Friday, June 18, 2010

Broken Mess

 For about a month I have been obsessed with The Classic Crime. There latest album just came out it its practically perfect. Okay, so that's my opinion but its very good music regardless. One problem though, its so new, that when I search for the chords to their songs I come up empty handed. One song in particular that I have hopelessly been looking for is Broken Mess, It sounded to me like it would be an awesome ukulele cover song. Listen below

 Oh I know its good, you dont have to tell me.

But like i said, if you try to look for chords to the album, prepared to be disapointed.

I have never really been terrific at chording out songs for myself. With the help of my good friend S.P.A.M (its a person not a processed food product)  Steven Paul Andrew Mertance and I chorded out the Song perfectly so im posting it here for you to play.

You, like myself, might have to look up how to play some of these chords, the song is in the key of Db so its easy to sing, but a bother to play. Good luck.

(2) means that the second position of the previews chord is played. This alternate position is usually a few frets higher on the fret board and sounds very similar, its not necessary, but it sounds better and is truer to the song.

                 Db                      Gb
He can't sleep, he can't eat
                    Bbm                     Db                         Ab                    Gb
He keeps thinking about her behind the locked door of her bedroom
                   Bbm                         Db               Ab                   Gb
As she knowingly tortures the shell that is left of her bridegroom
                      Db             Gb
And what did he do to deserve
            Bbm                            Db                   Ab              Gb
This whore of a wife who parades her disgrace to his face now
                    Bbm                            Db                    Ab                    Gb
When he loved her and gave up his life in more ways than she knows how
And all I can say is that
Db                      Bbm                              Gb
Love is a terrible art, it's a hook in the heart
                                          Ebm(2)      Db (2)          Ab
That can drag you on        bro     -     ken           glass
                       Db                                       Bbm 
And as you protest the shards in your flesh  
  The hook tears out your chest
                                      Ebm(2)      Db (2)          Ab
until you're just a       bro     -      ken          mess

                 Db               Gb
Where is God in this rot?
      Bbm                                              Db         Ab                    Gb
Depraved she commits the most heinous of sins and breaks her vows
               Bbm                                 Db               Ab       Gb
But he loves her despite all the crimes she devises in his house
                     Db                    Gb
Where is God? I've been taught
                   Bbm                                  Db                   Ab              Gb
That He's close to the broken, it's true I have spoken with Him some
                Bbm                                  Db                 Ab                     Gb
When I look in my brother's eyes I can see where his love comes from
And all he can say is that

Db                         Bbm                              Gb
Love is a terrible art, it's a hook in the heart
                                           Ebm(2)      Db (2)          Ab
That can drag you on        bro     -     ken           glass
                       Db                                        Bbm 
And as you protest the shards in your flesh  
  The hook tears out your chest
                                      Ebm(2)      Db(2)          Ab
until you're just a       bro     -      ken          mess

      Gb                   Ab                        Db(2)
But he has mercy on her lover and does not bleed him dry
   Ebm(2)             Db(2)                         Ab
A credit to his self control if it were me that monster would probably die

  Db                         Bbm                                           Gb
Love is a beautiful thing, she can make your heart sing
                                         Ebm(2)        Db (2)         Ab
When you're walking on   bro      -     ken            glass
                               Db                                     Bbm                           
She will open your eyes, make your heart feel alive
Point you toward the sunrise                                                                                                                                            Ebm(2)                         Db (2)               Ab
Help you leave all this broken  mess behind
           Db                        Bbm
 Oh Love is a beautiful thing
Ebm(2)                     Db (2)                  Ab
Will you leave this broken mess behind?

*Note because of the fact that I posted these chords from a word document, the chords do not properly align with the spoken words. The chords are correct, just not in the correct places.
(very close)

Does the Classic Crime
Stay Tuned ?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Another no-content day

 These last few months have been crazy !! And that's no excuse for me to be lazy and not post anything, but I feel like I can get away with it, mostly because of the few followers I have.

That said, there has been a lot of amazing Ukulele things happening in my little town of Redding, California. Not only have three of my close friends learned the uke, but there is a brand new Ukulele club in town  and I hope to get the jump on it soon.

My three friends Aleisha (Bluebird Russian),Aaron, and Billy are all slowly taking their places as Ukulele gods.

  If you asked me a year ago about the ukulele I would tell you that I call myself the best ukulele player in Redding. Because A) besides myself, and my sister, I was the only ukulele player in redding. and B) Nobody cares who the best ukuklele player in redding is ....

