With eight chords in our arsenal, my students are ready to tackle some real music. (Incidentally, in order: C, F, G, G7, C7, D7 [Hawaiian], Am, Dm).
I had forgotten about some of the wonderful resources on YouTube, such as the play-along videos of Dr. Jill Reese and Dr. A. So I used some of these videos the last two days of class, and my students were jamming along with:
- Three Little Birds (CFG)
- Surfin’ USA (C, G7, F) A little weird due to the vocal pitch shift
- You are My Sunshine (C, F, G)
- Let It Be (C, F, G, Am)
- Shake It Off (Am, C , G) Massive Participation with this one
- Don’t Worry Be Happy (C, Dm, F, C)
- Best Day of My Life (C, F, Dm [not quite a good fit])
- My Girl (C, F, G, Dm, G7)
Participation massively shot up (some kids who have chosen not to use their ukuleles quickly got up to get theirs).
For the record, I download the videos from YouTube with Workflow (iOS App) or KeepVid, and if there is instructional material, I delete it so the clip starts with the playing.
I am going to add the following YouTube Clips in the days to come:
- Riptide (Am, G, C)
- Home (C, F, G, Am) Also a little weird with the vocal pitch shift
- I’m Yours C, F, G, Am, Hawaiian D7
- Waiting on the World to Change (C, Am, F, G, Dm)
So tonight, I made my first play-along, specifically for my own needs, but I want to share it. I have some songs that we use for certain chords. One of those chords is the Hawaiian D7, which uses two fingers instead of a barre chord. I use “Red River Valley,” so I made an accompaniment with iReal Pro (I bought the computer version), then imported that into GarageBand, recorded a ukulele track (you can hardly hear it), as well as the vocal line (pinao–I am not singing it). Then I imported that file into Notion, where I had already created a score…and did some editing to make the score one continuous score without a repeat. I exported the scrolling (kind of) video with QuickTime Player, and then used iMovie to re-stich the audio to the video.
The end result is a scrolling video with accompaniment that is a better marriage between my own desire for music literacy and ukulele playing.
We’ll see how this goes…there are a LOT of ukulele play-alongs out there, but play-alongs that feature more than “just” ukulele are helpful. There is great power in everyone being able to look at the screen and follow along.
And if you want to use this video in your own instruction, please do so!