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mikelz777
02-22-2015, 06:59 AM
Do you like the music that your ukulele group plays? I would define "like" as you do play or would have chosen to play the song(s) on your own, independent of the group or its influence?

I thought it would be fun to play with a group of other ukers so I decided to test the waters and attend an open gathering. The repertoire played by the group (2-3 uke clubs) was stuff like Five Foot Two, You Are My Sunshine, Shine On Harvest Moon, All Of Me and the like. I didn't say it out loud but I thought to myself, "What's up with all these stale, corny songs?" There was an attempt at playing a "cooler" song for the group, a hit song from the 60's, but it was played at such a slow tempo it was really hard to get into. It wasn't until they had an open-mike portion of the gathering that some cooler, more interesting songs were performed. Out of curiosity, I checked out the web site of one of the groups in attendance and they happened to have their group songbook listed. Of the 70+ songs listed there, I could only find 3-4 that I would have chosen to play on my own and even those, I wouldn't have played very often.

Do groups tend to gravitate towards those type of songs because they supposedly sound good on or are associated with the ukulele? Is it because they are good singalong songs for a group of people? Is it a sign of the music tastes of the people who are in charge or that tend to drive the group? Do you see this trend in your group or is it different? I think it's one of the things that's holding me back from attending a group. I do play that type of music on occasion and even have some of it in my own songbook (though none of the songs listed above) so I'm not totally opposed to it but I wouldn't enjoy it predominantly on a regular basis.

Just for a point of reference, here are some of the artists found in my songbook as I page through it: Bob Dylan, Walk Off The Earth, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Herman's Hermits, Emmylou Harris, John Prine, Jimmy Buffet, Hank Snow, Hank Williams, The Derailers, The Everly Brothers, Don Gibson, The Band, Eddie Cochran, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Buck Owens, Red Sovine, Jimmy Rogers, Leon Redbone, Counting Crows. I'd be interested in hearing others thoughts and experiences.

Cfiimei
02-22-2015, 07:16 AM
This is why I play alone. I know the uke was very popular in the 20's, but that does seem to be the only type of music they play in groups around here. These days I mostly improvise, and usually just for myself or whoever happens to be in the living room. When I do play preexisting music I only play what calls to me. Your songbook list appeals to me. I've done the Beatles a fair bit, lots of 60s and 70s stuff, as well as some G&R (Sweet Child o Mine adapts nicely) etc. I also find Some Celtic music can be hauntingly beautiful on the uke. That's MY opinion though. The beautiful thing about music is the wide choices we all have and the different types that people enjoy and play. Heck, now I want to go twist Five Foot Two into a dark fingerstyle piece.....

katysax
02-22-2015, 07:19 AM
It depends on the group. There is definitely a "thing" with uke groups that they often tend to play these older songs at least some of the time.

I wish there was a group around here (Los Angeles San Fernando Valley) that played more Hawaiian music. I enjoy Hawaiian music on the uke but the folks that play it are a pretty far drive. The group I play with most of the time plays a pretty wide range of things. We do play some of the old stale stuff, but also play a lot of newer stuff. They way our group works anyone can bring in a song and teach it to the group. If the song is too hard or too different it usually doesn't stick. We do play a lot of Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and the Beatles. But we also play "Five Foot Two" and "All of Me". We play some Jimmy Buffett, Everly Brothers, etc. But for me I've tried various groups and where I've stayed has depended to some extent on where I find the music to be enough fun enough of the time.

Similarly, I like having a group that is open to beginners, but out of the group of 30 or so regulars that we have at least five of the players are very good musicians and at least 10-15 of the rest are at least solid players. We also have a handful of people who can really sing. When we learn a song it can sound pretty good. If I play with a group and the musicianship is just dreadful, I don't want to go back. It doesn't have to be great, just at least acceptable.

But the combination of bad repertoire and bad musicianship has turned me off to a lot of groups that I've tried playing with over the years. (In my case this isn't just uke I play guitar and woodwinds so I've played with, or at least tried to play with, a large range of musical groups). Each group has its own culture. You probably attended a group that was not a good fit. Depending where you live there might not be a lot of alternatives for you.

Some groups are open to new influences, new music choices, etc. Others are very rigid. If the group is rigid and you don't like the music, not much you can do.

Icelander53
02-22-2015, 07:22 AM
It's one reason I've been reluctant to check out uke groups. I mean you'd think with all us baby boomers taking up the uke you'd get a little more variety. I have enough problem finding one person to practice with where we really get off on each others music.

My last practice partner really didn't understand rock and roll being a classical music person and really didn't herself bring much of anything to the table. There was a huge imbalance that eventually ended the practice partnership. Now I'm on the hunt and I figure it won't be very easy to find someone my age who is also into the uke and also into a lot of 70s rock.

ricdoug
02-22-2015, 07:53 AM
We don't have that issue in San Diego and Orange County California. There are 'ukulele kanikapila 7 days a week with multiple groups on each day. Add to that all the acoustic jams here that accept 'ukulele players and you'll find one or more with the genres you like. One suggestion is to buy The Daily 'Ukulele books and Rise Up Singing. Rise Up Singing was written for guitar, but "chords are chords", just different fingering. Ric

DownUpDave
02-22-2015, 07:54 AM
I guess the best advice is keep looking. I suppose I am lucky as I attend three different uke jams on a regular basis and they all do a play list like your personal one. We will do everything from Bob Dylan to Lynard Skynard to Beatles to Rolling Stones to Bob Marlee etc. etc. So I assume there are other groups out there with baby boomers calling the shots. But if I did not like the song selection I would most likely not attend. Good luck

vonbiber
02-22-2015, 07:56 AM
I don't like most of the songs they play.
I understand that in a group it's not always easy to find songs that everybody like.
My problem with this group is:
1. There are 2 or 3 guys who are always in charge and they impose their songs
2. Beginners are often discouraged (there are a lot of newcomers that come a couple of times and never come back)
3. When someone brings a song, they don't let them sing it to show us how to do it but one of these 2 or 3 guys think they know better
and it's usually bad
4. There is no open mike

That's why I haven't been there for quite a while. I put up together my own songbooks with some of my favorite music:
cowboy songs, Irish and Scottish, old timey, Jimmy Rodgers, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Bob Wills, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Gospel,
some Beatles songs, some 50s and 60s songs.

