Chord Melody Video Tutorial

This video tutorial may help you with your ukulele practice.

Chord Melody Improvisation Tutorial by Ukulele Mike Lynch (USA).

Pat

Bayside Ukes Member

Bosko & Honey

If you  did not see Australia’s Got Talent on Sunday, you missed a fantastic performance by Bosko & Honey.  They did their song  Another Day In Paradise  and here is their hilarious video.   They received four Yes votes from the judges and are through to the semi-final.  As they are such great entertainers and generous participants at many ukulele festivals in Australia, let’s hope they do well in the competition.

Zilla

Bayside Ukes Member

10 Reasons Why Ukuleles and Dogs Mix

DSCN1097_2       images       DSCN2294 - Version 2     images-1

  1. Dogs do not remain puppies forever and leave your ukulele and tuner alone.
  2. Dogs want to share in the fun with you and your ukulele.
  3. Dogs love to sit with you while you are playing your ukulele.
  4. Dogs are music lovers and make a great audience.
  5. Dogs wag their tails in time with the music.
  6. Dogs sing along when you hit those high notes.
  7. Dogs never criticize your performance.
  8. Dogs do not care what genre of music you play.
  9. Dogs never tell you to be quiet and stop playing that uke.
  10. Dogs know that when you have finished your practice you will take them for a walk.

Note:  The above dog was well rewarded for taking part in this post.

Kat

Bayside Ukes Member

10 Reasons Why Ukes and Puppies Don’t Always Mix

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  1. It is difficult to play your ukulele with a sleeping puppy on your lap.
  2. You can find one string is missing when you are restringing your ukulele.
  3. When you leave your ukulele clip-on tuner next to you on the sofa it will be stolen by your puppy and found in pieces.
  4. It is not safe to leave your ukulele unattended with a teething puppy.
  5. It is impossible to record yourself playing your ukulele when your puppy howls every time you press the record button.
  6. It is impossible to play the ukulele with a jealous puppy pulling on your trouser leg.
  7. It is impossible to play the ukulele in a comfortable chair while your puppy jumps on you repeatedly and stampedes around the room.
  8. It is difficult to play the ukulele while your puppy gives you the sad-eyed treatment and drops a ball at your feet.
  9. It is difficult to leave the house with your ukulele case because your puppy keeps trying to block your exit.
  10. You know you have a problem when you leave your replacement ukulele tuner on a coffee table and find it has been eaten by your puppy and the remains have been taken into the garden for burial.

Note:  No puppy was harmed from the ingestion of a battery, or performing any of the above actions.

Kat and Zilla

Bayside Ukes Members

Flexible Chords for Inflexible Hands

Arthritis is a problem for many older players of the ukulele and other stringed instruments as it limits flexibility.  This should not be seen as an obstacle to playing the ukulele.  It does not really matter how you position your hand or form chords as long as you can play them.  You do not have to play the ukulele with a perfect technique, although it is good to strive for this even with physical limitations.

I have osteoarthritis in the first and second fingers of my left hand and I am unable to bend these fingers tightly to make a fist.  This lack of flexibility makes it difficult to form certain chords on my concert ukulele.  The arthritis has caused the joints of these fingers to become enlarged and bent, so reducing the stretch between my second and third fingers.  This makes it difficult for two or more fingers to be positioned on the same fret as in the G, D, D7 (Hawaiian) chords.

Instead of positioning my fingers across the fret-board I often hold my hand with the fingers pointing down the fret-board.  Unfortunately this does not look very elegant.  With my hand in this position I am unable to make a chord transition in the usual way but it is easier to make the transition between D, D7 and G.  The disadvantage of this position is when I move my fingers up to the first fret and my hand gets caught up with the headstock.  Some chords are also difficult to play using the correct fingering as I have limited stretch between my finger-tips when my fingers are bent.  When I play the Gm chord my third finger is unable to make the stretch to the third fret and I must substitute it with my little finger.  These are just some of the modifications I make to my technique.

In order to learn a song I must plan all my chord changes to allow for the restricted movement in my left hand.  I practice individual chord formations then the transitions between chords so they become smooth and fast.  It may take longer to learn a song but I know I shall not be placing undue strain on my finger joints.

With arthritis it is important to be flexible with my approach to chord formation and transitions because there are always exceptions to the rule.  What may work for one song, may not work for another.  If the transition between chords is really just too hard I find another chord as a substitute or just leave the difficult chord out.

If you also have arthritis do not get disheartened.  The important thing to remember is that you need to find out what works for you, persevere with practice and don’t give up.  Playing the ukulele will not only strengthen your fingers, improve flexibility and help your arthritis, but more importantly you will have fun while you are doing it.

Ukulele Mike has some exercises that may help improve your flexibility.  Dexterity Exercises

Zilla

Bayside Ukes Member

Ukulele Burning Bright

 

HenriRousseau - Version 2

(Inspired by Henri Rousseau’s Dream Garden, pictured and William Blake’s poem, The Tyger. With apologies to all of the songwriters)

 

Ukulele Burning Bright

Can’t Stop the Music, In the Heat of the Night

Can You Feel It, There’s Something in the Air

Running Wild, Here, There and Everywhere

Ride the Tiger, Sing, Sing a Song

Bungle in the Jungle, All Night Long

The Heat is On, Dancing in the Moonlight

It’s Cool for Cats, After Midnight

Run through the Jungle, When Doves Cry

In the Midnight Hour, The Night has a Thousand Eyes

Can’t You See, The Eye of the Tiger?

Kat

Bayside Ukes Member