PDA

View Full Version : what do you know on your ukulele ?



MiaRosie
06-29-2011, 07:31 AM
On the 9th May I knew how to play, without music or chords in front of me, one tune .. Maire's wedding. I also knew the following chords;

C F G g7 A Am D D7

How do I know it was that date ? Because that was the day I decided to enter John's contest.

Today, without music or chords in front of me I can play, Maire's wedding, Lord of All Hopefulness and the majority of Stairway to Heaven ( not the strumming section at the end )

I now also know E7 Gm Bb (hard!) and Em ( I think it's that, or just E lol )

I'm making this post for two reasons. One so that I can look back in another month or two and see how much further I have gone on in regards to learning more chords / strums ... and two, to say to others 'go for it' when it comes to entering a contest, it made me focus so much more and I feel I learnt so much from it. It took me 6 - 7 weeks to learn my piece, but it has given me the confidence to know now that I can learn anything if I put my mind to it - and the incentive to do so.

So now I just need to learn some more strums !

What do YOU know ? Might be fun to make a note and compare in a few weeks time ?

Ingrate
06-29-2011, 07:39 AM
I don't like my voice, so I concentrate on instrumentals. I'm disorganized, however. I'll get a number under control, and find that I have to sort it out yet again if I set it aside for some weeks. At least it comes back more quickly. I've been concentrating on these to date:

blackbird
chestnuts roasting (the xmas song)
christmas time is here
georgia on my mind
greensleeves
happy birthday
hawai’i
hawai'ian wedding song
here comes the sun
i’ll be there
in my life
in the garden
mona lisa
paint it black
red river valley
rhythm of the falling rain
smile
something
star-spangled banner
take me out to the ball game
tonight you belong to me
vincent
white christmas
wonderful world
yesterday
you are my sunshine

..and, of course, Lord of All Hopefulness! :)

jeff

mm stan
06-29-2011, 10:01 AM
Aloha Mia Rosie,
Nice story of your progression of learning...and thank you for sharing...yes a contest gives you the incentive and motivation to keep pressing yourself to learn things quicker... Congratulations
on your accomplishment..and look towards the next one....Many thanks for sharing...Yup the learning curb, and the aha moment, when you instantly learn something....through practice, perservence
and patience...and when your mind has that creative moment... I like to practice in the mornings about an hour after I get up...my mind is clear, from a new day and not clutterd with other thoughts
and sharp from the sleep...I feel a better creative moment at that time too and a better concentration time....Nice Post Girl...Happy Strummings..MM Stan

rem50
06-29-2011, 10:41 AM
Congrats on learning to play songs by ear. I only know how to play that way and wish I could follow music/tab. It would increase my song list by leaps and bounds and open up new songs faster! Keep playing!!!!

K-leb
06-29-2011, 10:43 AM
Nothing!
i have had my uke for a couple weeks now, and the chords i know are- C, G, F, D, A, Am, G7, and Em. And i have the chord changes between those down smoothly, but when it comes to learning songs, i have no idea where to start!

PoiDog
06-29-2011, 11:04 AM
Tough question.

I "know" (meaning I can play without overly mangling, needing to look at a tab chart, or having to stop and think about putting my fingers into the correct chord shapes):

Blitzkrieg Bop
You Shook Me All Night Long
Time Warp
Ziggy Stardust
Once Bitten, Twice Shy
I'm A Believer
Sloop John B.

