Lang Syne + Lyrics

Recently, while looking around on the BUG website under Songbooks, Christmas, I discovered that there are a lot more lyrics to the “Auld Lang Syne” song. Cool. They are even half-decent to pronounce.

Enjoy!    Auld Lang Syne plus Lyrics

While looking for Christmas songs you might come across several on-line song books. You can find an extensive list at the BUG website:

http://www.bytownukulele.ca/Songbooks.aspx

In the past, one of the best Christmas song books that I have experienced with a group and for solo-ing is by the Seatle Ukulele Players. I am not sure if it is still available at their website, but you can get a download from the BUG site. It’s called SUPA. It has three huge pages of chord charts PLUS it has an entire page of key transposing, which is basically priceless.

There are several songs from that book I recommend. One is the “Chipmunk Song”. “Blue Christmas” is good because it has lots of embellishing chords. The only drawback may be that it is in F, and you might have a problem with G minor. If so, there are better arrangements elsewhere. (I like it in C, replacing the Gm with Dm.) Others I enjoy start from “The Christmas Song”, pages 11 to 16; “Holly Jolly” on 20; “I Want a Hippo” on 24; “Jingle Bell Rock”, 26; “Rudolph” on 32; “Santa Baby” on 34; “We Wish You/Christmas” on 40. “Winter Wonderland”, on page 42 is in the perfect key for me (I’m a soprano-alto singer).

Another good song book is Snowselele:  Snowselele_Version_1_11.

Another good one is this one with the little reindeer on each song, uke club unknown. They have an excellent “12 Days of Christmas” on page 22. The only clue I have is the website it originated from – ukuke.co.uk. I believe this is the U.K. Uke club, some kind of overall UK directory of all the clubs there?

Christmas Ukulele Song Book

SPECIAL OFFER! Happy Holidays & Ukulele ChristmasMy very favourite books are of course from Jumpin’ Jim Beloff and Flea Market Music. Right now you can get both of these books, around 50 Christmas songs arranged professionally with standard notation, chords and lyrics, for $25!

Go to http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/store/Scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=184 for more information.

Hope everyone has fun and shares free and good locations for Christmas and Holiday tunes!

 

Don’t Stop

Christine McVie, on stage with Fleetwood Mac in 2014, singing Don’t Stop

Here is another romp through the mellow-ness of the 70’s – boy, if I keep this up I might have to add yet another category!

My Aunt MJ bought me my very first copy of the Fleetwood Mac album Rumours, and I loved it, loved it, loved it! I think it was actually in 1977 and I was just starting to buy Lp’s and play them on my mom’s old suitcase record player. What fun. I also had the movie soundtrack to Grease. Ha ha! Great memories!

So my rendition of “Don’t Stop” is in the Key of D, sorry! I found it in G, and it was one of those impossible keys for my voice: both too high and too low. Yes, figure that one out! I sing this song in karaoke a lot, so the Key of D it is!!!

The strum pattern is two strums on D, two strums on C and then the usual 4 strums on G. Rinse and repeat. With A and A7 thrown in for the anxiety chords that come right before the chorus. It’s just a fun old romp through. Hope you enjoy it!

DONT STOP D

Loving You Tonight

This is one of my favourite current songs, by rising Canadian recording artist Andrew Allen from B.C.

His song “Your Time to Shine” was the theme song for the 2012 B.C. Winter Games.

I embedded his video for this song in my blog. You will need to listen to it to hear the chunk sound that pretty much gives way to a finger snap sound. If you can master strumming and snapping your way through my arrangement then you have accomplished something I have not. I can do it but not for the entire song. My advice: go slowly.

Loving You Tonight

Here is a great shot of Andrew Allen doing one of his favourite things, paddle boarding.

My Online Favourites

Summer Wind2

And now, here are a few of my personal online favourites.

I like them just the way they are – ha ha ha!

