Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lost another Songbird

Davy Jones was 66 when he died of a heart attack today.  I know, I know - he wasn't the most talented musician on the planet.  As far as I know the only instrument he played was maracas (but he could play 4 at one time, by golly!).  He did not have the vocal talents of Whitney Houston and he did not have the writing talents of Amy Winehouse.  He broke no barriers and made no huge changes in the world.  However, he affected me more than the two ladies listed by a longshot.  Why, you ask? 

Rock and Roll.

I grew up in a house that listened to Country Western Music with the odd bit of Mexican music when Mom pulled out her records.  It was not a very musically varied place when you had access to a few radio stations and pretty much nothing on TV (MTV didn't come out until I was in High School and I didn't get cable until my 3rd year of college).   I still like C&W, there is a lot of good music in that genre.  But it was The Monkees and The Banana Splits that introduced me to Rock and Roll.  Mind you it was a very fluffy, family friendly type of rock, but it still wasn't what I was used to listening to.  It was the gateway drug for a 10 year old chick from the country to expanding her horizons music-wise.  I still like The Monkees and have several of their song on my iPod.  I may have to hunt down Davy's last album (came out in 2009) to see if his music ever matured or if he just stuck to what he knew he was good at. 

So, Good-bye, Davy Jones!  You made me a Believer

Sunday, February 12, 2012

So there I was...

messing about with my ukulele.  I flipped through my sheet music and stopped at Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" because a) I like the song and b) I hadn't tried to play it yet.  Except when I started, I suddenly froze up on tempo and chording.  Well, what I usually do when that happens is pull out the iPod and play the song, except that I don't have this song.  Instead I drag uke and music to the office and pull up YouTube.  And this little guy pops up:

Isn't he adorable?!  He has no idea of the words, but, by golly, he's got the chords down pat.  I love this.  Make the music and don't worry if you have it right, just enjoy yourself.  And he really looks to be having a blast. 

I did finally pull up the original version and work out my tempo issues. I'm still not sure if I'm even half as good as our little genius in the video, though.

Well, I piddled around with my ukulele specific sheet music and then got to wondering what all music I had on the shelf that might have chords.  Holy crap, I've got a lot of sheet music.  Most of it is from when I regularly played piano, so there's a lot of 70s and early 80s music.  Happily, a lot of the piano music came with guitar chords as well.  And since chords are chords, I just have to look up any I don't know on my uke chart and hope they're something I can learn.  Among the gems I found were 2 books of early 80s pop music, a Simon & Garfunkel book which I have no idea where it came from, a Glenn Campbell book that I think I got from my mom, and - joy of joys! - the complete sheet music from the original Muppet Movie.  I'm thinking "Rainbow Connection" and "Going to Go Back There Someday" will be at the top of my list for my next practice session.