PDA

View Full Version : What new songs are you working now? - Vocal or instrumental?



AcousticTones
09-11-2015, 02:21 AM
The reward of really feeling like I've got a new song down, and the journey to get there, is one my favorite things in the world.

So I started to thing about what new songs I'm currently working on that fit into that category for this coming week or two. So here's a list of new tunes that I feel I'm getting close to having down at performance level:

-Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite
-Norwegian wood - both vocal and chord melody
-Across The Universe - both vocal and chord melody
-Imagine
-People Get Ready
-Stand By Me - Tracy Chapman's version from her appearance on Dave Letterman

So whether it be one or many tunes what is currently on your list that you are either hoping to have down or are currently working on? Would love to know :)

Edit - Side note added: I recently ordered a PONO MTSHC-S from The Ukulele site and hoping to record all of the above as soon as she arrives :) Can't wait!!!

turtledrum
09-11-2015, 02:46 AM
Great idea for a thread! (Hadn't thought of Mr. Kite in a long time!)

Putting finishing touches on chord melody solo of "Danny Boy"
Recalled an old song by Peter, Paul and Mary that I used to sing and play on guitar in the early 70's - "The Good Times We Had" and am polishing that up
Beginning to memorize chords/lyrics to "Fly Me to the Moon"

jollyboy
09-11-2015, 02:54 AM
Well, here at beginner central I'm working on some basic right-hand stuff (actually left-hand stuff for me) so...

A Message To You Rudy - now with chunking! Yeah, trying to add in some rhythm using palm muting to sort-of emulate that bouncy ska sound.

Hello Stranger - with some simple 'Carter-style' strumming (as per Aaron Keim's instruction) added in. Bum ditty, bum ditty, bum ditty...

Also currently noodling around with The Boxer, She's Not There, and Wild Horses.

Rllink
09-11-2015, 03:20 AM
Almost everything I do is vocal, with some instrumental bridges and such, to spice them up a little. I'm also into playing and singing songs from memory, and not having to rely on the sheet music, so I spend a lot of time on that. That, and putting some expression into them. So when you say "really getting a song down", for me that means that I can just belt it out from memory with some expression and maybe some moves to go along with it. OK, right now, I'm working on "You Never Can Tell", or the Teenage Wedding song, as it is sometimes called, by Chuck Berry. I was also working on "Don't Think Twice" by Bob Dylan, but I felt real good about that one yesterday. Also yesterday, "Oh Lord Won't You Buy Me a Mercedes Benz" popped into my head for some reason, and I got that one on my list after just a couple of times through it. I pretty much remembered most of the lyrics, so I just had to get them nailed down, and then the chords were a pretty basic progression, so you always gotta like that.

flailingfingers
09-11-2015, 03:30 AM
[QUOTE=Rllink;1743649]Almost everything I do is vocal, with some instrumental bridges and such, to spice them up a little. I'm also into playing and singing songs from memory, and not having to rely on the sheet music, so I spend a lot of time on that. That, and putting some expression into them. So when you say "really getting a song down", for me that means that I can just belt it out from memory with some expression and maybe some moves to go along with it. "

That pretty much sums me up too:).

Ukulele Eddie
09-11-2015, 04:34 AM
Instrumental only, for me:

-- Time in a Bottle (just polishing this one up)
-- Yesterday (about 90% there)
-- Canon in D
-- Georgia on My Mind
-- I'll See You in My Dreams
-- Can't Say Goodbye (newest one I started; have 'bout 8 notes down. ;-)

My "challenge" is I often get one part down pretty decently but then struggle to get the rest of the song to the same level, usually to do some part that I find technically challenging. I want to do a better job of "finishing" these songs before I start trying to learn any more new ones.

turtledrum
09-11-2015, 04:44 AM
My "challenge" is I often get one part down pretty decently but then struggle to get the rest of the song to the same level, usually to do some part that I find technically challenging. I want to do a better job of "finishing" these songs before I start trying to learn any more new ones.

Ditto!.....

AcousticTones
09-11-2015, 08:29 AM
...when you say "really getting a song down", for me that means that I can just belt it out from memory
I know not everyone can or likes to go without using any song books or sheets, but that's always my goal too. I know I've got it down when I can just wonder or walk around the yard and do these tunes. No sheets, just playing them over and over again while I find a place to sit or wonder and walk :)

Dan Uke
09-11-2015, 08:38 AM
Photograph by Ed Sheeran.

