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bikemech
02-19-2017, 06:17 AM
What are the two songs you seem to play most whenever you pick up your ukulele?

Of course, our habits and preferences change over the days, weeks, months, and years as we learn new material but I want to know what you commonly play today. Likely, these are songs played from memory without the need to have the music in front of you.

As for me:

1. Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice" (fingerpicking, with singing)
2. Stevie Wonder's "A Place in the Sun" (strumming and singing, as played by Richard Hefner of EZfolk)

Admission- I do not have the lyrics memorized for either song.

natchez
02-19-2017, 06:40 AM
Robert Johnson's Crossroads- finger picked and chords; Ain't She Sweet- strummed; they help to linger up my hands before each session.

Rllink
02-19-2017, 06:47 AM
Okay, just at home playing my ukulele and entertaining myself, I don't really have a go to song. But if someone asks me to play something, I always start out with Oh Lord Won't You Buy Me a Mercedes Benz, or Don't Worry, Be Happy. The reason is that I can do a reasonable good job of either of those cold, right out of the box, and they are both good warm ups for me. The one that I never ever play cold, is Margaritaville. Don't Think Twice is in our playlist and I like that song but I don't usually think of it as one to start out with. Admission, I do have those all committed to memory. I like to have a repertoire of songs that I can just knock off from memory if someone asks me to play something for them.

JJFN
02-19-2017, 07:07 AM
Dylan's, The Times They Are A Changing. Strum the chords.
The Beatles, In My Life. Soloing

WCBarnes
02-19-2017, 07:08 AM
Zac Brown Band -- Toes
Jimmy Buffett -- A Pirate looks at 40
Beethoven -- Fur Elise

jollyboy
02-19-2017, 07:21 AM
It's really hard to pick two songs - I tend to learn bits of several at a time and then just string those together when I'm noodling. I'm not sure that I could play anything all the way through without looking at a chord sheet :p Maybe something that I know all the words to and that has really simple chords like The Wild Rover or The Wild Mountain Thyme (anything wild basically). Thinking about it I'm sure I could get through Scarborough Fair without looking at a sheet too. I think I may be somewhat misrepresenting myself as a beardie folkie type with these answers... ;)

Croaky Keith
02-19-2017, 07:33 AM
The only tune I can play without tab, so far - Wipeout. :)

kohanmike
02-19-2017, 07:36 AM
I play bass uke with The CC Strummers and we have about 200 songs in our songbooks (many that have already been mentioned). So that I can keep my hands on my tenor ukes, I will pick up one as often as I can at home and play two songs I've committed to memory, Iz's version of "Over the Rainbow" because when I first started playing the uke almost four years ago, it was very difficult for me to follow his strum pattern (even though I played rhythm guitar for almost 50 years) and I finally got it after months, and "Sway" because I like doing the gliss finger strum like a classical guitarist. (I actually know "King of the Road" as well, oh, and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight.")

DownUpDave
02-19-2017, 07:40 AM
What I play when i just grab a uke is constantly changing. I play in an ensemble so we are always learning a new song and I spend most my time on that.

But for pure pleasure at the kitchen table

*Hotel California by Eagles, finger picking the intro, strum the rest, low G tenor
* Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd, same layout as above
*When I'm 64, Beatles, great strumming song on reentrant soprano
*I'm Yours, Jason Maraz , same as above.

These are all memorized and lots more. I don't know why I can memorize songs but I have no idea where I placed my car keys:p Great thread by the way as others favorites have given me some great ones to learn, thanks.

bikemech
02-19-2017, 08:51 AM
A lot of great responses so far. It is apparent that many of you are far more accomplished musicians than I, in fact I hesitate to call myself a musician at all. I am more of a uke-butcher. ;)

My hope is that we can all use the responses as "food-4-thought " when it comes to choosing new material to work on.

janeray1940
02-19-2017, 09:02 AM
I play in an ensemble so we are always learning a new song and I spend most my time on that.


I didn't know you played in an ensemble! Since I do too, I'd love to see or hear what yours is working on.