Photojosh
02-22-2015, 07:59 AM
Is it because they are good singalong songs for a group of people? Is it a sign of the music tastes of the people who are in charge or that tend to drive the group?

I think it is a combo of these two.

The two groups in my area tend to skew towards the retirement age rather than the college age. That's not to pigeonhole anyone's musical tastes, but I suspect "5 foot 2" is a lot more known to that group than Emmylou Harris or even Dylan.

I personally don't have a lot of interest in the "large group" sound or experience. I think it's great that others like to play that way, and more power to them. But it's not for me.

AJ Hill
02-22-2015, 08:20 AM
In the uke clubs in this part of Australia you are either musically trapped in a cycle of beginner singalong numbers with no chance of progressing or a pub situation where the guy running the night is up on stage plugged in with the amps so loud you can't here your self playing along , so I've given up on uke clubs and take part in Jam sessions ,,where I am the only uke player amongst guitar players etc and find I am improving at a steady rate and the music we play is a lot more challenging

janeray1940
02-22-2015, 08:22 AM
Oh, that's a sticky subject! I play in two instrumental uke groups, and I personally like everything that both groups currently play - but sometimes I feel like I'm in the minority. We play an interesting mix of standards and pre-1970s stuff - mostly unexpected choices that are not traditionally associated with the uke in any way. For me, that's the music I know and love and grew up with, so it's my happy place. But I know not everybody feels the same; even though both groups are true "ensembles," implying instrumental music, some members have expressed interest in more strumming/singing stuff (there are plenty of other groups that do that around here); some members want to do pop stuff like Taylor Swift or Vance Whats-his-name and such (again, there are other groups that already do that).

Music is such a personal thing. It's really, really hard to please everybody in any group, particularly a large group with a diverse range of ages and cultural backgrounds. If a song is a good song - interesting melody and chord changes, intelligent and thoughtful lyrics - I'm willing to learn it even if I don't truly *love* it.

I played in more typical strum/sing groups in years past and like others here, I've found there was a lot of "Five Foot Two" and "SOTR" and such, and not much more. I think there are several good reasons for this: they're well known (even though the AARP thinks I'm "retirement" age I don't think I am, but I did grow up hearing my parents sing the Great American Songbook), they're easy, and more often than not, they're in keys that are easy for both uke and most peoples' vocal ranges.

Rllink
02-22-2015, 10:19 AM
In Iowa, in the town where I live, I can't seem to find any group to play with. So when I get back there in the spring, I'm going to try to get something going. There is a coffee shop not far from my house, and I talked about it with them, and they are up for hosting it. Anyway, being the anti organization type that I am, I'm going to try hard not to tell anyone what we have to play. I want everyone to bring some music, and we can go from there. I've also thought, that if we get enough diversity in our group, I would encourage people to break off into smaller groups if they want. In fact, I'm going to encourage it. Because there is plenty of space, indoors and outdoors for people come together and to go out and do their own thing.

I read a lot about ukulele groups, and I see a lot of stuff that is not attractive to me, and most of it is organizational. First of all, I like to see things evolve into a life of their own. I really want to keep it informal. I don't want to have a big organizational tree. I don't want elected officials, I don't want a democracy, we don't need shirts, or signup sheets, I just want to let it alone.. I want everyone just to do whatever they want to do. I don't know if that will work. I'm sure that someone is going to either want to be in charge, or make someone else be in charge, but I hope that doesn't happen. I'll do my best to discourage it. But that is my vision. I will put the word out, I'll show up, and we will see what happens.

janeray1940
02-22-2015, 10:27 AM
I like to see things evolve into a life of their own. I really want to keep it informal. I don't want to have a big organizational tree. I don't want elected officials, I don't want a democracy, we don't need shirts, or signup sheets, I just want to let it alone.. I want everyone just to do whatever they want to do. I don't know if that will work.

That's more or less what we've done with Westside Ukulele Ensemble (http://www.westsideukes.com/) - when we started it, we wanted it to be leaderless. Three years and change later, it's still going and is still leaderless - there have been a few bumps in the road, but I'm amazed to be able to say that for the most part we seem to manage to navigate the bumps fairly well. So, it can be done! I can see the benefit to having a strong leader though, should the right person come along.

I like your idea of breaking off into smaller groups, and I'd encourage anybody in either of my groups to consider it in addition to playing with the full ensembles. This is a great way to accommodate everybody's interests yet still have one single all-inclusive group. I'm actually already doing this; I do some trio material with players who aren't in the group, and when group members want to do something I already know I don't like - say, play at a party where there will be drinking involved - I sit that one out.

Choices are good :)

Photojosh
02-22-2015, 10:36 AM
I think "leaderless" also depends on what the group wants to do. Just get together and jam? Play out in the community? Organize workshops? Divide into beginner/advanced groups? Teach and promote ukuleles to all?

Some of those things take more leadership and organization than others.

Rllink
02-22-2015, 10:38 AM
That's more or less what we've done with Westside Ukulele Ensemble (http://www.westsideukes.com/) - when we started it, we wanted it to be leaderless. Three years and change later, it's still going and is still leaderless - there have been a few bumps in the road, but I'm amazed to be able to say that for the most part we seem to manage to navigate the bumps fairly well. So, it can be done! I can see the benefit to having a strong leader though, should the right person come along.

I like your idea of breaking off into smaller groups, and I'd encourage anybody in either of my groups to consider it in addition to playing with the full ensembles. This is a great way to accommodate everybody's interests yet still have one single all-inclusive group. I'm actually already doing this; I do some trio material with players who aren't in the group, and when group members want to do something I already know I don't like - say, play at a party where there will be drinking involved - I sit that one out.

