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View Full Version : So I'm going to take a risk here...



Vroom
04-13-2008, 03:30 PM
Well, I guess you could call this a risk, because I am only going to be getting my ukulele on wednesday (approximately) and I have until the 29th to practice and rehearse.

My friend (Justin) and I are going to be performing "somewhere over the rainbow/Wonderful world" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. He is going to be playing the guitar and I will be on the ukulele, and we both will be singing. He's good at guitar and I have a pretty decent voice.. i think. not sure about him, but my only experience with a uke was a few weeks ago with someone I met on my tour trip in costa rica, but i played it a lot and i caught on really quickly, and learned banana pancakes and bubbly toes.

I am shooting kind of high here i guess, haha, but it is also just for fun so if i don't do that well I won't be disappointed. but, I figure I will have nearly 2 weeks to practice and learn, so that gives me tons of time.

Also, we will be getting someone to videotape it, it might be with a crappy camera, but regardless, I will be posting it afterwards so you guys can all see how brutal it is haha!

just thought i'd share that with you. Right now i'm pretty nervous but i'm sure i'll feel better about it after some practice.

Tell me what you guys think, I'd love to hear some comments and/or advice or tips if you have any for me it would be greatly appreciated!

-Vroom

menehunenyc
04-13-2008, 03:38 PM
Best advice I could give you is try to make the song your own. Not that anyone could, but dont try to sound like Brudda IZ, it'll come off bad. Good luck with the practice, I can't wait to see your vid.

russ_buss
04-13-2008, 03:39 PM
:)ain't nothin' to it, but to do it! 2 weeks seems completely reasonable since you picked it up so quickly in costa rica.

i look forward to your video. and just remember, it's all about having fun.

good luck!

p.s. wednesday seems like a thousand years away huh? :)

ukejon
04-13-2008, 03:41 PM
That is cool. Do your best and have fun. As for gauging your success, it is all a matter of degree. I guess if you don't fully screw up the chords or forget the words or throw up on stage, you have succeeded.

It is fair to say that from one perspective playing the uke can be kind of simple--strum some easy chords on the little four-string sucker. On the other hand, it is an amazingly complex and endlessly versatile instrument. I've been in bands and have played fingerstyle and rock guitar for more than 30 years. In fact, I taught banjo and guitar for a couple of years. Still, it initially took me more than two years of heavy playing and practicing and recording to really feel like I was beginning to understand the uke and to connect with it in the way that I wanted. So keep in mind that as your move ahead with your playing, your standards may well continue to rise.

Good luck.

uber_goober
04-13-2008, 03:54 PM
Just play the tune like it's yours. I agree with everyone else in saying don't necessarily try it in someone else's style just because (e.g. Iz). Of course, learning to do it that way would be very educational, but ultimately (in my opinion) you should play the tune, and any tune, in your style.

My friend and I play Over the Rainbow whenever I have my ukulele at a coffee shop gig, and we do our own thing, somewhat faithful to the original arrangement (as opposed to Iz's).

Just enjoy playing the song and have fun with it.

Vroom
04-13-2008, 04:12 PM
Thanks guys. Yeah, I wasn't planning on singing exactly as it is, i find thats too stressful and actually, too hard to just do exactly as is and copy because you are constantly worried that you don't sound exactly like the original.. I find it relaxing and easier when i add my own thing, or just when i make it my own. im referring to piano and singing. again thanks, i am hoping that 2 weeks is long enough, it should be. I will probably call in sick to work a couple days haha.

p.s. wednesday DOES feel like forever. and if it comes late i'll probably have a fit. lol.

tad
04-13-2008, 04:27 PM
That is cool. Do your best and have fun. As for gauging your success, it is all a matter of degree. I guess if you don't fully screw up the chords or forget the words or throw up on stage, you have succeeded.

It is fair to say that from one perspective playing the uke can be kind of simple--strum some easy chords on the little four-string sucker. On the other hand, it is an amazingly complex and endlessly versatile instrument. I've been in bands and have played fingerstyle and rock guitar for more than 30 years. In fact, I taught banjo and guitar for a couple of years. Still, it initially took me more than two years of heavy playing and practicing and recording to really feel like I was beginning to understand the uke and to connect with it in the way that I wanted. So keep in mind that as your move ahead with your playing, your standards may well continue to rise.