Now however, my skills are being put to the test by my friends. Aaron is picking up things in hours, that took me weeks to figure out  (this I contest, must be because I am such a good teacher) Aleisha, not only has an amazing and sultry singing voice, but is basically 100% self taught. I literally put a ukulele in her hands and said "Go".

And they went, both of them, and just like everyone touched by ukulele, they are addicted. I am constantly getting phone calls from Aaron.

" Oh man Ethan, go listen to this ukulele artist, she is really good."  
or     " I just learned this song, check it out!"

Whats great is having friends that are just as fired up about ukulele as I am.  so take that for what it was.
Also because I feel bad that I haven't posted anything in forever,I give you this:
Proof I should never have a child, or even touch one for that matter.

I have a question. Its my sign of getting cheesy ?
What sign off ?
What do you mean what sign off?
You know !

Stay Tuned

Monday, May 17, 2010

Now I Write Comics Too

I am friends with an amazing artist Benjamin spade
One day he propsed we create a comic.
He wanted to take his art , and my writing a create a beautiful, well developed story.

I liked the idea, so we began drawing up some character designs , and I developed a story, one which we both liked.

Now I cant give away too much about the story, but soon enough I will start posting updates.  Oh by the way, this story doesn't really have anything to do with ukulele, at all.  So to me it seems like a conflict of interest . But hey, I am basically a walking conflict of interest. That, and I posted a bunch of pictures of butter sculptures not too long ago.
Its my blog, ill digress if I want to .

At any rate, if I do decided to put some ukulele playing in the comic, my charecters will always
Stay Tuned

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I know I haven't posted anything in awhile. Like 8 days. Ive been really busy with work with all the census taking lately. So to comeback with a bang. I have something really cool.

Unless you have been playing Ukulele under a rock for the last couple years, you have heard of Jake Shimabukuro. If you havent, do so below.

These song are really good, and the second one is super catchy. But nothing beats his song "Touch"

Here is an almost perfect version by Dominator.

Originally Dominator had this version tabbed up perfectly and posted on his website. Every chord perfectly, note for note for the entire perfect song. Did I mention that it was perfect ? 

When Jake found out that someone had tabbed this, and many other songs that he wrote, he kindly asked Dominator to remove them and keep them for his personal music collection. So Touch and the others were removed for eternity never to be seen again.

Here is the best part. I have friends in low places and I pulled some strings to bring you the very same tabbed version. Its a little much to digest if you havent been playing Ukulele very long, but I would recommend saving it onto your computer now so you have it for later.

Anyways with no further ado, I present the Touch PDF

Thats all Folks

Jake can
Stay Tuned  (better than I can )

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Page Fixes

I finally fixed the alignment problems with the borders,and Videos will fit properly too. Go Me!

Icelandic Ukulele

Today I have something interesting to show you. This is a video of  Svavar Knutur singing a song as a memorial to  Bergþóra Árnadóttir, also an Icelandic singer. Oh... and its on the Ukulele too. 

Svavar Knutur says he discovered the ukulele while in a music store in London. He was looking for a musical instrument to bring back to iceland, when a ukulele caught his eye.

He says:  "The simplicity and elegance of the Ukulele really captivated me and also the beauty of its soft sound-scape."   

We all agree Svavar. 

This isn't really a video that I would normally watch.
First of all I cant understand a single line of it. 
Also, this may be the scariest man in Iceland. 
But after watching it two or three times, it literally was like a siren song. I couldn't stop.  I'm not sure if it was his voice, the accent, or the secret powers of the Icelandic natives, but the dudes got a gift. 

Creepy Dudes from Iceland 
Stay Tuned

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Two words.
Obama, Ukulele.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Zooey plays a banjolele

 Oh Zooey Deschanel, I will marry you for this I think. As if you weren't perfect enough. 

Even Zooey can
Stay Tuned


New Page Up

I just separated my videos into categories, so you can view them by content.

Try it out . Just click a link under "Narrow your browsing" on the left bar.

Im beginning to see the light

The awesome people at Uke always have something cool to show you if your into ukulele news, and recently I came across this sad little dirge written by the author(s) in charge of the website.

Its got all the info about the chords on it, and the tune is sung to that of the old forties song "I'm beginning to see the light". The tag is the same but the lyrics to the version in the picture are much more somber.

