visit tracker on tumblr
Ask me anything! Other places you can find me on the internet: Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Bandcamp, Formspring, Facebook,, Etsy, Amazon wishlist, Goodreads.

Anonymous said: Hey, I just deleted my facebook. Personally, i just thought it wasnt worth it. I am also thinking of getting ride of my phone and just getting an old fashioned flip one. Therefore people will have to call not text. is this a bad idea? i dont have a huge group of friends.

Sounds good to me, if that’s what you want to do. You might have to make an extra effort to be sure you keep in touch with your friends, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I taught myself a couple of Pepper Rabbit songs on the ukulele tonight (Red Wine + Older Brother). There is something unbelievably satisfying about doing one’s own musical arrangements rather than using prefabricated chords. (No one has transcribed Red Wine yet, so I couldn’t even use other people’s chords for that one…)

Anonymous said: Do you have any advice for learning ukulele? I know a lot of chords but I can't seem to understand how to strum properly. Do I just strum in rhythm with the song? At what point do I change chords? Thanks, Kate!

Strumming patterns and chord changes will depend on the song, but you can learn basic ones that will work for most songs.

Count in your head - for songs in 4/4, you’re gonna count “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and,” and for songs in 3/4 (or similarly waltzy time signatures), you’re gonna count “1 and 2 and 3, 1 and 2 and 3.” My standard 4/4 strumming pattern is to only strum on “1, 2 and… and 4 and.” My usual waltz strum pattern is “1, 2 and 3 and.”

This video is for guitar but the information also applies to ukulele for the most part. It goes through some basic strumming patterns.

As for chord changes, it almost always happens on the beat. Could be every beat, every 2 beats, every bar, or a combination thereof, depending on the song.

The absolute best tips I have for learning ukulele:
1. Have some understanding of basic music theory. This includes things like: which strings are which notes, chord structure, and transposition. This stuff will help you SO MUCH.
2. Once you have a good grasp of at least a few major and minor chords, go on a website like AZChords or Ultimate-Guitar and start learning songs. They don’t have to be good songs, and they don’t have to be performance-ready. Just pick a song that you know very well (ideally something with a very basic chord structure, like Call Me Maybe) and learn how to play it. I’m always learning other people’s songs because I find it’s the best and fastest way for me to improve my playing.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions.

Anonymous said: what kind of uke do you play?

I have 4 different ones.

The one I play most these days is a spruce and mahogany soprano uke by Lucky Penny (it’s the 4th one on this page). It’s strung with Aquila Nylgut strings, because those are the best you can possibly get. Seriously, this uke sounded like a tin can when I bought it, and I was so disappointed until I switched out the strings and it became the best-sounding uke I own.

The first uke I ever bought was a cheapo $40 soprano by Beaver Creek, sold at my local music shop. It sounded bad and couldn’t hold a tune, but it’s the one on which I learned to play. If you’re a beginner and have never bought or played a uke before, I definitely recommend you get a cheaper one ($20-40) and mess around on it until you’re sure you care enough to upgrade to a better one. You can also swap out the strings to make it sound a bit better.

My second uke is another soprano. It’s purple and covered in glitter, because it’s from Mahalo’s Sparkle collection. Mahalo is definitely a lower-end brand. As much as I love the fact that I have a sparkly purple uke, I should’ve gone for something higher-quality at that point. It doesn’t have very good resonance and it doesn’t always stay in tune.

My baritone uke is also by Mahalo. It’s kind of shitty. I wouldn’t recommend it. It has a tendency to fall out of tune really easily, and its strings will randomly break every so often, no matter what brand of strings I put on it (so weird). I don’t really feel the need to upgrade to a better one, since I play the bari uke so infrequently, but yeah… If you’re thinking about buying a bari, get something better than a Mahalo.

And if you’re thinking about getting any kind of uke, get Aquila Nylgut strings. They sound amazing.

Anonymous said: i don't have a tumblr account, but i check you out a few times a day to see if you've updated. i'm anon but i'm not a mean one. :( - ps what do you think of the new t&s single?

I know, don’t worry! There is one specific anon who I know is psycho, and I know details about them which show up in my stats report, so I can tell which is them and which are “normal people.”

I’m honestly not crazy about the dance-y direction T&S have been headed in lately, and I think “Closer” feels like a starkly typical pop song in some ways, but it’s pretty much impossible for me to dislike anything they make.

Here is a chilling and true story of a man who was hounded by an anti-Semitic and highly abusive internet troll for years, before he finally discovered the identity of said troll. Such a good read, and scary too.

and on that note…

I frequently wonder if my troll-y anons are people I know in real life, as Leo Traynor’s turned out to be.

The main one actually lives fairly close to me, so it’s entirely possible.

sad news :(

gonna cheer myself up by making some music.

and maybe reading more of the CP style guide.

A few months ago, Cadence offered to make me a royal blue cowl. We went to pick out the yarn together. Tonight she sent me this photo because it’s done! Ahhhh I can’t wait to wear it every day!!

A few months ago, Cadence offered to make me a royal blue cowl. We went to pick out the yarn together. Tonight she sent me this photo because it’s done! Ahhhh I can’t wait to wear it every day!!

Anonymous said: Did you hear that the minister for the status of women voted in favour of opening the abortion debate today? I was like, and you got this job how? just broke the universe.

Jeez. That would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad.