Monday 13th September – regular Uke practise

Hello lovely people.

Regular night’s practise from 7.30pm to 10pm at the Highway pub Willerby Road.

We’ll be using booklets rather than the projector for this meeting. Let’s see how it goes.

Thank you

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Reminder – regular Monday night at the Highway pub on Willerby Road – 7:30pm

It’s the usual night of ukulele tunes at the Highway. I’m bringing some songs that we’ve been playing over the last few weeks and a few old/ “new” ones.

Hope to see you there.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Reminder – Hull Ukulele Group meeting Monday 2nd August 7:30pm – 10pm

Just a quick reminder that we are having another HUG meeting at Highways pub on Willerby Road.

It’ll be slightly different as we are going to be learning some music theory along with the usual set of songs – this time from handed out songbooks.

Thank you Stan and Ian for “stepping up” and keeping us going.

It will be an enjoyable and interesting night.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Hello lovely people.

Next meeting 19th July 7:30pm
NOTE: people are turning up at 8pm. If we want to find a seat, be a bit social and start properly at 8pm (or before) you need to get there earlier.

The signs are that we are going to have an end to the lcokdown/ social distancing as planned on 19th July.

This means that we will be able to sing.
This is important for a number of reasons:

  • we will be singing in the key of the written music (much less “grating”)
  • there will be no solos from the original (suddenly finding yourself in the middle of a guitar solo with no music!)
  • the music won’t have missing parts or repeats that aren’t written down
  • the timing will be up to us and more regular (think Johnny Cash and his changes in rhythm)
  • we can slow down songs that are fast and play a slow “Swing version” of songs like “Happy Hour” or “Fell in Love with a Girl”

The only problem I can see is that we have to sing. Put away any embarrassment and get ready to belt out a few favourites.
(I’d like to open a few windows and if you wish to wear a mask – that’s fine by me)

For the next practise I’m hoping to cover the previous two books (but with singing) and go on to another old book – Country Hits.
If you want to practise before this is the link: https://hullukulelegroup.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/hug_country_hits_a4.pdf

As we are allowed to sing, we can start fully following the book and keeping our own timing, but this does rely on us singing.
Once we’ve practised a few times, we can move on to creating multi part songs with players playing different parts of the song (riffs and solos).

In our last session I was asked “What’s the strumming pattern for this?” It get asked a lot.

I tend to either DDUUDU or follow the syllables in a lyrics.
I use the DDUUDU (D = down / U=up) for practically any song that is 4:4 timing (1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4 etc)
So if you play “Urban Spaceman” or “It must be love” this pattern naturally fits.
“It Must be Love” was originally DDDD, but sounds “bouncy” with DDUUDU.
It works with “These Boots are made for walking”,
You may have to break out into a different strum for choruses and riffs, but this strum works for a lot of songs.

I was going to make my own videos of me strumming, but found much better videos online, already created with illustrations.

There are videos on YouTube to follow such a
For beginners – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAScCO3Mb-w – these are quite simple.
For more advanced strumming you can watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSQ7gfMp8gk – he’s very good. Bookmark this.

Years ago I compiled a list of strumming patterns for people to try, print and keep.
This is it https://hullukulelegroup.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/strumming-patterns.pdf

Syllables in the lyrics“?
When I play certain songs, I strum in time with the lyrics.
“Give me an example John!”
Ever Fallen in Love with Someone (that you shouldn’t have).
The pattern would be (if written down) (Dm)D-D-DUDUDUU-(C)DUD-(Dm)D-D-DUDUDUU-(C)DUD-(F)DDDUDUU-DUD-DDDUDUU-DUD
(and if you can follow that – you’re good!)
Simple put – you play a strum either up or down in the rhythm of the song. This isn’t something that I’ve seen written anywhere. It’s not something I’ve learnt it’s just evolved as

One song that we have in our songbooks that people are confused about is a Bonzo Dog Doodah cover of “Button up your overcoat”.
This is mainly because no one has heard of the song. Therefore here’s a link to YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf9SJ9LyDRs
The main parts of the song can be covered by DDUUDU.
the “Take good care of yourself” part is a bit odd – C9 and C7 in quick succession.
The two chords are just one finger away so, you are putting on and taking off a finger with each word

Take (C9) good (C7) care (C9) of(C7) your(C9)self (C7)
or
Take (on) good (off) care (on) of(off) your(on)self (off)

(F)Button up your overcoat,
(G7)when the wind is free
(C9)Take (C7)good (C9)care (C7)of
(C9)your(C7)self you (F)belong to me (C#)(C)


Anyway – hope to see you at the Highway pub on 19th July 7:30pm

Thank you
John

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Fortnightly Practise at Highway

Thanks for the beginners who came on Monday and I hope you will keep practising.

