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  1. ElvishParsley

    Singing Sessions

    Couple of things I try for 3/4 songs: "Dot" the "down down-up down-up" rhythm: delay the ups to right before the next down, to make it sound brisker. Play a single note on the first beat of the bar, on either the C or G string. Like a brass band playing "Oom-pah-pah, oom-pah-pah...."
  2. ElvishParsley

    What I'm theorizing about today

    Yesterday I used the fact that I know which common chords belong in each key. I was able to transpose a song in D minor down to Bb minor on the soprano uke without really having to think about it.
  3. ElvishParsley

    The F7 Chord

    I often forget that F major is a nice key to play in on ukulele. A turnaround like "F F7 Bb Bbm F C7 F" would kill my hand on guitar! Both versions of F7 have their uses.
  4. ElvishParsley

    Why are people so afraid of Music Theory?

    The "tools" metaphor works very well! Sometimes you need the entire contents of your workshop for a project. Other times you go, "OK, maybe I don't need my laser-guided CNC router to fold paper cranes." I played bass in a punk band around the same time I was getting to grips with Classical...
  5. ElvishParsley

    Is there an alternate to Bm 5224? I just can't bend my fingers enough for this voicing.

    I also play 4222 most of the time. If I really need that high note on the 5th fret, the barre-ing first finger ends up in a different position to usual, crossing the strings at the joint nearest to the palm. That way the ring and little fingers can reach without dragging across the strings.
  6. ElvishParsley

    Harping Again

    I've heard of that tuning, but never encountered it! Heard it described as "country" tuning, mainly used in 2nd position as you say.
  7. ElvishParsley

    Learning Keys - Yeah, I'm slow

    That works very nicely for the natural minor! The problem I have is, lots of minor key music moves freely between the 3 different types of minor scale, which makes it tricky to come up with a similar chord table for it.
  8. ElvishParsley

    Learning Keys - Yeah, I'm slow

    I made this chart for all the major keys. You can probably ignore the last column! Obviously, not every song sticks to this list. Minor keys are harder... (It got a bit mangled while turning into an image.)
  9. ElvishParsley

    Ancient music 4 ukulele

    This looks interesting and potentially useful! Bit of an oddity that the easiest way to buy is eBook.
  10. ElvishParsley

    Your Travis Picking journey

    I use The Pick Sometimes Known as Travis all the time on baritone, but very rarely on re-entrant tuned ukes. My instinct is to play the C string on the beat, but I keep tripping up on it. I do often use a related pattern where the fingers play triplets on the top two strings. Don't know why, but...
  11. ElvishParsley

    Uke design pet peeves

    Friction-free friction pegs..... if you're going down that route, surely you'd make absolutely certain that the ------- things actually grip. A friend was trying to learn on a uke which was completely unusable for that reason.
  12. ElvishParsley

    Harping Again

    I've had the harp collection out lately, after getting into a couple of long conversations about harmonicas with my Dad over Skype. Been working on harmonica parts for a few baritone uke songs I wrote last year, and also getting to grips with negected or troublesome instruments. There's a Suzuki...
  13. ElvishParsley

    Can you sing two notes at once?

    I heard the Tuvan band Yat Kha when I was 20, and for a couple of years I'd wander around quietly singing overtones to myself. I don't think I was ever good enough to go up on stage and do it! Their lead singer, Albert Kuvezin, does a style where he sings in octaves with himself, but another...
  14. ElvishParsley

    Should we call May "Love Your Baritone" month?

    I often use a capo on the baritone, up to about the 4th fret. It sounds fine - still acceptably baritony. Mainly for when I like the uke part I've worked out for a song but it puts the vocals just slightly out of my lower range. The higher ukes sound ridiculously tinny with a capo on, so if I...
  15. ElvishParsley

    Why Ukulele?

    One of my friends got a bit obsessed with ukuleles for a while - she kept playing me recordings of uke-playing songwriters and videos of unlikely ukulele cover versions. Her enthusiasm was catching, so I ended up buying my first uke. I'd been playing nylon-string guitar for a few years so it...
  16. ElvishParsley

    Alternate tunings, is there a favorite for the tenor uke?

    A member of my old songwriters' group played in many alternative tunings (on guitar), pretty much a different one for every song. I wish I'd asked him how he learned to play in them. Mapping out the whole fretboard in each key? Just learning what he needed for each individual song? A more...
  17. ElvishParsley

    Alternate tunings, is there a favorite for the tenor uke?

    Yes, it has to be said that both on guitar and ukulele, when I've tried out open tunings it just left me with a new appreciation for how versatile the standard tuning is!
  18. ElvishParsley

    Alternate tunings, is there a favorite for the tenor uke?

    There are also various tunings for playing slide uke. You can tune the A string down to G to play all major chords; tune the A string up to B flat for all 7th chords, or even tune the C string up to C# for differently-voiced 7th chords. I experimented with the first one a bit for playing melody...
  19. ElvishParsley

    Why are people so afraid of Music Theory?

    I like the idea of your "project-based" approach. Theory feels far less abstract, confusing and pointless if while you're learning it you're actually using it to make music!
  20. ElvishParsley

    Why are people so afraid of Music Theory?

    I'm a massive music theory nerd, but I feel no need to sneer at anyone who isn't. I know people who are much better musicians than me but who have a level of theoretical knowledge that stops at "the names of simple chords", or "how to read the notes." And I know a singer-songwriter who does...
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