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Down Up Dick
04-29-2014, 09:53 AM
What's most important (interesting?) to you Ukers who like to sing: The song (music)? Or the Words? Or the accompaniment?

mikelz777
04-29-2014, 10:32 AM
For me the most important or interesting thing is the combination of the music and the accompaniment. The song should be fun to sing and the accompaniment should sound nice and complimentary. I don't like long stretches of a single chord being played, it should be changing up throughout the song. I don't think much of what I play would cut it or be very interesting if I weren't singing along. I've read posts about some ukers who play but do not sing. When I started thinking about it, I probably wouldn't even play the uke at all if I couldn't sing along. Even if I were a great player or finger picker, it wouldn't be the same if I couldn't/didn't sing along. As far as words go, I don't think I sing any songs for the words or because they have some deep meaning though I have altered the lyrics to some songs to clean them up or make them a bit more PC but that has usually only been a line or a word or two.

bunnyf
04-29-2014, 08:01 PM
Though I don't sing well, I get a lot of enjoyment from singing and playing. Also, I would need to be a much better player if I didn't sing.

Down Up Dick
04-30-2014, 06:59 AM
Well, apparently not much interest in vocal music I guess. I play lots of instruments and whistle a lot, but I felt like singing too. I like folk and country/western.
Of course, the music carries the whole song, but if the words aren't as fitting and worthy, then the song doesn't work for me. I'm not talking about a fun song like Polly Wolly Dootle, but one with a message and some feeling. A lot of folk music doesn't make much sense and doesn't "string" together. I like the words to be like a good poem, but most ballads are too long and become boring after a while.
The Uke accompaniment holds the song together and adds fun and/or just rhythm to it. I really enjoy singing with my ukuleles. I wish my ukeing was smoother, but it's coming along

IamNoMan
10-29-2014, 05:30 PM
I guess the words are the most important thing to me. Expressing an idea, relating an event or experience, creating a parody on the fly for a bon mot effect, getting the audience to join in, in the experience. The music and rhythm is an important adjunct to create a mood or evoke a feeling. The accompaniment is useful to generate more excitement.

Upon reconsideration it is the singing as a whole that really appeals to me. I can sing acapella. I can sing gibberish, my musicianship has never really been top knotch. Really though I sing everywhere, anytime, in a group or in solitude. It gives me joy to sing.

pritch
10-30-2014, 12:01 AM
For me, however appealing the tune, the words have to be a fit. At my age playing "Good Morning Little School Girl" would hardly seem appropriate. On the other hand Delbert McClinton's "Been Around A Long time" could be a good fit.

KaraUkey
10-30-2014, 12:10 AM
Yep. I'd agree the words have to fit or conjure up some emotion, or are just good fun to sing. There are plenty of songs with good strong lyrics and music. Nowadays I pick most of the songs from a "people singing and playing along" point of view because I do them with my group. I leave out songs that I think may offend, even if they were big hits or are good to sing.

CeeJay
10-30-2014, 01:10 AM
For me, however appealing the tune, the words have to be a fit. At my age playing "Good Morning Little School Girl" would hardly seem appropriate. On the other hand Delbert McClinton's "Been Around A Long time" could be a good fit.

Fair point ...same as watching or listening.....I love to watch Katzenjammer....but it sometimes feels a bit ...off?

Down Up Dick
04-29-2015, 01:49 PM
I mostly like to sing (when I do) folk music, but lots of the words in the songs are pretty hokey. I like lyrics to be like poetry where one stanza follows another 'til the song is done. Sometime the stanzas don't relate to each other at all.
I really don't like to sing ballads; they go on and on and on.

I find it difficult to get a song all together. I usually know the tune and the chords aren't always bad. Then the words . . . :old:

Icelander53
04-29-2015, 02:14 PM
What's most important (interesting?) to you Ukers who like to sing: The song (music)? Or the Words? Or the accompaniment?

The words then the music. Hey DUD take those sappy songs and make up different lyrics for them. I do it and it's really fun and you can come up with some great stuff. I can't put music to words but I do seem to be able to put words to music.

