Saturday, April 30, 2011

Opal Fly || Do It Again & Hush Now

Something about Opal's music that I find intriguing. The music and words seem to flow so naturally from her.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fletcher Instruments || Gorgeous Tenor Guitar

Fletcher Instruments makes an amazingly beautiful tenor guitar.

Baritone Ukulele Luthiery

My blogging friend Judy of Ukulele Perspective made a recent post on one of her blogging friends who is also a skillful home luthier. There is quite a detailed article of Kathy Mathushida's Kasha style baritone ukulele work with lots of photos, here.

Rebecca Redman || Open Your Mouth, Shower

Rebecca Redman || Watercolor Paintings 4

Josh & Rebecca Redman || Lost Sound Tapes

Braverman || You Can Call Me Al (Paul Simon Cover on an Ohana Baritone Ukulele)

Grumpy Coyote Tunes || 3 Legged Man

I swear that cat is smiling. The song is a Shel Silverstein composition. The instrument is a Donmo Resonator baritone ukulele. Really enjoyed the tune and that old-timey sound. Thanks Grumpy!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

PHOTO: Olivia Quillio

This is just a small portion of the fantastic photo that Olivia Quillio has shared with Humble Baritonics. Since I just posted ChristyLynn as the WEEK FOCUS #10 I want to let Christy's videos stay up for a week or so before releasing the full photo. Olivia will be featured in the WEEK FOCUS #11. I have a feeling that the full photo will become the most downloaded image from Humble Baritonics. Stayed tuned, we will be sharing Olivia's talents soon.

[The current front runner is Nina playing her bari-uke bare footed and seems to be perpetually in the most frequent posts.] [That "stay tuned" came from old television days. It seems quite relevant in respect to our beloved ukulele too.]

Monday, April 25, 2011

WEEK FOCUS #10 || Canadian ChristyLynn

I haven't done a Week Focus for quite a while and ChristyLynn just posted another song. So I noticed that she had a nice selection of songs to share and so it goes. Always, she seems to sing with a smile on her face even throughout the long Manitoba, Canada winter. She let me know that she was raised in a very musical family.

I notice her strumming in particular as she varies her rhythms and techniques, especially in the song "Something in the Water." She makes the songs so much fuller -- it's something that I'd like to develop more in my playing. Here's Christy's lastest post from just a short while ago. It's a cover song "Be My Thrill" from The Weepies.

For those of you new to Humble Baritonics, take a look at the right hand column to see some videos of ChristyLynn42. They will remain there for about a week or two.

A Man with Many Ideas: Patrick Costello

Patrick has so much joy for the music he plays. I love the way he rattles through songs and shakes out ideas for us to try. Have fun and have adventures adapting this to the bari-uke.

"Sit down and let me share the little bit I know with you..."

WoodSongs Old-Time Music

Michael Johnathon's Woodsong Old-Time Radio Hour Archive

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Howobscene || Friday I'm In Love (The Cure Cover)

Skywren48 || Landslide

Make a Baritone Ukulele from Instructables

What going on in New Zealand? A Ukulele Renaissance? Guitar conversions.

PLAYLIST: Alex the BornAgainJeeper

Get to know Alex the student from Southern Illinois. Every song tells a story and Alex has another story to go along with each song. Hear about his loves and break ups, cold days wearing a hoodie, sunshine, rain, memorizing songs, double monitors, and much, much more. Alex has collaborated with other ukulele players from around the world: Grumpy Coyote, Krabbers, Ken Middleton... He has entered all sorts of contests -- but best of all, he jams on the baritone ukulele.

He is also a multi-instrumentalist and creates some great films, Imagine, and Sweet Caroline which he says he hates.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Johnny Marvin || Magnolia 1928

The picture of Johnny early in the video must've been him holding a tenor guitar. Here's a great story from 240252's YouTube comments...

