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View Full Version : Do you seek out and listen to ukulele music?



mikelz777
02-28-2019, 11:10 AM
There's a recent thread out there asking people to rate their top 5 favorite ukulele players. I kind of chuckled because I wouldn't even be able to come up with 5 names let alone trying to pick 5 favorites from a larger list. Do you seek out and listen to ukulele music? Maybe I'm just an oddball in the minority. I don't know ukulele players, I don't listen to ukulele music (unless you want to count string band type music), I don't seek out ukulele music and I don't play much if any of what would be considered ukulele music. I enjoy making music with my ukes but other than the fact that what I'm playing is a ukulele, I'm pretty much otherwise outside of the ukulele sphere. Am I alone in this? :confused::cool:

jimrex62
02-28-2019, 11:36 AM
I was just thinking about something along this line today. I've only been at the uke for 2.5 years and still only strum various chords that I'm good at, varying the strum pattern and changing the progression. I started strumming with thumb as it felt natural to me, but now I'm trying to switch to index finger even tho the middle is over 1/2 longer.

I've tried a few songs from Richard G's website - I really liked "Cat's in the cradle" and a few others. I learned S&G's "Sound of Silence" as a going away song when my sister moved - I had changed the words for their situation.

What's really odd is that I liked stringing together chord progressions that could be neat little songs, but I don't have the extra brain cells to come up with lyrics or a melody... other than the little ditty I came up with for our grandson. I don't think "Coonpaws" will ever be on YouTube!

So, perhaps like you, I'm just in it for my own sound making pleasure I guess.

peanuts56
02-28-2019, 11:56 AM
Yes, as often as I can. I live in Connecticut and Jake plays Conn. once or twice a year. He'll be in Holyoke, Mass and Pawling, NY
in June. I'm only an hour or so from each venue. Leaning toward the Holyoke show as it's in a theater. The Pawling show is at Darryl's House and it's a restaurant/bar. I find places like that too noisy. Darryl's House is owned by Darryl Hall.Two years ago James Hill and Anne Janelle played at a small church in Madison. James and Anne are great to hear live.
Some years back George Kahumoku played in the area. His son Keoki is a wonderful ukulele player. I spend 4-6 weeks every year visiting my wife's family on Oahu. I've gone to hear Ohta San, Herb Ohta Jr., Kelly Boy DeLima, Willie K and Led.

Kibes37
02-28-2019, 12:13 PM
There's a recent thread out there asking people to rate their top 5 favorite ukulele players. I kind of chuckled because I wouldn't even be able to come up with 5 names let alone trying to pick 5 favorites from a larger list. Do you seek out and listen to ukulele music? Maybe I'm just an oddball in the minority. I don't know ukulele players, I don't listen to ukulele music (unless you want to count string band type music), I don't seek out ukulele music and I don't play much if any of what would be considered ukulele music. I enjoy making music with my ukes but other than the fact that what I'm playing is a ukulele, I'm pretty much otherwise outside of the ukulele sphere. Am I alone in this? :confused::cool:


I prefer a video to see the play. They fire me up and motivate me. I have started listening too in my car, but that’s because I’m obsessed.

The favorites I posted in the thread you’re talking about all have iTunes albums that are good. Besides Feng E.

acmespaceship
02-28-2019, 12:15 PM
I was thinking the same thing about the 5 favorite players thread. I go to my uke-playing friends' gigs. I've attended a few uke workshops and festivals. And I sometimes listen to uke players on YouTube when I want to learn a technique. But otherwise, for everyday listening I enjoy a lot of music and I choose none of it on the basis of what instrument is being played.

I suppose if I were trying to become a professional ukulele player then I would need to be paying more attention. A big fish in a small pond needs to keep an eye on the other big fish. For a teeny tiny fish like me it doesn't matter and I can go swim in the ocean instead ;-)

mjh42
02-28-2019, 12:44 PM
Sure I listen to music played with an ukulele. Lil'Rev, DelRay, Jake S, Led Kaapana, Papa Lemon Nash, Israel K. ....to name a few. I've other cd's I listen too that are compilations one of Hawaiain music, one of Hokum Blues from the 20's, some cd's from some song books I have like Fred Sokolow Blues Ukulele.......

There is actually quiet a lot of music out there that is recorded played and available of people playing ukulele as the primary instrument.....

I enjoy playing the instrument.....I enjoy listening to others play......and I am inspired by and learn things from listening to others play .......... there are times when I hear a tune and I say to my self......could I play that on the ukulele??.......to me it's all good.....

actadh
02-28-2019, 01:22 PM
I listen to ukulele music on TuneIn Internet radio - just put ukulele in the search bar and you get Aloha Joe's Ukulele Island & Aloha Joe Vintage Ukulele Music. There are also podcasts and episodes.