Remember this is not mine, and If you like the style, go check out
They have much more like it.

Oh yeah ....and here is a picture of a ukulele babe.

Stay Tuned

Sunday, April 11, 2010

We Are The World -Ukulele

Okay, so you know the song that comes around every year written by Micheal Jackson and Lionel Richie. Its has about a hundred celebrities singing the same song all mashed up into a cool video. Well the Ukulele community made one too. Very Cool.

Check it out

And you can bet that they
Stay Tuned

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Serious Business

Its time I talk to you about something serious . Ukulele Fever. Its effecting millions of people each and every year, and frankly, It scares the crap out of me.

Ukulele Fever is defined as: The uncontrollable urge to buy, own, play, and talk about Ukulele's at any chance you get, leaving chores undone, the kids not fed, or meals uneaten.

Symptoms include:
  • Chronic finger-nail clipping.
  • Dark circles under eyes from lack of sleep 
  • Constant tuning
  • When sleep does occur, suffer will often dream about Ukulele's
  • shopping in music stores, regardless of money in bank
If you know someone who is afflicted by Ukulele Fever first call for help, and intervention might be needed. Next, if you would be so kind to give them my number, I'm sure they have  some cool ukes i could trade them for.

What me ?
No !  Im not and addict.
I can stop whenever I want.
I don't need sleep anyways.

*Warning- Ukulele fever is a real thing and if you are a suffer it is very important that you
Stay Tuned (punny)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Song Writing Tips

If you have ever tried writing a song  you know it can be tough. I really cant help you write the words, but I can offer some tips that may make writing your song easier in the long run.

Natural Chords: These are your basic letter chords. Every rock song that has ever been written uses these. These are safe chords to experiment  with because if your looking for a chord to finish up a song line, and you cant find it, if you have used only natural chords, it will end on a natural chord as well.  Many simple melody uses natural chords. Everything from "I'm a little teapot" to "Mary had a Little Lamb"

Minor Chords: Don't let the name fool you. These chords can have a big impact of the tone of your song. Just one minor chord stuck in your progression will turn it into a love ballad or a funeral dirge. An entire progression of minors can also give your song a driving sound, so if you want the song to have a fast tempo, you cant go wrong with a Dm or a Gm

Seventh Chords: These are tricky . If you don't use seventh chords properly you can kill the movement of your song completely and you will be left with nowhere to go. I usually use them in a wrap around instead of the middle chord.  When your song is approaching it's end, finish the last chord and repeat the last three or four chords that you played, replacing one of them with a seventh. So if the last three chords of the song were   C G C  Then I would play C G7 C           

Changing the key: A lot of times I write a chord progression but when I go to write words, I find that its way out of my range. To combat this problem I simply transpose the chords. The simplest method of this is the counting method. In order to do this you take your progression and count from the letter of the first chord, to the key that you want the song in. For example lets say my progression is C G F C, but this is much to low for me to sing. I want this song to go from the key of C, (because that is what it starts with and ends in) to the key of E. I take the C and count the direction I want the key to go in (up) until I get from C to E.  From C to E it would be two.
   -2  -1   0   1   2  3   4
    A   B   C  D  E  F  G
 Once I  know how far it is to get to my key, I do the same to the rest of the progression.  So if im going up two keys with every chord, I'll end up with: EBAE.  If at any time ,your counting goes above G, just start again at A like a piano does.  This works with chords with suffixes too. If your progression has a seventh, a minor , and a diminished chord in it, just add the suffix to the new chord too. 

*WARNING: this does not work with Flat or Sharp chords. The pattern of Sharps and Flats is not perfect and it will ruin your progression.

As always...Stay Tuned!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Call Me Crazy

I was uncertain about posting this on the internet for all to see, but this is too great of a find to not make it on the blog. This set of pictures goes back about a year.

A little backstory may be needed. See, I'm what you call Obsessive Compulsive, which means once I get into something, you will need to pry my cold dead hands away from it. Also, My family shops at Costco. I have no idea what in the world compelled me to do this.

By the way, if your lactose intolerant, Stop Reading Now

The first one is simple enough. Its a design that you could possible find in a supermarket, displaying boxes of beer.

Then things get serious.

I call this one Churnhenge

Someone I know once told me that Churnhenge was moving. Like emotionally. I just thought I was stacking butter.

This next one is straight forward. Gummy Bears make great slaves.