I'm currently close to "knowing":
Futurama theme
Daydream Believer
Star Trek (TOS) theme
Suffragette City
La Bamba
Guantanamera
London Calling

Not sure about chords, but A, Amin, A7, C, C7, E7, E, Emin, B, Bmin, G, G7, F, and D immediately come to mind. At least as ones I don't need too much help with :)

Piikea
06-29-2011, 11:11 AM
I'm not Hawaiian, but I married one. ;-) She is a Kam school grad and was required to learn many traditional songs in the language. I know and can sing Hi'ilawe, Ahiwela, and various other songs, mostly "kolohe" party tunes for back yard stuff. BUT for me, as an old Texas blues guitar player, I adapt blues tunes from obscure bands to the ukulele and they surprisingly fit very well. It's not traditional, the strums are more Texas jump than any vamp, but it entertains and surprises. Stuff by The Nightcaps, Bruce Channel, Sam the Sham, the Animals, all mannner of different artists.

ukulefty
06-29-2011, 11:19 AM
i have the chord changes between those down smoothly, but when it comes to learning songs, i have no idea where to start!

Pick some songs you like with those chords in them and start singing! :D

K-leb
06-29-2011, 11:24 AM
Pick some songs you like with those chords in them and start singing! :D

well, the problem is strumming paterns, whenever i start singing something,, or even thinking the lyrics to a song, i skrew up the strumming and start going up, down, up, down.

uke4ia
06-29-2011, 12:41 PM
I think I've got at least four hours of music memorized. Half of that is 25 to 30 songs I've written, and the rest is cover tunes. A big chunk is that I've memorized all of Genesis' 23-minute song "Supper's Ready" except the organ solo.

I don't seem to know many songs that other uke players play. Partly because I like a lot of less popular bands (or bands from my formative years in the '70s), partly because I don't choose to learn the songs that it seems everyone already plays. But it only just occurred to me yesterday that it's partly because I like the process of arranging a song. I like starting with a song I know, and preferably either the sheet music or a set of chords, and going from there, figuring what things to play and what to leave out, whether to play the guitar's part or the keyboard's, whether to follow the guitar's rhythm or the drums', all of that.

cb56
06-29-2011, 01:39 PM
That's a great idea to keep tabs (pun intended) on what you've learned. Almost exactly one year ago I bought a Ubass so I could play with my wife's family uke group. Had a short stint with a baritone uke about 3 years ago but didn't take to it. BTW I've been a bass guitar player for 30 years and also trombone so I've got a musical background.
Last august I bought my first tenor uke and wasn't even sure I would be able to ply open chords on that "tiny" instrument. Ten months later I'm totally in love with all things uke, own two tenors a concert banjo uke and the ubass. I probably have 20-25 songs (mostly fingerstyle) memorized and can play pretty comfortably (strum) through the Daily ukulele book. (as long as someone else is singing).
I may be a mediocre uker but I'm happy with my progress and am having the time of my life with it.

MiaRosie
06-29-2011, 01:58 PM
Wow some great songs listed .... I love 'older' music, especially fifites / sixties era so plan to learn some of those. One thing I am aware of is the need to keep my uke neck more steady, it often is dropped or thrown up when I am changing a chord. I'm about to start learning Ain't she sweet and aim to learn at least one new chord a week. I was really impressed with your playing in the comp Cb .. thought you'd been playing much longer ! I sound like a strangled walrus when I sing and so will probably find myself erring towards melody picking as I have no one else close at hand to play with or who is willing to sing ( the miserable lot haha )

I also DO need to focus on some strums too though ... so much to learn, so much fun learning it.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
06-29-2011, 02:16 PM
Great thread!! Thanks everyone for sharing your uke progress. Keep it up!!

For me, as a lifelong bassist/guitarist, I came to the ukulele with tons of songs ready to go---both by bands I've been in and cover songs (reggae, soul, and the Clash). Didn't take too long to learn open chords on the uke and play all those songs.

Lately, I thought it'd be fun to learn to read music (which I haven't done in over 20 years) in order to give me access to more music---especially unfamiliar music. I started with [I]Jumpin' Jim's Ukulele Gems[\I] and got hooked on learning old pop songs. My favorite ukulele book is May Singhi Breen's [I]New Ukulele Method[\I]. I've learned more from this book in a couple months than I managed to teach myself in five years. I have a spare copy (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?49189-WIN-a-CLASSIC-UKULELE-BOOK) of her other book, a collection of ukulele solos.

