Welcome to 2017

Image result for welcome 2017

Hello 2017! I am really looking forward to everything this year may bring, particularly to us uke players, ha ha.

First I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of my loyal Followers and viewers who enjoyed my blog. I want you all to know how much I really appreciated your viewing, comments and E-mails. I have enjoyed all of the interaction and have strived to make improvements to both my arrangements and my website.

Image result for White Point beach resort

This year is an odd-numbered year, which is a great thing BECAUSE the Liverpool Ukulele Ceilidh will be on in October and, if tradition holds, may be held on the grounds of the popular White Point Beach Resort again. But you never know, so don’t hold your breath! As soon as I have the dates and the online workshop registration is open I will post again on my website to let everyone know. Can’t wait!

Image result for south florida ukulele festThe other thing this year will be fantastic for is the South Florida Ukulele Fest will NOT be held during the March – Hallelujah! Would have absolutely LOVED to have attended last year, I researched hotels and flights and everything, but alas, absolutely NO hotels available in the area and the flights proved to be outrageous: $1000 per person – that ain’t even direct flights!

In 2015 they had scheduled it for the weekend after March break, and I could not plan to attend because of something I had previously scheduled. This year it is set for April 7, 8 and 9 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Link provided below:


Image result for Canada 150 years

I will be working on more songs to add to the 16 that I did last year, but also of interest to me as a CANADIAN is the fact that Canada will be celebrating 150 years as an independent nation, so I planned on developing 10 more songs that are considered to be Canadian either in nature, subject or creation. Will keep everyone posted!


Whiskey in the Jar, Oh!

Image result for Whiskey in the JarThis month I am starting off with a famous classic re-make, Whiskey in the Jar, recorded by the heavy metal band Metallica in 2004.

This was a standard radio song for at least four years, joined by the re-make rendition of Turn the Page, and the semi-romantic hits Nothing Else Matters and Unforgiven. Great band, great voices and wonderful subject material. Even though they were definitely in the ‘heavy metal’ category, they still embodied everything that is fun about Rock ‘n’ Roll.

A few years ago Jeff and I performed this song at a “Spooky Ukey” Hallowe’en theme song night, and dressed up as the characters. Jeff’s singing voice is similar to Rod Stewart/Dr. Hook and he really pulled it off – as well as anyone singing this song to an acoustic ukulele can….

I hope you enjoy our rendition of Whiskey in the Jar as much as we did!

Whiskey in the Jar Image result for Whiskey in the Jar

Ukulele Song Books Available


The following Ukulele Song Books are available for downloading, in PDF format, and arranged by me.

Cat’s Ukulele Songbook 1 (2016 Updated version)

2015 Songbook 2 (2016 Updated version)
Cat's Holiday Songs

Holiday Songbook 3

Hope you enjoy them, visit my site often and feel welcome to post a comment.


Cat Krestel Porritt


2015 Song Book

“I claim this blanket in the name of naps, every where!”

Today is Tuesday, January 12/2015, and a big Nor’Easter just blew into my town and buried us in snow. It’s all very exciting stuff, and the wind was blowing so hard that I decided to stay in the house after I got home from work. It was pretty hard to breathe coming up the walk-way!

Two hot cocoa’s and half a bag of Jr. Peppermints later, I just managed to finish combining all of the songs I arranged last year (2015) and compile them into one big PDF document. As I was working, I would get the occasional friendly message,  “There are too many graphic inserts in your document” with one of these [!], so I had to rearrange some of the songs a bit from what I had posted.


Some of them are now one page – imagine that! – instead of two.

And I gave it a cooler name. 2014’s was called Cat’s Ukulele Songs. This follow-up song book I have called Cat’s Ukulele Songs 2015. Pretty snazzy, no?

Confession Time:

These arrangements are a lot of work, but compiling them into a PDF document so that they don’t run into the next page or hang over and create a blank page, etc. is a lot of work. I know it’s only January, but I am seriously considering not putting a PDF together next year….. (blots brow with damp cloth)…… 🙂

With no further ado (and even less fanfare) here is 2015 Songbook 2.


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:


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!


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.


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!