Down Up Dick
04-30-2015, 03:04 AM
The words then the music. Hey DUD take those sappy songs and make up different lyrics for them. I do it and it's really fun and you can come up with some great stuff. I can't put music to words but I do seem to be able to put words to music.

Ha! I do that a lot when I forget the correct words and when I get tired of trying to learn the darned things. :old:

Down Up Dick
04-30-2015, 07:51 AM
I like to learn the words first, then the lyrics.

What? The lyrics ARE the words! :old:

Rllink
05-05-2015, 03:49 AM
I think that to be the complete package one should at least try to sing. Most people who I see playing uke, or guitars for that matter, who don't sing, have to be pretty darned good to be interesting. I mean dazzlingly good. Otherwise, it can get boring sometimes. But one does not really have to be a great singer to pull off a good song. I mean, I've seen some really famous entertainers who are not particularly good singers. I listened to a guy busking at the market on Saturday, and his singing was not that great. But there was just something about the way he was singing, and playing his guitar, and the way he was moving to the music, and he was mesmerizing. He had a passion that could be felt. I've come to the realization that you don't have to be great, to be great. It is all about the whole package.

Rllink
05-05-2015, 04:02 AM
I mostly like to sing (when I do) folk music, but lots of the words in the songs are pretty hokey. I like lyrics to be like poetry where one stanza follows another 'til the song is done. Sometime the stanzas don't relate to each other at all.
I really don't like to sing ballads; they go on and on and on.

I find it difficult to get a song all together. I usually know the tune and the chords aren't always bad. Then the words . . . :old:
Yes, one of my favorite songs, A Horse With No Name. Dm and Am7. Just back and forth, back and forth. If you have a range of three notes, you can sing it. But the lyrics are so goofy, "in the desert you can remember your name, cause there ain't no one to give you no pain". How do you sing something like that in front of other people? Dumb question I guess, because I sang it three times for my voice coach last week.

turtledrum
05-05-2015, 05:27 AM
I sing what I can play. That has opened me up to the beauty of songs I otherwise might not have tried.
Because I have a limited vocal range, I tend to try to play what I think I can sing. A beautiful circle.

I go with all those here who've noted that the outcome is often far greater than the sum of its parts.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
05-05-2015, 05:30 AM
I like the songs of my parents' era (30's, 40's 50's mostly). I was in High School in the early to mid-60's,
then went off to Bible School with lots of Hymns! :)

I have a reputation in the song circles that know me of being one who has a big 'hole' in my music recognition.
I really don't know many Beatle's songs, couldn't identify Dylan or any other singer/groups I don't know. (sorry)
I did have a Peter, Paul & Mary LP, grew up listening to Annie Get Your Gun and Oklahoma!

For me it's the sentiment of a song (combo of music and lyrics), mostly romantic (Nevertheless, The Nearness of You,
Moonlight Becomes You, Amapola, Slow Boat to China, etc. I like songs with interesting chord progressions (Dr Uke's
Old Cape Cod, Puttin' on the Ritz, Misty - Dr Uke has great chording! ).

There are songs I really enjoy playing... but I do give a 'disclaimer' before I begin (I Feel Pretty!, I Enjoy Being a Girl)!

RE: adjusting lyrics to some songs... we recently provided an alternative to Folsom Prison's (I shot a man in Reno, just
to watch him die... to I pinched a man in Reno, just to watch him cry - when I hear that whistle blowin', I hang my head
and sigh)... just for fun. We (STRUM - Seattle's Totally Relaxed Ukulele Musicians) also adjusted Jumbalaya's (swap my
mon' to buy Yvonne what she need-o... to swap my mon' to buy Yvonne a brand new Speedo! :)

getting back to the original question - again, for me, it's the sentiment of the song. If it doesn't make sense to me, I choose
not to sing/play it. Sorry folks, but being a Tee-Totaler (non-drinker) I play along but don't sing Margaritaville.

