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Blog: Four Strings Good

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I'm getting a new instrument for my birthday - yes, that's right, i have taken GTR playing as far as i possibly can, have learnt all TWELVE possible chords and need a new challenge. The choice of WEAPON came down to EITHER a Banjo or a Ukelele. Unsure of which to go for I did as any modern man would do, and looked it up on the interweb.

Most of the Banjo sites i found were advertising expensive books to teach you how to play it. There turn out to be loads of different kinds of banjos you can buy, with different strings or tunings, and all kinds of techniques called things like clawhammer, slam-chunker, deathfinger, and over-complicated-just-showing-off-now Looks More Difficult Than It Is, hammer...

That reminds me, I was in town at the weekend trying to buy a new guitar tuner. I went into the massive underground ROCK BUNKER beneath Virgin Records at TCR, and found their CHEAPEST was 25 QUID!! I asked if they had any cheaper, and the chap GOGGLED, then said "Oh no, most of ours are in the QUALITY RANGE at 60-70 pounds." QUALITY?!!? It's hardly as if you get a better quality NOTE with a more expensive one is it? BLIMEY! I went to a nice proper music shop and got a QWIK TUNER (ACE!) for 11 pounds instead. It is ACE. Anyway, I was reminded of that because it struck me that the sort of person who'd go for the BANJO was the sort of person who'd think it a good idea to spend 70 quid on a bloody tuner - also the sort of person who has SPECIAL GOLD FLECKED CABLES to join the bits of his stereo together.

ANYWAY I then looked up "learn ukelele". The FIRST site was a Japanese guy teaching you how to play it FOR FREE. The first thing he noted, apart from how GRATE a Ukelele is, was how nice and easy it is to play, and how PEASY it is to carry around.

And these, gentle reader, are the three most important points, apparently, to bear in mind when playing the ukelele:
  • If you can't play a difficult chord, change it to an easy one.
  • If you get to a section of song that's too hard, just skip it.
  • Sing loudly to cover any mistakes.

    HOLY MOLEY! I've been playing the wrong instrument all this time! COME TO ME, MY UKELELE!!

    (it's my birthday on June 19th - beware, denizens of London E11!)

    posted 1/6/2004 by MJ Hibbett

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