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View Full Version : The Great Ukulele Instrumental CHALLENGE!!!



austin1
02-28-2011, 05:22 PM
Hello Everyone!

So a group of us were on the UU Minijams tonight, and had the super awesome idea to pose a fun challenge to the ukulele community. A lot of us around here like to do instrumentals, but maybe need a little motivation to get it done. We are therefore creating The Great Ukulele Instrumental CHALLENGE!!!

GOALS:

--Learn from others and how they approach figuring out songs
--Hear and see everyone´s individual takes on the same song
--Learn to figure out songs by ear and through repetition
--Share tips, tricks, and techniques for arranging instrumentals
--Expand our musical horizons, improve, and have fun doing it

RULES:

--No singing allowed!
--All experience levels most welcome!

The idea is that for the first week, everyone can suggest songs by responding to this thread. At the end of the week, we will hold a poll, and popular demand will dictate the song that we all have to turn into a ukulele instrumental.

Then, everyone will have a full month to figure out the song. We can use the poll thread to help each other out and give advice and encouragement. Since everyone will be doing the same song, if you´re having trouble with one part, chances are, someone else can help. HOWEVER, individuality reigns, and if there are twenty people taking part in the challenge, we can expect to see twenty different versions!

At the end of the month, everyone uploads their respective versions to Youtube (and to the poll thread). Everyone (not just the participants) can view, comment, and critique. And then the cycle begins again!

That´s about it! Hit us up with comments, questions, and ideas, and...

THE GREAT UKULELE INSTRUMENTAL CHALLENGE IS NOW IN SESSION.

Start posting your song ideas! We´ll hold the vote on MARCH 2ND.

EDIT: Colin and I have been somewhat blown away by the amount of suggestions we´ve received so quickly. So we´ve shortened the suggestion time, so we can get this thing started. Song suggesting ends tomorrow, March 2nd, at 11:59 PM EST. After that, we vote!

thatukuleleguy
02-28-2011, 05:29 PM
I like this idea. We should try Yesterday by The Beatles.

CoLmes
02-28-2011, 05:31 PM
We rock tina, like this is aweeessssooomme.

I know we've talked about this before. We have this problem where we find a song we want to figure out, and we get it started and get progressed on it. Eventually getting some parts, skipping out on others, and then we just kinda let it sit. Hopefully this will help me as well as others motivate themselves to finish a song. I know right now I have a about 3 or 4 sitting in limbo.

Really excited about this.. I wanna try to keep this first month in a little bit simple.. hmmmm i gotta think about this one

seeso
02-28-2011, 05:35 PM
The Beatles - In My Life (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKQpRgxyyqo)

Ukulele JJ
02-28-2011, 05:38 PM
Cool idea! I'll cast a vote for Mason Williams' "Classical Gas"


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


And another vote for Barry White's "Love's Theme"


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPHmsEoLsL0


And, finally, a third vote for Apollo 100's "Joy" (which is basically Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring")


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S8jd8WhxoI


Ah, that was back in the day when an instrumental could be a radio hit. When's the last time that happened?

JJ

austin1
02-28-2011, 05:40 PM
I´m going to throw Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver out there as a possible idea.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfi3SSJPG9Y

HAH! And Firework, by Katy Perry. Just for fun.


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

musicmonsterw
02-28-2011, 05:51 PM
This is my vote.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRC0rdFokKM


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRC0rdFokKM

philpot
02-28-2011, 06:00 PM
Through The Fire and Flames


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jgrCKhxE1s


Intensity In Ten Cities


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfguegkgDV0


GREAT songs, both would make super awesome instrumentals.

haole
02-28-2011, 06:01 PM
Great idea! Gotta get in on this. I haven't been all that motivated to finish songs I'm learning, and there's still a bunch of videos I never got around to posting because I just wasn't proud of them. This might be exactly what I need to get back into it. :B

Also, everyone should take a stab at Tiptoe Thru The Tulips. It's a nice melody and will lend itself to some neat instrumental arrangements!