But just look how sad they are.

Now we find out who is in charge of all the building.

Apparently this pepper has freakish boulder lifting strength too. I m not to sure where I was going with this one.

Yeah, call me crazy, but I had a remarkably fun time doing this ...two years ago. And I'm glad I found the pictures again.

Dont forget to:
Stay Tuned

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What is a Flying V ?

 I don't really have any blow your head off content today. I think because of that, for the next few days I'll show you guys some pictures I just found. Some are of ukulele. Some are not.

First off, here is a super old picture I found of a tower I made from Ukulele's

 On top is a flying V Ukulele I bought as a novelty, because as you can guess the shape is terrible for acoustic instruments.
The left leg is a baby blue Flea Ukulele from the The Magic Fluke Company and was the first Ukulele I owned.
The right leg is the most expensive instrument I have ever payed for. Its a KoAloha Pineapple soprano  I got mail ordered from Hawaii.

I didn't realize how old this picture was until I remembered that I don't own the drum set in the picture anymore, or the couch, or the room.  That puts this picture at about 2006-2007

Stay Tuned

Monday, March 29, 2010

No Way ! Crochet Ukulele's ?

I found these on
Can you Believe it ? Crochet ukes!



Plus, you can not only buy the crochet stuffed animals, but buy the pattern as well. Check out the links below for both.

Buy the pattern

Buy The Uke

And Remember:
Stay Tuned

Sunday, March 28, 2010


This song pretty much made my day from the beginning. Just simply enjoy it.And if you like it enough it.

Just don't take any hints from their fashion sense.

Stay Tuned

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Finger Picking Tutorial

This week I had a request from a friend about how to finger pick properly. So i figured I would post a simple Ukulele finger-picking technique along with some tips and tricks to make your picking faster and sound better too.

The beautiful thing about the Ukulele is that it only has four strings. This makes it really easy to begin playing, and although it can make some difficult progressions on guitar nearly impossible on the ukulele, for the most part, four strings is a good thing. Especially if your trying to learn how to pick.

  The Simple Pattern
The pattern your going to learn is the 1-4-2-3 pattern, and the simplicity of this one is going to blow your mind. But first things first. You're going to want to drop your right hand (assuming your right handed) down directly  above the sound hole. This is really where it should be anyways, but many Ukulele players tend to strum higher up on the fret board because of the small size of the instrument.  This will help you pick at the strings more easily because the strings are farther away from the ukulele here. Your left hand will be making chords of course, just like it would be if you were strumming.

The thing to remember with the Ukulele is that the strings are numbered from the bottom up, so the smallest (bottom) string is number 1, the next largest is number 2, and so on. 
With the 1-4-2-3 pattern you will pluck the strings in the order of the pattern to complete it.
 This is the case with all picking patterns and learning this now will help you a lot if you ever want to read and play Ukulele tabs in the future. 

For most picking patterns you will only need your first three fingers and as a general rule, your thumb owns the top two (G and C), your pointer finger will pick the next one down  (E), and your middle finger will pick the bottom string (A). I usually float my ring finger in the air and let it wiggle around how it likes while I pick, and my pinky finger tends to push down against my uke for support, but this is really just my personal preference and you may do it however it is comfortable.

If your playing the 1-4-2-3 pattern properly while the ukulele is open (no chord is being made)  you should be playing the strings in this order A-G-E-C. This wont sound pretty without a chord to pick, so a simple C chord is fine for learning.  Once the pattern is complete you just repeat it to sound the chord. To pick the chords of a normal song, you would change the chords of the song just like if you were strumming, and maintain the picking pattern with your fingers.

Put very simply, To play the 1-4-2-3 pattern, start by plucking the bottom string with your middle finger, then pluck the top string with your thumb, pluck the second string from the bottom with your pointer, and  finish by plucking the third string from the bottom with your thumb to end it. Repeat as necessary

 Okay, I know your not going to want to hear this, but the most important thing to need to remember in order to get good at picking is to practice, practice, practice. Simply picking slowly while you watch some TV, or setting aside twenty minutes or so for practicing a day will help your speed tremendously, and if you get frustrated, just play something else, and come back to it later.

If your have any questions  leave a comment below, and I'll help you out.

Stay Tuned

Thursday, March 25, 2010

How to pick strings for your Ukulele

There are certain qualities you should look for in ukulele strings. In order to find the ukulele strings that are right for you ,there are a few things to decide.

