Christmas Gifts • Music Brain • H&C • Learning UBass • Singalong
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Christmas list
With Christmas nearing, some of you will have been singing and playing Christmas songs and carols for audiences and unsuspecting passers-by already, while others are madly rifling through the online song banks to find versions of everything in C.
If you're thinking of ukulele gifts, our old mate Jake has a new album out, Travels, which was released in October. It sounds pretty laid back, with a jazz or classical feel to several of the tracks. Click here to listen.
The Australian branch of zazzle has some witty and good-looking t-shirts, mugs, badges etc which still might get to you in time.
UK site Book Depository (now owned by Amazon - is there no escape?), offers free freight, books will arrive in Aust in time if you order by 9/12 and there are a mere 1001 different ukulele titles in their catalogue. Start viewing them here!
The Animated Musical Brain
Many of you have probably viewed one of the many videos or stories online which demonstrate the neurological activity triggered by music. This particular TED-Ed animation (link supplied by local uker Greg O'Neill - thanks Greg!) is an entertaining, simple way of explaining this complex and still partly mysterious process. The Dig Deeper link to the right of the video has some references that help you delve into books and research which back up the claims in the video.
Hunters and Collectors are an outstanding, slightly arty Australian band with insightful lyrics and memorable chord riffs, who began in the early 1980s in Melbourne. Even though their Wrap Your Arms Around Me is everyone's favourite pub rock 'love song', I think True Tears of Joy is more beautiful melodically, and much more understated. The chord and lyric sheet is in the original key, so you can play along with YouTube to learn it on uke. For your next Australian rock trivia quiz, H&C lead singer Mark Seymour's younger brother Nick was the bass player for Crowded House.

Might be time to do UBassics 2?
The UBass Appreciation Society has been promoting an upcoming learn UBass book from accomplished Swedish bassist Magnus Sjoquist. If you're wondering why I'd mention something in competition with my own UBassics interactive PDF, well apart from Magnus' material looking like it might have quite a different approach, Magnus actually purchased a copy of UBassics a year and a half ago, no doubt for research purposes, so I look forward to seeing his book!

Yet another correction
Writing out right-handed chord diagrams doesn't always happen the way it should, and mistakes increase in inverse proportion to the number of hours before midnight that I'm working. The three-fretted Am7 in Billie Jean was inside out and back to front and on the wrong strings, but it's fixed now (thank you for noticing, Ruth Allen!).
"White Christmas" (Bing Crosby) - Ukulele Play-Along!
Join Aldrine from Ukulele Underground in a playalong video of White Christmas, complete with chords, (correct) chord diagrams and lyrics. Of course here in Australia, a white Christmas is less to do with snow and more to do with foam from breaking waves, blinding glare from sunshine on 40 degree days or that hideous stuff made out of Copha and glacé cherries. I reckon it is probably less dangerous to rub Copha (98% sat. fat) into your ukulele than to eat it, ho ho ho.
Don't forget to give yourself a Christmas present!
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