The next regular fortnightly practise is on Monday 5th July 7:30pm – 10pm ish.

If you want to get ahead, the songbooks we’ll be using will be the old ones we started with all those years ago and a couple of loose songs:

…. and Bad Moon Rising from this

… and I’ll make this into a format that I can project on the night: https://ukutabs.com/n/neil-diamond/sweet-caroline/

I hope yo see you there.
John

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Beginners Lessons

28th June 7:30pm
Upstairs function room at Highway pub Willerby Road.

Free lessons for beginners. There is no catch.

If you don’t know the notes of the strings, how to tune it or play the first few chords, please feel free to attend Highway pub with your uke. We were all beginners once.

I’ll go through the first few chords and give you advice and information to get you up and running.

Hopefully by the end of the session, you will be able to play a couple of songs.

Before attending you may want to tune your uke. A new uke or new string will go out of tune roughly every 5 minutes.

I recommend GStrings app for Android as a free uke tuner. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.cohortor.gstrings

You need to tune the string closest to your chin to G4. Then moving down towards the ground, C4, E4 and A4

… and they sound like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Weu8nsJRMqE&ab_channel=69erJC

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Hello all you lovely people.

Last Night
The meeting of the Hull Ukulele Group (first post lockdown) was a breath of fresh air. I thoroughly enjoyed it although it was a little overwhelming to have people talking to me after months pretty much on my own.

There were 13 players and one supporter – which I thought was great given that via Zoom our worse turn out was 2 (including me!).

Thank you for coming.

There were no problems with my wifi flaking out, no issues with Zoom blacking out people’s screens and no problems with mics being muted randomly.  As far as “playing uke to some backing track goes” it was a massive success. We actually managed to play a lot more than I expected!

As there are new players and rusty players (that would be all of us covered there), I decided that we’d go back the start and back to where the Hull Ukulele Group started. We went back the first songbook that was created.

Music
I need to move away from bringing in reams of paper. It’s wasteful and time consuming to produce and painful to carry.

This songbook we used last night can be found HERE to download and print.  
I will continue to bring the projector to play along with. It’s lighter than carrying 4x Tesco shopping “bags for life” and easier to sort the music on a Sunday afternoon. I’ll move the projector next time to make a sharper and brighter image.

If you have difficulty viewing the projector, please can you print the book?

I am going to continue with the early songbooks over the next few weeks/ months continue in with this SMALL SONGBOOK. This is early warning that next meeting (5th July 7:30pm at Highway pub) we will dip into this SMALL SONGBOOK. You could print off and practice in advance?

If you have difficulty printing I can print both of these two books together for £5. This would be one plastic folder with 60 sheets and 30 songs.

If you want to order one of these for me to bring at the next meeting CLICK HERE

We will continue to play along to a recording (often in a different key) until we can sing indoors again. I’ll try to find good versions of the music.

The Pub
I liked the pub and the staff were brilliant. The chap behind the bar went out of his way to help me set up and even carried drinks upstairs for one customer.
The car park was easy – I hope everyone else found it so.
The room was good and a change from performing in front of regular customers trying to watch football or eat a meal. I liked the old pub, but the new one is more suitable.

Transport
I’d like to work out lift sharing as we go on to enable people who can’t drive or don’t have suitable transport to attend and enjoy the night. I have already started on this with my own car. It would be nice if we can work it out amongst ourselves.

NEXT MEETING – 5th July 19:30 – 22:00 Highway pub, Willerby Rd, Hull HU5 5LH

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How are we going to playing before full lockdown is lifted?

I’ve been reading the advice on the Musician’s Union website and the advice on from the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport).

