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10:16 New And Improved! Aloha is Hawaiian For The Blues

The Sunday Songwriters club is a stretching exercise for your mind. Arpeggios for the brain cells, so to speak. After all, writing is like playing - to get better, you have to practice.

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Postby John Sargent » February 17th, 2012, 4:39 am

I've had other priorities and duties lately. Not much time for writing. Here are three that I've got kicking around in my ideas file

Title: Aloha is Just Hawaiian for the Blues
Title: Blue Being
Hook: The Farm was made by man

The song I recorded was this: http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11448717

The new version I recorded onb 3/10/12 is http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11497519
Last edited by John Sargent on March 10th, 2012, 3:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby dhodge » February 17th, 2012, 6:01 am

Some nice ideas here. Not sure the word "just" is necessary in the first title, especially if you're looking to go with a bit of a Hawaiian lilt to the melody. Using the "A" of "aloha" as a pick up note you can get a nice swing feel by landing the first beat on "lo". Using a song like "When Hilo Hatie Does the Hula Hop" as a model, you get "A /lo - ha /is Ha /wai - ian / for the / blues." Creates a great rhythm,

Hope you manage to get a bit more songwriting time in.

Peace
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Postby John Sargent » February 17th, 2012, 10:58 am

Actually I'm trying to work out a sound that would be both Hawaiian traditional and bluesy. No steel guitar in my gig bag though.
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Postby dhodge » February 17th, 2012, 12:48 pm

It's not all steel guitar, though. If I remember correctly, you've got a ukulele. Or you might also try working in slack-key, like open G tuning. Traditional Hawaiian, though (at least what I remember of it) uses a lot of sixths and major sevenths in the melody, which doesn't always translate into blues-y. Lot's of I-IV-V progressions, though, and lots of dominant seventh chords for harmony, just not usually a lot of blue notes in the melodies. It will definitely be interesting.

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Postby John Sargent » February 17th, 2012, 1:13 pm

I'm thinking a sound kind of like "SpongeBob SquarePants Production Music - Hawaiian Blues" . Check it out on youtube. It's actualy from the 1920's and called "Hula Blues".

My first verse
D__________________G____________D
I got your phone call at 3 AM from the islands
_____A_____A7_ D
Aloha Oe, Aloha Oe
D_____________________G______________D
You say you're doing fine, but I know you're lyin'
_____A_____A7___D
Aloha Oe, Aloha Oe
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Postby dhodge » February 17th, 2012, 1:20 pm

Great sound! Maybe it's me but musically speaking, it's got a lot of Nashville sound going for it - you could hear Chet Atkins or Roy Clark playing this. Almost like someone changed the band's instruments. Very cool. It's funny how many styles share similar musical ideas and it's often only the choice of instruments that makes the difference in what we hear.

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Postby John Sargent » February 17th, 2012, 1:26 pm

Lap steel is frequently found in Hawaiian and Country music. Maybe things weren't so reigidly categorized in the early 1900's. The Ukulele was the most popular musical instrument in the USA for a couple decades, and not always for Hawaiian music. Check out Ukulele Ike aka Cliff Edwards aka Jiminy Crickett.
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Postby John Sargent » February 18th, 2012, 5:34 am

Chorus:

You're walking barefoot on the beaches of Oahu
I'm being towed from a drift on Lake Shore Drive Chicago (syncopated line)
When you said your goodbye, I could hear the hidden truth
Aloha is just Hawaiian for the blues.

Cancelled extra verses. Recorded as http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11448717
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Postby jamestoffee » February 19th, 2012, 12:47 am

Hi Mr.EWorm,

Nice sound and feel :D

Thanks for sharing.

James
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Postby John Sargent » February 19th, 2012, 6:33 am

Thanks for the listen and comment

I had the time to record yesterday. Ths morning, the missing verse came to me. If I perform this live, the lyrics are:

Aloha is Hawaiian for the Blues


I got your phone call at 3 AM from the islands
Aloha Oe, Aloha Oe
You say you're doing fine, but I know you're lyin'
Aloha Oe, Aloha Oe

Chorus:
You're walking barefoot on the beaches of Oahu
I'm being towed from a snow drift on Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
But when you said goodbye, I could hear the hidden truth
Aloha is just Hawaiian for the blues

Second verse:
Mr. Wonderful has left you on your own
Aloha Oe, Aloha Oe
I still love you and want you to come home
Aloha Oe, Aloha Oe

Chorus

Instrumental

Chorus
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Postby Celt » February 19th, 2012, 6:38 am

That is soooooooo Cool :D
My SoundClick Page

Collaborations

" It's easier than waiting around to die" Townes Van Zandt
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Postby hagrider » February 19th, 2012, 6:43 am

I LOVE that first verse - there's something really special about it!
Cheers,

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Postby hagrider » February 19th, 2012, 11:25 am

That recording is great! i really enjoyed listening to that.
Cheers,

HagRider
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Postby John Sargent » February 19th, 2012, 4:28 pm

I am really grateful for all the kind comments. I'll put some in my warm fuzzy bank for use on a downer day.
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Postby John Sargent » February 23rd, 2012, 4:41 am

This song has gotten surprisingly good reviews in person and on a couple of web sites. I will re-record it with the full verses, clean up the timing etc.
I'm asking for opinions here about the "wall of uke" sound that I put out by multitracking with 4 different ukuleles. I know that I need to do a better job on te solo.
Also looking for suggestions on a good dedicated digital interface and software. Right now, I use RCA plug out of my PA system and get a lot of noise that has to be filtered out.
I want to be able to add reverb and other effects so I think I need something more advanced than Audacity.
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