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Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?

Acorn4 23 Feb 11 - 05:15 AM
Acorn4 23 Feb 11 - 05:18 AM
Will Fly 23 Feb 11 - 05:22 AM
Rob Naylor 23 Feb 11 - 05:24 AM
Rob Naylor 23 Feb 11 - 05:26 AM
Mo the caller 23 Feb 11 - 05:38 AM
GUEST,SteveT 23 Feb 11 - 05:52 AM
johnadams 23 Feb 11 - 06:01 AM
Rob Naylor 23 Feb 11 - 06:02 AM
Acorn4 23 Feb 11 - 06:30 AM
The Fooles Troupe 23 Feb 11 - 06:32 AM
evansakes 23 Feb 11 - 06:35 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 23 Feb 11 - 06:41 AM
jumbledjim 23 Feb 11 - 06:53 AM
SteveMansfield 23 Feb 11 - 06:54 AM
evansakes 23 Feb 11 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 23 Feb 11 - 07:13 AM
Bounty Hound 23 Feb 11 - 07:35 AM
Hamish 23 Feb 11 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 23 Feb 11 - 07:57 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 23 Feb 11 - 08:33 AM
Acorn4 23 Feb 11 - 09:13 AM
Chris in Portland 23 Feb 11 - 09:53 AM
Steve Hunt 23 Feb 11 - 10:03 AM
Valmai Goodyear 23 Feb 11 - 10:13 AM
katlaughing 23 Feb 11 - 10:49 AM
Mr Red 23 Feb 11 - 10:51 AM
olddude 23 Feb 11 - 10:53 AM
GUEST 23 Feb 11 - 10:55 AM
GUEST 23 Feb 11 - 10:56 AM
Sir Roger de Beverley 23 Feb 11 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Phil B 23 Feb 11 - 12:56 PM
Ernest 23 Feb 11 - 02:20 PM
Acorn4 23 Feb 11 - 02:24 PM
Desert Dancer 23 Feb 11 - 02:41 PM
Mark Ross 23 Feb 11 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,Grishka 23 Feb 11 - 03:52 PM
tritoneman 23 Feb 11 - 04:13 PM
michaelr 23 Feb 11 - 06:46 PM
Surreysinger 23 Feb 11 - 07:59 PM
Bernard 23 Feb 11 - 07:59 PM
Leadfingers 23 Feb 11 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,murrbob 23 Feb 11 - 09:04 PM
michaelr 23 Feb 11 - 10:28 PM
ChanteyLass 23 Feb 11 - 11:30 PM
Ernest 24 Feb 11 - 02:00 AM
michaelr 25 Feb 11 - 08:26 PM
The Fooles Troupe 25 Feb 11 - 11:59 PM
SteveMansfield 26 Feb 11 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,Grishka 26 Feb 11 - 02:09 PM
Mooh 26 Feb 11 - 02:34 PM
Stringsinger 26 Feb 11 - 05:02 PM
PHJim 26 Feb 11 - 08:21 PM
PHJim 26 Feb 11 - 08:38 PM
GUEST,Grishka 27 Feb 11 - 06:38 AM
GUEST,Desi C 27 Feb 11 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,Grishka 27 Feb 11 - 02:45 PM
PHJim 01 Mar 11 - 06:06 PM
PHJim 01 Mar 11 - 06:12 PM
PHJim 01 Mar 11 - 06:17 PM
PHJim 01 Mar 11 - 06:25 PM
leeneia 14 Apr 11 - 03:38 PM
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Subject: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Acorn4
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 05:15 AM

In the past, they've been used mainly for backing comedy songs, but nowadays you can observe huddles of menopausal men in intense discussions about the merits of their instruments as if they were discussing attractive women or their Taylor or Martin guitars.

But are ukeleles just dumbed down "bonsai" guitars?


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Acorn4
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 05:18 AM

...Someone convince me!!


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 05:22 AM

What a daft question. :-)

Everyone knows that the uke is THE instrument of choice - for some poeple... Just listen to The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain playing the "Dambusters March" - best version ever.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 05:24 AM

Well, the at the High Brooms Tavern (Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK) 4th Thursday singaround we normally get around 15 performers and maybe another dozen people there just to listen.

At the alternate Monday acoustic jam sessions theres usually 6-7 people playing.

