Monthly Archives: June 2011

Beachside with The Bowley

I have totally fallen in love with my B&M Bowley from the guys at Southern Ukulele. Every time I jam on it I just love it more and more! Here’s a quick snap of yours truly strumming out a quick tune somewhere along the south coast.

One thing I miss about my life back in Australia is the beach. Just loading the car up with the boards early in the morning and cruising to the coast with a bunch of mates to check out the surf! Can’t beat it!

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Playing the blues on a uke?

This week I’ve been messing around with blues chord progressions and riffs. It’s good fun as it’s not the type of music you’d normally associate with a ukulele.

I’ve been learning from a couple of tutorial videos on the internet using two great ukulele resources. The first is Ukulele Underground and their fantastic “Uke Minutes” series, the second is Ukulele Mike’s YouTube videos – a must subscribe for any uke beginner.

I started with the Blues Ukulele Chords video on Ukulele Underground.

Then progressed onto the Blues Scales video to figure out some solo patterns.

Ukulele Mike demonstrating blues chords and solo techniques:

I particularly love this Ukulele Mike video as at the end he jams a blues chord progression that you can use to solo over with the blues scale. I’ve been doing this quite a bit and my improvised solos are improving!

Ohhhhh, when my baby left me…

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The Duke of Uke in trouble!

The Duke of Uke, London’s one and only ukulele shop and centerpiece of the London ukulele scene is under threat of permenant closure. This really would be a huge loss to the ukulele community!

You can read more about this news by clicking through to their website using the link below. You can also buy special edition 5th anniversary shirts that help to raise money towards keeping the store open. It would be a shame to see this place close as the UK is certainly lacking in specialist ukulele dealers with actual shopfronts, not just online stores.

Click here: http://www.dukeofuke.co.uk/news/?page_id=164

Being a relative uke shopping newbie, I haven’t even had a chance to get into the great city to check this store out. I think it’s about time I scheduled a trip!

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Drift Away

Ahhhh, Sundays. Gotta be one of the most relaxing days of the week, especially when the sun is shining! Just a pity the following day is always Monday. A very happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there. I wonder how many got given a new ukulele this morning? Haha!

Right now I am really digging this layed back cover of Drift Away.

Give me the beat, boys, and free my soul.
I want to get lost in your rock and roll,
And drift away….

Happy strumming!

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Play Ukulele By Ear

Now this is probably one of my all time favorite ukulele blogs on the internet, it’s just a shame it’s on Blogger not WordPress otherwise I’d be a subscriber for sure!

playukulelebyear.blogspot.com

If you haven’t already you should definitely check this one out and add it to your web browser favorites. The latest addition of “Three Chord Beatles” tutorials is a real winner. Everyone should have at least a couple of easy to play, easy to sing along to Beatles tracks on their repertoire!

 

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Choosing my new ukulele

As most of you know from my previous post I recently took a trip down to see the guys at Southern Ukulele Store in their brand spanking new shop! Of course, travelling all that way I couldn’t go away empty handed.

Being a bit of a uke buying newb, the guys were really helpful. They let me chill on the couch strumming away and narrowing my choices. They demonstrated the ukes for me too as being a lefty, I could only pick out a couple of chords with a righty-strung uke! After about an hour I’d narrowed it down to three very good ukes in my price range.

Ohana SK25 Zebrawood; Kala KA-SS Spruce Top; Barnes & Mullins Bowley

I ditched the Kala next, although it had a quality sound I just wasn’t feeling the look of the light coloured spruce top. The Ohana Zebrawood looked absolutely stunning and produced a bright, crisp tone. If I were to buy on bling alone it would be Zebrawood all the way. But in the end I went for The Bowley. It’s classic, vintage styling combined with a deeper, richer sound totally won me over and kept me smiling.

Trust me, I played them all and many more!

My advice to anyone looking to purchase a new uke is to get to a store and play the hell out of a wide range. I went in with my eye on a Kala KA-MS Mango but once I’d played it I didn’t like it. Great looking and sounding uke for sure, but not for me.

I couldn’t put The Bowley down, and that’s why I walked out with it!

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Southern Ukulele Store!

Southern Ukulele Stores, arguably the UK’s best ukulele stockist have just completed their move to a new storefront. The new location is bigger, better and I just had to take a roadtrip to check it out!

Yes, maybe I booked my holiday in Poole because I knew they were just around the corner. Maybe I even pushed my holiday forward a couple of days to make sure they were open. It was worth it.

The new store is pretty damn sweet, with a vast array of ukes hanging from the wall and who knows how many more gems hidden in the back room! So many quality ukes. Look around and there’s not a single cheap painted uke in sight.

The guys were super friendly and didn’t seem to mind me test playing ukes for the best part of two hours. I had a grand old time playing their quality range of Kalas, Ohanas, aNueNues and even a couple of resonators (never knew they were so heavy). I narrowed it down to three pretty quickly, but it took me some time to choose between the final two! More on that in a later post.

If you’re ever in the Bournemouth area or feel like a day trip to the seaside I highly recommend you drop in and check out Southern Ukulele Store!

Website: http://www.southernukulelestore.com/

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