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View Full Version : My first engagement as an uke player! I need your help with Hawaiian (Wedding) Songs!



dirk.li
07-08-2009, 11:18 AM
Aloha ukulele brothas 'n sistas,

I still can't believe it, someone has watched my uke videos on YouTube and now wants me to play the uke at a Hawaiian/Swedish wedding in Germany!!! I'm so proud! Isn't it exciting!! :eek:

Now I'm asked to play Hawaiian songs, but the problem is, I DON'T KNOW ANY!!! I have less than a month to select some Hawaiian songs, learn to play them and prepare the gig! PLEASE, PLEASE, if you know any popular Hawaiian songs (and/or have chords/sheet music /tips /whatever) that are suitable for a wedding, please HELP!!
I would like to know which Hawaiian songs are usually played at a wedding... if you know, please post song titles!!

Much Mahalo in advance! :shaka:

Here's the original e-mail request (isn't it exciting!!!):


"My fiance and I discovered your ukulele playing on Youtube today. We are looking for a ukulele player from Germany who can perform at our wedding at the reception. I know this is an unusual request, however # (my fiance who is Swedish) and I (who comes from Hawaii) are marrying on August #, on the island of # where some of #'s family comes from.
As far as my background goes, I am originally from Hawaii however it is impossible for us to fly a Hawaiian ukulele player to Germany for the wedding! We enjoyed your songs on Youtube and you seem to play the ukulele quite well.
We are interested to know if you can play other songs, and perhaps Hawaiian ones, though this is not necessary. We can provide sheet music. We like that you have an entertaining personality as well as ukulele skills!"

specialmike
07-08-2009, 11:25 AM
The Hawaiian Wedding song: as played by Elvis (http://www.tabcountry.com/song3642/Elvis-Presley-Hawaiian-Wedding-Song,-The)

Although not really written in Hawaiian here, I think it's appropriate for a wedding, yes?

White Sandy Beach (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fsm4Shbi2MQ) is a good one too.

dirk.li
07-08-2009, 11:31 AM
The Hawaiian Wedding song: as played by Elvis (http://www.tabcountry.com/song3642/Elvis-Presley-Hawaiian-Wedding-Song,-The)

Although not really written in Hawaiian here, I think it's appropriate for a wedding, yes?

White Sandy Beach (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fsm4Shbi2MQ) is a good one too.

Thank you! I like these ones!

russ_buss
07-08-2009, 12:33 PM
I still can't believe it, someone has watched my uke videos on YouTube and now wants me to play the uke at a Hawaiian/Swedish wedding in Germany!!!

sorry, can't help you with the hawaiian music but just wanted to say that's awesome! congrats:D!

dirk.li
07-09-2009, 10:05 AM
sorry, can't help you with the hawaiian music but just wanted to say that's awesome! congrats:D!

Thank you, Russel!

Apfelkuch3n
07-09-2009, 11:41 AM
Aloha Dirk,

Sorry I can't help you either, but congratulations! :)
I'm sure it'll be awesome!

Dominator
07-09-2009, 12:06 PM
Dirk, congrats on your upcoming gig.

I just wanted to sound off a little regarding this type of situation since it is somewhat similar to what has happened to me and the rock band in the past. It always irritates me when people hire us based on our song list or seeing the band live and then decide they want us to play a bunch of disco tunes :confused:. That always chaps my arrss :p.

Link
07-09-2009, 12:34 PM
Very awesome opportunity. I recommend checking out Israel Kamakwiwo'ole forgive my spelling. I love all of his tunes, very Hawaii'n. White Sandy Beach and Somewhere Over The Rainbow are for-sure's. Also check out Pau Hana, Manao Company, Three Plus... oh man theres so much awesome Hawaiin music. Aldrine has some appropriate and awesome songs. Ukulele(Gitara), CMJ, Ducky Adores Me, Buttercup... hey do Red N Silky and say it's a honeymoon song. Haha.

I don't think Pau Hana is from Hawaii... but the same style.

Have fun, what an opportunity!

1014
07-09-2009, 04:13 PM
Very awesome opportunity. I recommend checking out Israel Kamakwiwo'ole forgive my spelling. I love all of his tunes, very Hawaii'n. White Sandy Beach and Somewhere Over The Rainbow are for-sure's. Also check out Pau Hana, Manao Company, Three Plus... oh man theres so much awesome Hawaiin music. Aldrine has some appropriate and awesome songs. Ukulele(Gitara), CMJ, Ducky Adores Me, Buttercup... hey do Red N Silky and say it's a honeymoon song. Haha.

I don't think Pau Hana is from Hawaii... but the same style.

Have fun, what an opportunity!

fwiw, aside from usng an `ukulele, Aldrine's sound, while maika`i, is not the typical Hawaiian sound. I'm sure he and the other Local people on the board will agree with me on that. While it may good, if the people were expecting Hawaiian Style, they're not going to get it if you play AG covers. IMHO, though it might cool to put down completely a tuscadero(sp?) like playlist, if the party is expecting Hawaiian music, they might not get that vibe. Again, not saying that's bad, it's just not what they may want.

