February Meeting

14 February, 2012

We welcomed a few new members in February, which was great fun, and tried some new songs with them.

We warmed up with Jamaica Farewell and End of the Line – our two “performance” pieces – and then moved on to Fly Me to the Moon (links to a PDF from Richard G’s Uke Songs). Fly Me to the Moon uses a lot of unfamiliar chords (Gm7, Bbmaj7, C9), but they’re not overly complex chords and they have a wonderful jazzy sound. The ukulele is really suited to jazz chords and I’d like to dig out some more jazz standards for us to learn over the coming months.

We played a couple of songs from the most recent BUMS meeting – Scarborough Fair (links to a PDF from BUMS) and Whiskey in the Jar (links to a PDF from BUMS), and then took a look at Pretty Woman (links to a PDF from Richard G’s Uke Songs). My personal challenge for the next month is learning to play the riff from Pretty Woman at a reasonable sort of speed.

September Meeting

1 October, 2011

Our first meeting in our new venue – Col Ferguson Cottage in the Logan Village Community Centre. It’s great to have a bit more room, and have the playground nearby for kids. This is not a photo of the new venue, obviously – it’s George Harrison with a uke.

We warmed up with Jamaica Farewell, and then played Hotel California (The Eagles), Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival), Flame Trees (Cold Chisel), and No Reply (The Beatles). Marg did a fantastic job with the “Oh, who needs that sentimental bullshit anyway” line in Flame Trees.

New member Michael, Marge, and Christine and King all played us something for Show & Tell. Michael also showed us a chord solo for Goodnight Ladies, which is a good challenge – a stretch for the fingers!

August Meeting

5 August, 2011

We held our ‘August’ meeting on the last weekend of July in order to get in another practice of our concert songs – Jamaica Farewell and End of the Line.

We had a record turnout, and had to readjust some of the some arrangement – it turns out that solo singing mostly doesn’t work against a significant number of strumming ukuleles, unless you have a great belting voice. We readjusted to have specific groups of people singing different verses (to keep that variation in the arrangement), and where we do have some solo verses in End of the Line, significantly reducing the volume of our playing to allow the vocals to ring out.

We’re looking forward to going back to a normal meeting structure in September, and trying a few new songs.

July Meeting

5 July, 2011

In July we worked on arrangements for two songs, as we are playing two songs in the interval of Freedom Train’s┬áconcert in August.

We decided on:

1. Jamaica Farewell (C, F, G7)

2. End of the Line (G, D, A)

We were down a few people, and we worked out some arrangements with solo singers. We found that End of the Line particularly needed some variety in the vocals so that it didn’t sound too repetitive. The Traveling Wilburys clearly realised as well, given that they alternate vocal lines in the original. How clever of them!

May Meeting

5 May, 2011

At our May meeting, we celebrated the glorious chords of C, G, F and Am. And Celia discovered that just because a song has easy chords in it, if the chord changes are fast it’s not exactly a song for beginners.

We played the following songs:

1. Take on Me
2. Fisherman’s Blues
3. Let It Be
4. Country Roads
5. Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World (also has Em, E7)

March Meeting

5 March, 2011

Our first ukulele club meeting was a great success, and for a group of beginners we made a great deal of progress.

We began practicing the change between G and G7 and a basic strumming pattern. At the end of a couple of hours, we had worked up to playing Hotel California together (albeit in a ukulele friendly key).

Here’s a list of the songs we did, and the chords we used:

Morningtown Ride (G, G7, D, Em, C, Am)
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (C, G, G7, D)
Amazing Grace (in the key of G – G, C, D or D7, Em, and then in the key of C – C, F, G7, Am)
Don’t Worry, Be Happy (Dm, F, C)
Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What a Wonderful World (C, F, G, Am, E7)
Take Me Home, Country Roads (C, Am, G, F, G7)
Hotel California (Am, Dm, G, F, E7, C, D)