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The Ukulele Thread
26 January 2016
9.27am
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Beatlebug
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There has been some discussion recently in various other threads, namely the Fiendish Thingies and Miscellaneous Questions about George threads, about that lovely little instrument known as the ukulele (or ukelele), much loved by a certain Mr Harrison and used by Sir Paul in the latter's live tributes to George. Well, this fascinating discussion was beginning to derail those threads, so I decided it was time to give the uke a thread of its own. 

In this thread we may share our uke adventures, post tutorialish things, ask questions, give tips and generally appreciate the fabulous ukulele. 

And finally, a word from our sponsor: 

HarrisonUkeNote.jpgImage Enlarger

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26 January 2016
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Yaaay.I have a bunch of reasons for getting and learning a ukulele, not all of them Beatles-related:

  • I'm old enough to remember Tiny Tim (he appears on a late Beatles Christmas Record playing Nowhere Man , so that's on the list), and ukuleles have thus floated through my brain but until now I hadn't acted upon it.
  • Tonight You Belong To Me, which, if you've ever seen Steve Martin's The Jerk, is a stunning aside in a very funny movie, and of course features Steve on a ukulele. This song won't leave me alone, and I have to play it. According to this it's actually tuned down for the song, but the pdf is the best version I can find.
  • There was an obscure Australian jazz guy called Graeme Bell who used to bring his jazz band to schools in the 70's and play dixie at them, and also perform for the grownups later on, and this indeed happened to me at school and my dad who's a jazz fan went to see him and brought back this album which is now impossible to find. I've grown up remembering songs from that album, the best memory is of Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None Of My Jelly Roll by Clarence Williams and it's a perfect uke song, as is most dixie. So that's also a priority! There are heaps of versions of this song, if you know your chord progressions, it's a doddle.

There's a lot of Beatles/solo Beatles uke tab out there too, for instance this page has tons of them.

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I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.  This has been true for 2016 & 2017 Sig-Badge.png but I may have to get more specific in the future.

26 January 2016
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I don't particularly like Something .........

But it's the first song I taught my son to play on a Uke. Fits the song so well.

........I'm with George on this. Uke's aren't pretentious.

I've bought Ukes for half a doz people. Even got one for my 80 yr old mum before she died. I've got it back now. 

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26 January 2016
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Tom Petty quoted from "George Harrison : Living In The Material World":

"He came in with two ukuleles and gave me one. 'You gotta play this thing, it's great! Let's jam.' I have no idea how to play a ukulele. 'Oh, it's no problem, I'll show you.' So we spent the rest of the day playing ukuleles, strolling around the yard. My wrist hurt the next day. But he taught me how to play it, and a lot of the chord formations. When he was going I walked out to the car and he said, 'Well, wait... I want to leave some ukuleles here.' He'd already given me one, so I said, 'Well, I've got this.' 'No, we may need more!' He opened his trunk and he had a lot of ukulele in there, and I think he left four at my house. He said, 'Well, you never know when we might need them, because not everybody carries one around.'" a-hard-days-night-george-3

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26 January 2016
6.23pm
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I want to get a uke-ing lesson from George beatlemaniacs_02_gif 

Seems like you couldn't hang around George without picking up ukulele. I guess it was inevitable that I'd pick it up meself, considering how much I (vicariously) hang out with George. a-hard-days-night-paul-7 

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28 January 2016
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That's such a great George quote haha "we may need more!". I'm already considering more ukes, but there's a good reason: tuning. There are four standard tunings for the uke (not counting the baritone uke which is tuned like a guitar), so depending on what you need, it makes sense to have a uke tuned in one of them. I'm going to stick with a standard tuned uke for now, but I may get a 2nd uke and use the dropped-G tunng on that.

George had such enthusiasm for things and couldn't wait to share them with his friends. Here's another uke site (in Glastonbury!), which has helpful audio files along with them, and an even better (in F) version of You Belong To Me, as well as a bunch of good songs to practice on.

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I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.  This has been true for 2016 & 2017 Sig-Badge.png but I may have to get more specific in the future.

28 January 2016
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I mixed together two of George Harrison 's musical signatures: ukulele and slide guitar.

It sounded pretty cool! a-hard-days-night-john-6

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28 January 2016
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pepperland said
I mixed together two of George Harrison 's musical signatures: ukulele and slide guitar.

It sounded pretty cool! a-hard-days-night-john-6

TELL ME MORE 

How? Where? What? When? 

Also, as this is the appropriate thread, I feel I ought to share this (be not fooled by the title, it is appropriate): 

 

Grip with yer bum! 

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28 January 2016
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At home today, I placed a metal slide on my pinkie finger and picked up a ukulele and played some notes using the slide technique. I recorded some messing about that I did with it but I've already misplaced the file on me laptop. ahdn_paul_01

Is slide ukulele a thing?