If I can't get 'into' a song, I pass. I don't encourage others NOT to play, sing, or enjoy the song, I simply refrain and wait
for one I can really get into :)

Some songs seem to be particularly solo/performer-oriented and not best for song circle singing... Oh well....

just some of my thoughts :)

keep uke'in',

Down Up Dick
05-05-2015, 05:55 AM
I like the songs of my parents' era (30's, 40's 50's mostly). I was in High School in the early to mid-60's,
then went off to Bible School with lots of Hymns! :)

I have a reputation in the song circles that know me of being one who has a big 'hole' in my music recognition.
I really don't know many Beatle's songs, couldn't identify Dylan or any other singer/groups I don't know. (sorry)
I did have a Peter, Paul & Mary LP, grew up listening to Annie Get Your Gun and Oklahoma!

For me it's the sentiment of a song (combo of music and lyrics), mostly romantic (Nevertheless, The Nearness of You,
Moonlight Becomes You, Amapola, Slow Boat to China, etc. I like songs with interesting chord progressions (Dr Uke's
Old Cape Cod, Puttin' on the Ritz, Misty - Dr Uke has great chording! ).

There are songs I really enjoy playing... but I do give a 'disclaimer' before I begin (I Feel Pretty!, I Enjoy Being a Girl)!

RE: adjusting lyrics to some songs... we recently provided an alternative to Folsom Prison's (I shot a man in Reno, just
to watch him die... to I pinched a man in Reno, just to watch him cry - when I hear that whistle blowin', I hang my head
and sigh)... just for fun. We (STRUM - Seattle's Totally Relaxed Ukulele Musicians) also adjusted Jumbalaya's (swap my
mon' to buy Yvonne what she need-o... to swap my mon' to buy Yvonne a brand new Speedo! :)

getting back to the original question - again, for me, it's the sentiment of the song. If it doesn't make sense to me, I choose
not to sing/play it. Sorry folks, but being a Tee-Totaler (non-drinker) I play along but don't sing Margaritaville.

If I can't get 'into' a song, I pass. I don't encourage others NOT to play, sing, or enjoy the song, I simply refrain and wait
for one I can really get into :)

Some songs seem to be particularly solo/performer-oriented and not best for song circle singing... Oh well....

just some of my thoughts :)

keep uke'in',

I like your post and agree with it. Singing those old songs is a lot fun and brings back lots of memories. Check into the new group that I started; you might enjoy it.

One way for an old guy to remain a little bit young is to sing, sing, sing . . .

Rllink
05-05-2015, 08:07 AM
I like the songs of my parents' era (30's, 40's 50's mostly). I was in High School in the early to mid-60's,
then went off to Bible School with lots of Hymns! :)

I have a reputation in the song circles that know me of being one who has a big 'hole' in my music recognition.
I really don't know many Beatle's songs, couldn't identify Dylan or any other singer/groups I don't know. (sorry)
I did have a Peter, Paul & Mary LP, grew up listening to Annie Get Your Gun and Oklahoma!

For me it's the sentiment of a song (combo of music and lyrics), mostly romantic (Nevertheless, The Nearness of You,
Moonlight Becomes You, Amapola, Slow Boat to China, etc. I like songs with interesting chord progressions (Dr Uke's
Old Cape Cod, Puttin' on the Ritz, Misty - Dr Uke has great chording! ).

There are songs I really enjoy playing... but I do give a 'disclaimer' before I begin (I Feel Pretty!, I Enjoy Being a Girl)!

RE: adjusting lyrics to some songs... we recently provided an alternative to Folsom Prison's (I shot a man in Reno, just
to watch him die... to I pinched a man in Reno, just to watch him cry - when I hear that whistle blowin', I hang my head
and sigh)... just for fun. We (STRUM - Seattle's Totally Relaxed Ukulele Musicians) also adjusted Jumbalaya's (swap my
mon' to buy Yvonne what she need-o... to swap my mon' to buy Yvonne a brand new Speedo! :)

getting back to the original question - again, for me, it's the sentiment of the song. If it doesn't make sense to me, I choose
not to sing/play it. Sorry folks, but being a Tee-Totaler (non-drinker) I play along but don't sing Margaritaville.