I also stream ukulele music on YouTube. Many here on UU have great channels.

Orton Pearson
02-28-2019, 01:37 PM
https://scontent-mad1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/27857850_1776381545760832_7893699114783270213_n.jp g?_nc_cat=103&_nc_ht=scontent-mad1-1.xx&oh=a3659d78558d1a6429bf841672024f6b&oe=5CEC1CB5

raffrox
02-28-2019, 01:47 PM
There's a recent thread out there asking people to rate their top 5 favorite ukulele players. I kind of chuckled because I wouldn't even be able to come up with 5 names let alone trying to pick 5 favorites from a larger list. Do you seek out and listen to ukulele music? Maybe I'm just an oddball in the minority. I don't know ukulele players, I don't listen to ukulele music (unless you want to count string band type music), I don't seek out ukulele music and I don't play much if any of what would be considered ukulele music. I enjoy making music with my ukes but other than the fact that what I'm playing is a ukulele, I'm pretty much otherwise outside of the ukulele sphere. Am I alone in this? :confused::cool:

Nope, you're not alone because that's exactly how I sort of feel about it as well. I love playing the uke but the irony is that the large proportion of the music that ukulele performers play just isn't my thing and wouldn't be my first choice of music to listen to. Jake Shimabukuro is just amazing but I just don't listen to music like that just like I don't listen to to that style played on other instruments (Tommy Emmanuel etc...).

None of the top players make it to my neck of the woods in Australia so that might be it as well.

Most probably blasphemy on this site but I still really like listening to Eddie Vedders Ukulele Songs and Lil' Rev is closer to my kind of thing. I like watching/listening to Christopher Shannon-Davis when he pops up on facebook or youtube but that's about it.

Kibes37
02-28-2019, 02:18 PM
My view is that the ukulele is a folk instrument. It rarely sounds good if you are just sitting and watching. It sounds best when you are playing it yourself, and that is when you will have the most fun with a ukulele. It is an instrument that has a world where everyone can have a turn at being on the stage instead of being in the audience, no matter how well they play. The energy is being on the stage, there is nothing better than seeing large group of people hammering away at the ukes on a stage with no audience. And when a person shows up to be an audience, they give the person a uke and get them on the stage, joining in the fun instead of just watching.
I always think that looking for "ukulele" music is a big waste of time in most cases. I like to look for music that I want to play, first I find the music in a written and audio format and then I try to play it on the ukulele. It can be any genre. It is a lot more fun to find music you like and then arrange it for ukulele.
I once paid a lot to see a "Ukulele Orchestra", we all took ukes and went along to the concert hall. It was so boring sitting there paying for someone else have all the fun. I doubt that I will ever pay to see a "ukulele" only performance ever again.
However, if you are taking a class or are doing some study with a teacher, you will need to look at the videos and listen to the music as part of the learning process. Also there are some amazing great ukulele players who are inspirational and who show you what can be done on a ukulele, I see them more as part of a learning process than as entertainment. Maybe it is worthwhile seeking out the great players as a learning experience.
So I don't seek out "ukulele" music, I just look for music and then play it on my ukulele.[/QUOTE]

Wow, I could not disagree more. Although I respect your view. Just a folk instrument? One of the coolest things about the Uke was discovering it’s range and showing that to people as well. I am in awe of great players. From watching their hands jump like dancing fleas, to the amazing sound that is produced. Either acoustic or plugged in. I can totally understand not just listening to the music. I don’t get how people are not interested in watching and listening to the best doing it. I’m sure it’s way more entertaining to watch Kalei live than an orchestra. Plus I love the pure joy on the players faces. You know, if you love this instrument like most do on here. To each their own.


https://youtu.be/vzQQZZc7nr8[QUOTE=Bill1;2132703]

Cluze
02-28-2019, 02:25 PM
I do actually seek out ukulele music, and listen fairly often. Ok, to be fair what I do is seek out groups that have a ukulele featured in them, so I suppose that isn't exactly the same thing. Some groups/artists I rather enjoy (some of these names will be very familiar and are in no particular order):

James Hill
Jake Shimabukuro
Isaac Balson (his song "Helvetica" is a favorite of mine)
My Kind of Karma (Isaac's old group)
Fun While You Wait
Karla Kane
Abe Lagrimas, Jr. (His album "Rhythm & Uke" is my go-to while working)
Israel Kamakawiwoole (of course)
The Ukulele Kings

A lot of it is this weird intersection between folk, jazz, and indie music.