Been lazy since it's in the key of E and I like to keep in original key if possible. Tuned down by 1/2 step to play in key of F. Also the octave change from verse to chorus is not easy to play...might consider artificial harmonics.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
09-11-2015, 10:38 AM
just worked out some chording to 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square' for vocal performance :)

I had heard the song but was unimpressed until I paid attention to the sentiment and watched a few
YT videos. Wow, what a great song.

I'm keying on the Glenn Miller arrangement but I don't know who the guy singer is. I also prefer
to do the entire song from the beginning and both (or 4) stanzas :)

Anyway, that's it for now

keep uke'in',

acmespaceship
09-11-2015, 10:46 AM
I loved Tracy Chapman's version of Stand by Me on Letterman!

I've been compiling a set of Leon Redbone songs for the local uke club. Up a Lazy River, Big Time Woman, Please Don't Talk About Me when I'm Gone, Diddy Wa Diddy, Harvest Moon etc. Got 13 songs written up so far; gonna stop here for Edition #1 or this will never get done. Chords + vocals. I'm hoping the fancy chords won't scare our beginners away.

We have harmonicas. Now if we can just find a tuba player.

peanuts56
09-11-2015, 11:06 AM
Tico Tico, it's a favorite of mine from 40 years ago. I also play trumpet and was in a Portuguese Band for a few years in the early to mid 70's. (I'm Irish/Italian)We were also a cover band, Blood Sweat and Tears, Chicago etc. When we played strictly Portuguese functions it was a staple. The dance floor was packed when this song was played.
I am working hard on it to get it up to tempo. For the record it's not an easy piece on trumpet either.

bonesigh
09-11-2015, 03:39 PM
Hmm, now working on comitting to memory (there are an amazing number in there already) 2 Ed Sheeran songs Tenrife Sea and Thinking Out Loud. Just decide to start working on Both Sides Now, Joni Mitchell number...easy to work in the melody notes. I like to keep up with some popular songs for the kids.

kohanmike
09-11-2015, 09:01 PM
My occasional harmonica playing inspired my guitar playing friend with nerve problems to take up harmonica. We decided to work up "Sway" with me on uke since I've been playing bass uke almost exclusively the last few months.

flailingfingers
09-12-2015, 04:09 AM
I loved Tracy Chapman's version of Stand by Me on Letterman!

I've been compiling a set of Leon Redbone songs for the local uke club. Up a Lazy River, Big Time Woman, Please Don't Talk About Me when I'm Gone, Diddy Wa Diddy, Harvest Moon etc. Got 13 songs written up so far; gonna stop here for Edition #1 or this will never get done. Chords + vocals. I'm hoping the fancy chords won't scare our beginners away.
I'd love to see that if you don't mind sharing. Would be very open to helping with expenses.

whistleman123
09-12-2015, 06:04 AM
Let's Fall In Love both singing and soloing. But A Nightengale Sang In Barkley Square sounds like a good idea for my next project.

Chopped Liver
09-12-2015, 06:24 AM
Instrumental only, for me:

-- Time in a Bottle (just polishing this one up)
-- Yesterday (about 90% there)
-- Canon in D
-- Georgia on My Mind
-- I'll See You in My Dreams
-- Can't Say Goodbye (newest one I started; have 'bout 8 notes down. ;-)

My "challenge" is I often get one part down pretty decently but then struggle to get the rest of the song to the same level, usually to do some part that I find technically challenging. I want to do a better job of "finishing" these songs before I start trying to learn any more new ones.

So, do you play the song in chunks - play the first few bars over and over and then add more when you get the first part down? I'm thinking about trying that.

Also, are you playing chords or finger styling?

dkcrown
09-12-2015, 08:00 AM
I loved Tracy Chapman's version of Stand by Me on Letterman!

I've been compiling a set of Leon Redbone songs for the local uke club. Up a Lazy River, Big Time Woman, Please Don't Talk About Me when I'm Gone, Diddy Wa Diddy, Harvest Moon etc. Got 13 songs written up so far; gonna stop here for Edition #1 or this will never get done. Chords + vocals. I'm hoping the fancy chords won't scare our beginners away.

We have harmonicas. Now if we can just find a tuba player.

Leon is "The Man!" I've seen him play seven times over the years. Mississippi Delta Blues is one of my favorites to play

actadh
09-12-2015, 09:19 AM
There are about four fingerstyle ones that I am trying to internalize - all from UU. Ashokan Farewell, Time in a Bottle, Stairway to Heaven, Morning Has Broken.

