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icuker
02-18-2013, 09:43 AM
Hi, I posed this question on FMM also but thought I'd ask here as well. A friend bought the Leap year edition and let me take a quick browse through it. I like the song selection. However, our Uke club had bought the first book (365) but found that the songs too often weren't in good singable keys for us. I don't think we are out of the norm on this. So, I was curious before I buy if any one had any experience with this on the Leap year edition. Like I said I enjoyed the song selection and having multiple versed for the songs.

PeteyHoudini
02-18-2013, 11:21 AM
Over the years, I've bought about 8 of his uke books, especially when I was starting out since there weren't many uke books.

I found they are almost always too low for my voice. Despite that fact, they are well done.

Petey

Shastastan
02-18-2013, 11:52 AM
I like Beloff's books as to content and layout. I can't really comment on voice range because my own voice is part tenor and baritone. So, I have a range problem with singing most of the time. My wife, a choir singer, says the common female voice range is from middle C to 3rd space C or maybe a little higher. Obviously singing ranges can very significantly. I just bought a Sinatra Anthology rather than a Sinatra fakebook. Some said to do that because the songs in the fakebook were in some keys with a lot of flats. This was probably because "old blue eyes" could decide which keys he wanted to do the songs in. Ah, that we all had that choice. I use this http://www.tikiking.com/transposing_wheel/transposing_wheel_G_Ab.html to transpose chords with. It's very handy. There's a downloadable version also.

CountryMouse
02-18-2013, 12:15 PM
Over the years, I've bought about 8 of his uke books, especially when I was starting out since there weren't many uke books.

I found they are almost always too low for my voice. Despite that fact, they are well done.

Petey

I have a lot of his books (and love them), but I have to transpose almost every one of the songs--they are either too high or low for me.

CountryMouse

CountryMouse
02-18-2013, 12:19 PM
Hi, I posed this question on FMM also but thought I'd ask here as well. A friend bought the Leap year edition and let me take a quick browse through it. I like the song selection. However, our Uke club had bought the first book (365) but found that the songs too often weren't in good singable keys for us. I don't think we are out of the norm on this. So, I was curious before I buy if any one had any experience with this on the Leap year edition. Like I said I enjoyed the song selection and having multiple versed for the songs.

I haven't tried many of the songs in the Leap Year edition yet, so I can't tell you for sure if the songs are going to be transposition projects. But going by all his other books, probably. :-/ It's still worth getting, though!

CountryMouse

Uncle Rod Higuchi
02-18-2013, 12:37 PM
Ah, the joys of Transposing, one of the most useful skills to develop after general chord learning and chord changing practice :)

It is a challenge for those of us who create songbooks for ukulele groups to select 'the key' for the songs that will go into the songbook.

If anyone can come up with a general guideline, a middle-of-the-road course to follow, that would really help us in creating songbooks
that could possibly be used by most members :)

C, F, G, A, D... but probably staying away from Bb and E :)

keep uke'in',

Tonya
02-18-2013, 01:32 PM
Yep, we get a lot of practice using our little transposing wheels with both of Jim Beloff's "Daily Ukulele" songbooks. They're just not the right keys for our group--and what's funny it doesn't seem as if they're always too high or always too low. Just not quite right for us (but I have a lot of, ahem, "older" people in my group--maybe that's it...)

While we're at it, I'll repeat my warning not to buy the Kindle or iBooks version of either of The Daily Ukulele books--the translation to ebook format created odd "art"-type images which frequently split even one-page songs, causing you to have to tap the image, enlarge it, close it and then repeat to the next section of the same song. It's very awkward and not at all like having a single PDF page which can be maneuvered and enlarged smoothly. To see what I mean you can download a "sample" set of book pages from iTunes for free.

PeteyHoudini
02-18-2013, 02:24 PM
@CountryMouse: That's strange that they are always too high or too low for most of us. I know he had Broadway connections so I'm surprised he just didn't do them in the typical sheet music vocal range... what is that? I would say from middle C to "F" two octaves above. Just my opinion.

Classical Lieder (German songs) can be bought in three different editions: high voice, middle voice, and low voice.

It's time Jim offered his scores in Sibelius' Scorch where one can change the key.

Petey

Rawks
02-18-2013, 03:25 PM
Petey raises an excellent point about vocal range. I've been a classical and choral singer for quite a few years now and I'm studying to teach classroom music in secondary schools. From that experience, I would say a good rule of thumb for the range of an untrained singing voice is between Bb below middle C to D, a 10th above.

But of course some people are just naturally gifted with larger ranges. Grown men will typically be able to sing much lower than this and, conversely, women will be able to go higher.