If I can't get 'into' a song, I pass. I don't encourage others NOT to play, sing, or enjoy the song, I simply refrain and wait
for one I can really get into :)

Some songs seem to be particularly solo/performer-oriented and not best for song circle singing... Oh well....

just some of my thoughts :)

keep uke'in',What can I say Uncle Rod? You are the one who gave me my start. Your opinion is gospel. I might say though, that I am not a tea totaler. In fact, I am anything but. Margaritaville is at the top of my list. It is the very first song I learned when I ventured out from Ukulele Bootcamp. I don't know how you feel about it, but you launched me on the course to learn enough drinking songs to get me through an hour or so of playing and singing.

I printed out "Don't Worry, be Happy", and someone had changed "ain't got no cash, ain't got no style, ain't got no gal to make me smile", to something about having style and playing the ukulele, which throws me off if I happen to have the music in front of me. But I have that one committed to memory, so I am good with no style.

k0k0peli
05-09-2015, 02:08 AM
I was a busker long ago, in pre-uke days. Just me and my voice, my guitar and a donation basket, and people walking by. I played and sang songs (pop, rock, folk, blues, hints of jazz and classical) that (hopefully) affected people enough that they'd throw me some cash. I was young and extremely foolish then, but I managed to put together a usable mix of voice, lyrics, and guitar work.

Could I do that again, now, 40 years later? I think I'm capable musically and physically -- but not emotionally. Much of what I sang then expresses sentiments and attitudes I no longer share and even find distasteful. And too many songs now are tied to painful memories, of love lost, friends lost, chances lost. I may tear-up just thinking of those tunes.

What makes a song singable for me?

# The words can't be too maudlin or embarrassing. I'll change lyrics (including my own) if they seem inappropriate. ('Meaningful' is something else -- dumb lyrics can work if they're shouted right, heh heh.) It helps if I can remember all the lyrics, of course.

# The melody (which must be interesting) has to fit in my aging vocal range, of course. I still have about 1.5 octaves but they've gone south about a third, which means changing keys / tunings / instruments. Sometimes I'll shift to a lower harmony.

# I must feel competent in my accompaniment -- KNOW the chords and riffs required. Or be able to fake it well enough, yes? My new Kala 6-string tenor requires very different fingering than my usual sopranos and guitars. It'll take awhile to develop the right song list for it.

# Desire. I must *want* to sing and play the song at a particular time and place. I'll only sing PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON now to my grandkids because they're dragon junkies this year. But I may blow chromatic harmonica in public whenever I'm bored, like waiting for my wife trying on clothes.

Put those together. I have to sound good with the song; and it can't hurt or disgust me (or others) too much; and it feels good and even necessary. And I have to be able to remember it. (Or at least have a good cheat sheet.)

Down Up Dick
09-09-2015, 10:54 AM
I have lots of trouble memorizing stuff, and I'm an avid (and pretty good) whistler. So I whistle or hum a lot of songs, and I really enjoy that. I can ignore bad or silly or unremembered lyrics and still enjoy doing a song.

There's more than one way to enjoy music. :old:

peewee
09-11-2015, 08:18 AM
Performing a song is like acting, really. It's fun for me to sing songs that don't really fit my real life persona, like trying on a character.

One Man And His Uke
10-10-2015, 10:09 AM
I would rather watch someone play AND sing rather than just play, no matter how good they are. I'm always finding a new song to sing, often by accident;working on one song, I'll start messing around and think, hmmmm, that sounds like such and such, and the next thing I know I've got another song in my repertoire. I do write songs, but its a painful slow process for me, and while there are so many wondeful songs already written, and while I get so much enjoyment from singing the great songs others have written, I don't sweat it. I don't gravitate towards one particular type of song; its a much fun for me to sing Accentuate The Positive as it is to sing I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor. Slow ones, fast ones, folky ones, standards. I do like to sing songs with a back story to them, but one which isn't completely revealed. Like Ruby Don't take your Love to Town. That song has fascinated me since I was little, and there's plenty of songs like that. Has to have a good melody though. Sometimes I'll hear a song which makes me sit up and listen, or just resonates with me for some reason, doesn't even have to be an obvious reason. I then either work it out by ear, or find a tab, or a combination of the two, and have a go at singing it. I might try different keys to see what works best with my vocal range. Sometimes it will soon be clear that its not working out, in which case I'll put it on the back burner and work on something else. :)