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Archives for: April 2006

Bigs & Littles - James Hill

Tonight I am posting Bigs & Littles, another composition from James Hill. In fact, according to James this was the first original piece he wrote for the ukulele.

"Bigs & Littles" is as much a virtuoso musical exercise as it is a song. Learning the piece will definitely improve your strumming and chording techniques. The piece--which is sort of classical and sort of new age in feel--is built around a rapid-fire pattern of primarily alternating dual voices that fit within a series of full melodic chords. Although James tried to keep the texture as consistent as possible by always moving two of the voices, there are moments where one of the two "moving voices" stops moving. Be sure to check out the "Performance Notes" at the end of the transcription for information on how James approaches the Em chord at measure 42.

Some of the chord stretches can be pretty challenging as well and folks with smaller hands might do better on a concert or even a soprano ukulele.

I hope you enjoy this one and please check back often as Jon and I have some more James Hill material in the works. If you don't have this CD yet I strongly recommend you add it to your collection. Even if you never learn to play the songs it makes for some great inspiration. The CD, "On the Other Hand" can be purchased through

A Note About Requests to Submit Tabs

Over the past few months I've received a number of emails from folks wanting to submit their tabs to the site. When I posted my first tab over 3 years ago I had no idea the site would evolve into what it has become today. I do consider the many requests I receive but primarily I transcribe the songs I'm interested in learning myself. I like to think of Dominator Ukulele Tabs as a place where aspiring ukulele players can find transcriptions of songs not typically found anywhere else. I think the site is special in that way.

Though I have posted a couple tabs that were provided to me for the most part the tabs represent my own personal work. I have recently recruited Jon Prown to assist me on an as needed basis. Jon is an accomplished guitarist who has also fallen in love with the ukulele and shares the same passion and is interested in much of the same material as I am.

Currently, between the day job, transcribing, playing in the classic rock band and building a few ukes I don't have the time to review the tabs and the site isn't really setup to host other peoples tabs. However, I have been in contact with Zathras and he has been gracious enough to offer to setup a TAB page at UKELAND to host the tabs. Feel free to contact him at the link above and make arrangements to submit your tabs. Thanks Zathras for everything you are doing these days for the ukulele community such as the Ukecast and hosting mp3s just to name a few. It is much appreciated.

TNC - Troy Fernandez UPDATE

I attended my first Kanikapila this past Sunday. It was a lot of fun but I have to admit that I was lost much of the time. Everyone works from the He Mele Aloha Hawaiian Songbook (the big blue book) and mine had just arrived from Amazon a couple of days before. It's much different than playing the songs I know by Jake or James Hill. Even though the songs are relatively simple with basic progressions my lack of a good foundation in basic music theory had me fumbling around. This was especially true when it was necessary to transpose on the fly when the song was done in a different key than it was in the book. If that is to change it will be up to me because it's nobody's fault but my own.

Well, after the Kanikapila I got to meet a few people and one person I had the pleasure of meeting was Joseph Ho. I had started playing around with Blue Roses Falling and my friend, Elliot, noticed Joseph was playing right along with me. I introduced myself and we ended up playing a few things of which one of them was TNC by Troy Fernandez. Joe got me all fired up to finish the transcription. Tonight I am posting an updated version that includes all the melody up to the end where Troy just jams out over a G7 chord until the fade. Hopefully, Joe and I can get together and jam a bit at the Northern California Ukulele Festival in Hayward coming up at the end of the month. It was really good to see another person who has actually learned many of the songs from Dominator Ukulele Tabs. Makes it all worth it.

Ka `Ukulele Lele - Bryan Tolentino

I met Bryan Tolentino for the first time at last years UGH Exhibition in Hawaii. I saw him perform Ka `Ukulele Lele at the Saturday night concert and knew right then that I had to figure it out. Ka `Ukulele Lele is the title track from his debut CD and I strongly encourage you to get a copy. It is available in the on-line store at Fleamarket Music and features a number of other great arrangements including his wonderful solo arrangement of Over the Rainbow.

The Ka `Ukulele Lele studio track consists of two ukuleles. One with re-entrant tuning for the rhythm and a ukulele with Low G tuning for the main melody. This is a very fun song and perfect to jam with another ukulele player or an acoustic guitarist. Bryan plays a new variation of the B Section on every pass with each one getting a little more complex as he moves through the progression. Ka `Ukulele Lele makes for a great left-hand workout and is fun to boot. I hope you enjoy this one. I 'm hoping I get an opportunity to jam with Bryan at the end of the month when he is at the Northern California Ukulele Festival in Hayward. See you there.