I Love Classical Ukulele Website

Sammu

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Fans of classical ukulele might be interested in a new website I've just launched called I Love Classical Ukulele. The aim is to create a showcase of classical ukulele players with links to their websites and social media. It will, I hope, provide a database of classical ukulele arrangements, books & CD's. There is also a resource page with downloadable tutorials about scales, decoding the fingerboard, how to read tab etc. I'll be building on this material so if you would like to stay updated than you can subscribe (for free) to receive notifications. I'll also be starting a blog with interviews, articles on topics such as tone production and technique, and general thoughts on life (only joking)!

When I started playing classical ukulele I found it difficult to locate material so I hope this website will be a hub for all things classical ukulele.

So far I've only focused on artists who specialise in classical ukulele but I realise that many players, such as Jake Shimabukuro and James Hill, have a 'classical side' so I will be exploring this later.

Please note: This site is an ongoing project and I'm open to any suggestions you might have for ways I can improve this site.

Thanks!

Sam

https://iloveclassicalukulele.com
 

gilles T

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Dear Ms Muir,

Good luck and best wishes for your ongoing project; I will follow it with great interest. I guess we are many to consider your work as one of the most inspirational in the uke planet, because you have an in-depth understanding of the music as an art and a craft : you know better than others what "works" on an uke and your transcriptions always respect carefully the composers intentions. Your e-book "the beauty of uke" made me love and understand better the romantic guitar pieces I was not very fond of, considering them less challenging and complex than renaissance and baroque pieces. And I must thank you for helping me to come to terms with this misconception.
If you allow me to make a wish, I would love to see what you would make of Sor's study 17 op. 35, one of most exquisite which I didn't find any transcription for the uke. But any news from you will be most welcome.
All the best,
Gilles
 

Croaky Keith

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Sounds like a good idea, there isn't a lot of instrumentals on here, & even less classical. :)
 

actadh

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Thank you. This is much needed, and much appreciated.
 

Graham Greenbag

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I think that this is great news and look forward to hearing of updates. Just love that classical music use of the Uke.
 

ripock

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I'm open to any suggestions you might have for ways I can improve this site.

Thanks!

Sam

https://iloveclassicalukulele.com

Here's my suggestion. When you have an idea like "classical ukulele" there are two components: 1. classical music and 2. ukulele. Most of the effort is levied to bridge the gap to classical music from the realm of ukulele. However, there isn't much effort going the other way: to bridge the gap coming from classical music and going to the ukulele. So maybe you could have some resources to reduce the culture shock of coming from classical music to the ukulele. For example (I know this is irrational and totally my problem but), I feel a bit insulted when presented with tabs. The way I see it is I have taken the 30 seconds and learned how to read music, and I have been doing it since the 80's; therefore just give the sheet music without telling me where to put my fingers. So, I guess things that would appeal to me would be tips on what music lends itself to the ukulele transition, tips on transposing, tips on how to overcome the limitations of only having two octaves, tips on ornamentation (I can physically play the notes in Sainte Colombe's Allemande in G minor on a uke, but how do I play them better? trills? dynamics? etc).

It is very possible that I am the freak and no one else cares about this...but I thought I would throw it out there for your consideration.
 

Chopped Liver

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ohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboy!!!!!!!!!!

:smileybounce::smileybounce:
 

cyber3d

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How awesome is that! I signed up for your blog. Looking forwards to fun things.
 

UkeStuff

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...I feel a bit insulted when presented with tabs. The way I see it is I have taken the 30 seconds and learned how to read music, and I have been doing it since the 80's; therefore just give the sheet music without telling me where to put my fingers.

This is why I love tab that shows both tab and traditional notation, along with all of the other diacritical markings in the music.
 

Croaky Keith

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I agree, both notation & tab would benefit the majority, but especially people new to playing the uke.

I only have one book of classical, the (Hal Leonard) 'Classical Themes for Fingerstyle Ukulele', & am trying to learn a couple of tunes from it, along with everything else I'm trying to do, so any pointers for us self taught bedroom musicians would be nice to have.
 

Sammu

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Dear Gilles,

Many thanks for your kind words and support. I'm also pleased you like "The Beauty of Uke" music book. It's an interesting idea to try Sor's etude no.17 op.35. Might just have a go at that tomorrow...

