February Meeting

11 February, 2013

    Marg’s Newsletter

ukulele

Hi Ukulelists!

We had a great turn-out at this months’ meeting with 15 happy Uker’s braving the washed-out roads after Mother Nature’s flooding rains. It was a relief to jam away for a few hours instead of being home and cleaning up the mess left behind from the storms.

We welcomed two new Uker’s to our club and thank Carmel for introducing Lou and Gary to the joys of playing our beloved ukulele’s and singing our little hearts out. Both Lou & Gary enjoyed singing along too which is a bonus! It was great to see our numbers up on January, ‘the more the merrier’ I say and it definitely helps with the awesome harmonies we were able to create with our songs this month.

We warmed up our session with a few oldies, Doo Wah Diddy by Manfred Mann; Sloop John B by the Beach Boys and You Are My Sunshine. I loved Captain Celia’s new song choices for this month! The melancholy Dire Straits song Why Worry Now (watch the Emmylou Harris/Mark Knopfler duet here); If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot; Happy Together by The Turtles and Annie’s Song by John Denver (a personal favourite!). We wound down with our favourite Beatles tunes; No Reply; I Wanna Hold Your Hand and of course, what would have been our signature tune (IF you all could have sung it MY WAY) Fly Me To The Moon, which everyone thought sounded better and more together when I didn’t sing……This song is now retired until I get my way 🙂

HOMEWORK this month is on Annie’s Song…..we are trying for a 6 string plucking pattern from the instrumental to the end. Whaaaaat? OK…hold your Dsus4 chord and work your way down the strings from G to A (thumb plays G down ↓, index finger C string, middle finger E string & third finger A string all pluck up ↑) that’s 4 strings of the 6 right? To complete the 6 string pattern pluck up↑ middle finger on E string, index finger on C. Please note that the 6 string pattern is played on each chord before moving on to the next (in this case G chord) Got It? Easy As – we should all be accompanying Rachel by next month 🙂

If you are a beginner, please disregard the previous paragraph and focus on the often used chords of loads of songs; C…F…G7….Am and D. We will start next session with our easiest songs, especially for you! I would be happy to meet at 1.30pm on the verandah @ our Saturday Jam and go through the chords/easy songs before our meeting if you like, just let me know. I’m no Pro, but happy to share what I can with you.

With these 5 chords you will be able to play: Doo Wah Diddy; Stand By Me by Ben E King; Ring Of Fire by Johnny Cash; Jamaica Farewell and Octopus’s Garden by The Beatles. All of these and more at our website: https://loganukulele.wordpress.com

Many thanks to Michael (our resident antique music maestro!) who always gives us a lesson on how the Uke can-be-played at Show and Share time. Also to Trevor who is sharing his Blues techniques with us. Trevor runs his own Uke group, check out Sunnybank Ukulele Players for more information [ed: also see below for links to Trevor’s YouTube channel]. Michael is busy making an e-book of pre-war songs (I jest here…..he will have to update me!) together with ukulele facts & trivia.

Enough for now my Ukulelist friends (hah! It is a real word…I checked! So is Ukulelian!)

See you next month, 2nd March 2013

Marg

    Trevor’s Videos

Trevor has a great YouTube channel with videos of songs and techniques, and plans for many more! Check out his how-to for the two finger triplet stroke.

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Christmas Concert

21 November, 2012

 

The Logan Ukulele Club will be playing two songs at Freedom Train Community Choir’s Christmas Concert on Sunday 16 December 2012 – we hope to see you there!


May Meeting

9 May, 2012

This month we met for the first time in our larger new premises in the Logan Village Community Centre, the upper floor of the Old Schoolhouse (Wharf St, Logan Village), which we were very happy with – it’s a nice breezy space with plenty of room for us to spread out.

I had a lazy month and appropriated music from Richard G’s Ukulele Songbook for our new songs of the month. We warmed up with the Beach Boys’ Sloop John B, then moved onto a couple of Johnny Cash songs – Ring of Fire (where we’re sort-of-almost managing to play our little introductory riff we’re doing in unison) and Folsom Prison Blues.

