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Folk Songs for Ukulele

Tootler 31 May 12 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,Ed 31 May 12 - 09:04 AM
greg stephens 31 May 12 - 09:18 AM
Northerner 31 May 12 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,Ed 31 May 12 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,Tootler 01 Jun 12 - 03:53 AM
Johnny J 01 Jun 12 - 06:11 AM
Tootler 01 Jun 12 - 07:05 AM
banjoman 01 Jun 12 - 11:11 AM
Johnny J 01 Jun 12 - 11:44 AM
GUEST 01 Jun 12 - 12:23 PM
The Sandman 01 Jun 12 - 12:43 PM
Tootler 11 Jun 12 - 03:55 PM
Tootler 11 Jun 12 - 03:57 PM
Tootler 11 Jun 12 - 06:28 PM
Tootler 12 Jun 12 - 04:43 PM
Phil Edwards 12 Jun 12 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,Swindon/Enfield Pete 13 Jun 12 - 05:01 AM
Tootler 13 Jun 12 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,Stim 15 Jun 12 - 08:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jun 12 - 06:47 PM
Tootler 25 Jun 12 - 07:54 PM
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Subject: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: Tootler
Date: 31 May 12 - 08:28 AM

I've started a new blog; Folk Songs with Ukulele

I am increasingly using the ukulele to accompany myself singing so the idea is to start posting words and chords of songs I put on my other blog, Occasional Folk Songs in the cases where I use ukulele accompaniment.

The first two songs I have posted are Scarborough Fair and The Jovial Beggarman.

The chords are those I use in keys that are comfortable for me to sing in; sometimes taken from books or internet links, sometimes worked out myself and sometimes a combination of the two.

I will add others as time goes on.


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 31 May 12 - 09:04 AM

And the point of doing this is?


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: greg stephens
Date: 31 May 12 - 09:18 AM

Possibly to help people who fancy singing folksongs accompanied by a ukulele? Just a guess, of course.


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: Northerner
Date: 31 May 12 - 09:23 AM

I've recently bought a ukulele. Haven't checked out what folk songs it can be used for yet. I'll keep an eye on your blog. Don't recall seeing you play your uke, though I think we may go to some of the same folk clubs. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 31 May 12 - 10:27 AM

Haven't checked out what folk songs it can be used for yet

Erm, given that it's a chromatic chordal instrument, the answer would be ANY.


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: GUEST,Tootler
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 03:53 AM

To Guest Ed:
The point is that I have occasionally been asked for chords when I have posted songs on another forum


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: Johnny J
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 06:11 AM

"Erm, given that it's a chromatic chordal instrument, the answer would be ANY"

Of course, many songs wouldn't necessarily suit the instrument and you have to arrange the material in a "uke" way, i.e. you can't really use finger picking styles associated with guitar or other techniques which might be associated with the banjo or mandolin etc.
That's not to say that you still can't be imaginative.

I have a ukelele myself and can bash out a few chords etc but generally, I don't see the point in compiling books or sites with songs which are "supposedly" specific to one instrument. For someone who hasn't played any other instrument or music up until then, I daresay it has some value, but if you already know songs on guitar or similar it's surely a fairly easy matter to transfer them to a "uke" once you find your way around the instrument.


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: Tootler
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 07:05 AM

if you already know songs on guitar or similar it's surely a fairly easy matter to transfer them to a "uke" once you find your way around the instrument.

Very true, but I was pitching at uke players. In fact I mostly find chords from guitar sites which is fine for a lot of songs, but for folk songs I often find it best to work them out myself. I find guitarists often go over the top and add a lot of unnecessary chords and use "extended" chords - just because they can I often suspect.

Of course, many songs wouldn't necessarily suit the instrument and you have to arrange the material in a "uke" way...

That's true for any instrument. In fact there are songs which best sung unaccompanied and are spoilt by adding any sort of accompaniment.

you can't really use finger picking styles associated with guitar or other techniques which might be associated with the banjo or mandolin etc.

Not true. I have heard very effective finger picked accompaniments on the uke. It is true that you don't do it in the same way as on a guitar as there is no real bass and the re-entrant tuning gives a different flavour but it can be and is done. I prefer to use a strummed accompaniment myself but I am full of admiration for the creative approaches to the ukulele you see on You Tube and in the ukulele forums.

