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Thread: Picking Songs Apart

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icelander53 View Post
    The words then the music. Hey DUD take those sappy songs and make up different lyrics for them. I do it and it's really fun and you can come up with some great stuff. I can't put music to words but I do seem to be able to put words to music.
    Ha! I do that a lot when I forget the correct words and when I get tired of trying to learn the darned things.
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBD
    Kala tenor eight string - gG cC EE AA
    Gold Tone tenor banjolele - Hi-D GBD

    Luna "Peace" concert - Lo-G CEA
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-G CEA

    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B
    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift) - C
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift - C

    Eat, drink and make merry for tomorrow you’ll be too old.

    God gave us old age so we wouldn't mind dying so much.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubulele View Post
    I like to learn the words first, then the lyrics.
    What? The lyrics ARE the words!
    Last edited by Down Up Dick; 05-04-2015 at 11:36 AM.
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBD
    Kala tenor eight string - gG cC EE AA
    Gold Tone tenor banjolele - Hi-D GBD

    Luna "Peace" concert - Lo-G CEA
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-G CEA

    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B
    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift) - C
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift - C

    Eat, drink and make merry for tomorrow you’ll be too old.

    God gave us old age so we wouldn't mind dying so much.

  3. #13
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    I think that to be the complete package one should at least try to sing. Most people who I see playing uke, or guitars for that matter, who don't sing, have to be pretty darned good to be interesting. I mean dazzlingly good. Otherwise, it can get boring sometimes. But one does not really have to be a great singer to pull off a good song. I mean, I've seen some really famous entertainers who are not particularly good singers. I listened to a guy busking at the market on Saturday, and his singing was not that great. But there was just something about the way he was singing, and playing his guitar, and the way he was moving to the music, and he was mesmerizing. He had a passion that could be felt. I've come to the realization that you don't have to be great, to be great. It is all about the whole package.
    Last edited by Rllink; 05-05-2015 at 04:54 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978485476...rds=R.+L.+Link

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Down Up Dick View Post
    I mostly like to sing (when I do) folk music, but lots of the words in the songs are pretty hokey. I like lyrics to be like poetry where one stanza follows another 'til the song is done. Sometime the stanzas don't relate to each other at all.
    I really don't like to sing ballads; they go on and on and on.

    I find it difficult to get a song all together. I usually know the tune and the chords aren't always bad. Then the words . . .
    Yes, one of my favorite songs, A Horse With No Name. Dm and Am7. Just back and forth, back and forth. If you have a range of three notes, you can sing it. But the lyrics are so goofy, "in the desert you can remember your name, cause there ain't no one to give you no pain". How do you sing something like that in front of other people? Dumb question I guess, because I sang it three times for my voice coach last week.
    Last edited by Rllink; 05-05-2015 at 05:07 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978485476...rds=R.+L.+Link

  5. #15
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    I sing what I can play. That has opened me up to the beauty of songs I otherwise might not have tried.
    Because I have a limited vocal range, I tend to try to play what I think I can sing. A beautiful circle.

    I go with all those here who've noted that the outcome is often far greater than the sum of its parts.

  6. #16
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    I like the songs of my parents' era (30's, 40's 50's mostly). I was in High School in the early to mid-60's,
    then went off to Bible School with lots of Hymns!

    I have a reputation in the song circles that know me of being one who has a big 'hole' in my music recognition.
    I really don't know many Beatle's songs, couldn't identify Dylan or any other singer/groups I don't know. (sorry)
    I did have a Peter, Paul & Mary LP, grew up listening to Annie Get Your Gun and Oklahoma!

    For me it's the sentiment of a song (combo of music and lyrics), mostly romantic (Nevertheless, The Nearness of You,
    Moonlight Becomes You, Amapola, Slow Boat to China, etc. I like songs with interesting chord progressions (Dr Uke's
    Old Cape Cod, Puttin' on the Ritz, Misty - Dr Uke has great chording! ).

    There are songs I really enjoy playing... but I do give a 'disclaimer' before I begin (I Feel Pretty!, I Enjoy Being a Girl)!

    RE: adjusting lyrics to some songs... we recently provided an alternative to Folsom Prison's (I shot a man in Reno, just
    to watch him die... to I pinched a man in Reno, just to watch him cry - when I hear that whistle blowin', I hang my head
    and sigh)... just for fun. We (STRUM - Seattle's Totally Relaxed Ukulele Musicians) also adjusted Jumbalaya's (swap my
    mon' to buy Yvonne what she need-o... to swap my mon' to buy Yvonne a brand new Speedo!

    getting back to the original question - again, for me, it's the sentiment of the song. If it doesn't make sense to me, I choose
    not to sing/play it. Sorry folks, but being a Tee-Totaler (non-drinker) I play along but don't sing Margaritaville.

    If I can't get 'into' a song, I pass. I don't encourage others NOT to play, sing, or enjoy the song, I simply refrain and wait
    for one I can really get into

    Some songs seem to be particularly solo/performer-oriented and not best for song circle singing... Oh well....

    just some of my thoughts

    keep uke'in',
    Uncle Rod Higuchi
    ( rohiguchi@seattleschools.org )

    MP3s: http://www.mediafire.com/?50db7nls4o6m6
    Ukulele Boot Camp, FREE Songbook, Holiday, Hawaiian & More: http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com
    Crazy G tutorial on YouTube ( uncle rod crazy g )
    pdf file for Crazy G:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0o6id06c06...20TAB.pdf?dl=0

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Rod Higuchi View Post
    I like the songs of my parents' era (30's, 40's 50's mostly). I was in High School in the early to mid-60's,
    then went off to Bible School with lots of Hymns!

    I have a reputation in the song circles that know me of being one who has a big 'hole' in my music recognition.
    I really don't know many Beatle's songs, couldn't identify Dylan or any other singer/groups I don't know. (sorry)
    I did have a Peter, Paul & Mary LP, grew up listening to Annie Get Your Gun and Oklahoma!

    For me it's the sentiment of a song (combo of music and lyrics), mostly romantic (Nevertheless, The Nearness of You,
    Moonlight Becomes You, Amapola, Slow Boat to China, etc. I like songs with interesting chord progressions (Dr Uke's
    Old Cape Cod, Puttin' on the Ritz, Misty - Dr Uke has great chording! ).

    There are songs I really enjoy playing... but I do give a 'disclaimer' before I begin (I Feel Pretty!, I Enjoy Being a Girl)!

    RE: adjusting lyrics to some songs... we recently provided an alternative to Folsom Prison's (I shot a man in Reno, just
    to watch him die... to I pinched a man in Reno, just to watch him cry - when I hear that whistle blowin', I hang my head
    and sigh)... just for fun. We (STRUM - Seattle's Totally Relaxed Ukulele Musicians) also adjusted Jumbalaya's (swap my
    mon' to buy Yvonne what she need-o... to swap my mon' to buy Yvonne a brand new Speedo!

    getting back to the original question - again, for me, it's the sentiment of the song. If it doesn't make sense to me, I choose
    not to sing/play it. Sorry folks, but being a Tee-Totaler (non-drinker) I play along but don't sing Margaritaville.

    If I can't get 'into' a song, I pass. I don't encourage others NOT to play, sing, or enjoy the song, I simply refrain and wait
    for one I can really get into

    Some songs seem to be particularly solo/performer-oriented and not best for song circle singing... Oh well....

    just some of my thoughts

    keep uke'in',
    I like your post and agree with it. Singing those old songs is a lot fun and brings back lots of memories. Check into the new group that I started; you might enjoy it.

    One way for an old guy to remain a little bit young is to sing, sing, sing . . .
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBD
    Kala tenor eight string - gG cC EE AA
    Gold Tone tenor banjolele - Hi-D GBD

    Luna "Peace" concert - Lo-G CEA
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-G CEA

    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B
    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift) - C
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift - C

    Eat, drink and make merry for tomorrow you’ll be too old.

    God gave us old age so we wouldn't mind dying so much.

  8. #18
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    Mar 2014
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    Ames, Iowa/San Juan, Puerto Rico
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Rod Higuchi View Post
    I like the songs of my parents' era (30's, 40's 50's mostly). I was in High School in the early to mid-60's,
    then went off to Bible School with lots of Hymns!

    I have a reputation in the song circles that know me of being one who has a big 'hole' in my music recognition.
    I really don't know many Beatle's songs, couldn't identify Dylan or any other singer/groups I don't know. (sorry)
    I did have a Peter, Paul & Mary LP, grew up listening to Annie Get Your Gun and Oklahoma!

    For me it's the sentiment of a song (combo of music and lyrics), mostly romantic (Nevertheless, The Nearness of You,
    Moonlight Becomes You, Amapola, Slow Boat to China, etc. I like songs with interesting chord progressions (Dr Uke's
    Old Cape Cod, Puttin' on the Ritz, Misty - Dr Uke has great chording! ).

    There are songs I really enjoy playing... but I do give a 'disclaimer' before I begin (I Feel Pretty!, I Enjoy Being a Girl)!

