Here’s Some Wonderful-“ness”
We were delighted to be a part of Anne Herbst’s Storytellers series in 2016. She’s one of the many impressive journalists working in Denver and she captured us at our previous rehearsal location when we were a much smaller orchestra than we are today.
We ask a lot of our audiences. We don’t really do what a “ukulele band” is supposed to do. Here’s an 18 minute video (thanks John!) of the longest song we’ve ever performed. We had about 80 players, a sold out house, and to be honest, we probably shouldn’t have opened with this song, but we did it anyway. If you don’t adore Sound of Music, then it’s a really long series of notes. We loved performing it, so we didn’t lose too much sleep that our audience was ready to die by the end.
And now, onto some free downloads–>
Jumping Flea Arpeggiator
Gary writes: Okay, let’s chat. Well, not chat … let me squawk at you. Let’s pretend you ONLY have 30 days to become an expert on ukulele. Let’s pretend you can read tablature or sheet music, but you still need to be able to learn all the chords in every key by the end of the month, and you need to have your right hand in such great shape it can play any pattern you can imagine. If all that were true, you’d only need this one book: The Jumping Flea Arpeggiator. I wrote it. It’s good. People are using it all over the world. It’s based on the ideas of the old master teachers like Bach, Carcassi, and dozens of others you haven’t heard of either. You can make mastery take longer by playing a lot of Taylor Swift, or John Lennon, or whatever cheeky tart is topping the charts, but if you want to get this over and done with and dominate this instrument, this is the only book you need. The first edition is here. It’s free. Download it, send it over to Kinko’s. Print it double sided. Add a cover and a spiral binding. Or call me since I have pre-printed copies for $20 bucks. Dedicate the next 30 days to playing every page and then send me an email with videos of you making magic. I know you’ll tell me you’re a much better player than you started out. Much better. The second edition is on its way (not really but I keep promising) and it will clear up a few typos and offer more instruction, but I haven’t decided if that one will be free, so get this edition downloaded and play it. Don’t just add it to the stack of things you’re going to work on some day … really really play it. In fact, once you’ve conquered this little book, you’ll be able to throw away all those chord-n-lyric charts you’re stacking up on your book shelf and a threatening to topple over and consume you. This book may in fact save your life. 🙂
Here’s a zip of the Sound Files:
I have videos posted of me playing a few of them too. Here is more info.
Kid’s Song Book
Here’s way too many songs, all playable with three or fewer chords, and if you print it out double-sided with short-edge binding, it makes a cute little booklet you can give to anybody and rock out right now. Click on chord picture above or HERE to get it.
Our RMUO Retail Shop
We call it World (Domination) Headquarters
From Gary: I got tired of music shops always treating ukulele like a second-class part of their stores. So I decided to build a place just for us. In the other stores, it’s all guitars, amplifiers, and band instruments. And, as you know, most of them are going out of business thanks to Amazon. So, if you did buy a ukulele from Amazon or one of those other stores, bring it down to me and let me check it and do a proper set-up on it. Usually, I can make it sound and play better. Lately, I’ve been finding some real junk that people bought thinking it was a good deal and I will be able to tell you if you got “uked.” If you’re thinking about buying your first or second ukulele, you should come hang out and let me help you know your options. The internet will lead you down many a dark dead end if you spend time looking for ukulele education there. I have all the fun stuff you’ll need to make practicing pleasant, and I have a nice repair shop, and private lessons available. Heck, it’s just a jolly good place. I don’t keep regular office hours since I’m supposedly out making new musicians (but I’m really golfing), so call, text or email: 303-984-0777 or email@example.com to get an appointment. I’ve worked wholesale arrangements with a mess of music merchandisers like Ohana, Worth, Cordoba, Cort, Mahalo, Denver, Savarez, Guild and Snark, and I’m always interested in adding quality products and manufacturers to the inventory so if you create great musical equipment at a price that makes sense, call me. I even have used equipment from time to time and might be able to help you sell your stuff too. Here’s a link to the store.
What Inspires Us
Here are the videos we think you should have already seen.
Our patron saint, Jake Shimabukuro plays Bohemian Rhapsody at a Ted Conference.
Yes, Tiny Tim is a part of our ukulele heritage. Here is what we were afraid of in 1971.
We’ve already lost “Iz,” but in the short life Israel Kamkawiwo’ole he changed the way the world plays Over the Rainbow. Fun activity: Learn to say and spell his name.
If you’re from Britain, you probably hate this guy. If you’re from America, you’ve never heard of this guy. When George Formby died, his funeral was one of the biggest ones in English history. Go search for him on YouTube … it’s wild. Here’s the end of the vaudeville era with a banjolele. When you learn ukulele, you also learn to play banjolele … a mixed blessing.