365 DotU, Day 103 Wouldn’t Mind Much, Really

I’ve discovered a habit: if I can’t make it work on the 6 (guitar) or the 4 (tenor), I can make it work on the uke (or at least I’m happy to tell myself this).

Example: Today’s song, “I Wouldn’t Mind,” from Duncan Sheik‘s last pre-Broadway success studio album, “White Limousine” (2006). It’s not really a guitar song at all, although the guitar’s there for accents and flavor, as is a piano — it’s mostly strings (you know, violins, violas, etc.) and vocal, and it’s really quite pretty. Once upon a time, in a fit of mad ambition, I imagined trying to reproduce the string arrangement, at least in part, and accent with a guitar — I actually did have most of it figured out. It was just so much damn work that I gave up on it in favor of other things.

Then, along came the ukulele, and inspiration hit: why not uke it?

Problem: replicating the original rhythm played by the fiddles of various sizes in the track as recorded just didn’t sound good. I had to come up with something else.

So I did.

Other problem: I had to reverse engineer some chords to play from the pizzicato bits. THAT was a pain in the butt, let me tell you — I actually figured it out on the tenor guitar first, and then found that it sounded a bit more pleasant on the uke.

I just ran the video and sound off my Q3 Zoom, so it isn’t anything to write home about, but it still felt oddly natural. I ended up liking the result more than I thought I would. I still miss the grand drama of the original string arrangement, but I’m sort of fond of how the ukulele version I came up with fell together. It turned out sweet and quiet, which was how I was feeling that day anyway.

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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. Otherwise, I labor to support my dogs in the lavish manner to which they've become accustomed.
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