Sunday, January 31, 2016

Zoë Bestel || Showreel

Award winning nu-folk singer songwriter and ukulele fanatic Zoë Bestel is making a name for herself on the Scottish music scene. With her first single reaching No. 3 in the folk chart (Amazon download) and her debut album awarded... (See the YT video notes)

Zoë Bestel || Opposite (Biffy Clyro Cover)

A bit of bari and sweetness found on Alistair's Ukulele Hunt.

Roig Rivera (en Espanol) || Bombón de azúcar (Ricky Martin cover)

Roig Rivera (en Espanol) || Ritmo Chaka chá (Rhythm Lesson)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Beth Whitney || Music for Der Bau einer Ukulele - Making of an Ukulele

Beth & Brad || Seattle Rain [KSER]

K Parks || Edelweiss

Andrew Morse || Tonewood Amp Demo

Andrew provides quite a primer on this product. Below is the beginning of his write up. Read his video notes on Youtube for the complete info...

A sample of different effects presets on the Tonewood Amp (TWA) through a Mya Moe Baritone ukulele. For more information on the TWA see their website here:

I run through a couple of presets I saved for use with this instrument. Be sure to select HD for best sound. I encoded using AAC 192 kbps

1. 00:20 Device and controls
2. 00:54 Install process
3. 01:40 Mounting the amp
4. 02:18 Effects overview
5. 03:08 Hall Reverb A/B comparison
6. 05:00 Hall Reverb A/B part II
7. 06:10 Delay (short slapback effect)
8. 07:00 Delay (longer delay) A/B comparison
9. 07:55 Autowah A/B comparison
10. 09:28 Closing remarks

Tech notes:

Instrument: Mya Moe Spruce / Fiddleback Maple baritone ukulele
Gear: ipad, Movie Pro, Apogee Mic 96k
Video: Magix Movie Edit Pro @ 1080x720
Audio 192k vbr


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Barebones Folk Instruments || Barebones Jumbo Baritone

"Elvis Jagger" || Let's Get Lost

Here's an old friend of mine from the Berkeley Ukulele Club who has moved to The Islands to follow his passion...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

SixWaterGrog || NOTES STORED

Here's something that I found interest but hadn't shared. Today it's time to share a short e-mail conversation

Hello 6WG my name is Jeff and I do a blog for the baritone ukulele. I try to find as much as possible that is interesting. I find the best links that I can but most of the time I share baritone ukulele player videos from YT and that's how I cam across your YT page and videos.

I play music for my meditation and recreation. I play mostly Bari-Uke but also have a tenor guitar (tuned DGBE) and dulcimer strum stick. I looked thru your videos and see that you are playing several instruments. I am curious about your studies of playing by ear as I have been slowing developing in this area without a prepared plan.

Can you tell me something about your plan that you appear to be developing in your videos?

Jeff / Humble Baritonics.
sixwatergrog's profile photoHumble Baritonics's profile photo

7:00 AM
+Humble Baritonics Hi Jeff - thanks for your interest. I primarily play tunes and melodies on mandolin and tenor banjo (both are tuned in 5ths GDAE). I like to use a DGBE tuned baritone uke to practice transferring some of the melodies I know on mandolin to another stringed instrument with a different tuning. Since I'm not real adept at the DGBE tuning I find that I have to rely more on aural/ear skills to play the baritone uke which keeps me from falling incorrectly into rote finger movements.

I guess my philosophy toward music is I use an instrument to whistle or sing.  What I mean is I'm just trying to find those instrumental melody notes that I would otherwise be whistling on the instrument. I'm not too concerned with improvisation - just getting to the heart of the melody and then departing from there if necessary.

I understand theory, and for several years I relied on tab to learn tunes and thought I had zero ear skills. But I noticed people who whistle their favorite tune and groups who sing "happy birthday" in unison and how they automatically know to go higher or lower with their singing. They aren't utilizing theory in a literal sense to do this; they aren't thinking about chords, et cetera. So I try to learn and then "forget" while playing a melody and approach it the same way a layperson would when whistling or singing along with the radio.

Ear training really started to click for me when I learned the names of all the different intervals - "perfect fifth", "minor third" and so on. By matching the definition with the sound it's kind of like learning the difference between the colors red and orange. By knowing the words red and orange it makes it easier to distinguish those colors.

There are only 12 notes and 7 of them are used in the major scale. Rather than use the solfege terms (do, re, mi, et cetera) I came up with my own terms for those syllables, the 7 notes in a major scale - one, two, three, four, five, six, sev. Of course not all melodies use the major scale, but all scales or modes have a "one" and that one is the same one as the "one" in the major scale. Any departures from the major scale are going to happen on notes other than the "one", so first you identify what the one or tonal center of the melody is.  This is usually obvious but if not just choose the most likely note. After that, if the melody requires are sharpened or Raised note (a note other than the major scale), I put an "r" sound (for raise) in front of that syllable - one, two, roo, three, four, ror, five, rive, six, rix, sev.  If I need to flatten or Diminish any of the notes in a major scale, I put a "d" sound (for diminish) in front of that syllable - one, doo, two, dee, three, four, dive, five, dix, six, dev, sev.