From these books, I've got Doodle Doo Doo, I'll See You in My Dreams, Blue Moon, and When You Wish upon a Star pretty much down. Pretty, chord melody versions.

Lately I've started figuring out chord melody arrangements for other songs. Just this morning I nearly got Corner Soul by the Clash figured out. Very fun.

MiaRosie
06-29-2011, 02:25 PM
Great thread!! Thanks everyone for sharing your uke progress. Keep it up!!

My favorite ukulele book is May Singhi Breen's [I]New Ukulele Method[\I]. I've learned more from this book in a couple months than I managed to teach myself in five years.
From these books, I've got Doodle Doo Doo, I'll See You in My Dreams, Blue Moon, and When You Wish upon a Star pretty much down. Pretty, chord melody versions.

Lately I've started figuring out chord melody arrangements for other songs. Just this morning I nearly got Corner Soul by the Clash figured out. Very fun.

I'm going to have to look on Amazon for this book ....

cb56
06-29-2011, 02:27 PM
.....My favorite ukulele book is May Singhi Breen's [I]New Ukulele Method[\I]. I've learned more from this book in a couple months than I managed to teach myself in five years. I have a spare copy (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?49189-WIN-a-CLASSIC-UKULELE-BOOK) of her other book, a collection of ukulele solos....
Because of your contest thread I've now "discovered" May Singhi Breen for myself.
Found a download of the solos book and just bought a hardcopy of the New ukulele method on amazon. They wanted $20 :p
Oh well, it'll be worth it. I started on some of the solos in the uke solos book, but they are a bit over my head. All that sliding up to play chords on the 10-12th fret is a bit challenging for my clumsy fingers yet.
Can't wait to get the new ukulele method. Is it a bit easier than the solos? btw yank my name out of the contest since I now already have it. Give someone else the chance.

Papa Tom
06-29-2011, 03:00 PM
Hey, why do you think so many of us have such a hard time committing songs to memory? Is it because many of us picked up the uke later in life, after so many of our brain cells have died off? As a professional drummer, not only could I pull hundreds (maybe thousands) of songs out of my butt at any given moment, but I also knew all the lyrics to every song and could sing the guitar, bass, keyboard, and horn lines flawlessly to all of them.

Having started playing uke four years ago at age 44, I have developed good technique and a nice feel for the instrument. However, if a week or two goes by where I haven't played "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" for one of my grandchildren, the next time I try to play it is typically a massive train wreck!

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
06-29-2011, 03:35 PM
Because of your contest thread I've now "discovered" May Singhi Breen for myself.
Found a download of the solos book and just bought a hardcopy of the New ukulele method on amazon. They wanted $20 :p
Oh well, it'll be worth it. I started on some of the solos in the uke solos book, but they are a bit over my head. All that sliding up to play chords on the 10-12th fret is a bit challenging for my clumsy fingers yet.
Can't wait to get the new ukulele method. Is it a bit easier than the solos? btw yank my name out of the contest since I now already have it. Give someone else the chance.

Cool! The goal was to expose more players to Breen's great work. I did it!!

New Ukulele Method gets you in shape for those solos with a series of songs arranged to get you more and more comfortable moving up and down the fretboard. You'll love it! Oh, and you're now officially yanked from the contest.

OldePhart
06-29-2011, 03:42 PM
I know probably two or three dozen songs that I can play with just an occasional glance at a lead sheet.

At any given time I seem to be able to keep about five or six in "cache" where I can play through them without needing a lead sheet (but only if I'm totally relaxed, playing to the walls - seems like as soon as I get in front of people I don't feel nervous but I need the lead sheet crutch).

Unfortunately, any songs I'm not playing almost daily I quickly forget and they go back to the "occasional glance at a lead sheet" category. The frustrating thing is that happens even with songs I've written - you'd think I'd at least be able to remember those!

