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View Full Version : If a book of Ukulele Music came out, what would you want it to be?



pulelehua
10-03-2012, 06:51 PM
I'm trying to do a book a year. So far so good. 2 for 2. Plus my arrangement of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. So 2.5 for 2. Last time, I asked what you lovely people wanted. You said Duets, so I wrote duets.

This time, I'd like to make it a three-part question:

1. How many ukuleles? (i.e. Solos, Duets, Trios, etc.)

2. What style? (i.e. various, screamo, etc.)

3. What difficulty? (i.e. easy, all fingerpicking, chord solos, etc.)


Thanks once again for your wisdom and input.

John

Hippie Dribble
10-03-2012, 07:01 PM
John, thankyou for your wonderful work thus far and some outstanding arrangements.

My great interest is in music from the teens, twenties and thirties so my desire would be for a book of for individual players combining chord solos and melody (fingerpicking) on old-school jazz and blues numbers, maybe a bit of ragtime and vaudeville stuff thrown in. Perhaps not as challenging for you as some of your other stuff, but might be a lot of fun nonetheless. I would look to market such a book at intermediate players. Though of course how one defines 'intermediate' is another whole discussion itself....Lyle Ritz put out a collection of EASY chord solos which were very challenging!

Looking forward to the next stage of the journey mate, whatever genre and techniques you tackle. :)

katysax
10-03-2012, 07:25 PM
John,

Thanks for your wonderful work. I would definitely buy the book Eugene asked for. A mix of chord solos and fingerpicking would be nice. One thing that I like about Lyle Ritz's books is that he provides interesting chord voicings. I'd second the idea of marketing to intermediate customers (whatever that is). It's hard to gauge. For me if I can sight read easily through the whole book it is too easy. If the stuff is too hard I tend to go on to other things. I thought the Lyle Ritz EASY chord solos was a bit of a misnomer - easier than his other stuff but clearly intermediate.

What I'm looking for is any kind of music that can be played solo. I want it to be interesting enough to keep me (and any listeners) engaged. It's OK if it is a bit of a stretch so long as it isn't just discouraging. I want ideas that I can incorporate into my playing and apply to my own arrangements. I very much want some jazz and not just classical because the chord voicings from jazz can be applied in interesting ways to popular music.

I'd love more popular songs and contemporary songs. I'm guessing books tend to stay away from these because of copyright issues.

1300cc
10-03-2012, 07:46 PM
I'm trying to do a book a year. So far so good. 2 for 2. Plus my arrangement of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. So 2.5 for 2. Last time, I asked what you lovely people wanted. You said Duets, so I wrote duets.

This time, I'd like to make it a three-part question:

1. How many ukuleles? (i.e. Solos, Duets, Trios, etc.)

2. What style? (i.e. various, screamo, etc.)

3. What difficulty? (i.e. easy, all fingerpicking, chord solos, etc.)


Thanks once again for your wisdom and input.

John
1. solos but with a flexibility of going duet
2. modern, love songs, classical
3. fingerpicking, chord solos combination with finger picking...intermediate

itsme
10-03-2012, 07:58 PM
Personally?

- solo
- classical
- fingerpicking

:)

Newportlocal
10-03-2012, 08:24 PM
Solo
Fingerpicking, and fingerpicking with chords
Blues: Blind Willie Johnson, Son House, John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, etc.
Difficulty: don't care

Thanks for asking.

pulelehua
10-03-2012, 09:24 PM
Thanks for the thoughts thus far. I totally agree about Lyle Ritz. Easy is just a word made to make us feel inadequate. I sweat ages over his Fly Me to the Moon arrangement from his Jazz book.

Great ideas! Keep 'em coming!

Roselynne
10-03-2012, 09:52 PM
Thanks for asking us!

1. Solo, primarily. Some guitar books have a solo line, with optional 2nd and 3rd guitar lines.

2. Various styles. Ironically, the one I'm having the most difficulty finding is traditional, old-school, fingerstyle Hawai'ian mele. But I'm happy with lots of styles.

