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-
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
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 :
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).
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 its rythmic structure are unavaluable assets
you’ll have to focus on. Have fun !
This is the first in a series we will be doing with Kimo-
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!