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Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele

GUEST,Sarah H 28 Jul 13 - 06:26 AM
alex s 28 Jul 13 - 06:44 AM
Leadfingers 28 Jul 13 - 07:07 AM
Dave Hanson 28 Jul 13 - 10:37 AM
Tootler 29 Jul 13 - 03:43 AM
GUEST,Grishka 29 Jul 13 - 05:04 AM
GUEST 29 Jul 13 - 06:48 PM
Gibb Sahib 29 Jul 13 - 08:04 PM
johncharles 30 Jul 13 - 03:28 AM
Joybell 30 Jul 13 - 08:41 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 13 - 06:10 AM
GUEST 13 Aug 13 - 12:11 PM
Les from Hull 13 Aug 13 - 01:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Aug 13 - 10:25 AM
freespiritceol1 15 Aug 13 - 09:55 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Aug 13 - 11:30 AM
GUEST 15 Aug 13 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,Grishka 15 Aug 13 - 12:25 PM
Mathew Raymond 15 Aug 13 - 12:50 PM
Ernest 15 Aug 13 - 02:03 PM
Joybell 15 Aug 13 - 05:27 PM
PHJim 15 Aug 13 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,Grishka 16 Aug 13 - 10:27 AM
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Subject: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: GUEST,Sarah H
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 06:26 AM

I would like to play some sea shanties or other maritime songs on my ukulele, does anyone have the chords to any? Failing that, can someone please advise how to transpose guitar chords to suit a uke?


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: alex s
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 06:44 AM

Transposition from guitar chords to uke is no different from any other transposition: G chords become C, C chords become F etc.
It may help you to have a transposition wheel or chart - there are free ones on www.frettedfriendsmusic.com in the Musician's Workbook.

Fretted Friends also produce excellent chord books for a large number of instruments. They are very well produced, so worth a look.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 07:07 AM

My personal preference for Shanties is unaccompanied , as they were actually work songs .


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 10:37 AM

The melodies for a lot of sea shanties are written down, but why would they need chords ?

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: Tootler
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 03:43 AM

First of all, I agree with the others, sea shanties are best sung unaccompanied. I did work out chords for a couple of shanties for a challenge on the ukulele underground forum, but I never used them. The chords themselves were OK, it just didn't sound right singing the shanties accompanied.

Now to the OP's original request. I think she's making a mistake common among ukulele players, especially novices, of confusing the actual chords with the fingering required to make those chords on a ukulele or guitar. That's not transposition. Transposition is changing the chords to sing in a different key, usually because it sits better with your voice than the key given in your source.

I commonly get chords off guitar sites, no problem. If the chord in the song says C, you play a C chord which on a ukulele is 0003. It doesn't matter what fingering you need for a guitar, you play a ukulele C. If the site/book has chord diagrams for guitar, you ignore them. Just have a sheet or book of ukulele chord diagrams to hand and use those. If it says C#dim on the song, then look up C#dim in your ukulele chord book and use that shape, not the guitar shape given.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 05:04 AM

Tootler is quite right, for those who take the uke as an instrument in its own right. On the other hand, the original reason for the standard uke tuning ("reentrant") is to allow guitar players to make use of the fingering they learned, by applying the transposition mentioned by Alex and disregarding the lowest two strings. The mantra of orthodox ukism is "take it easy" - as opposed to sectarians who shamelessly display an effort.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 06:48 PM

Apologies for incorrect terminology there re transposition, I am a novice as you can tell and I actually should have posted forebitters and maritime songs to be more specific, rather than shanties. Yes, of course they should be unaccompanied. Thank you for the advice - I shall look up Fretted Friends!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 08:04 PM

Hi Sarah,

I suggest you just ask about one or two specific songs you'd like to do — maybe in te specific thread for that song. You'll surely get a direct answer that way! There must be some specific songs you have in mind! Since most people don't envision chords being strummed (?), much less on a ukulele, to these songs in those genres, they are unlikely to divine the songs you want from a broad question...
It is kinda like asking "Hey, can someone tell me some tuba riffs for some Rock songs?"
Whereas what you might want is: "I'd like to play a tuba on 'Sweet Home Alabama'. Can someone help me with the bass line so I can adapt it to my instrument?"


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: johncharles
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 03:28 AM

sarah, I am sure will ukulele will sound fine, try this one.

South Australia


C F C
In South Australia, I was born,

F C F C
Heave away, haul away,

G Am
In South Australia ' round Cape Horn,

C G7 C
We're bound for South Aust ral ia.

Chorus

F C
Haul away your rolling king,

F C F C
Heave away, haul away,

Am
Haul away, oh hear me sing,

C G7 C
We're bound for South Austr ali a.

