All I know is something

· long story short, Musicology, Songs for Beginners, ukulele stories

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 “Bird Song”) 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.

I’ll keep working on this one.


I know a little something

· Loser, Music, Musicology, Songs for Beginners, the Dead, man...

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:

Loser (solo take)