"Magnolia (De Sylva/ Brown/ Henderson) - Johnny Marvin, Tenor with Clarinet, Guitar, Piano and Ukulele, HMV 1928 (UK) NOTE: Johnny MARVIN: b. 1897 in Butler, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) -- d. 1944 in N. Hollywood, California (heart attack). American ukulele player and singer, one of most celebrated performers and crooners of the era. Billing himself as "the Ukulele Ace" recorded enormous number of sides with his excellent performances of 1920s' hits, such as "Give Me A Night In June", "Marvellous", Oh How She Could Play the Ukulele," "Red Lips, Kiss My Blues Away " and many others. He even had a brand of ukulele named for him. As the ukulele craze of the 20s faded, Marvin retired. When the stock market crashed he lost his savings and came out reinventing himself as a cowboy partner to Gene Autry, providing him with a third-class career that lasted until his sudden death in age of 47. Inducted into the Ukulele Hall of Fame in 2003."

Red Lips Kiss My Blues Away with Johnny Marvin & Aileen Stanley

Song: Five Pounds of Possum

I performed this song with as much hillbilly enthusiasm as I could muster at last Thursday's Open Mic Nite at the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz. Introduced it as a song of Joy & Jubilation, a Gospel Mountain Classic. There's something about a song with "Sweet Potaters" that is irresistable to me. Here's an acapella version sung by James Hogan

Written by Timothy Warren White.
[This song has several verse variations - but this is my favorite.]

Well… [G] My children all are hungry, and [C] my dog needs a [G] bone.
[G] I just got laid off, so I [A7] must be trav’lin' [D7] home.
[G] It’s an hour after [G7] sunset and, [C] much to my [G] delight
[G] There's five pounds of possum in my [D] headlights [G] tonight.
[G] [Turnaround] [G]

CHORUS: =================================================
[G] There's five pounds of possum in my [C] headlights [G] tonight.
[G] If I could run him over every [A7] thing would be [D7] alright.
[G] We'll have some possum [G7] gravy. Oh, [C] what a beautiful [G] sight!
[G] There's five pound of possum in my [D] headlights [G] tonight.
[G] [Finger Doodle] [G]

[G] Won't have to kill no chicken, [C] won't have to open no [G] cans.
[G] Just a little bit closer and I'll [A7] have him in my [D7] hands.
[G] I think time has [G7] come to [C] change from dim to [G] bright.
[G] There's five pounds of possum in my [D] headlights [G] tonight.


[G] And we’ll “burrow” some sweet potaters from the [C] farmer’s [G] garden plot.
[G] A couple of tomaters and some [A7] peppers if they’re [D7] hot.
[G] Then we’ll add some [G7] wild onion to [C] give a little [G] bite
[G] To that five pounds of possum in my [D] headlights [G] tonight.
END TAG: [G] To that five pounds of possum on my [D] table [G] tonight!
[G] [Turnaround] [G]
[G] [Turnaround] [G]
[G] [Shave and a hair-cut ending.]

For the turnaround I do...

E -------------------
B --------3----------
G -0-2/4---4\2-0---
D -------------------
......1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

The Shave and a hair-cut ending was learned from Lil' Rev's 101 Licks for the Ukulele Book from Hal Leonard Music.

E -3-----0----|-2---3---
B ---3-3---3--|-1---0---
G -------------|-2---0---
D -------------|-0---0---
....1 2 + 3 4.....1 2 3 4

Glen Rose || Girl from Ipanema in F

Well it's in F if you're tuned GCEA.

CaribouBill || I Doodlin' with the Blues

Friday, April 22, 2011

PHOTO: Marc Reeves || Kala Sessions

I recently came across a few of Marc’s YouTube videos where he plays the Bari-Uke. I liked the videos and contacted him to find out more about his music. I recommend that you check out Marc's site and listen to his two new songs “I Want Out” and “Waiting for You” on his EP that he calls, “The Kala Sessions.” You can download them for free or make a donation if you choose. These songs were the result of Hard Times. She must be the mother of many great songs.