Good luck.

Of course, there's also the benefit of low expectations-- one thing I think is kinda cool about the ukulele. At least where I've lived, on the East Coast and the midwest, there just aren't many ukulele players, but everyone and his brother plays guitar.

If you wanna impress people on the guitar, you have to be amazing. If you wanna impress people on the ukulele, really, all you have to do is not be Tiny Tim.

menehunenyc
04-13-2008, 04:33 PM
Um, I'm from Kailua Hi, living in Brooklyn NY and I can say from first hand experience, there are alot of uke players in this city (but you are right, most probably played guitar first, so tend to be very good uke players as well). And the fact that the NYC Ukefest is so well attended stands to prove the ukes popularity in this city, ON THE EAST COAST. lol

Plainsong
04-13-2008, 04:50 PM
I agree with all that advice of making the song your own. If you've already played then you're further along than the likes of me. I cannot strum and sing that song at the same time.

I guess you've heard the original - so now erase it from your mind. :D

tad
04-13-2008, 05:11 PM
Um, I'm from Kailua Hi, living in Brooklyn NY and I can say from first hand experience, there are alot of uke players in this city (but you are right, most probably played guitar first, so tend to be very good uke players as well). And the fact that the NYC Ukefest is so well attended stands to prove the ukes popularity in this city, ON THE EAST COAST. lol

As with many things, NYC is not exactly representative of the rest of the east coast. There's a few players in Boston, where I lived last, but it's hardly common-- if you walk into a bar, you can find a guitarist, pretty much guaranteed. A ukulele player? Might take some looking.

There's not much of a scene here in DC at all.



...Also, the NYC ukefest attracts people from all over-- I mean, there's people coming from Japan and Hawaii, even. So it's hardly representative of the number of players within the city itself.

There's people who play ukulele everywhere-- you could probably say the same about accordion. Although just because there's an accordion festival here in DC doesn't mean that it's a commonly-played instrument in the area.

Although you're right, it seems to be the only city on the East Coast that seems to have a respectable-sized number of ukesters.



My main point in saying "on the east coast" was to differentiate between Hawaii, where a lot of people's family members play, and it's not uncommon to play from childhood, or the West Coast, which has a much higher population of Pacific Islanders than the rest of the mainland US.

menehunenyc
04-13-2008, 05:16 PM
your right, your right, but you want to hear something wild. I live on a quaint little block in brooklyn, lots of young families, tons of musicians and film industry types, graphic artists... In the last 4 months I can tell you that atleast 5 new ukuleles have either been recieved as gifts or were purchased out right. In addition, there are a couple of local bars that have open mic nights, one specifically for ukes. Pretty cool here in brooklyn...

tad
04-13-2008, 05:21 PM
your right, your right, but you want to hear something wild. I live on a quaint little block in brooklyn, lots of young families, tons of musicians and film industry types, graphic artists... In the last 4 months I can tell you that atleast 5 new ukuleles have either been recieved as gifts or were purchased out right. In addition, there are a couple of local bars that have open mic nights, one specifically for ukes. Pretty cool here in brooklyn...

That does sound cool-- what neighborhood are you in? (I'm guessing it's one of the ones that people moved on to after getting priced outta Williamsburg? Happened to a lot of my friends from college...)

russ_buss
04-13-2008, 05:24 PM
your right, your right, but you want to hear something wild. I live on a quaint little block in brooklyn, lots of young families, tons of musicians and film industry types, graphic artists... In the last 4 months I can tell you that atleast 5 new ukuleles have either been recieved as gifts or were purchased out right. In addition, there are a couple of local bars that have open mic nights, one specifically for ukes. Pretty cool here in brooklyn...

an open mic night just for ukes? that's sweet!

menehunenyc
04-13-2008, 05:35 PM
I live just south of Park Slope in an area called Windsor Terrace. Because we can't afford to live in Park Slope (full of brownstones), but are wannabees, we tell everyone we live in 'South Slope', which doesn't exist on any map, lol. Its a cool neighborhood, on our block we have a block party that closes down the street for the whole day, no cars on the block...just open it up for the kids with rides, sprinklers, games, food and beer. Then at some point we have what we call a hootenanny, or you hawaiians would call it, kanikapila, and have a singalong with the whole block. Ofcourse, Im the sole uke representer!!

