Jake Shimabukuro - Nashville Sessions - Kilauea | GOT A UKULELE - Learn Ukulele, beginners tips and reviews

1 Aug 2016

Jake Shimabukuro - Nashville Sessions - Kilauea

I really have no words to describe this ukulele video from Jake. I'd just say this. The bar just raised many notches. (Thanks so much to Mary Agnes Krell for bringing this to my attention)


OK - stop press - I shared this originally whilst still slightly in shock - just wanted to share it. Initial reactions:

1. I have not been a huge fan of Jakes earlier traditional output myself. That's ok, don't shoot me - just different tastes. It was certainly supremely talented, but didnt do it for me. THIS will not do it for traditionalists, but DOES do it for me. I love how music does that!

2. He is not the first to go rock / blues / freeform jazz on ukulele - however, I have NEVER seen it so original, so fluid, so 'different' than this. Some people just do Jimi Hendrix covers and say 'Hows that'. This is FAR from a Jimi Hendrix cover. I'm also staggered by the amount of people saying 'it's just effects pedals - seen it before'.. LISTEN to the music - the phrasing, the touch, the musicality. Doesn't matter that there are effects pedals - it's about far more than that. This is NOT just a guy with effects.

3. Wow

4. Wow....

5. MOST IMPORTANTLY - I know some people wont like this. Some people will. That's cool. If you only like certain styles of music THAT IS COOL. That is ALLOWED.  Some people like both. Music isn't a binary thing. That's what makes music so wonderful - we are ALLOWED TO LIKE DIFFERENT things. If however you are the sort of ukulele player who likes to DICTATE and tell others that certain things should never be heard on ukulele.. I say this.. who the hell are you to tell other people that? I hope this piece gets under your skin!



15 comments :

  1. ... wow... just... wow... ok, I'll try to recover my jaw now. Thanks to share this video, Barry.

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  2. Seriously - my post was so short because I havent yet processed what to write about it - just wanted to share it quickly. It's.... wow....

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  3. It's very, very clever but it just doesn't do it for me :(

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  4. Thats the thing about music - different strokes for different folks. His traditional stuff doesnt do it for me at all - this does. But surely we can agree that it shows a departure, talent and skill?

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  5. I like that he's branching out in some others music styles. It's cool, but not my total cup of tea. Maybe a half cup for me.

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  6. This is the most interesting stuff I've seen from him...lovely guy, but I've always found his stuff dull and lacking any soul...this is great. The sound he gets from it is fantastic...I was always experimenting with pedals but could never get anywhere near what I wanted except with a solid body steel string uke (which really is just a small guitar)...interesting stuff.

    The problem with comparisons with other greats is that they wrote great songs....they took their twiddles and turned them into something more.
    Lock Jake in a room with Krabbers for a fortnight...then we'll really see what can be done with a uke!

    Jimmy McGee

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  7. Amazing, a little to much jazz for my taste, but I can appreciate the virtuosity. Whatever style he chooses to play, his talent is a revelation. I've seen him live, and he consistently is mind blowing.

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  8. I'm the same Jimmy - never did it for me much - this is something else though. Good call on the songwriting side too.

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  9. Why the hell do people choose to play guitar music on a ukulele? Play a guitar instead man!

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  10. I thought it sounded great, but it does raise a question in my head that I've been thinking about for my own playing. I'm still working out the kinks, but when I get going at home, and really start to enjoy noodling, my ukulele sounds very guitar-ish. The strumming and tone gets to a point where it does not sound like the ukulele songs I've heard, but a lot like guitar songs.

    For something like what's happening in the video, would you make an argument that he is working hard to turn a ukulele INTO a guitar, as electric guitars have been traditionally used in this role for this kind of sound? Or, is it a case of whatever you get out of you instrument, that's what you're getting out of the instrument? Is this a case of a ukulele being bent into a job it's not the best for, or is it just if you can make it sound good, then it could be a shovel with a beehive on the top and to hell with it?

    Is there a line where another instrument is objectively better, or just the line of subjective enjoyment?

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  11. For me it really doesn't matter what 'tool' a musician uses - only that the music sounds good. That is, at the end of the day, the point of them. As to which are better - totally subjective.

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  12. Excellent discourse. I love it. Hearing the UKE played in new and creative ways doesn't diminish my attraction to the traditional. Innovation expands boundaries which widens rather than narrows the appeal for me. I would've loved to see Jake and Jimi on dualing ukes. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  13. The man's a genius, who could ever guess anyone could get all that out of a uke!

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  14. Jake is likely the best technical uke player out there, but his precision can produce music that while incredibly impressive can be perceived as lacking soul. Jake's playing is so good that he can seem robotic and almost non-human at times. The Jake in this video is the future Jake I hope to see much much more of. Not exactly my favourite material and even with a slight timing error or two, or maybe in part because of less perfection, it is so much more pleasing to my ear and heart. Hope he keeps to this path!

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  15. My only criticism is that Jake's shirt has to be the ugliest Hawaiian shirt I've ever seen. This is from someone who generally likes Hawaiian shirts.

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