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View Full Version : Do you have anything you play when demo'ing ukes or showing off?



uke4life
03-24-2012, 09:58 AM
I wanted to see what others play when testing out ukes or showing skills:o :cool: I tend to just play some basic chord progressions and scales.

OldePhart
03-24-2012, 10:05 AM
I don't show off 'cause I gots nuttin' to show. When I'm trying out a ukulele though I tend to play through Hotel California (Em version). Why? Because it's something that's easy to play, sounds like you halfway know what you're doing, and a ukulele that will sound good playing that mix of open and barre chords, arpeggiated and strummed, is going to sound good playing most anything.

John

TheUkulelePanda
03-24-2012, 10:18 AM
I generally just play what comes into my head.

I like the idea of Hotel California though.

uke4life
03-24-2012, 10:27 AM
I like the idea of Hotel California though.

x2 Where did you find the version you're using?

WOBster
03-24-2012, 11:09 AM
I show people videos of Jake and Aldrine etc... Cuz I'm not worthy :bowdown::bowdown::bowdown:

ItsAMeCasey
03-24-2012, 11:15 AM
I usually play some licks and strum the hawaiian vamp in C lol. If I'm really trying to impress I'll play the beginning part of Orange World (the pull-off part). That usually impresses people cuz it's MUCH easier than it looks haha!

uke4ia
03-24-2012, 11:20 AM
I'll often play one of my original instrumental songs or this instrumental segment of Genesis' "Supper's Ready"

mds725
03-24-2012, 11:32 AM
Great question! I don't show off, but if I'm taking an ukulele for a test drive, I usually play "All My Loving" (in C) because it was the first song I learned and it has enough challenging chord transitions (from Dm to Bb and from Bb to G, for example)for me to test the playability of the neck and fretboard. I'll also usually play some Hawaiian vamps (G7-C7-F, or D7-G7-C, for example) using a Hawaiian strum to get a feel for how "Hawaiian" the ukulele sounds. I may also play some specific chords (Bb, Cm, diminished chords) to get a sense of the ukulele's voice. I'll then do some fingerpicking, usually playing the C scale and/or the melody to "Deck The Halls" (only because I have it memorized), and I'll play the chords for "He Aloha Mele" (because we do that in my ukulele class so I can compare in my head) using an arpeggio strum.

ksiegel
03-24-2012, 02:09 PM
To test out a uke, I will play "Simple Gifts" - the (admittedly) mutable version I play includes fingerpicking, strumming, drop-thumb frailing, and what I've been told are "chord melodies", so I get to try lots of things.

Showing off, well... "I don't want to set the world on fire", "Java Jive", 12-bar blues in A with turnaround, a little ragtime ("Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate" or "Diddy-wah-diddy"), some country ( "Rocky Top", "Dueling Banjos", "Gentle On My Mind", "Hey Good Lookin' ") and lately "Different Drum".

But I rarely show off around people who can 1) play an instrument, or b) sing on key. It is too embarrassing when your Show-Off Moves take on the appearance and coordination of a one-legged coyote swinging desperately at a handful of wire.

(An example: At the uke club the other night, I was encouraged to take a lead line during "Blues In The Bottle" - and got my fretting fingers stuck between a pair of strings.)




-Kurt

Nickie
03-24-2012, 04:37 PM
You Ain't Nothin' But a Hound Dog, Don't Worry Be Happy, Bad Moon Rising, or the song I wrote, The Patient.

OldePhart
03-24-2012, 05:28 PM
x2 Where did you find the version you're using?

Honestly, I've had it for quite a while and I don't recall exactly where I got it. I think it might have been a transcription of the UOoGB version, I'm not sure.

Anyway, here it is (the parts in italics are where I 'fingerpick' an arpeggio, the rest is strummed).

[Em]On a dark desert highway, [B7]cool wind in my hair
[Bm7]Warm smell of colitas, [A]rising up through the air
[C]Up ahead in the distance, [G]I saw a shim-mering light
[A]My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
[B7]I had to stop for the night.

[Em]There she stood in the doorway; [B7]I heard the mission bell
[Bm7]And I was thinking to myself;
'This could be [A]heaven or this could be hell'
[C]Then she lit up a candle and she [G]showed me the way
[A]There wre voices down the corridor,
I [B7]thought I heard them say...

[C]'Welcome to the Hotel Californ[G]ia, [B7]Such a lovely place (echo)
[Em]Such a lovely place. [C]Plenty of room at the Hotel Californ[G]ia
Any [A]time of year (echo) You can [B7]find it here'

[Em]Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, [B7]she got the Mercedes Benz
[Bm7]She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, [A]that she calls friends
[C]How they dance in the courtyard, [G]sweet summer sweat.
[A]Some dance to remember, [B7]some dance to forget

[Em]So I called up the Captain, [B7]'Please bring me my wine'
He said, 'We [Bm7]haven't had that spirit here since [A]nineteen sixty-nine
[C]And still those voices are calling from [G]far away,
[A]Wake you up in the middle of the night,
[B7]Just to hear them say...

