Archives for: May 2007
A Visit From John Rockwell
John drove up from So. Ca. this weekend and took delivery of his Dominator spruce top soprano ukulele. This was my second soprano. We had a wonderful time spending several hours together playing, talking ukes and enjoying life. John brought a number of ukes with him including a vintage Martin style O that was very nice as well as his KoAloha soprano. Here are a couple pics that pretty much sum up the day.
Craig Robertson's "Fly On Your Wall"
I wanted to record something with John's soprano before he gets here to pick it up next weekend. This upcoming week is going to be really busy and I knew I wouldn’t have time later so I snuck in a little time this evening. I’ve been wanting to try to sing this Craig Robertson song for a while now so having a soprano in hand gave me the opportunity to give it a try. Craig writes some of the coolest tunes for ukulele and I think this is one of them. Hope you like it too.
BTW, this is just one of many great tracks on his "Practical Hypnotism" CD available at Craig's Website.
Soprano Completed for John Rockwell
Many of you are probably familiar with John Rockwell’s YouTube videos and his many original audio recordings available over on the EzFolk site. Last night I completed a soprano for him in some killer tiger maple with a spruce top and an ebony fretboard and bridge. At John's request I strung it up last night with Worth Clear Medium strings. This is the first time I’ve used Worth on a soprano and they are quite a bit thinner in diameter than the Aquila’s I’m most familiar with. You will notice, in the pictures below, a lone Aquila residing in the A string slot. Even though I double knotted the A string it was still narrow enough to slip through the bridge after about 18 hrs under tension. I had already cut the string at the tuner post and after putting a couple more knots in the end it wasn’t long enough to allow me to get it re-attached to the tuner. Mike Atkins is coming to the rescue and I will have new strings for it by mid week.
Below are a couple of pics and a sound clip I did last night after the strings were only on for about 30 minutes. They were still stretching quite a bit but John wanted to hear it so I did a quick recording. I’m looking forward to John’s arrival over the Memorial Day weekend to take delivery.
I think the uke sounds great and has potential to open up and develop into a fine instrument but John will be the real judge and jury in that department.
I'll See You In My Dreams - UPDATED TAB
Tonight I’m posting an updated version of “I’ll See You in My Dreams” based on Joe Brown’s performance from the DVD “Concert For George”. The entire 2 DVD set is an awesome musical tribute and in my opinion a must have for anyone’s collection.
Over the past week or so there’s been some healthy discussion on various ukulele bulletin boards and forums regarding my original transcription that I posted back in February of 2004. It was pointed out that there were some errors in the music notation as well as incorrect chord names. It only took a few seconds after revisiting the extracted audio from the DVD and the midi file generated in Powertab to realize that this song required a swing tempo.
Over the past couple of evenings Arch Larizza and myself have been burning up some bandwith re-working the transcription. Arch is a cracker jack when it comes to chord construction and theory in general. I sent him my revised transcription and we sent a number of revisions back and forth in an effort to produce a more useful piece of music instruction. I think we have achieved just that. Some of the chord names could still be wrong but with lyrics added, to keep us on track, and a few other enhancements I think it is a huge improvement.
This song is as big an inspiration for attracting new people to the ukulele as is Jake’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps video. I hope this update makes it easier for folks to approach and master this song and I sincerely thank Arch for being the catalyst in identifying the need for a re-work and for his help in the process. It was a very worthwhile exercise.
Updated files are located on the TAB PAGE.
Stars & Stripes Forever
Tonight I'm posting Stars and Stripes Forever. I've been meaning to put the tabs together for the version on my mp3 recording ever since I first recorded it. I've had a number of inquires regarding the tabs and a recent request to have it done in time for the 4th of July celebration was enough to get me fired up about getting it put together.
The transcription contains sparse elements of the Opihi Pickers' version, from the Legends of the Ukulele CD, but much of it is based on a version recorded by Jake Shimabukuro.
Since it's early May there should be plenty of time to master this one before the fireworks go off this coming July.
Use the yellow Tab link at the extreme top of this page to navigate to the tabs page to download the files.
Let's Dance Tab
After posting my video of Let's Dance I received loads of requests for the tabs. I found a small window of opportunity and was able to put it together over the last couple of evenings. As with my other tabs of Jake's tunes I won't be able to post them on my site but I do have it for future reference.
I hope to find some time to get some new tabs put together for the site soon. I've been in contact with a smokin' ukulele player, Aldrine Guerrero, who you may have seen on YouTube. He gave me the thumbs up so I'm hoping to start working on his tune titled Bandito Tyler soon.