Here's a neat little trick that makes some songs sound “more like the song” and makes other songs just sound — better.
022_Dailies on 2020-04-16 at moving note.mp4: Video automatically transcribed by Sonix
Welcome to Ukulele Practice Time with Danno. I've got a great topic for us today and it's all about moving notes.
So I mentioned my topic idea for today, which is single note movements. And what do I mean by that? Here's what I mean by that. It came out of yesterday. We were working on the idea of how to plan ahead for finger movement. And the example I was using was Secret Agent Man. And remember how that one sounds. It goes like.
Single note movement
So that is a great example. But wrong in some ways for what I want to talk about today, the idea is that that's a single movement, a single note movement up and down a string.
So the movement that I'm talking about is happening on string one closest to the floor. Why it's not a perfect example for what we're talking about today is because it's featured so prominently in the song that it jumps beyond this idea that we're talking about today of single note movement. And it becomes the feature of the song. It really is a riff. So that's one of those fine lines, you know, and you get to decide How you want to think about it, but that's that's my line of delineation. It's such a crucial part of the song. So let me give you an example of that where it's less prominent, but just as important for the sound of the song.
The mental roladex
By the way, like I said, The whole goal of practice time is not for me to be giving you a lesson necessarily, although I'm happy if I can Form it into a lesson in the process of kind of giving you my thought process. So my thought process was simply messing around with secret agent man and liking that movement so much and starting to go through my mental Rolodex. What are some other songs where that sort of idea comes into play?
So that's what I encourage you to do. One thing I encourage you to do when you're practicing, when you're thinking about songs, so much of practice really is that the mental aspects of it, when you start to make associations from one song to another or from one exercise to another place where you can implement that exercise. To me, so much of it is about the physical skills, yes, but at least as much, if not more so, about starting to make those mental connections. That's when I feel like you start to think like a musician as opposed to somebody who's just learning to play the ukulele.
An anecdote. “You sound like a good little boy.”
My 14 year old son has been taking piano lessons. This is an example. I'm going into anecdote territory now. He's been taking music lessons since he was very young. And for the last few years, he's been with this wonderful teacher located near us. She's a very strict but kind Russian woman.
And so she has kind of that Russian feel about her as she's teaching. And since he's been at home, he's been doing online lessons with her because just like everyone, he's home and she's home. So if she's transferred over to online and carrying on. So I've been able to overhear some of the lesson material coming across. And this is what she said to him the other day.
He played his pretty complicated piano piece and she says to him in her strict Russian voice. You sound like a good little boy who has been practicing his lessons. That's a terrible Russian accent, I know.
But the comment. Was beautiful, you sound like a good little boy who's been practicing and as opposed to putting in the extra flavor, what makes it artistic, what makes it wonderful in some way and of course, that's her job as the teacher is to instill that into him so long way around. That's my way of saying that, yes, you can get the finger skills that you need. And don't get me wrong. Golly, gosh, that's as vital as every other aspect. But there is another aspect which is thinking about how to play.
Songs with the walk
Point being, it's nice when you start to make those mental jumps, and that was my mental jump from yesterday from secret agent man, you know, kind of 60s pop. Well, that line is what got me going, sent me down a whole road, so that's what I want to talk about today. I put together a list of songs which you can't see, but I can. So listen to how different in style these songs are. Blue Skies, looking at me, nothing but blue skies. Do I see you know that one? And then there's one called Kiss Me that was big in the 90s by six pence none the richer.
Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles. Because by the Dave Clark five to 60 songs, I'll see you in My Dreams from. The 1920s, I think, and then secret agent man on my list from the also from the 60s.
Blue Skies, Irving Berlin
So let me dig into one of those songs I'm going to start with Blue skies. Give me one second here. I actually have the music to share with you, although this is the least important part. Sometimes I just like to share these beautiful covers. Gosh, don't you love this old sheet music? So really, one of the things that got me into the ukulele was Having this love of these beautiful old documents, all right, so we want to skip ahead into.he chorus of this song.
So just on a side note, you'll notice this is a, At the top of the page turner ukulele or banjolele to A D F# B, we're not going to worry about that today and in fact, in this particular piece of sheet music. You see how they don't name the chord diagrams. So in a case like this, we are free just to look at those chord shapes and disregard everything else. So let me scroll down to the chorus coming up. There it is.
So if you can see what I can see, we've got the chorus blue sky smiling and smiling at me and I hope you can see me and my big head down at the bottom.
So listen to this guy is smiling at me. Nothing but sky do I see it.
So even if you're not a big fan of Old-Time Music, I'll bet you know this one. It's such a Enduring classic, but what I want to point out is in the same way that secret agent man has a line that goes up and down, Blue SKies also has a line that goes up and down and gives this wonderful little melodic movement. It happens much slower. It's much more subtle. In blue skies it goes.
That said, it's three and back up if you want it to, and it's written into those chord shapes.
I hope you can see those chord shapes OK, if you can't, it's in my fingers, too, but I'm on string three.
So think about. How you could separate that moving baseline will call it from the chord shapes, what if you just played blue skies smiling at me?
You could almost do it with just a D minor there.
So if you were trying to work out a song and add that movement in, That's one way you could do it, you can find a note that wants to move and just make it move. In fact, when I was practicing earlier, I was playing instead of an eight seven as the second chord, I was doing a fudged up D minor.
I wanted to keep the D minor, but have the base walk down, but I want to squeeze in all these songs and we're already running short on time, so I'm going to move on. Happy to take questions if you have them about that particular one. Gentle on my mind, Jim says. My brain's not leaping right to it, so I'll agree with you and I'll have to investigate it on my own time later. But before we move on to the next song. D minor to a seven, and what I want to do is emphasize that movement rather than just strum the chords I'm going to play.
Because, Dave Clark Five
I'll see you in my dreams. This one's great. Because by the Dave Clark Five.
Nothing to fear!
All right, here's what I like about this. There is so much to fear when you look at a page like this, you know what I mean? You look at those chords a A plus. What is a plus even mean? It means augmented a six, a seven Roman numeral two. Terrifying. If I scroll down to the bottom of the page, this is one of my own arrangements. I can't call it arrangement, one of my own layouts. You can see those chord shapes and we're going to look at those specifically because I want to reassure you that when you see complicated names like that, most of the time they're not complicated. They're just unfamiliar. So let me play a little bit of the song.
That's the introduction.
The things that need to be cut, because some of you first of all, it's just a great fun song from the 60s, but don't you love that little movement?
I hope it's coming through. OK, let me play just the opening chords for you again, because that's what we're focusing on.
So let me walk you through that real quick. The whole idea here is for you to start wrapping your brain around the idea. If you start thinking a little bit like a bass player, you get the.
It's a with something else added onto it. I think that's a much simpler way to look at it and saying I have to memorize four chords just for the introduction of the song. No, you have to remember that to a chord with an ascending line attached to it. The ascending line is on string two.
Makes sense? All right. I love talking about this stuff so much and the time just flies by. I like to keep these down to about 20 minutes if I can. I'm going to flip ahead to one more song. Just as an example, if anybody would like to have these, drop me a note and I can send you a little packet of songs.
I'll See You In My Dreams
But it's a notion that you can apply To many songs. Let me get rid of that one. This is I'll see you in my dreams.
Let me just play it for you. I won't talk it through, but give you an example. This is a great song from the 20s that became popular in the ukulele world when George Harrison died. In what? Twelve years ago, and they did that beautiful concert for George, which you haven't seen, if you're a Beatles fan at all, it's so wonderful. And the last song with all the celebrities, Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton and the guy from ELO. and Tom Petty — Are out on stage and they do the song, but it opens with just this Joe Brown on ukulele, which George Harrison loved to play the ukulele, apparently. So just the intro.
Isn't that nice?.
And that's the same idea. I'm holding an F chord and I'm adding a movement on string three.
All right, that's probably a good place to wrap things up, other songs that I had on my list.
Kiss Me, Sixpence None the Richer
Kiss me by sixpence, none the richer.
You may not remember that song, but it was a huge hit and oh boy, did I have a crush on the singer.
Strawberry Fields, Beatles
Strawberry Fields by the Beatles.
All right, you know what, I think there's enough material in Strawberry Fields to focus on another day, but I'm going to wrap that up right there for today so I don't keep you lingering on. So that's all for today and we'll talk soon. We'll be back again tomorrow.
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