Choices are good :)That is good to hear. I hope that my plan works out, as I would like to get something started in our area. My two fears are that someone is going to want to organize it, start charging dues, then elect officials. My other fear is that people will show up with other instruments, not that I don't like other instruments, and turn it into a "bluegrass" club, or something like that. I only chose bluegrass because it was the first thing that popped into my head, but something other than ukulele players. Like I say, I have nothing against other instruments, but I want to play with other ukulele players. Anyway, can't worry about something that hasn't even happened yet, so I'll go for it in May.

janeray1940
02-22-2015, 10:40 AM
I think "leaderless" also depends on what the group wants to do. Just get together and jam? Play out in the community? Organize workshops? Divide into beginner/advanced groups? Teach and promote ukuleles to all?

Some of those things take more leadership and organization than others.

All good points. In my experience, what the group will want to do will be a constantly-evolving thing - so it might make sense to have different leaders for different goals (or perhaps no leader at all for just getting together to play).

ricdoug
02-22-2015, 11:14 AM
A good leader, or group of leaders, can adapt and implement actions to serve the members. All of the larger local groups have some form of leadership. There's a lot that goes into the support and logistics of larger groups. Even the local song circles have leaders and organizers. Ric

katysax
02-22-2015, 11:33 AM
The group I play with most does not have a leader but it does have an organizer. My experience with these things is that one or two people have to be central and take the initiative or the group will not hold together. We do have an agreement that we are mostly ukes only. We have a guy who plays harmonica on some songs, and I play the (uke) bass. Occasionally someone shows up with a guitalele. I kind of like other instruments as long as they don't take over or over power the ukes. Our group has been around a while, maybe about 3 years; I've been with the group a year or so. It seems to be getting stronger and growing.

The organizers are the two people who first started the group. Mostly they just make sure that the song sheets are available and keep everyone's contact info and remind people when we are meeting. We've just been lucky that it has worked out.

ricdoug
02-22-2015, 11:37 AM
"The organizers are the two people who first started the group. Mostly they just make sure that the song sheets are available and keep everyone's contact info and remind people when we are meeting. We've just been lucky that it has worked out."

That's leadership. Ric

bigphil
02-22-2015, 12:28 PM
I am pretty much thrilled with the music our group plays, primarily because I am now the driving force behind the group and I generally select 90% of the tunes we play. The songs evolve though depending on what is coming up. We often perform at retirement type facilities and these folks love hearing the oldies mentioned by the OP. We just finished a performance at a local musical venue that promote music education for Valentines Day. These songs had some connection to love or love lost. More modern songs including the Beatles or Queen and so on are included in those types of events. Coming from a classic rock background myself, I like to keep things rockin' to the greatest possible extent. As others have mentioned though, our members must be considered too and abilities vary greatly so I don't want folks to feel overly challenged by the material selected. So some compromise must be reached to keep everyone interested but not scared off either. I'm always willing to hear tune selections from others as well. One of the keys to continue playing what you want is offer LOTS of new tunes to always keep them learning YOUR selections. :)

IamNoMan
02-22-2015, 12:47 PM
mikelz, Your songbook list leans towards the 60s and 70s popular music, and popular music of the 20s and 30s. It also leans toward country music.

The Ukulele music that you refer to is popular song of the early twentieth century. Much of it is easy to play on the ukulele. - and jam on if you are so inclined.

You list :Willie Nelson, Jimmy Rogers, Leon Redbone and then suggest they covered corny songs? Maybe you don't like corn. I do. If you are looking for a more eclectic song list I suggest you attend the local folk music society song swaps. You may be the only uker there. One such jam I attend had two "little old lady ukers when I started. I didn't take up the uke till later. Now 5 or six folks bring ukes along every month.

I Attend a Country Jamboree 1st Sunday at the local church. When I started they mostly played county, gospel and Blue Grass. I get the audience to sing along. mostly those old corny songs that everybody knows. I sterted playing the uke there later too. (I really am new to the uke). There is a lot more folk music, old popular songs and sometimes when a trombonist show up we do some jazz standards.

Inksplosive AL
02-22-2015, 12:51 PM
I kinda like the old 20's songs. Hell my break out song that was the first I learned on ukulele was Please dont talk about me when I'm gone. No ukulele groups around me I can find I was thinking of making a night at my shop a music night. Might draw an interesting crowd in a tattoo shop next to a music store. The younger music scene that used to be alive and well around here is DEAD! CT had a big hardcore and metal scene back in the late 80's now... nothing.

Tootler
02-22-2015, 01:46 PM
I run a ukulele group. I run it because I started it and someone has to collect the money to pay for the hire of the room. I also provide song sheets from time to time and I try to provide a mix of songs. My own interests are pretty eclectic though I consider myself firstly to be a folk musician.

I try to provide a variety of different songs in my song sheets though it's mainly rock n pop from the 50s onwards but not much recent stuff, folk songs and some songs from earlier eras. Some of our members bring in song sheets of their own and I like that as it provides more variety and lets people bring songs they like.

At the meetings I usually ask for people to nominate a song and when someone does we play it. Everyone gets the opportunity to choose what to play, though I don't go round the room but over time, most people choose something. It's a friendly group and I like to keep it informal and relaxed.

The format seems to work - at least it has so far.

Photojosh
02-22-2015, 02:09 PM
i marvel at people who worry so much about what a group does and sings. Even here in Perth there are enough groups so you can find one you like, you are allowed to visit them all and don't have to go back to any. As can be seen from this thread they come in all flavours.

Not all of us live in a city of 1.7 million.

Everybody looks for different things out of playing this silly instrument. I'm not looking to play Cannibal Corpse and I'm not looking to join 20 people all strumming away at 5ft 2.

There are 2 adult ukulele groups within 50 miles or so of me. Both of them are of the sort I mentioned earlier. And again I say, more power to them. I am really truly happy that others enjoy that sort of playing. But it doesn't interest me and there are no other options. That fact doesn't make me some sort of anti-social ukulele snob any more than not playing in a death metal band does.

pritch
02-22-2015, 02:11 PM
The repertoire played by the group (2-3 uke clubs) was stuff like Five Foot Two, You Are My Sunshine, Shine On Harvest Moon, All Of Me and the like. I didn't say it out loud but I thought to myself, "What's up with all these stale, corny songs?"

