Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Getting Started For Spring- Blues and Busking....And My Reso Uke!

    I was amazingly blessed this past Christmas with a Gretsch Reso ukulele!
Once the holidays were over,I had time to play it. It has a wonderful feel,great bluesy tone,(the resonator actually reacts to the strings) and has a very solid feel. Gorgeous abalone inlay on the fingerboard,too. The intonation is absolute heaven.
I have now been more focused on learning blues with this particular ukulele.....and found a wonderful book on how to play blues on your flea. 
If you want to buy a copy,I have it in my store here . It's amazingly well written,has lots of fun examples,teaches you blues scales,riffs,and more. As usual,with the coming of warmer weather,my love of ukulele has blossomed once again as this book challenges me. I'm doing fingerpicking,and starting to use a frailing technique to pluck melodies. Frailing is a banjo technique,but I find it most useful as well on uke. (Frailing isn't taught in the book,BTW)
     I also have a ukulele page on Facebook-see the link to the right of the blog here to go visit! 

I'm pleased to say Ukulele Magazine is offering a free digital read of their latest issue-which I'll be ordering as there is a cool article on how to "swing" a tune by chord substitution. And seeing as how I love swing jazz (I play it on guitar as well as mandolin) this article will prove most helpful. Google or Bing Ukulele Magazine and you'll be taken to the site where you'll have the option of downloading or just reading thru it without storing it on your computer. 

Off topic,I have finally started learning how to work with leather. I purchased one of those Tandy beginners kits oh.....two years ago....possibly three? At any rate I just finished my first project - a coaster. Humble but useful beginnings! (It will be used on my night stand to hold my morning cup o coffee) I'm pondering what ukulele accessories I can make with it. If you have any ideas,please share. All I've been able to think of is a pick pouch. 

Busking. I did mention that in the title,right? Well there is another wonderful book on how to do's only available in a Kindle edition at the moment and the price is right. A mere 99¢. The author covers most everything you'd need to know about busking. From costuming to where to busk at for filling up that coin bowl with "Thank yous" It's called The Busker's Handbook .
 Only thing I will add is the city I live in no longer issues performers licenses (which has saved me $$ by the elimination of them) so I have a business license instead....which I needed anyway for my store. Check with your city hall to see if they have a performers permit before you just go out there and open your case and start playing. Law enforcement can fine you if you don't have one,and be sure to keep track of the money people give you for tax time. Read the book first is my advice....then do your bit. You may want to busk with a partner as this will make things like using the restroom and grabbing something to eat a lot easier as someone can watch the equipment. 


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