31st May Round Up

News:

  • Two gigs next week:
    • Wednesday 8th June, Lyall Court, Kirriemuir
    • Thursday 9th June, Midlin Day Care, 59 Pitkerro Drive
  • New gigs:
    • Friday 1st July, Douglas Sports Centre, 1.00-1.30pm (Follow on from gig at Panbride Church Hall, Carnoustie from 11am – 12noon. Thank you to all who have agreed to do both! Another first for Dee Ukes!)
    • Saturday 2nd July, Carnoustie Gala Day – yet another first! Time tbc (In support of Carnoustie Free Food)
    • Monday 4th July, Kirrie Day Care, 1.15 – 2.30pm approx.
    • Friday 26th August, DBPSS, Ward Road, 1.00 – 1.45pm approx.
    • Saturday 27th August, Fintry Church Gala Day – time slot tbc
    • Friday 16th December, Kirrie Day Care, 1045 – 11.45am

Wow! I can’t believe we have had 10 new bookings over the last 2 weeks! How popular are we! 🙂 Hopefully, everything is listed on the website Events tab, along with times, addresses and maps. I have also updated the Gig Volunteer list which is on the Gig Volunteers tab. Let me know if you spot any mistakes or if you wish to be added 🙂 or removed! 😦

  • Some of you might be interested in the Ukulele Festival of Scotland 2017 at Dumfries, following on from the tremendous success of the 2016 Festival. If you would like to find out more visit their website https://www.ukulelefestivalofscotland.co.uk/. They also have a Facebook page which is frequently updated. For those of you who are on Facebook, just search for Ukulele Festival of Scotland. Tickets for next year are disappearing fast!

Practice:

  • Feelin’ Groovy – We are managing to play the chords for this without having them written down. Well done. 🙂 Now we just need to learn all of the words. It’s good top be able to look up at everyone as we play.
  • Roses O Prince Charlie – In line 3, the spelling should be “Hear now”.  (Version 1.1 in G) It sounded really good when the bodhran joined in with the chorus. Some people feel the key of G is a bit low, so I have added another version in the key of C. (Version 2.0 in C) We will decide next week what our preference is. Some were not familiar with the actual tune, so we spent some time going over this. If you wish, you can listen to the Corries here or on our Videos tab.

  • How to ‘Damp’ – also known as Chunk, Chuck or Palm Mute. Following on from Finlay Allison’s workshop we had a go at ‘damping’. For those who missed the lesson or want to see a different tutorial, you can have a look at the following You Tube videos which explain the technique. Each is slightly different, but the important thing is to get the right sound when you damp/chunk. We started off by simplifying Finlay’s worksheet Damp Pattern to just damp/chunk on the third down stroke. We will try to follow more closely Finlay’s sheet along with the song Diana (Paul Anka) next week.

  • Doris Day Medley – On Moonlight Bay & By the Light of the Silvery Moon. There are some quick, tricky chord changes which just need a bit of practice. Otherwise it is sounding good.
  • Lili Marlene, version 1.1 – This is sounding good now.
  • When I’m Cleaning Windows, Key C – This is sounding better every time we try it. Most people are managing the Cdim7 chord now.
  • Wild Side of Life, version 2.1 – We hadn’t done this one for a while and it sounds pretty good, so we hope to include it in our next Playlist.

That was all we had time for! Thanks to everyone for yet another enjoyable ukulele get-together. Hope to see you all soon. 🙂

Donald Duck

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3rd May Round Up

cough-clipart-76A_4 May Malaise

My apologies for all the coughing and croaky noises coming from me today. Hopefully I haven’t passed anything on! Here are the main intimations first:

 

  • I have updated the Gig Volunteer list and you can see/download it here. Gig Volunteers @ 3rd May It will obviously change and change again, but the main points from it are:
  • Monday 9th May from 1pm for 30 minutes / 1 hour. – I have just had a new request to provide entertainment at Dundee Blind Society, 10-12 Ward Road on  Many thanks to the people who have volunteered at short notice to attend. I will confirm with Tracey from the DBPSS that a small group (7) will be there on Monday.
  • Tuesday 10th May – A reminder that our class next week  will be from 11am – 12.15pm. Thereafter, 19 of us us are going to Oaklands, Morven Place, (off Ancrum Road) from 1.15 – 2.15pm.
  • Thursday 19th May, Holy Trinity, Monifieth 2.00 – 4.00pm.
  • Friday 20th May – Finlay Allison Workshop @Perth. – all day
  • Thursday 26th May, Glebe Court Day Care, Kirriemuir 1.15 – 2.30pm.
  • Wednesday 8th June, Lyall Court, Kirriemuir 2.30 – 3.30pm
  • Thursday 9th June – Midlin Day Care Centre, 59 Pitkerro Drive
  • Sunday 19th June – Medieval Fair – 2 time slots: 1.30 – 1.45pm & 2.10 – 2.20pm
  • Monday 5th September – Michael Rosenberg Workshop @ Finmill Centre 2.00 – 4.00pm

