Today we are joined by ‘ukulele virtuoso and award-winning artist Brittni Paiva. Paiva has developed a strong following internationally and back at
home in Hawai’i for her precise technique and multi-instrumental ability. She started playing piano at the age of four and slowly added drums, bass, and guitar until the age of 11 when she found her love for the ‘ukulele. Since she has released five albums, two singles, and contributed to various compilations such as Legends of the ‘Ukulele Vol. 2. She was the first recipient of the ‘Ukulele Album of the Year category of the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.
In the spirit of the holidays, today we are going to take a listen to Paiva’s version of The Christmas Song from her HiSessions episode released in 2013. Sporting her then new custom Kamaka ‘ukulele, Paiva plays a tasteful arrangement of the classic song. Hardly deviating from the original melody Paiva uses choice chords to accompany herself. Falling into a tight rhythm from beginning she starts the tune with a I-IV-V introduction hinting at the melody. Adding in light embellishments such as what can only be described as “tasty sliding,” provide little pieces of “ear candy,” catching the listeners ear off guard (0:45 & 2:24). I also love her transition from the bridge back to the verse. Chromatically walking down on the 3rd & 4th strings to the V chord, she uses the open 1st & 2nd string as pedal tones which creates just the right amount of dissonance so that it adds to the tune instead of taking away from it (1:23 & 2:12). Repeating the motif from the beginning helps full circle the song, leaving the listener satisfied and content (2:40).
This is our last UkePrints for 2015 so I wanted to send out a big thank you for reading and being interested in the ‘ukulele! It’s people like you that keep the vibrant ‘ukulele community alive.
UkePrints is a curated playlist of some essential ukulele tracks that all ukulele player should listen to. These songs have left a legacy for future players and in essence, sound impressions of the ‘ukulele or what I like to call them: UkePrints.