John

cb56
06-29-2011, 03:42 PM
Thanks! That's what I wanted to hear about the book. I need to find some of her songs to listen too. Maybe on youtube. I also read an article that says she did battle with the musician's union to get them to recognize the ukulele as a "legitimate" instrument. Seems to me that ukulele players everywhere owe her a debt of gratitude.

joeybug
06-29-2011, 09:21 PM
I keep a list on my blog, it hasn't been updated for a few weeks, but I also can't remember what else I can play, so here it is:

General Songs
•All Of Me - Seymour Simons & Gerald Marks (Video)
•Aloha ‘Oe - Queen Liluokalani (Video)
•Amazing Grace – Traditional (Video)
•Beautiful Dreamer - Stephen Foster (Video)
•Blue Hawaii - Leo & Ralph (Video)
•Daydream Believer - John Stewart (Video)
•Do, Ri, Me – The Sound of Music
•Fireflies - Owl City
•Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd
•Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen (Video)
•Hard Times Come Again No More – Stephen Foster (Video)
•Give My Regards To Broadway - George Cohen (Video)
•If You’re Happy And You Know It - Traditional (Video)
•I’m In The Mood For Love – Little Rascals
•Love Me Do - The Beatles (Video)
•Molokai Slide – Hawaiian Traditional (Video)
•Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen - African-American Spiritual (Video)
•Rocky Top – Boudleaux & Felice Bryant (Video)
•Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) - Traditional Japanses Folksong (Video)
•Sentimental Journey – Bud Green, Les Brown & Ben Homer (Video)
•Something – The Beatles
•Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
•The Alphabet Song - Traditional
•The More We Get Together - Traditional (Video)
•The Rose – Bette Midler (Video)
•The Star Spangled Banner - John Stafford Smith (Video)
•Time Of Your Life (Good Riddance) – Green Day
•Unchained Melody - Alex North (Video)
•When I Fall In Love - Victor Young (Video)
•Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler (Video)
•Yesterday – The Beatles
•You’ve Got A Friend In Me – Randy Newman (Video)

Christmas Songs
• Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – Lennon & Ono
• Jingle Bells - J. S. Pierpont (Video)
• Let It Snow – Martina McBride
• Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens
• Rocking Around The Christmas Tree – John Marks
• Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Gillespie & Coots
• White Christmas – Traditional

That doesn't include some of the original songs I've written.

I did a similar thing to you, wanting to know how far I'd come, I've kept my very first Uke video I made private on YouTube so no one else can here how bad I sounded, but also so that I can look back and say...yeah, I've improved, I've learnt this and that..might be an idea for you as well? Then you HEAR how far you've come as well as see in regards to songs learnt.

Oh, and I also agree about the entering contests, I did the "You've Got A Friend In Me" context way back when, didn't win, but now can play that song really well and it kept me focused, took me about 4-5 weeks to be happy with it enough to do a video!

Canuke
06-30-2011, 08:47 AM
Songs I know to strum and sing:

