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whistleman123
09-02-2015, 03:05 AM
I'm new to uke, but not to music & performance in general. My short term goal is to comp and sing with a little linear melodic stuff in the middle for interest.
Here is where I'm stuck. First, where can I find some formulas for ukulele intros and endings? Second, is there any resource for uke tabs of the swing and jazz stadards in their original keys?
The majority of vids I watch online are "either/ or". Either just chord solos or just comping the chages but without intro and endings.
I would like to work up a repertoire of standards that are polished performance pieces.
Any resource suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks

pbagley
09-02-2015, 03:32 AM
I'm not sure you want a formula approach to your linear melodic solos. In my humble opinion the formula approach becomes stale and boring quickly. Instead I would start with the melody line and improvise to taste. Intro can be as much or as little of the melody as fits the song and the day you are playing it. Same with the ending. Toss in a surprise here and there to keep it all interesting, but don't fall into a rut (for example, a sub-dominant ending chord every time). Listening to your favorite musicians playing live can be a great inspiration. Not that you copy their style or create a formula based on their performances, but more that these favorites already resonate with your creative side and in learning from these musicians you will develop your own unique musical voice.

Good luck. Can't wait to hear what others have to say on this very interesting topic.

Jon Moody
09-02-2015, 03:39 AM
You say you're not new to music and performance in general; is there any reason that you can't make up intros/outros yourself and then apply them to the ukulele? Swing and jazz music, while having a couple standard "formulas," really don't rely a lot on true structure, which is why you can listen to something like Autumn Leaves from umpteen artists and get something completely different each time.

wayward
09-02-2015, 03:48 AM
I'm just a humble rhythm player who is lucky enough to play with a lead ukulele guy who can improvise pretty much anything in any style (just don't ask him to play the same thing twice!). He works out everything he plays by listening, and the fabulous Del Rey advises this as a way of working too. A good place to start listening might be with someone like Gerald Ross as a guide http://geraldross.com/tab.html

PhilUSAFRet
09-02-2015, 03:51 AM
Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but Lil Rev's stuff kind of focuses on this as anyone who has attended one of his workshops on the subject can attest.

http://ukulelehunt.com/2011/02/23/101-ukulele-licks-by-lil-rev-review/

Wicked
09-02-2015, 07:13 AM
Regarding keys... It has always been a pet peeve of mine that most ukulele Jazz arrangements are not in the "typical" or "standard" keys that everyone else in the world plays the tune in.

If you are playing by yourself or in a group that has agreed to play in a specific key, that's fine - but if you want to take a turn on the bandstand at a jazz jam, then you really need to play in the key that everyone else knows the song in. (i.e., you need to know how to play "Take Five" in Eb minor and not expect everyone else to adjust to you.)

When I tackle a standard on the ukulele, I will always learn it in the typical key first then change it up later (usually due to vocal limitations). That way I know that I will be at least functional in a group situation.

Booli
09-02-2015, 08:16 AM
Yes, good luck with those original keys. Lots of Irving Berlin, Gershwin and Jerome Kern were originally written in Eb, which to me is a real PITA on the uke.

I use an iPad app called iRealPro, which has thousands of songs in a 'Fake Book' format, with piano, bass and drums, TONS of jazz and old standards too.

I noticed also that they added uke chord diagrams, so while the music is playing, they pointer moves to show the chord changes, and then also the uke chord diagram comes up on the screen and changes accordingly.

You can also transpose keys and change tempo easily. It's a great practice and LEARNING tool. For some really hard keys you can transpose to the Key of C in just two clicks!

The app is now available for iOS, Android and Mac OS X.

see here: http://irealpro.com/

turtledrum
09-02-2015, 10:06 AM
Yes, good luck with those original keys. Lots of Irving Berlin, Gershwin and Jerome Kern were originally written in Eb, which to me is a real PITA on the uke.

I use an iPad app called iRealPro, which has thousands of songs in a 'Fake Book' format, with piano, bass and drums, TONS of jazz and old standards too.

I noticed also that they added uke chord diagrams, so while the music is playing, they pointer moves to show the chord changes, and then also the uke chord diagram comes up on the screen and changes accordingly.

You can also transpose keys and change tempo easily. It's a great practice and LEARNING tool. For some really hard keys you can transpose to the Key of C in just two clicks!

The app is now available for iOS, Android and Mac OS X.

see here: http://irealpro.com/


Thanks, Booli! I hadn't heard of this before. It looks great!

CactusWren
09-02-2015, 10:23 AM
I read that the original sheet music often contained a composed intro. Why not hunt those down on ebay and adapt them to the uke?