At the alternate Monday ukulele nights they regularly get 40-50 people actually playing!!!

So on popularity alone it seems they should be taken seriously. I suspect that landlord Roy would happily replace the alternate Monday acoustic jams with additioal uke nights :-)


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 05:26 AM

@ Will: Not to mention what they do with "Smells Like Teen Spirit", "You Don't Bring Me flowers", etc.

Brilliant stuff.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 05:38 AM

How did it start getting popular. I know everyone practised for the proms, were they learning before that?
Why don't they bring the ukes to the acoustic jam? Someone should swap lists of 'frequently played tunes' with them. (all 50 might unbalance your sound though)


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: GUEST,SteveT
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 05:52 AM

Are you gathering notes for one of your songs Dave? I sense a "Melodeons are coming" gestating.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: johnadams
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 06:01 AM

Most people in my circle have already acknowledged the ukele virtuosity of Jake Shimabukuro


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 06:02 AM

Mo: It started before the Proms. I think after the Ukulele Orchestra of GB had played locally a couple of times. A local uke player asked the landlord if he could host a uke night, advertised it and was as surprised as anyone when 50 people turned up.

I think there's a bit of a Zeitgeist for it, which the Proms followed, rather than led...local music shops started displaying ukes prominently about a year ago, together with "uke songbooks" containing a lot of classic rock and pop standards with uke chord notations. The "diddley" sessions and acoustic jams are mainly attended by "mature" people whereas the uke sessions are predominantly under 40s, with many under 30s.

We've had a couple of the uke players attend the Thursday "diddley" sessions recently...one has graduated to banjo!!!


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Acorn4
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 06:30 AM

"one has graduated to banjo!!!"

This is a phrase I never thought I'd live to hear!


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 06:32 AM

Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society has created quite a bit of interest, TV appearances, etc.

Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society (B.U.M.S.) is a casual gathering of ukulele players, from beginners to advanced to people who just appreciate the joy of uke! We meet at 7pm on the first Wednesday of each month for a casual jam session, skills sharing and musical fun.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: evansakes
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 06:35 AM

I've always taken them seriously...and after nearly forty years of playing stringed instruments I finally bought one a couple of years back. Don't know why it took me so long...


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 06:41 AM

That Jake chappie is astonishing. And anyway, all instruments should be taken seriously, as long as they are in skilled hands. I've heard some amazing Bodhran players, and Rob Murch on banjo is brilliant. It's just that anyone can pick up something thats easy to hit or strum. They don't practice, and just go out and play badly. With trumpet or fiddle, or clarinet, you actually have to practice first. So, yes, in the right hands Ukes are a definitely serious instrument.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: jumbledjim
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 06:53 AM

Each to their own....seems as worthy as grown men prancing around, wearing bells and knocking hell out of each other with sticks :)


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 06:54 AM

In the past, they've been used mainly for backing comedy songs, but nowadays you can observe huddles of menopausal men in intense discussions about the merits of their instruments as if they were discussing attractive women or their Taylor or Martin guitars.

You've answered your own question right there.

A certain mindset seems to have a desperate need to create a hierarchy of instruments, whereby certain instruments are 'lesser instruments' or 'less worthy of being taken seriously'. It happens right across the spectrum, with Martin or Taylor guitar-owners looking down their noses at people who play Yamahas, and people sneering at ukeleles and recorders and harmonicas and other instruments they regard as 'entry level' (another way of saying 'not as complicated, and therefore valuable, as the instrument I play').

No doubt there's a certain class of guitarist who looks down their noses at people who play Martin guitars, or maybe Martin guitars made after a certain date, or who put certain brands of strings on their Martin guitars. Some Uillean pipers look down on flautists and whistle-players, some flautists look down on low whistle players, some anglo concertina players look down on English concertina players, and just about everyone looks down on bodhran owners.

What gets lost in all this sad little snobbery is the actual music.

Every instrument has its virtuosos and its duffers, and bands like The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain and Penguin Cafe demonstrate what can be done with a uke in the right hands. It'll be interesting to see what happens to attitudes to ukeleles and balalaikas now they're being used as first instruments in school music teaching, because the sound of 7-year-olds blowing as hard as they can down a cheaply-made recorder has certainly dealt that instrument a severe blow in terms of reputation.

