Irish ukulele... does it work?

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Thomaston
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Irish ukulele... does it work?

Post by Thomaston »

So, I delved into the world of ukulele recently, and on a whim decided to see how things would sound to do some back-up chords on it instead of guitar in an Irish trad setting (actually, I think the song is Scottish...). I fooled around combining it with mandolin and tenor banjo, but wasn't getting good results. I finally pulled out my whistle that I haven't touched in a while, and it seems to work. What do you think? It's the first song here:
www.myspace.com/caseythomaston
Please try to ignore the squeeking of the whistle. I'm a bit rusty.
I'd like some honest opinions, good or bad, on how they sound together.
Also... I'd like to stress this was just an experiment. I'm certainly not planning to bring the uke to the next session!
Tim2723
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Post by Tim2723 »

I think the idea is exceedingly cool! Epecially using a baritone ukulele. I couldn't listen the sound file (my speakers are kaput), but I've been kicking the same idea around for a long time.

I've been trying to use a concert uke where the lowest string is the third one, but that sound is just too Hawian to make the jump. A baritone uke is tuned like the top four strings on a guitar so it has a real bass string, so I think that would work better. I'll have to get me one of those. I can't see why it wouldn't work. After all, the baritone uke is really just a tenor guitar with classic nylon strings, right?
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coupedefleur
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Post by coupedefleur »

Some people tune a tenor guitar like a bari uke (like the top 4 strings of guitar), but the traditional tuning for a TG is in 5ths- CGDA. Some people also tune tenors lower like an octave mandolin- GDAE.

The concert uke with my-dog-has-fleas tuning is a pretty versatile instrument, and is used in a lot of contexts where it doesn't sound Hawaiian. For instance, they used uke a lot in old-time string bands- even in some jug and kazoo bands! Hitting on the right strumming style is probably the key.
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Post by synecdoche »

James Hill is a young ukulele player who has done some AMAZING hybrid stuff with the instrument. The ukulele is a surprisingly versatile instrument! I only just found his website today, and he really is awesome. I wonder if he's played any ITM on that thing...hmmm....

http://www.ukulelejames.com/
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Post by mcdafydd »

Mentioning a uke made me think of using a Venezuelan cuatro for rhythmic accompaniment... hmm, another instrument to add to the collection.
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Chatterton
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Post by Chatterton »

I really like what you've done with this. Makes me want to go out and buy a uke (and a whistle as well).
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Sandy McLeod
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Post by Sandy McLeod »

For me it has been just the opposite. I've got a number of ukes and a classical guitar which I play at slack key on but now I've just purchased a whistle. Funny how things work out. I'm looking forward to learning how to blow on something other than a harp. :)

This place looks like the place to learn.

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Sandy
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Post by TheSpoonMan »

(actually, I think the song is Scottish...).


Na ja, that's the Muckin o Geordie's Byre if I'm not mistaken- wonderful name, huh? Though your playing ofit does sound rather irish; also I like the sound of the uke with it :)
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unregulated
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ah my theme tune

Post by unregulated »

ah my theme tune
the words are better than the tune and the title.
translation below - it’s worth it

The Muckin' o' Geordie's Byre

At a relic aul' croft upon the hill,
Roon the neuk frae Sprottie's mill,
Tryin' a' his life tae jine the kill
Lived Geordie MacIntyre.
He had a wife a swir's himsel'
An' a daughter as black's auld Nick himsel',
There wis some fun-haud awa' the smell
At the muckin' o' Geordie's byre.

Chorus:
For the graim was tint, the besom was deen,
The barra widna row its leen,
An' siccan a soss it never was seen
At the muckin' o Geordie's byre.
For the daughter had to strae and neep
The auld wife started to swipe the greep
When Geordie fell sklite on a rotten neep
At the muckin' o' Geordie's byre.

Ben the greep cam' Geordie's soo
She stood up ahint the coo
The coo kickit oot an' o whit a stew
At the muckin' o' Geordies byre.
For the aul' wife she was booin' doon
The soo was kickit on the croon
It shoved her heid in the wifie's goon
Then ben through Geordie's byre.

Chorus:

The daughter cam thro the barn door
An' seein' her mother let ooot a roar,
To the midden she ran an' fel ower the boar
At the muckin' o' Geordie's byre.
For the boar he lap the midden dyke
An' ower the riggs wi' Geordie's tyke.
They baith ran intill a bumbee's byke
At the muckin' o' Geordie's byre.

Chorus:

O a hunder' years are passed an' mair
Whaur Sprottie's wis, the hill is bare;
The croft's awa' sae ye'll see nae mair
At the muckin' o' Geordie's byre.
His folks a' deid an' awa' lang syne-
In case his memory we should tyne,
Whistle this tune tae keep ye in min'
At the muckin' o' Geordie's byre!

Meaning of unusual words:
muckin=clean
croft=small farmhouse
jine=join
kill=overcome with weariness
swir=unwilling to work
auld Nick=the Devil
tint=lost
besom=broom
deen=done
barra=barrow
widna row its leen= would not hold it's load
siccan=such
soss=dirty wet mess
strae=straw
neep=feed cattle with turnips
swipe=sweep
greep=gutter in the byre
fell sklite=fall heavily
neep=turnip
ben=through
soo=female pig
booin'doon=bending down
goon=gown, dress
midden=refuse heap
riggs=strip of ploughed land
tyke=dog
bumbee's byke=beehive
lang syne=long since
tyne=lose

yours unregulated

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evenstr
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Post by evenstr »

That sounded excellent! Makes me want to learn my ukulele.
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Mary Hanafin Doonan
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Re: Irish ukulele... does it work?

Post by Mary Hanafin Doonan »

[ Revival - Mod ]

Casey,

How have you come along? If you have not moved on... or found this site, give it a look. I have a beautiful Kala Arch Tenor to mess around with... I'd post her but been using facebook so long I'll have to remember where I go to use server to post here.. lol.... but here's uke tabs.

http://ukuleletabs.org/title/l/loch-lomond/
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Mary Hanafin Doonan
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Re: Irish ukulele... does it work?

Post by Mary Hanafin Doonan »

And here's a bit more I've found.

http://ukulelehunt.com/2008/03/12/irish-ukulele-tabs/

Enjoy!
Mary
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Thomaston
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Re: Irish ukulele... does it work?

Post by Thomaston »

Wow, flashbacks...
I remember enjoying that little experiment, but I don't currently own a uke anymore. Still enjoying playing accompaniment, but it's on bouzouki these days.
I wonder if I could find a luthier to make me a hybrid instrument... Zoukelele? :o
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Mary Hanafin Doonan
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Re: Irish ukulele... does it work?

Post by Mary Hanafin Doonan »

ha! You're so fun! But would you entertain the practice of Classical and Flamenco, Greek modern or prhaps back to Traditional Irish music? My goodness.... we have found the correct spot here as this musical hybridization leans!... lolol...

Mary
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Thomaston
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Re: Irish ukulele... does it work?

Post by Thomaston »

I'd be scared to try Flamenco. Especially since I recently found out I've spent my entire life pronouncing it wrong!
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