Dino
04-13-2008, 05:39 PM
Aldrine has a video lesson of this song on the website IAMHAWAII.COM

He gives an easy strum and the advanced strum. There is even a printable sheet with the chords to print.

tad
04-13-2008, 05:55 PM
I live just south of Park Slope in an area called Windsor Terrace. Because we can't afford to live in Park Slope (full of brownstones), but are wannabees, we tell everyone we live in 'South Slope', which doesn't exist on any map, lol. Its a cool neighborhood, on our block we have a block party that closes down the street for the whole day, no cars on the block...just open it up for the kids with rides, sprinklers, games, food and beer. Then at some point we have what we call a hootenanny, or you hawaiians would call it, kanikapila, and have a singalong with the whole block. Ofcourse, Im the sole uke representer!!

That's a good neighborhood-- a buddy of mine used to live there!

Your post makes me jealous... being a grad student has forced me to live in the burbs. I miss living in the city, innovative local music, street festivals, decent public transit, etc. The local music scene here is way too metal for my taste-- I can't imagine a ukulele open mic...

The only nice thing about living in the city that we still have here is an obscene number of small international restaurants (and awesome giant Asian supermarkets...)




(Also, to the original poster-- sorry for the threadjack, here...)

Vroom
04-13-2008, 06:00 PM
(Also, to the original poster-- sorry for the threadjack, here...)

Yeah.... i was just looking through this... and i'm like... oh..oh.. I SEE HOW IT IS! haha jk no problem ;)

salukulady
04-13-2008, 08:19 PM
Of course, there's also the benefit of low expectations-- one thing I think is kinda cool about the ukulele. At least where I've lived, on the East Coast and the midwest, there just aren't many ukulele players, but everyone and his brother plays guitar.

If you wanna impress people on the guitar, you have to be amazing. If you wanna impress people on the ukulele, really, all you have to do is not be Tiny Tim.Actually Tiny Tim was a very accomplished uke player, he did much more than Tiptoe Through The Tulips......and that voice WAS annoying.

tad
04-13-2008, 10:21 PM
Actually Tiny Tim was a very accomplished uke player, he did much more than Tiptoe Through The Tulips......and that voice WAS annoying.

And "Tiptoe" is, from what I've heard, a pretty difficult song. AND the falsetto was actually appropriate to the era and genre of that song.

Nevertheless, if you're not a creepy-looking guy with a somewhat grating voice singing treacle-y songs about flowers, I think people are automatically having their expectations defied.

Vroom
04-14-2008, 10:57 AM
I didn't know who tiny tim was so i looked him up and ... wow, all i can say is just... wow, what the heck?

but yeah, so my friend is using an electric guitar for it, and he says its sounding good and were goign to get together soon to practice as soon as i get my uke... but... he has an amp and I don't have anything to make my uke louder, do you think this will affect the performance of the uke in a negative way? or do you think people will still hear the uke. were both using microphones do you think it would pick up the sound of the uke at all?

Dominator
04-14-2008, 11:07 AM
Actually, Tiptoe has a great melody with some really nice chord changes. Obviously the song gets a bad wrap because when mentioned everyone thinks of Tiny Tim's renditions.

Well, I hope you all don't think of me as a "creepy-looking" old geaser but I took a crack at it a while back. This is one of the few times I sing so don't be too hard on me now:o.

http://dominator.ukeland.com/Images/tiptoe_dp.mp3

russ_buss
04-14-2008, 11:22 AM
This is one of the few times I sing so don't be too hard on me now:o.


um okay, your voice is great!

you can sing, play, tab. i wouldn't be surprised if you could fly!

great rendition Dom.

seeso
04-14-2008, 01:46 PM
Actually, Tiptoe has a great melody with some really nice chord changes. Obviously the song gets a bad wrap because when mentioned everyone thinks of Tiny Tim's renditions.

