Thursday, September 25, 2008

Join the Resurgence

I just talked to Danno Sullivan, fellow uker in the Greater Boston Area, and he's going to be offering a beginner's class on the ukulele this fall in Cambridge, MA at the Cambridge Center for Adult Ed.

Here's Danno's fun description of the course:

Ukulele for the Almost Musical

Easier to get started on than other string instruments, but full of music and fun— it's the ukulele. The uke was big in the 20s, bigger in the 60s, and now it's the instrument of choice again for great-sounding, portable music. This class is for anyone who'd like to learn the basics and for players who'd like the chance to play songs with others. At each class you'll learn new songs in a variety of strumming techniques and styles, from Polynesian pop to rock to Tin Pan Alley; the new chords required; and how to figure out chords you don't know. Join the resurgence— small is big! No ukulele? Some loaners are available; e-mail the instructor for recommendations prior to class. Limited to 16.

Sec. 01: 8 Tuesdays, 5:45-7:15 pm. Begins Sep. 30, 56 Brattle St. | $159


In fact, first class starts this Tuesday, September 30th! So if you got a hankerin' for some ukerin', sign up and have some fun and, as Danno says,

...join the resurgence...


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Thursday, September 11, 2008

New look, same Ukulala

I've been working on personalizing Ukulala a bit, so it feels more like it's own (and my own) place, and less like the generic blogspot site it actually is.

So don't run away just cause the site looks different!

I did a black-and-white background sketch, which hopefully you can see right now. It's a work-in-progress so who knows what may be added next. Link graphics? New post icons?!! New colors??! Maybe something to do with ukuleles? Anything is possible.

It may take me some time to get all the formatting right (and believe me, that's fun work... oh yeah), but hopefully soon it will be the "new-look" Ukulala. All the content should be exactly the same, it's purely a cosmetic change at this point.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Phase Two: Makin' some music

So it's been a while since I last posted a new tutorial, but not because I haven't been busy on the uke.

My plan from the beginning is to make a video of "How to Play" every song I learn. That way I learn on my own, and then double-learn by making the tutorial video, which forces me to be more clear and accurate. That was Phase One. But there was also a Phase Two: I wanted to eventually make some of my own music.

The reason for fewer tutorial videos in the last few months is that I haven't been learning as many songs. Instead, I've been taking a break to make my own! My sister Flora and I (and Gorch from overseas) have been working on original music, with the goal of having a few songs done by the end of the year.

It's surprisingly difficult to coordinate, especially since the closest person to me in our makeshift "band" is, according to Google Maps, 3058 miles away.

So eventually (hopefully this year!) I'll have some original music posted here or on YouTube, along with several tutorials on songs I'm trying to learn.

I always have a few songs in mind I'm trying to figure out. I keep them categorized in my head like so:

Songs I can kinda play

  • Across the Universe by the Beatles (strumming not quite right)
  • Age of Consent by New Order (chords are easy, timing difficult to work out--good cover I'm learning from here)
  • Tightly by Neko Case (sounds better on guitar, but I think I have it close)
  • Hell by Squirrel Nut Zippers (timing is a bit dificult, but strumming and chords I have)
  • Ballad of John and Yoko by the Beatles (chords are hard unless you change the tuning)
  • Lua by Bright Eyes (this one has good instructions online for guitar, but I haven't been able to make it work quite right on the uke)
Songs I really, really want to learn

If you have any suggestions about any of these songs, or if you can play them, PLEASE let me know! I especially want to see a good uke cover of I'll Believe in Anything.......... then I kan STEALZ IT!!!

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