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SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN – A Seattle kinda song . . .

July 21, 2011

PLEASE NOTE:  My “UKULELE BASICS” DVD is currently  available for purchase. . . For more information email me at


Living here in Seattle, Washington USA we do have our share of rain but truthfully not as much as many other cities throughout the world.  If we want to have REAL rain we go west a few miles into “TWILIGHT” country . . . The Olympic Rain Forest . . . . The abundance of rain coming in from the Pacific Ocean gets dropped on the west side of the Olympic Mountain range that tends to shield us a bit. . . What we really get is just grey days. . . Which, of course, makes those sunny days even more awesome.  But be it sunny or not this classic by Nacio Herb Brown is a sure fire winner for the ukulele.  It was my intention in this arrangement to make it easily playable by the most novice of ukulele players.  Teaching young children to play the ukulele over the years has been a great learning experience for me in regards to arranging a piece for teaching and also making it teachable.  I had a great opportunity to work with a group of young children from the Dallas area at the Dallas Lone Star Uke Festival in April and I chose this song as the key piece to teach the kids.  Within 15 mins I had the entire group of children playing this piece.  The reason it’s so attainable is due to the simple 2 chord patterns that simply alternate back and forth. (F to Am and then Gm6 to C7)  Check out how easy those chords are and how quickly one can make the smooth transition between each chord.  One of the key things that I emphasize in teaching and helping people to practice most efficiently is to take small groupings of chords and create loops. . . Constant repetition of those chord changes contributes to building up “muscle memory” in the fingers. . . Repetitive practice of a very small grouping of chords insures that the when you play those chords again they will be quickly found and the changes will be smooth and effortless.  Perhaps one of the greatest mistakes that students of any musical instrument might do is to pick up the instrument and merely “play” thru the song. . . and call that practicing.  Take those simple chord shifts F to Am and Gm6 to C7 and repeat them over and over and over again. Don’t even attempt to sing the song.  Within a very short time your fingers will have nicely memorized those moves and it will become automatic.  Once your left hand is automatic then you’ll feel even more confident to add your voice to the mix.  Your brain won’t have to be working overtime on both the chord changes and singing. By the way, just an aside, this became a #1 Hit for Cliff Edwards also known “UKULELE IKE”, in the Broadway Review of 1929.  In that production he accompanied himself on the ukulele.  A little known fact is that Cliff Edwards went on to become the voice of Jiminy Cricket in Walt Disney’s Pinocchio and sang that unforgettable signature song: When You Wish Upon A Star.  So I invite you to try this song today.  I think you’ll be very pleased and surprised at how quickly you’ll be playing and singin in the rain.


Singin in the Rain

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