Anthroterra
02-28-2019, 04:21 PM
I very much seek out music featuring ukulele, and include bands that do not feature it as the primary instrument. I like to see how far people push it and how it can combine with other instruments (Rob Scallon playing death metal, anyone?). I'm hearing it more and more, too, particularly with children's programming like Peg + Cat. These are just artists whose albums I own. I own more than this, but these are the ones I actually listen to often. Also, I *may* have an addiction-
Hawaiian/Island:
IZ
Holunape
Kapena
Brittni Paiva (although she branches out- even to drum and bass electronica!)
Paula Fuga (also blues and reggae)
Ka'au Crater Boys
Manoa DNA

Ukulele-focused non-Hawaiian:
James Hill and Anne Janelle
Jake and Bruce Shimabukuro
Lil Rev
Del Rey
Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer
Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
John King
Taimane Gardner (also does Hawaiian)
Herb Ohta
Herb Ohta Jr.
Eddie Vedder
Danielle Ate the Sandwich
Victoria Vox
Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel
The Quiet American/Aaron Keim
Rachel Manke
Jane For Tea
EmiSunshine
Daniel Ward
Jeremy Messersmith
Grace VanderWaal
Ukebucket
Lyle Ritz
George Formby

Bands that include ukulele:
Mumford and Sons
Beirut
Noah and the Whale
Vance Joy
Taylor Swift
Skye Zentz
Deep Fried Pickle Project
The Bumper Jacksons
OK Go
Twenty One Pilots
Amanda Palmer
Bette Midler
Ingrid Michaelson
Jason Mraz
Sarah Bareilles
Colbie Callet

jelow1966
02-28-2019, 05:41 PM
I'm really only interested in my uke playing,not what others are doing. So count me as one of the never seek out uke music crowd. It's not my type of music so I won't get any inspiration from it. I'll get a ton more ideas and inspiration from Jim Hall or Wes Montgomery then I ever will from any uke player. I do like Wolfman Chuck but since I was his inspiration I suppose I would :) (even though my playing is very far removed from the days when he heard me).

John

Croaky Keith
02-28-2019, 10:31 PM
Do you seek out and listen to ukulele music?

Nope.....

...but I'll sometimes listen to some - usually internet videos......

...my listening music is from way back - 1950~1970 mainly. :)

jimavery
02-28-2019, 11:36 PM
No, except there are a few songs about ukuleles, also played on ukuleles which I enjoy listening to, so will sometimes pop up in a random play of my Google Play Music library. Off the top of my head...

He Played His Ukulele As The Ship Went Down by Clinton Ford
Ukulele Lady by Bette Midler and various other artists
Ukulele by Fairport Convention
(I Love To Play) My Ukulele by Max Bygraves

zztush
03-01-2019, 02:06 AM
Thanks Anthroterra! I like all of the Hawaiian groups but Holunape is the best.

https://i.ibb.co/ZVSTHCQ/2.jpg (https://imgbb.com/)

Rllink
03-01-2019, 02:23 AM
I don't seek out ukulele music in particular. I do not like Hawaiian music at all.

UkingViking
03-01-2019, 05:49 AM
When I am not cathing up with the songs from the other participants in the Seasons of the Ukulele, looking for inspiration or sound samples, I rarely look up ukulele music.
Though I did catch Tobias Elofs gig at the free open air concert in Copenhagen two years back.

So basically I listen to a lot of ukulele playing though I dont look it up to put in on the speakers on a regular basis. Perhaps I just think that it is time for more instruments after listening to all that ukulele for hobby purposes.

What is "ukulele music" really?
I associate the term mostly with either amatour covers or ukulele solist names. Both niche things.
There are instances of ukulele being used as part of the instrumentation for a song among other instruments, but is that then ukulele music, or just music? Quite frankly, I think that this is where the Ukulele is most enjoyable to listen to. Though the other things can be nice too.

Rllink
03-01-2019, 06:40 AM
What is "ukulele music" really?
.
Exactly, when James Hill does Billie Jean, is that ukulele music? I love that song and the way he does it, but that's James Hill doing Michael Jackson. That's one hundred percent James Hill, not the ukulele.

DownUpDave
03-01-2019, 06:57 AM
Exactly, when James Hill does Billie Jean, is that ukulele music? I love that song and the way he does it, but that's James Hill doing Michael Jackson. That's one hundred percent James Hill, not the ukulele.

Yea now I am really confused. I like to make music on the ukulele, all kinds of music , pop, rock, blues, country.....just no rapp

mikelz777
03-01-2019, 07:05 AM
What is "ukulele music" really?

What I envisioned when using the term was distinctly Hawaiian music played on ukulele or to a lesser degree, music many people play for little reason other than that they think it's music that should be played on the ukulele. Corny, tin pan alley type of stuff comes to mind when I think of the latter though I can't say that that type of music is totally absent from the stuff that I play though it would be a small minority.

UkingViking
03-01-2019, 08:13 AM
When I read the OP, and read that the post was inspired by the thread about favorite ukulele artists, I reckon that ukulele music is in this context music played on ukulele by someone famous for playing ukulele. Not a genre.

