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drtortoise
09-17-2009, 03:33 AM
Someone asked me if it is possible to play blues on the ukulele, because the ukulele always sounds so "happy". I want to say yes, but I'm just starting out. Maybe some of you could reccomed some good blues ukulele songs (on youtube perhaps) that I could show him?

Thanks

ukantor
09-17-2009, 03:54 AM
Depends what you mean by "blues". To some it is just a simple set of chords - to others it is more akin to a religion.

Ukantor.

Lanark
09-17-2009, 04:44 AM
And for many many others it's the music you play when you hit middle age and have to abandon your rock and roll dreams.

One of the greatest misconceptions about Blues as a genre by folks unfamiliar with it is that it is "sad music". "Blues" is kind of a catch-all label that encompasses a huge variety of sounds and styles that cover the whole range of human emotion and lyrical content (see also "Jazz" and "Rock and Roll") It traditionally has a few conventions as far as to chord structures (ala Country and Western) but it's not bound by them. It's music.

The other great misconception is that it's music made by older players. Most of that stems from the great Blues and Folk revival of the early 60's when the next generation tracked down some of the original recording artists like Skip James & Mississippi John Hurt and brought them out of retirement to tour colleges and such. While their prime recordings were all done as young men, but most people weren't aware of them until they were in their retirement years a few decades later. The biggest recording heyday for Blues really was in the 1920's & 30's.

I personally like my Blues Pre-War with a few bits here and there up into the early 60's.

and I apologize for the editorial rant. It's just one of those things that get my Music Obsessed Archival blood worked up.( just don't start in about NYC being the place where Punk Rock originated from and nobody gets hurt)

UkeNukem
09-17-2009, 05:08 AM
There are also many country/flok blues songs that might work, although I can't think of any at the moment.

deach
09-17-2009, 05:19 AM
Really? I realize this is in the beginners section but a quick search on Google or YouTube will keep you busy for hours.

Jessie Valentine
09-17-2009, 05:27 AM
I wrote a funny blues song on ukulele.

http://www.myspace.com/officialjessievalentinemusic

It is easiest to play blues in A on a uke. It can be played in any key but in A you can easily add tricks to make it more interesting.

Standard blues format is

A 8 count

A 8 count

D 8 count

A 8 count

E 4 count

D7 4 count

A 4 count

E7 4 count

Repeat

There are tons of variations but this will get you started. If you can play this you can play anything from Bessie Smith to Hank William to Sublime.

Blrfl
09-17-2009, 05:31 AM
You can play blues (and most other genres) on anything* if you put your mind to it.

If I had the gear to make a video, I'd grind something out for you, but as a cheap substitute you can search YouTube for "blues ukulele" and you'll find lots of examples.

*Edit: I take that back. I'm reasonably sure you can't play the blues on a gong.

--Mark

russ_buss
09-17-2009, 05:58 AM
you can tell your friend "yes". here are a few channels to check out for some blues uke stuff:

http://www.youtube.com/user/facemeltingukulele

http://www.youtube.com/user/tHeDirTyJoHnSon

http://www.youtube.com/user/deach69

Bluke
09-17-2009, 06:22 AM
PLenty of blues talk already here. Search.

I've been a blues player for forty years, and currently teach a class called Ukulele Blues regularly. Just do it!

Link
09-17-2009, 06:38 AM
Also www.youtube.com/grumpycoyotetunes has some good bluesy stuff.

deach
09-17-2009, 06:43 AM
Let's not forget the Baron, who lives in the same country as you.
http://www.youtube.com/baronk69

redsedge
09-17-2009, 07:26 AM
http://howtoplayukulele.com/how-to-play-blues-ukulele/ This should keep you going for a long time.

drtortoise
09-17-2009, 09:26 AM
you can tell your friend "yes". here are a few channels to check out for some blues uke stuff:

http://www.youtube.com/user/facemeltingukulele

http://www.youtube.com/user/tHeDirTyJoHnSon

http://www.youtube.com/user/deach69
thank you very much for your help, really appreciate it. =)

drtortoise
09-17-2009, 09:28 AM
Let's not forget the Baron, who lives in the same country as you.
http://www.youtube.com/baronk69
Thank you! I'm actually a UK resident though, live in Oxfordshire. I'm just in Stockholm atm.

drtortoise
09-17-2009, 09:34 AM
Really? I realize this is in the beginners section but a quick search on Google or YouTube will keep you busy for hours.
Sorry if I offended you, asking the experts it's always much more effcient than googleing. But I didn't mean to offend. I just thought people would be happy to help?

ukulele2544
09-17-2009, 11:17 AM
Aldrine was doing a bunch of Uke Minutes on blue ukulele.

Waterguy
09-17-2009, 11:24 AM
Don't forget to check out some of Pete Howlett's lessons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DE2A050sYlQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg8CumKjXno&feature=related

Great stuff

Uncle-Taco
09-17-2009, 02:08 PM
I play little else.

lespaul_79
09-17-2009, 02:48 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq-betWOskc&feature=channel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEXmWQ9v38Q&feature=channel_page

This is they type of blues uke I'm into. Especially the Railroad Bill.

Fingerpickin' Piedmont Blues is a happy blues that works well with yer happy uke.


The fingerpickin' walkin blues links above are nice too.


For basic stuff, this one is perfect.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQF-vVzBGPM&feature=player_profilepage#t=17

ukeyermind
09-19-2009, 01:54 AM
I don't know if you're much into book learning, but Al from UkeHunt has a great e-book on how to play ukulele blues - linked above by redsedge.

Myself, I like being able to break away from the computer screen whenever I can, so I printed the book out and it can go wherever I go - outside, friends' house, etc.


This book starts out pretty basic, but gets advanced by the end.

good luck

UkeNukem
09-20-2009, 12:22 PM
"I take that back. I'm reasonably sure you can't play the blues on a gong."

Ah, it may appear this way to those not DEEP into the percussive arts. Blues gong would entail just one note per set of blues songs, the trick is WHEN! Just a micro-second off and you get post-punk. More than one note per song set you get exotica.