So yes, the uke is a serious instrument - but it's cheaper to purchase and more portable than a church organ, so you tend to find more people playing them inexpertly.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: evansakes
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 07:05 AM

You don't need an orchestra....one on it's own is just fine

I don't see anyone not taking the uke seriously in this video...

Aint She Sweet


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 07:13 AM

sfmans.
My point exactly. Just introducing a child to music at an early age is a wonderful thing to do. (However painful it might be at the start) And admit it you're not going to give an expensive instrument to a 7 year old. But, I remember hearing Andy Cutting starting out on melodeon (12/13?)...He hasn't done so badly has he?
My first live musical experience was Dad playing the piano at home when I was a kid. Never took it up, but was fascinated by it.
The Ukelele seems admirably suited for kids, who can pretend to be guitarists and still reach the frets. Whats wrong with that?


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 07:35 AM

You should take ANY instrument seriously if it is in the hands of someone who knows what to do with it! (Even the banjo!)


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Hamish
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 07:45 AM

Yes.

Berkhamsted Ukulele Random Players are at Bartin-le-Clay tonight: see separate thread for details http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=119365.

And there's a short video of a recent gig on YouTube

As for recorders: they're serious, too. I love it that both of my daughters who play oboe and French horn to a high standard both still play and gig with recorders.

And don;t confuse "serious" with "no fun". Many things can be both.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 07:57 AM

Hamish....Exactly!
Music should be fun, particularly for children...
Blimey....I tried French Horn for days! Didn't get on with it at all!


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 08:33 AM

Most high-end guitar makers have introduced ukes into their product lines. Willingness to part with a month's salary to own a uke from a boutique luthier must mean somebody is taking them seriously.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Acorn4
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 09:13 AM

Steve T,

In answer to your question,it's already done.

I've got a pink "flying-vee" ukelele, which I intend to paint "this machine kills" on, and have already written a song for it.

It was someone trying to have a serious discussion with me about it that prompted this thread!


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Chris in Portland
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 09:53 AM

Here is the Northwest we are fighting the Coming Ice Age with Ukeleles.
Kate and Steve are leading the way - UKALALIENS
The Gorge Uke Fest is this weekend - Gorge Uke Fest
No fleas on our dogs!
Chris


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Steve Hunt
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 10:03 AM

Ukuleles are everywhere, and have been for a few years. Here's Misty Miller who some of your kids are probably listening to on wunnerful Radio One, right now.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 10:13 AM

On 19th. February we had an all-day ukulele workshop with Clive Harvey (Roaring Jelly) at the Lewes Saturday Folk Club. We sold 17 out of a maximum 20 places and most of the people who came were new to folk clubs.

I think it's terrific that people are buying ukes and getting together to fling themselves fearlessly on all sorts of deeply improbable tunes, from Hall Of The Mountain King to Bohemian Rhapsody, for the fun and above all the social nature of it. Not only is it fun, but in the long term some good, lasting music is likely to come out of the ferment.

The cheapness and availablity of ukes, reliable chromatic tuners - there's an on-line tuner too, I believe - and software which makes it possible to email dots, tab and midis all contribute to the boom.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 10:49 AM

Steve Hunt, thanks for the link. She's wonderful!

We've always had ukes in our family. Love them.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Mr Red
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 10:51 AM

How many Ukes does it take to play a tune?
The more the merrier. Safety in numbers.

Try saying that about banjos!

(Other instruments are available, the quality of the jokes can go up as well as down)

Mr Red (hiding behind his bodhran)


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: olddude
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 10:53 AM

Anyone that doesn't think so, have a listen to brother izzy doing
over the rainbow .. then say it is not real

Izzy


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 10:55 AM

Lidl here had very serviceable ones here last year. Almost bought but just stopped myself.spend more time practicing my guitar and harmonica instead. I like a mix of instruments not mapped ukes guitars or anything else.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 10:56 AM

Nice instrument in its own right though


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 12:06 PM

Apparently George Harrison used to carry two around - one for himself and another for whoever he was visiting so that they could work stuff out together.

At the Concert for George the last number of the night was "I'll See You In My Dreams" led by Joe Brown on Ukelele - not a dry eye in my house.

