Monday, August 7, 2017

Nobody Knows When You're Down and Out for Ukulele

Putting together a ukulele or guitar version of a song students would like to learn is an exciting part of the job. The process goes something like this. First of all, I have a good listen to lots of different versions of the song for inspiration. Then I do a quick assessment of the students standard against the songs various interpretations.  Finally, I go back to the original or as close as possible to the original version of the song and have a listen. 

With all that musical information bouncing about, I get on the ukulele (or guitar) and work out a friendly version lots of people can play. It must be simple enough for you newer students but with some twiddly bits thrown in for more advanced students to keep you interested. 

Jimmy Cox's song 1923 song, "Nobody Knows When You're Down and Out" was chosen by, Jenny, one of my guitar students. I thought is was also a ripper song for students of the ukulele who may have been playing for a little while. It has quite a few chords. They're all simple enough but when you put them together they move quite quickly after each other. To keep it simple, down strums on each chord is the order of the day. That way, you can enjoy the chord changes. 

You can play along with me and my ukulele or better still, once you've got it, play with Bessie Smith. Word of warning, the solo's don't quite match up in her version and mine.  Check out some other versions and see if you can come up with your own solo bit based on your choices.

Here's me playing the ukulele version for you. Ignore the singing. I was pretending to be a blues singer without the liquor. Enjoy playing along. 

Here's a link to the recording of me and my ukulele:

By Jimmy Cox. Sung by Bessie Smith

Strum: Two strums per chord

(C)Once I lived the (E7)life of a (A)millionaire (A7)
(Dm)Spent all my (A7)money, didn't (Dm)have any (Dm)cares
(F)Took all my (B7)friends out for a (C)mighty good (A7)time
(D7)We bought bootleg liquor, (G7)champagne and wine
(C)Then I be(E7)gan to (A)fall so (A7)low
(Dm)Lost all my good (A7)friends had (Dm)nowhere (Dm)to go
(F)If I get my (B7)hands on a (C)dollar a(A7)gain
(D7)I'm gonna hold (D7)onto it 'till those (G7)eagles (G7)grin

(C)No(E7)body (A)knows you (A7)
(Dm)When you're (A7)down and (Dm)out (Dm)
(F)In your (B7)pocket, (C)not one (A7)penny
(D7)And my friends, well, (G7)I  haven’t any
(C)If I ever get (E7)on my (A)feet again(A7)
(Dm)And I’ll (A7)meet my (Dm)long lost friend
(F)It’s mighty (B7)strange with(C)out any (A7)doubt
(D7)Nobody knows (D7)you when you're (G7)down and out(G7)

C   E7  |  A/C  A7  |  Dm   A7 | Dm   c-1-  |  
ΠΠΠΠ  |  ΠVΠΠΠ |   ΠΠΠΠ   |  ΠΠΠ        |
♩♩♩♩|   🎵 ♩♩♩|    ♩♩♩♩  |  ♩♩♩  ♩   |

F  a-3--  B7   |   C  a-2-1- A7  |  D7 e-3--4 a-0- | G7 F#o C#o G7       | (repeat)
Π            ΠΠ  |   Π            ΠΠ |   Π                    |  Π V    Π V  Π  Π |
♩   ♩   ♩♩ |   ♩     🎵 ♩♩|   ♩   ♩ ♩  ♩  |  🎵      🎵   ♩♩ |

(C)No(E7)body (A)knows you (A7)
(Dm)When you're (A7)down and (Dm)out (Dm)
(F)In your (B7)pocket, (C)not one (A7)penny
(D7)And as for friends, well, (G7)you aint got any
(C)When you get (E7)back on your (A)feet again(A7)
(Dm)Everybody (A7)wants to be your (Dm)long lost friend
(F)I Said it (B7)straight with(C)out any (A7)doubt
(D7)Nobody Knows You When You're (G7)Down And Out (C)
C.png     E7.png     A.png   Dm.png   A7.png    D7.png     F.png    G7.png             

Ukulele Chords Nobody knows you when you're down and out.jpg
End of song:

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