Well, I hope you all don't think of me as a "creepy-looking" old geaser but I took a crack at it a while back. This is one of the few times I sing so don't be too hard on me now:o.

http://dominator.ukeland.com/Images/tiptoe_dp.mp3

DOM! Your voice is great! Clean and pleasant. You need to sing more, man!

JumpingPulgas
04-14-2008, 02:43 PM
Very nice voice Dom! I've only heard Tiny Tim's version until today, but you're correct, it is a nice song.

Dominator
04-14-2008, 04:24 PM
Thanks guys. Singing is not something I'm very comfortable with. I sing backup with the band but that's different than peforming solo.

Dino
04-14-2008, 05:14 PM
Great job Dom. I was actually expecting a Tiny Tim voice to come out, but suprise suprise suprise.

titoboy5
04-14-2008, 06:50 PM
I didn't know who tiny tim was so i looked him up and ... wow, all i can say is just... wow, what the heck?

but yeah, so my friend is using an electric guitar for it, and he says its sounding good and were goign to get together soon to practice as soon as i get my uke... but... he has an amp and I don't have anything to make my uke louder, do you think this will affect the performance of the uke in a negative way? or do you think people will still hear the uke. were both using microphones do you think it would pick up the sound of the uke at all?

see if you can do a sound check before you guys perform so you can balance the sound. rock on!!!!!!!!

titoboy5
04-14-2008, 06:53 PM
DOM! Your voice is great! Clean and pleasant. You need to sing more, man!

yes dom! sing more!

UkuLeLesReggAe
04-15-2008, 03:37 AM
:)ain't nothin' to it, but to do it! 2 weeks seems completely reasonable since you picked it up so quickly in costa rica.

i look forward to your video. and just remember, it's all about having fun.

good luck!

p.s. wednesday seems like a thousand years away huh? :)

haah i remember that day :) it feels like ages!! "(

good luck with it all

Vroom
04-16-2008, 11:33 AM
Thanks guys.

so... the guy at the store that put the order in for me two weeks ago said it should be no longer than 2 weeks... and its been... 2 weeks.. and now he says he has no clue when it will be here...

AHHH!! this totally bums me out

seeso
04-16-2008, 11:41 AM
Thanks guys.

so... the guy at the store that put the order in for me two weeks ago said it should be no longer than 2 weeks... and its been... 2 weeks.. and now he says he has no clue when it will be here...

AHHH!! this totally bums me out

Aw, man! That stinks! Put the pressure on him. The squeaky wheel gets the grease!

Plainsong
04-16-2008, 11:56 AM
Man I hate it when they do that! That happened to us this weekend. I bought a 32gb ipod touch on the understanding it would be here on Tuesday. The sales genie explained it was in their own warehouse already.

Do you think that was accurate? No.

The reason why I'm steamed already, and you should be too, is that these things work like clockwork. If their distributor has it, and the order is put in by a certain deadline: it's on the next truck plain and simple. It's not a mystery, they know when that truck arrives and they also know if the distributor is stocking that item.

It's one of those things you learn when you work for the purchasing agent at a store. It's really no mystery. Now if something is special order and not readily stocked, then yeah that's another story, but if they say that they basically have it - then it's no mystery at all.

So in other words, they just say anything to make the fracking sale.

Vroom
04-16-2008, 06:43 PM
Yeah i know I'm pretty ticked. I mean, it comes from Quebec, a different province further east of the one I am living in (i live in canada) so 2 weeks should be plenty of time. Business days? i dont care, thats 10 business days. get it done. it doesnt take 10 days to call, receive that call, put the stuff on the truck, and drive it.

well... i guess it is 3,727 kilometres from there to here...yeah i looked it up on google maps.. im a freak... but thats no excuse.

I know they dont ship it right away because they have shipments of other peoples things too.. but I just hate when they give you a deadline and don't stick to it, and then can't tell you when to expect it after it is running late!!