Archives for: June 2005
6/30/2005 - This evening I took a crack at recording "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" on my new Glyph "Wahine Po'o" tenor. You will notice that my arrangement (my version of Jake's MUD version) is very similar to my transcription yet quite different. Use the tab, as I have, for the basic foundation of the song but let your own picking and strumming that you are comfortable with shine through. I was very hesitant to play the aggressive strumming parts way up on the neck as I knew it would result in some battle scars on the uke. Even after cutting my nails down to nothing my little Wahine is sporting many scratches in the finish. But, I had Dave make me a player so I could play it and that is what I intend to do. I know this song has been played quite a bit lately as a result of Ukulele Midnight Disco, Jake's various interviews etc. but I hope you enjoy my attempt at this classic George Harrison tune.
6/26/2005 - A few of you were asking for the chords to the sound clip of my new Glyph "Wahine Po'o" tenor. The sound clip is an excerpt from the theme song to the movie "Titanic" and is called "My Heart Will Go On". Jake Shimabukuro recorded it on his Sunday Morning CD. You can download the chord shapes HERE.
6/24/2005 - Today I received my Glyph "Wahine Po'o" tenor ukulele. I put some pics and a short sound clip HERE.
6/12/2005 - I attended the Jake Shimabukuro show at Borders Books and Cafe in Sacramento this evening. Even though he only played for approximately 30 minutes it was still an awesome show. And free to boot. I was able to speak with him after the show and play a little of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" for him and present him with a copy of the transcription. It was a great day. You can read more about it as well as check out some pics from the show HERE.
I also got to meet Andy W. from the Fleamarket Bulletin Board. He is finally back from his tour of duty in Egypt and we plan to get together soon. He is a real good player who I am sure to learn a lot from in the near future.
6/11/2005 - OUTFITTING MY FLUKE WITH A MANDOLIN STRAP: A day before the Hayward Uke Fest I rigged up a strap for my Fluke because I new there would be plenty of jamming going on. In order for me to keep my fretting hand in proper position to play efficiently it must be free from the task of having to constantly hold up the ukulele neck. I heard about the Planet Waves Acoustic Quick-Release on one of the bulletin boards and thought I would give it a try. At $4.00 from Musicians Friend I figured I couldn't go wrong. I paired it up with a Planet Waves Mandolin Strap that I also found at Musicians Friend. The Quick-Release has one end that attaches to the headstock and the other attaches to the strap. Here is a closeup. To attach the strap at the tail or bottom of the Fluke I used self adhesive velcro. I attached one piece to the bottom of the uke and the mating piece to the strap. This worked well for the entire day in Hawyard but within a few days the adhesive failed to hold on the strap. To solve this problem I took the strap to my local shoe repair man and had him sew the velcro to the strap. It took him about 2 minutes and cost me $5 (which is his minimum and I knew that going in) which I found to be well worth it. The strap system works great. The only complaint is that when I take both hands off the uke it will slip to the right side of my body a bit. The forearm easily keeps it in place while playing and it is much easier to play than trying to hold it without a strap. The other positive thing is that it doesn't require any permanent modification to the Fluke. To return to original condition all that's required is to remove the velcro from the bottom and clean off the sticky residual.
6/9/2005 - I had the day off today and spent all day working on transcribing the details for While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Many of you were waiting for the chord shapes Jake uses on the improvisation section towards the end of the song. This section starts at measure 60. However, I was forced to cut it a little short as I was unable to recreate the strumming. My head is spinning and I'm on overload so this is as much as I can handle at this point. If you master what I have included in the transcription then chances are you don't need me to show you the rest.
Note that the hand written tab I posted previously has a few chord voicings that were wrong. I was able to sort this out after spending hours working on it this afternoon. That file has been replaced with the current PDF file.
I would especially like to thank Jason Tagg and Ken Steen for making the video and mp3 files available for my use. I couldn't have done it without their help. Enjoy.
6/7/2005 - Tonight I am posting the first of a number of songs from Herb Jr.'s Ukulele Breeze CD. This first offering is a beautiful tune composed by Barry Flanagan of Hapa called Lei Pikake. I fell in love with the melody while driving home after Herb gave a workshop in Berkeley back in December. I knew I had to play it and decided last evening to take a crack at it.
Barry also performs on the tune playing what I believe to be an acoustic guitar. Herb Jr. uses primarily GCEA with a low G on his ukulele however, don't let that worry you. The song can be played in standard re-entrant tuning because it doesn't have many runs or passages that rely on the 4th string. And in most cases when the 4th string is used, the standard tuning sounds great. As a matter of fact, I used my Fluke with re-entrant tuning to transcribe the piece. The song starts off in the Key of A and then modulates to C after the solo is complete at measure 63.
I have attached some "Performance Notes" to the PDF file that has additional information about my approach to this transcription so be sure to give it a quick read. Hope you enjoy.
6/1/2005 - Well, it has been over a month since posting anything new. Things have been really cooking with the day job lately and thus not much new on the ukulele front. My Glyph tenor should be coming soon so I have that to look forward to. With things being so busy and all and time being at a premium I'm having to post some hand written (excuse my scribbling) tab in order to share my most recent project. I viewed the video of Jake Shimabukuro playing While My Guitar Gently Weeps on the Midnight Ukulele Disco website and was blown away by the Jakester once again. I have worked out the chord shapes for the arrangement. I have scanned a PDF file of the basic chord shapes and a few of the hammer ons and the walk up at the end of Section B1. Those two sections are pretty essential to his arrangement. It will take much much time to get it into the PT format so I offer you this hand witten tab to get you started. However, this tab is not a blow by blow account of his performance but I present the chord shapes he uses throughout the piece. It is in the key of C and most of the chords utilize the 3rd and 4th strings open. There are a few stretches but with persistence I know you will prevail.
The shapes are all there up until he starts the up tempo strumming towards the end. I have those shapes figured out as well and will post them down the road. I wanted to get the main melody completed and make it available now. Note that Jake is tuned flat and therefore you would need to retune to play along with the video. However, if you have his CD version of the song, it is in concert pitch and most of the chords seem to be the same as used in the studio recording.
So just strum in a manner that is comfortable for you and you will have this George Harrison classic sounding great. Good Luck.