Skip to content

“THE SOUND OF SILENCE” by Simon & Garfunkel – Complete video tutorial for the ukulele by Ukulele Mike Lynch

June 23, 2014


Silence complete

In researching the song THE SOUND OF SILENCE, I found this Wikipedia article and found it interesting enough to quote it wholesale. I learned a tremendous amount about this song that I never knew before.

“The Sound of Silence” is a song by singer-songwriter duo Simon & Garfunkel. Written in February 1964 by Paul Simon in the aftermath of the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy, the song propelled the group to mainstream popularity. An initial version preferred by the band was remixed and sweetened, and has become known as “the quintessential folk rock release”. In the U.S., it was the duo’s second most popular hit after “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.
The song features Simon on acoustic guitar and both singing. It was originally recorded as an acoustic piece for their first album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. in 1964 but on the initiative of the record company’s producer, Tom Wilson, it was later overdubbed with drums, electric bass and electric guitar, all without the knowledge or participation of Simon & Garfunkel and rereleased as a single in September 1965.[3][4] The single reached number one on New Year’s Day 1966 and was included in the 1966 album Sounds of Silence.
“The Sound of Silence” was originally called “The Sounds of Silence” and is titled that way on the early albums in which it appeared and on the first single release; only on later compilations was it retitled “The Sound of Silence”. Both the singular and the plural appear in the lyrics. In his book Lyrics 1964–2008, Simon has the title in the singular.
In an interview with Terry Gross of National Public Radio (NPR), Paul Simon said that the concept of the song “wasn’t something that I was experiencing at some deep, profound level—nobody’s listening to me, nobody’s listening to anyone—it was a post-adolescent angst, but it had some level of truth to it and it resonated with millions of people.”

Paul Simon began working on the song some time after the Kennedy assassination. He had made progress on the music but had yet to write the lyrics. On February 19, 1964, the lyrics coalesced, as Simon recalled: “The main thing about playing the guitar, though, was that I was able to sit by myself and play and dream. And I was always happy doing that. I used to go off in the bathroom, because the bathroom had tiles, so it was a slight echo chamber. I’d turn on the faucet so that water would run (I like that sound, it’s very soothing to me) and I’d play. In the dark. ‘Hello darkness, my old friend / I’ve come to talk with you again’.”
Simon showed the new composition to Art Garfunkel the same day, and shortly afterward, the duo began to perform it at folk clubs in New York. In the liner notes of their debut album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., Garfunkel claims: “‘The Sound of Silence’ is a major work. We were looking for a song on a larger scale, but this is more than either of us expected.” The duo recorded it for the first time on March 10, and included the track on Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., which was released that October. The album flopped upon its release, and the duo split up, with Simon going to England for much of 1965, partnering up with singer-songwriter Bruce Woodley of The Seekers. There, he often performed the song solo in folk clubs and recorded it for a second time on his solo LP, The Paul Simon Songbook, in May 1965. In the meantime, Simon and Garfunkel’s producer at Columbia Records, Tom Wilson, had learned that the song had begun to receive airplay on radio stations in Boston, Massachusetts, and around Gainesville and Cocoa Beach, Florida.
On June 15, 1965, immediately after the recording session of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”, Wilson took the original acoustically instrumented track of Simon & Garfunkel’s 1964 version, and overdubbed the recording with electric guitar (played by Al Gorgoni and Vinnie Bell), electric bass (Joe Mack), and drums (Buddy Salzman), and released it as a single without consulting Simon or Garfunkel. The lack of consultation with Simon and Garfunkel on Wilson’s remix was because, although still contracted to Columbia Records at the time, the musical duo at that time was no longer a “working entity”. Roy Halee was the recording engineer, who, in spirit with the success of The Byrds and their success formula in folk rock, introduced an echo chamber effect into the song.[3] Al Gorgoni later would reflect that this echo effect worked well on the finished recording, but would dislike the electric guitar work they superimposed onto the original acoustic piece.
For the B-side, Wilson used an unreleased track he cut with the duo a few months earlier, on which they had tried out a more “contemporary” sound. The record single “Sounds of Silence”/”We’ve Got a Groovey Thing Going” entered the U.S. pop charts in September 1965 and slowly began its ascent. In the first issue of Crawdaddy! magazine, January 30, 1966, Paul Williams, in reviewing the later album, wrote that he liked this B-side song which he found pure “rock and roll”, “catchy”, with a “fascinating beat and melody” and great harmony.
Simon learned that it had entered the charts minutes before he went on stage to perform at a club in Copenhagen, and in the later fall of 1965 he returned to the U.S. By the end of 1965 and the first few weeks of 1966, the song reached number one on the U.S. charts. Simon and Garfunkel then reunited as a musical act, and included the song as the title track of their next album, Sounds of Silence, hastily recorded in December 1965 and released in January 1966 to capitalize on their success. The song propelled them to stardom and, together with two other top-five (in the U.S.) hits in the summer of 1966, “I Am a Rock” and “Homeward Bound,” ensured the duo’s fame. In 1999, BMI named “The Sound of Silence” as the 18th-most performed song of the 20th century. In 2004, it was ranked #156 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, one of the duo’s three songs on the list.
When director Mike Nichols and Sam O’Steen were editing the film The Graduate, they initially timed some scenes to this song with the intention of substituting original music for the scenes. However, they eventually concluded that the song could not be adequately substituted and decided to purchase the rights for the song for the soundtrack. This was an unusual decision for the time, as the song had charted over a year earlier and recycling established music for film was not commonly done. However, the film’s executive producer, Joseph E. Levine, approved of the creative decision. Nichols commissioned Simon and Garfunkel to compose additional original music for the film. With the practice of using well known songs for films becoming commonplace, “The Sound of Silence” has since been used for other films, such as Kingpin in 1996, Old School in 2003, and Watchmen in 2009. It appeared on the fourth season of the television series Arrested Development in 2013. On March 21, 2013, the song was added to the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress for long-term preservation.