Best wishes,

Sam :)
 

Sammu

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Here's my suggestion. When you have an idea like "classical ukulele" there are two components: 1. classical music and 2. ukulele. Most of the effort is levied to bridge the gap to classical music from the realm of ukulele. However, there isn't much effort going the other way: to bridge the gap coming from classical music and going to the ukulele. So maybe you could have some resources to reduce the culture shock of coming from classical music to the ukulele. For example (I know this is irrational and totally my problem but), I feel a bit insulted when presented with tabs. The way I see it is I have taken the 30 seconds and learned how to read music, and I have been doing it since the 80's; therefore just give the sheet music without telling me where to put my fingers. So, I guess things that would appeal to me would be tips on what music lends itself to the ukulele transition, tips on transposing, tips on how to overcome the limitations of only having two octaves, tips on ornamentation (I can physically play the notes in Sainte Colombe's Allemande in G minor on a uke, but how do I play them better? trills? dynamics? etc).

It is very possible that I am the freak and no one else cares about this...but I thought I would throw it out there for your consideration.

Ok, there are some really suggestions here! I also like your curiosity about going deeper into the workings of the music and the instrument and I certainly will endeavour to answer some of your questions....it may take while but I've made notes of the things that appeal to you. Thanks! :)
 

Sammu

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Choirguy: I'm also a fan of having both tab and notation. Tab is an age old system for notating music. I love playing from lute tab - both on guitar and ukulele. :)
 

Sammu

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I agree, both notation & tab would benefit the majority, but especially people new to playing the uke.

Tab is more immediate and accessible than notation. It's also the most logical way to present pieces in campanela style. If you notate a campanela piece and then add in all the fingering the score becomes overcomplicated (a nightmare actually!). So, tab has an important place. My scores are mostly in tab and notation so people have a choice. i.e. Notation above and tab below. Using both systems may be of help people who are interested in learning how to read music but don't want to get too bogged down with it.

Whether you read tab or notation one of the most important things, for me, is understanding the fingerboard. There is a tutorial on the I Love Classical Ukulele website on the resources page called Decoding the Fingerboard. If you only read tab then the fingerboard can be reduced to a lot of meaningless numbers so it's worth spending some time learning the names of the notes on the fingerboard. For example: A is open 1st string but can also be located at the 5th fret on the E string, the 9th fret on the C string and the 2nd fret on the G string. I think that is worth knowing, especially if you are interested in arranging, composing and/or improvising. If you are teaching then I would say it is essential knowledge. It can also help with moving chords around the fingerboard.

https://iloveclassicalukulele.com/resources/

Having said all that: for people who are new to the ukulele then slowly, slowly, one step at a time. There is no need to beat yourself up because you don't read music, or you don't know the notes on the fingerboard. Learning is a gradual process. Set yourself small goals. The important thing is that you are doing it! And having fun!

Sam :)
 

ripock

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Ok, there are some really suggestions here! I also like your curiosity about going deeper into the workings of the music and the instrument and I certainly will endeavour to answer some of your questions....it may take while but I've made notes of the things that appeal to you. Thanks! :)

Thank you very much. After reflecting a few more days, I have one more suggestion. My main focus is in developing my own style rather than playing others' compositions. To that end, it would be invaluable if someone with your breadth of knowledge could draw our attention to the practices that classical authors utilize in order to sound classical.

In other words, even if I don't play a jazz standard, I know how to sound "jazzy." I would like to know what little things I could insert into my improvisation to sound a bit more classical. For example, are there very prominent intervals used, or progressions, or any other tendencies.

I know that what I'm asking is very idiosyncratic and it may be worth your time if no one else cares about this...however I am just suggesting it just in case. Thanks
 

ukatee

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Presumably you know how to sound jazzy because you have played and listened to a lot of jazz. If you want to improvise in a more classical style (which - Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Rachmaninov???) your best way would be to listen and play classical music. Just playing through Sam's Beauty of Uke book will teach you a lot of what you want to know. You may not like playing other's compositions but think of it as 'homework'.
 

ukatee

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Hi Sam

Thanks for the heads up on your new website. I love classical music and have now subscribed and downloaded your Beauty of Uke book - really enjoying it!
 

Sammu

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Hi Sam

Thanks for the heads up on your new website. I love classical music and have now subscribed and downloaded your Beauty of Uke book - really enjoying it!

Thank you! Hope you enjoy the Beauty of Uke book!

Best wishes,

Sam
 

Graham Greenbag

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I think that Bill's concept above is interesting and worthy but I wonder (guenuine question) whether it will take away from Sam's intent? Where is the boundary between classic and classical? If the addition of voice is thought to have merit then are there older pieces that have a suitable sung part and if so are they purely of the famous or should anon be included? Again I just don't know but wonder.

It's maybe not possible to include all things of merit but perhaps that could, to some extent at least, be got around by providing links to other web sites with overlapping or complementary content? Where no website is know then just a recognition of the area and a request for links might be useful. Just a suggestion that might possibly be helpful.
 
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