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.
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!
Bayside Ukes Member
Daily I hear you respond; alas that is my aim but not my reality. However I do have a Ukulele practice plan that works well for me. I have 5 steps which last around 5 minutes each, these are very loose time frames as each practice session goes for 30 – 40 minutes.
Step 1. Finger Warm Up:
Using all 4 fingers I work my way up the strings. Starting on the A string I play the first fret (index finger) second fret (middle finger) third fret (ring finger) and little finger on the fourth fret. I then move my index finger to the second fret of the E string and again play 4 frets. I do this on all 4 strings and then work my way back again.
Place 4 fingers anywhere on the A string and then move them one at a time onto the E string/C string/G string. I do this one at a time and also by twos and threes. Moving the middle finger and little finger in unison is a challenge. I have heaps of these made up finger workouts.
Step 2. Simple songs.
Choose songs with a maximum of 3 chords. These I play and sing, making sure to hold a steady rhythm and not to look down at the Ukulele.
Step 3. Strumming and fingerpicking.
Some strums I cannot do unless I am thinking Down/Down/ Up/Down/Up or whatever. I do not worry about the chords but just do the strum and sing at the same time, with the aim of trying to make the strums more automatic. I practise any of the fingerpicking in our songs and have downloaded practice fingerpicking exercises from the internet. This is where I also practice barre chords.
Step 4. Single Song that needs work.
This could be a group song or just one I am working on myself. I start by playing the chords through. I play the song and the moment I hesitate is where I start. I play that piece over and over. The aim being to get through the piece without any hesitation.
Step 5. Play pieces I like playing.
Often this will include a new piece, some familiar ones and always some chord melodies.
What do you do?
Bayside Uke Member
Happy New Year to all our members and Welcome to our new website.
It was wonderful to finish 2015 with the group and solo performances at our end of year party, and to see so many individual members entertain everyone with some new songs.
We look forward to many great ukulele sessions in 2016.
Term Dates For The First Half of 2016
Term 1: Tuesday 2nd February – Tuesday 22 March.
Term 2: Tuesday 12th April – Tuesday 21st June