CoLmes
02-28-2011, 06:05 PM
wow I did not expect this many suggestions this early. This is going to be awesome!

philpot
02-28-2011, 06:13 PM
I've decided that however the votes go, I'm learning Intensity In Ten Cities anyway, its too beautiful not to learn ^.^ I already got the intro down ;) this seems like a really cool idea!! Cant wait to see what gets picked!

CoLmes
02-28-2011, 06:15 PM
I've decided that however the votes go, I'm learning Intensity In Ten Cities anyway, its too beautiful not to learn ^.^ I already got the intro down ;) this seems like a really cool idea!! Cant wait to see what gets picked!

I agree I played only the first few seconds but wow! Maybe we will need to go in cahoots and vote for it :)

brucemoffatt
02-28-2011, 06:21 PM
Hmmm. All the suggestions so far would suggest a pretty high proficiency level and a lot of experience. I know you said all experience levels most welcome.

How about a beginner's section then with some pretty easy instrumental work.

I can do a flamenco-ish backing strum for Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps. I could jazz it up a little, it might be able to stand alone. Would that fit with what you want to see, or are you looking for a worked up instrumental performance piece?

thejumpingflea
02-28-2011, 06:28 PM
This seems like a great challenge. I think I'll be game.

austin1
02-28-2011, 06:29 PM
Hmmm. All the suggestions so far would suggest a pretty high proficiency level and a lot of experience. I know you said all experience levels most welcome.

How about a beginner's section then with some pretty easy instrumental work.

I can do a flamenco-ish backing strum for Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps. I could jazz it up a little, it might be able to stand alone. Would that fit with what you want to see, or are you looking for a worked up instrumental performance piece?

When I said all experience levels welcome, I meant it. I believe that any song can be turned into an instrumental, regardless of your experience level. If all you can do is pick out a simple version of the melody, then that´s perfect! If you can only manage one verse and the chorus, then that´s perfect! And you should post it!

Everyone´s takes are going to be different. We´re all at different stages in our ukulele playing, and we all hear something different in the song. The beauty is in seeing how the song changes from person to person. Some people may edit some parts of the song out, others may add solos that don´t exist in the original, others may change the arrangement of the song completely.

I guess what I´m trying to say is figure out the song to the best of your abilities! We can all learn from each other, and all complicated ukulele instrumentals start with a simple melody. Do what you can, and we can help each other along the way. And after all, this is a ukulele challenge! There wouldn´t be any fun in it if it weren´t challenging!

potatowaste
02-28-2011, 06:39 PM
Great Idea
Heres a good choon that's suitable for beginners and can be dressed up alot by the more experienced of you.

much love


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSrZ68JV3mY

brucemoffatt
02-28-2011, 08:52 PM
OK just so we have a common understanding of what 'beginner' means, here's what I can do now, and what I would work on jazzing up if this song is selected. This one has a couple of bonuses thrown in for free - a Columbian drug lord's hat, a long black cat, and a surprise cup of tea thrown in at the end for a giggle.

I nominate Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbFUx9UY0FM

grammy
02-28-2011, 09:07 PM
i nominate

'till there was you' from the music man, but most famously by the beatles

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUjFpdxFWHU
and also

' memories are made of this ' dean martin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MWN_duZfIs

both have simplicity that can be worked up into complexity

austin1
02-28-2011, 09:12 PM
OK just so we have a common understanding of what 'beginner' means, here's what I can do now, and what I would work on jazzing up if this song is selected. This one has a couple of bonuses thrown in for free - a Columbian drug lord's hat, a long black cat, and a surprise cup of tea thrown in at the end for a giggle.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbFUx9UY0FM

Sounds great! We´ll add it to the list for sure. Who sings that song originally?

Inn Sea
03-01-2011, 12:19 AM
I've been waiting for a thread like this my whole life. And I've only been playing uke a year or so. At least in Low G, my arrangement process is relatively straightforward - 1) find a key that allows all the melody notes to be played, preferably on the higher strings, 2) at the very least put a bass or harmony note below the melody to suggest chord changes 3) add other embellishments that are in reach. This often works well on guitar but doesn't always produce interesting results on ukulele. So I'd love to learn some new approaches.