MY Vimeo video tutorial for THE SOUND OF SILENCE

I chose a fingerpicking pattern and a strumming pattern for this song.
The fingerpicking pattern is a standard 4/4 time arpeggio. THUMB MIDDLE THUMB INDEX
THUMB plays the 4th and 3rd strings
Index plays the 2nd string
Middle plays the 1st string.

The Strumming pattern is down up DOWN up down up DOWN up
notice the accented DOWN strokes. That emphasized DOWN stroke adds
energy and interest to the pattern. You will clearly hear it in the video.

I played the entire video on the newly released Ukulele Mike “Signature” tenor from Oscar Schmidt. I’m using a Low G tuning but it sounds equally well on a standard High G.

About these ads

SOLO UKULELE INSTRUMENTAL eBook 2013 Enlarged edition in tablature format from UKULELE MIKE LYNCH

June 12, 2014

Ukulele Solo Instrumental eBook 2013 enlarged edition

Ukulele Solo Instrumentals in both fingerpicking and chord/melody style have been crafted by master Ukulele teacher, arranger and clinician UKULELE MIKE LYNCH. The selections in this book demonstrate a wide range of goes beyond strumming, this book is for you. Clearly notated and in large print for ease of sight. Below is the table of contentsstyles and levels of complexity. Some are challenging for more advanced players while many are attainable by entry level solo players. If you are wanting music that


Instrumentals contents

Selections from this collection such as FINLANDIA, CHERRY BLOSSOMS, PARIS NOCTURNE, CRAZY G, EDELWEISS, & TILL THERE WAS YOU are currently being performed by hundreds of ukulele players throughout the world.

The collection sells for $28.95 and can be purchased by making a payment through the paypal donate button on the Ukulele Mike website: http://www.ukulelemikelynch.com

The eBook will arrive to you in your email box as a pdf file and can be downloaded or transferred to a tablet, computer or other mobile device. The
table of contents and songs are clickable for ease of navigating through the book.

Check out the brand new UKULELE MIKE LYNCH Signature tenor model from Oscar Schmidt. It can be purchased online through Amazon.com, eBay, Ukulele World and many other online sites as well as your local music store.

Signature image from OS

Hawaiian Ukulele Cruise with Ukulele Mike in Feb 2015

June 9, 2014

Hawaiian  Islands
Hawaiian  Islands

Go here to see some pictures from last year’s fun filled Hawaiian Ukulele Cruise http://allthingsukulele.com/2014/03/27/were-going-back-to-hawaii-on-a-princess-cruise-ship-wanna-join-us/

UKULELE MIKE “Signature” Tenor Ukulele from Oscar Schmidt now available on Amazon.com, eBay, Ukulele World and other online sites

June 8, 2014

UKULELE MIKE “Signature” Tenor Ukulele from Oscar Schmidt now available on Amazon.com, eBay, Ukulele World and other online sites or your local music store

Signature image from OS

I’m so proud to announce the release of my “signature” tenor ukulele from Oscar Schmidt . . . This has been in the works for over 2 years. Oscar Schmidt generously allowed me to design the specifications of this ukulele from the ground up. I chose solid red cedar because of it’s brightness and
great projection of sound. I had the body designed to be a bit larger than typical plus I had the neck designed to be slightly wider to allow guitar players like myself or anyone with larger hands to handle the chords with comfort. Not too wide though, just the right amount. I also wanted a slotted headstock and gold precision Grover tuners. This will be available through your local music retailers or online. At this time, I have been alerted that it can be purchased through UKULELE WORLD at a great discount price. http://www.ukuleleworld.com/Oscar-Schmidt/
It comes strung with premium Aquila strings and a durable hard shell case.

A big thank you to all of you who have allowed me to make this instrument possible. Thanks also, to Tom Ferrone and all the fine people at Oscar Schmidt for their work and efforts to spread the aloha message of the ukulele throughout the world . . . Happy Strumming Ukulele Mike
Ask for Model OUUM200K when inquiring online or with dealers.