Here's Marc's YT Channel

Marc is from Nottingham in the U.K. He has also graciously shared a photo of himself with his Kala Baritone. I always like to post and share photos of players with their baritones – If you have one you like you can send it to

Slim on a Big Bottom Myrtle Steel String Baritone Ukulele

Roberts Guitars & Ukuleles
"Slim Symes playing Big Bottom Myrtle steel string baritone ukulele. Made by Mark Roberts, Roberts Lutherie. 16th fret neck joint, Tasmanian Blackwood sound board, Oregon Myrtle back and sides, Koa and Bloodwood binding and veneers, Gabon Ebony fretboard and headstock veneers, American Holly fret markers, Spanish Cedar neck, carbon fiber truss rod, and "tuned" side sound port. See Roberts Guitars and Ukuleles on FaceBook."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

HolliKate || Leaving on a Jet Plane

Holli is an actress and singer, and now she's got a bari-uke too...

AJ the FOOL || Nothing But Flowers (David Byrne Cover)

Kudos for doing this song AJ!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Danny Ward || Going Down Slow

Ukulele & Harmonica Blues. And a good time was had by all!

Church St. Blues (Guitar)

Shanty in Old Shanty Town (Guitar)

eBay: Gretsch Tenor Guitar (Beauty)

eBay Link

And a Regal Tenor Guitar, eBay Link.

Here's a Harmony Archtop Tenor Guitar, eBay Link.

TuNe-YaRdS (Merrill Garbus) || Doorstep

Merrill is definitely an innovator in music: simple percussion, sweet feminine voice, and a unique use of a baritone ukulele you must admit. I am always inspired by those who are naturally musical.

And over 33,000 hits on this performance...

Another version in a Brussels, Studio...

Whiskey Chimp || Northbound 101

Monday, April 18, 2011

Jonathan Mann || Portal 2

Marc Reeves || Teenager In Love

Marc writes on his blog...
"Yes, I love baritone ukulele, specifically the Kala KA-B baritone ukulele wot I bought recently. I’ve been playing it so much lately that it’s starting to feel weird whenever I pick up my Martin acoustic guitar now!"

Marc Reeves UK Folk-pop Singer Songwriter


Todd Baio || Walks the Dog

Maccaferri Islander Baritone Styron Plastic Ukulele

His YT Comments...
"This is my newly acquired Maccaferri Islander Baritone Ukulele. These were made in the 50's and 60's and were sold for $12.95 back then. All of it is Styron/Plastic except the metal tuner pegs. This one was missing a tuning knob which caused me a bit more of a problem than expected. They are banjo sized pegs, but the hole in the knob is different than anything made today. I finally got not one, but three complete Maccaferri pegs that were the correct size in literally the last box of parts the guy looked in. Lucky me! It is strung with Worth clear standard baritone strings- No wound strings and tuned DGBE. Here is where I got the pegs: I sure am grateful."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain || Kitty Lux sings Buddy Holly's 'Everyday'

Richie is playing his usual Bushman baritone ukulele...

Jen Miller || Forget Your Face (Original)

Thanks Al, Ukulele Hunt for spotting this one.

Jonathan Mann || A Music Man on a Mission!

Jonathan Mann tells his story and his plans for his collaboration on 30 songs over the month of June that will lead to the culmination of his 1000 songs in 1000 days project. He's a musician and some of his videos have featured the baritone ukulele but his work is more about the creative process. I have really enjoyed many of his 70/20/10 songs. I will be donating to his efforts.

Lew Dite Unplugged || Songs My Father Taught Me To Love at the Side Door Coffee House

Garret Baker || Annabel (Baritone Ukulele Original)

GeekMetal || Popsicle Stick Bari

Simone du Garfunk || I Still Miss Someone

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Howie's Back with another Tutorial || Someone Like You (Adele)

Emily "Hippomaiden" || Spelunking (Laura Veirs cover)

We haven't heard from Emily for quite sometime since she's been away at college.

pdf MINSTREL || Tablature for Many Fine Tunes

I have needed to update the information for the transmigration of R. Ruthen's TRI-TABS to the new and improved site PDF-MINSTREL for quite some time. Now I have finally accomplished that goal and will go back and delete the previous TRI-TABS posts. The link to PDF-MINSTREL has been up for months in the Song Links for Bari (right). It is a great, incredible and free resource.

