San Diego,CA- 30 days into playing the Ukulele and discovered that this was a favored instrument of George Harrison of the Beatles as well as Paul McCartney. George would often would walk around the house with a Uke in his hand.
As I began playing the Uke I realized that this one of the secret weapons of songwriting. I had a discussion with another piano player regarding music theory. The Ukulele has 4 strings and with a C tuning it’s easy to think of the chords from a piano playing perspective.
In addition choosing chord voicing becomes extremely easy since the chord choices are a string away, moving one fret or string gives you the voicing you are looking for. I also discovered that because of the re-entrant tuning GCEA ( top string being a high string not a low string that it also allows you to hear the note that would most likely be used as a melody line.
I have written my first Uke piece intentionally for the Derek Stroh project. Let’s hope it sticks. I you have a chance to noodle around on a uke you can’t help but get a Beatles vibe, at least from a popular form of songwriting which admittedly was really defined by The Beatles.
Here is a video I found on Youtube of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton as a tribute to George Harrison playing “Something”. This arrangement demonstrates how from a simple 4 string instrument and a voice a well written song can be crafted.