Ukulele Video Lesson - Disney's Gummi Bears Theme

This ukulele video lesson will help you to learn how to play the rather catchy theme song to this Disney offering. You may remember the Gummi Bears cartoon nostalgically from your childhood days!



Theme Song

The theme song for The Gummi Bears was written by Michael Silversher and Patty Silversher. The song features a march tempo, roughly 100 bpm, and quite a bit of what is called hemiola. Hemiola is a musical term used to describe the effect created when six notes of equal measure are grouped together so that they sound like two triplet figures, rather than six separate notes. There are other ways that this is used in music, as well, but this particular version of it is relevant to the Gummi Bears theme song.

The song is written in 4/4 time, but you’ll notice that many of the notes are grouped together in triplets, allowing the composer to include 6 quarter notes in each 4/4 bar during the main portion of the song. This works out rather well with the natural rhythm of the lyrics, and you might have an easier time of it by singing along the words to keep the structure of the rhythm intact as you perform.

The song is keyed in C, which makes it very easy for a ukulele player to perform the piece. Where chords are concerned, it progresses through C, Em7, F, Dm7 and G for the most part.

This song should have a brisk, light feel to it, appropriate for the subject matter that it introduced. One of the complexities of playing it, however, will be the fact that, for every half note or pair of quarter notes in the bass line, three-quarter notes in the upper part of the song will sound. Developing the ability to render this accurately is an important musical skill to work on.

The Cartoon Behind This Ukulele Video Lesson

The Adventures of the Gummi Bears ran for six seasons, from 1985 until 1991. The series concentrated on animated versions of the popular candy, setting them in a fantasy realm where they got into many different adventures and, of course, learned many important life lessons in the process.

The animation in this series is characterized by being bright, cheerful and simple, but still having the quality that Disney is widely regarded for. One of the interesting elements of this cartoon series was the fact that, rather than restricting the Gummi Bears to being magical creatures or not, the Gummi Bears actually incorporated quite a bit of clever technology into the mix, along with their enchanted abilities.

Their world was populated by ogres, knights, wizards and other common figures of fantasy literature, providing an imaginative setting for the storytelling. Combined with Disney’s sense of how to entertain children with the mix of not overly childish storylines, music, adventure sequences and all of the other elements that go into their productions, it was a very popular show. The entire series is currently being released on DVD, allowing a new generation of young people to enjoy the adventures of the Gummi Bears.

Learning how to play the song on ukulele is a fairly easy endeavor, and it should allow the performer to develop some advanced skills, even though the context isn’t overly complex. Pay particular attention to grouping the triplets in the melody correctly, as being able to combine different rhythmic structures within the same time signature is a very important skill for a musician and one that will benefit any ukulele player greatly as they continue on learning more about the instrument and how to perform.

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