Have You Ever Seen the Rain: http://www.scorpexuke.com/song-display.html?song=Have_You_Ever_Seen_The_Rain&id=193

This is a great one. You play Csus4 with just one strum, trust me it will sound the way you remember it. After becoming accustomed to playing that one plus the Gsus4 you might find yourself throwing it into other songs as they come up. Also, this is a great campfire song.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love: http://www.scorpexuke.com/song-display.html?song=Crazy_Little_Thing_Called_Love&id=106

Great arrangement. It has a little mini tablature right in the middle of it, for notes to pick on just the A-string and the E-string for the guitar lick part of the song. After you practice it a while to get it down pat, you will find you can throw it in there with perfect timing while performing. A little bit of a challenge there, but manageable and adds to your growing skills set. 🙂

The Summer Wind: 

Click to access summerwind.pdf

This is one of my weepy favourites:  we can only play this one at certain times and not around certain people, ie. not during break-up recovery. At first glance, you might feel overwhelmed by the amount of chords but that is just the Dr. Uke style. The lyrics with just the chord letters will be on page two. Advice on the chords: not necessary to play the full F7 chord, just play it as 2310, and on the last line, I like to morph the last 2 C7’s into something I don’t know the name of – but sounds better – which is to bar the first fret and press the first string in the third fret (C note). Or 1113, then add that as well after the final F6 with an F chord as well for finalé. It’s a great little jazz arrangement, you could go on and on with it because it has lots of potential, and the chords are easy – who doesn’t like Am7? LOL

These already published online songs won’t be included in my next songbook, which is generally a reflection of my own arrangements and personal taste with regard to wording, strumming, timing, morphed chords, intro’s, outro’s and sentiment.

Finé

Arpeggiated Chord Style

Girl crush im

So! This week I have been surfing the net, conducting searches, while muttering “Arpeggiated? What????” to myself.

After hearing Girl Crush by Little Big Town over the radio repeatedly, I realized I can sing it in my voice range and looked up the lyrics. It’s relatively new to the ukulele chording community, however, comments and instructions confused me.  The advice I read was “remember to arpeggiate the chords”, so that the chords sound right, and also for the proper timing of the piece.

Wow. Arpeggiate? That is some slang-ization of a musical term! An arpeggio in music theory means you play certain notes in a scale individually, following a rule or pattern. For the C scale, the notes could be 1, 3, 5, 8, 5, 3, 1 (c, e, g, C, g, e, c). In fact, while I was studying piano when I was younger, one of my favourite books, which neither my mother nor I can find, was Arpeggio Exercises for Piano. I loved it. It was full of wonderful patterns of all kinds of scales. I can still play some of them today. Here’s another example: 1, 2, 3 – 2, 3, 4 – 3, 4, 5 – etc.

When applied to a chordaccording to my recent internet researching – we arpeggiate the chord by playing the notes individually in a pattern instead of strumming. If that involves all four strings of the ukulele, then we also play that string as an open string indicated by a 0.

Here is the exact wording as gleaned from a site called Stack Exchange, found under Music: Practice and Theory (www.music.stackexchange.com):

An arpeggio is simply a chord played one note at a time. So if you’re playing in an arpeggiated style, then instead of strumming the chords, you’ll play each note of the chord one at a time.

Below is my rendition of the C chord in both strumming and this arpeggiated style, for comparison.

Strumming a C chord:

Strum C Chord

Arpeggiated C chord:

Arpeggiated C chord

Here is the pdf of the song Girl Crush by Little Big Town. It’s 2 pages: the first page is the words with the change of the chords positioned; the second page has each arpeggiated chord laid out.

Girl Crush 2

Have fun, I sure am!

Still Learning!

Ukulele Way

How awesome is this? I am still learning, at 50!!!

