Silver Machine in Isolation

Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
As I have mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. Here is a YouTube video of them dealing with the Covid isolation. It made me laugh and feel happy, as they always do.

This is great stuff - I spent the next two hours browsing their channel and listening :2thumbs: Thanks a lot!

I've always wanted to learn to play a plucked string instrument (my youth was haunted by unsuccessful violin lessons - not my type of instrument at all); unfortunately, I've always felt somewhat intimidated by guitars, and besides, they're even less portable than your usual saxophone. But now I see a much more fun approach (and a wonderfully playful field for exploration - dangerous, dangerous) with the ukulele; I find it ridiculous that most people don't take this neat little instrument seriously. No specific plans yet for myself, though ... that's to be decided (I need to have a perspective for this - and a clearly defined entry point, too). Tony almost took me this far before - those gals and guys make it seem even more desirable.

M.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
I was definitely trying to figure out what the hell Hinchcliffe (left side, second from the top) was playing. On YT, you can listen to the version where they begin with the Ride of the Valkyries and transition to Silver Machine.
 

donlaw

Hall of Famer
Location
Texas
Real Name
Don
Maybe because it was just Halloween, but this makes me think about Rocky Horror Picture Show! I bet they could do a great version of some of those tunes.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
I dug a little deeper (well, a lot) and discovered this ...


... and then this (she also does the editing for the recent UOGB lockdown videos) ...


... and then this:


Her own song. Note the date.

Laura Currie is a wonderful find; such a talent from some Scottish backwater (I *LOVE* Scotland, this is not a slur, this is just longing!) ... The world's a marvellous place!

And sometimes, when you plough the murky waters of YouTube, you stumble upon proof.

M.
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
Laura Currie is a wonderful find; such a talent from some Scottish backwater (I *LOVE* Scotland, this is not a slur, this is just longing!) ... The world's a marvellous place!

And sometimes, when you plough the murky waters of YouTube, you stumble upon proof.
She's not only talented in the musical realm, but her video production is excellent. The split screens were seamless.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
Well, it had to happen ...

DSC_2948.jpg


(G7, no less - getting ready for the blues already ... ;))

M.

P.S. And the best thing is, you don't have to listen :D
 

wee-pics

Hall of Famer
Location
Germany
Real Name
Walter
Well, it had to happen ...

View attachment 239620

(G7, no less - getting ready for the blues already ... ;))

M.

P.S. And the best thing is, you don't have to listen :D
This uku looks like a finger-killer, Matt. The strings are too high in the first fret already.
They need some Opel-Manta tuning: lowering. Otherwise you'll get blisters from playing as long as your skin is not covered with callus. Using a capo in the first or second fret might easy things a bit for you in the beginning, but the you would have to transpose if you wanted to play along with other instruments. Just singing alone is no problem, there the capo is a great help to adapt to your singing voice.
 

wee-pics

Hall of Famer
Location
Germany
Real Name
Walter
As I have mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. Here is a YouTube video of them dealing with the Covid isolation. It made me laugh and feel happy, as they always do.

I've watched several of their concerts on TV, they are absolutely stunning and have an extremely humorous show. It's fantastic what they make with these tiny instruments.
 
Last edited:
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
This uku looks like a finger-killer, Matt. The strings are too high in the first fret already.
They need some Opel-Manta tuning: lowering. Otherwise you'll get blisters from playing as long as your skin is not covered with callus. Using a capo in the first or second fret might easy things a bit for you in the beginning, but the you would have to transpose if you wanted to play along with other instruments. Just singing alone is no problem, there the capo is a great help to adapt to your singing voice.
As a former violinist, things didn't strike me as especially uncomfortable so far, but I'm sure you're right; however, would lowering the strings impact the sound in some way? I ask this because I'm quite astonished by how nice this fairly, though not extremely cheap little instrument sounds and don't want to compromise that. I suppose I could deepen the grooves on the nut quite easily - they're not that deep anyway. Filing down the saddle should work as well; though since both parts are made from (the same kind of) plastic, I'm not too sure I should actually try this - I might damage things beyond fixing because frankly, the material doesn't look too sturdy to me - which is a bit strange and somewhat annoying because the instrument is otherwise quite nicely made. Reminds me of certain Yamaha saxophones, really - price-worthy instruments, with rather strange slip-ups in their build (again, mostly related to the excessive or misguided use of plastic).

The instrument is still acclimatising anyway ... it's not holding its tuning very well, but that was to be expected to a certain extend (again, I'm no stranger to string instruments in principle).

This is an experiment, anyway - but so far, I'm having much more fun than I expected, and I'm making better progress, too.

M.
 

wee-pics

Hall of Famer
Location
Germany
Real Name
Walter
As a former violinist, things didn't strike me as especially uncomfortable so far, but I'm sure you're right; however, would lowering the strings impact the sound in some way? I ask this because I'm quite astonished by how nice this fairly, though not extremely cheap little instrument sounds and don't want to compromise that. I suppose I could deepen the grooves on the nut quite easily - they're not that deep anyway. Filing down the saddle should work as well; though since both parts are made from (the same kind of) plastic, I'm not too sure I should actually try this - I might damage things beyond fixing because frankly, the material doesn't look too sturdy to me - which is a bit strange and somewhat annoying because the instrument is otherwise quite nicely made. Reminds me of certain Yamaha saxophones, really - price-worthy instruments, with rather strange slip-ups in their build (again, mostly related to the excessive or misguided use of plastic).

The instrument is still acclimatising anyway ... it's not holding its tuning very well, but that was to be expected to a certain extend (again, I'm no stranger to string instruments in principle).

This is an experiment, anyway - but so far, I'm having much more fun than I expected, and I'm making better progress, too.

M.
Lowering the strings can be done at two positions, depending of the place were the action is too high. If the strings are too high at the 12th fret it's the bridge where the lowering is done. The little wooden bar that is the bridge insert can be taken out and filed carefully at the bottom side to reduce its height. If the saddle / nut is too high you can deepen the grooves where the strings are kept in position. All this must be done evenly and very carefully. If you overdo it you'll have buzzing strings and you have to replace the saddle. It's better to have this done by a specialist, because the bass strings need more space for vibrating as the treble ones. The sound of an instrument is not influenced in any way by these improvements, btw.

For keeping strings holding their pitch from the first moment they are exchanged there is a very reliable procedure. But that's information for players which can be exchanged via conversations because it wouldn't interest most posters here. Just give me a note if you want to know.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
Lowering the strings can be done at two positions, depending of the place were the action is too high. If the strings are too high at the 12th fret it's the bridge where the lowering is done. The little wooden bar that is the bridge insert can be taken out and filed carefully at the bottom side to reduce its height. If the saddle / nut is too high you can deepen the grooves where the strings are kept in position. All this must be done evenly and very carefully. If you overdo it you'll have buzzing strings and you have to replace the saddle. It's better to have this done by a specialist, because the bass strings need more space for vibrating as the treble ones. The sound of an instrument is not influenced in any way by these improvements, btw.

For keeping strings holding their pitch from the first moment they are exchanged there is a very reliable procedure. But that's information for players which can be exchanged via conversations because it wouldn't interest most posters here. Just give me a note if you want to know.
Very helpful, thank you! I'll look into it and, when things start to get more serious and directional, I'll message you to get all this valuable information. I figured out the "from the bottom" part for the saddle when I saw it. Unfortunately, it seems that the material used doesn't take well to filing - it's possible I'll have to have it replaced. But you're completely right, let's put that somewhere more appropriate - and a little later because I'm just a total noob at the moment and need to grow somewhat to appreciate it all.

M.
 

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