Category Archives: TABS

We Wish You a Merry Christmas, campanella ukulele video with TAB

Well, lookie what the cat dragged in. I’ve been on a hiatus from posting because of my concentration on traditional old time fiddle while traveling the country and learning from master fiddlers in the Ozarks, Catskills and Blue Ridge mountains. I even spent a week in Port Townsend, Washington learning Finnish folk violin from Arto Järvelä. It is quite the undertaking but that is where my heart is right now.

However, I have not lost any love for playing ukulele! And this particular offering reminds me how fun it is to arrange simple tunes into the hardest way to play them… Campanella (or campanela).

Prerequisites for taking on this arrangement are determination and my campanella triad patterns tutorial and some holiday spirit. And watch the video closely to see how I incorporate barring with my index to get these patterns.

Notes: The barring I refer to occurs in measures 1, 3, 7-8, and 15-16. Also remember to let the notes ring as long as possible. There are a few places where this can sound dissonant so use your best judgement. In a few places I might not let a note ring if it clashes too hard with the next one. Measures 9 and 10 are a good example. in measure 9, let off the second string, 8th fret before you play the first note in measure 10. The last two notes should not ring (too long) at the same time, either. You’ll see why.

Also, measure 13 is probably the trickiest part. I actually stretch my index down to the fifth fret while leaving my middle finger on the eight fret.

It might take a little practice to get all this sounding smooth (I still haven’t gotten there yet) but it’s worth the effort.

Happy Holidays to you all and keep sharing the LOVE.

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Download the TAB for We Wish You a Merry Christmas

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And here is the video..

 

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Welcome Christmas, Dr Seuss’ Whoville Christmas Song for ukulele.

I just got back from Whoville and Cindy Lou taught me the town’s Christmas song, Welcome Christmas, so I thought I would share it with you.

It is simple and  99% campanella style so try to let notes ring as long as you can as you move to the next notes.

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Here is the video. Apologies for the sound quality. I really need to get my studio up and running again!

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And here is the TAB to Welcome Christmas

Whoville Christmas Song

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James Hill’s Assam/Like a Bird Revisited

Dusting this one off to see if I could still play it. I tabbed Like a Bird a while back and recently received James HIll’s permission to share it. This is a slightly different arrangement than the original version AND IT IS IN C TUNING. James recorded it in D tuning or ADF#B.

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Here is my recent video.

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And here is the TAB to Like a Bird

Like a Bird

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Ukulele Secret #12 The Campanella Arpeggio Workout

Here is one of my favorite ukulele secrets. Taken from my harp ukulele original, King’s Rain, these artful and impressive arpeggios span the neck and will improve your agility and accuracy for both your left and right hands.

The ingredients for a UKULELE BADASS!

When I composed King’s Rain I heard these arpeggios in my head before I even worked them out on the ukulele. I wanted to write a song for the harp ukulele that sounded like a traditional harp being played. What I didn’t anticipate was how much fun they would be to play. I spent hours shedding on them, easily hundreds of repetitions. I liked the way they sounded and I really liked the way they felt under my fingers.

I still use them as a workout… or just to show off.

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Performance Notes: Once again, three finger right hand technique. Thumb plays 4th string and index and ring fingers play the rest. See the instructional video for more explanation.

Left hand fingering should follow campanella judgement. Let the note on a string ring as long as possible before moving to the next note on the same string. This takes a bit of practice to do smoothly so go slow at first. This is important and when you get it faster it will sound like a harp.

Repetition. I don’t think you will get bored with these. Shoot for infinity.

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USE THESE IDEAS TO CREATE YOUR OWN.

Please. As with any of my secrets, they are meant to inspire you to learn and expand.

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The worksheet has 6 arpeggios written out in TAB with a chord diagram above each one.

Here’s the first example. Download all six examples below.

Campanella Arpeggio Ex 1

Download the full Campanella Arpeggio Workout.

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Here is the demonstration video with helpful hints.

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To refresh your memory of these being used in a song, here is the King’s Rain video. The arpeggio section begins at 1:18.

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And one last thing… PRACTICE!!!

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Campanella Swing – Video, Tab, Tutorial

Greetings!

Here is a campanella (or 99% campanella) version I came up with for Chatanooga Choo Choo. Thanks to Ken Middleton and Al Woods for taking the time to look over the TAB and offer a few suggestions. Sometimes it helps to have some fresh eyes look at something when yours get tired.

