No, it’s not a tongue-twister. Rather, it’s a new cool-sounding tuning that you may want to try. Ingredients: a baritone ukulele, an extra guitar 5th string (or baritone uke 4th). It sounds particularly good using a capo. Read More
It doesn’t look like much judging by the number, but this is a huge update, which deserves a special announcement. As usual, you can add it to your browser from these links:
By “baritenor” I mean a tenor-size ukulele that rather sounds like a baritone. Why do this? Because you can always get the standard uke sound from a baritone by simply putting a capo in the 5th fret, and you get two ukes for the price of one. Ideal for traveling, except that baritones are a bit too large to stuff in a suitcase. The solution? Tune a smaller uke like a baritone, or close to it. I’ve found that a tenor uke works well as a starting point, with good results. The baritenor set, plus a couple wound strings for the basses, should also work well to make a good-sounding guitalele with standard tuning.
A couple years ago, I wrote a post on how to make a banjolele starting from parts bought here and there. I’ve simplified the process to make a 4-string banjo, and it has turned out so well that I just had to share it.
FusionKey, just released in the Chrome and Firefox web stores, packs into a single icon all the power of PassLok and SynthPass. It makes a high-security password when you want to fill a password. It decrypts an encrypted message if there is one, and makes a new encrypted reply. It integrates with every web mail service in existence. And, like all my other apps, FusionKey is free. Read More
Looking through some chatroom records, I came across FlowCrypt, a Chrome and Firefox extension that adds easy PGP encryption to Gmail. Since it is supposed to do pretty much what my own PassLok does with Gmail, I loaded the extension and took it for a spin. Unlike other products in the same space that are receiving lots of attention (ProtonMail, Virtru, etc.), FlowCrypt impressed me. It’s a shame it isn’t better known. In this article I offer you my clearly biased but perhaps richer than usual review of this extension, and compare it with my own PassLok for Email. Read More
One of the appealing qualities of the ukulele is that it sounds “sweet” to many people. Perhaps this is why it became so popular in Hawaii, from where it spread to the rest of the world. Musicologists explain that this perceived “sweetness” is the result of close harmony, made possible by the 4th string typically being tuned one octave higher than it would be normally. In this post, I delve into other re-entrant tunings (some already known, others not so much) that can be applied to a ukulele or similar, with sound samples. Perhaps there’ll be some that appeal to you. Read More
UK’s GCQH is at it again. Now with a bold proposal to request Apple and other companies to build backdoors into their real-time chat apps, as this article reveals. And the weird things is, Apple and the bunch may be forced to comply since they are hosting those chats. But PassLok will fare quite a bit better, as the post explains. Read More
This may not be for every amateur musician out there, but I’m sure there are some that have felt quite frustrated over the apparent inability to have a guitar or uke that will sound like anything else (for a reasonable budget) and still be playable. Sure, you can always add a Fishman or Roland Midi pickup to an electric guitar for a lot of dough, only to find that they work well only for fingerpicking but not for strumming (the essence of uke playing) because of lag or inability to pick up every single string. Well, I think I finally licked it, and quite inexpensively. You can see it at right. The yellow tape on the “strings,” which is quite optional, is a simple tactile aid so I can use only strings 1 through 4 for ukulele playing. Read More
The old chicken and egg problem, with music. Chances are you already knew that the ukulele, that little guitar that people use for accompanying Hawaiian and pop music, as well as a lot of pieces from the Tin Pan Alley era, was born in the late XIX century, when some Portuguese luthiers landed in Hawaii. So obviously the ukulele derives from the guitar. But did you know that before guitar existed there was an instrument that looked very, very much like a ukulele? See what the angel in the picture is playing. Read More