Same story here - most of my playing time is devoted to my ensemble, or originals for the trio I play in. If someone asks me to play something or if I'm testing out ukes in a shop, my go-to is usually one of those originals.

3j0hn
02-19-2017, 09:03 AM
I am more of a uke-butcher.

Same here. :D

Osprey
02-19-2017, 09:05 AM
I just started playing the Baritone a few weeks ago. I am currently getting pretty good with "Red River Valley". The chords are easy on the Baritone. It is also easy for me to sing.

acmespaceship
02-19-2017, 09:43 AM
Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" is the song my cats recognize from the chord intro. G-Am-C-G twice through and the cats come running to compete over who gets my lap. It's my vocal warmup: sing the first verse and chorus on melody, the next on harmony a third up, then harmony a fifth up, then melody in the high octave. After which I'm ready to sing pretty much anything I have any business singing in the first place. Sometimes Sid the Cat helps with the high octave. (Sid is not my userpic-- that's Bruce who passed in 2010 -- but when Sid sings it's the same general effect.)

My go-to song when somebody wants to listen (and I want to show off) is "I'll See You in My Dreams." My go-to for leading a group without a songsheet is "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" because I refuse to accept anybody who's owned a uke for more than 2 weeks telling me they can't manage to play C-F-C-G7 and repeat the single word "wimoweh" from memory.

The music teacher at my son's middle school told the kids to "always have a song in your pocket." I think that's wonderful advice for everybody. Even if it's "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," that's cool. Own it. :cool:

Barrytone
02-19-2017, 09:47 AM
Ain't She Sweet: the first tune I learnt some forty years ago. I play it in whatever style my mood takes me. Next is usually the tune I'm currently learning. A this moment it's After You've Gone jazzy finger-picking.

JesterBlod
02-19-2017, 10:03 AM
Stagolee (Mississippi John Hurt), Life of a millionaire (Clapton), 2 cigarettes in an ashtray (Patsy Cline), Another Mans Cause (Levellers) and Whats Up (4 non blondes).
And whatever I'm trying to learn....

oops just realised meant to be just 2; - the first two.

j.roth
02-19-2017, 11:11 AM
This week they are The Judge and Ride by Twenty One Pilots. My daughter is learning to play the ukulele, and those are two of her favorites. Those two songs have some neat timing twists, and use super common chords. I appreciate hearing something fresh with the same old chords.
Next week, there may be two more. I have a running playlist on Spotify that I keep adding to. I like playing along with the recordings for fun, it currently has 13 songs on it. The list is ever expanding and shrinking. I find myself working the most on the techniques and lessons I am learning from Ukulele Underground.

Tootler
02-19-2017, 11:14 AM
I don't have two particular songs I play when I pick up my uke.

I do have a number of songs committed to memory and I like to cycle through them from time to time to keep them fresh and that's what I'll often do when I pick up my uke.

zztush
02-19-2017, 11:28 AM
Old Folks at Home, Let it Be

ksiegel
02-19-2017, 11:40 AM
I never thought about it, but it seems like I gravitate to "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate" whenever I'm just noodling around...
And Tom Paxton's "The Last Thing On My Mind"; a twelve-bar blues in A pops up frequently

etudes
02-19-2017, 01:18 PM
Most recently I tried "I won't last a day without you" and love it on the uke. Beatles "You won't see me"- fun trying that in several different keys.

Papa Tom
02-19-2017, 01:26 PM
I only have one and it's the plucked-and-strummed intro to The Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun," which I have mastered pretty well.

If I have to play a second song, it's a pretty dead giveaway that I'm not as good as you thought I was during that first song.

Griffis
02-19-2017, 01:52 PM
I used to have an extensive repertoire committed to memory, primarily of jazz tunes circa 20s-40s era along with a few Dylan, CCR, Floyd type things.

I took a uke hiatus for a few years, going back to bass and guitar. I'm getting my uke chops back but I really need to work on my strumming patterns.

However, I've had to relearn so much.

Among the few I have committed to memory again are Dream A Little Dream Of Me, Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out, Tonight You Belong To Me, Russian Lullaby and for newer-ish songs, This Will Be Our Year by The Zombies and New Slang by The Shins.

