Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Priceless ukulele video

To put you in the mood to play, I'm going to share with you one of my favorite ukulele videos. This video demonstrates what ukuleles can do, or more precisely what a ukulele orchestra can do.

In the video, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performs Ennio Morricone's famous musical score from the 1966 spaghetti western, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The orchestra is composed of six ukuleles and one electroacustic bass guitar. The UOGB is very popular in England, as well as internationally. During their stylish and humorous performances the orchestra plays remixes of wildly diverse songs, including the like of the Morricone score:

In one of my earlier blog posts I'd mentioned the squeaky sound of the soprano uke. I'm mentioning this again to stress the fact that an acoustic ukulele will never sound full toned and bass-like, even with a microphone amplifying its sound. This is the reason behind the particular composition of this orchestra; the various ukulele sounds complete each other for complexity, and the electroacustic bass guitar underlines the rhythm by stressing the strong beats. It is not a coincidence that the guy on the right plays an electroactustic bass guitar and not a "regular" one, as this instrument looks just like a ukulele under a magnifying glass. One of the female musicians (third from the left) is playing on a white resonator ukulele. This special resonator uke is similar to a resonator guitar, like the one pictured on the cover of the Brothers in Arms album by Dire Straits. Resonator ukes have a very unique sound. I'll talk about them in more detail later, for now I'll just mention that they can be pretty pricey. Until then it's worth watching this excellent, well-constructed video a few times.

a resonatore uke in the middle

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