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.

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Bayside Ukes Sessions 2017

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Bayside Ukes returns to the Hampton Community Centre on Tuesday, January 31 at 7 pm.

We hope everyone had a great holiday break and that you are all raring to play at our group sessions.  Looking forward to seeing you all there.  New members are always welcome.

Kat  and Zilla,  Bayside Ukes Members

There’s More than One Way to do a Ukulele Song

In a ukulele group there is always a lot of debate about how to do a particular song.  Some people think that imitating the original version is the only way to go, while others have their favourite cover version that they like better.  Personally, I think that there is no right or wrong way to do a song, but as so many ukulele groups use identical song books and perform the same songs, I believe that a group should do it’s own arrangements.  If everyone did things the same way it would be a very boring world.

Coming from a visual art background, I have learnt that it is more creative to develop your own individual form of self-expression.  If you painted like Picasso or Monet it would hardly be your own take on the world.  The same goes for performing songs.  Unless you are a very good impersonator, nobody sounds the same vocally or has the same playing style as the original artist, so why try to replicate that version.  Here is where a group needs to forget about the original and play around to find a way that enhances their own sound and gives some room for creativity.

A good example of this is The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s version of Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush.  As a man, George Hinchcliffe has hardly the singing style of Kate Bush, yet he does a wonderful jazzy version of her song that suits his voice, uses the unique sound of the ukulele to full advantage and injects it with the personalities of the group’s members.  It just shows that a great song allows so many possibilities for interpretation.

A song with a solo vocalist is also going to sound completely different when done by a large number of singers.  If everyone sings the same melody together it could sound very monotonous and possibly messy, which will not add anything to the performance.  This is where it pays to rearrange the vocals for a group.  For instance, when The Langley Ukulele Ensemble did a ukulele take on Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl, the male ukulele players sang the main vocal together then combined in harmony with the female players.  One member did a ukulele solo, while the others strummed and picked the rhythm.  Their performance has great clarity and is very appealing.  The arrangement makes the most of the large number of performers and enhances their particular sound.

So experiment with a song.  Change it to suit the particular voices in the group, whether male of female.  This can include altering the key and tempo, as well as introducing various harmonies.  With the ukuleles you can change the rhythm patterns or do combinations of compatible strums, and create fingerpicking parts.  The ukulele is never going to sound the same as a guitar so work with its particular feel good tone.  Don’t be afraid to leave out solos meant for guitar, or if there is a member who feels confident with these, they can do a ukulele solo.  The possibilities are endless.

Of course as you gain experience it becomes easier to do your own arrangements.  You can start with something simple, like tempo, whether slowing a song down or speeding it up. The main thing is to have an open mind and a willingness to give it a go.  If you have trouble, get together with someone else in the group.  Two heads are better than one.

Don’t be stuck in a rut or a slave to convention.  Try to be as innovative as you can and stamp a song with your group’s unique personality.  It will be that much more enjoyable to play and your audience will thank you.

Kat

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

Welcome Back!

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Bayside Ukes will return to the Hampton Community Centre next week on Tuesday 2nd February at 7pm.  Please be on time as members will need to register for the year.  The session will begin at 7:15 sharp and remember to bring your copy of The Ukulele Club Songbook.  This year the Hampton Community Centre has increased their Fee to $6.00 a person per session.

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 look forward to seeing you at our first session.  New members are welcome to join our friendly group of ukulele players.

Check out this ukulele version of Welcome Back.

 

Who says You can’t play the Ukulele?

You want to learn to play the ukulele and a little voice in your head says, “It’s too hard” or “I’ll never be able to play it perfectly.”  A critical family member or friend may say that you are not musical or you can’t sing so “stop that awful noise.”  Well don’t let your inner Demon of Perfectionism or anyone else deny you the pleasure you will gain from playing this fantastic little instrument.

The ukulele is an instrument that you can take up at any age.  Even a child can do it.  As US performer Amanda Palmer says in her Ukulele Anthem:

             “You can play the ukulele too, It is painfully simple,

Play your ukulele badly, Play your ukulele loudly,…….

        Limit yourself to three chords,  And do not practice daily.”

It is meant to be fun, not a chore.  You can be as casual or as serious as you like.

You don’t need to be a musical virtuoso to play the ukulele, as it is primarily a rhythmic and percussive instrument that contributes to the beat of a song.  It is easy to sing along with simple chord strums on the ukulele.  If you don’t want to sing you can concentrate on fingerpicking the melodies beginning with simple ones.  You will get better if you set yourself small goals and will be surprised at how far you can progress.

As for the cost, a basic ukulele is relatively cheap and highly portable.  You can take it anywhere to practice.  There are also plenty of free resources on-line to help you to learn to play basic chords (see the Links on this website).

Joining a local ukulele group will help you to improve and is a lot of fun.  There is no need to feel isolated.

So do yourself a favor and jump into the wonderful world of the Uke!

Kat

Bayside Ukes Member