3. Intermediate to advanced. Full (not simplified) chord changes and/or fingerstyle.

Cool thread!

Lalz
10-04-2012, 12:10 AM
Oh, great thread! Thanks for asking us!

One book I'd like to have is one for playing the uke with another instrument (like maybe guitar, fiddle, mandolin, cello... or even brass instruments in other keys!), which would have arrangements for each instrument in it (but with the uke part in tab format to make it easier for us) and also explain how to best combine different instruments together in general, like how to harmonise nicely, make interesting rhythm combinations and improvise a tiny bit (actually a book specifically about improvisation on the uke would be nice too). It would be useful in order to learn how to best play during jam sessions with other instrumentalists, have a good understanding of their parts and best compliment each other.

Styles: probably standard songs that a lot of people know would be easier to learn from but the styles I'd personally like best for this would be folk music, pop, New Orleans jazz and/or bossa nova :)

Difficulty level: start easy with increased difficulty?

fitncrafty
10-04-2012, 12:59 AM
I agree with everyone else. Unless strumming with the group I am enjoying the challenge of adding a little fingerpicking.
I Just bought John Kings Classical book and I love that there are some duets in there some with guitar and some with ukulele too. It will be a challenge to play them and learn them well enough to play with others, but I am looking forward to growing as a player in that respect..

Uke Whisperer
10-04-2012, 01:31 AM
- solo
- classical
- fingerpicking

:)


:agree:
Personally, with 2 or 3 levels (individual lines) of difficulty for each

chrimess
10-04-2012, 03:44 AM
pop/rock tunes arranged for fingerstyle solos are the sweetest guilty pleasure...


:agree:
Personally, with 2 or 3 levels (individual lines) of difficulty for each

pulelehua
10-04-2012, 05:10 AM
Interesting how many people have talked about increasing difficulty. One of those I read and think, "Why did I never think of that?" This is why I ask you! ;)

I actually didn't ask if people prefer arrangements or originals. I've done almost exclusively originals so far. When I arranged Eine Kleine, it was more fun than I had realised it would be.

If I was to amalgamate what you've said at the moment, I would say a healthy dose of old timey jazz arranged in progressing difficulty would be the winner. So, from simpler fingerpicking to chord soloing (which I really have yet to explore enough myself, so that could be fun - or maybe just progressive chord soloing? Hmmmm).

I love the idea of putting together advice for working with other instruments, but it's a very different sort of project. I need to think about how that could work. Double hmmmm.

SailingUke
10-04-2012, 05:39 AM
John, thankyou for your wonderful work thus far and some outstanding arrangements.

My great interest is in music from the teens, twenties and thirties so my desire would be for a book of for individual players combining chord solos and melody (fingerpicking) on old-school jazz and blues numbers, maybe a bit of ragtime and vaudeville stuff thrown in. Perhaps not as challenging for you as some of your other stuff, but might be a lot of fun nonetheless. I would look to market such a book at intermediate players. Though of course how one defines 'intermediate' is another whole discussion itself....Lyle Ritz put out a collection of EASY chord solos which were very challenging!

Looking forward to the next stage of the journey mate, whatever genre and techniques you tackle. :)

Jon, not to hijack the thread, but I would be all over a book by you of your songs !!!!

pulelehua
10-04-2012, 06:09 AM
Jon, not to hijack the thread, but I would be all over a book by you of your songs !!!!

+1, though I'm a fairly rubbish whistler.

PhilUSAFRet
10-04-2012, 01:11 PM
Here's a title about playing ukes that I'd like to see, focusing only on chording an soloing.....are you ready?

"ABOVE THE FIFTH FRET"

missameeames
10-04-2012, 01:28 PM
Personally?

- solo
- classical
- fingerpicking

:)

:agree: Although, I do like the Bossa Nova idea, too.

kaizersoza
10-04-2012, 02:06 PM
all of the above with a sprinkling of good old punk thrown in for good measure

fernandogardinali
10-04-2012, 02:07 PM
I would absolutely love a Cliff Edwards chord book.