As far as "original key", that's all well and good, but may pose insurmountable difficulties. If you think it's very important to play lots of songs in Bb or Eb, you might look into changing the base tuning of your uke. Not much sense in using an instrument optimized for C, F and G if you will never use those keys.

Transcribe! is a _fabulous_ program with slow down, pitch change, EQ, chord-guessing,--amazing!

Booli
09-02-2015, 10:41 AM
I read that the original sheet music often contained a composed intro. Why not hunt those down on ebay and adapt them to the uke?

As far as "original key", that's all well and good, but may pose insurmountable difficulties. If you think it's very important to play lots of songs in Bb or Eb, you might look into changing the base tuning of your uke. Not much sense in using an instrument optimized for C, F and G if you will never use those keys.

Transcribe! is a _fabulous_ program with slow down, pitch change, EQ, chord-guessing,--amazing!

Found the site for this app here: http://www.seventhstring.com/xscribe/overview.html

This looks INCREDIBLY useful to me too, and it runs on Mac, Win AND Linux!

Demo video from the author here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ujO2WD6Oj0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ujO2WD6Oj0

Thanks for sharing! This is another great tool to add to the arsenal. :)

photoshooter
09-02-2015, 01:16 PM
I use an iPad app called iRealPro, which has thousands of songs in a 'Fake Book' format, with piano, bass and drums, TONS of jazz and old standards too.

Thank you!



Transcribe! is a _fabulous_ program with slow down, pitch change, EQ, chord-guessing,--amazing!

And thank you!

note: Usually I only let Booli help me spend my hard earned money but I guess I can spread it around :)

I wasn't familiar with either of these programs but they both look very useful.

Booli
09-02-2015, 02:05 PM
Thank you!

note: Usually I only let Booli help me spend my hard earned money but I guess I can spread it around :)

LOL - you're too funny! Glad I could help :music:

Wicked
09-02-2015, 02:56 PM
I second the iReal Pro. It would be nicer with the melody (like a Fake/Real Book), but it is very useful.

The beauty of fretted instruments is that they allow you to transpose without really thinking about it. Playing in Eb is really no more difficult than playing in any other key.

PeteyHoudini
09-02-2015, 03:09 PM
The MEL BAY "Ukulele Method for Chord and Melody Playing" by Roy Smeck has lots of jazzy openings and endings in major keys.

It's D6 tuning but worth the purchase for a mere 10 bucks.

Petey

VegasGeorge
09-02-2015, 03:42 PM
I play a lot of tunes out of the http://www.doctoruke.com library. I found it handy when getting back into playing because the chord symbols are there in the tunes if you need them. They typically don't have intros or endings, so I found myself using either the chords from the first or last phrase of the song. That almost always works, and your ear will tell you which is best.

whistleman123
09-03-2015, 01:52 AM
Thanks for all the advice everyone. Keep it coming, i'm taking notes! In my original post I guess I should have said "typical keys" instead of "original keys". I used to be a horn player. Most of my playing going forward will be with horn players or rythem sections steeped in small group or big band jazz. So I know I will be playing those tunes in the flat keys and will not be able to trnspose them into easier to play keys.

If I get the Smeck book in D tuning, what's the transposition I need to make to play it in C tuning? Will the chord shapes be the same?

CactusWren
09-03-2015, 05:18 AM
Hmm, with the right strings, you could tune a tenor to Eb or Bb.

If you're tuning in Eb, you can easily play in Eb, Ab, and Bb. If you're tuned in Bb, you can easily play in Bb, Eb, and F. The advantage is you can use open strings. The fretting is easier and the sound is stronger. Also, you can take advantage of idiomatic licks. (Troy Fernandez' first album is entirely in C except for one song in G).

No matter what tuning you choose, you're just going to have to get good at transposing. It's not that hard, sort of a type of arithmetic. My soprano is in D, my tenor in C, my baritone in A. You might say my guitar is in G.

Give Dirk's site a reading if you want to mess with different tunings: http://www.southcoastukes.com/tips.htm

PeteyHoudini
09-03-2015, 12:46 PM
If I get the Smeck book in D tuning, what's the transposition I need to make to play it in C tuning? Will the chord shapes be the same?

It will show you chord diagrams and say Intro's Key of G and Ending in G. However, it means fretboards are for the Key of F. Key of C would be Bb fretboards, etc. So the shapes are all the same but you just change the chord name to one step lower.

You would choose the fretboard diagram that says D and that would be your C chord.