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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Uke Player Of The Week – Christian Jahl

We recently featured The Beatles Complete On Ukulele as a member’s choice (actually my own webmaster’s choice on my birthday!) and were delighted when German musician, Christian Jahl, agreed to write us this guest article about his experience working on the project and his music. Jeanette

Christian Jahl - Publicity Photo From Artist's Website

Christian Jahl – Publicity Photo From Artist’s Website christianjahl.de; Photo Credit: Bruno Amarel http://www.ba-photographisme.com/

How did you get involved with The Beatles Complete On Ukulele?

I joined the project in 2009 after listening to a radio show about David Barratt´s idea of producing each Beatles track newly with the uke as lead instrument. That sounded so weird to me that I got in touch with David via mail. After he had heard my music, we got on well together and so I started recording Wenn Du Jemanden Brauchst. That version from the video footage was recorded in my hometown Düsseldorf, which you might know as the city where the German pop avant-garde band Kraftwerk comes from, and New York. David got my tracks with guitars, Wurlitzer and vocals and he and Roger [Greenawalt] added uke, bass and some of the effects. So, that’s what I call a real long distance production. I played all instrumental tracks and sung all vocal tracks.

Listen to Wenn Du Jemanden Brauchst / If I Needed Someone – Christian Jahl’s Myspace

Why did you pick If I Needed Someone? Was it a particular favourite song?

George Harrison has always been such an inspiration to me, his character and his way of seeing things in general. So I picked up one of his beautiful songs, with a melody that is really catchy and in some strange way “endless”. I listened endlessly to If I Needed Someone when I was a teen. Everybody used to ask me why I was listening to that “old crap”. Harrison was also the one who led me to the ukulele. Once he said, he always had a uke on him to be able to play wherever he was. That sounded reasonable to me. This instrument is like a little orchestra in your pocket, wow!! I always enjoy playing it and am happy about the renaissance it has experienced lately.
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Posted by on November 24, 2012 in Interesting Uke Sites, PLUC News & Info

 

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Ukulele Playalongs

After dancing around to Chris’ rendition of Foot Tapper at this week’s club night, a visit to Ukulele Underground revealed a selection of numbers you can bop to in their video lessons section, such as Billie Jean and Gangnam Style (who says we’re not up-to -date?). Many of these can be found on their Ukulele Play-Along channel, so you can strum along with the UU group.

For starters, here’s the Hawaii Five-O Theme - book ‘em, Danno:

 

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UkeTubes

UK Number One on 13 Nov 1968 was Hugo Montenegro’s cover version of, arguably, Ennio Morricone’s best known composition -  the theme tune to The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. It was the first instrumental to top the charts since Foot Tapper from The Shadows, five years previously.

Here’s a version of the Spaghetti Western’s theme by The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain:

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Uke History & Trivia

 

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Easy Twelve Bar Blues

We always recommend Ukulele Cosmos as a varied & interesting forum, with information to suit all levels of expertise, if you’re looking for specific items or need to ask questions about all things ukulele.

If you’re on Facebook, there’s a nice group Learn Ukulele Free, aimed predominantly at beginners, with a growing list of resources, songbooks and tutorials on their page you may wish to peruse.

One series, How To Play Really Easy Ukulele, from ShropRock‘s Chili Monster is aimed at folk with no previous uke playing or musical experience. Here’s tutorial number seven with an easy version of the blues (skip to around 9 mins in if you just want to play along straightaway).

Twelve Bar Blues For Beginners

 

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Joe Brown – The Ukulele Album

The latest offering from the uke-playing rock & roller (often incorrectly described as a ‘Chirpy Cockney’, despite the fact he was born in Lincolnshire), is an entire album of songs arranged for ukulele. Also appearing are his daughter, Sam, & her band, the International Ukulele Club Of Sonning Common.

There’s an interesting mix of uke standards – including Formby’s When I’m Cleaning Windows; favourites such as I’ll See You In My Dreams; the Chas ‘n’ Dave singalong There’s No Pleasing You; plus more unexpected numbers, including Pinball Wizard & Mr Blue Sky.

All the tunes are available for preview on YouTube. As my parents had a greengrocers shop in Sarf London, here’s my musatoid choice.

Jeanette

I Like Bananas

 

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Abilene – Prettiest Town Or Not?

PLUC favourite, Abilene, written by Bob Gibson and John D Loudermilk, makes some strong claims in its lyrics. We ask: what’s the story behind the town in the song & do these bold statements hold up to closer scrutiny?


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