What this does is it puts any note in the melody in context both chromatically and diatonically. I am never at any point thinking about chords or the changes. I'm just thinking about the melody.

At this point in my development, I am trying to NOT look at sheet music notation at all and just learn a melody by listening. I'm not too concerned if what I'm playing is exactly the tune or not. All I'm trying to do is approximate it and then continually get closer and closer to it. If I don't get close to it and accidentally write a new melody by mistake then that's fine too. Once I have the melody it's always fun to try and play that melody in different keys (all 12 keys) and in different places on the neck using different fingerings.

I use the Amazing Slow Downer app to slow down the song as slow as necessary so that I can hear the notes. Then I try and find those notes on the instrument.  Just take it note by note, phrase by phrase until it falls into place.

I don't really believe in genres or labels or styles of music.  When I'm playing my mandolin, banjo or baritone uke the only genre of music is the genre of me making music on my instrument at that moment. So if I'm learning a Greek tune I might notice similarities to an Appalachian tune. I try to make sense of the tune's structure and phrasing in some way. When you take a tune in D and play it in a different key such as G, for example, you might notice similarities to another tune in G that you didn't notice before. There are many more similarities in music than there are differences, especially at the individual level of making sounds on your instrument of choice.

Does that help?


Humble Baritonics
8:09 PM
Lanny -- I thank you you for your time in responding to my inquiry. I have been periodically attempting the do of the same things that you speak of to a lesser degree. My time is limited quite a bit by work but I play each day and work on picking up melodies when inspired. I think that the diatonic dulcimer since there are no "wrong notes" may be a way to work on the process that you speak of, rive and dix, for example.

One of the things that I like most about doing a blog on specific instrument, such as the less common, baritone ukulele is that I find a very wide range of music. I post all genres, multiple skill levels, and anything that may support or spark interest. To me, blogging is a fairly solitary experience and it's original purpose was to act as a "binder" for me to save and share the knowledge that I come across.

Jeff / Humble Baritonics.
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Matt Daniels || You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC Cover)

I have watched Matt in the past since I have tried to stay mainly DoGBonE tuned and leaving the GCEA tuning for the numerous other websites. I just had to post this one...

Storm Greenwood || It Don't Matter Anymore

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Monday, January 4, 2016

Friday, January 1, 2016

James Hill || Tutorials

James Hill is one of the best ukulele players in the world. When he has tutorials to share you can count on getting something that you'll find useful in your playing.

The G6 Chord is D6 on the Bari

The Hardest Ukulele Chord to Play and How to Simplify It (Fmaj7 is a Cmaj7 on the Bari)

Les Stansell || The Chorus of the Bells (clawhammer style)

Mark Kailana Nelson || Favorite Fingerstyle Solos for Ukulele

Favorite Fingerstyle Solos for Ukulele

Comments from the Elderly Music site...

Book/CD set. 33 fingerstyle solos for the ukulele. The music stretches across several styles, including Hawaiian, ragtime, bossa nova, and classical. The solos progress in difficulty, and tips on technique are included along the way. More advanced arrangements introduce chord inversions and different rhythmic approaches for the right hand. Transposition charts are included for baritone ukulele. Note/tab. Intermediate/advanced. 92 pp.

Rob MacKillop || The Bach Duet Book

The Bach Uke Book

Book/CD set. Twenty duets for two ukuleles or ukulele and guitar. The first part in the duet can be played on either soprano, concert or tenor ukulele, and the second part on either baritone ukulele or guitar. Beautiful arrangements of many of Bach's most popular pieces. Some simple, some complex, but most are of intermediate difficulty. The CD contains beautiful performances by ukulele maestro, Rob MacKillop, and historical guitar specialist, Gordon Ferries. "Sheep May Safely Graze," "Minuet in G," "Sleepers Awake," "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," more. Intermediate. 44 pp.

Bruce Emery || Baritone Ukulele Christmas Carols

Bruce Emery has written several "Skeptical Guitarist" books with hit own special talents, wit and humor. I had the pleasure of talking to him early along when he was creating his baritone ukulele book, Baritone Uke from Scratch.

Now he has a new Christmas book that I missed before the holidays...

Baritone Ukulele Christmas Carols (Plain & Fancy)

Melodies, harmonies, chords and lyrics to 18 traditional seasonal songs. Sing them, strum them or fingerpick them, with several levels of difficulty from which to choose. Free audio online. 60 pp.
Baritone Ukulele Christmas Carols - Plain & Fancy

Glen & Linda || What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? (Jazz Lesson)

Sung by Linda Dathe. Glen Rose breaks down the jazz changes on this Frank Loesser tune. Jazz chord pattern lesson from  For a free chord chart with the patterns explained ask for one via the web site.

Christmas Chestnuts Jazz (bari tuned low G)