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RV-related and other recreational activities => Making music on the road => Topic started by: Tom on October 22, 2018, 09:43:22 PM

Title: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Tom on October 22, 2018, 09:43:22 PM
I'm updating/broadening the family singalong portfolio in preparation for the upcoming holidays. Grandkids, their parents and other adults enjoy these events. This year we'll miss some musicians from the extended family, but should still have a great time. I'm thinking of inviting neighbors at our winter retreat to join us.

In prior years I've played a ukulele. Since we won't have a guitarist this year, I've dusted off a couple of guitars and attempted to regain muscle memory. Since we won't have a banjo player, I'm trying to decide if I'll haul my plectrum banjo or a banjo ukulele.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: SeilerBird on October 23, 2018, 05:13:10 AM
I wish you the best of luck. I dusted off my guitar and attempted to play it recently and was embarrassed. My muscle memory has switched from guitar to ukulele. I hope you have better luck than I have had. :(
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: UTTransplant on October 23, 2018, 08:10:24 AM
Our family Christmas traditions include a sing along with piano instead of guitar. We do all the traditional Christmas songs, and I can usually play them. Occasionally I end up with just the soprano and alto lines, but that is ok since we donít have men who sing harmony! Making a sheet with just the lyrics is something I have been meaning to do for quite a while since we are too many to just sit around the piano. The younger crowd donít know all the words like us older folks do.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Tom on October 23, 2018, 08:19:29 AM
Quote from: SeilerBird
My muscle memory has switched from guitar to ukulele.
Our ukulele band Music Director switches between uke and guitar several times during our weekly practices, and inevitably his muscle memory gets confused. It helps when a band member shouts out "guitar" or "ukulele" when he switches instruments.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Tom on October 23, 2018, 08:25:14 AM
Quote from: UTTransplant4
Our family Christmas traditions include a sing along with piano...


I keep looking at my Yamaha keyboard and, knowing I have a keyboard at our winter retreat, I keep telling myself I need to get some practice in. But I play it about as well as I type on a computer keyboard, and Chris tells me I'm the fastest 1-finger typist she knows  :-[
Quote
Making a sheet with just the lyrics is something I have been meaning to do for quite a while...
Starting a couple of years ago, I prepared a set of folders containing only lyrics and leave them at our winter place.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: SeilerBird on October 23, 2018, 08:29:11 AM
Our ukulele band Music Director switches between uke and guitar several times during our weekly practices, and inevitably his muscle memory gets confused. It helps when a band member shouts out "guitar" or "ukulele" when he switches instruments.
If I play both of them and alternate I don't have a problem. My problem is that the last two years I have not been playing a guitar, only ukes and so my muscle memory has just flat out switched. I tried to play 'Stairway to Heaven' on the guitar last weekend and it was embarrassing. I used to be able to play it in my sleep and now the guitar feels foreign to me. I am going to have to fix that problem.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Tom on October 23, 2018, 09:03:46 AM
I suppose that's where playing a baritone uke would be helpful, since it's tuned like the (musically) highest 4 strings on a guitar. My baritone ukes seem to gather dust nowadays.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: SeilerBird on October 23, 2018, 09:25:37 AM
I did not buy a baritone uke just because it was in reality just a tenor guitar. But it would not have helped me to play one. My mind is just mush now.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Tom on October 23, 2018, 09:29:01 AM
Quote from: SeilerBird
I did not buy a baritone uke ... it would not have helped me to play one.
I was thinking it would be easier to switch between baritone uke and guitar, rather than a re-entrant tuned uke and guitar.

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My mind is just mush now.


That's my normal state  :-[
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: SeilerBird on October 23, 2018, 09:35:35 AM
I was thinking it would be easier to switch between baritone uke and guitar, rather than a re-entrant tuned uke and guitar.
No doubt you are right. However I did not really learn about a baritone uke until I had bought a bunch of ukes and decided the 8 string was my favorite. I didn't think there were any 8 string baritone ukes until I just searched and found one:

https://reverb.com/item/5438924-kala-ka-abp8-ctg-acacia-cedar-top-8-string-baritone?gclid=Cj0KCQjwjbveBRDVARIsAKxH7vltGNBlkaQdTPO5lO8zP_lfH6QK3gsX7-dpAtJxckrLJUvdIkYp6_EaAvOQEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds&pla=1

However it has no tuner or pickup so I would not buy it. I refuse to buy any instrument that does not include a tuner.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Tom on October 23, 2018, 09:43:18 AM
A few downsides to our (early) holiday travel schedule this year:

Meanwhile, I'm hoping that the ENT Doc can help heal my vocal chords that were damaged/irritated by tracheal intubation during a recent surgery; I currently speak with/like a rasp, and have zero vocal (singing) range or volume. I think I jinxed myself when, laying on the OR table, I waved a finger at the anesthesiologist and said "stay away from my vocal cords".
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Tom on October 23, 2018, 09:52:30 AM
Quote from: SeilerBird
I didn't think there were any 8 string baritone ukes until I just searched and found one:
You shouldn't have shown me that! The 8-string re-entrant Kala has been my primary uke for several years, and playing a 4-string sounds 'empty'. The Kala folks didn't mention the 8-string baritone when we toured their Petaluma factory a couple of years ago, nor did they have it in their extensive showroom. A call and visit to my favorite music store and Kala dealer in LaFayette may be in my near-term plans!
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: SeilerBird on October 23, 2018, 11:03:12 AM
It does look very cool and tempting but with no electronics I would have to have a pickup and tuner installed. However I am way too in love with my new Lanikai to even consider getting one, thank heavens. I am in love with a keyboard and I am anxious to sell my current one and buy the new one.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Music-88-Key-Electric-Digital-LCD-Piano-Keyboard-with-Stand-Adapter-3Pedal-Board/123416640958?_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D52885%26meid%3D6af57731727c4696af07cc30c8ac3ebe%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D12%26sd%3D123416641050%26itm%3D123416640958&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: martin2340 on October 23, 2018, 02:47:18 PM
I see both Seilerbird and Tom are having Ukulele conversation. A friend of mine and I were talking this past Saturday about her family business in Boyertown PA called Funky Frets and Ukulele's are their thing. They host get togethers with folks from around the country and said that someone from S Florida has come up. I know Seilerbird you are down in FL somewhere and was wondering if you ever made it to Boyertown's Funky Frets Uke Fest.
https://funkyfretsukefest.com/
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: SeilerBird on October 23, 2018, 03:05:53 PM
I see both Seilerbird and Tom are having Ukulele conversation. A friend of mine and I were talking this past Saturday about her family business in Boyertown PA called Funky Frets and Ukulele's are their thing. They host get togethers with folks from around the country and said that someone from S Florida has come up. I know Seilerbird you are down in FL somewhere and was wondering if you ever made it to Boyertown's Funky Frets Uke Fest.
https://funkyfretsukefest.com/
No I have not had the pleasure if attending BFFUF but it sounds like a blast.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: UTTransplant on October 23, 2018, 03:49:31 PM
Meanwhile, I'm hoping that the ENT Doc can help heal my vocal chords that were damaged/irritated by tracheal intubation during a recent surgery; I currently speak with/like a rasp, and have zero vocal (singing) range or volume. I think I jinxed myself when, laying on the OR table, I waved a finger at the anesthesiologist and said "stay away from my vocal chords".
Hope they can find something easy to fix. I had issues after part of my thyroid was removed. Intubation and just general throat trauma reduced my normal booming projection to barely more than a whisper. It was terrible! ENT said he couldnít see anything wrong, but I happened to mention it one day to the physical therapist working on my knee. She checked me out, and I had significant scar tissue in my throat around the vocal cords. She (very painfully) broke up the scar tissue over a few visits, and I can now project my voice to the back of the church again! Just something else to keep in mind if the ENT canít help, though they probably can.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Tom on October 23, 2018, 05:07:57 PM
Thanks for the info on the alternate fix for scar tissue. How did the therapist break down the scar tissue?

My ENT appointment is next week, but tomorrow I have another procedure requiring anesthesia and intubation; I hope it doesn't compound the issue.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: SeilerBird on October 23, 2018, 09:27:49 PM
Speaking of singing, I just stumbled on this interesting video of Paul McCartney singing the same song over almost 50 years. It is amazing how much his voice changed over the years.

https://youtu.be/u4ioG9fboR0

Blackbird was my party piece. My best friend in 68 when it came out was a guitar teacher. He asked me if I wanted to learn to play it and I laughed. I had only been playing guitar for three years at that point and I thought it was way to hard for me to learn. Only took me a week to nail it. But it never sounded exactly right to me the way I was playing it. I slowed down the record trying to figure it out but I could not figure out exactly what I was doing wrong. When Paul plays it in concert he sometimes asks the audience if anyone has learned to play it and an amazing number of hands go up. Then he tells them most people play it wrong. He is doing a brush stroke where most people are individually picking the notes. But in 50 years of playing it I never once had someone tell me I was doing it wrong. People were always amazed I could play it. Recently I found a video on the Internet that shows exactly how to play it. I tried to play it the right way and could not defeat my muscle memory to play it right. Finally I just gave in and decided to keep playing it wrong.

Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: cadee2c on October 24, 2018, 03:29:34 PM
My family tried a sing a long once. The SWAT team showed up thinking someone was being tortured.  :o

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It is amazing how much his voice changed over the years.
I have a friend who was a street musician/folk singer who just turned 80. I met him 15 years ago when he was still singing. I have many of his cds, and listen to them frequently. The difference in his voice between the cds (he sounds alot like Willie Nelson) and the last couple of years he was doing house concerts is quite distinct.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Tom on October 24, 2018, 04:23:39 PM
Quote from: cadee2c
The difference in his voice between the cds ... and the last couple of years he was doing house concerts is quite distinct.
Prior to puberty I was a soprano, but now have a very distinct baritone voice, bordering on bass.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Tom on October 24, 2018, 04:26:30 PM
Quote from: Tom
... tomorrow I have another procedure requiring anesthesia and intubation; I hope it doesn't compound the issue.


Prior to today's procedure I talked to the anesthesiologist and explained the issue resulting from the prior anesthesiology. He decided to change his procedure and not use a breathing tube.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: SeilerBird on October 24, 2018, 04:28:37 PM
Tom = I went music store shopping today and found two very interesting ukes. The first is a Fender uke that is endorsed by Grace Vanderwaal. I am thrilled she got a major deal with a major company. I did not see one of the ukes on display so I did not try it out. There was however a bass uke that I really liked the looks of so I tried it out and fell in love. It is a lot prettier than mine and the frets are jumbo sized compared to mine and it made it much easier to play. Now I must sell my bass to get this one.  It is $299. I should be able to get $100 for mine. I also noticed a baritone uke and since I have never played one I tried it out but was not impressed. It was more like a small guitar rather than a ukulele. But the neck was sure easier to play. I can't believe I actually made it to two music stores today and did not spend any money. I am slipping. :o
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: UTTransplant on October 24, 2018, 07:30:55 PM
Thanks for the info on the alternate fix for scar tissue. How did the therapist break down the scar tissue?

My ENT appointment is next week, but tomorrow I have another procedure requiring anesthesia and intubation; I hope it doesn't compound the issue.
Best of luck. The scar tissue breaking up was a matter of the PT basically tearing it free from what it had stuck to. Not pleasant, but totally worthwhile.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Tom on October 24, 2018, 09:03:23 PM
Fender makes a nice product, but a soprano is way too small (short neck) for me. I get by with a concert, but tenor is my ideal size.

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It was more like a small guitar rather than a ukulele. But the neck was sure easier to play.


Interestingly, playing a baritone uke is what led me to buy my first guitar; It seemed like a natural progression.

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I can't believe I actually made it to two music stores today and did not spend any money.


It's a joke in our band that none of us can visit our preferred music store without coming away with at least one instrument. OTOH this store offers us deals that can't be beat, including online. They have some great techs, and any time I've gone there with a repair, they've dropped whatever they were doing and take care of me.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: SeilerBird on October 24, 2018, 09:59:10 PM
Fender makes a nice product, but a soprano is way too small (short neck) for me. I get by with a concert, but tenor is my ideal size.
I was not suggesting you buy her uke, I was merely pointing out the fact that it exists, which I find thrilling. I searched for it and found they make both a soprano and a concert which she has her name on. I would not buy any instrument that was endorsed by an artist. Having someones name on an instrument only adds money, not value or playability. I feel the tenor is also my idea size. I am very comfortable playing it. :D
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Interestingly, playing a baritone uke is what led me to buy my first guitar; It seemed like a natural progression.
I can see that.
Quote
It's a joke in our band that none of us can visit our preferred music store without coming away with at least one instrument. OTOH this store offers us deals that can't be beat, including online. They have some great techs, and any time I've gone there with a repair, they've dropped whatever they were doing and take care of me.
There are four music stores of note in Orlando, two Sam Ash and two Guitar Centers. I don't stop by often enough to get to know any of the salesmen. I don't like salesmen so I try and avoid them. Today I stopped and asked if I could play the bass uke and a salesman got it out of the case and handed it to me. I headed over to get a chord and plugged it into the same Fender amp I have at home. The salesman came up and told me that the bass amps were in another location and pulled the plug and herded me over to the bass amp section. On the way I told I wanted to listen to in the Fender amp because that was what I had at home. He completely ignored me and plugged me into a bass amp. There is no chance I would have bought it from him.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Tom on October 24, 2018, 11:43:32 PM
We're fortunate that the folks at our preferred music store never try to sell us anything. They are very accommodating when we visit the store, and allow us to play anything from their huge display. They have also ordered instruments from manufacturers just for me to try, with no obligation to purchase. The store owners (husband and wife) have also attended a number of our concerts as a show of support and appreciation for our business.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Jeff on October 25, 2018, 01:14:32 AM
Tom hope all goes well.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Tom on October 25, 2018, 09:27:41 AM
Thanks Jeff. Recoveriing my voice is the main remaining concern. Last time this ENT Doc treated me for a similar issue, he inserted a camera up each nostril and down into the trachea. He diagnosed inflamed vocal cords, and prescribed steroids, which did the trick. He told me "I don't prescribe small doses like other docs". Instead of the 'normal' 2/day, tapering to 1/day, he started with 8/day. Hope this will be a similarly simple fix.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Hanr3 on October 25, 2018, 06:21:26 PM
Good luck.
I have zero musical talent, can't dance, and have no natural rhythm. According to my wife.
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: Tom on October 25, 2018, 06:49:50 PM
Quote from: Hanr3
... can't dance...
Neither can I; On the dance floor I'm like an elephant with 4 left feet  :(
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: SeilerBird on October 25, 2018, 06:51:57 PM
Dancing is one thing I really miss. I loved to dance all my life. I spent a lot of time in country bars two stepping and line dancing. Way too much fun. :))
Title: Re: Family holiday singalongs
Post by: kdbgoat on November 04, 2018, 05:09:54 AM
I can't dance either. You would think I'm wearing wooden underwear.