But that again leaves the question, how much should an artist limit him/her self to the Ukulele to be an Ukulele artist?
If you listen to Eddie Vetters ukulele album, I guess you are listening to ukulele music, but if you listen to a mixed Eddie Vetter playlist, are you then?
If you listen to the Asylum Street Spankers, some times Christina Marrs pulls out an Ukulele to play, but it hardly makes the band ukulele music.

Kibes37
03-01-2019, 08:48 AM
When I read the OP, and read that the post was inspired by the thread about favorite ukulele artists, I reckon that ukulele music is in this context music played on ukulele by someone famous for playing ukulele. Not a genre.

But that again leaves the question, how much should an artist limit him/her self to the Ukulele to be an Ukulele artist?
If you listen to Eddie Vetters ukulele album, I guess you are listening to ukulele music, but if you listen to a mixed Eddie Vetter playlist, are you then?
If you listen to the Asylum Street Spankers, some times Christina Marrs pulls out an Ukulele to play, but it hardly makes the band ukulele music.

Exactly. Itís any song performed awesome on a Ukulele. It might be an MJ song but the UKE IS producing the sound product. Thatís my thoughts anyway.

And I love original composition covers very much.

mikelz777
03-01-2019, 09:35 AM
Since there seems to be so much confusion, let me expand upon what I already stated above.

Ukulele music is music being played by a ukulele. The reason people would seek it out is specifically because it's being played on a ukulele. The ukulele is the featured instrument front and center. If there happens to be other instruments there, the ukulele is still front and center and the dominant lead instrument. If someone were to walk in the room and hear it they would say it's ukulele music, not a band that might feature a ukulele somewhere in the background. The ukulele is the reason you are listening to it. My intended meaning touches on both genre and the any kind on music played specifically on a ukulele connotations. :)

Swamp Yankee
03-01-2019, 09:53 AM
I don't seek ukulele music. In fact, I seldom listen to music these days.

Typically, I search my memory for songs that I imagine might be fun to play on a ukulele. If I can't figure them out, I'll google chords or go to my wife's collection of music books.

If I were to list the ukulele players I listen to the most, it would be the players that demo new ukes for sale on their websites or in reviews.

hollymichele
03-01-2019, 11:08 AM
I do not seek out ukulele music, unless it's a tutorial for me trying to learn something. In fact, I don't consider myself a huge music person at all. I listen to music on the radio when I'm in the car, but not otherwise. I've only been to a handful of concerts in my life, and that's because my husband is really in to going to concerts and he dragged me along. But I wanted to learn to play a musical instrument for whatever reason (probably to learn a new skill and for a sense of accomplishment), and I have fun playing the ukulele for myself. I care little (at least not at this moment in my ukulele journey) about playing with others or for others (except a few family members that I play for). But it's a fun and rewarding hobby for myself. :)

fretie
03-01-2019, 03:40 PM
I rarely listen to music as I prefer a quiet context so I can concentrate on one task at a time (listening to music while doing anything is for me multitasking, not a preferred activity for me). That said, I often sit and listen to ukuleles playing music. I do that because I am interested in the music that can be generated by ukuleles specifically.
Almost all the music I have ever purchased has been music played on ukuleles.

janeray1940
03-01-2019, 03:58 PM
I don't know ukulele players, I don't listen to ukulele music (unless you want to count string band type music), I don't seek out ukulele music and I don't play much if any of what would be considered ukulele music. I enjoy making music with my ukes but other than the fact that what I'm playing is a ukulele, I'm pretty much otherwise outside of the ukulele sphere. Am I alone in this? :confused::cool:

Outside of the fact that I know a number of ukulele players, no - this sounds very much like myself. I don't really think of the ukulele players I know as only that; I think of them as musicians (and most are multi-instrumentalists). I rarely play "ukulele music" - I do play some standards but little Hawaiian and rarely songs that people think of as "ukulele songs." And I'll go a step further and say that for the most part, I actively avoid ukulele-oriented festivals and such - done that, been there, not for me.

glennerd
03-01-2019, 06:30 PM
Depends on the medium. On YouTube, the bulk of the music videos I watch are ukulele performers, usually for inspiration or just for enjoyment, plus tutorials, but I don't really count that. But then YouTube's algorithms will figure out what you like and feed you more of it, so it's a slippery slope. If I listen to Spotify (generally just at work) it's less probably less than 5% ukulele music. In the car, just what's on the radio.

If we're strictly talking "ukulele music", very little Hawaiian, maybe a little of the Roy Smeck style and some ukulele jazz.

Nickie
03-02-2019, 04:40 PM
Yes, I do seek out music played on the ukulele. Some of my faves are already listed here. I'll listen to anything but rap, which I really don't consider music at all.
I like to listen to amateurs too, so I attend a lot of open mics, and usually wind up onstage playing with others.
There are a few wizards of the uke living around here...