“…Kucharik’s first instrument was piano (“I never excelled at it.”). She then moved on to French horn (“Neither that nor the piano inspired me to be a songwriter.”), then guitar (“That was a slow learning curve for me.”), before meeting up with the ukulele, which has absolutely inspired her.
“What’s neat about the ukulele is that with just four strings you can have a lot of fun with alternate voicings up the neck, and jazzy chords,” she said. “I don’t play the ukulele just to play the ukulele. I play it as a way to deliver the songs that I write.”
The Toneway Project has been around many years but I’ve just learned about it. I’m quite interested because I am addicted to music books and don’t try hard enough to play by ear. I know very few of the songs but I’m learning to play a little better by ear.
Ex: recently I considered buying a ‘glow-in-the-dark’ Makala Waterman and then it occurred to me if it was dark then I couldn’t see my music and couldn’t play any songs. Sad!
You can learn to ‘jam’ by ear. I CAN learn to ‘jam’ by ear. NO songbooks or songsheets. Let’s do it!
Going to a bluegrass jam group introduced me to ‘The ToneWay Project’. They offer some great products BUT you don’t need to buy a thing to benefit as their Website offers a lot!
A couple of the leaders in the jam have a book from ‘The ToneWay Project’ called ‘Family Tradition Songbook’. It has 371 songs with words but no chord charts or letters (only numbers like 1, 4 and 5). It is only $.7.95.
There are even a special method book and a songbook for the ukulele.
BUT the point is you don’t even need books.
I’ll close this post with their motto:
“Many think you must get good to play with others. We say it’s better to play with others to get good.” Source: Toneway.com
“They’ve plucked their way into Windsor Castle, Carnegie Hall and China. Now, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is tinkling across America with a set list Tiny Tim never imagined: a mix of Tchaikovsky, Nirvana and “Highway to Hell.”
“And that, says one longtime orchestra member, is partly what makes the little uke so great…”
“Grace VanderWaal became an instant star at 12 years old. She won a season of “America’s Got Talent” in 2016 by showcasing her original songs and raw singing ability…she’s already got a signature instrument. Inspired by a family friend, she taught herself to play the ukulele by watching videos online.”
Ukulele Underground proposed the question – “Have you ever wondered, how the heck do people read tabs?” and then introduced Dominator (of Dominator’s Uke Tabs) to explain the basics of reading ukulele tabs.
My kids are grown but I know my practicing must drive my wife a little crazy at times. HaHa. This is a great idea if you have a baby or small child and you want to slip in a five minute practice while they sleep.