oakland

Sessions 8: Killing Me Softly

For today's sessions I'm doing a rendition of Kimo Hussey's arrangement of Killing Me Softly.  Check out the upcoming workshop/concert with Kimo Hussey and Zanuck Lindsey at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1028991630463703/http://ukuleleinspired.com/2015/04/29/an-evening-w-kimo-hussey-zanuck-lindsey/ And you can buy tickets here: https://squareup.com/market/ukulele-inspired

August Beginner's Series

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Want to learn to play the uke in a small group setting? Check out our 4-week beginners series focusing on the basics of playing the ukulele. The class size will be 6-8 people so go to https://squareup.com/market/ukulele-inspired to purchase and receive location details!

When:  August 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th from 8-9PM

Where:  Ukulele Inspired Studios Oakland, CA

Why:  Cause it's gonna be fun!

How much:  $100 until 7/29

Insight 1: Elements of Music

ELEMENTS OF MUSIC:

Welcome to our first installment of our new Insight video series where I’ll share a little knowledge about music and ukulele and hopefully help you to become a better player.  Today I want to talk about 3 fundamental elements of music and how they apply to ukulele: RHYTHM, HARMONY, MELODY.

We can think of RHYTHM as the interaction between music and time.  When we hear music there is a natural and constant pulse or beat within that music.  We create rhythm by playing the strings in different patterns against this constant pulse with our right hand by strumming.

HARMONY can be defined as multiple notes or pitches happening simultaneously.  We quickly learn how to do this on the ukulele with our left hand by learning our first chords.  These two things rhythm, our strumming, and harmony, our chords, are usually what we learn to do first and we spend most of our time developing.  I think this is a great thing to get us playing very quickly but all too often people don’t put enough emphasis on developing the third element, melody!

Where harmony is multiple notes happening simultaneously, MELODY is a set of individual notes that are strung together to create a musical phrase.  These melodic phrases are really what define a song, it’s the part of the music that you remember when you think of a song.  Go ahead think of any song…what you're probably recalling is the melody…

So how do we incorporate melody with the ukulele?  We either do it with our voice, or we do it with the instrument.  Both of these things take a little time and effort to develop so you should start incorporating one or both of these into your practice right away.  The great part about this instrument is that, unlike a trumpet or a violin, you can actually accomplish all 3 of these elements at the same time while you are playing.  Check out our last Sessions Video for an example of this.

Thanks again for all the support, if you found this or any of our resources helpful be sure to [fblike url="https://www.facebook.com/UkuleleInspired" style="button_count" float="none" showfaces="false" width="200" verb="like" font="arial"] us on facebook and sign up for our email list under SUBSCRIBE in the sidebar to keep up with everything new at Ukulele Inspired. I want this to be interactive so don't be shy and send me some requests for the songbook and other content that you would like to see!

"The Following"

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"The Following" is the latest single from the new album "Moment". Huge thanks to Aaron Almquist for such beautiful work and a fantastic concept. Shot on location at:my room, Ukulele Inspired Studios, Actual Cafe, MacArthur BART Station, Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland, CA and at the Ferry Building, Sue Beirman Park, Ferry Plaza, and BART car #3 from the back in San Francisco, CA.

This video has been a labor of love for both Aaron and I and it is incredible the amount of work that it takes to create something like this and share it with all of you.  If you connect with this in any way please stop by my Patreon page:  http://www.patreon.com/johnnash

The newest release from the new album "Moment", get a copy at: Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/moment/id901209059 Bandcamp: http://ukuleleinspired.bandcamp.com/ CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/johnnash1 Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ukulele-inspired

"The Following" Video Shoot

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FSactual FSactual2 Just finished mastering the new album and I thought what better way to celebrate then to shoot some video for one of the songs. I was lucky enough to meet a talented videographer by the the name of Aaron Almquist who was inspired by the music and was interested in collaborating on a video. First shoot day was a lot of fun and we went to a number of different locations around Oakland, including my house and local uke friendly spot Actual Cafe. Big thanks to those guys for letting us come in and do a quick take inside their busy spot.

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Also got to get out into nature in the east Oakland hills and shoot at some of my favorite spots up in Joaquin Miller Park. Hopefully after a few more days of shooting we will have enough footage to go to post and come up with something awesome to share with you all! Look for the full length album to be on sale soon.

Thanks again for all the support, if you want to stay connected be sure to [fblike url="https://www.facebook.com/UkuleleInspired" style="button_count" float="none" showfaces="false" width="200" verb="like" font="arial"] us on facebook and sign up for our email list under SUBSCRIBE in the sidebar to keep up with songbook updates and everything else new with Ukulele Inspired. I want this to be interactive so don't be shy and send me some requests for the songbook and other content that you would like to see!

"Spiral Staircase"

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Big thanks to Seth Martinez and MVMNT Studios for filming and use of their beautiful space in Berkeley, CA.  Check them out at:

MVMNTlogo          http://www.mvmnt.co/

Thanks again for all of the support and be sure to [fblike url="https://www.facebook.com/UkuleleInspired" style="button_count" showfaces="false" width="450" verb="like" font="arial"] us on facebook and feel free to email me any links or files for your own performance videos or videos that inspire you and maybe we will feature them!  Also click on the youtube link in the sidebar and subscribe to our channel to keep up with everything new at Ukulele Inspired.

Beginner Questions 7-10

7.  WHERE CAN I FIND ONLINE RESOURCES?Some of the best online resources out there and what they offer:

Ukulele Underground  http://ukuleleunderground.com/UUlogo The underground is a great place to improve your ukulele playing. They offer the highest quality instructional videos, and are consistently adding to there enormous amount of content.

Ukulele Hunt  http://ukulelehunt.com/ UkeHuntUke Hunt is one of the longest running blogs about the ukulele and offers such a wide variety of content. You can find almost everything uke related on this blog, from funny and informative articles to a wide variety of instructional and inspirational videos. They offer a large selection of ebooks, both free and for sale, that can be a good resource for introducing you to the ukulele.

Dominator Ukulele Tabs  http://dominator.ukeland.com/  got_tabs_1 Dom has created a great resource that is more geared towards the intermediate and advance ukulele player. His tabs are some of the only ones available that are specific for the ukulele and he has some great performance and instructional videos.

uke_inspired_small_logoUkulele Inspired  http://ukuleleinspired.com A little biased, but want to list it as a resource for getting inspiration and information. We want to offer high quality video and written content for all aspiring ukulele players out there.

 

15mins8. HOW OFTEN SHOULD I BE PRACTICING? The best way I’ve found to practice is for short periods of time as often as possible. Since learning an instrument involves a lot of muscle memory, the more often you do it the better. Practicing for 15 minutes every day is going to produce results much faster than an hour of practice once a week. Finding a qualified teacher for private lessons can be great in providing personalized instruction as well as accountability for your practice every week.

9. HOW DO I LEARN NEW SONGS?

searchbarThere are a lot of resources out there for learning new songs. If you are starting to become familiar with your ukulele chord shapes, then searching the name of the song and “chords” should get youyoutube to some links with lyrics and chords. You can also type the name of the song and “ukulele tutorial”. There are many videos on YouTube and other places of varying quality and helpfulness, but in general you are looking for a more detailed description of the chords and strumming pattern. There are a few ukulele specific tab sites out there as well:

http://www.ukulele-tabs.com/

http://dominator.ukeland.com/

10. HOW DO I STAY INSPIRED? ukulelecommunityLast and definitely not least, inspiration is something that I feel is so important when learning anything new. Inspiration can help you get excited about playing the ukulele, it will encourage you to practice and get better, and when you are ready can help to cultivate your creativity should you begin to write your own music. Inspiration is something we take very seriously here at Ukulele Inspired, whether it is our own video content, links to other videos, articles or interviews, we try to provide as much as we can for all aspiring players out there.  I encourage you to find and interact with your local ukulele community as well. There are so many local and regional ukulele clubs around the country there is sure to be a group that meets nearby. If there isn’t, maybe you can start one up! Stay on the lookout for performances by ukulele artists in your area, and start to listen to as many players as you can. Inspiration is out there, you just have to find it!

Click here to see the full list of beginner questions answered.

Thanks again for all the support, if you found this or any of our resources helpful be sure to [fblike url="https://www.facebook.com/UkuleleInspired" style="button_count" float="none" showfaces="false" width="200" verb="like" font="arial"] us on facebook and sign up for our email list under SUBSCRIBE in the sidebar to keep up with everything new at Ukulele Inspired. I want this to be interactive so don't be shy and send me some requests for the songbook and other content that you would like to see!

Artist Spotlight: Madeline Tasquin

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madelinebannermadelineukelarge We are really excited to have our first artist spotlight here at Ukulele Inspired, and even more stoked that it is the Bay Area's own Madeline Tasquin!  She is currently on tour in Europe, but before she left we were lucky enough to get a few questions answered about the ukulele and where she gets inspiration:

UI:  How did you first start playing ukulele? Maddy:  I was backstage at my friend's birthday party/show in San Francisco and this friend had been gifted a nice little Lanikai concert uke for his birthday. As soon as I started playing it I knew I needed to have one for my own. I went to my local music store in Berkeley the following week and scoped them out until I found one I fell in love with -- also a Lanikai concert.

UI:  How long have you been playing the uke? Maddy:  By my count, I first started in December 2010. So that makes it about 2 and a half years... a quarter of a decade. Wow it doesn't seem like it's been that long.

UI:  Best part about playing the ukulele? Maddy:  It's portability! My main instrument is the piano, which I find isn't all that easy to sling over my back to take with me on a hike or the subway or on my bicycle. The only thing more portable than my ukulele is my voice... my other main instrument. So together uke + voice is a perfect way for me to compose songs in places where I can't drag my piano.

UI:  Where do you find inspiration? For songwriting, in nature. I write the most when I'm far away from my computer and my mind isn't crowded.   As far as ukulele inspiration goes... all the guest performers, guest teachers, and participants at the monthly Ukulele Love-In gathering I put on at the Actual Cafe have inspired me to push my playing further.  Organizing that event really flung me into ukulele land, something I didn't expect or even know existed. For that I'm grateful.

Thanks again to Maddy for taking the time to talk with us.  If you want to stay up to date with her follow the links below and remember to mark your calendars for September 8th, when her Ukulele Love in makes it's return to Actual Cafe!

Websites: http://www.tasqu.in http://manamaddy.bandcamp.com http://soundcloud.com/manamaddy

Ukulele Love In

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DSCN0107 Wanted to say big thanks to Mana Maddy and everyone in attendance at the last Ukulele Love-In on May 11th.  I was the featured performer and had so much fun teaching a workshop and performing in front of 31 ukuleles and their owners (or temporary caretakers)!  For those of you that don't know the Ukulele Love-In is a monthly event started by the Bay Area's own Madeline Tasquin, that includes an all levels ukulele lesson followed by a featured performance then group sing-along.  Oakland North did a great piece about the event as well.  The event takes place place at Actual Cafe, a favorite Oakland hangout spot that has great food and drink, displays local artists' work, and has live music.  Please support local, and check them out if you haven't already.

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The BIG news is that Maddy is leaving very soon for her first European tour and the Love-In will be put on hiatus during her trip.  For all you East Bay ukers that want your monthly fix, there will be a new event starting at the brand new music school and venue Mynah Music at 543 Athol Street in Lake Merrit, every 1st Saturday of the month starting on June 1st.  The event will involve an all levels lesson of a song chosen by YOU!  Or one of you, or some of you...really I choose, but I choose from your suggestions so if you want to get your two cents in, shoot me an email at ukuleleinspired@gmail.com and tell me a song you have always wanted to learn on the uke.  Maybe you'll be the lucky one chosen! If you haven't already done so, you can sign up for the East Bay Ukulele Love group on facebook for more info and latest news.  Good luck Maddy, and we are eagerly waiting for the return of the Ukulele Love-In in a new second Sunday of the month time-slot starting September 8, 2013.  Set your calendars!  [fbshare type="button"]