Sunday, January 24, 2010

RE: Brother Sonny's | When a Song Becomes Your Own

Todd, as Brother Sonny, is a popular folk crooner and blogger, and someone whose posts I have enjoyed reading. I think that he's got the soulful feeling and steady voice, and musical experience that makes his videos so much fun to watch. The focus of my blog is probably quite hard to follow for the occassional reader.

My intention is to use this blog as:
1) A personal space, a notebook of sorts, of my interests.
2) A place to put personal notes of what I have learned.
3) A place to keep my fav musical links for ukulele chords and tabs.
4) A place to keep links to musical theory.
5) A place to keep links to my favorite ukulele bloggers.
6) It has also been a place where I have opportunities to communicate with people in every corner of the Earth. Many times this is the most pleasurable aspect of doing the blog. As of today there have been over 39,000 hits on Humble Uker.

There's another aspect to all of this time, study and communication. I started playing the uke when I was 44 and the most intense musical training I ever had was 3rd grade violin class when I was 8 or 9 years old. I am someone that greatest talent is my imagination. I do not have a great deal of comfort singing, a great voice, or above average playing skills. I think I am about average. So I am hoping that other people that are taking on music later in their lives might find the things I'm learning useful to themselves too.

My current personal goals:
1) To memorize and confidently perform a few songs that I enjoy. [My Uncle Paul's instruction was to learn (3) songs really, really well. So if anyone asks you are ready to perform. ]
2) To learn how to play by ear and play a melody.
3) To learn how to improvise.
4) To master the ability to read musical scores and accurately play the musical timing.
5) To "make a few songs "become my own" as Brother Sonny describes.

What the greatest reward of playing music with others? That's an easy question -- to be connected with others, build friendships and share life's struggles and joys, and laughter too!!!

My list of songs that I have "some degree" of confidence playing:
1) My first "hit" Stray Cat Strut
2) Sweet & Slow (Arrangment by Steven Strauss)
3) Moonglow (Arrangement by Steven Strauss)
4) Aloha Quickstep (Instrumental from John King's Ukulele Solos & Duets)
5) Hene (Instrumental from John King's Ukulele Sol0s & Duets)
6) My Wife Thinks You're Dead (Junior Brown but really simplified blues A, D7, E7)
7) Killing Me Softly ("Crazy Dawg" simple tab arrangement)
8) Magic Ukulele Waltz ("Crazy Dawg" simple tab arrangement)


  1. Ouch - hit over 39,000 times!

  2. Wow Jeff,

    thanks for the mention...and 39,000 hits...just fabulous...i'll say it again, you're doing a good work!

  3. Great post.. Love your Uncle Paul's tip. Thanks for the post.