I think a lot of this has to do with the music publishing industry which would be fully up with the times - if the date was 1890. I understand that the current situation is that the writer has to have been dead fifty years for the song to be free of copyright constraints. With a potential penalty of US$180,000 per work, people in ukulele groups may be wary of printing out words and music to currently popular songs. That's a pity. If the music publishers could get with the programme - and the twenty first century - and put their sheet music online most people would be glad to pay a fair price to download the songs they wanted to play.

hendulele
02-22-2015, 02:28 PM
I'll second pritch's comment about the relative scarcity of sheet music.

That said --

Our local jam draws between 15-25 people, of varying ability. (I'm certainly in the lower half of the skill level.) The organizer invites anyone to suggest new songs, so long as you bring a dozen or so copies so everyone can play along. I've added "The Great Pretender" and "Shady Grove" to the repertoire. Our songbook ranges from the classic camp songs to the 20s and 30s stuff all the way to 21st century pop songs. I imagine larger groups might be more regimented, but ours is pretty relaxed and collegial, and my playing has improved dramatically since I've been going. If I had been a more advanced player when I first attended, I might not get as much from the group as I do now. YMMV.

Nickie
02-22-2015, 03:20 PM
Wow, kudos to you all who have started uke groups. I feel for anyone who wants to play with others, but there doesn't seem to be anyone around. I'm always running into people who don't know about our club, but still play. And I've welcomed many of them into the fold.
We're really lucky here, we have the Tampa Bay Ukulele Society. They've been so nice to me, and have made me an Event Organizer. All we have to pay for is the Meetup site. and donations and profits from events take care of that. There is always a surplus of funds that go to benefit other non profit organizations. There are no dues. Some of the events are cheap, some are not, but there's always great value. We're a large enough group to draw great talent from all over.
We've found that leaderless events soon fall into chaos....
We use Jim Beloff's Daily Ukulele, and the second volume Leap Year Edition. They offer a huge variety of strum/sing songs. Some of us learn Travis style and Campanello style, and other stuff. We have bass players when we can get them. We even had a percussionist for a while, and one harmonica player.
I'd better like the songs, I pick them out for the jam session I organized. We start out with simple, easy songs, then gradually go up to more difficult things. If someone has trouble, we stop and let them catch up, if they can. If everybody can't play it, we call it a work in progress. All the players are invited to pick or bring songs to play, so I only pick 10 to get us going. And I make sure I know each one very well. If people don't like a song, we don't do it anymore. If they are in love with it, we do it a lot.
Our groups meet every month, and are all different sizes. There are 3 jam sessions and one open mic. Plus we have lots of workshops and TBUG, our annual festival, which is about the biggest bash you can imagine.
Geezus, did I highjack this?

Katz-in-Boots
02-22-2015, 03:28 PM
Not all of us live in a city of 1.7 million.... There are 2 adult ukulele groups within 50 miles or so of me...

I'm in a similar situation. The main group go around the table choosing a song, it's played as fast as possible. Beginners are welcome but get no attention or help that I've seen (depends who you sit next to).
Other group used to have a teacher but now it's also an around the table strumalong / singalong. Beginners get some help & easier tunes are chosen earlier in the session.

The music at both groups is mainly the same corny stuff others have mentioned, plus a fair dose of country & western. The age group is mainly 50+ (including me). And no, I don't like most of it. I also don't feel it helps me develop my playing much. I like the people though, and enjoy making music with others so that's why I go.

I've heard of small, closed groups (invitation only) that focus more on playing as an ensemble & singing with harmonies etc. One day maybe someone will invite me to one.

Peterjens
02-22-2015, 03:32 PM
I like the music played in my 'uke group for the most part. There is a small percentage of songs that I don't like (or am tired of playing) and when those are being played, I practice the second position (movable) chords. as the ones I know come up.

Jandante
02-22-2015, 03:47 PM
We attended the only uke group in our area, 30km away. It closed down, probably because of the leaders moving on. Must admit the songs were not to my taste, though I enjoyed joining in with a group of about 60.
At the beginning of 2014 we started out own group, a Strum and Singalong, with string instruments (guitars, 10 or so ukuleles, mostly beginners, 4 mandolins and a violin) and non players (the singers) welcome. It has been word of mouth only and we meet for free in our church hall. Last year I put together a book with 40 chorded and a couple of instrumental songs, and have had only praise for my playlist. By the end of the year we were in a place to put on a Christmas concert, and those the 60+ (good attendance for our country town) who attended were pleasantly surprised. Our favourite was Ashokan Farewell as an instrumental. This year we are planning a mid year and Christmas concert.

wayfarer75
02-22-2015, 04:09 PM
I like so many different kinds of music, and am really "old school". I think it would be tiresome to only play Tin Pan Alley or only Hawaiian songs, though. I'm not in a uke group for a number of reasons, but the music played wouldn't bother me. I played extremely cheesy music in my school years in band.

mikelz777
02-22-2015, 04:55 PM
You list :Willie Nelson, Jimmy Rogers, Leon Redbone and then suggest they covered corny songs?

I don't understand what you are saying here. Are you saying I suggested they covered corny songs when they didn't? That I presented them as examples of non-corny music when they actually did cover corny music?

mikelz777
02-22-2015, 05:15 PM
I'm not picking a fight or taking offense in the least, (I'm a jazz and early country/roots fan, people regularly insult my music choices, it doesn't bother me.) I genuinely don't know what point the poster is making.

P.S. This is in response to a reply that has since been deleted.

NewKid
02-22-2015, 06:13 PM
In the ukulele groups I've played with, the music is secondary to the social aspect of playing together. Members have different goals, expectations, ability, time available, and desire to improve. I don't like all the music we play or how many times we play the same song over and over. But I love the people in these groups and appreciate the time they take to come out and play music together. We can play music by ourselves every day but its so much more fun to play with friends.

mds725
02-22-2015, 06:24 PM
We play primarily out of the two Daily Ukulele (Daily Ukulele and Daily Ukulele Leap Year Edition (http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/store/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=317)) books because many people in our group like having the traditional melody notation (chord and lyric sheets don't help with the melodies of unfamiliar songs). But we also supplement these books with music people bring and post songsheets of on our meetup site. For example, we play songs that were written and/or performed by people who have recently died, and we commemorate events and holidays like Valentine's Day, Christmas, New Year's Day, Halloween, etc. with appropriate songs. Most people seem to be happy.

