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Archives for: February 2012

Dominator is a Finalist in the CAAM Ukulelestar Contest - Open for Jake Shimabukuro

Dominator has made the finals in the CAAM Ukulelestar Contest for a once in a lifetime opportunity to open for Jake Shimabukuro at the Asian American Film Festival on March 14th.

There are 6 finalists and I need your support over the coming week in order to be victorious. In the next day or two the folks at CAAM will be uploading the videos to their Youtube Channel at . The videos are now "LIVE" and here is a direct link to Dominator's video where you can post a comment and click the "Like" button. . Thanks so much for your support.

This is what I know so far. There won’t be an actual “voting process”. They are going to monitor the “comments” and “likes” that the videos get once uploaded to their CAAM YT channel. You may have to subscribe to their channel in order to participate. CAAM will monitor audience feedback based on comments and likes etc. and make a decision (the number of comments and likes doesn’t necessarily determine who wins). The viewing period is scheduled to begin sometime Thursday Feb 23 and go through Feb 26 unless they need more time to come to a decision. So it is important to subscribe right away to the CAAM Youtube channel. See info below regarding setting up an account. As mentioned above, the most comments and likes don’t necessarily determine the winner and the ultimate final decision is with Jake himself.

You all know what a huge Jake fan I am and I’ve been contributing to the ukulele community for over 10 years now putting my heart and soul into this website and sharing my knowledge with all of you. I believe I’ve paid my dues and sincerely believe I deserve to realize this special opportunity. And with your help and favorable comments it may just be possible. Please note that your comments need to be on the video that will be posted on the CAAM Youtube channel, not the video already uploaded to my channel.

How can you help?
Create a Youtube account (if you don’t already have one) and subscribe to the CAAM Youtube channel (website URL is above). If you are uneasy about getting SPAM as a result giving your primary email address just get a free yahoo or hotmail email address to use when creating your account. Once you click the subscribe button, hover over it again and check the box to be notified by email when new videos are uploaded. That way you will get a notification and can go view the video and make your comments once CAAM uploads the videos. Be sure to click the “like” button also when viewing the video

If you don’t have a Youtube account and don’t want to create one for this purpose please share this info with your friends that do have a YT account.
Your support is greatly appreciated.

Kalei Gamiao - The Unknown - Video Tutorial

Over the past several weeks I’ve had more than my share of requests for Kalei Gamiao’s The Unknown” which was recorded during one of the episodes of HiSessions. The crew at HiSessions is producing some really hi quality videos of an ever growing number of artists.

Kalei has blossomed into such a great ukulele player over the past few years. When I saw him the first time several years ago he was fantastic but now he has reached another couple of levels. Similar to Jake, not only is he a gifted musician but he is also a very humble and gracious human being. I know he’s working on new songs for his upcoming CD and I’m assuming the Unknown will make the list.

I’m planning to put a tab together but I decided to do a video tutorial to document the process as I learn the song. This way you can get started learning the song along with me.

I get loads of emails with people asking me for specific strum patterns to many of the songs I have in the tab archive or in my videos. The fact is, I rarely think about what strum pattern I’m playing when jamming or playing a song. You need to have a good sense of rhythm and timing and with experience this becomes natural. You can play the exact strum pattern but if you don’t have good a sense of timing and don’t change the chords at the correct time then it’s all for nothing because the playing won’t sound “musical”. On the other hand you can play a much different strum pattern and flow through the progression with good timing, making all the chord changes at the appropriate times, and your playing will sound great and you make it your own.

Therefore, for the purposes of this video tutorial series I’m going to assume those that want to tackle this song already have some basic skills under their belts and can improvise their own strum patterns. I will present some of the basic patterns but I won’t be going into great detail. The patterns I do present will be those I’m playing and most certainly won’t be exactly what Kalei is playing.

Kalei does use a unique strumming technique on many of his songs including The Unknown. Ukulele Underground member ItsAMeCasey has put together a mini-tutorial on the Kalei Gamiao Strum. I recommend that you click the link to the left and view this tutorial. It will help to prepare you for this song.

I will edit this post and put the new videos here as I complete them.

A Chance to Open for Jake Shimabukuro at the Asian American Film Festival

Hey everybody, I just found out about a contest being held by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). The winner will get to open for Jake Shimabukuro and perform one song at the Asian American Film Festival coming up in March.

Jake has been a major source of inspiration along my ukulele journey and this is most likely one of those once in a lifetime kind of opportunities. Another cool thing about this particular contest is that it requires the participants to play a song composed by Jake himself. So this eliminates his great covers such as While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Going to California and Bohemian Rhapsody. I was really torn between choosing a softer, mellower, song or one of his more aggressive compositions. In the end I chose to do an up-tempo song called Crosscurrent.

This is my video entry. The judges will narrow the field down to the top five videos and then it will be up to you to cast your vote and help pick the winner. If I make the finals I hope I can count on you all for your support. It may be a long shot but the way I look at it you’re never too old to keep the dream alive.