    RE: adjusting lyrics to some songs... we recently provided an alternative to Folsom Prison's (I shot a man in Reno, just
    to watch him die... to I pinched a man in Reno, just to watch him cry - when I hear that whistle blowin', I hang my head
    and sigh)... just for fun. We (STRUM - Seattle's Totally Relaxed Ukulele Musicians) also adjusted Jumbalaya's (swap my
    mon' to buy Yvonne what she need-o... to swap my mon' to buy Yvonne a brand new Speedo!

    getting back to the original question - again, for me, it's the sentiment of the song. If it doesn't make sense to me, I choose
    not to sing/play it. Sorry folks, but being a Tee-Totaler (non-drinker) I play along but don't sing Margaritaville.

    If I can't get 'into' a song, I pass. I don't encourage others NOT to play, sing, or enjoy the song, I simply refrain and wait
    for one I can really get into

    Some songs seem to be particularly solo/performer-oriented and not best for song circle singing... Oh well....

    just some of my thoughts

    keep uke'in',
    What can I say Uncle Rod? You are the one who gave me my start. Your opinion is gospel. I might say though, that I am not a tea totaler. In fact, I am anything but. Margaritaville is at the top of my list. It is the very first song I learned when I ventured out from Ukulele Bootcamp. I don't know how you feel about it, but you launched me on the course to learn enough drinking songs to get me through an hour or so of playing and singing.

    I printed out "Don't Worry, be Happy", and someone had changed "ain't got no cash, ain't got no style, ain't got no gal to make me smile", to something about having style and playing the ukulele, which throws me off if I happen to have the music in front of me. But I have that one committed to memory, so I am good with no style.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978485476...rds=R.+L.+Link

  9. #19
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    at home below Lake Tahoe CA USA
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    I was a busker long ago, in pre-uke days. Just me and my voice, my guitar and a donation basket, and people walking by. I played and sang songs (pop, rock, folk, blues, hints of jazz and classical) that (hopefully) affected people enough that they'd throw me some cash. I was young and extremely foolish then, but I managed to put together a usable mix of voice, lyrics, and guitar work.

    Could I do that again, now, 40 years later? I think I'm capable musically and physically -- but not emotionally. Much of what I sang then expresses sentiments and attitudes I no longer share and even find distasteful. And too many songs now are tied to painful memories, of love lost, friends lost, chances lost. I may tear-up just thinking of those tunes.

    What makes a song singable for me?

    # The words can't be too maudlin or embarrassing. I'll change lyrics (including my own) if they seem inappropriate. ('Meaningful' is something else -- dumb lyrics can work if they're shouted right, heh heh.) It helps if I can remember all the lyrics, of course.

    # The melody (which must be interesting) has to fit in my aging vocal range, of course. I still have about 1.5 octaves but they've gone south about a third, which means changing keys / tunings / instruments. Sometimes I'll shift to a lower harmony.

    # I must feel competent in my accompaniment -- KNOW the chords and riffs required. Or be able to fake it well enough, yes? My new Kala 6-string tenor requires very different fingering than my usual sopranos and guitars. It'll take awhile to develop the right song list for it.

    # Desire. I must *want* to sing and play the song at a particular time and place. I'll only sing PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON now to my grandkids because they're dragon junkies this year. But I may blow chromatic harmonica in public whenever I'm bored, like waiting for my wife trying on clothes.

    Put those together. I have to sound good with the song; and it can't hurt or disgust me (or others) too much; and it feels good and even necessary. And I have to be able to remember it. (Or at least have a good cheat sheet.)

    Ukes: Alvarez 4- & Kala 6- & O.Schmidt 8-string tenors; 1 Ohana & 2 Kahalo sopranos; Harmonia concert & bari
    Mandos: Celtic (KE Coleman) & Soviet ovals; Kay & Rogue A-types; Harmonia F2 & mandola
    Banjos: Gretsch banjolin; Varsity banjolele; Orlando 5-string; fretless & fretted Cumbus o'uds
    Acoustic guitars: Martin Backpacker; Ibanez Performance; Art et Lutherie; Academy dobro; Ovation 12-string
    Others: Maffick & First Act dulcimers; Mexican cuatro-menor; Puerto Rican cuatro; Martin tiple; electrics
    Wanted: charango; balalaika; bowlback mando; Venezuelan cuatro; zithers

  10. #20
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    I have lots of trouble memorizing stuff, and I'm an avid (and pretty good) whistler. So I whistle or hum a lot of songs, and I really enjoy that. I can ignore bad or silly or unremembered lyrics and still enjoy doing a song.

    There's more than one way to enjoy music.
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBD
    Kala tenor eight string - gG cC EE AA
    Gold Tone tenor banjolele - Hi-D GBD

    Luna "Peace" concert - Lo-G CEA
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-G CEA

    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B
    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift) - C
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift - C

    Eat, drink and make merry for tomorrow you’ll be too old.

    God gave us old age so we wouldn't mind dying so much.

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