Live Lesson Challenge #4 – (1/4/2019)

Home Forums Ukulele Underground Podcast Questions Live Lesson Challenge #4 – (1/4/2019)


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    Hey Guys,

    here is the next challenge:

    The requirements for the next challenge is that it has to be in the key of Dm.
    Dm Chords:
    Dm Em FM Gm Amb9 Bbsus4 C7

    If those chords look intimidating, don’t worry. You can simplify the fancy chords to these:
    Dminor Eminor FMajor Gminor Aminor BbMajor CMajor

    The Bonus challenges are to write it in a Ka`au Crater Boys Style, write Lyrics, and Change the time from an even count to an odd count ( Ex. 4/4 to 3/4).

    This might seem like a tough challenge, but you can actually make it easier. We didn’t specify which chords you have to use, so you can probably come up with a song with only two chords.

    You usually want to have the root chord: Dm, somewhere in the song, but it’s not always necessary, and it might easier to think up a song in the relative Major of Dm, so F Major.
    F Major Chords:
    FMajor Gminor Aminor BbMajor CMajor Dminor Ediminished

    D minor and F Major do sound a little different, but I think we would be happy if people submitted songs in F Major.

    We had a time extension for the last Challenge, but I think we’ll try for a two week deadline again (January 17th). Fingers crossed. Good lucks guys, and looking forward to what you come up with.


    • This topic was modified 3 years ago by kahaikahai.
    • This topic was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by kahaikahai.

    Hello Everyone,

    Priya and I are back with a new song, “Black Rock Canyon.” This song was inspired by Aldrine’s Bandito Tyler CD. I was trying to think of a song that might be in the new Bandito Tyler CD. The story for the song was inspired by the ending to the movie Logan. I tried to imagine an older more gritty Bandito Tyler on his last leg at Black Rock Canyon. The idea came from how Priya would play double-time for the chords. I tried as much as I could to keep the melody simple and build off it like Aldrine has been trying to hammer into me. I hope you all like it!


    Nice work Marc! I like your mellow melodies. Very easy to listen to. Plus I think your child’s “wheeeee” in the background means you get bonus points for lyrics! 😀

    Alan FasickAlan Fasick

    Nice job Marc — sounds great. I particularly like the hammer-pulls.

    I didn’t finish this one, but thought I’d share what I have so far. I came up with a groove and chord progression inspired by the Ka’au Crater Boy’s versions of Kawika and On Fire using GarageBand’s drummers and bass and me on ‘ukulele:

    I then started improvising over it, experimenting with different parts of the neck to find some melodies:

    If those links don’t work, try this one:

    Or maybe SoundCloud? Just trying out options for sharing audio-only files:

    I feel I have a few ideas there that work, but need to settle on a main theme and add more structure. Ideas?

    Related question — anyone know how to take audio and mix it with multiple videos without using anything too complicated or expensive? Still haven’t figured that out — done with it Blender, but it’s not very user friendly.


    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Alan FasickAlan Fasick. Reason: Embedded links not working
    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Alan FasickAlan Fasick.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by Alan FasickAlan Fasick. Reason: Trying SoundCloud links

    Thanks Daniel and Alan,

    I feel like I make a lot of awesome melodies but when I play them with my wife they usually end up not in time or not working over our chord progression. For this song in particular I really wanted to end the main melody with a walk up but it just didn’t sound right. I remembered Aldrine’s advice about keeping it simple and I realized since I was on the Am chord I should just start the phrase by picking the open A string. I’ve loved these challenges because I feel like I learn a lot of basic things about writing melodies. I’m trying to be patient but sometimes it is hard to admit that there are things I can play in practice that don’t come out right when I play “live.”

    P.S. Alan, I’ve tried playing your links but they don’t seem to work.

    Alan FasickAlan Fasick


    Try this again please:

    I think the .wav files might work better.



    Hi Alan. That works for me, both the .m4a and .wav files (I use VLC). Good idea layering your strumming and picking separately, and I’m definitely getting the Crater Boys vibe!


    Trying to keep up with a submission for every challenge, here’s my attempt this time.

    It’s about the strain of having loved ones on opposite sides of the world, but feeling close when you see the same moon wherever you are.


    Hey Guys,

    great job everybody! All the songs were really cool.

    Marc and Prya, you guys killed it. I can definitely imagine your song as background or soundtrack music. I struggle with the same thing of keeping melodies simple. My brain always wants to jump to adding more, and I have to actively suppress it. I think the saying goes, “the more notes you know, the harder it is to use less.”

    Alan, you for sure got that Ka au Crater Boys vibe. All you need to do is slap on some country lyrics, and it really will be a Ka au Crater Boys song. I have the same problem where my improvs don’t sound like they have structure or they don’t sound like they go anywhere. It’s a real tough nut to crack. One thing that helps me, is if I scale back and really start on 1 or 2 notes. I think when you’re not trying to cram more notes in, the song has a clearer focus. Arpeggios of the backing chords help too. They’re the notes in the chord, so you know they got to be right, and you can kind of hear where you could go from there. Europa and Breezin are great songs to practice improv with because they already have melody lines, so you can start of from there, and slowly add in more notes and techniques.

    Daniel, I’m always impressed by your lyrics. I have no idea how you and Aaron think about writing lyrics. Maybe I need to hire you to write the lyrics to my songs. I also really liked the hammer on you did with the F chord, and the C string to make the Dm. It sounds like you’re keeping it in the F major, but you have that hint of the Dm.

    Great job again everybody!


    • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by kahaikahai.

    Thank you as always Kahai! Yes, the bridge in the middle uses F with a hammer-on C, for a bit of variety. The Dm, Em, F, Gm, etc. sequence used for the rest of the song was quite difficult to work with but hey, that’s why it’s called a “challenge”, right?! 🙂

    Alan, I forgot to say – for video editing you might like OpenShot (free), which is for simple linear editing. It has no fancy effects but is good if you just want to combine video and audio files.

    Alan FasickAlan Fasick

    Thanks for the recommendation — OpenShot looks like exactly what I was looking for — I’ll give it a shot!

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