Michael Parmenter || Sweet Bari

Gadaya || Wildwood Flower (on a Tenor Guitar)

Here's one from our Cousin the Stella Tenor Guitar, 4 steel strings, and uniquely tuned D-A-D-A for this arrangement. I guess that tuning is somewhat like a dulcimer. It does have that sound. One YouTube commenter added...
That sawmill tuning (DADA) really gives the song lots of drones -- fab.

The Old Wierd America, John Henry blog post

Thursday, April 14, 2011

jO6pac || I'm Still Here

I think it's amazing the variety of sounds that different people can get out of their bari-ukes. Here's some old bluesy rock and roll sounds from Ol' Joe-6-pack.

Jonathan Mann || I'm Going Back to Where I Started From

Simon & Garfunkel || The Sounds of Silence [Em]

Lead Sheet from Wikifonia.

The Sounds of Silence [Em]

You can ignore the following doodles...
Major Scale [G] : G - A - B - C - D - E - F# - G
Relative Minor Scale [Em] : E - F# - G - A - B - C - D - E

Thirds E-G, F#-A, G-B, A-C, B-D, C-E,...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Garret Baker || Earthly Divine

Garret continues with his haunting recording sounds. I like to watch his smooth movements for chord to chord up and down the neck. I try to follow the chords and fingerpicking. Such beautiful sounds from the bari-uke. I am so glad that Garret has returned with some new work.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Marc Reeves || Fears

I like the fullness of this performance.

TessOh1 || Nada Soso (Tears for You) on Baritone Ukulele

Melacholy, sweetness & and sadness...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Jeff Horwich || 2010 Federal Budget Blues

A timely tune...

Cynthia Nugent || Author, Illustrator, and Baritone Ukulele Player

I have an old post of Cynthia playing a beautiful jazzily chorded song way back in 8/26/10. She has her own blog that has a lot of her children's book illustrations called, NUGENT ART. I raised four kids, the youngest Kyle just turned 21 last month, so I have read and enjoyed my share of children's books. (Perhaps my favorite is the Swedish author and illustrator Sven Nordqvist's Pancake Pie. It has a definite Mad Magazine influence with the small comics in the periphery.)

So I searched Cynthia's blog for ukulele references and found two articles: I Want To Go To The Moon and A Quiet Snow Christmas. In the later, there's a video of Montanan Wylie Gustavson playing either a bari-uke-sized guitar or a 6-string baritone ukulele. Can anyone help me accurately identify this instrument? Here's Wylie's video...

NOTE: Wylie Gustafson is the cowboy behind Yahoos trademark yodel: YA-HOO-OOO! Website

Lisa & Paul || Silly Slow Boat to China

And a slightly different look & feel here...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

HannahBothWays || Wild Eyes (Live)

Hannah has an amazing voice and here she gives a live performance.

StickBoyMusic || Something Secret

Below Stickboy continues to play with his new toy. I inquired about the type of bari-uke he is playing in the video. He said it was an inexpensive brand, called a Brunswick bu4b. It has a nice sound in the video and he says it sounded better live.

The Hot Tone Rhythm Boys || All of Me

"On this film The Hot Tone Rhythm Boys are joined by the master of gypsy jazz ukulele Jim 'Django' Gritt. Jim is playing a cedar top Ohana concert ukulele and Nipper a Favilla baritone ukulele. The film was shot and edited in Sony Vegas by Jim Gritt."
Lead Ukulele - Jim 'Django' Gritt
Rhythm Baritone Ukulele / Vocals - Nipper
Double Bass - Tom French

Find out more about the Hot Tone Rhythm Boys here

Friday, April 8, 2011

Humble Uker Recommendation: Flatpicking Guitar Magazine

Hello Friends:

