Ukulele Time

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/4, 1/10 sec, ISO3200
“Ukuleles” Cedar Park, 2020

Besides working, I’m spending my day following the news, finding causes to donate to, and educating myself. It’s honestly tiring to keep up and task-switch. But I do have my ukuleles to help with my own well-being. Currently learning “Rainbow Connection”. I think it’s an amazingly beautiful song.

Wrist Brace for Better Ukulele Playing

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/45 sec, ISO6400
“Learning a New Song” Cedar Park, 2019

Spent much of the day practicing a new song. I’m trying to not bite off more than I can chew, and only spend a few minutes at a time learning new parts, then taking a long break before resuming again. I think my brain remembers a lot better that way. It’s also good to relax the muscles a bit since my wrist still isn’t 100%. Actually, I don’t think it will ever be 100% again, but the pain is definitely manageable and more of an annoyance than a hindrance.

I do take care to always wear a wrist brace which helps to keep my wrist in the correct angle to lessen the pain. But I’ve also found value in the wrist brace for better ukulele playing. The brace keeps my wrist straight which forces my fingers to curl more, which in turn causes my fingers to press the strings more precisely. The result is that the notes sound cleaner when I play. Win-win!

I hope you had a nice day! ☺️

またね~

☺️

Goodies from Japan and Ghibli Songbook for Ukulele

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/125 sec, ISO1250
“Goodies from Japan” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today’s photos is of the omiyage that Mariko brought for me from her visit to her hometown of Osaka. It’s a bit of a mix this time, with a wash-cloth that I’ve been mentioning for a few months now, the big bottle of shochu that we’ll enjoy together, and the unexpected darumas (very cool style!).

But the pièce de résistance has to be the ukulele songbook of Ghibli tunes. It’s awesome! The first part of the book is finger-style solos, and the second part is chords and lyrics. I can’t sing, so you might think the second part is not useful, but to the contrary, having the chords right there will be great for referencing when I practice the finger-style versions. And speaking of the finger-style versions, they are the right level for me. The arrangement is not too simple and not too complex. However, I think there will be room to embellish a bit which is why the chords in the second half of the book will be useful. The songbook also includes a CD for reference. I’ve already started on ひこうき雲which is the heart-breaking (lyrics1973 song from Arai Yumi and used as the ending song in The Wind Rises. It’s kind of perfect for the movie. 😭

またね~

New Strings for the Pineapple Ukulele

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/40 sec, ISO6400
“New Strings” Cedar Park, 2019

Tonight I replaced the strings that came with my Kala Pineapple Ukulele with some Aquila New Nylgut strings. The original strings were supposedly the “Super Nylgut”, but who knows? So I decided to go ahead and try the other strings. They sound great, but I honestly don’t know if they make that much of a difference. They do seem a little firmer, louder, but squeaky. I think the squeak will go away after they pick up some oils from my fingers, but I do like the overall sound. And knowing that they are, in fact, Aquila strings make me feel good too.

I hope you had a good day!

またね~

風のとおり道 (The Path of Wind) – Ukulele Cover