I Love To Say Da-Da… (Learning to Play the Tune That’s Stuck in My Head on Ukulele)

11 Jan

DaDUM da dum dum daDUM da dum dum…

This strumming pattern has bored itself into my brain, showing no desire to leave any time soon. When I first bought my ukulele a couple months ago, I compiled a folder of songs that I wanted to learn to play, the first being “The Boy with the Arab Strap” by Belle and Sebastian. I’ve got that one pretty much down by now (my roommate can best testify the number of times I stayed in my room for hours on end playing the opening chords over and over, mastering my chucking), and I’ve moved my sights on to “Postcards From Italy” by Beirut. This song houses the beats transcribed above, beats that have been stuck in my head for longer than I’d care to pinpoint- just listen to the first five seconds of the song and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

To successfully play the first note, one must execute a move called a hammer, where, in this case, one fingers an F but leaves their second finger up, strums down, and while the strings are still vibrating, presses down their second finger to complete the F note.

…And if that was confusing to read, try actually executing it and making the product sound pretty! A feat up there with trying to lick one’s own elbow or turning water to wine, surely.

Anyway, I found myself with a blessed free night tonight, and my mission was to master this blasted introduction. After several versions of a hammer, I finally stumbled across a fingering and strum that sounded quite like what I was going for. Fancy that! Progress continued after that, and I can now proudly say that I can play the entire first section. Once I got it down, I wanted to play over and over to engrave it into my mind and muscle memory, but sadly my pointer finger had other plans. Not sufficiently calloused yet, after my jam sesh it had what seemed to be a permanent dent in it so that I could no longer play my beloved F’s. Bah humbug, I’ll sleep now and take on part two at the crack of noon tomorrow.

…If I can get to sleep, that is! That darn intro is still going at it in my head, I think the repeat key must be jammed. Anyone got a wrench?

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3 Responses to “I Love To Say Da-Da… (Learning to Play the Tune That’s Stuck in My Head on Ukulele)”

  1. Francis January 11, 2012 at 9:31 AM #

    I didn’t know that song so I’ve youtubed it while I read this post. I can hear the “da dum” IT’S LIKE I’M IN YOUR HEAD!

    Hammering (and pulling) is fun! I used to practice to Tenacious D’s Tribute.

    • blogonlyknows January 15, 2012 at 12:31 AM #

      Hey, if you’re going to live in my head you’re going to have to start paying some rent or something! ;) Hhahahaa I haven’t heard that song before but I love me some Jack Black and laughed the whole way through! I love when he does those random word riffs at about 3:30.

      • Francis January 15, 2012 at 2:20 AM #

        Sure, but what do I pay you in? Applause?
        How could you not have heard that before? Have you heard any other Tenacious D?
        Fliggel eee dee dee!

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