On the search engine, there's a lot of threads about lu`au/hula appropriate music. A good "standard" list is the playlist ricdoug recently posted. Stay Hapa Haole and Jawaiian. You, then won't have to deal with language issues. IMHO, I don't think you should abandoned the contemporary covers completely though, just don't make it the dominant type of songs.

gotrice415510
07-09-2009, 09:27 PM
definatley somewhere over the rainbow, maybe some instrumentals aswell

dirk.li
07-09-2009, 09:40 PM
Aloha Dirk,

Sorry I can't help you either, but congratulations! :)
I'm sure it'll be awesome!

Much mahalo, Lou! :-) I was so surprised to receive this message! And of course I'll give my very best and hopefully manage to videotape the event. :-)

dirk.li
07-09-2009, 09:47 PM
Dirk, congrats on your upcoming gig.

I just wanted to sound off a little regarding this type of situation since it is somewhat similar to what has happened to me and the rock band in the past. It always irritates me when people hire us based on our song list or seeing the band live and then decide they want us to play a bunch of disco tunes :confused:. That always chaps my arrss :p.

Hehehe, yes, I know what you mean. :-)
Maybe you know it already, but I post it anyway:

AUDIENCE ADVICE (From those who know)

When requesting a song from the band, just say "play my song", or "it
goes something like this" then hum a few bars! We musicians have a chip
implanted in our heads with an unlimited database with the favourite
tunes of every patron who ever walked into a bar and all songs ever
recorded, so feel free to be vague ... we love the challenge.

If we tell you that we do not remember exactly what tune you want,
we're only kidding. Bands know every song ever recorded, so keep
humming. Hum harder if need be ... it helps jog the memory.

If a band tells you they do not know a song you want to hear, they
either forgot that they know the tune or they are just putting you on.
Try singing a few words for the band. Any words.

If one member halfway knows part of a chorus, the rest of the band will
instantly learn the entire song by osmosis. Knowing this, if the band
still claims not to know your song, it helps to just keep requesting
the same song every-time there is a break.

It also helps to scream your request from across the room several times
per set followed by the phrases, "AW, COME ON!" and, "YOU GUYS SUCK!"
Exaggerated hand gestures expressing disapproval from the dance floor
are a big help as well, such as the thumbs down or your middle finger.
Put-downs are the best way to jog a band's memory. This instantly
promotes you to the status of "Personal Friend Of The Band."

Entertainers are notorious fakers & jokesters and never really prepare
for their shows. They simply walk on stage with no prior thought to what
they will do once they arrive. An entertainer' s job is so easy, even a
monkey could do it, so don't let them off the hook easily. Your request
is all that matters.

If a metal band had played at the club a few weeks ago, the next band
that follows will automatically know every metal tune the previous band
ever played, even if the current band is a blues, country, or ABBA
tribute band. It's the law!!!

Feel free to yell AC/DC or KISS!! To a band that plays strictly
originals or jazz for example. Conversely, jazz lovers may yell for
Golden Wedding to any band with a saxophone player, even though it
wasn't played on a saxophone.

IMPORTANT!
When an entertainer leans over to hear you better, grab his or her head
in both hands and yell directly into their ear, while holding their head
securely so they cannot pull away. This will be taken as an invitation
to a friendly game of tug of war between their head and your hands.
Don't give up! Hang on until the singer or instrumentalist submits.
Drummers are often safe from this fun game since they usually sit in
the back, protected by the other players. Keyboard players are
protected by
their instrument and only play the game when tricked into coming out
from behind their keyboards. Though difficult to get them to play, it's
not impossible, so keep trying. They're especially vulnerable in the
break between songs.

TALKING WITH THE BAND
The best time to discuss anything with the band in any meaningful way
is in the middle of a song when all the members are singing at the same
time (such as a multi harmony part). Our hearing is so advanced that we
can pick out your tiny voice from the megawatt wall of sound blasting
all around us. Musicians are expert lip readers too. If a musician
doesn't reply to your question or comment during a tune, it's because
they didn't get a good look at your mouth in order to read your lips.
Simply continue to scream your request and be sure to over emphasize
the words with your lips. This helps immensely. Don't be fooled.

Singers have the innate ability to answer any questions and sing at the
same time. If the singer doesn't answer your questions immediately,
regardless of how stupid the question may seem, it's because they are
purposely ignoring you. If this happens, immediately cop an attitude.
We love this.

HELPING THE BAND
If you inform the band that you are a singer, the band will appreciate
your help with the next few tunes, or however long you can remain
standing on stage. Just pretend you're in a karaoke bar. Simply feel
free to walk up on stage and join in. by the way, the drunker you are,
the better you sound and the louder you should sing. If by chance you
fall off the stage, be sure to crawl back up and attempt to sing
harmony. Keep in mind that nothing assists the band more than
outrageous dancing, third and fourth part harmonies, or a tambourine
played out of time.

Try a cowbell, they love the challenge. Tambourine too! The band
always needs the help and will take this as a compliment.