But when I pick it up to play, sometimes after running through a few scales and exercises, the two I tend to start out with are

Ain't Misbehavin'

and

Night Owl as recorded by Cliff Edwards aka Ukulele Ike.

Mr. Edwards isn't just my favorite uke-playing singer, he's one of my favorite performers of all time, in any medium, from any period.

Since this has become True Confessions, lemme just say: I also love Tiny Tim and I pronounce it "yoo-kulele"--not "oo-kulele."

So there.

Cool thread!

Ukulelerick9255
02-19-2017, 02:24 PM
Playing all kinds of genres but go to songs are
Dust to Dust-The Civil Wars
I'm in love with you- Steve Forbert
Run- Snow Patrol
I only play in low G

bikemech
02-19-2017, 02:38 PM
Stagolee (Mississippi John Hurt), Life of a millionaire (Clapton), 2 cigarettes in an ashtray (Patsy Cline), Another Mans Cause (Levellers) and Whats Up (4 non blondes).
And whatever I'm trying to learn....

oops just realised meant to be just 2; - the first two.

Stagolee is another of my go-to songs as well. I play it almost every time I pick up the uke.

bikemech
02-19-2017, 02:44 PM
This week they are The Judge and Ride by Twenty One Pilots. My daughter is learning to play the ukulele, and those are two of her favorites. Those two songs have some neat timing twists, and use super common chords. I appreciate hearing something fresh with the same old chords.
Next week, there may be two more. I have a running playlist on Spotify that I keep adding to. I like playing along with the recordings for fun, it currently has 13 songs on it. The list is ever expanding and shrinking. I find myself working the most on the techniques and lessons I am learning from Ukulele Underground.

A couple of Twenty One Pilots songs are in my regular rotation as well but I usually play along with the videos, so I wouldn't consider them on my go-to list as defined by my opening post. The two are "Can't Help Falling Love With You" and "House of Gold". Good stuff.

Gammo
02-19-2017, 03:40 PM
My go tos at the moment are a couple of blues riffs I'm trying to learn but this thread has just added loads to my "I want to learn" list. Most notably "Wish You Were Here" (thanks DownUpDave), "The Times, They are a Changing" (thanks JJFN) and "New Slang" (thanks Griffis). So many songs, only one pair of hands.

spongeuke
02-19-2017, 03:56 PM
Over the last 15+ years I keep going back to To You Sweetheart Aloha starting off and finishing with a solid F vamp.

photoshooter
02-19-2017, 05:24 PM
Lately it's been Beatles/Lennon:

Let it Be
Something
Imagine

If someone wants to hear something more upbeat,

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Strumdaddy
02-19-2017, 05:45 PM
I fall in love each with a new song each week (I'm so fickle...)
This week it's "Someone to Watch Over Me"; tricky timing on the intro, but really worth it. Ahhh, Mr Gershwin, you've done it again!
Last week was "I'll Be Seeing You".
I'm just a sucker for beautiful songs - my favourite fruits of human endeavour....

TCK
02-19-2017, 10:12 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SStd28Fx_yI

Kayak Jim
02-20-2017, 06:16 AM
Don't Get Around Much Anymore - picking
Sleepwalk - chord melody

joekulele
02-20-2017, 08:29 AM
If someone sees my ukulele and says, "Play a Hawaiian song," I'll go wth White Sandy Beach or Princess Poopooly. If they say Tiptoe, I'll do a non falsetto version and explain how it is a really nice old song, then follow up with Ain't She Sweet or 5 Foot Two.

Nickie
02-20-2017, 04:05 PM
Hey, some really neat songs here gang! right now mine are:
Alona Waltz (my version)
Spanish Fandango
Let it be Me
(fingerpicked)
Brennan on the Moor
Biscuits
Whiskey in the Jar
(strummed and sung, the Irish ones on banjolele)

bikemech
02-20-2017, 05:13 PM
Hey, some really neat songs here gang! right now mine are:
Alona Waltz (my version)
Spanish Fandango
Let it be Me
(fingerpicked)
Brennan on the Moor
Biscuits
Whiskey in the Jar
(strummed and sung, the Irish ones on banjolele)

Hi Nickie,

I play two different versions of the Spanish Fandango.

