365 Days of the Unoriginal, Day 13: If It’s Tuesday, It’s Ukulele Time!

As I mentioned yesterday, Eddie Vedder’s got a whole album of ukulele songs coming out this week, and this fact alone is (as far as I am concerned) awesome. If you have to ask me why, you will never understand the answer. So, in honor of this momentous occasion, I’m rocking some ukulele action myself.

Today’s offering is Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire,” rendered obscenely cheery and sweet by a slight key change and, well, being played on a ukulele. I had originally recorded a version of the song a while ago, capo’d way the hell up high on my acoustic tenor guitar, just so I could find a) a set of chords I could actually play comfortably, and b) a key I could sing it in without sounding absolutely awful. As I was thinking about adding that recording to some video, it occurred to me that I now had a ukulele that could accomplish the same sound as the tenor for this key, only sweeter, so I decided to redo it with the uke. I kind of like the result — not bad for only the second song I’ve ever played on a ukulele!

Do not ask how many takes were required to get this sucker recorded.

It’s a good thing it’s summer break, is all I’m sayin’. Also: art is painful.

This song is a new step for me in another way, too. I recently acquired a little Mackie mixer, and my bandmate Josh loaned me a condenser mic so I could experiment with sound tech a little. The basic mix in this vid is pretty much unaltered; I doubled it for stereo in Garage Band, but otherwise didn’t mess with much where effects are concerned. There’s obviously some learning to be done re: the Mackie (the sound quality is ultimately kind of crappy, I think), but I’ll get there.

I don’t have any pictures of birds, either on wires or not, so I started the slideshow with a pterodactyl in a tree.

It seemed appropriate, anyway.


About L. M. Bernhardt

For a good long while (15 years or so), I taught philosophy at a little private university in northwest IA, and occasionally branched out into playing music, dabbling in photography, experimenting with food, and writing nonsense on my blog. The philosophy teaching part ended in 2017 (program elimination via prioritization), but never fear! I've just finished my MLIS at San Jose State University, and I'm currently on the market looking for new adventures in either philosophy or LIS. For now, I labor at a fairly interesting administrative job in order to support my dogs in the lavish manner to which they've become accustomed.
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