As I walked out one morning fair, etc.
'Twas there I met Miss Nancy Blair, etc.


I shook her up, I shook her down
I shook her round and round the town.


There ain't but one thing grieves my mind,
To leave Miss Nancy Blair behind.


And as we wallop around Cape Horn,
You'll wish to God you'd never been born.
john


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: Joybell
Date: 30 Jul 13 - 08:41 PM

We are running a ukulele group. True-love is a competent teacher so we have an advantage. We try to help the group understand the limitations and the advantages of using ukes. We began with simple songs -- one chord to two chord to three chord and so on. Thing is -- it's easy to play simple songs with few chord changes but it quickly becomes boring. Finding songs with interesting progressions is the key. I agree that most sea songs don't work very well. Short-haul shanties are the best bet if you really are sold on using sea songs. Calypso songs sound good if you work on the beat. We're having fun with jug-band music and with some blues. Also some 60s rock.
Proud Mary is really easy with a good beat and it sounds good even with beginners.
Good luck Sarah. If you'd like a list of our workable songs let me know.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 13 - 06:10 AM

Thank you johncharles - South Australia looks brill!

And thanks too Joybell - would love a list of your workable songs - calypso sounds fab and probably best.

Great advice too Gibb Sahib - with that in mind I've had a think and would like the chords for:

Round the Corner Sally
Whip Jamboree
Grey Funnel Line
The Mermaid
Spanish Ladies (major or minor key version)
The Ebeneezer
New York Girls

that'll do for now!...


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 13 - 12:11 PM

Sea chanties on a ukelele. Don't be so daft!


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: Les from Hull
Date: 13 Aug 13 - 01:22 PM

You do what you want. The people who dislike instruments and harmonies for shanties have their own opinions and you are entitled to yours. These songs were originally sung as work songs and are now being sung in performance. People may state a preference, but there's no right or wrong (except for the Shanty Police, bless 'em).


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Aug 13 - 10:25 AM

I'd imagine ukulele's would have been played often enough by sailors relaxing with a few songs., especially if the ships they'd been on had dropped anchor in Hawaii.

Easy to play, easy to tuck away in your kit, and cheap. I'm sure there were plenty around.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: freespiritceol1
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 09:55 AM

We once sang South Australia accompanied by an octave Bouzouki, which I think sounded OK. But were then given 'down the banks' by an unaccompanied singer, who said we would 'be the death of shanties'. We and the listeners enjoyed it, and I don't think we did any lasting harm!

Do your own thing and enjoy it.

All the best

John

PS ukuleles are great fun.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 11:30 AM

"Playing sea shanties on a ukulele"
Not when the ship went down I hope!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 12:23 PM

Jim, for that purpose you better learn a light classical string instrument. However, a uke is handy as a paddle if your lifeboat lacks oars.

Performers of shanties on land cannot possibly be authentic and are therefore entitled to any arrangement they like. Public performances require some aesthetic consideration, though.

Searching "shanty ukulele" on YouTube yields many hits (as does "Bach ukulele", mentioned on another thread). A German singer-ukist displays a large collection of instruments in the background. His (male) voice functions as the bass of the "arrangement", which is rarely satisfactory. I cannot recommend it.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 12:25 PM

That was I.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: Mathew Raymond
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 12:50 PM

South Australia does indeed fit well with the uke, though it doesn't quite compare to the dancing mandolin on Lloyd and Maccoll's version in "Blow Boys Blow"


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: Ernest
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 02:03 PM

not exactly a Shantie:

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=53175


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: Joybell
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 05:27 PM

For what it's worth, lot of work songs began life on stage during the 19th century.
Sarah, here's a list of sea-related songs:
He Played his Ukulele as the Ship went Down. -- Words are fun but it doesn't sing well. I found that it's better sung to the tune of, The White Cockade.
Island in the Sun
Twenty-six Miles (Santa Catalina) --Good uke progression.
Banana Boat Song
Sloop John B
Jamaica Farewell
South Australia
La Mer -- Beyond the Sea
The Mermaid.

Also, leaving the sea, using a Calypso beat (or not) these songs are fun on a uke:
Mango Walk
Yellow Bird.

All these songs are on Youtube.

Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: PHJim
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 05:59 PM

Tom Lewis does a lot of sea shanties, some unaccompanied, some with button accordion and some with ukulele.


Tom Lewis


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Playing sea shanties on a ukulele
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 10:27 AM

From the musical point of view, I prefer arrangements (if any) with a bass below the voice. But Tom Lewis sounds and looks perfectly convincing to me with his uke, also as an entertainer. Good link, Jim, quite to the point.

Funny songs are meant to have fun with, which gives us a broader licence than serious songs, though not the licence to kill.


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