I hope that's helpful for some folk! :)

PeteyHoudini
02-18-2013, 04:03 PM
Petey raises an excellent point about vocal range. I've been a classical and choral singer for quite a few years now and I'm studying to teach classroom music in secondary schools. From that experience, I would say a good rule of thumb for the range of an untrained singing voice is between Bb below middle C to D, a 10th above.

Well stated!

Petey

quiltingshirley
02-18-2013, 06:25 PM
Neither me or my husband sing in a specific key cause we are both really bad singers. However, many in our local Jam groups do like to sing the songs from both Daily books in a specific key. I've got OnSong on my Ipad2 and songs we sing 3 or more times get put into OnSong and then I can just hit a button to transpose when needed. I use the import from the internet to get a start and then go through the song in an edit mode and put the words and chords where they are in the books. It's actually easier to sing from cause I put everything in order that it's sung -- no looking around for the Coda, chorus, etc. Then I set the song to scroll for about how fast most sing. Now I can put the song in the Key of Bb if that's what they want --of course I can then only play a few of the chords but I can do that rather than just play silent chords and sing. Make any sense?

23skidoo
02-19-2013, 12:55 AM
The SEUkers encounter the same problem with both books..... but we still sings dozens of songs from both books every time we get together and have a lot of fun....... The keys aren't always the best for singing, but most folks, even the beginners, can hang on well enough to get through the tunes with their instruments and there are usually a few people that can handle the key well enough to carry the melody with vocals. Like anything, the books could be improved, but we use the heck out of them and enjoy them a lot - they're central to our get togethers.....

Tonya
02-19-2013, 06:09 AM
I've got OnSong on my Ipad2 and songs we sing 3 or more times get put into OnSong and then I can just hit a button to transpose when needed. I use the import from the internet to get a start and then go through the song in an edit mode and put the words and chords where they are in the books.

I'm have OnSong, too, but have been stymied as to the "best/easiest" way to get all those songs typed up with chords. Do you do it on your computer in a non-proportional font (say, Courier), save in a text format and then import that into OnSong? Or do you do it all on your iPad (with a bluetooth keyboard for ease)?

Stackabones
02-19-2013, 06:24 AM
I think Beloff has arranged most of the tunes to be easy to play in the first five frets of the ukulele.

And for this reason, it is a great book to practice reading standard notation on the uke!

quiltingshirley
02-19-2013, 06:50 AM
"Getting songs into OnSong"
I sometimes just paste something from an internet search into Word and clean it up, then save as plain test on my PC. Then I put it in "Drop Box" and import into OnSong. It's easy to clean up the few things necessary and it can be read that way in OnSong. However, most of the time I just import in OnSong from the internet and preview the choices, import the closest and go into edit and cut, copy, paste, whatever it takes to get it right and save it. I do put on reading glasses (which I don't need to read) and use a stylus. I either put the page number and which book up at the top of add a post note thingie to the side of the page. Often you can get a pretty good scan and save as PDF but than you can't transpose. Hope that helps.

hibiscus
02-19-2013, 06:52 AM
I purchased them to learn my chords well and to play a new song each day. I can "whistle" much higher than I can sing, so I sometimes "whistle a happy tune".

icuker
02-19-2013, 07:46 AM
Thanks. Good to hear that it's not just us! I must have a pretty typical range because whenever I work up a song for the group I don't usually get complaints about the range. (Unless every one is being polite). I think, though, for uke club purposes, a good singing range would be more imprtant than easy keys. You can learn harder chords but it's harder to change your voice. And as for transposing, that is easy for me but to get the whole group to revoice the same list of songs before the next club meeting would be daunting in our group.

ralphk
02-20-2013, 02:47 AM
I think my group can pretty much handle a key change of one step on the fly (i.e, between F and G, G and A, C and D) if the chord changes are not too rapid but a change larger than that needs a pencil to mark up the book.

Tonya
02-20-2013, 07:12 AM
Transposing "on the fly" is a great skill to learn/teach but one step ("think one up" or "think one down") is the most the beginners in our group can handle without using fingers (the first way we teach it) or writing notes. Once they understand the concept (really rather challenging for folks who know *nothing* about music previously) the little transposing wheel is good because they can "set" it and keep it beside the open book, taking quick looks down to do the transposing of more than one step.

quiltingshirley
02-20-2013, 08:21 AM
I used to write the different keys that were often played in the book in pen or pencil but then it got too hard for us to follow which of the chords in which keys we were supposed to be in. (Old brains you know) What I do now is just take the 3 main chords of the key (I, IV, & V7 and play those along with the group and it usually works or if I can see someone's fingering it works even better. Thanks Jim DeVille.