For some reason, my sense of incomplete ukulele education is holding me back from doing something I really, really want to do: for the JHUI (James Hill Ukulele Initiative) and get my ukulele teachers certification! (http://www.ukuleleintheclassroom.com/)

This has been on my mind for literally months, possibly even a year. There is always this doubt in the back of my mind. Someone recently asked me if I registered for the Level 1 this year, and I flat out confessed that I think I should be the person taking the lessons from the Ukulele in the Classroom teacher, and they laughed. I only half meant it. I ordered the entire set of books and CD’s, poured over the website every day for a week and then talked myself out of it.

So here is what I decided to do: register online for the $9 membership to James Hill’s The Ukulele Way. After 4 hours I can honestly say, I am so, so glad I did this! So far, his online lessons are filling in the gaps in my ukulele education.  Just from the first 2 lessons, I learned what the pentatonic scale is and how it has been applied to songs!!! Actual songs! It makes so much sense the way James Hill lays this out for you. And I must say that James is an amazing teacher.

And so, for those of you out there who are teetering on the edge of self-doubt: sign up for online lessons or buy some books to go through in order to gain that confidence of musicianship.

Ukulele Tricks

I also really, really like Brett McQueen’s website, Ukulele Tricks, which is actually about learning proficiency, not showmanship tricks like ukulele flippies or anything. That’s just the title. On that site you can sign up for different kinds of lessons, strumming, picking, etc. and he also runs online workshops you can sign up for. He also posts instructional video’s on his Youtube channel and will personally answer your email!

There are many of them out there. I’m sure that just by checking out the websites of your favourite ukulele players, one of them may turn out to be the mentor you are looking for. Have fun!

Write Out Your Performance Songs

Ralph's Book on websiteA wise ukulele performer once told me that writing out your list of songs is the smartest thing you”ll ever do for a performance. In fact, I bought this person’s book, The Ukulele Entertainer, and it is dog-eared, corner-folded, highlighted, underlined and post-it-ed to the max. It is a well-loved copy! And Ralph Shaw is the author.

This book is full of great anecdotes regarding playing, learning, performing and other aspects of the ukulele such as replacing strings and making ukulele wine. A-hem! I’m serious now! I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Ralph twice at festivals and workshops and I keep forgetting to bring my book for him to sign!

DSCF6716
Always In My Gig Bag

However, I highly recommend his book because it is literally jam-packed with tons of information, tricks, tips and stories. It even has illustrations! You can order it directly from him, also available in E-book form, here: Ralph Shaw’s website.

So one of the reasons I bought it was because it claimed it would show you “How to create a killer set list”. And there is a sort of “belief” that goes along with that idea, where you want to draw your audience in and capture them, then you can do your performance songs, and you can end with a couple of ideas. One idea is to end on a high, with an exciting and happy song, or you can end on a sing-along song that everyone knows, because singing along makes the audience feel good about them selves. For myself, having never busked (and Ralph is a veteran of busking on Granville Island out in BC), I have only used this technique for playing songs at my parent’s house, usually on Labour Day Weekend. They sometimes have a porch full of their cronies after the fireworks, and I entertain them a little bit with just a few songs. A couple I chose because they know every word and I know they enjoy singing along. Others I chose because I know my father will enjoy them and others because I want to show off, just a tiny bit. Those would be the lesser known Hawaiian songs.

MemorizedMy “set list” is on post-its stuck to a piece of paper. And I swap them out periodically. It is made up of songs that I have (most of) the words memorized to. Sometimes, I get the order of the verses mixed up, so that is why I have the first lines and then the numbers 2 and 3 circled under the first song on the right, Peaceful Easy Feeling. My father loves The Eagles, so that is for him. I start out with Peace Like A River, and I read the lines for each verse before I start, because I always mix the order up on those, too. And the pattern for the song is underneath that, which I use as an Intro, and after I play the pattern through once, I’ve got it and can concentrate on my singers-along.