I am working on Christmas songs, too. This is a busy time of the year for me. I waited too long last year and never had the time to learn even one well.

I worked on Aldrine's Greensleeves/What Child Is This over the winter so I started with that in my repertoire.

Christmas Time is Here was an easy one to learn from the Uketab site. Gave him a donation because I want to go back and learn some of the others here as well. http://uketab.weebly.com/

I am working now on Ukulele Mike's O Holy Night, and his chord/melody Christmas book is the next ebook I will buy. I will probably have time to learn one or two more before Christmas.

Chopped Liver
09-12-2015, 12:51 PM
There are about four fingerstyle ones that I am trying to internalize - all from UU. Ashokan Farewell, Time in a Bottle, Stairway to Heaven, Morning Has Broken.

I am working on Christmas songs, too. This is a busy time of the year for me. I waited too long last year and never had the time to learn even one well.

I worked on Aldrine's Greensleeves/What Child Is This over the winter so I started with that in my repertoire.

Christmas Time is Here was an easy one to learn from the Uketab site. Gave him a donation because I want to go back and learn some of the others here as well. http://uketab.weebly.com/

I am working now on Ukulele Mike's O Holy Night, and his chord/melody Christmas book is the next ebook I will buy. I will probably have time to learn one or two more before Christmas.

Ooo, thanks for the info. I just downloaded O Holy Night. I want to work on Silent Night to play at our Christmas Eve service. Time to get started!

JJFN
09-13-2015, 04:38 PM
One Note Samba, with a samba strum. Very difficult chords, but I am enjoying the challenge. The strum is pluck all four, pluck CEA and then pick G and pluck all four, with a Latin/samba beat.

VegasGeorge
09-14-2015, 02:10 AM
For the last couple of days I've been working on an oldie, "Tonight You're Mine Completely." I was inspired to start when I 'discovered' Leslie Grace's video on YouTube. I'm playing melody and harmony in the key of C, and I'm having fun with the inversions. I'm also looking at "Te Extraņo" by Xtreme, only three chords, but trying to figure out how to strum the Bachata rhythm and play the melody at the same time is a challenge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USrflLJfZBE&list=FLlysjLVKAoRU65oH4OYC7bQ&index=4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cehkSxOLNA

Ukulele Eddie
09-14-2015, 03:32 AM
So, do you play the song in chunks - play the first few bars over and over and then add more when you get the first part down? I'm thinking about trying that.

Also, are you playing chords or finger styling?

I don't sing, so I play finger style almost exclusively. Yes, I generally work on a song in parts or chunks, the size of the chunk depends on how difficult it is and what are the natural break points for the song.

Ukulele Eddie
09-14-2015, 03:39 AM
For the last couple of days I've been working on an oldie, "Tonight You're Mine Completely." I was inspired to start when I 'discovered' Leslie Grace's video on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USrflLJfZBE&list=FLlysjLVKAoRU65oH4OYC7bQ&index=4



Lovely version. FYI, the song is called, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" originally recorded by the Shirelles (it's more commonly referred to as "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"). Amy Winehouse also did a nice cover of it. This was one of the first songs I learned. I learned the strumming first, and then a melody line. But need to combine them into one version some day.

Picker Jon
09-14-2015, 04:04 AM
Something put me in mind of 'The Leaving of Liverpool' the other day, I thought I'd try it although I don't usually sing. I had to transpose it to C for my voice but I have to say it's great fun to belt out. I'm looking forward to trying it at the pub.

That got me thinking of more sea shanties. One of my favourite albums is 'Rogues Gallery - Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys' put together by Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski, having been enthused when making the first 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. I reckon there might be some that'll work well with the uke's simplicity and percussive sound. Looks like there might be more to work on here...

http://i62.tinypic.com/wb8axw.jpg

SailorUke!
09-14-2015, 09:03 AM
Currently working mostly on Fly Me to the Moon with a bit of a combo of an online tab that I liked and Aldrine's version on UU for picking. Best part is listening to my whole family walking around the house humming Fly Me to The Moon including my 3 year old. Much better than the endless Sunshine that I was wrecking non stop for my first month playing.

jollyboy
09-14-2015, 10:24 AM
Lovely version. FYI, the song is called, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" originally recorded by the Shirelles (it's more commonly referred to as "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"). Amy Winehouse also did a nice cover of it. This was one of the first songs I learned. I learned the strumming first, and then a melody line. But need to combine them into one version some day.