R


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: GUEST,Phil B
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 12:56 PM

My first instrument (aged 6). If I'm still gigging at 70 I'll be doing it with a bicycle and a couple of ukes!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dURaTdV95VU


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Ernest
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 02:20 PM

I remember a "session" where only guitars turned up - really awful having umpteen people strumming the same chords....

On the other hand everybody seems to be pleased with massed ukes (not only when it is the UOoGB).

So the ukulele must be in fact superior to the guitar.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Acorn4
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 02:24 PM

A true "Wall of Sound" - a wonder Phil Spector didn't discover them.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 02:41 PM

Can't just be the Proms, because they're getting to be all the rage in the U.S., too. There are lots being made, lots in the shops, and I've seen people buying 'em; as it happens, I haven't actually been at a jam with a new player, but that's probably just because I've not been at enough jams. Something must have been percolating before Jake Shimabukuro, but he sure helped!

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 02:55 PM

Will Rogers said, "When you see somebody holding a ukelele, it's hard to tell whether they're really playing it, or just fooling around."

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 03:52 PM

Ernest (23 Feb 11 - 02:20 PM) et al, the UOoGB have instruments of different sizes and tunings, down to something quite resembling an acoustic bass guitar. More to the point: they double as singers and comedians, thus reinforcing the cliché rather than contradicting it.

As an ensemble instrument (in western Europe) the uke competes with the mandolin, and although I believe the former to be an instrument in its own right, the mando just has a lot more sound in it (her), due to its (her) more elaborate (and expensive) design.

For strumming kids the uke is just great. Search "ukulele boy" on YouTube for a specimen of the many "prodigies" who – somewhat rarer – visibly enjoys music.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: tritoneman
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 04:13 PM

At the age of 9 I was given a banjo-uke and spent endless hours trying to copy George Formby's fast syncopated rhythm but later 'moved on' to guitar. In recent years I've been watching players on Utube and saw the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain and began to see the possibilties, which I'm now exploring on my new uke.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 06:46 PM

I bought a uke for my grandson who is not taking it seriously. Therefore I'm tempted to learn to play it myself.

How is it tuned?


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Surreysinger
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 07:59 PM

Michaelr ... you could try the various links on the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain's website here.

And while I'm at it, Jake Shimabukuro has already been mentioned, but here's a much longer selection of his stuff (including While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Ave Maria amongst other things) recorded for a TED talk in Tokyo last year This shows what can be done with the instrument.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Bernard
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 07:59 PM

Traditionally, 'My Dog Has Fleas'...!!

A D F# B is one standard - the A is high...

T
R------------------
E
B------------------
L
E---------------O--
   O
C------------------
L         #O
E------------------
F      O

...My Dog Has Fleas!

Ukulele means 'Jumping Flea', or something like that.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 08:35 PM

Try Here !


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: GUEST,murrbob
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 09:04 PM

And let's not assume that instrumental backing in folk/popular music is confined to "The West." I'm currently being forced to spend time on The Big Island of Hawaii; the uke is a beautiful part of the folk culture here, and extends far beyond the Don Ho-type of music. Many evenings I go to folk clubs where the uke is played by young and old alike; a beauiful experience.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: michaelr
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 10:28 PM

My dog has fleas??????


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukeleles Seriously?
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 23 Feb 11 - 11:30 PM

In Ri, we take ukuleles seriously enough to have the International Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum in Cranston. You can read about it in the fifth paragraph in this article: http://www.essortment.com/destination-attractions-things-rhode-island-33959.html . The best ukulele player I've heard in person is Pete Kennedy. He switches from guitar to uke and plays George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue about 2 minutes into this clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV2LoLVqez4 I'm one of Pete and Maura Kennedy's fans.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: Ernest
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 02:00 AM

(High)G C E A seems to be used more than ADF#B from what I see on the net.

@Guest Grishka: Yes, the UOoGB do seem to use various sizes and tunings (sat in the first row of one of their concerts once) but this is just the case with other players (over here the flat tenor model by Kala seems to be popular), but the UOoGB insits that the big thing is a bass ukulele because it has four strings like a uke while guitars have six strings...;0)

Now the aforementioned Kala company introduced a real bass ukulele (bariton size with fat plastic strings - sounds like a double bass when played amplified)


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: michaelr
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 08:26 PM

Really, what does "my dog has fleas" mean?


