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Thread: Banjolele too loud for uke Clubs?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Courtenay, BC, Canada
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    Default Banjolele too loud for uke Clubs?

    I run a successful uke club on Vancouver Island. I have discouraged the use of banjoleles because of their 'loudness'. This has upset some folk. The hall we play in is quite large ... there are about 50 of us and the room does fill up. Should I relent and permit banjoleles or stay firm in avoiding them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Bowral NSW AUSTRALIA
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    You could ask them to use mutes, there are various ways to quieten those little beasts
    All the best,
    Campbell

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Minneapolis, MN, USA
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    My wife's banjo uke is open backed and she sticks some material in there to calm it down. Maybe better to encourage people to listen to each other and complement the overall sound than to ban some instruments.
    I am the best ukulele player on my block!

  4. #4
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    West Midlands GB
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    If you are running a club for ukulele players then it should be for ukuleles only. Banjos are not ukuleles, even if they do have the same scale length and the same tuning. The sound of a banjo is not compatible with ukuleles. Even when damped down to reduce the excessive volume, banjos have a penetrating, "clacky" quality which is quite out of character in company with ukuleles.

    I can't understand why anyone would object to being asked to use a ukulele at a ukulele club. Even if their intention is mainly to play the banjo, outside of the club, it is not a big imposition to be expected to buy a cheap soprano ukulele to use on ukulele club nights. If I were organising a ukulele club, I would keep a couple of cheapies handy for loaning to any itinerant banjo players who might turn up.

    John Colter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Chicago
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    Sometimes I wish our club could require people to pass an examination before they get to play banjo ukes:

    • Do you know how to play this thing softly?
    • Do you understand the stylistic difference between Hello Ma Baby, Hello Ma Honey, Hello Ma Ragtime Gal and Michelle, Ma Belle?
    • Can you stay on beat? Seriously.

    Of course I don't really want to play in a group that requires banjo licensing. Heck, an hour from now I'm headed off to uke club with my Firefly. I hasten to add that a Firefly is a nicely-behaved open-back banjo uke that is not hard to tame and blends very nicely with other ukes if you play it with any sense whatsoever.

    What you might try is pick a meeting and call it "Banjo Uke Night" and encourage everyone who has one to bring it. If that night is a disaster, it might convince the people whose noses are out of joint. If it turns out mostly ok, then you might as well let the banjos in.

    If it's only a few players who are too loud, maybe your club has respected leaders with good social skills who can take someone aside and gently suggest how to stuff a sock in it (literally or figuratively).

    Now if we could just deal with the resonator ukes and the guitars.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    U.K.
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    The Uke Club that I attend does allow Banjo Ukes but I have mixed feelings about them. When there’s a limited number and they are played well by experts then they do add to the evening. However they can drown out other players (rather than support them) and if played badly then they put others off or confuse. To further confuse the issue Banjo Ukes come in different sizes and loudness, but perhaps what’s most important is how much sound (limit of) should any one player be allowed to generate. Maybe a halfway house here is to allow, on individual request and agreement between the leaders and member, Soprano Banjo Ukes (only). Personal amplification of a standard Uke isn’t allowed and that principle of broad equity of sound output works for us, YMMV.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 11-02-2017 at 01:54 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Mine is a closed back resonator one and it is LOUD. When I was running a ukulele group myself I never took it along. In fact it's languishing in the loft just now because I find it too loud to sing over. I know someone who brought one to an open mic because it was loud enough without plugging it in as the previous time she'd had problems with the mics for voice and uke being too close together leading to problems with feedback.

    I think you are probably right to at least discourage people from bringing them though you might consider saying OK if they show they can moderate them and reserve the right to ask them not bring them again if they don't act sensibly.
    Geoff Walker

    I have several ukuleles in various sizes and am not planning on getting any more...

    at least, not yet.

    I also play some blowy things and a squeezy thing

    Internet:
    You Tube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TootlinGeoff
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    NJ, USA
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    So many things can go wrong, I would just avoid it. It's an ukulele club; if they want to play banjoleles let them form their own banjolele club.
    __̴ı̴̴̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡*̡̡ ̴̡ı̴̴̡ ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ ̡ ̴̡ı̴̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡̡.___

    Kala SMHCE-C | Outdoor Tenor | KA-SRT-CTG-CE

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Pensacola, Florida
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    My group has several people that own banjo-Ike’s. They don’t bring them often and generally control them. Only on rare occasions has one been overbearing. I say let them play but tell them to respect the songs and the other players. We are a pretty loose group. One guy even brought a.......Mandolin!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
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    574

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    Quote Originally Posted by ukantor View Post
    If you are running a club for ukulele players then it should be for ukuleles only. Banjos are not ukuleles, even if they do have the same scale length and the same tuning. The sound of a banjo is not compatible with ukuleles. Even when damped down to reduce the excessive volume, banjos have a penetrating, "clacky" quality which is quite out of character in company with ukuleles.

    I can't understand why anyone would object to being asked to use a ukulele at a ukulele club. Even if their intention is mainly to play the banjo, outside of the club, it is not a big imposition to be expected to buy a cheap soprano ukulele to use on ukulele club nights. If I were organising a ukulele club, I would keep a couple of cheapies handy for loaning to any itinerant banjo players who might turn up.

    John Colter.
    They are not banjos, they are banjo ukes, or to give them their correct name, ukulele banjos.
    Perhaps allowing them 15 or 20 minutes on club night might be the way to go. Just banning them sounds a bit draconian.
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

    dpophotography@yahoo.co.nz
    Southern Cross banjo ukes
    New Zealand

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