View Full Version : What's your "test" song?

08-25-2011, 03:21 AM
If someone hands you a uke, what is the song you play to test it out?

08-25-2011, 03:30 AM
A fingerstyle arrangement of 'Autumn leaves' . Got to fondle a few different ukes at our local uke club last monday, and played it on them all.

08-25-2011, 03:34 AM
Good question mine is not nineteen forever by the Courtenters (I'm not a conventional player)

08-25-2011, 03:54 AM
All Of Me for strumming and Edleweiss for finger picking

08-25-2011, 04:00 AM
For some weird reason, the Dreidel song.


08-25-2011, 04:00 AM
For strumming it's Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate, for picking it's an arrangement of Creep by Radiohead I am working on

08-25-2011, 04:01 AM
Ka Pua U`i (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj1xd87d5qA) for strumming and Pua Mae `Ole (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V-SZO0yMxM) for picking.

08-25-2011, 04:30 AM
Ain't She Sweet chord melody for strumming, and Bach's Minute in G for picking.

08-25-2011, 04:48 AM
Ain't She Sweet chord melody for strumming, and Bach's Minute in G for picking.

I knew you had great taste, Ain't She Sweet is my standard go to song.

08-25-2011, 05:56 AM
+1 on Ain't She Sweet plus SWOTR, Hallelujah for picking.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
08-25-2011, 06:18 AM
I strum various progressions like:

C, Cdim, Dm7, G7 - then a couple of vamps in the keys of C and F,

quickly go through the chording of TipToe (circle of 5ths?),

sing Mapuana, then high-tail it through (F, F7, Bb, Bbm, F, C7, F, A, D7, G7, C, E7, Am, D7, G7, C, (3535, 4646, 5757), 0453.

keep uke'in',

08-25-2011, 06:39 AM
With an unfamiliar ukulele, I always start by strumming C, G7, F, and G7. Common strum. Oh yeah.

If that sounds sweet, I try whichever solo arrangement I last learned, lately that's been the classic love song (thanks Dougf!) All of Me.

If both of those sound sweet, my UAS usually starts to flare up. Then I gently put down the ukulele and slowly... walk... away.

08-25-2011, 06:40 AM
I knew you had great taste

Full disclosure: it was the first song I could ever play from memory :) A great song nonetheless!

08-25-2011, 07:00 AM
Since I'm limited by very low skill and what amounts to a real insignificant level of experience with any instrument (let alone the 'ukulele), I've found that when I am in a position to test drive another, I go with:

Strum: Ziggy Stardust
Pick: Theme from Star Trek & Futurama

08-25-2011, 07:01 AM
I'm not much of a picker yet, so most of the time, it's "Over the Rainbow."

08-25-2011, 07:20 AM
Full disclosure: it was the first song I could ever play from memory :) A great song nonetheless!

Honest & PRETTY, here's a great woman guys !!!!!

08-25-2011, 07:22 AM

It goes way up the fretboard, demonstrates sustain (or lack thereof), and checks out the "action".

08-25-2011, 07:29 AM
+2 on Ain't She Sweet for strumming,plus Bach's 'Air On The G String'
for picking!

08-25-2011, 08:33 AM
always go with Jake's version of Close to You. :)

08-25-2011, 08:36 AM
This a very intriguing thread!

Here's my go-to songs...
Strumming: "Stand By Me" in the style of John Lennon's cover
Fingerpicking: the intro of Radiohead's "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi"

- Sean V.

08-25-2011, 08:42 AM
San Francisco Bay Blues, Ain't She Sweet, Five Foot Two, and the newest: a medley of Simple Gifts/Lord of the Dance. All are combination Strum and Finger Pick. I often go with Mason Williams' $13 Stella as well.

I wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate has always been about 90% finger picking for me.

. . . -Kurt

08-25-2011, 09:11 AM
All My Loving, When You Wish Upon A Star and Na Moku 'Eha for strumming, He Aloha Mele for picking.

08-25-2011, 09:58 AM
aint she sweet for strumming and Georgia for picking.

08-25-2011, 11:08 AM
Hmm...I really haven't had that much experience testing out ukes. Other than a few Hawaii trips, I've not really had an opportunity to play test ukes at music shops. I suppose if I did, it would be something I'm playing a lot lately. So if I was play testing now, it would probably be Jake Shimabukuro's "Bring Your Adz".

08-25-2011, 11:38 AM
I second jakes close to you. Mainly because it has a nice mixture of picking and strumming.

08-25-2011, 11:45 AM
Usually either Procol Harum's "Homburg" or the instrumental in Genesis' "Supper's Ready" that comes right after Willow Farm.

08-25-2011, 11:57 AM
When I'm cleaning windows for strumming, part of Bohemian Rhapsody for fingerpicking.

Dan Uke
08-25-2011, 12:06 PM
Michael Jackson's I'll be there...good for strumming and picking and since it uses the whole fretboard, you can check out intonation.

Aiki Uke
08-25-2011, 12:23 PM
Super Mario theme song.

08-26-2011, 10:00 AM
Dream a little dream of me and Pencil Thin Mustache to check out barring. Can't pick good enough yet.

08-26-2011, 10:05 AM
Tears In Heaven, because it has picking and strumming. Not to be cliche, but While My Guitar Gently Weeps also works for this.


08-26-2011, 02:30 PM
Hotel California - arpeggiation and strumming, barre and open chords. If a uke sounds good playing that it will sound good on just about anything played in first position.

08-26-2011, 02:36 PM
Ain't She Sweet chord melody for strumming, and Bach's Minute in G for picking.

Ha! Ain't She Sweet is my strumming song as well.

08-26-2011, 06:03 PM
"You Don't Write" by the Ka'au Crater Boy's.

It was the first song I taught myself from watching Music Mikes YouTube video!

08-26-2011, 06:21 PM
Can't pick to save my life so just a blues scale in c for picking. San Francisco bay Blues for strumming

08-26-2011, 07:14 PM
Ain't She Sweet for strumming. Paris Nocturne ususally for picking.

08-26-2011, 07:55 PM
"Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" for strumming, "White Sandy Beach" for picking, and "More" or "Till There Was You" for combo pick and strum. I also like to do the easy opening chord riff from the Traveling Wilburys "End of the Line" because it moves up the neck.

08-26-2011, 08:08 PM
"I love her so" by the RAMONES...if I can strum a uke that hard and still like the sound, it is probably meant to be