We moved onto something Australian with Hunters and Collecters’ Throw Your Arms Around Me, but have decided to transpose it into C for our next meeting to suit our voices a little better. We always try and go back to Fly Me to the Moon at each meeting, as some of those chords sound just so lovely on the uke, and I’d like to get it to a stage where we can play it at a reasonable pace.

As we had our bass player back, we tried I Shot the Sheriff again, but it’s just not working – we’re losing our rhythm after every little pause, and I need to correct some of the chords on our music. I think I’ll put that aside for a time, and perhaps try One Love in C as an easier reggae piece for next month.

We had a quick look at George Gershwin’s Summertime, which we’re going to look at as a more complex piece to practice in June. It’s not a song that really works with a group of people singing in unison, as everyone tends to use such individual phrasing, but we might pick a soloist for each verse and perhaps have other players humming along in the background if they like.

We also played Oh Susanna, which is a very cheerful song with oddly depressing lyrics – we speculated that Susanna is actually dead, and the song’s narrator is dreaming of her ghost. James Hill does a beautifully depressing version of this song in a minor key on his True Love Don’t Weep album (which you can listen to here), using a slide ukulele.


April Meeting

16 April, 2012

We were without a bass player at our meeting on Saturday, which gave me a sense of how much having that rhythm assists us with playing together, and assists me if I’m trying to keep a beat. I tried to lead everyone in I Shot the Sheriff, rather unsuccessfully – I’m not very good with a reggae beat, and without some sort of rhythm section driving me through the song, I lose focus with it dismally. It’s definitely a song to put away and try again next month!

We had some more success with Ring of Fire, with nice easy chords, and a little riff for us to practice. We also played Pokare Kare Ana and Handle Me With Care – I remember we tried Handle Me With Care at one of our first meetings before realising it was a bit challenging. Everyone managed the fairly quick chord changes very smoothly on this attempt and it sounded great. We also played through Hallelulah and I Wanna Hold Your Hand, which we did for the first time last month.

Michael took us through an easy tune with Skip to My Lou – here’s a YouTube video of him playing it. It would be great to get Michael taking us through a fairly easy or accessible plucked tune each month, as it’s good to become familiar with other styles of playing rather than just strumming chords.

I was given a few song suggestions by people, and intend to do a few Johnny Cash songs next month, including Folsom Prison Blues and 16 Tons, and am going to look into a couple of other suggestions as I’m unfamiliar with the songs.


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!


First performance

10 August, 2011

Logan Ukulele Club - photo by Anton Thompson

The Logan Ukulele Club performed two songs in the intermission at Freedom Train’s Winter Grace concert on Sunday 7 August 2011 – End of the Line by the Traveling Wilburys, and Jamaica Farewell by, probably, Irving Burgie (accordingly to Wikipedia, source of all knowledge).

We tried to put together some interesting arrangements of the songs, and I think we succeeded. On End of the Line we all sang the choruses with improvised harmonies, and had solo singers (Marg, Celia and Jay) singing the verses. Celia didn’t forget to sing a line and swear like she did in rehearsal, for which we are thankful.

We all joined in again for the final double chorus, stopping for the first two lines of the final chorus and singing against the bass line before bring the ukuleles back in. I thought the intro and outro were nice and clean with good rhythmic strumming from everyone. It had a bit of a pub-sing-along vibe to it, but in a good way. (Although is there ever anything bad about a pub-sing-along vibe, I ask? No, of course there isn’t.)

We varied the vocals in Jamaica Farewell in a similar way, with everyone singing the chorus with harmonies again. This time, we had the women singing the first verse, the men singing the second verse, and then Cath and John harmonising on the third verse. We also broke up the song with a whistled verse, but on reflection I don’t think that comes across particularly well on stage – it sounded better in our lounge room rehearsal.

Jamaica Farewell is a bit of a cliched song for ukulele, but with good reason. It sounds fresh and pretty and light hearted when played on uke – it went over well with the audience and lots of people sang along.