1.Kaeru No.......
2.Come Play With Me
3.Happy Birthday
4.Feeling Good Again(G Bm Em D C)
5.The Road Goes On Forever(D G A)
6.I'm Coming Home(G D E7 C)
7.LA Freeway(A D E)
8.Black Diamond Strings(D A E)
9.Dublin Blues(D G A)
10.Play With Fire(Em D G C)
11.Sympathy For The Devil(E D A B)
12.Dead Flowers(DAG)
13.Born In The USA(C F)
14.Racing In The Streets(C F Dm)
15.My Hometown(E A D F)
16.Down There By The Train(F Bb C7)
17. I Hope That I Don't …...You(C F G)
18.The Ballad of Curtis Loew(F C Bb F7)
19.Four Walls Of Raiford(D A G)
20.Shelter From The Storm(D G)
21.One More Cup Of Coffee(Em G F E)
22.God's Gonna Cut You Down(Am C D Em)
23.Folsom Prison Blues(G C D)
24.Copperhead Road(D G)
25.Mercenary Song(G D C)
26.Hallelujah(C Am F G E)
27.Chelsea Hotel#2(C G F Am)
28.Amazing Grace(C F G7)
29.I Saw The Light(G C D7)
30.Murder On Music Row(A D E B)
31.What A ... World(F Am Bb Gm A7 Dm C)
32.Four Strong Winds(G Am D C)
33.Happiness(F C G7)
34.One Woman Man(A D E)
35.White Lightning(G D7 C)
36.Me And Jesus(G G7 C Em D)
37.Waiting Around to Die(Am Dm E)
38.Shooting Star(A E D G)
39.One Man Guy(G C D)
40.I'm A Good Ole Rebel(A E D)
41.Old-Fashioned Morphine( Am E7)
42.Rock-A-My Soul(C G7)
43.Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain(E B B7 A)
44.Cover Of The Rolling Stone(A E E7 D)
45.Lying Eyes(G Gm7 C Am D Em)
46.Sam Stone(D G A A7 Em E7 Bm)
47.Laid Back Country Picker(D G A E)
48.Sundown(D A G C)
49.Sudbury Saturday Night(C F G7)
50.Della And The Dealer(A D C F E)
51.Lodi(G C Em D7 D)
52.Rockstar(A D G C F)
53.A Country Boy Can Survive(D A G F C)
54.He's Got The Whole World....(G D7)
55.Rye Whisky(G D7)
56.The Night.....Dixie Down(Em G C A)
57.Hawaiian Rainbows(G C D7)
58.I'd Like To Teach.....(F G7 C7 Bb)
59.Paniolo Country(G C D7 A7)
60.The Guns Of Brixton(Em Am G)
61.Big League(D G)
62.I'm The Only Gay Eskimo(G Bm Em D)
63.Backside Of Thirty(G C D A7 Bm)
64.Please Come To Boston(D G A Bm)
65.Maggie May(F C G Am Bm D)
66.Streets Of Baltimore(C F G)
67.Ballad Of Serenity(A G D E C)
68.Polly Wolly Doodle(F C7)
69.On Top Of Spaghetti(C F G7)
70.I'm A Lumberjack(C F G)
71.My Ding-A-Ling(D G A)
72.Me & Bobby....(G C G7 D7 A A7 E7 D)
73.Wagon Wheel(D Em C G)
74.Friend Of The Devil(G C D Am)

PoiDog
06-30-2011, 09:43 AM
[...] I've memorized all of Genesis' 23-minute song "Supper's Ready" except the organ solo.

Respect. Do you also have "Firth of Fifth" or "The Musical Box" in your quiver?

uke4ia
06-30-2011, 03:53 PM
Respect. Do you also have "Firth of Fifth" or "The Musical Box" in your quiver?

I've got partial sheet music for both (omits most of the instrumental sections). Back when I had a working keyboard, I could play the right hand part of the "Firth of Fifth" solo. I haven't figured out how to make "Firth" sound good on uke yet. I've tried doing a medley of "Willow Farm" into the last verse of "Firth", and that was okay. The first part of "Musical Box" sounds good on uke, I haven't done as well with the ending. Other Genesis songs I know are "Blood on the Rooftops" (video link below), "Ripples" (I did a video I haven't posted yet), "Squonk", and "Heathaze". And Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill". I'm working on "Follow You Follow Me", because I think I can play the synth solo on uke, and "Throwing It All Away". The Collins era has mostly been available in sheet music, but the Gabriel era mostly hasn't.


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

PoiDog
07-01-2011, 05:43 AM
Hey, Uke4ia (I dig that handle), always nice to meet another Genesis / PG fan. I know this is me being very much a pest, but is there anyway I could convince you to post or let me get my hands on tablature for Solsbury Hill? That does seem like something that could be ukified and sound good.

Mahalo nui loa in advance. And if you can't, well I understand.

uke4ia
07-01-2011, 10:44 AM
I don't do tabs, but if chords are enough, I sent you them in a Private Message. I wrote them out last week when someone on YouTube asked for them.