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Kimo Hussey Styles

Aloha friends, we will continue to add to this page as we do more lessons with Kimo. To the right and above are transcriptions given to us by Bertrand Le Nistour. He gives us some more insight into understanding the tabs and also how to approach learning Kimo’s style. So here is a write up from Bertrand-

Download and print Kimo Hussey’s version of “Hallelujah”.

Download and print Kimo Hussey’s version of “Girl from Ipanema & Desafinado”.

In the Ipanema tab all pinch movements are marked as a group of notes played at the same time with no up / down arrows (see the legend image). The tab software I use has no helpful markers for pinch movements, so remember : no arrow = pinch movement.

Through the tab all up strokes are only done with the forefinger and marked with an up arrow (see the legend image). By default all down strokes are done with the thumb and are rather light brushes compared to the up strokes. When not played with the thumb these down strokes are done with the forefinger and I’ve written an ‘i’ (index) above the notes to help you (see the legend image).

Legend-
legend

Kimo also often hit the 4th string (G) with his index. This movement achieves (at least) two things : first it helps you stay in rythm/tempo as every half time you’ll have a note to play. Secondly, the sound of the nail hitting the 4th string produces a soft sound that helps fill the bass line/ harmony in a nice way. In the tab I’ve marked these bass notes as ghost notes (note between brackets, see the legend image). I’ve not marked which finger to use for these notes as they are always played with the forefinger in a downward motion.

For everything else I’ve put right hand information on which finger to use (i for index, t for thumb). It kind of repeats itself a lot but I hope it will help you.

If you have suggestions on how to make this tab easier to read don’t hesitate to contact me. I wish I had a way to highlight the melody notes…but this is not something standard to music sheet and tab software. Knowing the tune’s melody and learning it’s rhythmic structure are invaluable assets you’ll have to focus on. Have fun !

I’m going to explain how to read the ‘Girl from Ipanema’ tab and get you started on Kimo Hussey’s right hand technique for the Low G ukulele. Please see this article as a start only as I’m not Kimo and probably missed a lot of the subtle moves he makes.

In the original on the right Kimo makes it look effortless and easy… but it’s not… at least not without a good deal of practice. I’d recommend you watch the videos on Kimo’s youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/KimoHusseyUkulele and take your time
in learning what he explains. Depending on your playing level & musical background you’ll have some homework to do. You’ll have to isolate most of your practice to the right hand only and get all moves as smooth as possible.

Concerning left hand technique Kimo has already posted excellent videos that cover what is needed here. Here are just a few of them :

Let’s now talk about his right hand technique. Kimo only plays with his thumb and forefinger. One of his most played move is a pinch : the forefinger does an up stroke while at the same time the thumb goes down brushing the strings. A pinch can be done on 2/3/4 strings. He explains this technique in these two videos :

Huge Mahalo to Kimo Hussey for his musical wisdom and inspiration and to Bertrand Le Nistour for freely sharing his time and skill in transcribing this music for us!

Comments 15

  1. Sigh. I am inspired just listening to Kimo’s voice. Then, to hear and watch him play so gracefully. Thank you.

    BTW, the revitalized Resource Center is remarkable and I have only skimmed its surface …

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  2. Kimo, thank you so much for your dedication to ukulele, and for sharing your music with people around the world. The reason I play the ukulele now is that you introduced me to the instrument about three years ago when our paths crossed briefly on the Big Island. I continue to be inspired by your teaching and spirit. My ukuleles have opened up a new world of friends and music, and bring me joy every time I play. Thank you for the gift of ukulele, and marvelous music.

  3. This is great! I’ve seen his version of Hallelujah in several videos and have always wanted to learn it.

  4. I wish there was more information on the wood Kimo called “Meelo”? Where can we read up on it and which instruments are made of it?

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      It’s a rare Hawaiian wood. Excellent tone with qualities of both mahogany and rosewood. Beautiful too, with the reddish brown streaking. All the ancient Hawaiian chiefs used it for furniture and jewelry. Kamehameha had milo trees surrounding his house in Waikiki. But now it’s really rare and even custom builders have a hard time finding it. Ko’olau had this description-

      Milo – (Thespesia populnea) pronounced (me-low), a highly respected wood throughout Hawaiian history. Rich red and brown colors with a delicate lacey grain. To the ancient Hawaiians MILO and a wood called KOU (now replaced by KOA as the most common Hawaiian wood) were the most valuable and colorful woods used for furniture, canoes, paddles, and bowls. MILO has proved to be an excellent stringed instrument wood, producing deep resonant bass tones. Combines well with top woods such as Spruce, Cedar, and Sequoia Redwood. 39 lb/ft density and .55 specific gravity.

  5. From my humble spot, I look forward to Kimos’ style becoming natural under my fingers. My most huge hurdle will be patience! Also, my hats off to your new Resource ‘look’. It is fun and easy to navigate ♫ Nice to load just the page wanted ♫ Mahalo for my ukes and such great inspirations ♫

  6. Your new look is very classy but bolder type would make it easier to read. Kimo is my uke idol. I may never reach his level but I will have much fun trying. Sound samples are so important for uke buyers. How could you buy before listening! Thank you for those samples. So important. Kimo is a great salesman because he shows what the instrument is capable of. I have a sound in my head that I am searching for. When I hear it I buy it, if I can.

  7. Enjoy the new look and extended content of the resource center. The legend and explanation of Kimo’s pinch technique is very useful in learning Kimo’s style and I had a lot of fun learning his rendition of Girl from Ipanema using the explanation and music printout Kimo and you provided. Mahalo for all the cool stuff. Looking forward to seeing more videos from Kimo as well as Kalei, Corey, Aaron, Imua , and others.

  8. Seeing Kimo Hussey’s rendition of Girl from Ipanema is what made me buy a uke in the first place. His style is so unique, and my goodness does it sound amazing. I also probably wouldn’t have bought my uke at all if I hadn’t seen all the helpful stuff you guys have on this website, this page included! Huge mahalo for having so many resources!

  9. Fabulous new site, Kimo’s playing is just mesmerising. Thanks for all you do for the ukulele world-wide community!

  10. I loved the Hallelujah video. The playing sounded beautiful and I enjoyed the thoughts about passion coming from this gentle soul.

  11. Great to see this site back and looking amazing! Love Kimo’s teaching style too – super humble and down to earth guy.

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