100-Day Ukulele Challenge

I started playing ukulele in 2020, when it became clear that we’d be isolating for a while and I needed something to do with my hands that would feed my heart.  I found the excellent teacher Cynthia Lin on YouTube and have been her student ever since.  2023 is the third year I’ve participated in Cynthia’s 100-Day Uke Challenge; every day for 100 days I record and post a video to her private FB group then spend an unreasonable amount of time enjoying videos other participants have posted.  This is a global community, and hundreds of people of all skill levels participate.  I’m impressed by the conviction and vulnerability they show every day, and by the encouragement they extend to each other as we plink our way around the instrument.  Here are a few of my favorites from 2022 and 2023: warts and all.

Play Video about Let me drive my van into your heart by Rebecca Sugar

Let me Drive my Van into your Heart

by Rebecca Sugar

One of many songs from this genius who created Steven Universe.  I found myself with my van by the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and couldn’t resist taking advantage of the backdrop.   I love that my van and the Saturn V match.

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Our House

by Graham Nash

In April I spent a weekend at the homestead of some friends in Pennsylvania, helping them build the foundation for a new building.  Here is the result of the video I captured throughout the weekend.

Play Video about Freed playing Rubber Duckie on her ukulele

Rubber Duckie

by Jeff Moss

Popularized by Ernie, who was voiced by Jim Henson, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know this song.  Rub a dub dubbie.

Play Video about Freed with her ukulele on the Hama Hama River

Just the Two of Us

by Bill Withers,
Ralph MacDonald, & William Salter

In the summer of 2021 I hiked up the Hama Hama River in the Olympic Peninsula with my Friend, Katherine, who makes a cameo appearance in this video.  I look like I’d been hiking, diving, and generally not washing my face because, well, I had.  Embrace the grunge. 

Play Video about Freed being silly with her ukulele

I have to fill your DMs with these memes

forgive me, Jim Croce

A modern love song.

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Lay Lady Lay

by Bob Dylan

My version may better be called Gay Lady Gay.  I’ve been working toward integrating percussive patterns to my strumming toolbox, and am happy with the way this one turned out.  A bit of a flub in there but what the heck.

Play Video about Freed with her ukulele

Does your Chewing Gum Lose its Flavour
on the Bedpost Overnight?

By Lonnie Donegan

100% silliness at its finest, set in my van aka construction zone as it stood in early April. 

Play Video about Freed playing Woman on her ukulele

Woman

by John Lennon

International Women’s Day 2022.  I loved recording this song, as you can see, but how hollow that day of recognition feels considering the opinion the US Supreme Court was composing at the same time.

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Love on Mardi Gras

by Angie Louise

Since the first time I heard it, I have loved this song written by Angie Louise and performed by her band, The Love Markets, and I was delighted to have enough skill to play it for this year’s challenge.  Mine is a rough, rough sketch of the song, so for the love of music, visit their website and hear the original recording.