[C]'Welcome to the Hotel Californ[G]ia, [B7]Such a lovely place (echo)
[Em]Such a lovely face. [C]They're livin' it up at the Hotel Californ[G]ia
What a [A]nice surprise (echo) Bring your [B7]alibis.'

[Em]Mirrors on the ceiling, [B7]the pink champagne on ice
And she said, [Bm7]'We are all just prisoners here, [A]of our own device.'
[C]And in the master's chambers, [G]They gathered for the feast
[A]They stab it with their steely knives,
But they [B7]just can't kill the beast

[Em]Last thing I remember, I was [B7]running for the door
[Bm7]I had to find the passage back to the [A]place I was before
[C]'Relax,' said the night man, 'We are [G]programmed to receive;
[A]You can check-out any time you like,
[B7]but you can never leave!'

C G B7 Em C G A B7 (repeat to fade)

janeray1940
03-24-2012, 06:28 PM
I definitely don't show off :)

My go-to songs for trying out a uke are a chord melody of Ain't She Sweet, the chord progression for Five Foot Two, and the lead from a duet of Bach's Minuet in G - these are among the (very) few things I have memorized.

Kayak Jim
03-25-2012, 01:26 AM
Thanks for posting that John. Something to add to the old repertoire.

uke4life
03-25-2012, 02:20 AM
Thanks for posting that John. Something to add to the old repertoire.

x2 Yes, very much thank you John!!!

wickedwahine11
03-25-2012, 02:51 AM
I'm not good enough to show off. But in testing a uke, I usually play the fingerpicking intro to Europa by Herb Ohta Jr., the version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Brittni Paiva or play Paris Nocturne by Ukulele Mike - since I have those memorized. For chords, usually a Hawaiian Vamp or two, then some four fingered chords like Cdim.

GX9901
03-25-2012, 11:29 AM
I was in Hawaii last week and checked out some ukes from a couple of shops. I was actually wondering what I should play to test out the ukes since actually trying out ukes is such a rare occasion for me. I think I ended up playing a lot of Ukulolo (burger), Jake's version of Rolling in the Deep, and Bruce Shimabukuro's Cognito Town, plus whatever came to mind while I was testing out the ukes.

TheCraftedCow
03-25-2012, 12:09 PM
Jingle Bells in the key of Gm [0-3-3-3] The G major is the bell I ring after strumming jin-gle-bells ^^^ G vvv G jin *5 +3 + 5 *2 oh what fun is [o-4-4-4]. After slowly finishing it, I crank it up in a bossa-nova beat. *(1st string) +2nd string. When they get the uke, we start of with a horrible thing called a barr chord...but they don't know any better. then some note picking. then a rhythm change. The don't hear "You can't do that...that's too advanced for you!"

stevepetergal
03-25-2012, 01:51 PM
To try out an instrument, I always play some classical, some jazz (usually Misty with my Kimo Hussey tribute solo), a little rock (I know very little). I want to know if I can bend the notes, if it has tone color I want for the jazz, if it has the clarity for Bach, if I have room for my fingers for picking, how hard it is to barre chords up near the headstock. I always play John Lennon 'cause I like John Lennon. I want to see how I like singing with it. I never worry about volume, though.

For showing off, I play whatever I've been practicing most successfully. (But, I never show off for other ukulele players.)

mikelz777
03-27-2012, 05:13 PM
Honestly, I've had it for quite a while and I don't recall exactly where I got it. I think it might have been a transcription of the UOoGB version, I'm not sure.

Anyway, here it is (the parts in italics are where I 'fingerpick' an arpeggio, the rest is strummed).

[I][Em]On a dark desert highway, [B7]cool wind in my hair
[Bm7]Warm smell of colitas, [A]rising up through the air..............................


What picking pattern do you use? T I M A?

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
03-27-2012, 05:16 PM
I play C, F, G7, C every time I pick up any ukulele. It's the perfect demo, too. If softly strumming C, F, G7, C chords doesn't sound good on a uke, it must not be a good uke.

AC Baltimore
03-27-2012, 07:06 PM
Mama I'm coming home, ozzy... Jesus hold my hand, then it's random.

ricdoug
03-27-2012, 08:05 PM
I play whatever the current audience wants to hear. Along with traditional Hawai'ian, blugrass standards are crowd pleasers. Ric

dakamaainahaole
03-27-2012, 09:09 PM
... or the song I wrote, The Patient.

Hey you get a site that you or others upload homemade songs onto for others to listen to? i'd like to record a few originals ive made when im able to get back home in a few weeks.

OldePhart
03-28-2012, 06:29 AM
What picking pattern do you use? T I M A?