More random info: the song was originally written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and a version recorded by King herself appears on the album 'Tapestry' - which is a truly great record and worth checking out if you like the song.

(I have a chord sheet for King's 'You've Got A Friend' in my to-do pile somewhere :))

Sporin
09-14-2015, 10:41 AM
The Avett Brothers' "Left on Laura, Left on Lisa" and "Rejects in the Attic"

Brandi Carlisle's "Keep Your Heart Young"

Rodney.
09-15-2015, 11:49 AM
Diablo Rojo on the baritone, it's addicting to learn this piece. Way out of my league, so it might take a while.

wayward
09-15-2015, 07:49 PM
It's great reading about all these songs: I'd be really interested to hear Ubulele's arrangements of the Irish tunes when they're ready; & I also decided Tracy Chapman's version of Stand By Me was my favourite when we started covering it a while ago, and hope it has influenced our version. Like some of the early commentators on here I focus on learning songs so that I can sing and play them while looking at an audience, giving them some expression, and without being put off by my nerves or my pleasure at listening to what our lead ukulele player is doing. I've been working on "Rainy Days and Mondays" by The Carpenters (having had requests to cover a Carpenters song, and discovered I can manage this one - Karen Carpenter had an amazing vocal range which, because of her smooth tone, I didn't fully appreciate until I started trying to sing the songs in entirety myself) for a while, and it's taken longer than most, but I think I'm almost there! I'm also getting a song ready which is the first one I've written the words to (called Mucked Up Midas) and am looking forward to playing that with my band friends too :D

k0k0peli
09-15-2015, 09:28 PM
I am working on nothing at the moment because the good 'ukes are all packed for possible evacuation (which could still happen) but my latest insanity is developing the necessary fingerings for solo chord-melodic play on tenors tuned gCEa (4-string), G-cC-E-Aa (6-string tuned sort of like a Venezuelan cuatro), fF-a#A#-DD-gg (detuned 8-string), and gG-cCc-eEe-Aa (10-string tiple) and GgG-cCc-eee-aaa (12-string cuatro-menor).

I am moving my mandolin versions of BLUE SKIES in F and WALK DON'T RUN in Gm to these and am also developing R.Crumb's RIVER BLUES in F and THE SALLY GARDENS in C. Do I like challenges? Apparently. And this is easier than learning new tunes! Just find different ways to play familiar stuff. Ah, the things we do as senility sets in... :rolleyes:

VegasGeorge
09-16-2015, 01:35 AM
.... Looks like there might be more to work on here...

http://i62.tinypic.com/wb8axw.jpg

That looks like it's perfect for me. "One Click," and Amazon is sending it to my door! Thanks for showing it to me!

Joyful Uke
08-09-2016, 06:56 AM
Reviving this thread to go along with my "inspiration" thread. Since you all inspire me, hearing what people are currently working on might provide some inspiration, too.

I've started working on Daniel Ho's Polani. Also started Lagrima (Prelude in E Major.) Am trying to play "I Will", "Both Sides Now" and "Hey Jude" more smoothly. And, keep meaning to work on "In My Life", which I think I'll move into rotation today. And, as always, I'm trying to not forget some of the things I've learned. I'm strictly a finger picker, since I can't sing.

Croaky Keith
08-09-2016, 08:03 AM
Latest is Sukiyaki, as an instrumental, which I hope to be able to play sometime soon. :)

janeray1940
08-09-2016, 08:06 AM
An original instrumental written by a friend that, if all goes well, will become our second video to go live in the link in my sig... in a month or two maybe :)

And just for fun, revisiting a few in John King's Classical Ukulele songbook.

Tootler
08-09-2016, 09:56 AM
I'm a singer, at least as far as ukulele is concerned so I play ukulele primarily to accompany myself singing. I also, sometimes add simple ukulele accompaniment to tunes played on various wind instruments including; harmonica, flute recorder and concertina.

As a regular participant in the Season's, I work on at least one new song nearly every week. This means getting the song up to a sufficient standard that I can record it. I don't necessarily have the words committed to memory at this stage (takes too long at my age) but some of these songs I will subsequently learn so that I can sing them out.