I am going to recommend one issue of a fantastic magazine for flatpicking guitar. Yes, I said guitar BUT I think there is such high quality instruction that every bari-uke player should have atleast one issue. I have reviewed these before and they are written for guitar but these magazines are only $6 at your fine music store or you can get a yearly subscription and have them mailed to your home with CD's of the songs in them.
  • It is a first class publication, color cover with thicker white pages inside.
  • There are numerous fantastic articles about music and skill developing.
  • This specific issue uses "Fiddle Tunes" as a basis for instruction.
  • The article "An Approach To Fiddle Tunes" is fantastic and I think gives a broad scope of techniques that will give you plenty of information to grow on.
  • I play through the examples using my fingers in the up-down technique that a picker would use but I keep my hands free for strum variations that are common to the ukulele.
  • There are (4) features and (18) articles in (92) pages. [NOTE: In this specific issue the articles are just a variety of flatpicking compositions by a wide array of modern players.]
  • Most of the songs are a bluegrass but the techniques are universal.
  • They have some scales to work on as well.
  • NOTE: Most of the songs are suited for guitar -- therefore I recommend this one issue for you to see if the magazine truly works for you too.
I say $6. That's just $6 and I think you'll find an amazing read. I think that everyone that likes to incorporate some fingerpicking into their playing will enjoy this magazine.

So the details...
(published bi-monthly)
Highview Publications
P.O.Box 2160
Pulaski, VA 24301

PHONE: (540) 980-0338
FAX: (540) 980-0557
ORDERS: (800) 413-8296
Web Site:

(6) Magazines anually for $30
(6) Mags + (6) CD's for $60

And now they have a PODCAST archive.

[Incidentally I have no connection with anyone at this publishing company -- I just share this with those who share my enthusiasm for playing music on the baritone ukulele.]

eBay: Photo of Folk Singer Mike Wesley

Nice Photo, see it before it evaporates...

Big Frankie || Little Green Apples

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jarret Delos Santos || Bari-Uke Beginner Quickie

Jarret Delos Santos says,
"Aloha, I was born and raised in a little town called Hana on the east side of Maui. Playing the ukulele and teaching the ukulele gives me a chance to perpetuate our culture. So today, we're going to be talking about the ukulele. We're going to be talking about the largest of the ukulele family which is the baritone. This offers the fullest sound. The strings on here are the last four strings of a guitar, so it is actually tuned differently than your G C E A which is the normal tuning of most Hawaiian ukuleles. And the baritone is tuned to D G B E. And if I play a vamp on it, it will sound like this: [Music playing] You notice the deep sound on it. Again, this is the largest of the ukulele family. And, you know, it takes actually a special ukulele player. Not everybody is drawn to a baritone. I really like it because of the low tones."

Some North Carolinian Sweetness || Corley Darling & Her Ukulele Wednesday

Smokey Robinson (You Really Got a Hold on Me)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Opal Fly, Foxfire and Them || I'll Fly Away

Opal Fly New Delhi Cafe, Eureka Springs, Arkansas September '09. (Opal plays both the sax and baritone ukulele.)
More Opal on Sax...

Opal Fly || She's Back!

Perhaps Opal has the most fun strumming the Bari, 2 chords and she's happy...

And a little sax from Opal too. Opal rocks!

Icelandic Seabear || I Sing, I Swim

Playing in the streets (with an f-hole tenor bearie)

The video "I sing, I swim"

Brittney || Grey or Blue (Jaymay Cover on Bari-Uke)

Brittney gives herself a hard time about her editing skills -- the video is great as it stands. Terrific singing. I'm definitely a fan of any bari-uke, player especially if they mention "The Tardis" in their vlog." Oh yeah, and Brittney if you read this -- I can't tell if your eyes are Google or Microsoft.

J. Quantrell Baritone Uke Art #1

Apparently for sale on eBay...

BOOKS || Mel Bay Flatpicking

Mel Bay has put together several instruction books for Guitar players. They are all written in musical notation as well as tablature. I have written about this book previously and thought it would be good to take a look at it again following Rhan Wilson's Bluegrass Lick.

