Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ukulele Blues

So, for the past week and a half, I have sat here in my polka-dotted chair doing a whole lotta nothing. I go to work until I get the hammering-on-the-ankle feeling and then I return to my chair. I really do like looking out the window. .. the 'hood will be hopping this weekend. I just know it! So exciting!!!!

The banjo uke's been just sitting here on the coffee table along with some song books. I haven't really felt like playing. My pain and frustration squash my desire to do much of anything besides look out the window. I've played a little bit, but not a whole lot... I taught myself "Dinah" but I still need alot more practice.

This afternoon, I finished up The Jerk. I really loved it. It features this great scene where Steve Martin plays a ukulele. (I couldn't find a picture of him with a uke, so I posted this one of him playing a banjo instead.) After the film ended, I went back to the bonus features to learn to play "Tonight You Belong To Me" on the uke. The Ukulele Gal, Janet Weiss, shows you how to play it using the old-fashioned uke tuning in the key of D which is A D F# B. Trying to tune a ukulele is really really hard. Just the teeniest turn of the knob will dramatically change the note of the string. So, I thought... I'm not going to screw up my tuned uke. I'll just try playing the song in the key that my uke is already in, which is C (G C E A). The first note of the song is A6. How in the word is any human supposed to warp his/her fingers into that:

So, I gave up. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel like retuning my banjo uke into the key of D. That way, I can play "Wabash Blues," in the old school tuning, too.

Ya know, the scariest thing about being alone and injured in the house is when I hear something weird in the other room and I cannot go investigate. It sounded like someone was just playing a steel drum in my kitchen... but it stopped. So nothing can be wrong, right?


Howlin' Hobbit said...

That chord form is a bit of a stretch for a newbie but isn't impossible. Try fingering it (from left to right) index, ring, middle, pinkie.

It is hard to grab fast when you're first learning it but it's not beyond your capabilities. I had trouble with it at first but now use the form in a number of tunes I do with no problem.


Gye Greene said...

Ah! Someone else thought to post a similar comment.

In other words, like this:

1 2

3 4

...that is, with #1 being your pointer finger, and #4 being your pinky. But yeah, it **is** awkward. ;)