Sunday, November 18, 2007

School Me, Del Ray, School Me!


Blues guitarist--and more importantly, blues ukulelist--Del Ray has a new DVD out, Blue Uke. From the Elderly site:
"Del takes a guitar player's approach to the instrument, using her three fingers to play syncopated melody and harmony lines against a steady thumb beat. Tuning her uke to open C (G-C-E-A), she starts off with blues scales and right hand exercises to coordinate your hands then it's right into five fabulous pieces: "Goin' Up the Country," "Run and Tell Your Daddy, Lord," "Keep it Clean," "Dance Hall Shuffle" and "Brown's Blues." EXTRA: Del performs four songs with guitarist Steve James. Includes note/tab booklet. 70 min."

I think this would make a particularly good gift for teen-aged ukers. Most currently available uke music is profoundly un-hip to this age group, and honestly, how long can you look cool strumming a two-chord Jack Johnson song? But the blues are always hip and I think it'd be cool to rock out when your classmates think you're just going to go all "Pearly Shells" on them.

I'd get a copy of this myself, but then I'd have to get one of those thumbpicks, and then I'd have to get, a Beltona Blue resonator uke so I wouldn't chew up my Kamaka, and ...well I guess Christmas is coming up. Link

Update: Alan went straight to the source, and Del pointed him to this video of her performance of "Dance Hall Shuffle" from the Portland Uke Fest in 2006. More links to Del Ray in the comments for this post, too. (Thanks, Alan!)

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't find her on youtube. Any links to audio or vids of her playing fingerstyle uke?

I'd love to see if our styles are similar at all!

Alan

Gary said...

Hmm. Alan. Let me poke around...

Gary said...

Here's Del Ray with the Yes Yes Boys:
http://www.edshawentertainment.com/artists3/yesyes2/index.htm

Also, Steve James and Del Ray here:

http://delreystevejames.com/

And here's Steve and Del on Cold Morning Shout:

http://delreystevejames.com/ColdMorningShout.mp3

Gary said...

And here are some YouTube clips that might be helpful:

You'll have to scroll around:

http://youtube.com/results?search_query=%22steve+james%22&search=Search

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I also contacted Del and she sent me these links:

http://homepage.mac.com/rmitlyng1/Del-Rey/iMovieTheater120.html

She's an amazing talent! I'll never be as good as she, but it's a level of playing to shoot for.

Here's my arrangement of an old tune:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfxUXtONFk0

Still got a ways to go!
-A

Craig said...

G-C-E-A is just C Tuning not "open C" tuning like Elderly states. for it to be open C it would have to be GCEG.

Anonymous said...

G-C-E-A is just C Tuning not "open C" tuning like Elderly states. for it to be open C it would have to be GCEG.

Yeah, where's the love for Am7?

-Alan

Craig said...

Jeez, Alan, everyone knows that's a C6th!

Nobody loves an Aminor7th.

Gary said...

I say credit the folks at Homespun who produced her DVD. I think Elderly just lifted text from the box. Cf: http://hobemianrecords.com/delreydiscs.html

Anonymous said...

I just recieved the DVD in the mail and watched the first part. Del says it's an "open C" tuning in the intro. Looks like the producer ran with it and included it in on the back cover notes. Elderly took the info from that. But it's definitely Am7 (or C6 if you prefer:) The DVD reveals very few edits. Just Del talking on camera. When she plays, the screen shows both her neckwork and finger picking (picture in picture style).

It's a great DVD for me, who have played for years with no formal training. I've figured some of the blues techniques out myself but Del expands on it greatly. Definitely worth the investment.

And her uke is absolutely beautiful! Even her strings are multi-colored!

-Alan

Gary said...

Thanks, Alan, I've put it on my wish list for Xmas! Gary

Nina Coquina said...

It's a good video, it's just kind of hard to see what she's doing against that blingy fretboard. Great for performing but not so great for teaching.

 
Top 50 Ukulele Sites