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Thread: Do you make up your own songbooks?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    1,144

    Default Do you make up your own songbooks?

    I was wondering how many people here make up their own songbooks.

    When I first started playing the ukulele, The Daily Ukulele was my go-to source for playing music. After a while, I grew pretty bored with it and realized that the vast majority of the songs in there were songs that I had little to no interest in playing. Thus came the impetus for making my own song book. Currently I play all my music from song sheets. I've never sat down and memorized a song so my song book is very important to me.

    My current process is to find the chords for a song that I like and then I bookmark them. I probably have several dozen songs bookmarked. Then over the course of weeks/months I'll play through my bookmarks and in that time decide what songs I continue to like enough to want to make up a chord sheet for my songbook. (Of course there have been songs I liked immediately and made up a song sheet on the spot.) When a song makes the cut for my book I'll take the lyrics and bury the chord names right in the lyrics where the chord changes occur. I also put chord diagrams on the bottom of each page so anyone can look at it and know all the chords in the song. I just paged through my songbook and found that I have at least 82 different artists' music represented. The current leaders of the pack are:

    Bob Dylan - 11 songs (but I already know that there will be many more)
    John Prine - 9 songs
    Hank Williams - 7 songs
    Leon Redbone - 6 songs (These are likely covers or public domain but I attribute them to Leon since I got them all from his CDs.)
    The Beatles - 5 songs (I was surprised I only have 5. I'm sure that number will increase.)
    Bruce Springsteen - 5 songs (There's likely to be more in the future.)

    There are other repeaters but I only listed those with 5 or more songs.

    Do you make up your own songbook(s)? What artists are most represented in your book(s)?
    Lanikai LU-21C concert - nato laminate (my starter uke!)
    Ohana CK-42R concert - solid sinker redwood top, solid rosewood back and sides, maple binding
    Kala KA-FMCG concert- solid spruce top, laminate spalted flame maple back and sides, mahogany binding

    Money can't buy happiness but it can buy a ukulele which is basically the same thing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa/San Juan, Puerto Rico
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    2,639

    Default

    Yes I do. I'm pretty much from the same school of thought. I got tired of buying books full of songs that I didn't want to play just to get one or two songs that I did want to play. There are just too many sources for songs out there to tap.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.
    There's more than one road into Richmond. Lil' Rev
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LEY9E_W5sw

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
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    1,121

    Default

    I arrange all the songs my students sing...with lead sheets...and almost nothing matches an original source note for note or chord for chord. Existing sheets help me, but I almost always feel that some chords should be different.

    In the case of the Daily Ukulele, a lot of material needs to be transposed so it can be sung with. Sopranos and tenors generally cannot sing low G's!

    On another note, I have started making video play along for all of the Daily 365. As of today, eight down...358 to go. And I am also making play along videos of all kinds of songs to use instructionally in schools...that is a fun process involving creativity, chordal analysis, and finding resources. It has been a blast to work on these things this summer. I am almost recharged enough to go back to the classroom and stand my ground for another 9 months!
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    3,911

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    Yes I maintain a song book because my musical tastes vary a lot and published books just never cover it all. I use my tablet with the Guitar Tabs app more than anything now. If I think of a song I can look it up, find the version I like, transpose to a different key if necessary and save it to my favorites. I will some times print off a song if I am spending a lot of time practicing it. There is no substitute for the ability to make notes on paper.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Englewood, FL
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    1,170

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    I have 1000+ songs on my iPad using onsong. A quick look shows top artists are Beatles, Stones, Eagles, Dylan, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, Hank Sr., Haggard, Prine. I also have my songs broken down into categories and sets for easy access, like 2, 3 chord songs, holiday, bluegrass, etc. This is super helpful for playing in groups. I can send out PDFs that meet the needs of a particular group. Right now I'm making up a 10 song, dead easy, set to share with absolute beginners. I just finished a 50 song set to share with a mixed instrument jam I call the Cowboy Chord Club, 3-4 easy chord songs (no rapid chord changes either) in keys that are easy for most (guitar & uke primary)
    I love making my own sheets, especially if I'm gonna share them (especially with beginners). I want to have chords over every verse (otherwise song falls apart), chord diagrams, good flow (so they're not jumping all over the page, good size font and one page if at all possible. I also often make more than one version of a song. One accurate to the original, sometimes one altered to how I want to play it and a third, simplified version to share with beginners.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    219

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    Over the last 5 years, my wife and I have made three full loose leaf binders from chords and lyrics from the internet. Most repeated artists are probably John Denver, Jimmy Buffet, Eagles, and others. I also like to include The Daily Ukulele in our rotation. It challenges us to use chords that our other songbooks don't and, over time, helps us add more color to our old favorites. Never too old to learn and enjoy our uke sessions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Denmark
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    I make my own pile-of-papers with a mix of lead sheets, chord/lyrics and tabs on them :-)
    I have a huge fake book with hundreds of songs in it, and if I am lucky I can find the song I want to learn in it. But most of the time I need to go online to find the particular song I want.

    I am very hesitative to buy a songbook with a ton of songs in it, from which I only consider playing a handful. Does anybody know if Hal Leonard has a "pick and print" songbook feature?
    It would be nifty if you could just pick a number of songs you wanted, and have a custom songbook printed and bound and shipped to you. But I guess that is wishfull thinking.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Pensacola, Florida
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    650

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    Mikelz777, you have inspired me. I have piles of paper songs, the Daily Ukulele, songs in Onsong and a gig book of songs I play with a group. Some of the songs I really enjoy, some I play because the group likes them. It's time I start a book of songs that move me into my songbook.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
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    52

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    I absolutely make my own songbooks. I have a large binder with clear insert pockets on the outside covers. In these I have the two-page chord sheet(s) from Michellle Kiba's Pa Mele O Hokulea Ukulele Academy, downloaded from the internet. Inside are chord/lyric sheets, leadsheets, and full arrangements from a variety of online sources, all in plastic page protectors. Most are from Dr. Uke, Ukester Brown, Ukulele Mike, and a few from Alligator Boogaloo. I particularly like jazz/pop standards from the 20s and 30s, and these sources are great for that stuff. Dr. Uke's listings are very broad and contain some more contemporary stuff as well. Ukester Brown is an exceptional song collector and performer and usually finds the original verses to songs that we know now only as choruses. I have separate books of Ukulele Mike's chord melody arrangements, printed out from the e-books when I undertake new songs. I have Glen Rose's jazz lessons in a separate binder as well. I agree with the poster who said he didn't want to buy an entire songbook to get one song, especially if it's a widely available public domain song. I have a few ukulele songbooks and they're not all useful. I like every song in my own books and am ready to play any one at any time. That's the fun of it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
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    1,121

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bunnyf View Post
    I have 1000+ songs on my iPad using OnSong.
    Do you have them in there as PDFs, or as created songs with lyrics and chords? I ask because I thought OnSong could not only project lyrics through a display and a non-notation lead sheet for the iPad users, but also could play a generated accompaniment? That would be incredible if that is true...

    I haven't used OnSong for a while...but I do own it. I think Planning Center can also do some of this...but it needs to be managed by your local church music leader.

    I use forScore most of the time (I also like unrealBook) and if you count the Daily 365 and Leap Year editions, that is over 700 songs in just two books. It isn't a competition, but I try to scan everything (personal and school) and probably have access to well over 10,000 songs with everything stored in the cloud (I only pull down what I need at the time into forScore). I recently upgradeded my iPad to the newest 12.9" iPad Pro, and I'm loving it (working on that as I write this).
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

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