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

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Bayside Ukes To Play 2018 Sandy Village Festival

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Bayside Ukes will be performing this coming Sunday at the Sandringham Village Festival on the main stage in Melrose Street at 2.00 pm.

This is a great chance for fellow ukers and those planning to take up the ukulele to come and see what we do. It should be great fun and we look forward to meeting other ukulele players.

The festival is run by the Sandy Village Traders to showcase their businesses with stalls, food and entertainment for people of all ages. It is the tenth anniversary of this popular Bayside event and we are glad to be included.

Kat         BaysideUkesLogo

 

Ukulele Girls

Bayside Ukes Tuesday sessions are back on after a two-week break so hope to see everyone raring to go for the last term of 2018. We have some fun things in the pipeline.

Finally the weather is warming up after a long, cold, windy Melbourne winter and early spring. Hopefully everyone can rid themselves of the annoying coughs and colds that have plagued so many of us in the colder months and will enjoy playing their ukuleles in the sunshine.

I found this happy ukulele video that should get anyone in a good mood no matter what the weather. It’s called The Ukulele Girls and is by The Little Things who hail from South Florida. They performed their original and upbeat song at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For more information on this duo click on this link to their Facebook page.

Yes, I must say it is wonderful to be a ukulele girl!

Happy strumming!

Kat

Bayside Ukes is Back for 2018!

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Bayside Ukes is raring to go in 2018. Hope all our members have had a great summer break and are looking forward to some more ukulele fun.

Tomorrow evening (Tuesday, January 30) our sessions will recommence at the Hampton Community Centre from 7.00 pm. New members are very welcome or if you are visiting our town just pop in.

Hope to see you all there.

Kat, Bayside Ukes Member.

UKULELE STRAPS: One Size does not fit all

Sometimes when you buy a product it does not always fulfill your expectations or ends up creating unforeseen problems. I have found this to be the case with the Ukulele Straps that I have purchased. Luckily I was able to come up with some creative solutions.

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My first Ukulele was concert sized and did not come with a strap button at the base so I bought a common lasso type that hung around my neck with a hook to support the ukulele at the sound hole. I thought that this was the best option, as the ukulele did not have the internal support needed to drill a hole for a strap button. After playing with the lasso strap for I while I found that the neck of my ukulele would wobble around as I played and always felt unstable which did not help my left hand fingering. I thought that if the strap anchored the neck in some way that this would resolve the problem. I had seen the type of straps designed for classical guitars where one end of the strap was tied to the neck and the other end came from behind the guitarists back to hook into the sound hole. I decided to change the lasso strap so that it supported my ukulele in this manner.

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First I undid the strap from its buckle, removed the hook and turned it to face the opposite direction. Next I reinserted the strap into the buckle and adjusted it so that it was long enough to go diagonally over my back and under the ukulele to connect to the bottom of the sound hole at the front. Then I sewed the free end of the strap back on itself to form a loop and ran a strong shoelace through this and tied it to the head under the strings. (a word of caution: don’t let go of the neck or the ukulele will flop forward, come adrift from the strap hook and fall to the floor). Now with the ukulele supported in this way the neck no longer wobbled when I played and I did not need to buy a new strap.

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My second ukulele does have a strap button and I first bought a thin leather Mandolin strap, but this always slipped around on my back and drove me crazy. Fortuitously I received a colourful brocade strap as a birthday present that was wider and less likely to slip. It had leather fittings to attach to the neck and strap button. When I went to attach it I found that the leather was very stiff and thick and it was really hard to fix it around the button, which is also the output jack of the electric pick-up. Eventually I managed to get it on. It was quite a tight fit because the jack button was not very deep. Over time the tightness of the strap started to unscrew the jack and that was not very desirable, so I took off the strap. As I really liked it, I decided to shave off some of the leather on the back of the strap with a scalpel blade to reduce the thickness by about half around the jack button. Now the end moves freely without undoing the jack and I can still use my favourite strap.

You don’t need to put up with these irritating problems. There is always a solution and a bit of simple DIY can customize a strap or you could even make your own. So get creative!

Kat, Bayside Ukes Member

Bayside Ukes Resumes 12 July

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Hi Everyone,

Bayside Ukes will return to the Hampton Community Centre next week on Tuesday 12 July at 7pm.