Dan Uke
02-22-2015, 06:26 PM
In the ukulele groups I've played with, the music is secondary to the social aspect of playing together. Members have different goals, expectations, ability, time available, and desire to improve. I don't like all the music we play or how many times we play the same song over and over. But I love the people in these groups and appreciate the time they take to come out and play music together. We can play music by ourselves every day but its so much more fun to play with friends.

I'm with you Don! If groups met before or after the gathering to eat, I'll be more inclined to meet. I'm too relaxed in a group session unless everyone was the same ability and wanted to gig frequently.

kohanmike
02-22-2015, 07:22 PM
When I was a member of the Westside Ukulele Ensemble, I liked the variety of music, but I couldn't keep up with the instrumental arrangements. The other group to which I belong, The CC Strummers, is sing and strum organized through the Culver City Senior Center. It's officially classes twice a week taught by Cali Rose, but I consider it more like a club. Cali provides a great variety of songs, so there's something for everyone.

SailingUke
02-22-2015, 07:24 PM
In the ukulele groups I've played with, the music is secondary to the social aspect of playing together. Members have different goals, expectations, ability, time available, and desire to improve. I don't like all the music we play or how many times we play the same song over and over. But I love the people in these groups and appreciate the time they take to come out and play music together. We can play music by ourselves every day but its so much more fun to play with friends.

This is a big part of the purpose of the group I run.
We use the Daily Ukulele books, so we don't have copyright issues.
We play from a preselected list, members are always to make suggestions or plan a whole gathering.
Some songs just don't work in a group setting. Not to be nasty, but unless you have run a group you may not realize how challenging it is. The music I play at home is much different than the group.

kohanmike
02-22-2015, 08:16 PM
Just to add to my post, I record our rehearsals and post the mp3s on my web site so members can practice at home with audio. I've found that it gives the members more incentive to practice.

brUKEman
02-22-2015, 09:33 PM
I run a group and encourage members to post and bring songs that they play or would like to play. The members tend NOT to post anything so I end up posting/playing what I do which is mostly the Tin Pan Alley Stuff. We also do an open mic at the meetings where people can do what ever they like. I also encourage members to teach a little something (a song, strum or technique) to the group.

AJ Hill
02-23-2015, 12:07 AM
Hi Jandante I am from the northern rivers also Alstonville ,,used to go to the Lismore club till it dwindled and ended must get in touch

UkerDanno
02-23-2015, 03:28 AM
You get 20-30 people together, they won't all like the same thing. We play a lot of the stuff already mentioned and I don't like it all, but I'm sure the stuff I like isn't what everybody wants to play. I don't like the Daily Ukulele books because they're hard to read (small print) and hard to follow (skip around) and I don't read music. We use the Santa Cruz books a lot and sometimes "handouts" (stuff off of websites like scorpex, etc.) At home I play mostly stuff I find online.

Someone already mentioned the social aspects which are an important part of the experience, it's not just about playing.

The Sun City group is a community based group and we have community centers to meet in and pay an annual fee to be in the club. Recently, they started charging $3 a week when our leader (the guy who started the club) is there and he gets a fee. Well, this has not gone over well, the dynamic of the club changed and people aren't having as much fun (this may change).

There are other options nearby, one meets at a music store, not far away and they have a semi-weekly Daily Uke night, which I would skip, then alternating weeks just a jam.

Another group meets at a restaurant and you show up have a glass of wine, play some songs, have dinner, play some more songs. It's a pretty casual fun group. They have a songbook with 70 or so songs and people can bring or suggest new songs.

While in Colorado last summer, I went to the Denver Ukulele Community and they have a 2-3 chord songbook, which they start out with just to get warmed up. Then they have a theme every month and people suggest songs to add to the list, then they play that list. The last 30 minutes is reserved for open mike, this club has the best format I think, but they only meet once a month...it would be kind of labor intensive to put together a theme every week, or maybe different people could have their week every month.

So, I guess to summarize, not everybody will like the same songs, just have fun!

Freeda
02-23-2015, 04:45 AM
The group I started is a few years old now. In the beginning we used the Daily Ukulele. I tried, for a time, having them be more self-managing, asking each member to bring 2-3 songs to share and lead per month. Our attendance dwindled. I brought song sheets and a copier for months, then people started asking for the music ahead of time so they could practice.

Currently I go home from the meeting and immediately post a songbook for the next month's event. (We "borrow" them from another group who posts them online, so it's not me making the selections.) I'm not one to practice ahead of time or lead every song, so when we open the songbook I say "Who knows this one?" and then ask them to lead. If no one knows it, I look it up on youtube real quick and we take a stab at it. Some people still bring music to share, which is AWESOME. We're very lucky to have a few really great singers who enjoy leading.

A friend who has a much more "thriving" (ie well-attended) club a couple hours from here has given me advice on increasing our ranks, but honestly I don't want my club to be like his - very leader driven, a core group with microphones and amps and percussion.... I know for darn sure I have a lot I can learn from other members, and I like to leave enough space for people to interact and advise each other.

hollisdwyer
02-23-2015, 05:13 AM
I can't say that I love all the songs that the 3 groups that I attend play but the important thing for me are the people in those groups. We have so much fun that those times have become a very important part of my life. When I first started playing and joined those groups, I was welcomed and supported. Just what I needed to encourage me to develop new skills and really enjoy myself.

blue_knight_usa
02-23-2015, 05:38 AM
I too started my own jam group because of your scenario. I posted on Craigslist years ago with my interests and now have several good buddies I jam with. We jammed every week the past 2 years just about, or a Sat or Sun if we could fit it in. We all pick music we want to play. We rarely play the same songs over and over. One of my buddies is a professional bass player who is always pulling out some cool tune from who knows what year. Could be 40s, 60s, 90s, or Sam Smith because of the Grammys. The only rule I had is everyone picks songs and it's worked out well.

This past week he pulled out "Rock Horror Picture Show". Now that brought back cool memories!

Post an ad and start your own group and most important have fun!
Cheers.

vanflynn
02-23-2015, 05:44 AM
I understand that the current situation is that the writer has to have been dead fifty years for the song to be free of copyright constraints. With a potential penalty of US$180,000 per work, people in ukulele groups may be wary of printing out words and music to currently popular songs.
This has something to do with it. Books like DU are full of the older stuff because it would be very expensive to include lots of newer songs. Our little group started out with "the old classics" because we all knew them and many of them are easy 3 chord songs. We have since added new songs thanks to chordie.com, guitar tabs,... (and don't post songbooks on the web)

But then we are small enought that the lawyers will (hopefully) leave us alone

Manalishi
02-23-2015, 06:51 AM
The two groups I have had a hand in organising play a mixture of
the old time stuff, classic songs, and pop hits from the sixties to
the present day.
Horses for courses,you can't please ALL the people ALL the time...

Wicked
02-23-2015, 07:46 AM
All musical groups are the same - it doesnt matter if you are in a ukulele group playing at the Rec Center or an internationally renowned act playing stadiums. You will never like all of the tunes played.

Personally, the actual song means little to me - it is the act of making music in a social setting.

Regarding the OP's complaint (and I'm just bustin' your chops here)... You claim "All Of Me" as corny (may the spirit of Billie Holiday strike you down) - yet list a co-host of "Hee-Haw" as your preferred musical taste. Please explain that.

kohanmike
02-23-2015, 08:52 AM
...it is the act of making music in a social setting.

That's how I feel too.

ricdoug
02-23-2015, 09:41 AM
This has something to do with it. Books like DU are full of the older stuff because it would be very expensive to include lots of newer songs. Our little group started out with "the old classics" because we all knew them and many of them are easy 3 chord songs. We have since added new songs thanks to chordie.com, guitar tabs,... (and don't post songbooks on the web)

But then we are small enought that the lawyers will (hopefully) leave us alone

The Rise Up Singing songbook has 1200 songs. Here's the list:

http://www.rustling.org/2011/01/rise-up-singing-song-titles.html

It takes a while to get used to the format. They are working on another 1200 song songbook:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rise-again-supporting-our-work-on-our-songbook

Dan Uke
02-23-2015, 10:08 AM
Regarding the OP's complaint (and I'm just bustin' your chops here)... You claim "All Of Me" as corny (may the spirit of Billie Holiday strike you down) - yet list a co-host of "Hee-Haw" as your preferred musical taste. Please explain that.

All of Me is a jazz classic and like playing alternate chords with all strings utilized for gypsy style la pompe strumming.

Jandante
02-23-2015, 10:16 AM
Hi Jandante I am from the northern rivers also Alstonville ,,used to go to the Lismore club till it dwindled and ended must get in touch
Hi AJ, I'm in Casino. Nice to know another from our area active in this forum Are you participating in any of the other groups (Mullum etc)?

mikelz777
02-23-2015, 10:51 AM
Regarding the OP's complaint (and I'm just bustin' your chops here)... You claim "All Of Me" as corny (may the spirit of Billie Holiday strike you down) - yet list a co-host of "Hee-Haw" as your preferred musical taste. Please explain that.

It's because I'm a big messy ball of contradictions. :cool:

I think that appreciation of music is a gift from God, it's innate and something we respond to on some level whether we are conscious of it or not. What strikes a chord in me and moves me emotionally may totally turn the next person off and vice-versa. Not everyone is going to respond to a song the same way and that's just the way it is but it gets more complicated than that. "All Of Me" is a good example. On one hand, I think that it is stale and corny and I don't like playing/singing it on a ukulele and I don't enjoy hearing it played by a ukulele group. Here's the twist for me. You mention Billie Holiday. I like Billie Holiday and though it's not my favorite song by her, I like her rendition of the song. The same goes for Willie Nelson, I like his rendition as well. It seems a contradiction and doesn't make much sense. The best explanation I can think of is that Holiday and Willie are unique performers and that their renditions add to and elevate the song making it more than what it was originally in some way.

To be fair, my tastes in country music tend to pre-date Hee-Haw though I do like Buck Owens and that Bakersfield sound (Merle Haggard, The Derailers) [Dwight Yokum not so much] I'll admit that there are a lot of corny country songs out there but that doesn't make all country music corny. Then again, there are a lot of people out there that think corny and country music are synonyms. Ultimately, corny is in the ear of the listener. I respond to (early/roots/traditional/swing/bluegrass) country music, it's usually guitar based and translates well to ukulele. I don't think the country songs I play are corny but I'm certain there are probably others who would think differently. When I think of songs like All Of Me, Five Foot Two, You Are My Sunshine, Shine On Harvest Moon, etc. it makes me think of the Lawrence Welk show or standing around the piano and singing in the parlor on Petticoat Junction. Some people are going to dig it but it's not my scene. I do sing and play some corny songs. "Everyone Says I Love You" as sung my the Marx Brothers in "Horsefeathers. I've been working out a song sheet for "Get Out Get Under The Moon". "Only A Hobo" and "Walking Down The Line" by Bob Dylan are kind of corny.

I guess what I'm getting at with this thread is that when you take a groups repertoire and look at it as a whole, you're going to get a certain vibe. It's most likely that you're not going to like everything that they play but can you dig the general, overall vibe of the groups songs or do you find yourself not fitting in or forcing yourself along? I can totally understand the social aspect and the making music with others thing. The one time I went to a group, it was thrilling and exciting to hear the sound of all those ukes strumming together. As cool as that was, I don't think the overall vibe was what I was looking for. I've told my wife on numerous occasions that I think it would be fun to be part of a group who got together to play ukulele. A month or two ago they had a short story on the local news about a uke group in the area. I'm pretty certain that at one point in the story, they showed the group strumming away at one of the aforementioned songs. My wife looked at me incredulously and said, "You'd want to be a part of something like that?!" Ummmmmm......... yes and no.

