View Full Version : Uke Club Problem

02-25-2009, 04:29 PM
Anyone every have this problem. We started a uke club a couple of years a go and it fizzled. The format was just to sit around and "Jam". Well last year I restarted the uke club. At the advice of others at various forums I started giving beginning classes. Attendance really picked up. Now I have some of the members who are experienced performers expressing unhappiness with the new format, they just want to sit around an jam. They even asked me to move the class to a different time so they wouldn't be tortured by it.

Last meeting the experienced ones kind of took over and we just sat around and jammed and the "pros" critiqued the beginners. Also it's supposed to be fun and the pros hardly ever smile, too serious. I had to hurry throught he class I prepared. The hell of it is the only reason the pros come now is because attendance is up. In the past they quit coming because there was no one there to "JAM" with. Now I am seeing the format ran the beginners off.

The other new members (vast majority) are beginners and were kind of upset about the whole thing. I'm getting calls and folks want to have a class, don't/can't play advanced songs and like some structure. I had one person that used to love the meetings say they felt like they had to "endure until 8:30". Other said they felt intimidated.

Now I would like to come up with some tactful way to deal with this. How do you other folks that organize groups deal with the mix of pro vs beginner?

02-25-2009, 04:48 PM
Rayan or any UU Staff can you delete this post I put it in the wrong forum by accident. I am goging to repost in the correct place. I apologize.

02-25-2009, 07:15 PM
You sound like a take control kind of guy.

You should keep it all separate, "the sit around jam group", "the ukulele class for beginners", and the "pros". Three different nights. And keep it all open door, every ukulele player needs a place to hang out and play.

The "sit around jam group" can take turns and lead a song or pass. The lead singer sets the key, the speed, the strumming, let's everyone know the chords used and jam away. This group will take care of itself, no teacher required. Normally this is where the pro's come to relax. You have guys that only play, but don't sing; guys that just follow along and learning; and guys that sing and play. Everyone joking with each other about there singing and playing. Jam sessions are fun times.

The ukulele class is for learning. Classes are structured and outlined. You need the best pro jam person to teach this class. This should be an on-going open class where anyone can start at any point or leave at any point. Sorry no credits.

The "Pro" group, a very selective group. Invitation only. This is where the ukulele gods hang out. Our way or the highway. There is a leader, usually a comedian. They usually give themselves a name. They are good enough in there own minds to put on shows. They are always on the look out for good ukulele players or singers. Very structured. They put in a lot of practice time for the next gig. And when they get bored with each other, they hang out with the "sit around and jam" guys.

Formats are not carved in stone. Keep it flexible. But most inportant, it has to be fun!

I'm a pro-jammer.

02-25-2009, 10:56 PM
Maybe you could have the first part of the meeting to go through lessons and techniques and then the remaining time to play through songs. That way you could say e.g. 7:00 to 8:00 beginners / lesson, 8:00 to 10:00 Jam (or whatever you want to call it. That way people can decide which parts they want to attend. I would hope that most will attend both parts, but if the times are clear they make up their own minds.