The musical focus today was:

  • Al Jolson Medley – You Made Me Love You & Baby Face – This is now version 1.2. We practised the transition a couple of times and there is a definite improvement. With a couple more practices, we should be ready to perform this one publicly.
  • Old Folks at Home & Red Red Robin – having shortened the first song and worked on the transition, this is now version 1.1 on the website and here. Old Folks at Home and Red Red Robin in C v1.1
  • Doris Day Medley – On Moonlight Bay & By the Light of the Silvery Moon – We were a little tentative with our first effort at this one, but confidence soon grew and it is sounding pretty good. The last line has a few tricky chord changes, but just needs practice.
  • When I’m Cleaning Windows – Following several requests for George Formby songs, we finally had a go at this one. It introduces the chord Cdim7, so it is worth taking some time out to practice this and decide on which fingering suits you best. Personally, I think of the G chord shape on strings 2, 3 and 4 instead of the usual, then add the pinky on string 1/fret 3 (C chord). It was suggested that we could add an extra C chord at the end of each section to allow time to catch your breath. We will try it both ways again before deciding. See which way you prefer.
  • Blues in C – Let’s Uke – Sheet 1 –  We played the 12 bar blues, with the rockin’ rhythm. For those who have missed the initial tutorial, you can catch up here.

Many people found, when trying to do the blues shuffle on G, the ‘stretch’ on the G chord was really tricky. Alice discovered an easier way of fingering this. If you wish to have a look at Portly Knight doing it this way, then check out the following video. The relevant part is about three quarters of the way along / around the 5 minute mark.

We the had a look at Blues in C – Let’s Uke – Sheet 2. We tried singing along with the shuffle. We also tried reading the tab to pick out the tune. If you would like to see Ukulenny doing this again, ( along with other tricks) look below.

Well done to everyone who is giving this a go. I never envisaged we would ever contemplate tackling something like this. I am very impressed with everyone’s efforts. Hopefully, we can still have some fun with this one and play it in different ways.

Whilst I have been staying at home (being sensible!) I have completed a few new songs, which are now on our website. They are:

  • Lili Marlene
  • Side by Side
  • Roses O’ Prince Charlie
  • Daisy Daisy / Knees Up Mother Brown Medley

We won’t be doing them straight away, but will try them over the next few weeks. It would be great if you could print them off for future use.

Have a good week and hope to see you all soon. 🙂

 

New Songs + 9th Feb Round Up

I have added the following new songs to our website:

  • Dumbarton’s Drums – previously in Perth U3A format
  • Red River Valley – previously in Perth U3A format
  • Scarborough Fair
  • Top of the World
  • Daydream Believer
  • Love Letters In The Sand

We will work through the above over the next few weeks. Please print them off if possible. I will get some extra copies done next week.

9th February Round Up

DU Business:

  • Many thanks to all who have volunteered to go to Toll Crescent Sheltered Housing in Forfar on Monday 21st March. It is slightly oversubscribed with 12 ticks and 4 who could attend if needed. I think we will go with 12, even if it means a couple of people standing.
  • Thanks also to those who have completed menu choices and payment for the McGonagall Supper on Saturday 16th April. Tickets for Workshops and Supper will be provided by Marjorie (from Happy Ukes) in due course.

Songs practised:

  • Wartime Medley 1 – Version 2.1 in keys of D and C. There is a lot in this medley and it is beginning to sound quite good. Well done to everyone who is persevering with the chords of F#7 and B7+5. Practise moving from the chord before, to the tricky chord, to the chord after. Start slowly and gradually get up to the correct speed. We decided to miss out the last C strike at the end of the medley and just finish on the final Run! I also think we will just sing Pack Up Your Troubles …. and It’s a Long Way …once only as the two problem lines still grate on my ears!
  • Wartime Medley 2 – Version 1.1. This medley is sounding good. We just need to practise smooth transitions from one song to another. Just a reminder that for the last two lines of the medley stop playing after  the chord of C on the line “Til we [C] meet ….” and start to slow down. The last line is even slower with the ‘high’ finish if you wish.
  • Skye Boat Song – Well done to all those who have been practising the finger picking on this song. We decided to finger pick the intro as well as each chorus with those who prefer to strum just strumming quietly. It sounds lovely. I had a request to show a video tutorial of the finger picking pattern, but couldn’t find one exactly the same. The nearest I could get is Mike Lynch’s tutorial which uses different fingering which may confuse! If you wish to have a look, here it is. The fingering I suggested is Thumb on 4th string, Index finger on 3rd string, Middle finger on 2nd finger, Ring finger on 1st string. Mike uses the thumb for strings 4 and 3. The result is the same.