Five Foot Two, I always have some kind of mental block going on there, where I will be telling myself, “I know it starts on C and then there’s a whole bunch of 7th chords….” and that’s as far as I get. So I write out the chord progression so that I can “hear” it when I give it a once through. I don’t have to worry about getting the words right for this one, generally EVERYBODY knows the words and enjoys singing them out in a raucus manner. Lots of fun. Everyone knows the Rollerskate Song and You Are My Sunshine, most people know Dream Baby and You’re Sixteen. I sprinkle the ones they aren’t going to know in between those: Pineapple Princess, Drop Baby and Coconut Island. I save the best for last with Drift Away and Hey Baby, which my hubby knows by heart and sings in the style of DJ Otzi, very loudly. So there’s my high ending.

The best part is: people complimenting my mother on having such a talented daughter! ;-P

Today’s song: PEACEFUL EASY FEELING.

Ukulele Publications

The world of ukulele is not limited to information gleaned from individualistic websites. There are actually online publications or e-zines (e-magazines) available. I have paid for a subscription to one and I am quite happy with it.

Uke Mag“Ukulele” looks pretty good. You can check it out here:  Ukulele Mag. You can subscribe for 4 yearly issues which are seasonal for $18, mailed to your address. For Canada and international orders, extra shipping charges will be added. They also have an option for you to use your subscription number and mailing info to log in to the site and read your issue online. Regardless, you can sign up for the free e-newsletter and/or read stories on their actual website.

Uke Jim Beloff“Ukulele Player” says, “This is Ukulele Player Magazine” above the top banner. It is powered by wordpress. They say they will provide articles, news and reviews on a timely basis. They’ve been active since December 2008 and they profile  Artists, review CD’s, and review more technical areas such as gear and luthiers. You can check it out here: Ukulele Player. Their Editor is Mickey Maquire.

Their article style is mostly Question and Answer when interviewing an artist. The complete and total lack of pictures might be a turn off for some readers, but others might like all the extra info provided.

Ukulele Rhythms“Ukulele Rhythms” is completely digital, or online only . You can enter your email to sign up to receive a free preview download of one of their issues. Their contributing writers are Sarah Maisel, Kimo Hussey, Craig Chee, Phil Doleman and so many others, Terrance Tan is the Editor. I basically paid for the subscription because of Sarah Maisel and Craig Chee’s involvement because I had just seen them perform at the MUD Festival in Lansing, Michigan, and also I was attracted to the cover art. Their articles and photography are cutting edge and their articles read like you are taking part in a workshop. They also run contests and inform you of giveaways. You can check it out here: Ukulele Rhythms.

KamukeBased in Sydney, Australia, Publisher and Editor Cameron Murray runs “Kamuke”, which the claim line says is a “full-colour, hard-copy magazine produced by ukulele players for ukulele players.” A subscription for issues 8, 9, 10 is $25 AU (Australian dollars), or you can buy any issue you want for 8 bucks.They also offer Romero Creations ukes, and uke-shaped earings and HD strings under Strings n’ Things. Oh yeah, and 10 dollar Kamuke t-shirts with a pin-up girl on the back of them. It looks pretty good coming from the land down unda. Check it out here: Australia.

And here’s a contribution from the UK. A website called “Ukuke”, with the second K turned backwards to look like mirror-image. This site was erected by Ray Shakeshaft, one of the original internet pioneers from back in the day. Here is the Magazine section of the website, and it’s FREE: Ukuke. You will find articles on how to start your own uke group, how to start up a ukulele orchestra at your school, etc. The technical side includes, finishes, restringing, building your own uke from a kit, cigar boxes, etc. Many purists value this website as a kind of mecca.

