So, a couple of years ago I was starting to feel a bit more confident about my ability to figure out how to play songs I love on the ukulele so when my sister’s birthday started to roll around I offered to record something for her by request.
She gave me a few options (“Marshall Crenshaw’s “There She Goes Again”, U2’s “Beautiful Day” and Grateful Dead’s “BirdSong”) and I played around with them a bit and decided that my best bet was Bird Song.
But I was defeated. I couldn’t figure out the main lick that goes throughout the song, or what do in the verse, and so on. I kept hacking at it but had to give up.
Now, a few years have passed, my chops keep getting better a tiny amount at a time, and I’m getting more confident in playing and singing live (I had planned to layer up a track for her and was only doing audio at the time), I decided to try to work out Bird Song again and discovered that I was able to break it down and arrange it (somewhat) for the uke!
I’m still working on it, especially putting it across, playing the lick that overlaps the singing a bit, and what to do in the weird solo section, but I did manage to give J her birthday present, just a few years to too late, yesterday, and now I’m sharing two takes more publicly.
Before applying the electrodes to the heart of the typewriter yesterday my last post here was about an experiment I started last July of posting videos of myself playing and singing songs to YouTube.
That’s really where my “blogging” energy has been since then, as I have built of quite a body of performances. It’s great having them out there and the feedback has been more encouraging than I’d hoped for, but I still feel like these things all need to be posted here, too, and organized by song, with the good takes highlighted, or something like that.
Or maybe I’l build out pages on my wiki and just like from here. Not sure.
Anyway, here’s my latest. I’ve got an arrangement for the Hunter / Garcia song “Loser” on ukulele that’s starting to come together:
OK, figured out that I probably want to post to my active google account, not my old one, and downloaded the iPhone app for recording and uploading (not sure how much better it is, though it does offer to crop and stabilize the image, a request, I rejected in favor of my sloppy approach).
So here’s another song (apologies to social networking pals who have seen this already during the past weekend) I just worked up the other day, the Dylan classic “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” which you can tell I don’t quite fully know how to play yet:
Thought I’d try out uploading a video for the first time, so I did a quick sloppy run through of a Replacements classic (taught to me by Bill de Rouchey, originally for our Ukepalooza performance, also captured on video along with the full set):
The fourth and final song from our Ukepalooza set was the oft-recorded Dylan classic, “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” a tune close observers of this blog and my ukulele adventures would know I’ve been working on for years (it’s really easy to play!):
Presented at the the Obama White House as part of The Opportunity Project
EARS was selected as part of The Opportunity Project, an initiative focused on using open data to improve the lives of American citizens. [+]