Improvising Lyrics

Julie Strietelmeier is running a brilliant contest at her ukulele-centric blog,, and this weekend I threw my hat in the ring to win a prize package including the ultra-sweet, ultra-cute Flea ukulele.

In the summer of 2005, I was at La Vonne Music in Savage, MN with my friend, Eric, and I plucked around on a Flea. Eric said maybe the Flea is the instrument for me; I didn’t buy one that day, but I did ask my parents for a ukulele for Christmas, almost as a joke. They gave me a basic uke, I strummed out a few tunes, and now it’s the center of my solo musical improv show, The Uncle Ukulele Show. The Flea has a unique shape and feel, and I must say it has a beautiful sound. Saving money for the wedding precludes my picking one up on my own, for now, so I’m hoping my contest entry brings that Flea home to me so I might bring the story full-circle to the Flea.

My entry details some of what I do to set myself up for success when improvising lyrics in The Uncle Ukulele Show. The prep work involved allows me to give my full focued attention to the lyrics themselves, leaving them purely improvised. WordPress didn’t make it easy to figure out how to embed video, but here’s my first crack it on this blog:


Julie announces contest winners on April 4, 2008, so stay tuned to see if I’m one of three winners of my very own Flea… (04.04.08 Update: looks like I didn’t win, but there are plenty of contest entry gems, including the winners.)


Leave a Comment