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mangorockfish
07-12-2010, 05:20 PM
I've read on here that some of the members are into blues and Jazz. When you play, do you strum or finger pick or both mainly. Also, what are some of the songs you play and where do you find the tabs. I would really like to play some jazz, I think, songs. Can ya hep me out?

ichadwick
07-13-2010, 01:23 AM
I've read on here that some of the members are into blues and Jazz. When you play, do you strum or finger pick or both mainly. Also, what are some of the songs you play and where do you find the tabs. I would really like to play some jazz, I think, songs. Can ya hep me out?
You have two aspects: playing the rhythm section and playing the lead part. The rhythm means strumming chords, so you'll needs tabs. Whether you use a plectum or not is personal choice. I generally don't use one to strum.

The lead part is entirely different. While you can get tabs for lead parts, say the main theme for a song like Moonglow, the backbone of jazz (and blues) is improvisation around that theme. You can't get that from a tab! I often use a pick when working on lead parts, especially with a steel-stringed electric uke. For blues, get a 12-bar loop or backing track (many available online) and play it over and over and over and over and over and over while you wheedle away on the strings improvising your lead.

pulelehua
07-13-2010, 04:12 AM
I use my fingers. I have a sort of philosophical thing about ukuleles and picks. I think a good jazz player mixes things up, and can throw in chord runs and parallel 3rds, 4ths, 5ths and 6ths. Not to mention octaves (where would Wes Montgomery have got to without parallel octave runs?). Ok, 2nds and 7ths work sometimes, too.

There are a lot of websites that have chord charts for jazz standards. If you google "jazz standards chords" you'll get lots of sites. Some require you to register, but I don't think any require any fee of any kind. If they do, move on. There are lots of free ones.

I like lots of standards. I've been working on a solo arrangement of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" lately. Just can't get the bridge to be interesting enough. It's a fun way to explore the ukulele, as you'll likely want to vary textures a fair bit, which is tricky with 4 strings and 2 octaves. And extended chords are often tricky. I had to play G13 the other day. The tough part is getting it to sound like a 13 chord. I find it pushes my brain and my fingers.

Good luck!

rasputinsghost
07-13-2010, 04:25 AM
Buy Glen Rose's jazz uke songbooks and chords, they're great learning tools!

http://www.jazzyukulele.com/

Pinebaron
07-13-2010, 04:42 AM
I mainly like to play older jazz/blues songs. I strum, pick, both depending on the song. There's plenty of tabs out there. Blues is pretty straight forward, mostly a 12 bar repeating pattern. Jazz is a little different with less common chording such as diminished and augmented chords. Playing lead you find the pentatonic minor and blues scales in blues (there are exceptions). In jazz there are many others to choose from and are often mixed. This is not a complete listing only something to get you started. Howlin' Hobbit plays some old jazz classics. Some I like to play are Ain't Misbehavin', Gerogia on My Mind, Summertime, and Dream a Little Dream of Me. Right now for blue I am having a lot of fun with Hoochie Cootchie Man.

Hope this helps.

Ukulele JJ
07-13-2010, 06:01 AM
I don't use a pick on the uke, regardless of genre. But that's just me. YMMV.

For learning how to play jazz melodies and solos, Jamey Aeberold's "play alongs" (http://www.jazzbooks.com/) are a fantastic resource for any instrumentalist.

JJ

chiefnoda
07-13-2010, 06:45 AM
some of the members are into blues and Jazz. When you play, do you strum or finger pick or both mainly.

Hi mangorockfish

"playing jazz" (let me skip blues) still covers a spectrum of styles. (a) You can sing jazz (or jazzy) songs and ukulele is strictly an accompaniment. (b) you don't sing, but you play jazz tunes as a solo instrumental. (c) You play with someone else and do ukulele duet. (d) you are in a jazz trio, combo or a band as a rhythm player. (e) you are in a jazz trio, combo or a band and you take lead solo.

For (a), I think you can finger strum (or use pick). Finger strumming will give you a bit more flexibility but you can do it either way.

(d) Probably same as (a) but you may need volume, so pick-strumming may work better. Personally, I can't remember if I ever saw an ukulele in a rhythm section

(e) This will be a single line solo so pick-strumming may work better.

I don't do any of the above. I do (b) (amd maybe (c)). I personally prefer finger style that allows me to be selective about the chord voicing. If I want to play 1st and 3rd strings only, it's almost impossible with a pick. My background is an acoustic and classical guitar so it's natural for me.

--------------

As to tabs, what I do is to get a basic chord progression for a song (I love key of C or G so I transpose - jazz people use E-flat which I hate). And then see f I can make something out of it. I don't study any books but I've seen some suggestions to learn how to build your own arrangement. Playing jazz (or jazzy tunes), the fun part is to come up with your own arrangement.

Good luck, ,pick on, and have fun!
Chief

Brido
07-13-2010, 09:15 PM
I too love Jazz standards. Dr Uke has a lot of them on his web page and a WMA to go along with them.

I either strum or whistle with my uke efforts.

My wife comes into the room and says " Brian, I don't not know which is the worse, your whistling, your singing or (and this is where it hurts) YOUR UKE PLAYING! :( "

Never mind, I am enjoying myself. Struggling with a chord tune of Mood Indigo.

BTW my wife is not all bad, she is a great cook. :)

farmerboy
07-14-2010, 01:06 AM
I use a mixture of strums and fingerpicking on jazz tunes, but really it depends on the tune.

Best thing I ever learned for technique was Girl from Ipanema chords. They took a bit of sorting, but now I've got chords and melody and it's a great cheezy way to keep the gig going whilst everyone else is setting up. Lift music takes on a different feel when you play it on a uke. :)

I also found that learning classical tunes made a big difference to technique for jazz.

kissing
07-14-2010, 02:32 AM
I suppose another useful resource may possibly by Rigk Sauer's DVD's and books on Ukulele Blues playing;
http://ukulele.de/shop/product_info.php?info=p109_Learn-to-play-Blues-Ukulele.html

I'm planning to get this with my next purchase.
The samplers from his youtube channel seem comprehensive enough;



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13FPL5cYMGM


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROeqMu0zn70