View Full Version : Asking for Cautionary Advice.

04-12-2010, 04:13 PM
I'm putting out this question to those who have played uke for others under public conditions. What I mean by that is, performing as a professional, semi-pro, or even at open-mics.

The question is: What songs do you view as unadvisable to perform? We're talking about kapu type songs. Like, you should expect a thrown beer bottle if you sing this. Or, like, you're probably going to be viewed as either very brave or nothing better than an idiot if you do it.

Suggestions, anyone?

04-12-2010, 04:20 PM
Depends on the audience really... I've performed only a couple of times at open mics and got a great reception to playing Tenacious D's "F*ck Her Gently", I wouldn't go down to the local war vets home or the closest hospital and play the same. If you're unsure and you're not the "I don't care" type, then simply err on the safe side.

While ukers like to blow people's expectations of the uke out of the water, there's absolutely nothing wrong with playing it safe and just meeting said expectations. Performing itself can be hard enough as it is! My advice: be prepared to play Freebird (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnX7wCpPOUs).

Also, for some reason you reminded me of the Rawhide scene in Blues Brothers.

04-12-2010, 04:43 PM
Also, for some reason you reminded me of the Rawhide scene in Blues Brothers.

Exactly! I was thinking of chicken wire when I was starting the thread

04-12-2010, 04:49 PM
BTW: Stunning!

Freebird (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnX7wCpPOUs).

04-12-2010, 05:08 PM
Also, for some reason you reminded me of the Rawhide scene in Blues Brothers.


It would be ideal to have a plethora (that's a nice word) of things to play, and then you would try to evaluate your audience and play what you see fit. Or perhaps you could ask someone who works at the bar/club/whatever what kind of music they think the clientele would like, or what type of people they usually get going through.

04-12-2010, 05:56 PM
As the others said evaluate your audience and go from there. I think people generally have a 'humorous' notion attached to their perception of the Uke so something light hearted and fun may be a good way to start then play something with some more substance once you have their attention. Just remember to be yourself and dont let your nerves get the best of you and im sure you will be fine!

04-12-2010, 08:04 PM
Also, if your playing is good, and you look like you're relaxed and enjoying yourself, they will enjoy it as well. So just relax and play some tunes ; )

04-12-2010, 08:33 PM
Fantastic advice from all. When playing the uke you may be inclined to learn some Hawaiian songs. Haole songs are cool but I would steer away from traditional Hawaiian language songs.

I'm in a all women Hawaiian music and tropical rock band. We perform at a lot of Luau type functions. Our lead singer's mother grew up in Hawaii and taught her true Hawaiian songs. She taught her the proper way to sing them and their meaning. She sings them beautifully. Backing her up, I have learned a few, but I would never dream of singing them especially in an audience that had Hawaiians in it. First I wouldn't do them justice, and second it just wouldn't be respectful, I am not Hawaiian and I do not understand what I am singing about. I recommend you stay away from them.

04-12-2010, 11:29 PM
I'd play something like "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (Clapton Unplugged). There are lots of contemporary tunes that go over very well. For me, I have played blues, contemporary soft-rock (Eagles - Desperado), Irish pub tunes, renaissance tunes, and originals.