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Thread: Banjolele too loud for uke Clubs?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alleyoop View Post
    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?
    The original post doesn’t mention banjos only banjoleles (whilst similar they are also different instruments) so, to me, talking about banjos too doesn’t really help the OP. I hope that that is fair comment.

    As I read comments so far the consensus seems to be that moderate use is tolerable and in the spirit of Ohana or family (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohana). For what it’s worth I stick with the view that banjoleles should be by invitation only, to me it should be a priveldge awarded to appropriate players rather than a right - in short quite controlled use might be OK.

    As for the upset of people perhaps it’s simply best to explain the logic behind the descision to restrict the use of instruments other than Ukes (overly loud banjoleles spoil the meeting for other people), it’s not wilfully being mean to anyone but rather being fair to everyone. That there isn’t a right to play a banjolele in a Uke group and that to do so is a priveldege awarded by those that run the group and then only awarded with reservations. If you don’t feel strong or supported enough to control and moderate the use of banjoleles then I think that it would be best, simplest and fairest if you stayed firm in avoiding them and sticking to Ukes only in a Uke group.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 11-03-2017 at 04:07 AM.

  2. #22
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    Hey, just be reasonable...post this pic at the door, where there will be an armed security guard with an x-ray banjo detector. He should be strumming Bob Marley's "No Banjo, No Cry" on a 20's vintage Martin soprano.
    2017-11-03 07.45.56.jpg
    Ask NOT what your country can do for Uke...ask what Uke can do for your country.

  3. #23
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    I once went to an event carrying my CBU in a rectangular hard case. There was a security guy at the door, and he asked, "What have you got in there?"

    "An AK47", I replied, preparing to open it for inspection. He laughed and waved me through.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohanmike View Post
    I play bass uke and a mandolele, should I be banned because they're not a ukulele, should concert, tenor or baritone ukes be banned because they're not a soprano ukulele?
    Yes, rules should be very clear, addressing which tuning is allowed, string type- nylon, fluorocarbon, gut, scale length, construction and type of wood, use of pick or not, use of a strap or not, nut width, etc.

    By the time you are done you will be playing alone!

  5. #25
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    I run a large group with 50 or so folks. We are a Ukulele group, but welcome all acoustic instruments. I have had a few 12 string guitars show up for slack key. I usually approach them before we start and politely inform them to please respect that our Ukes are not as loud as a guitar and to please play at an appropriate level to blend in with the group. I have done the the same with the banjo uke and resonator players. Always with success and no problems.
    Keep Strummin'

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alleyoop View Post
    I run a successful uke club...
    I think you answered your own question.

    If you have a number of members who do not play banjoles recommend their inclusion, then you can pose the question to the group.

    I ran a classic car club a number of years ago, and you just have to set some rules or it goes completely out of control. You also have to understand that the few unofficial helpers get precedence over those who just show up and leave.

    As for bass, it is not a ukulele, but it is good to have to set a tempo and is a welcomed benefit, however, if a half-a-dozen showed up and played at a different tempo and style it would be a disaster.

    John

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilUSAFRet View Post
    I am having trouble seeing how banjo ukes can cause a problem when surrounded by 50 uke players. Perhaps you could allow ukes, but limit the number of them that play at any one time...kind of like basses. Perhaps you could require mutes as some have suggested. My personal experience as one who also plays banjo uke in a group is there has never been a problem, but then I do not find it difficult to strum it softly enough so as to not be overbearing. (hope my English teacher isn't looking down on that last sentence, LOL) I also don't think it's cool to just ban them outright. I could strum my Martin or Kamaka hard and loud enough to cause the same problem you are trying to avoid. One last idea.....identify certain songs on your list as "banjo appropriate" and let them take the lead. Sorry, no more thoughts on the matter.
    Phil has hit the nail on the head. Let the song choice determine whether any type of instrument adds to the presentation. If the song is colored by percussion, tuba, wash board, or bagpipes in a positive way then, by all means add the instrument. Shouldn't be too difficult to identify which genre that a banjolele would complement.

  8. #28
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    We have a large group too and a few show up with banjolele's sometimes, including myself, doesn't really disrupt anyone. What is annoying to me is the guy who loves his Tahitian "ukulele" that thing is loud and annoying and he's a compulsive noodler.

    oddly, I just ran across this...
    banjosound.jpg
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins | Fender Piha'eu - Worth Browns | Lanikai banjolele - Fremont Blacklines
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water
    UBass: Kala Rumbler - Pahoehoe

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkerDanno View Post
    We have a large group too and a few show up with banjolele's sometimes, including myself, doesn't really disrupt anyone. What is annoying to me is the guy who loves his Tahitian "ukulele" that thing is loud and annoying and he's a compulsive noodler.

    oddly, I just ran across this...
    banjosound.jpg
    Been there. Last year I was attending a Jim DeVille workshop and the guy I sat next to just kept doing this finger picking noodling thing wile Jim was talking. I think that it is all about expectations. I'm not a big strum-a-long group type person, but I'll do one if it is all there is, but I don't expect much from them. I guess I'm thinking that one organizes something, pretty much invites people to come and participate, the thing grows to fifty or more people, you are bound to attract people who have conflicting expectations. My advise, ditch the group and start over. Be more selective with the new group right from the git go. Keep the numbers down. Don't just let every Joe with an instrument walk in and do whatever they want.

    This kind of thing happens with small groups too though. I mean, I sort of started this little group of me and another fellow. He had a guitar. But then a fellow with a mandolin showed up, then a fiddle, and pretty soon we were a bluegrass group, started looking for a banjo player, and there wasn't a part for the ukulele. I moved on. That is just how it goes. No hard feelings. Musicians are always looking for opportunities to play, and conflict just happens. You either accept it, or walk away.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.
    There's more than one road into Richmond. Lil' Rev
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LEY9E_W5sw

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukantor View Post
    A banjo uses a skin (or similar diaphragm) stretched over a hoop. It is, in essence, a drum on a stick. The ukulele is very different. If there were no problem in accepting small banjos at ukulele gatherings then the OP would not have needed to ask the question. Quite clearly there is a problem, and my suggestion that a club should keep a couple of "loaners", for anybody who turns up with a banjo, is reasonable and not unfriendly.

    Any banjo player who objects to playing a ukulele at a ukulele club is not being reasonable. Whether or not small banjos are accepted where other banjos are played is not relevant.
    And yet again they are NOT banjos they are ukulele banjos and are a totally different instrument. Try playing a ukulele banjo alongside a five string 12 inch head banjo and see if you can hear the small one.
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

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

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