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Archives for: October 2005

Something Stupid Tab

Tonight I am posting the TAB to "Something Stupid" that was performed by a jolly old fellow by the name of Peter over at the Mele Ukulele store front in Hawaii. The video was posted on the internet and several of you requested the tab. This is a pretty fun arrangement for a low G setup.

I'll admit, I didn't spend a great deal of time trying to get the tab to represent the exact strumming sequences Peter used. He has a very unique sort of claw type strumming that he makes look effortless as he smiles and strums his way through the changes. All of the chord changes are there so just feel free to add your own strums to the arrangement.

This one goes out to FranSpain and all his buddies.

Gypsy Ukulele

Tonight I am posting track number 4 from the Legends of The Ukulele Hawaiian Masters CD. I had started Gypsy Ukulele a few months ago and completed just the first couple of sections and then got sidetracked. I have been working on a lot of Jake Shimabukuro songs lately and needed a break so I decided to work on Gypsy the last two evenings. This sort of soloing is what comes natural to me so it was a refreshing break from the hair splitting feat of figuring out Jake's material.

Gypsy is the perfect song to practice your soloing if you have someone to play the chords behind you. It is a minor progression with a Spanish flavor that will provide you with hours of jamming pleasure. I have never heard any other material by Mikel Okouchi but Gypsy proves that this guy knows his way around the ukulele fretboard.

The midi file actually sounds half ways decent. I hope you enjoy this one.

Rag Mop - Azo Bell of Old Spice Boys

This evening I put together a small section of the beginning of Rag Mop. It is basically a I, IV, V type progression with a swing feel. This Azo Bell has some serious chops. I think I heard someone say after they watched the video on Midnight Ukulele Disco that it reminded them of Soybean. I also saw a similarity between the two. For those that took Soybean's workshop on strumming at the So. Cal Uke Fest can put his triplet pattern to work on this song.

The rhythm in my tab may not be entirely correct but this should definitely get you in the ballpark. Try your own strum patterns etc. This piece is perfect for just doing all kinds of rhythm and strumming improvisations. It's hard to tell from the video but I think I am close on the right hand picking pattern used on the section that occurs the first time in measure 11. I have indicated the right hand fingering with "i" for index, "m" for middle and "t" for thumb.


Jake Shimabukuro Tab Excerpts

Quite a few requests have been coming in for songs from Jake's new Dragon CD. As requested, I am posting the excerpts I have completed so far. The excerpts available for download are Dragon and Floaters.

I have an internet friend who is very interested in Jake's material and he has offered to assist me with Dragon. Hopefully, he will be able to make some progress on the second half of it while I finish Floaters.

Dragon is definately an advanced level composition as it employs right hand tapping throughout the main theme. Floaters, however, should be attainable by most intermediate level players.

Floaters is an excellent tune for someone wanting to experiment with slack key or open tunings. Jake tuned the 3rd C string down to Bb and the 2nd E string up to F. I just have to work out the last section of mixed arpeggios and harmonics but my brain is pretty scrambled as a result of working on both of these concurrently.

I will update the pdf and midi files and make the Powertab files available as soon as they are completed.

Me & Shirley T. TAB Updated

As a result of seeing Jake's performance of Me and Shirley T. in Napa I noticed a couple of things that needed to be fixed up in the transcription. First off I tried to smooth out the intro to emulate the strumming a little more closely.

The second thing was that in the13th measure after the Em chord I opened the voicing on the last two eighth notes to sound the open A string. When I was first working on this part I thought I was hearing the F# note but playing 4420 just didn't sound right so I opted for just opening up the first string with 4430. Well, the reason it didn't sound right was because Jake is using an Esus2 voicing that he uses in his tune Crosscurrent. The F# is the note I was hearing but it is played on the C string at the sixth fret, 0602. You slide into the F# from the 4th fret on that last two eighth notes of the measure.

Lastly, Jake plays a Dm7 at the 5th fret in place of the Dm and during the Outro he plays a Fadd9 instead of the Csus4 I had presented in the original transcription. The new files have been uploaded.

I am about half way finished with working out the parts to Floaters from the Dragon CD. Hopefully, I will be able to complete it and get it into PT soon. It is in open tuning and a very pretty piece.