Osprey
02-23-2015, 11:10 AM
I am a member of a group of mixed ages, although to be fair a lot of us are in their 40's, 50's, 60's. Our leader is a young man that is furnished by the music store where we meet. He gives guitar lessons. He and several others pick the bulk of our music but anyone can contribute. We end up playing a bit of everything from songs from the 20's to current pop tunes. It is all music. Sometimes their are songs I would not pick but I generally learn something from every song we play and sometimes I grow to like songs that I was initially skeptical of. Our leader sometimes says he appreciates some of the older songs once he gets into them. Keep an open mind and you will enjoy more then you realize. Some songs you will never appreciate, but that's life. Playing in a group makes me a better player, and provides for good social interaction. Hey when a song really goes well and everyone is in the groove you whoop and holler when you finish because it was great fun. I will take a few bad songs to get that feeling from time to time
Cliff

janeray1940
02-23-2015, 11:29 AM
I guess what I'm getting at with this thread is that when you take a groups repertoire and look at it as a whole, you're going to get a certain vibe. It's most likely that you're not going to like everything that they play but can you dig the general, overall vibe of the groups songs or do you find yourself not fitting in or forcing yourself along? I can totally understand the social aspect and the making music with others thing. The one time I went to a group, it was thrilling and exciting to hear the sound of all those ukes strumming together. As cool as that was, I don't think the overall vibe was what I was looking for. I've told my wife on numerous occasions that I think it would be fun to be part of a group who got together to play ukulele. A month or two ago they had a short story on the local news about a uke group in the area. I'm pretty certain that at one point in the story, they showed the group strumming away at one of the aforementioned songs. My wife looked at me incredulously and said, "You'd want to be a part of something like that?!" Ummmmmm......... yes and no.

I totally get this, especially after spending a couple of years trying out various uke groups and eventually realizing that I'd have to make it happen myself if I ever wanted to find the right fit. In addition to one's personal musical preferences, finding a good fit depends on one's personal situation in general. Some people are more into the social thing, and playing is secondary - for me, that wouldn't be a good fit regardless of the type of music since between work and school and life I feel like I never have enough actual time to *play* in the first place. When I go to a uke group, I want to actually make music - not just hang around talking about making music! :)

Some groups I've checked out have been too campy or corny; another made me uncomfortable as most of the members were Christian and I am not; another was more a forum for the leader to be the center of attention rather than an opportunity for all to play; one seemed to be the ukulele equivalent of a singles' bar; the majority that I've never gone back to have just been too darned easy. But I'm sure they all are a good fit for someone - just not for me.

I always joke that the minute either of the groups I play in decides to start doing Taylor Swift songs, they're going to have to find a new low G player. But the reality is that may not actually even be true, since I genuinely *like* the other people that I play with in these groups - and that counts for something, even though my main purpose in playing in groups is to become a better musician.

Wicked
02-23-2015, 02:57 PM
I completely get where you are coming from. As I said, I was just bustin' your chops over Buck Owens.

The one group that I play with almost never plays tunes that I would select myself... But every once in a while, they will pull out a nugget that keeps me interested.

Additionally, my musicianship is way beyond the majority of members - so I am not actually being stretched by the repertoire.. On occasion, I will host a small sub-group to play more challenging pieces. I invite anyone who wishes to come, but I make it clear that the material will be more advanced and that there will not be any handholding. It has worked out well.

Most importantly, I do get to socialize with a group of people that I would probably never interact with in the normal course of my life. That alone is worth the price of admission.

Nickie
02-23-2015, 03:26 PM
Ha, Buck Owens wasn't really corny. He was a brilliant musician, on guitar and banjo and I don't know what all else.

Some of the best jam sessions I've ever been to/hosted were impromptu things held by some of the pros in Nashville. What a blast.
We've done some pretty fun sessions here in private jams in the homes of about 3 of us, small groups, really cool songs, and great finger food.
(Don't eat and play at the same time)

Ukuleleblues
02-24-2015, 03:24 AM
My biggest problem with the uke club is most folks don't touch their ukes between jams. Then they bring in music with 6 billion passing chords or a Jazz swing version. Not appropriate for setting, most folks can't play it.

I also like to play without sheet music, so you can look at and interact with the others in the group. I've seen folks get all upset on a 2 chord song because they didn't have sheet music to look at. So I started inviting folks of like mind to jam. It is a blast! Still go to uke club but have different expectations, I do like when folks bring in different songs.

TjW
02-24-2015, 03:55 AM
My biggest problem with the uke club is most folks don't touch their ukes between jams. Then they bring in music with 6 billion passing chords or a Jazz swing version. Not appropriate for setting, most folks can't play it.

I also like to play without sheet music, so you can look at and interact with the others in the group. I've seen folks get all upset on a 2 chord song because they didn't have sheet music to look at. So I started inviting folks of like mind to jam. It is a blast! Still go to uke club but have different expectations, I do like when folks bring in different songs.
I touch my ukulele quite a bit. But I'm pretty much a beginner. I don't expect I'm going to pick up six billion passing chords in five minutes. I count picking up one new chord as a solid win. I'd be willing to practice some ahead of time if I had some idea of what to practice. Electrons are pretty cheap. Maybe the people who want to play a particular song could email it and a link to a Youtube of how it sounds around to the group. I do better when I have some idea of what I'm supposed to be doing.

JonThysell
02-24-2015, 05:35 AM
Personally, the actual song means little to me - it is the act of making music in a social setting.

This is one of the primary reasons I go to the uke group I'm in. That and to practice accompaniment. For myself I prefer to play solo instrumentals, and so at home those are what I practice. I don't do much strum and sing. But I do enjoy jams, and without the group, I'd have no motivation to practice strumming, and work on my rhythm accompaniment. When the song is a straight strum and sing, and I'm confident I can keep up, I try alternate chord shapes and experiment with some flair and ornamentation to mix things up.

