A New Guest, Scratching Musical Itches, Sweep Picking, and a Song Challenge #13

This week, we have a New Special Guest, Mark "1/2 Magic" Baldonado. You might know Mark from the the Seasons of Love, Uptown Funk, or Best Day of My Life Play-Alongs, but what you might not know is that the UU Guys have known Mark since Highschool. In the podcast, Mark and Aldrine reminisce meeting for the first time, and their early bands. The guys then answer a question about Sweep Picking, and how to use it in your playing. They make a quick detour to talk about motivation and "Scratching Musical Itches" before finishing the Live Lesson by picking a winner for the last Song Challenge, and setting the guidelines for the new Challenge.

Ask Questions Here or Call in your Questions to our Voicemail: (650)761-0989

Questions Asked this Week:
1:55 Who is Mark Baldonado?

10:15 Can you explain what Sweep Picking is and how to implement it into Solos?

19:45 I have the original Strings on my Uke. Is it time to Upgrade?

25:00 Aldrine's new "Boujee" String Winder

27:25 What did Aldrine need to do to clean up his playing?

36:15 Mark's Music Recommendations

42:05 How did Mark get started with Ukulele and who influenced him?

44:50 What motivated Mark to keep practicing?

47:05 Scratching Musical Itches

54:30 Songwriting Challenge Winner

56:45 Song Challenge #13 Guidelines
Any Key
Use a Maj7

Reference Hot Sauce
Sus4 Chord
Bossa Nova

Deadline: October 17

1:08:10 Any Words of Advice for budding Ukulele Players

References/resources for this video:
The K-Town Heroes Podcast – Episode 1: Waimea Town Celebration Y2K
The K-Town Heroes Podcast – Episode 10: One Time (Part 1)
The K-Town Heroes Podcast – One Time (Part 2) Kealia Garage Band

Website - ESP Guitars
Website - Native Instruments Maschine
Website - Ableton
Wikipedia - DAW
Website - Logic

Uke Lesson - Uptown Funk
Uke Lesson - Seasons of Love
Uke Lesson - Best Day of My Life

Uke Minutes - Thumb and Middle Picking
Uke Minutes - Major Scale Sweeps
Uke Minutes - Minor Scale Sweeps
Aloha Friday Concert - May 31, 2019 Replay (Aldrine uses Sweeps in Waiting in Vain)
Uke Minutes - Hammer Ons
Youtube - Rob Scallon: Every Time I Learn a Song with Sweep Picking
Uke Lesson - Waiting in Vain
Masterclass - Imua Garza
Amazon - Imua's Album: Dreamspeaking
Youtube - Imua Garza

Live Lesson - July 20, 2017 Replay (Aldrine Talks About When to Change Strings)
Website - Aquila
Website - GHS
Website - D'Addario
Website - Savarez Tenor Strings
Website - Savarez Soprano/Concert Strings
Website - Martin
TLL Podcast #32 - Extra Ghosty (Aldrine talks about what Strings he started with)
UU Merch - AGXAQ Strings Aldrine's Signature Strings with Aquila
Live Lesson - February 23, 2017 Replay (Aldrine talking about his Signature Strings)
TLL Podcast #25 - String Me Along (Sustain VS Projection in Strings)

Website - Frank Ford's String Winders
Amazon - D`Addario String Winder

Youtube - G3
Youtube - Steve Vai Explains Guitar Secrets
Youtube - 311
Youtube - Ryo Natoyama
Youtube - Ryo Kyas
Youtube - Rio Saito
Uke Lesson - Is There a Place with Danyo Cummings

Website - Soulection
Soundcloud - Soulection
Youtube - J Dilla
Youtube - Khruangbin
Youtube - Chillhop Radio
Youtube - Barenaked Ladies
Wikipedia - Jerry's Nugget Playing Cards

Youtube - Ka`au Crater Boys
Website - Roy Sakuma Treasury of Chords
TLL Podcast #58 - DJ Rice Pudding's Practice Tips
Itunes - Bandito Tyler Album
Amazon - Bandito Tyler Album

Website - Adoboloco

Improvement System - Essential Chords 2 (Learn Major7th Chords)
UU - Beginner Chord Chart
Uke Minutes - Suspended Chords
Uke Minutes - Sus4 Hammer Ons
TLL Podcast #74 - Paint by Chords (Aldrine Talks about Chord Workarounds)
TLL Podcast #76 - Finger Woes and Hippos (Aldrine and Kahai use more than "2 chords" in their songs)
TLL Podcast #73 - The "I Love You" Strum (Aaron's Babybel Song)

TLL Podcast #56 - Chicken Wings and Thwip Thwip Swing (The Guys eat Hot Popcorn Chicken)
Youtube - Hot Ones Season 9 Lineup

Youtube - These Dreams

Register for the Ukulele Underground Retreat
Live Lesson Podcast Archive
Old Live Lesson Archive (August 7th, 2014 - March 1st, 2018)

Aloha Friday Jam Live
Aloha Friday Jam Replays

Post Videos to Student Review
Live Lesson Questions in the UU+ Forum
Send Questions to Questions@ukuleleunderground.com
Call in Questions to our TLL Voicemail: (650)761-0989


  1. Glad to hear that Alderine liked it! Was wondering if he lost it in all the chaos during the festival. Backstory, I booked a 1×1 session and forgot and did not have a ukulele with me, this was a few days after I used an email address that was not linked to FaceTime.. felt super bad to eat up two slots and wasting his time..

    Frank is one of the founders of Gryphon Stringed instrument and heads up the repair shop, where folks like Michi Matsuda come in to work on repairs! The folks there are super knowledgeable..
    Frank makes those cranks himself. I am glad you’ll found the link. He is a super nice guy and I love chatting with him when I am at the store. Highly recommend those cranks, it is hard to express how nice they are.

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