Ukulele Yes“Ukulele Yes” is a Canadian online magazine by James Hill. He claims the magazine articles focus on technique and teaching tips song arrangements and much more. It’s FREE, yep, all ya have to do is fill in the fields. They also looks for people willing to provide Submissions and there’s a guidelines section. I don’t know how they make any money with a free subscription because they pay contributors fairly well for Feature Articles, song Arrangements, and any teaching tools submitted to Pedagogy Corner. Established in 1976 as an “an Association to promote the teaching and enjoyment of music,” Ukulele Yes! became an international network of ukulele teachers with the common goal of fostering musicianship through ukulele instruction, even though it was shelved in 1981. Today, the resurrection of the magazine is online only but it’s dedication according to the website is: “to promote the teaching and enjoyment of music. While times have changed and methods of communication have multiplied, the importance of music education remains.”  Ukulele Yes

Fretboard JournalThe “Fretboard Journal” is interesting. They have the occasional article on Ukulele but it’s mostly guitars and other stringed instruments. Currently they have hard copies of the defunct yet interesting uke magazine, The Ukulele Occasional. They have some good articles online about ukulele, you just have to search: Uke related articles.

It all depends on what you are looking for I think. If you enjoy getting publications in the mail then you don’t have that many choices. If it is information and entertainment you are looking for you can get a lot of that content from various ukulele websites. That being said, I have been enjoying the arrangements in some of them, just as much as at any website, and of course I STILL continue to purchase song books. I just purchased 3 while I was in Hawaii, and right before I left 3 came in the mail from Amazon, and I had picked up a Kala tenor at a local music store, along with 2 uke books. As soon as I got home from my trip I was online again, and ordered the complete Ukulele in the Classroom series off James Hill’s website. My husband is at the point he is making me justify what I am going to use all of these books for, LOL, well you just have to be prepared. Right?

Colbie Caillat

I am going to add a new category, since I already have a separate category for Elvis, and dedicate it to songs by Colbie Caillat.

This is a singer/songwriter from Malibu, California. Her first hit was Bubbly in 2007 at the tender age of 21. Her duet with Jason Mraz, Lucky, earned her a Grammy award. According to her website bio, her father Ken Caillat was a sound engineer who had helped produce two Fleetwood Mac albums: Rumours and Tusk. So it’s safe to say that her family’s involvement in the music industry influenced her early on. It’s no surprise to learn that she often performs Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way during her concerts.

Recently, Colbie has been romantically linked to Hawaiian musician Jason Kawika Young, the lead guitarist in her band. She is a self-professed sufferer of stage fright. And she appeared in her video for her newest released hit song, Try, completely stripped of make-up. Since the video has gone “viral” as they say, she has become the unofficial spokesperson for inner beauty.

On Friday, May 8 Colbie Caillat will be playing in Toronto at the Sherton Center Toronto Hotel – Grand Ballroom. You can order tickets from here: MTV Artists.

Here are the words to the song Try:

TRY ~ Colbie Callait

Intro:  picking patterns 4 times each [Am]  [F]  [C]  [G]

[Am] Put your make-up on, get your nails done, curl your hair

[F] Run the extra mile, keep it slim, so they like [C] you.  Do they like [G] you?

[Am] Get your sexy on, don’t be shy girl, take it off

[F] This is what you want, to belong, so they like [C] you.  Do they like [G] you?

You don’t have to [Am] try so hard, you don’t have to, [F] give it all away

You just have to [C] get up, get up, get up, get up

You don’t have to [G] change a single thing

You don’t have to [Am] try, try, try, try-iy,  You don’t have to [F] try, try, try, try-iy

You don’t have to [C] try, try, try, try-iy,  You don’t have to [G] try

You-oo-oo-oo don’t have to [Am] try [F] [C] [G] mmm

~

[Am] Get your shopping on, at the mall, max your credit cards

[F] You don’t have to choose, buy it all, so they like [C] you. Do they like [G] you?

[Am] Wait a second, why, should you care, what they think of you

[F] When you’re all alone, by yourself, do you like [C] you? Do you like [G] you?

