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Author Topic: Calling all ukulele players  (Read 37886 times)

Tom

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Martin and Kamaka ukes
« Reply #150 on: August 10, 2011, 08:49:19 PM »
We continue to practice for an upcoming luau at another assisted-living home in another town. Last night we practiced at our home, and the hula dancer was in attendance.

Tomorrow I go check out the facility, the seating and the audio opportunities with the music director.

Last evening we were joined by a good friend of mine, a 90+ year-old with a home in Kona in addition to his home in the Bay area. He owns a couple of Martin ukuleles in addition to a Kamaka, both top-of-the-line brands. He brought two to our practice last evening. I tuned both of them, but then realized he didn't play a note.

Having spent a number of years living on the big island, our guest was enamored by the singing and dancing of our group, although a number of our best players were missing due to vacations. He left early, but whispered in my ear that he was leaving both his Martin and his Kamaka for me to play. I called this morning to confirm he was serious, and he told me to play them as long as I wish.

Oooh! They are wonderful instruments that I've been playing all day.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 11:32:21 PM by Tom »
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Jim Dick

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #151 on: August 11, 2011, 12:08:51 AM »
Tom,

I don't know anything about Kamaka but Martin is a great name in string instruments. When visiting Chet Parks, we've had the opportunity to tour the Martin Guitar factory twice. Don't remember any Ukeleles but do remember the $50,000 guitar!!! :) It was one of the Tree of Life models.

I expect you will play much better just knowing what you are holding. :)
Jim

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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #152 on: August 11, 2011, 04:10:17 AM »
Quote from: Jim Dick
I expect you will play much better just knowing what you are holding.

Aye, and now that I can play somewhat, I sure have a better appreciation for a good instrument.

Interestingly, after showing the guy how to play a simple chord, he asked if the Martin was that much better than a cheap instrument; I picked up the $20 piece of Chinese junk I bought our 2 year old grandson and we alternately played the same chord. He quickly appreciated the difference  ;D
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Jim Dick

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #153 on: August 11, 2011, 08:21:26 AM »
As the old saying goes "you get what you pay for". ;D
Jim

Titusville, Florida
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2012 GMC Terrain
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Ned

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #154 on: August 11, 2011, 08:34:55 AM »
Tom, it's not a very good picture, but does your Martin uke look something like this one?
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #155 on: August 11, 2011, 09:36:24 AM »
Not my uke per se Ned, but it's the one on the left. Darker wood, but the same non-geared tuning pegs. It's concert size, as is my hibiscus Fluke. The Kamaka is the Pineapple, and the blue one is the Chinese-made Mahalo, both soprano ukes.

Looks like the one in your photo might be from the Martin factory/museum.
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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #156 on: August 11, 2011, 09:39:17 AM »
Quote from: seilerbird
But if it is easier to play then there is something wrong with the $200 one.

Not easier to play, but it does have a better tone than the Fluke or any wooden uke I've tried/played under $500.
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Ned

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #157 on: August 11, 2011, 09:54:48 AM »
Looks like the one in your photo might be from the Martin factory/museum.

Yes, from our visit in 2002.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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seilerbird

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #158 on: August 11, 2011, 10:01:50 AM »
Not easier to play, but it does have a better tone than the Fluke or any wooden uke I've tried/played under $500.
That I can agree with. Martins just sound amazing.

Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #159 on: August 11, 2011, 10:06:22 AM »
Quote
Yes, from our visit in 2002.

That has to be on my list of places to visit Ned.
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Ned

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #160 on: August 11, 2011, 10:32:11 AM »
That has to be on my list of places to visit Ned.

It's an easy day trip from Chet's place.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Ned

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #161 on: August 11, 2011, 05:20:52 PM »
Tom J, now that you have mastered the ukulele, is this your next challenge?
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #162 on: August 11, 2011, 05:33:42 PM »
I'm a very long way from mastering the ukulele; I merely have a better understanding of what I don't know, and of how far I really have to go.

No enzontar in my future  ;D
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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #163 on: August 20, 2011, 10:14:25 PM »
Last evening was my first experience of playing/singing outdoors. We played and sang for a luau at an assisted-living home in another town. We played on their patio and were fortunate to have an arbor for overhead shade, in addition to shade trees. We also had a gentle breeze that helped keep things cool (but blew our music around a bit).