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Feb 11 - 11:59 PM

If you go to the Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society (B.U.M.S.) site I mentioned above, you will find links to many other Aussie uke groups all around Australia; also some links to Youtube clips appear regularly on their related Facebook page.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 10:28 AM

Really, what does "my dog has fleas" mean?

If you sing it to the right notes it's supposedly an easy way of remembering how the uke is tuned.

Sing the wrong notes, of course, and you end up with a badly-tuned uke ... so I'm not really sure how reliable that is as a method compared to, say, a Korg chromatic ...


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 02:09 PM

"My dog has fleas" must have been a song starting with those notes and words. People guess it's from the 1920s, but the earliest document I know is this film "Honolulu" of 1939, which precisely depicts the image of the instrument at that time. "Pearl Harbor" seemed far, far away.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: Mooh
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 02:34 PM

Yes. I just bought another. Kala soprano model KAKS. Lovely little thing, though the factory strings didn't impress me. Also have a Mahalo baritone. Generally I treat them like guitars, ie Little Wing, House Of The Rising Sun, 12 bar blues, folk songs, and for fun.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 05:02 PM

I think that we make a huge mistake by taking anything of a musical nature too seriously.
There is always room for lightness and fun. Even classical musicians who are playing so-called "serious" music are having fun. "Music is my toy." said Duke Ellington.

That doesn't mean there can't be serious content in song lyrics or in a concert presentation
but too much snobbishness occurs among "amateur" musicians who don't understand that music is for everyone, not just an elite few.

It also means that certain music commands respect for its value.

The ukes are part of a tradition that extend from Portugal to Hawaii and is of course
a cultural staple of Hawaiian music which is quite lovely.

Lighten up about the uke. It's fun, musical, and pretty with a rich lovely history.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: PHJim
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 08:21 PM

Check out Roy Smeck, Bob Brozman, Manitoba Hal, James Hill, Jake Shumbukuro, Ernest Ka'ai, George Harrison...


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: PHJim
Date: 26 Feb 11 - 08:38 PM

...or Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 06:38 AM

Stringsinger, I think that we make a huge mistake when thinking fun and seriosity to be mutually-exclusive contrastives.

The "seriosity" of an instrument can be defined by various criteria. One definition is "optimised for sound (according to present-day aesthetics) and virtuosic technique in all keys" - many folk instruments fail this. A second criterion is "historically accurate for the music played". The third criterion: "representing a culturally significant tradition", actually provides a degree of seriosity proportional to that significance.

Needless to say that there is hardly any non-serious instrument. The cheap chirpy plastic strings have created their own culture, like tin whistles and cheap cameras.

The fiddle/violin is considered the flagship of seriosity, particularly among folk instruments. Note however that Stradivari would hardly recognise the sound his instruments produce today, because they have been altered considerably.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 12:07 PM

I think we should take the Uke just as serious as other instruments like the Tambourine, maraccas, ochorinos, cymbals, and Spoons, and shove em all up the behinds of those stupid enough to play them!


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 27 Feb 11 - 02:45 PM

That's another question: should we encourage anyone with serious ambitions to study the uke? Answer: well, uhum, if she/he is deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture, she/he won't wait for our encouragement; "serious" comedians and genre musicians have been mentioned before; in all other cases: no.


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: PHJim
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 06:06 PM

Hey GUEST,Desi C, Play this on the the tambourine, maraccas, ochorinos, cymbals, and spoons.

Jake plays Bohemian Rhapsody


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: PHJim
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 06:12 PM

...or this- Manitoba Hal


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: PHJim
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 06:17 PM

...not a very good example of Bob's playing but Bob Brozman


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: PHJim
Date: 01 Mar 11 - 06:25 PM

Here's a bit of James Hill: James Hill


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Subject: RE: Should We Take Ukuleles Seriously?
From: leeneia
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 03:38 PM

Does something have to be serious to be good?

Take "the Flight of the Bumble Bee" Is it serious? No. Is it good? Yes.

I maintain the same is true of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony. It is not serious, but it's good.
==========
In the case of a ukelele, what does serious mean? It means that it's worth money. A fine violin is serious and therefore good, because we are impressed by the money.

A ukelele has just as many strings, but it's not serious and not good, because it's not connected with money in our minds.

Pfui.


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