You don’t have to [Am] try so hard, you don’t have to, [F] give it all away

You just have to [C] get up, get up, get up, get up

You don’t have to [G] change a single thing

You don’t have to [Am] try so hard, you don’t have to [F] bend until you break

You just have to [C] get up, get up, get up, get up

You don’t have to [G] change a single thing

You don’t have to [Am] try, try, try, try-iy,  You don’t have to [F] try, try, try, try-iy

You don’t have to [C] try, try, try, try-iy,  You don’t have to [G] try

You don’t have to [Am] try, try, try, try-iy,  You don’t have to [F] try, try, try, try-iy

You don’t have to [C] try, try, try, try-iy,  You don’t have to [G] try

You-oo-oo-oo don’t have to [Am] try [F] [C] Oh [G] mmm

You don’t have to [Am] try so hard, you don’t have to, [F] give it all away

You just have to [C] get up, get up, get up, get up

You don’t have to [G] change a single thing

You don’t have to [Am] try, try, try, try,  You don’t have to [F] try, try, try, try

You don’t have to [C] try,  You don’t have to [G] try

[Am] Take your make-up off, let your hair down, take a deep breath

[F] Look into the mirror, at yourself, don’t you like [C] you?

Cause I like [G] you….!

My Nod to St. Patrick’s Day

 Well, Aloha to Saint Paddy, he sure was a brute of a legendary figure, wasn’t he?

During the day the ukulele group played at the Grace United Church for their Irish Stew Supper fundraiser, I heard a couple of stories about St. Patrick. One was that he was enslaved by the Irish nation, and that upon his freedom having become a Christian missionary, he actually returned to the country of his abuse as a Bishop. Til his dying day, I hear.

Extra, extra, read all about it, here: Saint Patrick

In the meantime, we had a couple of places that we played out for St. Patrick’s Day and for one place we needed some extra songs so I sent this one out to the group. Canadian Irish Folk Group, The Irish Rovers, were formed in 1963 and named after the popular Irish song, The Irish Rover. They are best known for their international tv series, popularizing Irish music in North America, The Unicorn Song (written by Shel Silverstein) and Wasn’t That a Party. All of the band members are from Ireland, half of whom now live in Canada. The Irish Rovers have represented Canada at five World Expos.

In 1980 the group re-named themselves “The Rovers” and found success with the chart-topping song, Wasn’t That a Party. But by 1989 they had reverted back to their famous original name, The Irish Rovers. As a high-school student, nothing was cooler than this song, except for maybe I Wear My Sunglasses at Night…..

WASN’T THAT A PARTY

CHORUS:

[C] Could’ve been the whiskey, might’ve been the gin.

Could’ve been the three or four six-packs, I don’t know

But [C7] look at the mess I’m in: my head is like a [F] football,

I think I’m gonna [C] die! Tell me, [G] me oh, me oh my! [STOP]

Wasn’t that a [C] party?

.

[C] Someone took a grapefruit, wore it like a hat.

I saw someone under my kitchen table

[C7] Talking to my old tom cat – they were talking ‘bout [F] hockey –

The cat was talking [C] back!!!

Long about [G] then every-thing went black! [STOP]         

Wasn’t that a [C] party?

CHORUS

BRIDGE:           

[C] I’m sure it’s just my [F] memory

Playing tricks on [C] me

But I [D] think I saw my buddy

Cutting [G] down my neighbour’s tree! [STOP]

CHORUS

2nd BRIDGE:

Billy Joe and [F] Tommy

Well they went a little [C] far

They were [D] sitting in the back yard, blowing on a sireen

From [G] somebody’s police car

So you see, Your [C] Honour, it was all in fun

That little bittie drag meet down on Main Street

Was just to [C7] see if the cops could run

So they run us in to [F] see you, in an alcoholic [C] haze

I sure can [G] use those thirty days [STOP]        To re-cover from the [C] party!

CHORUS

ENDING:  Wasn’t that a party? Wasn’t that a [C(4)] party?    F(4)   G7(4)   C(1)