At the beginning of 2012, I made a goal to learn one new song per week on the uke; i was going good until the first week of May (when the Ex presented another curve ball in my life). Since May, I hadn’t played much less learn a new song every week – not until Christmas Day 2012; I spent the day playing. My granddaughter was looking through these two song books (below) and I had forgotten we had these two gems for many years on the kids’ bookshelves. Such a delight to find “Ghost Riders In the Sky”, “Tingo-Lay-O” and “This Little Light of Mine” (amongst other old timey favorites like “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”). I play some of these songs with a combination of Native American chant, spaghetti western and Hispanic rhythm – if you can imagine that.
I learned three Christmas tunes including my all-time favorite “The Christmas Song” (starts out with “chestunuts roasting on an open fire…”) and I learned all of the above tunes as well. I also learned the traditional Andean tune “El Condor Paza” made famous by Simon and Garfunkle. I almost made up for lost time last year learning about 10 songs the past three weeks to the already 25 songs I know (4 of them Bob Dylan tunes).
For those of you who are interested in playing the ukelele, buy the next size up from the standard size uke, the “concert” size, from the Hawaiian Music Company. Buy one with a plug-in so you can have the option of using an amp. The uke is fairly easy to play. To learn a few traditional and pop songs, plug into youtube and search for Ukelele Mike’s ukelele lessons. He’s pretty simple, clear and ….well, different.
I appreciate the addition of this dear friend in my life. Once I master this little guy, maybe in the next year or two, I am going to get myself the cello!
I have no intentions of getting pulled off track this year if I can help it any. I intend to learn one new song a week during this year. Thank goodness I still have my aging wits about me that I can even REMEMBER the words to the songs! heehee!
My friend Shar Fox just emailed me the group of folks playing ukelele, the Juneau JamBusters in Juneau, Alaska — check them out on their website at: http://www.juneaujambusters.com/
I know where I’ll be when I return to Juneau!