In High G tuning I'm pretty much lost. But I haven't really tried that tuning much. I'll try it for this challenge though, if that's what others are doing.

Song suggestion: Jeopardy Theme?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H4vd_4GthQ

PedalFreak
03-01-2011, 04:09 AM
Jimi Hendrix - Castles Made of Sand

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YF4-r2MpRMs

Jimi Hendrix - Bold As Love

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

Jimi Hendrix - Wind Cries Mary

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

fromthee2me
03-01-2011, 04:16 AM
Austin 1, it is a good idea, but Bruce Moffat raised a good point, especially when you can play the melody line and fill in with chords around it like WS64. That is really how I would like to be able to play, but cannot at this stage. So here is my question: Can you invite a strummer (2nd person) (whatever instrument) to accompany you, and submit the prescribed entry, or does it have to be "one player one instrument" ?

GX9901
03-01-2011, 04:47 AM
I've been thinking about maybe trying to turn Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive into an instrumental.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRvCvsRp5ho

fitncrafty
03-01-2011, 05:15 AM
Austin 1, it is a good idea, but Bruce Moffat raised a good point, especially when you can play the melody line and fill in with chords around it like WS64. That is really how I would like to be able to play, but cannot at this stage. So here is my question: Can you invite a strummer (2nd person) (whatever instrument) to accompany you, and submit the prescribed entry, or does it have to be "one player one instrument" ?

This is a great point, where I love the idea of instrumental (mostly because of my lack of singing ability) I usually sing (in my head, Am I crazy?) and strum. working on progressing but so new at this... I have been VERY slowly working on some tabs (here comes the sun) but It sounds nothing like it yet...
I will be excited to see what everyone comes up with though.. might push me to try something new.

dans003
03-01-2011, 05:15 AM
We Built This City! Starship
Doctor, my eyes! Jackson brown
dans

Pueo
03-01-2011, 05:16 AM
I second White Room, and The Wind Cries Mary. I think that both of those can be simplified for the beginners and the advanced players can really shred them up!

Any Beatles song will get my vote. I have been working on an instrumental version of Something for a while.

austin1
03-01-2011, 05:18 AM
Austin 1, it is a good idea, but Bruce Moffat raised a good point, especially when you can play the melody line and fill in with chords around it like WS64. That is really how I would like to be able to play, but cannot at this stage. So here is my question: Can you invite a strummer (2nd person) (whatever instrument) to accompany you, and submit the prescribed entry, or does it have to be "one player one instrument" ?

Totally, go for it!

Pueo
03-01-2011, 05:20 AM
Sorry to hijack the thread but I just *HAD* to share this. May Tuck's guitar serve as motivation for us all!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M56QwDjE6PQ

Lori
03-01-2011, 05:28 AM
I think a simple one might be good to start out with. I was thinking "This Land is Your Land". Short might be helpful too, for the first one. It takes a bit of good practice time before I can perform something new without a lot of clunkers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaI5IRuS2aE&feature=related

If we are all playing in the same key, we could edit together a video collab!
–Lori

JoshFromTallGrassUkes
03-01-2011, 06:12 AM
I want in. I vote for Beatles or some old jazz––maybe The Nearness of You.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEdhPfs8--Q

CoLmes
03-01-2011, 07:14 AM
Holy crap, Tina maybe we should shorten the suggestion period!

brucemoffatt
03-01-2011, 09:45 AM
Sounds great! We´ll add it to the list for sure. Who sings that song originally?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiz%C3%A1s,_Quiz%C3%A1s,_Quiz%C3%A1s

It was originally written as Quizas Quizas Quizas by Osvaldo Farres from Cuba, in the 1940s. The most recognisable english version is by Doris Day in the 1960s. The English words are not a translation of the original. It has been covered to almost an inch of its life.

