Sunday, July 13, 2008

How to play Holland, 1945 by Neutral Milk Hotel

Well, I'm back from a nice and baseball-y vacation across the east coast. Apologies for the lame weekly poll (it was about the best spots to sleep on vacation), but that was the big question on my mind when I got home. I had a great time, but it feels good to sleep in my own bed again---and to play some Neutral Milk Hotel on my uke again!

In that spirit, this video is on Holland, 1945, another great Neutral Milk Hotel song along with In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. It's a dang good album that was inspired by the diary of Anne Frank, and this song seems to be the only one directly talking about her (maybe? who knows).

In making this, I sought assistance from Woodshed at ukulelehunt.com to make sure the chords I had were all correct. His version, which--I have come to accept--is usually the correct version, is a bit more complicated than the one I originally found here. It adds in a few more chords in the last verse, and calls for some very quick chord changes.

Ukulele Hunt chords and lyrics can be found here.

I am not quite at that level yet, but I did incorporate the advanced techniques into my youtube tutorial video:



Video Breakdown
0:00 Intro and Tuning (GCEA)
0:13 Chords (Simple: G,C,D Advanced: G,C,D, G/B, D7, Am)
1:59 Strumming pattern (8 beat loop)
4:10 Part 1- Intro
4:33 Part 2- Verse 1
5:29 Example of Intro and Verse 1 w/lyrics
6:48 Part 3- Chorus
7:09 Part 4- Verse 2 (same chords/timing as verse 1)
7:25 Part 5- Chorus (same as first chorus)
7:36 Part 6- Verse 3 (has advanced version if you prefer)


The strumming pattern I describe in the video loops in eight beats, where each beat is a down or an up strum:
1) down
2) miss up
3) down
4) up
5) miss down
6) up
7) down
8) up
(repeat, switching chords if necessary)

I had enough trouble figuring out the timing for this song that I decided to chart it all out (credit for idea goes to E-dub). I divided the song into units of time (or beats), and turned that into a table. Each cell in the table represents one loop of the strumming pattern.

Intro
CC--
CCGG
CCGG


Verse 1
C
the
C
I've
G
loved
G
C
was
C
roses
G
her
G
C
but
C
buried
G
-live
D
nine
C
five
D
sister
G
side
D
weeks
C
guns
D
rained
G
-one
D
little
C
spain
D
pianos
G
flames
D
rings
C
sun
D
say
C
come
C
Chorus
GG
now
C
pick
C
every
G
piece
GC
life
C
used
G
love
GC
keep
C
-selves
G
least
GD
on
D7
Verse 2 (exact same chords and timing as verse 1)
C
and
C
ride
G
-cus
G
C
with
C
brother
G
in
G
C
says
C
good
G
-live
D
rides
C
flame
D
coming
G
-gain
D
better
C
star
D
-bove
G
are
D
mean
C
cry
D
ring
G
fly
D
rings
C
heart
D
screams
C
part
C

Chorus (same as above)

Verse 3
G (G/B,Am)
here's
C
mother
G
sleeps
G
G (G/B,Am)
here
C
room
G
brother
D
born
G (G/B,Am)
indentions
C
in
G
sheets
G
G (G/B,Am)
bodies
C
moved
G
move
D
-more
DC
sad
G
see
C
world
G
agree
C
rather
G
faces
D
flies
G (G/B,Am)
oh
C
want
G
keep
D
roses
D
in
G
eyes
GG

14 Comments:

Kevin said...

I recently got a ukulele and I have been looking for some fun songs to play. This is great! I love Neutral Milk Hotel and am really excited to learn this! Thank you!

-Calvin

Sara said...

Oh man, I came here for Elephant Gun, check the front page and see this song? You've won me over, for sure.
I really can't wait to learn this. Thank you, so much!

Paz said...

Calvin-
Good luck, and let me know if you come across any snags or difficulties.

Sara-
Well, it's like I always say: Come for the Elephant, stay for the Mil... wait that sounds weird. I probably should stop always saying that. Gotta love them songs though.

Janel said...

This is great. You should try to make an arrangement for Ghost!

Anonymous said...

this is good, it helped me with the strumming pattern, the only thing is the last verse has slightly different chords, all still majors, but i believe there's an A and C6 in there. idk too much about the uke, though, so maybe it'd stay the same.

Ukulele Strummer said...

unreal, if only all tutorials were this comprehensive.

Thomas said...

this is beautiful and incredibly comprehensive. thank you!

Thomas said...

i just read my previous comment and realized it didn't do this tutorial justice:

noting the different video sections, listing the strumming pattern, and a fucking godly chart...it looks like you spent a decent amount of time on it, but for those of us that can fuck up the easiest tutorials, it is a godsend

can't thank you enough

Edegra said...

This guy looks like a professional player. I can play it all the way here in Singapore. Great clicks as always. By the way your sound must be excellent.
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