Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How to play Lua by Bright Eyes

I hope you've heard this song, Lua by Bright Eyes. Thanks to Jessibee for the heads up on it.

Anyway, it is a nice case study on simplicity with acoustics and excellent song-writing. What can I say but the guy writes a good song. I suspect this one is about being, and being with, a druggie. The mellow mood makes it pretty perfect for the ukulele, although I think a uke and a bass would really do this song right.

The tricky part of this song is just a little bit of fingering on the G chord. It's not too bad, you just have to practice when to press and release one of the strings in the chord. The good news is, once you get that part, the rest will be easy.

So here's my video on it:

Video Timing:
0:00 - Intro and Tuning (GCEA), capo (2nd fret)
1:15 - Chords (D, G, Em, A, A7, Bm)
2:05 - Strumming pattern (loops in 8 beats, see above)
3:19 - Strumming example
3:30 - Intro (Dx2, Gx2 with some detailed fingering) THIS PART IS IMPORTANT!
5:07 - Intro Example
5:35 - Verse 1
Dx2, Gx2, Dx2, Gx2, Emx2, Ax2, (Em,G), (Em,A), Dx2
(Other verses have the same chord pattern)
8:01 - Verse 1 Example
8:43 - Chorus
Gx2, Dx2, Gx2, D, (A, A7), G, Bm, (D, A), (Em,G), (Em,A), Dx2
9:05 - Chorus Example
The uke itself is tuned to standard GCEA, but there is a capo on the 2nd fret, which shifts all the chords up one full note.


Once the capo is on, putting your fingers in the standard C chord position now makes a D chord. I will refer to the chords with the actual chord followed by the non-capo equivalent chord position in parentheses, i.e. D(C). The chords are:
D(C), G(F), Em(Dm), Bm(Am), A(G), A7(G7)

Strumming Pattern
The strumming pattern loops in 8 beats, where each beat could be considered one up or down strum at a regular rhythm. Strumming pattern:
1- down (emphasis on top string)
2- miss up
3- down (hit all strings, emphasize this beat)
4- miss up
5- miss down
6- up (emphasis on bottom strings)
7- down (emphasis on bottom strings)
8- up (emphasis on bottom strings)
(repeat, switching chords if necessary)

I don't have my handy-dandy table-maker right now, so I can't make the full table with lyrics yet. In the meantime, I'll break it down by loops of the strumming pattern. The chords in parentheses means each is played for 1/2 of one loop, so everything in the parentheses makes for one loop.

Keep in mind, this is just a guide for now, full description with lyrics coming soon.

Intro: Dx2, Gx2
Verse 1: Dx2, Gx2, Dx2, Gx2, Emx2, Ax2, (Em,G), (Em,A), Dx2
Verse 2: same as verse 1
Chorus 1:
Gx2, Dx2, Gx2, D, (A, A7), G, Bm, (D, A), (Em,G), (Em,A), Dx2
Verse 3: same as verse 1
Verse 4: same as verse 1
Chorus 2: Gx2, Dx2, Gx2, D, (A, A7), G, Bm, (D, A), Gx2
Ending: (Em,G), (Em,A), Dx2, (Em,G), (Em,A), Bmx2, (Em,G), (Em,A), (Em,G), (Em,A), D


Bean said...

This is really great. i am glad you are getting more confident singing.

i saw Amanda Palmer a while back, and she did Lua on piano i think, and Radiohead's Creep on ukulele.

have you heard his First Day of My Life?

Anonymous said...

I would just like to say that you are great.

I don't think I have ever seen anyone explain how to play the ukulele so well.

Good work!

Unknown said...

I can say that this is awesome...

Playing ukelele is not as easy as we think but there are many people out there that i can say that are gifted. They used to buy some music instruction software that can gain their knowledge.

Amandine said...

Paz, why haven't you posted in over a year?

Paz said...

A year!?!? That's ridiculous. It wont be a year for another 13 days.

If I don't have anything new up by March 4th, it may be time to worry about my safety.

Edegra said...

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Kamagra said...

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cialis online said...

I haven't heard this song but my best friend told me that's something incomparable, I wanna hear it and also learning to play the song.m10m

amber said...

I'm having some trouble with the chorus. It doesn't seem to quite play up while I'm playing along with conor and I don't know what I'm doing wrong :/

ukulele for beginners said...

This is another great tutorial. Easy to follow with great instructions. Very good.

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easyukulelesongs said...

Another great break down of a nice uke song.

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