately.

PS. Why not follow this blog using the Google Friend Connect Gizmo on the RH margin, you know it makes sense.