From the Bay to the Hills

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Bayside Ukes is very busy at the moment getting ready for our spot at the Hills Ukulele Festival on Sunday, May 19. We will be performing on the main stage at 11.00 am and are very excited to have been invited to participate in this wonderful event.

The Hills Ukulele Festival takes place from May 18 & 19 at Emerald, situated in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges which are part of the Greater Melbourne area. For anyone unfamiliar with this precious and scenic area of Victoria the following drone video should give you an idea .

For more information about the Hills Ukulele Festival go to the website by clicking here.

I’m sure many players and fans of the ukulele will greatly enjoy this event and the wonderful setting.  Hope to see you there.

Kat

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Ukulele Tutorial: To Love somebody

It’s been very hot down under with too many bushfires. You can smell the smoke in Melbourne. Time for a cool and calming song.

The following tutorial, given in a picturesque winter setting by Bosco of Ukulele Cheats, demonstrates how to play the beautiful To Love Somebody by the Bee Gees, with lots of playing tips. Love the way he can still play in freezing conditions without his fingers going numb.

Great to see so many members back on board last week. We had a fun session revisiting songs and trying a new one.  Looking forward to Tuesday night.

Kat

Bayside Ukes Back for 2019

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On Tuesday, January 29 at 7 pm, Bayside Ukes are back at the Hampton Community Centre.

As we head into our sixth year we plan to include some new and exciting songs that will sound great on the ukulele and will enhance everyone’s playing and singing skills.

This year there will also be plenty of opportunities for those who are raring to get out and perform with the group.

We are lucky enough to have many dedicated members, some of who play more than one instrument and are happy to share their knowledge with newcomers.

To get the most out of our sessions, we recommend that absolute beginners have some lessons before joining the group. Also see our Links page for online lessons. Beginners who can already play some basic ukulele chords will benefit greatly from playing with more experienced players and should improve quickly with our help.

We are a friendly bunch so don’t be afraid to come along and join us. It’s cheaper than a pint of beer or a glass of good wine and much more fun.

For more information on our sessions see the About section in the above menu.

Kat

A Hot Ukulele New Year

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Summer is in full swing in Australia as we head into 2019, with extreme heatwaves affecting much of the country. For us lucky ones down south near the coast it has not been quite so hot, but there’s a scorcher in the forecast.

What better way than to celebrate the New Year with a scorching rock song. Here’s The The Australian Ukulele Show with a blistering version of Thunderstruck by Aussie legends AC/DC accompanied by ukulele legend, Jake Shimabukuro at the Byron Blues Fest. Talk about generating some fireworks.

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year from Bayside Ukes and if it’s cold where you are generate your own heat with some smoking hot ukulele songs.

Kat

Happy Holidays from Bayside Ukes

 

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Bayside Ukes has finished its sessions for the year. We’ve had a great year with several performances, the most memorable being the Sandy Village Festival in October.

A big thank you to all our members for making 2018 such a wonderful, fun year. Your enthusiasm for the ukulele is what it is all about.

Thank you also to all those who have supported this blog. It’s great to have an audience of fellow Ukulele lovers.

Just for fun here are a couple of festive songs that are just made for the ukulele. The first is performed by the fabulous Memphis Ukulele Band. The chords can be found on the Doctor Uke website.  The second, being typically Aussie, is just plain silly. For a link to the ukulele chords click here.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Holiday with lots of ukulele joy.

Kat

Baritone Ukuleles: The Uke with Punch

I recently purchased a baritone uke because I wanted one with a deeper sound than my faithful concert ukulele. It’s a great alternative to a tenor ukulele, especially if you have played the guitar. The chords are very similar because the baritone is tuned to DGBE, which is the same as the top 4 strings of a guitar. There is also the advantage of four strings, rather than six, which makes it easier to play for those with RSI or arthritis who may be having problems with left hand fretting on guitar.

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Some people are put off from playing this great instrument because it requires different chord shapes from GCEA tuned ukuleles to be in the same key (G chord is C chord shape while D chord is G chord shape). For guitar players this is less of a problem, but it still can be tricky if you a jumping between uke sizes and find yourself playing the wrong chord shape. This can do your head in at times. It does become easier with practice and this type of switching is good for the brain. In the beginning you need to work out the DGBE shapes where a song only gives the GCEA chords. Some songs are easier than others but with practice and a little forethought it will get better. Free Baritone chord charts can easily be found online.

I have played the guitar and I find that some songs just sound richer with the similar tuning of the baritone, particularly songs that I played or wrote on my guitar. Having a baritone in a group gives the overall sound more of a punch. On my instrument the D and G string are wound nickel over nylon, which are very resonant and add a lot of depth to a piece. The other two strings are nylon. I find that when I strum these metal strings with my nails it wears them down so I use a pick. This would not be such a problem for pickers who use the pads of their thumb and fingers or those with synthetic nails.

It is very satisfying to be able to play different sized ukuleles. For me it is the concert and baritone. Others may prefer the soprano and the tenor. If you want to try something different don’t be put off the baritone because the chords seem more difficult. You may have already played these shapes by another name in standard tuning.

Ukulele Mike gave a great explanation of the difference between baritone and GCEA tuned ukuleles with plenty of good advice in the following video.

Here is another baritone ukulele tutorial that packs in a lot of information for both beginners and more experienced players.

For those who want to develop their finger picking on the baritone this lesson takes you through simple to more complex picking patterns with clear instructions.

So give the baritone ukulele a try. Although it is similar to a small guitar, it’s still a ukulele and sounds great when played with other ukes of various sizes.

Kat.

Bayside Ukes: The Sandy Village Festival 2018

Well we did it, and what a fun time we had. It was a beautiful day, with a sea breeze from the nearby Port Phillip Bay. The beach road is directly behind the Stage, hence the rumbling noises in the background of our song videos.

We were really lucky with the fine weather and there was a large audience. They seemed to enjoy our performance for which we are very thankful.

Here are a couple of our videos.

More videos of this day can be viewed on the Bayside Ukes YouTube channel. Just click here.

Happy strumming,

Kat