  • My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose – Version 1.1. This is sounding good. There was a suggestion that the song was missing a verse. I have checked various versions and found no additional words. In fact many were shorter, so we will leave well alone.
  • Loch Lomond – version 1.1. This is also being played and sung well. We decided to slow down the last line of the song. There is an option to miss out the C7, Em and G7 on the last line of each verse and chorus. Keep them in if you wish to practise quick chord changes.
  • Scotland the Brave – This was a very good first attempt at our new song. If you are not ready for the chord of E yet, E7 works just as well for this song.

We finished off the session with a few of our favourite songs. Thank you to all for contributing to another fun session. 🙂

If anyone is considering attending the Ukulele Festival of Scotland in Dumfries which takes place from 6th – 8th May, then you had better be quick as tickets and accommodation are all being snapped up. I am sure it will be a fantastic weekend. You can find out more if you wish by going to their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ukulelefestivalofscotland/?fref=photo     or their website on http://www.ukulelefestivalofscotland.co.uk/

Happy strumming! 🙂

Bright Side

 

Up And Running!

It was great to see everyone again @ Finmill Centre on Tuesday 12th January. We wish a speedy recovery to those who were unable to join us due to health reasons. Here is a summary of what we covered.

  • Upcoming Events:
    • Monday 25th January – U3A Burns Supper @ Queens Hotel, 5pm for 5.30pm start. This event is now fully subscribed. Some of our members will be doing solo spots!
    • Friday 18th March – A Dee Ukes gig has been provisionally booked @ St Mary’s Care Home, 39 Panmure Street, Monifieth. (There is a map available on Events tab) This will be from 2.00 – 2.45pm and there is room to  accommodate 12-15 people. I will ask for names next week.
    • Friday 15th April or Saturday 16th April – Ukulele Workshops @ Queens Hotel – more details to follow.
    • Thursday 19th May – Dee Ukes gig @ Holy Trinity, Monifieth, 2.00 – 4pm.  (map on Events tab) I will ask for names next week. There is no restriction on numbers for this one.
    • Sunday 4th or Monday 5th September – tbc – Ukulele workshop led by Michael Rosenberg from Australia who is visiting Dundee.  Click Michael Rosenberg if you would like some information about him.

We then started working on our wartime medleys, which went pretty well considering they were all new songs for us. As always, I have made a few changes which can either be written on your current sheets or you can print off version 1.1 for Wartime Medleys 1 and 2 from the website. (Go to the Songsheets tab / Current Songsheets, then scroll down to Wartime Medleys 1 and 2). The changes are as follows:

Wartime Medley 1 – the order of songs on page 1 has changed to:

  1. We’ll Meet Again
  2. Pack Up Your troubles
  3. It’s a Long Way …
  4. Pack Up Your Trouble & It’s a Long Way sung/played together
  5. Goodbye Dolly

Page 2 – Last line of I’ve Got Sixpence now reads As I go rolling home.

Change of chord to G7 on Run Rabbit end of line 4.

Dm chord box has been added to both pages.

Wartime Medley 2:

Page 1 is now My Eyes Are Dim with a different intro.

Page 2 is now Wish Me Luck, followed by keep the Home Fires, followed by Wish Me Luck – note the slightly different ending.

Hammer On

To add variety to your strumming we looked at how to use the hammer on technique. For those who missed it or those who would like to have another look, please see the video tutorial below. It is not too difficult and is very effective. Try it out if you have time.

 

Thanks to those who chose their favourite songs from last year. We will make time next week for others to choose. Looking forward to seeing you all again. 🙂

Video Tutorial

John suggested having a look at the following link to a tutorial by Brett McQueen. He demonstrates how to play the various sections of the Somewhere Over the Rainbow Medley. He uses slightly different chords which you may/ may not wish to try out and also sings the words differently, although we should stick to the words we have. The most interesting section of his video is the strumming pattern which he demonstrates very well. I think it would be worth having a look and decide if you find it helpful or not.

Click here for the link.

Happy strumming. 🙂

Chord Fingering Tips

Now that we have covered quite a few different chords I thought it might be worthwhile showing you a You Tube video link. Ukulele Mike has over 40 years of experience in playing and teaching ukulele and guitar. His video below gives great tips on how to play some of the basic chords we have covered. He demonstrates two different ways of playing chord D which is quite interesting especially for those who find it difficult to position three fingers in a line. Having said that, the bar chord requires quite a big stretch but may be better for those with soprano ukuleles. Note what he says about hand position and muscle memory!

Have fun. 🙂

Click here:   Chord Fingering Tips by Ukulele Mike