For this week's season, I'm working on an old Blues number, The Lonesome Road and a Burns song, Craigieburn Wood. I'm hoping to get them recorded tomorrow or Thursday but there are family factors that might alter that.

bacchettadavid
08-09-2016, 10:08 AM
Instrumental-wise, "Here, There, and Everywhere", "Honeysuckle Rose", and "What a Wonderful World" from Craig Brandau's jazz solos book.

On the vocal front, "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat" (for diction and clarity) and "Nobody Does It Better" (for pitch flexibility), both with simple ukulele accompaniment, and "Ol' Man River" (for tonal color) as a vocal solo.

sculptor
08-09-2016, 11:10 AM
The reward of really feeling like I've got a new song down, and the journey to get there, is one my favorite things in the world.

So I started to thing about what new songs I'm currently working on that fit into that category for this coming week or two. So here's a list of new tunes that I feel I'm getting close to having down at performance level:

-Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite
-Norwegian wood - both vocal and chord melody
-Across The Universe - both vocal and chord melody
-Imagine
-People Get Ready
-Stand By Me - Tracy Chapman's version from her appearance on Dave Letterman

So whether it be one or many tunes what is currently on your list that you are either hoping to have down or are currently working on? Would love to know :)

Edit - Side note added: I recently ordered a PONO MTSHC-S from The Ukulele site and hoping to record all of the above as soon as she arrives :) Can't wait!!!

I'm working on some low-g tabs for The Entertainer and Malaguena. The former is going slowly but I'm getting there on the later.

I've found I prefer playing finger style to strumming.

-- Gary

AndieZ
08-09-2016, 12:05 PM
Reviving this thread to go along with my "inspiration" thread. Since you all inspire me, hearing what people are currently working on might provide some inspiration, too.


Thanks for reviving this thread. I've got little interest and nothing to say about instrument shopping but I like to hear about technical playing issues and songs and performing them so I'm happy to find out here what sort of music other members are into.

I'm a beginner but have scooted up to some slightly more difficult songs chord wise, because that's what i really want to play and I feel i haven't got time to pfaff about too much with a lot of songs that don't interest me.
So far i've done a fair bit of work on: Three Little Birds but the backbeat killed me; Get Up Stand Up and I did pretty good with the reggae strum but putting it together with singing has been a pain;Next came I'm Yours which I loved learning to sing. Those three songs i went with because they were in the first lessons I was given. That was all really hard work on the strumming element and then I switched to songs of my choice which are Dream a Little Dream of Me and Be My Baby and finally Don't Know Why where i'm stuck for a bit.

When I pick up my uke again in a couple of weeks, I'll go back to those and keeping on with my song a week learning strategy, I think. That said, i should probably work in five song lots because that's probably enough to take to the street, by which i mean a song a week for five weeks and then stop to master them before going on to the next new song.

Strumdaddy
08-09-2016, 12:17 PM
Reading back over this thread is very inspiring...
I work with Elders as a therapist, and songs are my main way of getting connection and engagement.
So I'm always working on songs and arrangements for uke. But it's not a chore! I actually find that doing so is a way of appreciating the songs from the inside out. Often I shake my head in wonder at how these guys can take the same few notes and chords and combine them in unique and beautiful ways. And those songs become become repositories of memory and emotion - a kind of organic storage system of human experience and feeling.
Whoops - raving on now....
I put a lot of time and energy into getting my versions of songs together - and love every minute of it. I do find that getting the right key for my voice is important, then memorizing the arrangement. Then one can really tell the story to people.
Currently:
Johnny Ray's "Cry" - one to really get your teeth into when performing
"The Last Waltz", Engelbert Humperdinck, let that one loose on a crowd of Elders and enjoy the ride!
"Halfway To Heaven" - Cliff Edwards.
Themes to The Godfather and Love Story as instrumentals - just beautiful
"I Left My Heart in San Francisco" - I used to think it was cheesy when I was a kid, but now.....

Dan Gleibitz
08-10-2016, 10:52 AM
I'm working away at Brittni Paiva's Safe & Sound (see here: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?122033-Please-share-links-to-your-favorite-uke-performances!&p=1878367#post1878367).

I've re-tabbed the whole thing because her tab is a bit simplified and sketchy. After 3 weeks of practicing I can muddle my way from start to end with a few major timing issues, lots of rattly/muted notes and very little dynamic variation. In hindsight, it was probably a tough choice for my first ukulele piece, but I'm hoping to have it down by Xmas.