VERY IMPORTANT!
Remember to allow enough time to make it from the stage to the bathroom
in case of an emergency. On stage accidents are bad form. The band will
carry on.

BONUS TIP
As a last resort, wait until the band takes a break and then get on
stage and start playing their instruments. They love this. Even if you
are ejected from the club, you can rest assured in the fact that you
have successfully completed your audition. The band will call you
immediately the following day to offer you a position ....

dirk.li
07-09-2009, 09:58 PM
Very awesome opportunity. I recommend checking out Israel Kamakwiwo'ole forgive my spelling. I love all of his tunes, very Hawaii'n. White Sandy Beach and Somewhere Over The Rainbow are for-sure's. Also check out Pau Hana, Manao Company, Three Plus... oh man theres so much awesome Hawaiin music. Aldrine has some appropriate and awesome songs. Ukulele(Gitara), CMJ, Ducky Adores Me, Buttercup... hey do Red N Silky and say it's a honeymoon song. Haha.

I don't think Pau Hana is from Hawaii... but the same style.

Have fun, what an opportunity!

Hey John, thanks so much for your tips! :shaka:
At the moment I'm compiling a list of songs I would like to play. I also have to keep in mind that I must be able to sing them and can learn them in a short time... tricky!

dirk.li
07-09-2009, 10:04 PM
fwiw, aside from usng an `ukulele, Aldrine's sound, while maika`i, is not the typical Hawaiian sound. I'm sure he and the other Local people on the board will agree with me on that. While it may good, if the people were expecting Hawaiian Style, they're not going to get it if you play AG covers. IMHO, though it might cool to put down completely a tuscadero(sp?) like playlist, if the party is expecting Hawaiian music, they might not get that vibe. Again, not saying that's bad, it's just not what they may want.

On the search engine, there's a lot of threads about lu`au/hula appropriate music. A good "standard" list is the playlist ricdoug recently posted. Stay Hapa Haole and Jawaiian. You, then won't have to deal with language issues. IMHO, I don't think you should abandoned the contemporary covers completely though, just don't make it the dominant type of songs.

Thank you for this very helpful information. I'm going to check out ricdoug's recently posted list and the other artists, too! The problem is, that this is very new to me and I need to find some suitable songs AND learn to play them in a short time. I'll have to play some contemporary pop covers, too. (But I better omit songs like Bob Dylan's "Don't think twice, it's alright" or Leonard Cohen's "Halleluja" ;) )

dirk.li
08-12-2009, 10:35 AM
Here's some pics of the setup I used for the wedding gig (these are the sound check pics in the garden where the reception took place).

I played the entire gig on my modified black Kala Tenor uke that has a built-in active pickup. It's got a selfmade bone saddle and strings of fluorocarbon fishing line (also the low g string is made of fluorocarbon - so it is NOT WOUND!).
I used the Kala for the entire gig because it has a built-in active Shadow pre-amp and I can just plug it right into the amp without any further pre-amplification. It sounds great! (Gonna edit and upload the video on YT soon, so you can hear.) For amplification I used my Roland SA300 stage amp and a Shure SM58 mic for the vocals.

http://www.dirk.li/fotos/ukulele/foehr01_web.jpg

http://www.dirk.li/fotos/ukulele/foehr02_web.jpg

ukulelearp
08-12-2009, 12:17 PM
I wish I could help, but don't know any:/

But still, that's really cool, hopefully it all works out. Congrats.

dirk.li
08-12-2009, 12:20 PM
I wish I could help, but don't know any:/

But still, that's really cool, hopefully it all works out. Congrats.

The gig was 2 weeks ago... and it went really well! In the end some people were dancing! :D
Haven't had time to edit the video yet, but I will soon!

WhenDogsSing
08-12-2009, 01:37 PM
Love your music...:D

haolejohn
08-12-2009, 02:02 PM
Aloha ukulele brothas 'n sistas,



Here's the original e-mail request (isn't it exciting!!!):


"My fiance and I discovered your ukulele playing on Youtube today. We are looking for a ukulele player from Germany who can perform at our wedding at the reception. I know this is an unusual request, however # (my fiance who is Swedish) and I (who comes from Hawaii) are marrying on August #, on the island of # where some of #'s family comes from.
As far as my background goes, I am originally from Hawaii however it is impossible for us to fly a Hawaiian ukulele player to Germany for the wedding! We enjoyed your songs on Youtube and you seem to play the ukulele quite well.
We are interested to know if you can play other songs, and perhaps Hawaiian ones, though this is not necessary. We can provide sheet music. We like that you have an entertaining personality as well as ukulele skills!"



There is the answer in bold type or at least part of the answer and check out the song section. Good luck.

EDIT:
Guess I should read the whole thread before replying:)

ukulelearp
08-12-2009, 02:12 PM
The gig was 2 weeks ago... and it went really well! In the end some people were dancing! :D
Haven't had time to edit the video yet, but I will soon!

Didn't catch that, oh well. But that post you did was very funny, well done.

uke5417
08-12-2009, 02:44 PM
Sounds like they have some music in mind. You might ask them.
btw: congrats.