Ukulele Video Lesson -
The Way It Is (Bruce Hornsby)

Using a ukulele video lesson to learn how to play “The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby might sound a bit difficult, but it’s actually an excellent option. Sure, the song debuted way back in 1986, but this classic hit known for its piano solos adapts very well to use on the ukulele. Recorded by Bruce Hornsby and the Range, “The Way It Is” tells a compelling story that’s as true today as it was years ago when the song was first penned.

A little about this ukulele video lesson...

The song “The Way It Is” first debuted in 1986, and it met almost instant critical acclaim. This was due to two factors primarily. First, the song is undeniably enjoyable, and the two piano solos are amazing. Second, the song tells a compelling story. The title really does sum it all up.

The opening of the song recounts a story as told by people standing in line for welfare. The chorus seems to reinforce the fact that segregation and racial injustice are “just the way it is” and that there’s really nothing that can be done about it. This notion is rebutted later in the song as Hornsby digs down into our notions of what can be changed and what cannot or should not be changed. He cites things like the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as milestones that highlight the fact that things can and do change, but that we must be the ones to take action and make those changes. 

The song sums up with the idea that it really only feels like some things will never change, that the change we make is slow, but that eventually dedication and commitment to equality will win out over intolerance and even hatred. It reinforces the core idea that in order for change to occur, we must be the agents of that change. A ukulele video lesson will help you adapt this powerful song to your chosen instrument and carry that message to others.

Born in 1954, Bruce Randall Hornsby is no stranger to hit music. His repertoire spans many different genres, including blues, jazz, rock and even gospel. After graduating high school, he formed the band Bruce Hornsby and the Range, and signed on with RCA Records. He remained with them until the band broke up in 1991. 

However, during the same time, Bruce toured with the Grateful Dead, as well. In fact, he played over 100 shows with the band. After the death of Jerry Garcia, Bruce started a solo career, and focused more on jazz-inspired sounds before eventually forming The Noisemakers with his longtime drummer John Molo, as well as Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead. The Noisemakers disbanded in 2011, but Bruce was already busy with another project – The Bruce Hornsby Trio.

You might assume that because of the two piano solos in the song, it would be difficult to adapt “The Way It Is” to the ukulele. However, as you’ll witness firsthand in a ukulele video lesson, nothing could be further from the truth. The piano solos actually adapt quite well to the uke, as does the rest of the song. If you take your learning slowly, you’ll make steady progress, and eventually be able to add this seminal song to your own repertoire and bring the message of positive change to others in your life through your own music.

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