Family Music

Slaugh Family Music Collaboration

June 2 update

Our song now has a strings section, harmonica, melodica, synthesizer, piano, jaw harp, and vocalists of all ages. (I’ve heard trumpet is still on its way.) 

If you still want to send something in, you have until this weekend. We could still use bass and percussion in particular. Short clips of just “sun, sun, sun, here it comes” or “doot-n-doo-doo” are totally fine – you don’t have to do something that lasts the whole song. 

Non-musical stuff!

For those who haven’t yet, please take a few seconds with your smartphone to record yourself and/or your family doing something that makes you happy. These do not need to be along to the music – just random clips of happy Slaughs will be great. 

Ideas include:

  • Jumping on the trampoline
  • Reluctantly smiling
  • Riding horses
  • Playing video games
  • Winking
  • Shooting baskets or kicking goals
  • Reading books
  • Napping
  • Making faces at the camera
  • Doing cartwheels
  • Riding bikes
  • Gently tapping on fish tanks
  • Typing furiously
  • Swimming
  • Woodworking
  • Fencing
  • Playing with pets
  • Juggling and other party tricks
  • Holding a sign that says, “I’m not even a Slaugh and I’m not sure how I got on this mailing list.” 
  • Painting
  • Doing pushups or handstands
  • Blinking to the beat
  • Eating ice cream

Video clips should be under 10 seconds and the deadline is this weekend. Avoid the future sadness you’ll have when the video comes out and you’re not in it. 

Original instructions

Let’s make some music together! Record a video of you performing Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles and we’ll combine all the entries into one big music video. You don’t have to be musically inclined to participate – just send in a clip of you and your family doing something happy.

If you play an instrument or sing, please email Justin Hill to let him know you’re interested and what you’d like to contribute. Here are some instructions:

Ideas for contributions:

  • Drums and other percussion
  • Kazoo
  • Jaw harp
  • Accordion
  • Piano
  • Violin
  • Trumpet, sax, trombone, etc.
  • Video clips of you doing something happy – cartwheeling, jumping on the trampoline, laughing, dancing, holding a puppy, etc.
  • Have four people walk across a street like Abbey Road
  • Sing the melody
  • Sing harmonies
  • Sing only the “sun, sun, sun, here it comes” part
  • Sing only “doot-n-doo-doo”
  • Organ
  • Mongolian throat singing
  • Synthesizer
  • Melodica
  • Ukulele
  • Humming
  • Yawning in a satisfying way

Here is the original song for inspiration – there are a lot of instruments going on but we don’t need to stick to the ones they use.

Don’t sing/play along to this track for your entry because The Beatles recorded it a little sharp of the usual A Major. Instead, use one of these MP3 backing tracks of Justin with a guitar in A Major:

Backing track with a metronome

Backing track – only voice and guitar

Eventually, the backing track will be replaced by everyone’s performances, so feel free to do your own guitar and/or vocals. Avoid recording the sound of the backing track in your performance by wearing headphones as you play or sing.

Possibly-helpful links:

Send video clips to Justin via Dropbox or something similar. They may not work as email attachments because of file size limitations.

Deadline: June 5th, 2020

Questions? Email Justin Hill or leave a comment below.

Family Travel Videos

In and around St. George


But Not Tonight

I had so much fun with Little 15 on the guitar and ukulele, I thought I’d try another favorite Depeche Mode tune about the moooooon shining in the sky. I’m not sure if the main riff has ever been performed on banjo before.


Hard Times Come Again No More

Let’s try another tune from the 1800s. This one is by Stephen Foster, the father of American music. He wrote Camptown Ladies, Beautiful Dreamer, Old Folks at Home (“way down upon the Swanee River”), and Oh! Susanna, among others.

During the American Civil War someone made a parody called Hard Tack Come Again No More with the following chorus:

Tis the song, the sigh of the hungry:
“Hard tack, hard tack, come again no more.”
Many days you have lingered upon our stomachs sore.
O, hard tack, come again no more!


Freebies during Isolation

Several companies and individuals are offering freebies to help pass the time in isolation. Here are some of my favorites. Got any others?

  • Blues guitar lessons – 5 lessons over 5 days with a helpful PDF and backing tracks
  • BitGym – great little app for the treadmill or stationary bike. Pick a beautiful hiking trail and walk it on screen.
  • Logic Pro X (Apple’s professional music editing software) – free 90 day trial
  • VidAngel – filter for Amazon and Netflix, perfect for The Tiger King without all the swears.
  • Audible – a plethora of free audiobooks in a variety of languages, mostly classics and kids titles. (Doesn’t work in the Audible app, only in a browser.) Includes the Stephen Fry (UK) version of Harry Potter.
  • Starcraft video game – this has been free for a while, but I just found out about it.
  • Ink Cards – they’ll print up a postcard and mail it for you – you can even add a signature with your finger on your phone. First one free, $2 each after that.
  • Kindle books – these ones are free even without a Prime membership.
  • Library – check your local library website. Mine has free MP3s, lessons, eBooks and Audiobooks through Overdrive, etc.