Lalz
10-05-2012, 02:15 PM
Here's a title about playing ukes that I'd like to see, focusing only on chording an soloing.....are you ready?

"ABOVE THE FIFTH FRET"

I'd buy that book! :agree:

1300cc
10-05-2012, 02:18 PM
is this book intermediate or advance?

pulelehua
10-06-2012, 08:58 AM
is this book intermediate or advance?

The point of this thread is that YOU help decide. My past things have been called intermediate, so it's more likely a choice between advanced beginner-intermediate. All of this of course makes me realise that I have no idea what skill level I am...

Above the fifth fret is a great idea! And workable into several different things. Ooooh.

pulelehua
10-18-2012, 09:28 PM
Found out that copyright extends to 70 years from composer's death. Realised Gershwin died over 70 years ago. Decided to try chord solos on Gershwin. Wrote an arrangement of "Someone to Watch Over Me" which I think is pretty good. Sort of a gentle intro to chord soloing. Was pleased.

Discovered Gershwin, in spite of being dead for over 70 years, is still covered by copyright.

Arg.

Well, there's still "That Old Grey Mare".................

BIGDB
10-18-2012, 09:32 PM
Heres my vote

1. Solo
2. classical
3. finger picking

pulelehua
10-18-2012, 09:36 PM
Heres my vote

1. Solo
2. classical
3. finger picking

What sort of skill level, BIGDB? My book of etudes is in that category at a sort of intermediate-ish level. I will definitely do another book of intermediate etudes at some point, but might want to diversify first, and skill level would be one way to do that.

pulelehua
10-29-2012, 12:25 AM
Have decided I don't enough Lyle Ritz to tackle chord soloing, so just ordered his advanced book. Best to learn from the master, then translate.

Might offer up my Someone To Watch Over Me arrangement for free, as it's copywritten. Beyond speeding and murder, I'm afraid my knowledge of the law is pretty limited. So, need to see how expensive a book of Gershwin tunes would be from my end. Also need to see about giving away copywritten things. Can I even do that?

I'm currently thinking of a chord solo book which takes you on a progression from basic to more advanced. Sort of an implied method book.

Tootler
10-29-2012, 01:31 AM
Found out that copyright extends to 70 years from composer's death. Realised Gershwin died over 70 years ago. Decided to try chord solos on Gershwin. Wrote an arrangement of "Someone to Watch Over Me" which I think is pretty good. Sort of a gentle intro to chord soloing. Was pleased.

Discovered Gershwin, in spite of being dead for over 70 years, is still covered by copyright.

Arg.

Well, there's still "That Old Grey Mare".................

One of those nasty sneaky little tricks. George Gershwin's brother, Ira claimed co-authorship of his brother's work and as he only died in 1983, then Gershwin's compositions remain in copyright. I have heard much doubt expressed about Ira Gershwin's contribution, though he certainly contributed to many of the songs. I know someone who arranged one of Gershwin's songs for recorder and he had a lot of difficulty with the Gershwin Estate as they were very aggressive in claiming royalties. He had his doubts about Ira Gershwin's contribution to the particular song - Let's Call the Whole Thing Off - but unless you have a very deep pocket, you simply cannot afford to challenge it.

ukeofcarl
10-29-2012, 02:09 AM
I'm planning to do a book of Jazz standards for chord/melody. I think it'll be easier to give it away than to get permission though.

1300cc
10-29-2012, 09:09 AM
pulelehua,
just in case you want to know how much i am prepared to pay, something really reasonable. i bought colin tribe arrangement for 60 for 400 songs in pdf form.

Tootler
10-29-2012, 10:40 AM
I'm planning to do a book of Jazz standards for chord/melody. I think it'll be easier to give it away than to get permission though.

Beware! You may find you are still liable to pay royalties if the original songs themselves are still in copyright. It will be as well to check first.

I am thinking of doing an eBook of songs but I will be sticking strictly to songs that are in the public domain. In my case it will be a mixture of traditional songs and songs from Broadsides where I have put a tune to them myself so I can claim composer credits. It will probably be given away as well.

laundromatt
10-29-2012, 11:26 AM
1. solo
2. various. arrangements, not as interested in original songs (no offense to your composing skills).
3. fingerstyle - increasing difficulty, sort of like John King's Classical Ukulele book.

pulelehua
10-29-2012, 12:44 PM
pulelehua,
just in case you want to know how much i am prepared to pay, something really reasonable. i bought colin tribe arrangement for 60 for 400 songs in pdf form.

That works out as 15p a song. I think you're either going to get things free, or pay a bit more than that. I try to work it out about 80p-1 per composition. I can't really see the sense in putting together a book of 8 compositions, say, and charging 1.20. That's silly. It's honestly more bother setting all of that up than doing it for free. It only makes sense to charge something like 15p if you have 400 arrangements. Colin isn't going to charge 400, because he'd never sell anything.

Or was all of that sarcastic??? :confused:

Oh dear.............................................. .................. sorry. Long day.

ukeofcarl
10-29-2012, 01:57 PM
Thinking about these copyright issues, does Colin have permission to sell his arrangements, I wonder? I'm not complaining, as I've also bought all of his tabs and really enjoy them. Just curious as to how I might get in trouble if I did a free Jazz book, without even involving money.

1300cc
10-29-2012, 07:26 PM
That works out as 15p a song. I think you're either going to get things free, or pay a bit more than that. I try to work it out about 80p-1 per composition. I can't really see the sense in putting together a book of 8 compositions, say, and charging 1.20. That's silly. It's honestly more bother setting all of that up than doing it for free. It only makes sense to charge something like 15p if you have 400 arrangements. Colin isn't going to charge 400, because he'd never sell anything.

Or was all of that sarcastic??? :confused:

Oh dear.............................................. .................. sorry. Long day.keep in mind not all the songs I wanted and some of them I am not able to play it.

PTOEguy
10-30-2012, 06:26 AM
How about a book of duets for one beginner and one more advances player? Something I could play with my kids

pulelehua
10-30-2012, 09:52 AM
How about a book of duets for one beginner and one more advances player? Something I could play with my kids

That's a good idea!

cb56
10-30-2012, 11:25 AM
I just ordered (and received) one of your songs (Sandwich Islands Jig) and bookmarked your web page. I'm an intermediate player. I enjoy fingerstyle and chord solo. I would suggest either putting something for all levels in one book or three different books beg/int./adv. Mixing up the different style of tunes would be cool although I've really been into finding jigs and reels to play on my banjo uke. I do like the ability to listen to the song on your web page and have some of the music/tab shown in the video. That way I can pick what I like and get a feel for if it's within my abilities. You get an A+ for your efforts keep up the good work.

Freeda
10-30-2012, 11:25 AM
I want a book that has orchestrations of songs. So in our uke group, a few people would have the melody, a few people would have a harmony, a few people would have a "bass line", and maybe one person would have a fingerstyle solo. Like the UoGB does.

I think it would be a GREAT seller for groups who are looking to increase their skill level. Like mine!

When it's done, please sign me up for ten copies.

Freeda
10-30-2012, 11:35 AM
Also, just checked out your website. LOVE!

pulelehua
10-30-2012, 11:55 AM
I want a book that has orchestrations of songs. So in our uke group, a few people would have the melody, a few people would have a harmony, a few people would have a "bass line", and maybe one person would have a fingerstyle solo. Like the UoGB does.

I think it would be a GREAT seller for groups who are looking to increase their skill level. Like mine!

When it's done, please sign me up for ten copies.

I've done a 4-part arrangement of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, which can handle 4-400 players. It's not exactly what you're looking for, but it does have a bit more group potential, I think. Certainly more than my duets book. And no one wants to hear a group play one of my Etudes.

Is your group pretty homogenous in terms of no baritones, all high-G? One of my concerns is choosing just which ensemble to write for, as once you get a bunch of people together, you start to have variation.

pulelehua
10-30-2012, 11:56 AM
Also, just checked out your website. LOVE!

Thanks. I'll pass that on to my "web development team". ;)