Also there are a lot of people who have adapted clawhammer banjo style to the uke and it works well. Search on You Tube for "clawhammer ukulele". You might just be surprised.

As to the blog: Overall I did feel it was worth at least giving it a go. It may not be useful to you but if it's useful to someone, then it's worth doing. I had a pretty positive response on the ukulele forum.


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: banjoman
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 11:11 AM

The Ukelele is fine to play whatever you want. Some of the more advanced chords etc may take a bit of work but it sounds as if you have taken on a worth while project so Good Luck and ignore all the critics.


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: Johnny J
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 11:44 AM

I wasn't being critical as such...only making one or two observations.
My post was also directed at Guest,Ed whom I thought was being a little more negative.

It is a worthwhile project but, as we all agree, will be more useful to some than others.

""I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my side."
:-)


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 12:23 PM

Thank you banjoman, glad of the encouragement. I must admit, I was somewhat taken aback by the intial negative remarks.

I agree with much of what you said about the usefulness, Johnny J. I did call it Folk Songs with Ukulele because that was my target audience, but the chords will [should] work with any instrument. Of course you may not agree with my choice of chords and that's fine as there is usually more than one way to harmonise a tune.

Finally to go back to my response to guest Ed, my reasons were twofold. One was as I said as a way of responding to requests for chords on a ukulele forum. The other is to do with availability. While there are dozens of sites with chords for pop songs and C & W songs, there are far fewer for folk songs, especially traditional songs. They are there but just fewer of them, so I felt it was worth adding another.

Anyway I am off for a weekend of singing - with ukulele, so I'll see what transpires on Monday.


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 12:43 PM

the uke can be tuned in a variety of ways,you can use different 5 string banjo tunings, you can use dgbe, dgad., or traditional uke tunings, different tunings suit different kindsof songs


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: Tootler
Date: 11 Jun 12 - 03:55 PM

The most usual tuning is GCEA with the G high - re-entrant tuning. I also use the earlier ADF#B (also re-entrant). Some people like a low G, especially on the tenor. Baritone ukes are normally tuned DGBE sometimes re-entrant.

I prefer the re-entrant tuning as it gives the uke it's special character.


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: Tootler
Date: 11 Jun 12 - 03:57 PM

I've added The Old Man From Lee to the songs.

See my other blog, Occasional Folk Songs for more info.


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: Tootler
Date: 11 Jun 12 - 06:28 PM

Words and Chords added for All Things are Quite Silent.


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Jun 12 - 04:43 PM

Following suggestions from the ukulele forum, I have now updated the songs on the blog with ukulele chord diagrams which makes it more of a ukulele specific venture.

You can see the changes here: Folk Songs with Ukulele


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 12 Jun 12 - 05:28 PM

Good stuff. The setting of the Old Man from Lee works particularly well; the drone really adds something.


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: GUEST,Swindon/Enfield Pete
Date: 13 Jun 12 - 05:01 AM

Great stuff - some of us appreciate what you are doing. Ignore all the doubters and carry on!

Pete


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: Tootler
Date: 13 Jun 12 - 06:53 PM

Thanks, Phil. I thought the drone worked will with that song. The song itself goes down well at a singaround, especially if you happen to have a grey beard yourself ;}.

Swindon/Enfield Pete: I intend to do just that :)


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 15 Jun 12 - 08:12 PM

Tootler-Just wanted to say that I listened to "All Things are Quite Silent" and it seemed to me that that was how the song was always intended to be done, though of course, it really couldn't have been;-)


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jun 12 - 06:47 PM

It's also fun playing a uke with a mandolin tuning.

It's a far more versatile instrument than many people assume.


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Subject: RE: Folk Songs for Ukulele
From: Tootler
Date: 25 Jun 12 - 07:54 PM

Agreed, McG of H. Just look on You Tube at what people do with the uke. I can recommend Ken Middleton and Eugeneukulele for starters.

I have just added two more songs

Ewan MacColl's song from the Travelling People radio ballad: Freeborn Man

Cruel Ship's Carpenter. This version is one collected by Cecil Sharp on his trip to North America in 1915/16. Phil Edwards did another version of this recently in his 52 Folk Songs.

I have also added some info about both songs with links to my recordings on You Tube in Occasional Folk Songs

Folk Songs with Ukulele


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