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Posted by Ian on March 22, 2008

I don’t have the lesson on minor chord ready yet, so, in the meantime, you can have fun amusing yourself with Chordie, which I consider to be the best source of song chords on the internet, for the ukulele or otherwise. It has a searchable database, a useful rating system, and countless songs. Best of all, to make things easier on you when you come across a chord you don’t know, it has a unique system that gives accurate chord charts for various instruments, including C and D tuned ukuleles.

It also has a songbook section (which I myself only recently discovered), which gives some attention to ukuleles, specifically. There are over 60 songbooks that people have put together for the ukulele, though I haven’t had time to look at but a few of them.

Ukulele Songbooks
My favorite uke book that I’ve come across so far

Enjoy…. and stay tuned for the minor keys lesson.

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Review – ‘Tension’ Brand Ukulele

Posted by Ian on March 14, 2008

So, yesterday was my birthday… and I ended up with a late present from my dad today. Some strange off brand ‘Tension Brand’ Soprano…. he came across it in some store that he wouldn’t tell me about… so I”ll work on that. I know that it cost him less than $40, and it is well worth the price.

The thing is put together beautifully (it’s of German make… why wouldn’t it?) and sounds great… much better than I would have expected. It has 17 frets, joined at the 12th, and is a lot nicer on my concert-ukulele trained hands than other sopranos that I have played on before.

It has a nice, low action, and has surprisingly good intonation.

My only complaint is that the thing came with a plectrum… what sort of madman German would give me a plastic plectrum with a ukulele? Shame on them…

Anyhow, here’s a little recording of me goofing around on her…


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Posted by Ian on January 21, 2008

The EleUke came in friday… it’s currently sunday morning, and I’ve probably logged a good (unhealthy?) 7 or 8 hours on the thing so far. Yes, it’s that addicting (as if the ukulele already wasn’t addicting enough). The model I bought was the TCH-100 PHS… something like that…. Anyhow, it has a beautiful sound… sounds almost as nice as my koa when hooked up to an amp and put on a nice ‘clean’ signal. Of course, it’s when you start playing with the sound that things get fun…. with enough stompboxes… or a digital effect box, you can make as many sounds come out of it as you can an electric guitar…. except it’s a ukulele, making it at least ten times better than an electric guitar. It has great volume, considering that it’s a pezio pickup with nylon strings, as opposed to stell strings, as some electric ukuleles use. Its built in headphone jack comes in handy for silent practice, too….

It was well worth my 200 dollars.

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Stuff, Stuff… and Stuff

Posted by Ian on January 21, 2008

Sorry that I haven’t posted in a few days… I’ve been really busy up at school with end of semester stuff and whatnot… but now I’m on break, so I should be able to put a good chunk of time into this site! Yippee! This is my first non-tab related post… I don’t have anything completely ready for posting, yet, tab-wise, though I do have some random stuff for you all….

First off, I have a somewhat neat little technique that I really recommend you try if you haven’t already. For lack of a better name for it, I will call it a ‘Fake Slap’, as the sound you achieve when performind the technique somewhat resembles that of a slap bass. Essentially, what you do is, instead of using one finger to pick a string, you pinch the string between your thumb and finger of your choice (I recommend that you use thumb and index finger, though thumb and middle finger works fine, too) and pull the string away from the fingerboard. When you release the string, you will hear somewhat of a percussive snap accompanying the note, giving it a unique tone. You can also pluck two or three (and maybe four, though I can’t pull it off, yet) strings by pinching additional strings between index finger and middle, middle and ring, etc.

Secondly, in case you have been looking for a hard case to keep your beloved ukulele protected…. there’s some no-name brand one that I bought off of ebay and was rather surprised by. It costs about half of what it would cost you to buy one from any other store (that I know of) and is surprisingly well made, for a cheap ebay product. It has a nice leather outside, a somewhat cheap, yet durable, plastic handle, sturdy construction, and a niftly little inside compartment which can hold a pretty good amount of stuff (I can fit a harmonica and a glass slide in it with some room to spare…. speaking of which, if you have never tried playing a ukulele with a glass slide, you need to. Nylon strings with a slide sound rather neat… maybe I’ll make a psot about that later).

Here’s the link: Link

It’ll run you around 40 dollars… well worth the price if you have a nice uke that isn’t already protected.

And I think that’s going to be all for today…. thanks a ton for visiting my site… and thanks even more if you made it this far through my rambling!

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