Bayside Ukes at the Hills Ukulele Festival 2019

Bayside Ukes had a fun day on Sunday performing at the Hills Ukulele Festival, held at the Emerald Primary School in Emerald, Victoria.  The weather was perfect, with sunshine and a light mountain breeze.  It was a pleasant drive through the hills and lots of people had made the trip to attend the event.

Bayside Ukes members enjoyed performing nine songs on the main stage for an appreciative audience. Thank you to everyone for your hard work with the rehearsals and for your good humour.

The festival was very relaxed and it was enjoyable seeing the other groups who were programmed throughout the day.  There was great food and coffee and a ukulele market place that was very popular.

Thank you Dan and Emerald Primary School for hosting a wonderful festival.  We had a wonderful time and will definitely put it in our calendar for next year.

Kat

Misty Mountain Hop Where the Ukuleles Fly

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If the bustle and stress of city life is getting you down there is nothing like a change of scenery to refresh the spirit, especially were there are multitudes of ukuleles. That’s a good reason to head to the Dandenong Ranges for the Hills Ukulele Festival next weekend.

On Sunday May 19 at 11am Bayside Ukes will be playing on the main stage at Emerald Primary School. For more information see the previous post on this website.

Here’s a song to get you in the mood for a trip to the hills.

We’ll be packing our ukes for the misty mountains, up to hills where the ukulele spirit flies! Come and join us.

Kat

Hills Ukulele Festival 2019

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Only two weeks until the Hills Ukulele Festival in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges.  As you can see, Bayside Ukes is amongst some great company on the above poster.

Those of us in Bayside Ukes, who are taking part, have been practicing hard and we will be playing some fun songs to get everyone’s feet tapping. Our set is on Sunday, May 19 at 11 am on the main stage.

The following flyer gives the location and some of the activities to found at the festival.

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There will be lots of ukulele performers and it should be a very enjoyable weekend’s entertainment. For bookings and other information go to the HUF website.

Hope to see you there.

Kat

More War Songs on Ukulele

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Tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand is Anzac Day when we remember those who gave their lives in wars.  To commemorate this important event here are some song covers on ukulele that deal with various aspects of war.

The following songs were all written about the Vietnam conflict and are still relevant today.

I-Feel-Like-I’m Fixin’-to-Die Rag, by Country Joe and the Fish, with it’s wonderful use of dark humour, was made famous by their performance at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. The following cover sounds great on the baritone ukulele.

Pink Floyd’s Us and Them, from the album Dark Side of the Moon, is a powerful  and haunting song about war. The following version has been adapted for the ukulele.

New Order’s song Love Vigilantes (1985) about a soldier longing to return to his family has been covered by other artists, but none are as poignant as this raw and emotional ukulele version. I think it says it all.

Ukuleles, since the beginning of the last century, have become a popular instrument for those in the Services and when we play some commemorative songs on Anzac Day we can remember them.

Kat

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

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.