PDA

View Full Version : Anyone play Uke in a band??



amute
10-23-2009, 08:19 AM
I was wondering if anyone plays Uke with a band? Drums, bass, guitars.. the works. Maybe you know of a band or two? Please post links.
I know of Jake's old band "Pure Heart" and Jason's band JMD but I'm trying to learn about and hear more recordings. To see how the Uke fits into a mix.

Thank you for any info and/or links guys.

lp.s. Links to myspace pages more than welcome.

Citrus
10-23-2009, 08:31 AM
depends on the definition of band, I've played a lot with a number of guitarists but don't think that really counts, as per getting some interesting ukes in music
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=noah+and+the+whale&search_type=&aq=f

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=beirut&search_type=&aq=f

are good examples

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhrQ7P9EXnI
is good because it mostly features the uke

amute
10-23-2009, 09:26 AM
Thanx man. I'm just looking to see how the Uke fits in with other instruments.

I'm planning on recording with other musicians soon and I'm the first person to bring up the idea of tracking with my Uke. So I want to do my homework and really see who's usen'n the Uke and in what format. (metal,blues,jazz)

Thanx again for the links.

p.s. seems the Uke is used mostly solo or w/ a guitar. But not alot of full band stuff that I've found so far.

ukecantdothat
10-23-2009, 09:35 AM
I play uke in a calypso/soca/reggae/rock act called Three Hour Tour. We're primarily a duo comprised of myself and a steel drum player, playing to backing tracks of "live" drums (strict no drum machine policy, since the pan player is a drummer with a Pro Tools studio, who needs it?). We do mostly parties, corporate events, fund raisers, etc that way, but for clubs or showcases, etc, we'll use a stand-up bass and percussionist.

Here's our demo link with the backing tracks: http://www.markwoodentertainment.com/audio/Three%20Hour%20Tour.mp3

buddhuu
10-23-2009, 09:40 AM
I play in a (usually) 9 piece band. I play ukulele and mandolin mostly.

The other instruments are electric guitar, acoustic guitar (x2), saxophone, banjo, upright bass and drums.

We play rock, rock and roll, folk, bluegrass, blues, jazz, skiffle... whatever's going.

Here's one of the few videos where I'm thumping the uke rather than the mandolin (which is parked by my feet). In this one I was a bit far back from the mic and the gain was a bit low, so I'm (hopefully) pretty much inaudible. I mostly play with a pickup now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZsN2qMlcP8

In my case, I'd say the uke works best in the jazz, skiffle and folk stuff. It's ok for the reggae and ska, but it gets lost in the rock stuff. With the bluegrass it's good for chop/chunk, but doesn't cut enough for solos, IMO.

.

ukecantdothat
10-23-2009, 09:53 AM
p.s. seems the Uke is used mostly solo or w/ a guitar. But not alot of full band stuff that I've found so far.

When I was first approached with this project, I was asked by the pan player, (whom I've been playing blues & rock with since high school in the 70's, he on drums, me on guitar) if I would back him up on guitar with him on pan, since he's been drumming for a lot of calypso/soca acts and recently got good himself on pan. I said sure, but only if I could play exclusively on uke. So far I have yet to bring my guitars to a gig. Kinda gimmicky, but it works. Check out a thread I started on UU called "Purists" for an interesting reaction one guy had at a gig. The usual thing before we start is, "What is that, a ukulele?" or, "Who are you, Tiny Tim or something?" My stock answer to both ?s is, "Something like that." To the Tiny Tim ?, I sometimes answer, "More like Ukulele Ike. Google it." But a surprizing number of people ask me if I've ever heard of "Jake Shimabuku-something or other." That always gets smile from me.

amute
10-23-2009, 09:59 AM
Thank you Buddhuu for the info. Also gonna checkout the link to the other fellas project rightnow. Thank you guys for posting links & info.

I'm glad to say my project isn't in a rock format, which would kill the Uke I'm sure. Gabby La La recorded some music with Les Claypool for her album years ago and it's so far the best example of what I'm looking to get sound wise when recording. I know last time I spoke to her she said she was playing her Kala (still). Les did a great job with the recordings. One of those links (last on) on the first reply is to the song "BackPack". Nice NS upright bass sound! Mmmmmmm

Thanx again guys for all the help! More links to videos & music please.

ukecantdothat
10-23-2009, 10:02 AM
Here's one of the few videos where I'm thumping the uke rather than the mandolin (which is parked by my feet). In this one I was a bit far back from the mic and the gain was a bit low, so I'm (hopefully) pretty much inaudible. I mostly play with a pickup now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZsN2qMlcP8




Nice. I just had some fun noodling along with that on my new Mainland concert w/ MiSi pickup. Just did an amp test with it today and it's going to be great live. I run it thru a Twin Reverb for monitoring and split the feed to the PA.

Love the flatbed!

existence
10-23-2009, 10:04 AM
Thanx man. I'm just looking to see how the Uke fits in with other instruments.

I'm planning on recording with other musicians soon and I'm the first person to bring up the idea of tracking with my Uke. So I want to do my homework and really see who's usen'n the Uke and in what format. (metal,blues,jazz)

Thanx again for the links.

p.s. seems the Uke is used mostly solo or w/ a guitar. But not alot of full band stuff that I've found so far.

I played ukulele with my buddy on guitar over the weekend, and I never realized what a cool combo the two instruments are. We always used to each play guitar, which IMO is a little harder to pull off well...for example, if I'm playing a C chord, then the other player needs to find a riff, or another voicing of C, etc....two players playing the same chord at the same time never sounded that good to me. But with uke, my C is voiced so differently, and is so much higher than the guitar C that the two instantly complement eachother. Sound great together...

Ukulele Jim
10-23-2009, 10:09 AM
All the songs on my ukulele album were with a full band.

However, I never actually sat in a room with any of them. In fact, I've never met any of them in person. Each song was an online collaboration project.

http://ukulelejim.bandcamp.com

But back to the point, I think the ukulele works really well with a full compliment of drums, bass, other guitars, piano, whatever.

amute
10-23-2009, 10:16 AM
.But a surprizing number of people ask me if I've ever heard of "Jake Shimabuku-something or other. That always gets smile from me.

Yes Jake is the Uke champion, I was at a show in Santa Cruz on Oct 17th and this gal starts talking about Jake and Ukulele Underground. I thought it was really cool and then two days later a gal in our boxing gym asks me to tune her new uke, I was very suprised she played uke. But she two knew of Jake & Aldrine & UU. Small world!
I think Uke just needs more players. Not just the cute little I sing cover songs and strum my Uke. Real players with skill to bring more people into playing Uke. Also appears we need more Ukes in bands.
I can see Uke riding the fence with being treated like a toy or a kickass instrument.

Do I need to post that "Final Countdown" ukulele cover video... LOL!! :D

amute
10-23-2009, 10:20 AM
All the songs on my ukulele album were with a full band.

However, I never actually sat in a room with any of them. In fact, I've never met any of them in person. Each song was an online collaboration project.

http://ukulelejim.bandcamp.com

But back to the point, I think the ukulele works really well with a full compliment of drums, bass, other guitars, piano, whatever.

Jim, I MUCH enjoyed your music. I found you on the myspace. Very cool stuff and well done bro! Glad you posted I'd almost forgotten about ya though. I'm gonna re-listen to your mixes now. Thanx again

UkuleleHill
10-23-2009, 10:20 AM
I play in my church praise band... Does that count?

ukecantdothat
10-23-2009, 10:26 AM
I play in my church praise band... Does that count?
It counts.

buddhuu
10-23-2009, 10:27 AM
Nice. I just had some fun noodling along with that on my new Mainland concert w/ MiSi pickup. Just did an amp test with it today and it's going to be great live. I run it thru a Twin Reverb for monitoring and split the feed to the PA.

Love the flatbed!

I either use a small diaphragm condenser mic into a Marshall AS50D and line that into the PA or now an undersaddle pickup (that I fitted a few weeks back) into the same amp set-up. Sometimes use the combo for monitoring, but usually we have foldback monitors for that, so it's just backline. Ukulele needs quite a bit of push from the amplification - nylon strings have to fight to compete...

The flatbed was a bit hazardous. We sit on those high stools and there was maybe 12" between the stools and the back of the "stage". The truck couldn't get tight up against the wall of the shed so there was like a 3' gap. If anyone had leaned back too far he'd have broken his neck. :eek: Fun gig though.

Nearly had to play on a flatbed at a local festival a little while later, but in the end we drew a slot on a nice permanent concrete stage with dedicated power and circuit breakers etc. Much safer! :D

ukecantdothat
10-23-2009, 10:30 AM
Yes Jake is the Uke champion, I was at a show in Santa Cruz on Oct 17th and this gal starts talking about Jake and Ukulele Underground. I thought it was really cool and then two days later a gal in our boxing gym asks me to tune her new uke, I was very suprised she played uke. But she two knew of Jake & Aldrine & UU. Small world!
I think Uke just needs more players. Not just the cute little I sing cover songs and strum my Uke. Real players with skill to bring more people into playing Uke. Also appears we need more Ukes in bands.
I can see Uke riding the fence with being treated like a toy or a kickass instrument.

Do I need to post that "Final Countdown" ukulele cover video... LOL!! :D
The uke has exploded in the last few years, thanks to players like Jake, James Hill, Aldrine, et al (the list is growing) and some guy named George Harrison who really propelled it on his final record.

amute
10-23-2009, 10:39 AM
The uke has exploded in the last few years, thanks to players like Jake, James Hill, Aldrine, et al (the list is growing) and some guy named George Harrison who really propelled it on his final record.

Oh George Harrison! From KISS??? :D
I really enjoy Jakes playing as well as Aldrines. They're do so much with the uke. Not just strumming chords and singing, which is nnnnice but IMO doesn't showcase the Uke at all. Like Eddie Vader... Yea he's playing a Uke but really... (again IMO) it has no love. Sounds thin and just might as well be a guitar. I think Jason Maraz (spelling?) song "I'm yours" is cool but again it's just kindda filler. I'm looking for a band with a Uke player right up front.