Signature Long rectangle

“LET IT BE ME” – Solo Ukulele Fingerpicking arrangement by Ukulele Mike Lynch

June 8, 2014

Everly Pic with mike

“Let It Be Me” is a popular song originally published in French in 1955 as “Je t’appartiens”. The score was written and first recorded by Gilbert Bécaud. The lyrics were penned in French by Pierre Delanoë. The English language version used lyrics by Mann Curtis and was performed in 1957 by Jill Corey in the television series Climax!. Corey’s version, with orchestration by Jimmy Carroll, was released as a single and was moderately successful.
The most popular version of “Let It Be Me” was released in 1960 by The Everly Brothers. It reached 7th position on the Billboard Hot 100. The harmony arrangement of this version was often emulated in subsequent remakes. This was the first Everly Brothers single to be recorded in New York, and not in Nashville. the musicians that backed up the brothers on the record included Howard Collins, Barry Galbraith and Mundell Lowe on guitar, Lloyd Trotman on Bass, Jerry Allison on drums and Hank Rowland on piano.

In the process of arranging this tune for solo ukulele I decided that it seemed to work best not as a chord/melody arrangement but rather as a fingerpicking style arrangement. The chord progression is simple. . .It’s in the Key of F which is a most apt key for solo uke work. It just cycles through the standard F Bb Dm C chords throughout the piece and in fact much of the left hand is already set once you place the fingers down for those chords. Below is a You Tube video that will illustrate how
I would play this song. Note that the fourth and third strings are exclusively played with the thumb while the index finger plays all the notes on the third string and the middle finger plays all the notes on the first string.

“THE PRAYER” by David Foster & Carole Bayer Sager, arranged for solo ukulele by Ukulele Mike Lynch

June 3, 2014

rayer complete

According to WIKIPEDIA “The Prayer” is a popular song written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, Alberto Testa and Tony Renis. It is most commonly known as a duet between Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. It is the second single from Dion’s Christmas album These Are Special Times and the first from Bocelli’s album Sogno, and was released as a promotional single on March 1, 1999. The song won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song from the 1998 film Quest for Camelot. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999 and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2000.

AN ARRANGER’S THOUGHTS . . .
I’ve personally been a huge fan of David Foster ever since he was producing Chicago back in the 80’s. THE PRAYER is a fine example of his skill at crafting beautiful elegant melodies and the first time I heard Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion sing it as a duet I was knocked out. The fact that so many people have successfully covered it is a testimony to it’s lasting quality as a well composed song.

I’ve wanted to take on this song as a solo ukulele arrangement for many years and over time I’ve tried numerous keys, fingerpicking styles and chord/melody styles. I finally settled on a chord/melody arrangement with use of the thumb only. The next issue I had was how to deal with the bridge section of the song.

The bridge takes the song up into a higher register and it just seemed impractical for ease of playing on the ukulele. It’s always been my goal to design my arrangements to allow the most ease of playing for most players. So often I’ve found published arrangements that are just way to difficult for most people to play. I attempted to make this piece playable and yet not diminish the full richness of the song. Therefore, my ultimate solution was to to use the Key of C. Most ukulele arrangements play better in F or G or even Am but C allowed me to keep the song in a good playable range and then, to deal with the bridge, I merely lowered it an octave. I think it works. . . I hope you do as well.
The entire piece as I mentioned is a Chord/Melody style arrangement. Use the thumb only . . . no fingerpicking is needed. Notice in the video that I play it up on the fingerboard above the sound hole. I’ve discovered that you generally get a warmer,fuller,sweeter tone in that position.

Played on the new Ukulele Mike “signature” tenor ukulele from Oscar Schmidt

Signature image from OS

“SIGNATURE” Ukulele Mike Tenor Ukulele now available from Oscar Schmidt

May 19, 2014

Signature Slide

I’m so proud to announce the release of my “signature” tenor ukulele from Oscar Schmidt . . . This has been in the works for over 2 years. Oscar Schmidt generously allowed me to design the specifications of this ukulele from the ground up. I chose solid red cedar because of it’s brightness and
great projection of sound. I had the body designed to be a bit larger than typical plus I had the neck designed to be slightly wider to allow guitar players like myself or anyone with larger hands to handle the chords with comfort. Not too wide though, just the right amount. I also wanted a slotted headstock and gold precision Grover tuners. This will be available through your local music retailers or online. At this time, I have been alerted that it can be purchased through UKULELE WORLD at a great discount price. http://www.ukuleleworld.com/Oscar-Schmidt/
It comes strung with premium Aquila strings and a durable hard shell case.

A big thank you to all of you who have allowed me to make this instrument possible. Thanks also, to Tom Ferrone and all the fine people at Oscar Schmidt for their work and efforts to spread the aloha message of the ukulele throughout the world . . . Happy Strumming Ukulele Mike
Ask for Model OUUM200K when inquiring online or with dealers.

Ukulele Mikes Uke

Signature image from OS

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,278 other followers