I have included a 10 minute tutorial video if you have trouble getting the TAB and performance under your fingers.

NOTES:
In the performance video you will see/hear me use improvised chord fills between the campanella melody lines. I didn’t include this on the TAB as I play it differently every time. Mainly they are C6’s with D7 to G7 vamps. I encourage you to explore different inversions and have fun with it. I cover this a little in the tutorial video.

As with most of my campanella arrangements, look for places to use triad forms or places to have more than one finger on the neck at one time. This helps let the notes ring. It also sounds good letting the open strings ring.

Probably the biggest challenge will start at measure 36. I am playing the entire line with one chord form. To get to it quickly I grab the first two notes with the pinky and ring fingers FIRST. Then I let the other two fingers catch up. I suggest practicing the chord,

7
10
12
8

ahead of time so you will know what it looks like when you get to it. But remember to start learning the shape by putting the pinky down first and then the ring finger. This will make it easier on you.

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Here is the TAB
Chatanooga Choo Choo

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And here is the performance video..

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And here is the tutorial video. Get to work!

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Ukulele Christmas Medley Video with TABs

Well, the season sort of snuck up on me and I wanted to work up some new holiday tunes for Christmas. There are so many other things in the queue now but I decided to try to get this out sooner, in case you want to practice up before Christmas.

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The tunes are:

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
We Three Kings
Away in a Manger
Silent Night

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The Ukulele Secrets I use in these arrangements are:

Ukulele Secret #3: Campanela riffs
Ukulele Secret #7: Pretty Up Your CFG… plus bonus chords

What I did here was make them as hard to play as possible. Ha! That’s just another way of saying I tried to put in as much campanella that I could.

The exception is We Three Kings. There is a wee bit of campanella but if you pay attention to the chord forms you will see it’s 90% ‘Pretty Up Your CFG’. It’s a great example of that secret. Coupled with the baroque feel, it makes for a fun song to play.

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So, I am only offering the TABs to It Came Upon a Midnight Clear and We Three Kings for now.

Here’s why…

My arrangement of Away in a Manger is in the key of C, like every one else’s I’ve seen. I really made it hard to play. So hard that I couldn’t really get the full campanella effect in the video. There are just too many easier ways to play it and make it sound just as beautiful. It is super easy so fish around and you’ll find it.

And…

This Silent Night arrangement started from my friend Jim’s interest in the song a few years ago. Then I saw Al’s version the other day at Ukulele Hunt. I wanted to give it the ole campanella try so I went after it. It’s really not much different than the others except some campanella and harmonics.

It is a beautiful melody and I encourage you to play it with a friend and do harmonies. Jim and I have been having fun with it and we might post a video before long.

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TAB: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
TAB: We Three Kings

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And the viddie..

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

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Ukulele Secret #9 Exotic Scales & Claw Hammer

Video and scale tabs at the bottom of post.

I know, it’s been a while. So many things are happening right now but due to some persuasive nudging from some of you I put this together as fast as I could. Forgive my always brilliant video editing.

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Here are three exotic sounding scales that I have been having fun with on the banjo uke. (Banjo uke not required).

To be honest, there are only two scales here. The second example differs from the first only by skipping the note on the second string, sixth fret. It does make a difference. I like to mix them up, as you can see in the example.

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Examples 1 and 2

If you noticed at the beginning of the video, I am using these examples with the Claw Hammer ukulele technique. It sounds really amazing when I get warmed up. Review my basic, basic claw hammer tutorial and all the other great tutorials out there if you need to brush up.

During the scale demonstrations of 1 and 2 notice the technique I use while demonstrating them a little faster. I pick out some strategic notes and do the Koto sounding micro bend technique that I showed you in Sakura Sakura. This adds tremendous effect and authenticity to the scale.

Quick review of the Koto technique:

Before you pluck the note with your right hand finger, bend the note SLIGHTLY up with your left hand fretting finger. Then IMMEDIATELY after you pluck the note, let it return to it’s original ‘unbent’ state.

Also, don’t be afraid to improvise. Mix the notes up.

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Example 3

You might remember this scale from Sakura Sakura. It is a common Japanese scale (I think). In that video (linked above) I play the scale using John King’s campanela style. Here I am playing it in a more linear fashion. THEN I add the microbend Koto style and there you have it.

Exotic Ukulele

And the vidya..