But I respect anyone playing a Uke for his or her enjoyment. I just want to see face melting & mad skillz that takes years to gain.

buddhuu
10-23-2009, 10:47 AM
[...] I just want to see face melting & mad skillz that takes years to gain.

Pah! Too easy, I can do that...

Oh... uh, no - actually that's Jake who does that, not me. I always get the two of us mixed up...

amute
10-23-2009, 10:54 AM
Pah! Too easy, I can do that...

Oh... uh, no - actually that's Jake who does that, not me. I always get the two of us mixed up...

LOL! That's me too bro.
But it's still great to have heros that set that bar so high. That's kindda my feeling with the whole four strumming chords and singing camp fire songs. It's for everyone. I want the best, if I train with fighters I want to train with the best, if I skate board I wanna skate with the best. I may never get as good as my heros but it'll drive me to train/play harder and in the long run will make me sound better, even if I'm only a fraction of what I shot for.
Plus I've NEVER been more happy playing a uke than I am when I play Jake's stuff and if my tunes end up sounding very Jake-ish.... That's not too bad. :)

ukecantdothat
10-23-2009, 11:05 AM
I either use a small diaphragm condenser mic into a Marshall AS50D and line that into the PA or now an undersaddle pickup (that I fitted a few weeks back) into the same amp set-up. Sometimes use the combo for monitoring, but usually we have foldback monitors for that, so it's just backline. Ukulele needs quite a bit of push from the amplification - nylon strings have to fight to compete...
Sounds like we both upgraded our sound. I was sticking a lapel mic in the sound hole and covering it to reduce feedback, but it worked remarkably well. I'm not really competing much with this line-up , but yes, nylon is quite the wimp, acoustically speaking.

ukecantdothat
10-23-2009, 11:11 AM
Oh George Harrison! From KISS??? :D
I really enjoy Jakes playing as well as Aldrines. They're do so much with the uke. Not just strumming chords and singing, which is nnnnice but IMO doesn't showcase the Uke at all. Like Eddie Vader... Yea he's playing a Uke but really... (again IMO) it has no love. Sounds thin and just might as well be a guitar. I think Jason Maraz (spelling?) song "I'm yours" is cool but again it's just kindda filler. I'm looking for a band with a Uke player right up front.

But I respect anyone playing a Uke for his or her enjoyment. I just want to see face melting & mad skillz that takes years to gain.

Yeah, Eddie. Get a capo. I didn't remember any uke on Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours." I pulled out the liner notes and there's no mention of it. I know a lot of youtubers play it on uke. It's fun to play to, but it's in B. I tune down a half step and play it in the C position.

existence
10-23-2009, 11:17 AM
LOL! That's me too bro.
But it's still great to have heros that set that bar so high. That's kindda my feeling with the whole four strumming chords and singing camp fire songs. It's for everyone. I want the best, if I train with fighters I want to train with the best, if I skate board I wanna skate with the best. I may never get as good as my heros but it'll drive me to train/play harder and in the long run will make me sound better, even if I'm only a fraction of what I shot for.
Plus I've NEVER been more happy playing a uke than I am when I play Jake's stuff and if my tunes end up sounding very Jake-ish.... That's not too bad. :)

If I might play devil's advocate for a moment...

I definitely know where you're coming from with regards to wanting to strive to be the best...I have that tendency too, and it's made me a better player for sure. But IMO there's a difference between sports and music, in that music is not a competition. It's an artform, and its primary goal is self-expression. You can express yourself with four chords, or you can do it with elaborate chord melody arrangements...I don't think one is "better" than the other. Some very beautiful and moving music has been made that's just chords and vocals, especially folk music.

I'm a guitar player, and I've noticed an emphasis in the guitar world on speed and difficulty. That's awesome, but there's more to music than arpeggios and chords, just as there's more to painting than colors and perspective. The human spirit is what breathes life into all art, and that is so regardless of how difficult or esoteric the work may be. Look at Julia Nunes...she's not doing anything fancy, but her charisma and infectious energy animate her music far more than some technically impressive but sterile displays of fingerboard wizardry I have seen. She just sounds good!

Anyways, just wanted to give my thoughts on that, not trying to be rude or contrarian or anything. Like I said, I understand your desire to be "the best", and I'd be lying if I said that wasn't in me as well.

Rock on!

Link
10-23-2009, 11:33 AM
Check out the Marie Bradshaw band:

www.myspace.com/mariebradshaw

Love her band's stuff.

mealfrog41
10-23-2009, 01:56 PM
I play uke in a band with two acoustic guitars, an electric guitar, bass, and hand percussion. We're in the process of recording and I'll be able to post it soon for you. You can go to www.myspace.com/mealfrog if you want to hear some rough one-takes just in an apartment, haha... but we'll be posting live cuts very shortly.

jbenti
10-27-2009, 08:22 PM
i'm in this band: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=40199233692
we really got it all, i play uke and harminca, gutiar and sometimes the mandolin