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28 January 2016
1.44pm
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pepperland said
Is slide ukulele a thing?

I don't see why not, funny you say so because I was thinking of doing just that to see how it sounds. Also, banjolele's are definitely a thing, very Formby. They're not cheap though, particularly not in kangaroo dollars 🙁

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I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.  This has been true for 2016 & 2017 Sig-Badge.png but I may have to get more specific in the future.

28 January 2016
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pepperland wondered innocently 

Is slide ukulele a thing?

It is now. a-hard-days-night-john-1 

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30 January 2016
7.36am
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So of course I've been looking at nothing but ukuleles online, and I decided to find out what ukes were played by Macca and Joe Brown in the Concert For George. Paul's was a gift from George and a mighty mighty gift. It's a 1920's Gibson tenor uke, here's a description of a similar one. I'd be terrified to even pick one up!

Joe Brown's is of course a soprano uke and probably of similar vintage given the style of headstock, but I can't make out the brand and searching the internet is hopeless, you will either just find Concert for George refs or his own signature brand. So any ideas?

I'm thinking of getting a tenor at some point, I quite like the way they sound (NOT just Paul's! I've been listening to a few audio grabs).

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I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.  This has been true for 2016 & 2017 Sig-Badge.png but I may have to get more specific in the future.

30 January 2016
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Thanks for all the ukulele facts @ewe2. I'm seriously thinking about taking it up and your knowledge is helping me to do some proper research before I purchase apple01 

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30 January 2016
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There are an amazing amount of resources for ukes wherever you live, I keep finding new Australian ones, and have a couple of good sites for when I'm ready for the 2nd uke! Apparently acacia is a terrific substitute for koa and there's a couple of local distributors for the Pili Koko brand, which I'm fairly settled on as a good one for a tenor.

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I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.  This has been true for 2016 & 2017 Sig-Badge.png but I may have to get more specific in the future.

30 January 2016
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sigh butterfly said
Thanks for all the ukulele facts ewe2. I'm seriously thinking about taking it up and your knowledge is helping me to do some proper research before I purchase apple01 

DO IT ahdn_george_08 

By order of Mr Harrison  

george_87_glare.jpgImage Enlarger

Silly Mum thought I should get an electric guitar before I get a uke, but when I mentioned to her how.. em... inexpensive they can be, she was favourably impressed. We'll see. Either way, I highly encourage you to take it up, as what with the Internets and the fabulous resources we've got nowadays it's easy-peasy to learn anything and you'll be happily strumming in no time! 

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31 January 2016
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Sally the Ukelele update: Sally is on her way! Should get to Melbourne by tomorrow morning and me by midday hopefully!

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I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.  This has been true for 2016 & 2017 Sig-Badge.png but I may have to get more specific in the future.

1 February 2016
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ewe2 said
Sally the Ukelele update: Sally is on her way! Should get to Melbourne by tomorrow morning and me by midday hopefully!

Is Sally long and tall?

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1 February 2016
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meanmistermustard said
Is Sally long and tall?

No, she's short and sweet, and has Sally drawn on her and a bunch of flowers! I got an Aquila Red low-G string today so I can try low-G tuning which might sound interesting on a soprano uke, especially for non-jazz/standard/dixie kinds of songs.

Also, I got the Graeme Bell thing wrong. Turns out it was a guy called Ray Price and he put out a record called Jazz Party No 1 and that's the album my dad has. Of course Price and half his Quintet played in bands with Bell anyway so no wonder I mixed them up, Dad has Graeme Bell records too. I could buy an LP on ebay but I don't have a turntable and I'd prefer a digitized copy anyway. I've been corresponding with a nice old jazz guy in the UK and he sent me several arrangements of Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None Of My Jelly Roll and there are verses that I've not only never heard, but I can't find any version that uses them!

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I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.  This has been true for 2016 & 2017 Sig-Badge.png but I may have to get more specific in the future.

1 February 2016
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Nice to see the uke love here. I've been playing since 2009 and have two - a Kala KA-S soprano (my first) and a Vox ukelectric (concert) that looks like this:

Image Enlarger

It feels solid, like a little electric guitar, which I like. The on-board speaker is scratchy and low-fi, but put it through an amp and the sustain is great - really good fun!

I'm now planning to get a sopranino uke (smaller than a soprano) from a guy local to me who makes very highly-regarded ukes.

You may have heard of UAS - ukulele acquisition syndrome. It's very real.

I'll just leave this here. The guy initially put out a pdf of all the songs, but took it down very quickly. I grabbed it and have a printout, but I don't think I have the file anymore. The individual songs are on that site though.

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1 February 2016
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Wow @Joe, that's different, cool shape too! I didn't think it was possible to get a smaller uke! I think I already have UAS, which is going to be difficult to resist when I have to buy a synth as well.

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I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.  This has been true for 2016 & 2017 Sig-Badge.png but I may have to get more specific in the future.

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