The group wasn't mic'd and, as expected, the sound didn't project very far into the audience.

We mic'd a few solos and duets, and they sounded great, in addition to amplifying our guitarist who played base riffs.

This was also my first all-Hawaiian performance. Some of those songs are tough to sing and play, but the group practiced hard for this performance. There were a couple of minor boo boos, but overall a solid performance (if the audience could hear us). Our hula dancer probably captured most of the audience's attention  ;D

Another learning experience for me, and I think I'd decline any further outdoors performances.
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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #164 on: August 20, 2011, 10:19:30 PM »
We have a 2-week break  before practicing for our next performance. Today I took the opportunity to learn to play a few songs that I've only sung a cappella. I also practiced a number of songs that I'll be teaching our grandsons (on ukulele) when they arrive for the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Edit: I just ordered a second el cheapo uke from amazon.com so they (the grandkids) don't argue about who plays when.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 10:52:18 PM by Tom »
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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #165 on: August 20, 2011, 10:22:37 PM »
One couple in our group recently returned from an RV trip where they played and sang at a number of campgrounds. I'd really love to get to the point where I could do that.
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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #166 on: September 05, 2011, 08:01:29 PM »
Saturday I launched the jet boat and headed out on the CA Delta to hook up with several ukulele-playing friends who were anchored on the water. One guy had brought his uke, but the other guy had forgotten his, so I brought along a couple of extras. We had a fun time just jamming some Hawaiian songs. Wish I'd asked someone to take a picture. Maybe there was a candid cameraman  ???
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 08:04:52 PM by Tom »
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caltex

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #167 on: September 05, 2011, 08:38:34 PM »
So did you get an audience from the other boats?
Robert

Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #168 on: September 05, 2011, 08:49:46 PM »
Initially, Dana hosted the Cluck and Bubble behind their boat, and we thought we'd serenade the ladies. But I think they got tired of it (or wanted less distraction), and they moved to another boat. I was grateful for that because all that cluckle right behind me (I was on the stern seat, and the ladies were seated right behind me) was playing havoc with my ears. Just one step away from being in a noisy restaurant, maybe worse.
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caltex

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #169 on: September 07, 2011, 11:28:26 AM »
So now we know ... if you have a unsatisfactory neighbor at your campground ... you just drag out the ukulele.
Robert

Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #170 on: September 07, 2011, 11:30:07 AM »
That's the plan  :D

Ernie was telling everyone at practice last evening about our playing on the Delta.
 
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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #171 on: September 08, 2011, 09:04:12 PM »
Had a wonderful experience this afternoon. A prior member of our group, a Hawaiian lady, taught us to play and sing some unknown (to me) Hawaiian songs. Our music director was especially attentive, because he's going to need to teach this stuff to the rest of the group.

Several key elements were apparent:

  • Unique Hawaiian strumming.
  • A voice that allows switching pitch above and below the "break" point. Our music director equated it to yodeling.
  • Pronounciation of the Hawaiian lyrics.
Definitely a challenge for my deep voice and my accent, but the lady (an experienced player/singer) did a wonderful job.
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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #172 on: September 25, 2011, 10:26:31 PM »
Our ukulele group, under the leadership of our (recently appointed) music director, continues to practice and to add new songs. We also continue to perform at various locations in the surrounding area. It's coming time to add Christmas songs/carols to our repertoire, and we'll start this coming Tuesday.

We played/sang at another assisted-living home last Thursday, and the audience was quite participative, singing along. We even had a harmonica player in the audience who played along, although I'm not sure he was playing the same song(s) as us.

I'm still looking forward to the day when I can play without the music (lead sheets), so I can entertain at a campground somewhere without needing to have a music stand.

I'm also looking forward to the day when I can play "George Formby style". George was a Lancashire (UK) guy who taught himself to play the banjouke, and entertained UK audiences for many years. I've been following this YouTube video for a lesson in how to play George Formby style (it's a tricky strum). The guy in the video is quite subdued, but he plays and teaches quite well.

Meanwhile, I've satisfied my goal of finding an instrument small enough to take along in the coach or on the boat, and which can be played to accompany myself singing.


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