To Low G or not to Low G
Traditional ukuleles are tuned to  GCEA, however the strings don't go from low to high like a guitar. Generally speaking the C string is lower than the G string (no pun intended). This gives the instrument that Hawaiian tropical feel that tickles your ears. It is possible to buy a set of strings in which the G string is lower than the C. It doesn't really change to sound of the instrument but some people don't like it because it takes away from the traditional feel. I really like the Low G and its the only way you can play lead, or solo if that's what your into.

Gut or Nylon strings
 If gut sounds gross to you should. Gut strings are produced from the intestines of sheep. Again, these are regarded as traditional, but to be honest, they suck. They're super susceptible to the heat and are very difficult to keep in tune. They do sound good, but they are rapidly being replaced by nylon or other synthetic strings. 

The other most popular string material , Nylon, is quickly monopolizing  the string industry because It's cost effective,  resist to heat and has good tone.You really cant go bad when purchasing Nylon.

 This can sometimes be misleading. The more expensive strings are  not necessarily better. I have seen strings from about $3 to almost $15, but have been happy with strings only about $7. Some strings may even come packaged long enough to string your Ukulele twice. It all depends.

My Top Three

3. Ko'olau Gold Series       
I got these strings as a gift one year. They have a strange yellow coloring that is unappealing because of how they look on my uke, but its worth it for their sound. They supposedly have perfect pitch and are used in professional recording. The small string gauges tend to pull through the bridge of my Uke's so it helps to sneak up on the right note when tuning.

2. Hilo- Low G Wrapped C
These strings are kind of strange as far as regular strings go. They have a Low G string, but also a normal C string that is wrapped in a thin metal cord. They make the ukulele mellow and give you some more volume. The best part is they are only about $5

1. Aquila- Nylgut Low G
By far, these are my favorite  strings. They are synthetic gut-type strings that are still resistant to heat, have almost perfect tone, and come in sets of Low G and High G. They will run you  about $7,but its well worth it.

Stay Tuned

Okay here is the dilemma

When I first started  playing Ukulele I went to the local music store,  Herreid Music and I bought the cheapest ukulele they had, a baritone Hilo, because why would I drop a hundred dollars on an instrument that I wouldn't like after a month or two?

To me this instrument sounded fine, was the perfect size, though not anymore, and was in my price range. I was definitely happy with my purchase, but after upgrading to a more expensive, and better sounding Flea ukulele I learned that my forty dollar baritone sounded like those souvenir ukuleles you get in Hawaii. It was plain awful. I couldn't believe I put up with it for so long.

Now just to be clear, Hilo's instruments have tons of potential. I have played some beautiful sounding Ukes made by Hilo. Its mostly my fault anyways. I was naive and didn't play the instrument to make sure it had a sound body, and a good tone before I bought it. But what if I did have a good ear for music?

Most people I know that play the Ukulele have started out playing cheap little instruments. Some almost gave up the Uke because their $15 Ukulele would never give them the perfect sound they wanted, no matter how hard they practiced. This bothers me because I think the ukulele has  the mellowest sound of all the stringed instruments. And some never get to hear the potential.

So help me out here... Is it better to buy a cheap Ukulele early, and put up with its sound to make sure you like it? Or should you save up and buy a Ukulele that will stand up to  the name that the little instrument has made for itself ?

Stay Tuned

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The First Song

Its only right that the first song I post here is one of my favorites. It also helps that this is one of the easiest songs that I know on the ukulele. You're all familiar with Maroon 5 right ? Well, they have a rockin little jam called Sunday Morning, and believe it or not, it flows really well on four strings. If you haven't heard it check it out on You-tube below

Now for the chords.
The chords change in the song, at the exact same time the keyboard moves to the next chord,so if you are having trouble with the changes just re-listen to the song. The changes are illustrated by the placement of the chord letter above the word that the changes falls on. If your singing the song, you will know where the chord changes based on what word the chord is above.

Sunday Morning Chords

Oh, and just so there is no confusion, the tabs at the bottom of the page are for guitar. When I transposed the chords from guitar to ukulele, the tabs didn't change. 

Stay Tuned


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A New Begining

So this is it. This is my first blog post. The first of many I hope. Am I supposed to open up with some content ? Like a picture...Something about ukulele perhaps? I don't know.  Maybe later today.

Stay Tuned