Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Start Date

Well, time sure flies. I ordered a Mya-Moe ukulele last November and the start date was set for March 23rd. Here we are on the eve of March 23rd, and looks like it will start on time. I don't know if I've ever ordered a custom ukulele that started on time. I think the William Kings were pretty close, but the other ones were way off the projected start (and finish) date for one reason or another. So it's kind of refreshing to have a custom started on time.

Anyway, since I ordered it, Mya-Moe has added some nifty stuff to their website. Namely the Uke Tracker. I find the Uke Tracker to be insanely cool because you can enter your uke number and follow the exact progress, complete with pictures, of your ukulele. I imagine it's a lot of work to keep it up for them, but so far they haven't missed a beat. My Mya-Moe is #423. Check it out on the Uke Tracker if you'd like. It will be cool to follow the progress of this ukulele. I have pretty high expectations for it. Hopefully it delivers.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bohemian Rhapsody played badly...

....but hey, at least I played it!

Anyway, Bohemian Rhapsody is a song that was very familiar to me. When I was in junior high, I watched MTV all the time because I loved watching music videos. Back then they have these video countdown show and when the movie Wayne's World used Bohemian Rhapsody on the soundtrack, they released a video of the some with footage from Wayne's World mixed in with Queen's original video. It was a hit and was played over and over on MTV back then. It wasn't really one of my favorite songs but I always thought the middle part where they sang a pseudo opera was pretty funny. For some reason even though this song wasn't exactly one of my favorite songs, it was imprinted onto my brain pretty good. I think I can literally recite all the lyrics in the opera section. Which tells me I might have watched too much MTV back then...whatever.

Now Jake Shimabukuro has composed a version of this song on the ukulele, I have taken interest in this song again. After all these years, I still know exactly how this song goes. So it's pretty amazing to hear how closely Jake's version follows the original. That's a good thing when trying to learn this song because it is really long at almost six minutes. If I didn't know exactly how the song sounded like, I probably would have no shot at learning it.

As usual, I searched Youtube for videos to learn this song from. There are a few videos of Jake himself playing this song, but I did most of the learning from this video by Greyboy78. That's because he played it quite a bit slower than Jake and it was easier to follow. His camera angle made it a bit hard to see finger positions, but I was able to figure most it out by ear after seeing the approximate finger positioning on the fingerboard. It turned out that this song really isn't difficult from a technical sense. There are really no really difficult parts to play, but the difficulty lied in the sheer length of the song. As I mentioned, I knew how this song is supposed to sound like, so it helped me remember how to play it, but it definitely wasn't easy to remember how to play through this song from the beginning to the end.

The video I'm posting today is not a very good attempt, as it contains more mistakes then even by my low standards. But I am pretty excited that I can even play through this song entirely at all, so I thought I'd post an attempt. Hopefully I can play it better in the near future and be able to upload a better video.

So here it is, a ghetto attempt at Bohemian Rhapsody:

Which uke should I bring on my next trip to Oahu???

What's the maximum you'd spend on a ukulele case for your best uke?

If you could steal one of my ukes, which one would it be???

How curly do you like your koa? (preferably on a uke)

What's the maximum number of ukes a perfectly sane person should have???

Poll: How often do you play the ukulele???

Poll: Which guitar company's approach to ukes do you prefer???

Poll: What's your favorite type of headstock???

Poll: The new basic Collings concert uke (UC-1) sells for about $1k, your reaction is: