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Below are the 9 most recent journal entries recorded in GCEA's LiveJournal:

Thursday, May 5th, 2005
9:32 am
I've been taking ukulele lessons at the Halifax Folklore Centre for a few weeks now, and thought I'd hold off on talking about each one in a seperate entry and chronicle the "whole thing" here in this one :) At first things looked rather dire; I'm a creature of habit, and the first thing that MM did was tune my ukulele the "other" way; I now play in the key of D because thanks to Chalmer Doane's ukulele cirriculum from long ago, that's the way all of Halifax plays. It took me a little while to get adjusted, but I'm doing a lot better. I know a handful of chords, a bunch of different strum patterns, and am working on some songs :) This week, I'm working on "Somewhere my Love" (a leftover from last week I haven't mastered), "Ob-la-di Ob-la-da", "Your Cheatin' Heart", and "House of the Rising Sun". He's also given me picking-type exercises to do.

So, lessons go well; I like MM well enough, he's very versatile (plays a variety of instruments in a variety of different styles), and we feel similarily about pop music (TOO MUCH HIPHOP!). All is well in ukulele-land.

Also, I have a second uke comming my way! I think it's mostly going to be a decorative item, as it's tiny, but it's really cute: ta-da! Who knows, maybe with new strings, it'll play well enough to dick around with. I think it's smaller than the one I already play, though.

Current Mood: accomplished
Monday, February 7th, 2005
7:13 pm
International Ukulele Ceilidh in Nova Scotia?

Man, I hope that's real. I'd love to see J. Chalmers Doane and James Hill (not to mention play with a Risa uke stick IRL!)

Current Mood: bouncy
Thursday, February 3rd, 2005
1:36 pm



Guess who's gonna put "The Ballad of Gilligan's Island" into her ukulele repetoire!!!

Current Mood: anxious
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005
11:19 pm
1: My Dog Has Fleas is getting overhauled for credit.
2: This means new stuff! There aren't html files for them yet, but here we go:
"Time of your Life" by Green Day (and here's the tablature I followed)
Just some twanging.

I can't tell if I'm getting better. Said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm at a point where I need professional help.

I can't find my felt pick :*(

Current Mood: accomplished
Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004
2:36 pm
The quest for Ukulele Christmas songs
I printed a bunch of Christmas songs to learn (it's going to be an awfully Hawaiian-sounding Xmas in the harbour!) and came across "Stacey's Mom" by Fountains of Wayne. Can this holiday season become any more perfect? Probably not.


When I got home and sat down to strum on my uke, I realized it was covered in sticky-ness from when cairde_luis lovely little girl wanted to strum. Easily removed with moist paper towel :)

Current Mood: cheerful
Thursday, November 4th, 2004
8:40 pm
So, the Flaming Ukulele Radio Hour RoXorZ my SoXorZ. Listen to the 4th episode, 9th minute-ish or so, there's a great Outkast bit there :)

Seriously, I think listening to "real" ukulele music will help me figure out what I'm working towards. Everything I play ends up having a very similar rythm and/or tempo, just because I'm still rather musically inept.

Also, considering getting a "Capo" (link); wonder if it's a good DIY-type project?

Current Mood: lazy
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004
12:26 am
Well, I haven't really learned much new at the ukulele, but I have been working on mastering Avril Lavigne's "Complicated" after a long time of non-ukulele playing. I almost have it all down, except for a stretch in the chorus that doesn't make any sense when I try to play it. The part where she sings "You fall and you crawl/and you break and you take what you get/and you turn it into honestly, you promised me/I'm never gonna find you fake it/No no no". That part just doesn't make any sense to me at all. I just blast through that.

I think knitting is improving my finger dexterity!

I also found something really useful, that might incidentally be interesting to ashflower: the "Beatlesite"!

It's a "strum-along" for ukulele players with Beatles songs. I was stuck in a rut where I found it hard to play ukulele, because I couldn't figure out what I was working towards. I think this might be helpful until I get a better ear for music. It's sort of fun to play with, and even if you don't play ukulele, you might dig it.

Current Mood: productive
Wednesday, September 8th, 2004
12:12 am
I've been on a fairly hardcore ukulele kick in the past little while. I was away all labor day weekend, and wish I would've brought good ol' Yuki with me. But anyhoo.

I've been trying to learn some tablature that I printed up late last school year and pretty much ignored over the summer because at the time, it was way more advanced than I was.

The first was Avril Lavigne's "Complicated". Click here to learn some general (non-uke) information about this songCollapse ) I feel I've made some progress in playing this tune; however, every time I play it for my room mate kaalyynn, she tells me that it sounds more like a track from the "Kill Bill Vol. 1" Soundtrack (apparently, they have the same chord progression), so that got pretty frustrating pretty quickly. I've put it on the back burner in the meantime. Even singing the song doesn't convince her that it's actually Avril Lavigne. Boo-urns, kaalyynn. For those interested, I got the tablature from the website Ukulele Boogaloo: http://www.alligatorboogaloo.com/uke/tabs/021220.html

The second is "Man of Constant Sorrow" from the motion picture "O Brother Where Art Thou?". Click here to learn some general (non-uke) information about this songCollapse ) This is going a little better for me, as it's chords that I'd already familiarized myself with thanks to "Complicated", only less of them. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what my strumming should be like. For me, that's the hardest part of these zany stringed instruments. I'd only started playing this song tonight, so I'm not quite ready to play it for anybody, but in a few days or a week or so, I should be feeling a little more confident. The tablature for this song is available from the folks at good ol' ezfolk, which I've found to be a good resource: http://www.ezfolk.com/uke/songs/man_of_cs/man_of_cs.html

In other news, I recently-ish bought a felt pick to save my fingers a little bit from uke practice.

I hate the felt pick. Picks are evil, and I've not yet developed any madd pick skillz.

Current Mood: tired
Thursday, September 2nd, 2004
8:26 pm
Ukulele books I own
I'm not currently using all of them, though I plan to eventually.

  • EZ Method for Ukulele and Tiple. Kamiki, WM J. Smith Music Co., Inc. (note: this book is circa 1952 and more than likely no longer in print. Also, I've no idea what a Tiple is, but this book informs me that it's pronounced "tee-plee" [p. 2])
  • Sing and Strum: 7 Hawaiian Favorites for Ukulele</b>. Kimura, H. M. "Heeday", Mel Bay Publications, Inc. 2000.
  • Smith's 200 Songs for Ukulele. Author unknown, WM J. Smith Music Co., Inc. (note: this book is circa 1954 and more than likely no longer in print.)
  • Songs & Solos For Uke. Eidson, Ken & Ross Cherednik, Mel Bay Publications, Inc. 1984.
  • Teach Yourself To Play Ukulele. Manus, Morty & Ron Manus, Alfred Publishing Co.
  • Ukulele Chord Dictionary. Manus, Morton, Alfred Publishing Co.

    Right now, the most useful ones are the chord dictionary and Songs & Solos. Almost everything else is for ukes that're tuned ADF#B, and I don't tune that way; I'm GCEA. After I've mastered that, though, I might attempt the other way. The Sing and Strum is just too advanced for me right now, as I don't yet know those songs.

    Current Mood: accomplished
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