(I don't think that link works - search in Wikipedia for the song title.)

potatowaste
03-01-2011, 10:43 AM
Lori, I love that we both picked some Guthries. Even if ours choices don't get picked let's do them anyway!!!!

austin1
03-01-2011, 11:18 AM
Amie, by Pure Prairie League

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4xp2lgiAjY

Friday, I´m in Love, by the Cure

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

joeybug
03-01-2011, 11:20 AM
Great idea! Not sure I'll join in as I'm still finding my way round the fretboard, but look forward to the results!

austin1
03-01-2011, 11:35 AM
Colin and I are super excited that we´ve had so many suggestions so far, way more than we ever expected! So we´ve shortened the suggesting time so the song choices don´t get overwhelming. Song selections now end TOMORROW, MARCH 2ND, at 11:59 PM EST. Get your choice in before then, so we can vote! Thanks everybody!

OldePhart
03-01-2011, 11:37 AM
I vote for White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane.

or Little Wing - Hendrix

or All Along the Watchtower

veejayblox
03-01-2011, 01:07 PM
somebody to love - jefferson airplane
baby you're a rich man - beatles

papplehead
03-01-2011, 03:46 PM
I vote for the old classic Blue Moon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jgi1txjrKZk
This is the sinatra version but it has already been done many different ways so there is a lot of inspiration to draw on. It is pretty simple (4 chords), but has the potential to be a lot more complex.

downtoearthed
03-01-2011, 03:51 PM
What a great idea for contest! I am with joeybug though, love the uke, but still learning. I cannot wait to see the videos and the song selection. Good luck everyone.

philpot
03-01-2011, 04:35 PM
My last suggestion, the most epic song from the Lord Of The Rings soundtrack

The Uruk-Hai


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vetg_e5fJQ&feature=related

Giraffes
03-01-2011, 04:51 PM
Heartless - Kanye West (http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmbNj1T6Mx0)

This would be oodles of fun to try.

philpot
03-01-2011, 04:56 PM
Heartless - Kanye West (http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmbNj1T6Mx0)

This would be oodles of fun to try.

Agreed :D twould be epic

potatowaste
03-01-2011, 06:09 PM
Collie Man by Slightly Stoopid

bobyman122
03-01-2011, 06:41 PM
we should do a song from phantom of the opera, how about music of the night

snowball6
03-01-2011, 06:50 PM
What about "The song otherwise known at Forget Me" by Cee-Lo Green. That would be fun and still fairly easy for us noobs.

ADD
03-01-2011, 08:59 PM
"Morning Has Broken" is my vote.

Lori
03-02-2011, 05:23 AM
Lori, I love that we both picked some Guthries. Even if ours choices don't get picked let's do them anyway!!!!

I really enjoyed your link to the Motorcycle Song. It was a nice way to start the day.
–Lori

Ingrate
03-02-2011, 06:27 AM
..some great suggestions, so far. Having "played" less than a year, most are likely far beyond my reach. Arlo's "Motorcycle Song" is possible.

Anyway, Vincent is a pretty tune and it's quite adaptable to even a soprano 'ukulele.

This is a great thread!

austin1
03-02-2011, 07:23 AM
Anyway, Vincent is a pretty tune and it's quite adaptable to even a soprano 'ukulele.



by Don McLean, right?

potatowaste
03-02-2011, 08:19 AM
I only started playing on January 15th


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

DeG
03-02-2011, 03:17 PM
I tabbed this one out a couple of years ago. Might be a good one for this challenge:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8tygkYKBZ8

mendel
03-02-2011, 03:40 PM
Hotel California. Not too hard, and a commonly known song.

austin1
03-02-2011, 06:04 PM
Song suggesting is now closed, please check out the poll/song thread and choose your favorite songs!

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?43299-The-Great-Ukulele-Instrumental-Challenge-POLL-SONG-thread!!&p=622470#post622470

dktoller
04-07-2011, 03:51 AM
And check out the results thread at:
The Great Ukulele Instrumental Challenge RESULTS Thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?44914-The-Great-Ukulele-Instrumental-Challenge-RESULTS-Thread!!&p=647946#post647946)