Jake Shimakukuro at Napa Valley Opera House

Today my wife and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. We spent the day in Napa and attended Jake's performance at the Opera House. And yes, it was her idea. She is as much a fan as I am. This is a great "small hall" venue. The sound was great and Jake's performance was very inspiring as usual. It was "family day" in Napa so it was an informal sort of performance with Jake answering questions from the fans towards the end of the show.

I also got to meet a couple of Jake's biggest fans who actually flew in from Japan just for the weekend to see both the Saturday evening and today's show. Yumiko is on the left and her friend is on the right in the photos below. Yumiko just bought a new Kamaka tenor and she allowed me to strum it for a bit. I must say that it was a really sweet sounding tenor. Imagine having it for your first ukulele.

Jake has a birthday coming up and so I presented him with an early present. I noticed, in the DVD that comes with the Walking Down Rainhill CD, Jake was using a classical guitarist footrest in one of his studio sessions. I hand-craft them in my shop and so I decided to build him one from some Koa that I brought back from Kauai'. I think he was genuinely surprised. He said he would be afraid to put his foot on it because it looked so nice. Hopefully, he will use it during his next studio session.

Here are a few pics from the day:
Dominator showing Jake how the velcro strap works.
Jake concerned about scratching it up.
Yumiko, Jake, Dominator and Yumiko's friend.

Me & Shirley T - Jake Shimabukuro

I received Jake's new CD, Dragon, last week and have been giving it a listen. It is a little mellower than I had expected but the tunes are growing on me. One of Jake's fans from Japan wanted to learn Me & Shirley T.,so I worked it out over the last couple of evenings.

It is a fun little tune in which Jake, in his traditional style, makes use of open string voicings evident in many of his other tunes. My favorite part of the entire song is the Outro section. I just love that little lick.

As always, listen to the original CD track and work out the strums that work for you. Use the tab to get the chord voicings and become familiar with the arrangement and then make it your own.

Good luck and remember to keep it fun.

Jake Shimabukuro - Touch Transcription Updated

Tonight I posted an updated version of Touch. A friend of mine, Jon Prown, pointed out a couple of chords that I had wrong in the Bridge section. I took another listen and a look at the DVD and he was indeed right on the money. The two chords are the Fmaj7/C# and and an Em7/G that occur starting in measure 25. The Em7 is a subtle difference but the Fmaj7/C# makes a bigger impact to the ear. Very nice changes. Thanks Jon.

Grizzly Soprano For an Enthusiastic 8 Year Old

I had another one of those soprano ukulele kits from Grizzly and several months ago my drummer said that his 8 year old daughter was asking for an ukulele. I told him that I had a kit sitting on the shelf that I would be willing to give to her. Seemed like I just couldn't find the time to start on it. But since I have been working on my tenor I put the soprano together at the same time.

Here are a few pics. I was going to assemble the kit as is but while examining the fretboard it snapped at the 12th fret. So I purchased some rosewood and soprano fret wire from Ukulele Supply of Hawaii and made a replacement. The scale is 13.5". I also replaced the nut and saddle with black corian. I compensated the saddle for each string. The intonation came out very good. Not dead on (personally, I think it is pretty unlikely or very difficult at best to get it right on) but very workable. It sounds like a plywood uke but it is quite fun to play because it plays in tune with itself up the neck. The finish is sprayed laquer. I did not, however, use a grain filler. It is strung with Aquillas.

Here is a sample mp3

We play in Reno this weekend so I will take it with me and give it to my drummer. He will give it to her before church on Sunday. It should make a great starter uke.

Southern California Ukulele Festival

I attended the Southern California Ukulele Festival (SCUF) this past weekend and had a great time meeting some of the folks from the various forums and bulletin boards. The workshops were fun, the performances were great and the pulled pork was pretty good too. There just isn't enough time in a one day event to really relax and take it all in. It was over before I knew it. I only took a few pictures and they didn't come out so I don't have any to share.

Herb Ohta Jr. and Daniel Ho closed the show with an awesome performance but one performer who really impressed me was the young 16 year old Brittni Paiva. She performed on ukulele and slack key guitar and played both equally as well. She was fabulous. If you don't have her CD I would highly recommend it. You can visit here homepage at and order one online.

I haven't had a lot of time to work on the tenor but I have posted a couple more progress pics on my woodworking website for those interested.