Below is a small snipet of the book. It shows a portion of the song Dubuque. Notice that the examples (and the entire song) are only on the DGBE strings. And the flatpicking uses the rhythm of the Up and Down movements to maintain timing. I have 5 or 6 of these superb Mel Bay books but perhaps this is my favorite. Since they are made for guitar players I suggest looking thru them a to make sure your getting the best deal for your money.

Also note that the books in this series come with CD’s. The songs are played at full speed, which is quite speedy for me, but then they are broken down masterfully a bit at a time – taken into logical short segments – all the way into finger usage and placement. Eric Thompson is a brilliant instructor. I recommend this Fancy Fiddle Tunes for Flat Picking Guitar to anyone that wants to challenge their fingers a bit and play some fun tunes. [Note: about 9 of the 16 songs in the book are bari-uke ready.]

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Old-Time Music Convention in Berkeley, California?

Rhan Wilson || All In Good Time (Bluegrass Lick)

Rhan Wilson is a buddy and teacher of mine. He has a lifetime of practical musical experiences to share. His All In Good Time blog always has something good. Rhan has been giving his lessons on a soprano ukulele but it is tuned low G. All of us bari-uke players pretty much have to constantly translate from GCEA or EADGBE anyway. Below is Rhan's recent "Bluegrass Lick" video and a link to his blog post; Link.

Krabbers || Empty on My Side

Online Traditional Irish, Celtic & Old-Time Tune Book


Reels, Jigs & Slip-Jigs, Hornpipes, Airs & Waltzes.

Marches, Polkas, Carolan's Compositions, American Old-Time Tunes.

Other Online Tune / Song Books.

Tools & Links for Musicians.

Muting (Reprise)

Monday, April 4, 2011

LaurieLeeC (Cinderella Lifestyle) || Cricket Ramble

Laurie alway create something spectacular. I have paraphrased some of her words and then note her low-tech strategies for future reference.
"...I turn to the old Harmony baritone uke when my soul needs a lil' soothing. It's the little things that bring me joy. For instance: these lil songsters are my nighttime audience. The day belongs to the songbirds. I sometimes wonder if they think a big bird or bug lives here, in this house. They do make a lovely chorus."
This is a primitive recording. I achieve the primitive by making an initial audio file, then writing it to disc, playing it over my boombox, and re-recording a second track right over the top, and try to make an OK balance of volumes. It is a lil' LO-TECH escape, for me.

Jen Miller || The House That Built Me (Miranda Lambert Cover on a Bari-Uke)

JenerallyxSpeaking sings a beautiful song by Miranda Lambert and then goes into another mode for the last 2 minutes of the video. I really like her original song but I can't put it into the bari-uke playlist with all of the extra comments. Maybe if she does the EP we'll get all JenerallyxSinging in the whole video. I love Jen's energy, winking and hilarity with the videos she does on her YT 'fans gross comments' but from a dumb humble blogger's viewpoint I'd like to hear the song seperately so that I could post more of her videos. Luvya Jen. HU

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Garret Baker || My Idealised

Garret has just recently posted some more of his music. If you're into lyrics with some depth he has some of his lyrics scrolling within the videos. He has inspired me to add YouTube playlists over on DoGBonE Baritone. I think I will add more playlists over there because I like to listen while I work. You can see what I've started for Garret by clicking here.

Garret Baker || Stella

"Days of nascent love and prose penned."
I enjoy following Garret's stories in song.

Andy Cambria || Sitting Alone in the Moonlight


Brett || First Day of My Life

Brett & Ari || The Only Living Boy in N.Y.


Garret Baker || Don't Think That I Can't Move On

I am glad to see Irish Bari-Uke player Garret Baker back posting videos again. I like his combination of chords, fingerpicking and repetition. He always has that haunting sound and original deep provoking lyrics.

Todd Baio || I Know Where I'm Going (Bari-Folk)

Friday, April 1, 2011

ChristyLynn42 || Sweet Surrender

PHOTO: Mathias Kom

NOW Magazine // Music Section,50,2010