Friday, July 03, 2009

Sexy on the Beach?

Okay, here's what I don't get. You're Amanda Palmer. You're a professional musician, actually have name recognition, a following, etc. And you play a Red Hilo....

What the uke?

And don't get me started on the fact that she apparently doesn't know how to tune it. And plays it with a pick...




ronhale said...

On his site, Rob MacKillop plays some Gaspar Sanz
pieces using, as he describes it,
"a very inexpensive Chinese model,
one of the least expensive available," at his local music shop, & in his hands this uke sounds (to my ears) wonderful.
So, in the right hands a "common,
garden variety uke," as he terms it...

Now, if this analogy applies at all
to her & her uke I really can't say, not being familiar with her playing.

Amy R Singer said...

well, she's a keyboardist first, which might explain the pick. can't grow your nails when you play keyboards. or maybe she just likes it.

as for the hilo, can't explain that. i follow ms p (in the way people follow musicians, not in a stalky way) and have seen her play several different -- all cheap -- ukes. probably not fussed about the sound. and also, she's not one of those rich musicians. a recent t-shirt sale paid for her rent for a month or two, so she's not rolling in kamaka-friendly dough.

this is way more than you wanted, isn't it, especially since it's mostly conjecture. sorry.

Gary said...

To be clear, I don't mean to say that Hilo ukes are junk; just that, in general, mass produced ukes don't always have the best tone or intonation. I'd expect a professional musician to immediately understand and appreciate the difference.

As for the pick business, my personal, biased, opinion is that playing a ukulele with a pick is like playing a piano with mallets.

Clifford said...

I think every uke player should have their own style, some of my favorite players use priceless custom made Kamakas and others use plastic TV Pal toy ukes. I enjoy them all.

More power to Miss Palmer.

ronhale said...

For a different take on using a
pick, see the Ukulele Hunt article
on the recent Paris Uke Fest, under Workshops re: Tim Sweeney.

Gary said...

That it has more impact on listeners? Can you shed more on what you think Tim's point is?

ronhale said...

When people hold their hands in such a way that I can't visually tell whether they're using a pick or not
(granted, the odds are that they aren't), I always have a difficult time
deciding the issue. An example is
a player holding thumb & index-finger together as if using a pick
but not, such as on the KDUS video
review of two tenors that Fender France lent them for their appraisal. At one point Bertrand (?) plays in this manner & only a close look tells me that he isn't using a pick. My ear by itself couldn't decide the question, so there is no difference in impact for me.

Visually, the impact on an audience would seem to be greater with flashy non-pick strumming styles.

So, I have no idea what Tim's point is, since as I've said, I
usually can't tell the difference.

Gary said...

Thanks, Ron.

HumbleUker said...

Everyone has noticed the pick. The pick scar is obvious on the uke face. But what about that playing card-ish thing at the bridge. Is it touching the strings? Have you ever placed a piece of paper between the strings and sound hole and got that banjo-ish buzz? She's got other stuff goin' on too. Amanda has a powerful voice, can shred and commands an audience. viva Amanda! Hope to hear more. Jeff

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