Learn to play "Straight To The Heart" by Shilo Pa
Play along with the "Straight To The Heart" Ukulele Play-Along performed by Shilo Pa (guitar), Darrell "Fingahs" Rapozo (ukulele). Growing up on the island of Kauai, Aldrine really looked up to these guys as part of the Kauai music scene and "Straight To The Heart" was one of the anthems of local music on the island. Try playing along with the Play-Along above, and if you need some extra help with the chords, start with STEP 1 below:
STEP 1 - The Chords
Here are all the chords you'll need to play along with the song:
Amaj7(1100), Dmaj7(2224), C#m7(4444), Bm7(2222), E7(1202)
Practice holding each chord and memorize the names of each chord. When you can see the name of the chord and instantly know how to hold it, you're ready to move on.
STEP 2 - Chord Switching
Now that you can hold all of the chords and know them by name, you need to be able to switch chords smoothly. Play along with the practice video below and be sure to switch to the next chord right on time with Aldrine.
Once you can hold the chords, switch between them, and play them at the right times, you can already play the song! Go back to the Play-Along video at the top of the page and play through the whole song, holding the chords and strumming them at the right times when they change. Great job, you've just played the beginner version of this song!
STEP 3 - Rhythm?
In the Play-Along video and chord practice, the chords shown are the "proper" chords for the song. They're the chords that Shilo is playing on guitar, so if you play them along with the video or with the original recording of the song, it will match perfectly. However, Darrell plays a very improvisational, island backyard style of ukulele playing. He's using alternate chords and his fingerpicking and strumming are strictly off the cuff. It sounds great along with Shilo's straight guitar playing, but it's not conventional in any sense. So what is he playing?
STEP 4 - What's Really Being Played on Ukulele
Watch the video below to get a sense of what Darrell is doing with his left (fretting) hand. You'll really have to experiment with fingerpicking and strumming different things to figure out what he's doing with his right hand. Darrell's playing moves quickly between strumming and fingerpicking, with no real set patterns, so we aren't able to offer a rhythm practice for this. You'll have to experiment, play along, find the groove on your own. But that's what makes this such a great practice. By observing and dissecting the dynamic between these two musicians, you can add some interesting new nuances to your ukulele playing in the same way that many ukulele players in Hawaii learned to "jus' press."
Once you've found the groove and can play something that fits nicely into what Shilo and Darrell are playing, you can now add rhythm to the song! Go back to the Play-Along video at the top of the page and play through the whole song, switching through the chords and adding rhythm as it comes.
Have fun with this one, guys! In many ways, it's a very simple song and in other ways it's more complicated than anything we've ever tried to teach here on Ukulele Underground. We know that you're up for the challenge! And even if you aren't able to absorb everything that Darrell was playing in this one instance, just the act of seeing a new style of ukulele playing will broaden your understanding and appreciation for the versatility of this instrument. And as always, if you have any questions about this song, send a message, we're here for you. Rock on, UUers, keep strummin'