This is what I’ve boiled it down to:
– We are not allowed to meet in groups of more than 6 – unless the larger group splits into smaller groups of six – basically 6 people in a group on a table with social distancing between groups of 6
– We are not allowed to sing indoors

How do we practise ukulele under these circumstances?
1. If there are more than 6 people, we separate into tables of 6. NO switching or mixing within groups
2. Music will be passed out or projected onto a wall
3. There will be no singing. We will play along to a backing track. We did this to learn a new songs in the past before COVID and we have been doing this via Zoom since COVID started
4. Masks should be worn until sat down and whenever stood up to get drinks/ visit the toilets
5. No hugging, hand shaking or close contact
6. No sharing of equipment (don’t try someone’s new uke)

It’s basically the rules for going to a pub, but we are going to be holding ukes and playing along.

What’s good about this?
1. This is a massive step in the right direction
2. This is a social event
3. We will be actually playing the ukulele together – something that is impossible via zoom. We might be in sync
4. We will start with simple old tunes that experienced players will know and learners can pick up
5. IT’S A START!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Emerging from Lockdown.

This is all subject to change – dependent on govt advice.

Most of us have had two vaccinations and we are heading in the right direction as far as infections are going.

I am keeping a close eye on the following guidance: https://www.gov.uk/…/working-safely…/performing-arts
Once we are clear to actually sing in a room together, we will be.

I have been contacted by new players and old faces asking what we’ve all been asking the Govt. : “When do we get back to normal?”.

Recently I visited a pub that was not only open, but bustling. They have a room that we can use and seem happy to let us in. The other day, the landlady rang me to confirm when we would like to start and how she can help with publicity. A very positive start!

(There is a small catch – but I’m not telling anyone yet).

So, on Monday 21st of June 7:30pm – with the usual caveats of the rules changing (watch this space) I’d like us to meet up.

Where?
Highway, Willerby Rd, Hull HU5 5LH
https://www.highwayhull.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/thehighwayhull

When?
Monday 21st June
I propose that you arrive between 7:30 and 8pm.
We play 8pm to 9pm and have a break
We restart 9:15pm and go on until 10pm – 10:15pm

What will happen?
I want to promote this as much as possible. I want to encourage rusty players, beginners and complete newbies. As such, I want to go back to basics with the first Uke songbook. I want it to be fun and I’d like people to treat it as a social night. If there are few of us, we should be able to keep a small distance. We’ll have to “play that by ear”.

What will it cost?
We have to support the pub by buying drinks. As long as we buy a couple of drinks, that should cover electricity, cleaning and any staff costs. Beyond that, there might be a cost for music books for people to keep and take responsibility for.

Travel
I know some players will be travelling from afar. I’d like to get people to arrange car shares as we progress. This is “green”, makes parking easier and allows some people to drink and have a designated driver.

The first meeting should be treated as an AGM and we decide what the future will be.

We might not even get to sing a song as the government guidance currently doesn’t let us. I’m hoping guidance changes soon.

Having said that – bring a uke and your singing trousers.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

During Coronavirus Lockdown

Hello everyone.

During lockdown the group is still “meeting” via “Zoom” as a virtual meeting- at 8pm.

Zoom give people 40 minutes free to try out their service. We are meeting for that 40 minutes free time.

If Zoom extend that we go on for about an hour. Zoom cut our first meeting at 40 minutes exactly and the second meeting was extended. I can’t tell if Zoom are going to extend the time each week.

We’ve been using Jim’s Songbook to a pretty good degree. https://ozbcoz.com/Songs/index.php
It allow scrolling and searching so I shared the webpage, hit scroll and we set off.

So far we’ve had a go at :
John Prine – Please Don’t Bury Me (we played this for months before John’s passing and as a tribute to him he day before the news broke)
Things – Bobby Darin
Happy Together – The Turtles
With a Little Help for my Friends – The Beatles

We then just picked random tunes to play.
If you want suggestions to practise – have a go at the above and below).

This week I have proposed:

Take it Easy – Eagles
Daydream – Lovin Spoonful
Stuck in the Middle With You – Steelers Wheel
After Hours – Velvet Underground
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer – Beatles

The songs are simple and hopefully we can all play.
During the singing, the meetings are muted so you can only hear me (I’m a terrible player and singer, but I’m there to play along with).
We socialise and have a chat before we start and in between each song and after the session ends.

Ta
John

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized