25 July 2019 (Thursday) - My Life at The Moment: Playing my Beloved Vorson Electric Ukulele with Baritone Tuning
Jeez, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything.
I’m afraid it’s just going to be that way for a while. Long stretches of nothing, followed by a furtive entry that I dash off in a few minutes. That’s just the way my life is at the moment.
So much of my headspace involves teaching. Last week I went to a Code.Org workshop, which gave me all these ideas for teaching coding to my middle school students. I’d already attended the workshop that involved teaching to the younger grades, and now I have to nail down lesson plans for all this stuff.
In addition to this, my big brother passed away suddenly at the end of May, and it became immediately obvious that my father needed to live closer to me. So I spent the end of June and a good part of July helping him pack up his house down on Long Island (he rented, fortunately, so he could pull up stakes quickly) and move everything up here to Massachusetts. Now he’s a two-minute drive from where I live, and we’re checking out a Yankees-Red Sox game at Fenway tonight.
When I have a free minute I mess around with my electric ukulele (you read that right). I restrung it from G-C-E-A (standard soprano tuning) to D-G-B-A (baritone ukulele tuning), so now I basically have this tiny instrument that sounds like a wailing electric guitar.
“That’s so you,” said my friend Avery.
Yes, I guess it is.
I picked up a cheap tripod so that I could start recording myself playing songs. I will then upload these to YouTube. Perhaps a dozen people will watch them, if that.
This is fine by me. I just want to have proof that I’m still creating things. Most of the time, I’ll film them in front of my garage.
Sometimes I’ll film them in exotic locations, such as the cemetery a block away from where I live (that would be Megan’s house). At the same time, I like the grungy feel of just recording these grainy videos in front of the garage door. My goal is not so much to have people listen to my music as have them see me playing this incredibly simple instrument and saying to themselves “hey, I could do that.”
Hmmm….maybe I’ll post a video today. Yeah. That’s a good idea.
Many times, these videos will feature me looking at a music stand, which contains the chords and lyrics to the song I’m singing. I always have a problem remembering the chord progressions and the lyrics. I’m hoping that someone watches it and says “hey…I don’t have any problem remembering chord progressions and lyrics. I could buy a Vorson electric ukulele, string it with electric guitar strings (use the four thickest strings, by the way), and play something a lot better than what he’s playing.’
To which I say: yes, that’s what I want you to do, particularly if you’re between the ages of, say, 13 and 25. Buy an electric uke and string it like a guitar that doesn’t have low E and A strings. In a week, you’ll know enough about how to play the electric uke to play simple, catchy songs. Then you can find a bassist and drummer, and start a band.
Anyway, all this writing about the electric ukulele is making me want to pick it up and play it. I’ll post something by this afternoon. That’s what I’ll do. Yeah.