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View Full Version : A Guitarist Friend Called Yesterday And Wanted to Jam



Chris Tarman
01-16-2012, 06:22 AM
Yesterday afternoon I got a call from a guitarist friend of mine who I've played bass with in various formats. He'd seen one of the ukulele videos I'd posted on Facebook, and we had talked in the past of getting together to jam. He plays in a group that does a lot of old jazz and swing standards, and Django-style gypsy jazz. I would love to play that kind of music on ukulele.
He came over for an hour or two, and commented on how well my Martin projected. I was sitting across the room from him, and couldn't tell if the uke was loud enough at all. You know how that goes... when you're playing you can't hear the same tone or volume that a person would hear out in front of you (bass guitar is the same way, which is why I bought a wireless transmitter- I wanted to hear how I actually sounded, instead of what was blowing past my legs!).
So I shot this little video with my iPhone and moved over next to him. He's playing pretty quietly because he wasn't sure of my arrangement of the song, but I think the uke would stand out just fine even if he played the guitar harder.
I had a lot of fun. This was one of the first times I've gotten to play ukulele WITH anyone. I hope we can do more of it. I think I'm at a point where I would definitely progress more if I was playing with other musicians (no matter what instrument they were playing).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsMsUBZ_5hw&list=UUyYpp3obN14UCJ6-aFektfg&index=1&feature=plcp

itsscottwilder
01-16-2012, 06:39 AM
Really enjoyed this. I just got my first uke for christmas and am now just starting to work through the Jazz Real Book. Big jump in complexity from everyday chords (G, C, D, Am) to Jazz chords. Drop the root note and play the 7ths and 9ths, or try to always hit the important notes like root, 3rd and 7th?

A Child is Born by Thad Jones was my first attempt. Not too bad as far as chords go. A Fine Romance was a little tougher. A Foggy Day is kicking my butt!!!

Sporin
01-16-2012, 07:15 AM
I play with acoustic guitar players a bunch and some of them are really obsessed with the notes.... let me explain that better. If I play a C, they can play "their" C and I think it sounds great but they get caught up in the music theory.... "Oh but I'll need to capo and play down one step or blah blah blah."

Conversely I'll play the guitar notes and it doesn't matter to me if I have the Uke specific chords for it. (palying out of "Rise Up Singing" is a good example.)

Not being a music reader or even knowing much music theory I'm just... "No, just play and have fun." I love the sound of a uke and a guitar playing the same music in a little mini-orchestra style. I'm not trying to match sounds like they are.

Thoughts on that?

Chris Tarman
01-16-2012, 07:50 AM
Really enjoyed this. I just got my first uke for christmas and am now just starting to work through the Jazz Real Book. Big jump in complexity from everyday chords (G, C, D, Am) to Jazz chords. Drop the root note and play the 7ths and 9ths, or try to always hit the important notes like root, 3rd and 7th?

A Child is Born by Thad Jones was my first attempt. Not too bad as far as chords go. A Fine Romance was a little tougher. A Foggy Day is kicking my butt!!!

My inclination would be to go ahead and drop the root if I were playing with a guitarist. Let THEM handle the root. Same thing if I were playing with a bassist. I am just guessing though. I have a TON of experience playing the root as a bassist, so it just seems logical that, if that's handled, the ukulele can do the "implied" chords, if that makes sense.

mailman
01-16-2012, 09:22 AM
Yesterday afternoon I got a call from a guitarist friend of mine who I've played bass with in various formats. He'd seen one of the ukulele videos I'd posted on Facebook, and we had talked in the past of getting together to jam. He plays in a group that does a lot of old jazz and swing standards, and Django-style gypsy jazz. I would love to play that kind of music on ukulele.
He came over for an hour or two, and commented on how well my Martin projected. I was sitting across the room from him, and couldn't tell if the uke was loud enough at all. You know how that goes... when you're playing you can't hear the same tone or volume that a person would hear out in front of you (bass guitar is the same way, which is why I bought a wireless transmitter- I wanted to hear how I actually sounded, instead of what was blowing past my legs!).
So I shot this little video with my iPhone and moved over next to him. He's playing pretty quietly because he wasn't sure of my arrangement of the song, but I think the uke would stand out just fine even if he played the guitar harder.
I had a lot of fun. This was one of the first times I've gotten to play ukulele WITH anyone. I hope we can do more of it. I think I'm at a point where I would definitely progress more if I was playing with other musicians (no matter what instrument they were playing).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsMsUBZ_5hw&list=UUyYpp3obN14UCJ6-aFektfg&index=1&feature=plcp

Chris, this was fabulous! By all means, seek out opportunities to play with other people.

I did have a problem with your signature line though. It should read as follows....

There are three types of people in this world:
1. Those that can do math
2. Those that can't

:D

ukecantdothat
01-16-2012, 04:14 PM
I sometimes get together with a neighbor who plays a Taylor dreadnought with a cutaway, and my Mainland concert has no trouble at all cutting through. Maybe the cutaway lowers the Taylor's volume a bit, but I don't imagine it's that much. Of course the thicker the string, the louder the uke, so you can try beefing up a bit if need be, particularly with a soprano where a thicker string will equal noticeably higher tension/volume.

ricdoug
01-16-2012, 04:57 PM
The ukulele is huge here in San Diego. I jam with several acoustic circles, locally. Go to http://www.meetup.com and search acoustic or folk music for your area. I'll bet there are meetups in your area. It really helps you to learn to play with others. Ric

mm stan
01-16-2012, 06:25 PM
Aloha Chris,
Wow that was really nice and the uke held up well to the guitar...nice singing too...woo hoo..love dat song... thank you for sharing...
your friend did and excellent job too keeping percussion and tempo.. and not overpowering the uke...I call that respect...and still
sneak in some nice picking riffs.. thanks for sharing.. You've got a great friend and music partner there...happy strummings....