Here- http://www.chiefnoda.com/ukulele/tab/fandango.pdf

And here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRObnUN-GVg

How do you play it?

David

bunnyf
02-20-2017, 06:11 PM
Lately my go to song is Aimless Love or In a Town This Size by John Prine. Or a bluegrass tune like Don't This Road Look Rough and Rocky or Columbus Stockade Blues.

SteveZ
02-21-2017, 04:13 AM
Lately, when I start out, it's been these, so they must be the "go to:"

Eye In The Sky - Five O"Clock Somewhere - High On You - Toes - Cuban Crime of Passion

Rob Uker
02-21-2017, 08:06 AM
I'm not a singer so my two songs are Guava Jam and an instrumental version of CC Rider that I cram every blues lick I know into.

Nickie
02-21-2017, 08:08 AM
Hi Nickie,

I play two different versions of the Spanish Fandango.

Here- http://www.chiefnoda.com/ukulele/tab/fandango.pdf

And here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRObnUN-GVg

How do you play it?

David

Yes, David, he's the gentleman I learned it from, just like that! Don't you just love it?

Tootler
02-21-2017, 10:55 AM
I don't actually bother to remember any songs. I have books and just use the the books as memory aides...

I think that if you're playing out at all, even if it's just open mics or similar, it's worth the effort of committing songs to memory. You can then concentrate on attending to the audience and you come over much better. I find, if I have the words in front of me, I am looking at them and not at the audience so I am not communicating with the audience properly.

In the case of jamming with others, then it's important everyone plays the same version so having song sheets or books is useful. If you are recording - even if it's just for You Tube - then I find it useful to have the words as an aide memoir because it reduces the number of times you slip up and hence the number of takes.

If you are playing for your own pleasure it doesn't matter, of course, you just do what you like.

MCmoist
02-21-2017, 11:33 AM
My 2 go to songs are Jake Shimabukuro's version of "Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Let's Dance".

I honestly thought I would see the Guitar Gently Weeps song on this list a lot for some reason haha.

Mezcalero
02-21-2017, 12:39 PM
Fun Thread! Been trying to learn a few songs a week the last 6 weeks, and so I've been exposed to a lot of songs in that time. I guess the ones I seem to go to regularly this week are:

ELP - Lucky Man strummed/finger picked and sung.
Townes Van Zandt - If I needed You finger picked/strummed and sung.

bikemech
02-21-2017, 04:59 PM
Lately my go to song is Aimless Love or In a Town This Size by John Prine. Or a bluegrass tune like Don't This Road Look Rough and Rocky or Columbus Stockade Blues.

Now I have a new song to work on. Aimless Love is a good one and it forces me to practice that E-chord. Thanks

JohnL
02-22-2017, 12:27 AM
City of Stars from La La Land movie
Imagine by John Lennon
Wild Horses by the Rolling Stones
Space Oddity by David Bowie
first few verses of Stairway to Heaven

bunnyf
02-22-2017, 05:56 AM
Bike mech, the good thing is that once you have this memorized (and it's a simple song structure), you can sing many other songs to it (especially other John Prine songs).

Zagabog
02-22-2017, 06:38 AM
Right now I can't seem to stop playing If I Can't Change Your Mind (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHnFIaLp_ys) by Sugar. It's really nice and strummy. Only problem is my fingernail is in tatters.

Farp
02-22-2017, 07:47 AM
Just figured out how to play Harvest Moon by Neil Young--pick & strum. I must've played it 200 times in the last 7 days. That and My Sweet Lady, by John Denver--picking.

bikemech
02-23-2017, 04:42 AM
Just figured out how to play Harvest Moon by Neil Young--pick & strum. I must've played it 200 times in the last 7 days. That and My Sweet Lady, by John Denver--picking.

Do you have a link that shows how you play Harvest Moon?