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Monday Night Ukulele Session 11th October 2021 – 7:30pm

Hello everyone. It’s that time again. Time for strumming and chat over a pint at The Highway on Willerby Road. Remember it’s every two weeks.

It will be the regular mix of new and old songs. As we approach bonfire night and Halloween, we’ll throw in some appropriate songs.

There will also be news of a small gig we’ve been asked to do and some decisions to make.

I really enjoyed the last meeting we had and had a good time. Thank you everyone.

At the last meeting I chose old songs that people are familiar with, but haven’t tried to play. These were songs from 1920s – 1960s. It makes this post a rather long one, but enjoy!

I said I would post them for people to practise at home. Here they are:

Whispering Grass – YOUTUBE

I Don’t want to set the world on fire – YOUTUBE

La Vie en Rose (in English – mostly) YOUTUBE
(you basically play along three times with the instrumental start and end).

Stormy Weather – YOUTUBE
(really slows strum)

Pennies from Heaven – YOUTUBE

Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Judy) YOUTUBE

Ain’t Misbehavin YOUTUBE

Finally – I have two versions of California Dreaming – YOUTUBE

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Regular Monday Night Gathering – 27th Sept 7:30pm to 10pm

Hi all.

Firstly I’d like to apologise for being missing at the last meeting. I’m really sorry.

My daughter has had covid and was too young for vaccinations. She tested positive, (two lateral flow test and a PCR), the week before the last meeting. I spent a lot of time with her, (as she coughed every 5 seconds), and although I am fully vaccinated I had a bit of a cough and felt like I had a mild cold.

I decided, therefore, to not risk passing this onto other people. I would have felt awful if a single person got ill after a night ukulele playing. My daughter has now passed several lateral flow test and returned to school a week ago.

This Monday will be a mixture of old tunes that we are familiar with and a few new/ old classics that I’ll bring along on the night. I’m looking forward to it.

Monday 27th Sept 7:20pm to 10pm.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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