BONUS STRUMS: Formby Split-Stroke

George Formby was incredibly popular in England in the 1930s and 1940s (Wikipedia says he was the UK's highest paid entertainer–not bad for a ukulele player!), and played with a distinctive style that some people (me) adore, and many others abhor. The style has a few tricky elements that combine to create the Formby sound. We'll go over the basics here–a full analysis would be a course on its own!

First, sample some genuine Formby:

Here's the Formby song “She's Got Two of Everything.” You can listen through, or skip to the banjulele solo that closes the song at 2:03:

[s3mm type=”video” source=”non-s3″ files=”https://youtu.be/F_t9UJor-fE” titles=”She's Got Two of Everything” /]

Here's “Thanks, Mr. Roosevelt,” which I find a very sweet song, and the tempo of the solo is much less frantic. There's a nice opening solo, and then a more solo-y solo at 2:13:

[s3mm type=”video” source=”non-s3″ files=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Og3EKwG5WKU” /]

The Formby Sound–an attempt to define:

[s3mm type=”video” s3bucket=”strum-21-complete” s3region=”us-east-2″ files=”strum 21 complete/strum 21 module 2/formby strum/Strum Pattern 1.mp4″ /]

Split-Stroke pt. 1:

[s3mm type=”video” s3bucket=”strum-21-complete” s3region=”us-east-2″ files=”strum 21 complete/strum 21 module 2/formby strum/Strum Pattern 2.mp4″ /]

Split-Stroke pt. 2:

[s3mm type=”video” s3bucket=”strum-21-complete” s3region=”us-east-2″ files=”strum 21 complete/strum 21 module 2/formby strum/Strum Pattern 4.mp4″ /]

Split-Stroke on the other chords:

[s3mm type=”video” s3bucket=”strum-21-complete” s3region=”us-east-2″ files=”strum 21 complete/strum 21 module 2/formby strum/Strum Pattern 3.mp4″ /]