Learn to play "All I Have To Offer You Is Me" by Ka'au Crater Boys on Ukulele
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Print the Lyrics and Chords for "All I Have To Offer You Is Me" (link)
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It's February and love is in the air! For this month's ukulele lesson, we're bring you a Ka'au Crater Boys classic, "All I Have To Offer You Is Me." The love and wedding-themed song was originally by country singer Charley Pride, who sadly passed at the end of last year. So in honor of Valentine's Day, weddings, the awesomeness of Troy Fernandez's uke skills, and the late, great Charley Pride, here is "All I Have To Offer You Is Me (Crystal Chandeliers)":
STEP 1 - Chords
First, you'll need to know 4 simple chords on your ukulele:
F(2010), Bb(3211), C7(0001), F7(2310)
Memorize the name and fingering for each chord and really get comfortable switching between them. For more info on holding these chords, check out the video below:
To help learning these chords, here are a few tips:
1. Notice the position of your thumb on the Bb chordOn all of the other chords, you thumb can be left hanging out on the side of the fretboard, but for the Bb chord it helps to position your thumb behind the neck (see photo above).
2. Practice the F to Bb change
Because there will be a lot of changes between the F and Bb chord, practice that switch often, making sure that all of your fingers (including your thumb!) can switch to their new positions in one fluid motion.
3. Practice with simple down strumsYour main goal here is to be able to see a chord name and instantly be able to switch to it without thinking too much. Don't worry about the rhythm of the song yet, just get the chords down solid first.
After that, try playing along with the Play Along video top of the page. Use simple down strums and switch chords whenever indicated. Awesome, you just played the beginner version of the song! When you can switch chords at their proper times, move on to Step 2.
STEP 2 - Beginner Rhythm
Essentially this song utilizes a really quick reggae strum. If you're a beginner and don't quite have the reggae strum down yet, feel out the basic rhythm with a simple "down, up" (x4) strum and add some accents to make it come alive.
Follow the steps below in order to get your beginner strum started:
1. "Air" strum 4 beats per measureHold your ukulele properly and do a steady strumming motion, but don't actually strum the strings yet.
2. Strum down on beats 2 and 4Continue to "air" strum, but actually strum the strings on beats 2 and 4. The "air" strums on beats 1 and 3 will serve as placeholders, to keep your hand on beat and in rhythm.
3. Strum down on all 4 beats (keeping emphasis on 2 and 4)You want the strums on beats 2 and 4 to be louder than those on 1 and 3. Control the volume of each strum by alternating the speed and force used to brush the string with your pointer finger. Alternately you can do a "half strum" on beats 1 and 3 (only brush the G and C strings), while doing the full strum (all 4 strings) on beats 2 and 4.
4. Add the up strums in between each downLightly brush the strings with the fleshy part of your pointer finger on the way up as well. Do this lightly and continue to emphasize the down strums on beats 2 and 4.
Use the following video to practice the Chorus chords along with the beginner strumming:
When you get the hang of this basic rhythm and can do it steadily, try playing along with the "All I Have To Offer You Is Me" Play-Along at the top of the page. Nice, you just played the beginner version of this song!
STEP 3 - Intermediate Rhythm
To get a little closer to the rhythm that the Ka'au Crater Boys use for their version of this song, you'll need to do a Hawaii-style reggae strum. It's basically a quick version of the standard reggae strum, with a little variation in there to keep it interesting. Aldrine explains how to do this in the video below:
Do the steps below in order to expand your beginner strum to a Hawaii-style reggae strum:
1. Start with a "down, up" strum with emphasis on beats 2 and 4Same strum as at the end of the beginner rhythm section above.
2. Practice muting the strings with your pinky fingerKeep strumming steadily, but place the pinky finger of your fretting hand lightly over the strings to mute them.
3. Lift your pinky finger on beats 2 and 4You want all of the strums to be muted, except for the down strums of beats 2 and 4. Lift your pinky finger on beats 2 & 4 to let those strums be heard.
PRO TIP: You don't have to hold the chord down the entire time. Relax your fretting hand completely for most of the strum. Just make sure to press down on the chord and lift your pinky finger on beats 2 and 4. Immediately go to a relaxed, strings muted, hand position after each 2 and 4 beat.
4. Also lift your pinky finger on the UP beats of 2 and 4Doing this will be a lot harder than just being able to lift your pinky finger on the down beats. It will take coordination and lots of practice to be able to do the pinky mute technique on both the down and ups of beats 2 and 4. Hang in there, it will sound great when you are able to get it and will make all of your reggae strums super clean.
5. Mix it upCombine parts of all of the different strum rhythms you've learned thus far to create a relaxed, Hawaii-style reggae strum. Nothing is set in stone, experiment and see what sounds good to you!
Check out the following video and practice the Chorus chords along with the intermediate strumming:
Awesome, feel free to use whatever strum works best for you and remember, you don't have to be able to do everything to enjoy and play along with the Play-Along at the top of the page.
STEP 4 - Intro Riff
In the Ka'au Crater Boys version, Troy Fernandez does a riff right at the beginning of the song. See the video below for Aldrine's explanation on how to do this riff:
Basically you'll use a mixture of the beginner and intermediate rhythm techniques along with F and C7, add a note to the C7 to make it interesting, and do a fun slide to lead into the song. Try it out at full speed with the "All I Have To Offer You Is Me" Play-Along at the top of the page.
STEP 4 - Advanced Picking
Finally, if you would like to learn the main picking part for this song, you are in for a treat! Troy Fernandez inspired an entire generation of ukulele players in Hawaii with ukulele picking solos just like this one. His picking was always fast, clean, and sonically interesting, while being simple enough that adventurous uke players still believed his pickings were at least attainable. Hopefully this one inspires you to go for it, and master the picking speed that is required to pull it off.
Be sure to download the "All I Have To Offer You Is Me" Ukulele Picking TAB for more instruction and use the following video to practice:
In the video, we've provided you with 50%, 75%, and 100% speed versions of the picking. That said, sometimes with these fast picking pieces, it's actually better to just try it at full speed and fumble rather than learning it at half speed and taking the really slow road of ramping it up. Just break the picking into smaller sections and drill them over and over again until they feel comfortable. String together the sections you've practiced and soon you'll be able to play it all!
A helpful hint for the very end of the picking: you'll really need to master the 2-String Pull-Off technique. This involves using both the pointer finger and thumb of your strumming hand to pick the A and G strings alternately, WHILE doing the Pull-Off technique with your fretting hand. This will take a lot of practice and coordination, so try to master the basics of the technique before attempting the last few measures of the picking for this song.
Since the song itself is about getting married, the Play-Along Video at the top of the page features some footage from Aldrine and his wife Heather's wedding. They'll be celebrating their 5th wedding anniversary this month, so be sure to check out both Aldrine (@aldrinemachine) and Heather (@heathertoshiko)'s Instagram accounts and wish them a happy anniversary.
And as always, if you have any questions with your playing, or need help with this or any other song, just send a message - we're here to help you succeed! Have fun, UUers, rock on and keep strummin'