New members are welcome to join our friendly group of ukulele players.  Please be on time to register for the evening.  The session will begin at 7:15 sharp and remember to bring your copy of The Ukulele Club Songbook and a music stand.

We hope everyone had a fabulous holiday break.  If you have not picked up your ukulele because of too much holiday cheer, now is the time to start practising.

We would also like to thank those members of the group who gave up two days of their holiday to perform for two local groups of senior citizens.  We all had a great time.

This term we plan to be doing more performances so get ready to learn some new songs.

The two ten week term dates for the second half of the year are:

TERM 3:  12th July – 13th September

TERM 4 : 4th October – 13th December

My Second Ukulele

Someone once told me “you can never have too many ukuleles”. I heartily agree.

For a long time I have been considering the purchase of a second ukulele.  The first ukulele I bought was a concert, and I still find it enjoyable to play, however sometimes I have thought it would be nice to buy a second ukulele with a different sound.

The trouble with buying another ukulele is there are so many styles and makes available that it became difficult to make a decision.  It is not just about the size of ukulele to buy, whether soprano, concert, tenor, baritone or bass.  Or whether it is an acoustic or acoustic/electric.  You must also consider whether you want a commercially manufactured ukulele from Australia or overseas, or do you want your ukulele custom made by a luthier to your own specifications.  Maybe you would like to build your own ukulele just for fun?  In any case you must choose how your ukulele is constructed.  This is where buying a ukulele has became more complicated and I referred to several buying guides.

http://coustii.com/types-of-ukuleles/

http://thehub.musiciansfriend.com/folk-instrument-buying-guides/ukuleles-how-to-choose

http://www.get-tuned.com/types-of-ukuleles.php#baritone

http://liveukulele.com/gear/buying-tips/

I found this information very helpful but it not make my decision any easier.

My next line of enquiry was to look at ukulele players to see how they have built their collections.  For a start, does the collection show the progression in quality from a cheap ukulele to an expensive ukulele as the collector’s playing ability improved?  Or does the collection seem a random mix of ukuleles with different body shapes, woods, finishes and construction methods?  Ultimately does the collector continue to play each ukulele?  On the Internet you can find many ukulele collections, but I find the most interesting sites are of collectors talking or writing about their ukuleles.

http://www.nutthouse.com.au/ukulele/mystory.html

Both of these collectors seem very passionate about their ukuleles, and I think it is inevitable for players to develop an emotional attachment to their instruments.

As I already owned a concert size ukulele I did not really want to buy another one.  I could have looked at a resonator, but another member of our group has one and I thought that two could be too loud at the one time.  I ruled out buying a soprano ukulele, as my two arthritic fingers would have trouble negotiating the shorter fret-board and I ruled out a baritone ukulele because it uses guitar tuning.  So this narrowed it down to buying a tenor ukulele.

After my research I finally decided it was the moment to buy my second ukulele.  I knew I did not have the patience or skill with tools to make my own and I did not want a custom made ukulele from a luthier as my skill as a player is not good enough justify the cost.  Also I did not want to buy an instrument online because I wanted try a variety of ukuleles to find the one that was comfortable to play, had a good tone, was visually appealing and was an acoustic/electric.  Sometimes it is nice to be loud.

After checking out several music sites online to see what was in stock, I went to a local music store to look for a ukulele.  The selection was between three good quality tenor acoustic/electric ukuleles.  I did not want to be indecisive and go from store to store so I knew it was between these three ukuleles.  There was an eight-string ukulele that sounded rather impressive.  In the past I had considered an eight-string ukulele for the different sound it would bring to the group.  It was not for me.  Unfortunately I found it difficult to play, as I could not always evenly press both strings with my arthritic fingers.  Also there was the annoying thought of restringing the eight strings.  The other two ukuleles had the usual four strings.  Both were beautifully made with a good tone, with fingerboards of the same dimensions and they were the same price.  The difference came down to one having slightly deeper sides on the body than the other.  This was the one I chose.  It has a good tone, is easy to play, it produces a good volume of sound and is pleasant to hold and to look at.

I will not reveal the manufacturer’s name because that is not the point of this article.  When you choose a ukulele it is a totally subjective decision that should not be based on advertising and brand recognition.  When choosing a ukulele you need to use both your head and your heart and buy the instrument of the best quality you can afford.  After all, you will be spending a lot of time together.  Happy hunting!

Zilla

Bayside Ukes Member