Heh, heh. You're the second person to ask that (other was in PM). Honestly, it's hard to say because I just pluck the strings that feel right - it's not even a straight picking, it's kind of a "broken" pattern. I usually use just the thumb and index finger and it's sort of an alternating pattern but whenever I try to pay attention to what I'm actually doing I lose the rhhythm of it! It starts something like G,A,E but after that the string order gets a little more fluid. I usually don't go back to the g string until the start of another measure, but the order I pick the rest of the measure in isn't set in stone. I just play what I'm feeling, if that makes sense.

John

molokinirum
03-28-2012, 06:36 AM
I don't show off 'cause I gots nuttin' to show...John

lol...same here!!! I play easy stuff like Surf and a bunch of Hawaiian vamps.

mikelz777
03-28-2012, 08:07 AM
Heh, heh. You're the second person to ask that (other was in PM). Honestly, it's hard to say because I just pluck the strings that feel right - it's not even a straight picking, it's kind of a "broken" pattern. I usually use just the thumb and index finger and it's sort of an alternating pattern but whenever I try to pay attention to what I'm actually doing I lose the rhhythm of it! It starts something like G,A,E but after that the string order gets a little more fluid. I usually don't go back to the g string until the start of another measure, but the order I pick the rest of the measure in isn't set in stone. I just play what I'm feeling, if that makes sense.

John

So it sounds like it would probably be different each time you play it, there's a little jazz sensibility going on. I'll have to play around and try it. When you mentioned playing arpeggios it made me think of a straight repeating pattern like TIMA. I tried that and it didn't sound right.

Pukulele Pete
03-28-2012, 08:34 AM
The song I play to show off my skills or lack of them , is " Bye Bye Blues " . I learned it from watching a guy named Mathew Richards on YouTube. Sometimes I can play it without any mistakes.

ksiegel
03-28-2012, 10:22 AM
Thank You! Now I know that there is at least SOMEONE else who plays the way I do!


Heh, heh. You're the second person to ask that (other was in PM). Honestly, it's hard to say because I just pluck the strings that feel right - it's not even a straight picking, it's kind of a "broken" pattern. I usually use just the thumb and index finger and it's sort of an alternating pattern but whenever I try to pay attention to what I'm actually doing I lose the rhhythm of it! It starts something like G,A,E but after that the string order gets a little more fluid. I usually don't go back to the g string until the start of another measure, but the order I pick the rest of the measure in isn't set in stone. I just play what I'm feeling, if that makes sense.

John

OldePhart
03-28-2012, 11:53 AM
So it sounds like it would probably be different each time you play it, there's a little jazz sensibility going on. I'll have to play around and try it. When you mentioned playing arpeggios it made me think of a straight repeating pattern like TIMA. I tried that and it didn't sound right.

Yeah...pretty much everything I play never sounds the same way twice. I console myself with the thought that Stevie Ray Vaughn's band used to say the same thing about him...though in my case it's usually not intentional... LOL

BTW, if you check the thread I just posted on the "great ukulele pickup challenge" you can hear a (poor) example of me playing that sequence. It's pretty poor even for me 'cause I kept getting mesmerized by the waveform display on the monitor as I was recording. You won't be able to see my fingers though because it's just an audio clip with some information in the titling.

John

OldePhart
03-28-2012, 11:56 AM
Thank You! Now I know that there is at least SOMEONE else who plays the way I do!

And here I was thinking I was the lone stranger! :)

John

Hippie Dribble
03-28-2012, 02:25 PM
whenever i have to play in front of anyone I forget everything i ever learnt... :o

Jnobianchi
03-28-2012, 04:41 PM
whenever i have to play in front of anyone I forget everything i ever learnt... :o

:D Usually, I have the happen about 24 seconds into the first song...

Camsuke
03-28-2012, 05:49 PM
I'm the same as you guys, all I have to do is turn on the camera and my fingers go on strike!

ricdoug
03-28-2012, 06:51 PM
Hey you get a site that you or others upload homemade songs onto for others to listen to? i'd like to record a few originals ive made when im able to get back home in a few weeks.

Hai Sai Ojiisan was popular when I was on The Rock. Ric

Couloirman
03-29-2012, 04:10 AM
I always just whip out some Jake songs and people go nuts even when they aren't hard to play. Ukulele weeps, piano forte, Shirley T, Bohemian Rhapsody (they love that one), Bring your adze, blue roses falling, and 143 are my go to songs for sure.

ukuraleigh
03-29-2012, 04:14 AM
I always just whip out some Jake songs and people go nuts even when they aren't hard to play. Ukulele weeps, piano forte, Shirley T, Bohemian Rhapsody (they love that one), Bring your adze, blue roses falling, and 143 are my go to songs for sure.

I'd say that "aren't hard to play" is subjective. ;) I can dream of being that good.

Couloirman
03-29-2012, 05:13 AM
I'd say that "aren't hard to play" is subjective. ;) I can dream of being that good.

Well, I dont play them as well as Jake does, but none of the ones I listed are actually that bad if you just take it one measure at a time. And the general public has no idea when you screw up a bit or leave out embellishments they are just impressed you did something more than attempt to strum a few guitar chords.