The groups also made the decision recently to switch from a public club to a smaller private group, so we don't have to limit ourselves to "beginner" songs. We've spent more time lately working out more diverse arrangements, which is making the music both nicer to listen to and more interesting to play.

That said, I've been in sink-or-swim, fixed song list, rush through the repertoire and go home, groups before and I had to stop attending before they killed my passion for the instrument.

janeray1940
02-24-2015, 05:44 AM
When I think of songs like All Of Me, Five Foot Two, You Are My Sunshine, Shine On Harvest Moon, etc. it makes me think of the Lawrence Welk show or standing around the piano and singing in the parlor on Petticoat Junction. Some people are going to dig it but it's not my scene. I do sing and play some corny songs. "Everyone Says I Love You" as sung my the Marx Brothers in "Horsefeathers. I've been working out a song sheet for "Get Out Get Under The Moon". "Only A Hobo" and "Walking Down The Line" by Bob Dylan are kind of corny.


I got to thinking about this and - I don't think that the songs are corny, in and of themselves; it's the presentation that can make or break the song. One problem with uke groups, especially larger or more beginner-focused ones, is that everything has to be kept super simple to accommodate all levels of playing. There's a big difference between "All of Me" belted out off-key by a bunch of amateurs accompanied by simple first-position chords, and "All of Me" as done by Billie Holiday. (And I'm not saying that the former can't be fun - but I think we all can understand that it's not fun for everyone.)

I wouldn't call any of the songs you listed corny, but I can see how they could come off that way in a large group. "You Are My Sunshine," especially when the full lyrics are included, can actually be incredibly sad and moving. "Five Foot Two" is a bit of a relic - a novelty hit of its time perhaps - but is well-constructed as a great foundation for learning circle of fifths.

Triduana
02-24-2015, 06:20 AM
I'm not looking to play Cannibal Corpse
You've now got me wondering if this is possible :D

The group I'm in is great, there is quite a large song book that gets added to quite often. There are a few main organisers all with a slightly different taste in music so the songs we play are very varied, ranging from the Beatles and The Kinks to Radiohead and the Scissor Sisters. Mostly it's songs that are good to sing along to. Some of them don't work so well on the uke, but who cares :) There are some songs I love, some I hate, but it's a good social occasion as well as a chance to make progress in my playing so I'll have a go at most things.

sukie
02-25-2015, 05:12 PM
I'm not crazy about the music we play, but I do like the songs we play when it's my turn to choose. We do it round robin. But...some people might not care for my choice either. We tend to play from the Daily Uke books. I don't like them, but it sure makes it easy. Also, we can bring in other songs...we just need to bring enough copies to share. I don't sing, so I have to make sure somebody can lead it for me so it better be popular. I also try to do finger picking patterns or move the chords up the neck for some variety to keep it interesting for me. Our group has an older age group...is it good or bad? Well...I'm not going there, but it does seem to lead us to older songs.

I go because it gives me a chance to play with other players. That is definitely a good thing.

I did see the TV segment you are talking about, OP. I totally dislike blue grass. That leaves me out. But if they are having fun, good for them.

ukulelekarcsi
02-25-2015, 08:52 PM
The COULE in Lille has a theme to each session, be it vegetables, colours, given names or immorality & indecency (yes, both). You can easily make up more themes: work, geography, animals, age... Just steer away from the Obvious, like christmas or summer.

It gives a refreshing repertoire, which of course means that some songs flunk, some turn out marvelous and some are just for listening to one or two who can tackle it. But your return home with an odd mix of novelties, triphop, jazz standards and comic songs in your head and fingers.

bunnyf
02-25-2015, 11:50 PM
I started my own group because there was nothing close enough to want to attend regularly. I was traveling pretty far to play stuff like "These Boots Are Made For Walking" and "Good Night Irene", so I can definitely relate to what OP is saying. But running my own group has been a challenge. I started out picking the music (and printing it out, which became a hassle as our group grew) but encouraged folks to bring copies of their favs. I have pretty eclectic taste that really does span generations and genres but was surprised to find that many folks were completely unfamiliar/unreceptive to anything but corny godawful songs. While I might want to play Talking Heads or Two Gallants, I tried to pick things I liked but also thought most folks would know...ELO, Bob Seger, Stones, Bill Withers, etc but found out I was wrong. I'm in my 60s and I don't really know what these folks were listening to all their lives, but apparently we don't share a lot of common ground. People rarely brought music to share and unfortunately when they did, it was usually cringeable (is that a word?). I have now come to resort on The Daily Ukulele. We are working our way through it front to back, with me selecting about 10 songs (so I can skip ones that I really don't want to hear or feel won't work with our group of primarily beginners and a few intermediate players). Then we do any songs that folks have brought (I usually bring two), then I go around the room systematically, giving folks an opportunity to pick something they want to play from The Daily Uke (tried doing this randomly, but some folks dominated and prevented others from having an opportunity to select). Things seem to be going ok now, but since our group only meets every other Wednesday, on the alternating Wednesday I have formed a small splinter group where we do classic and contemporary rock, blues, a little folk or Country and an occasional pop tune. It's my outlet for playing what won't fly in our regular jam. I do enjoy playing with others, so I keep at it and try to figure out what is working for me and what isn't. If it stops being fun, I'll stop doing it. Lately, I have been enjoying jamming at the park (and other venues) with other musicians (mixed bag but mostly guitar, harmonica). I think this has improved by musicianship way more than any uke club (figuring the key, hearing the progressions so I can play along, as well as preparing some songs for performance, and overcoming performance anxiety).

Kitty Waltz
02-26-2015, 12:52 AM
As said in my introduction post, I bought a uke as I saw a guy doing old country, bluegrass and gospel songs on youtube.
That's mainly the kind of stuff I'm interested in playing (although, I'm a huge Springsteen fan, so a few of those won't hurt as well )
I don't feel I'm even ready for a group yet, but have been looking through the songs played at some local groups and well, meh - I'd say at least 75% of the songs really don't appeal to me.
I imagine, as others have said, that it would be good just for the social aspect, so I'll probably go to one of them when I get a bit better ( I'm thinking the one held in a pub will be my first choice ;) )

I think I might also try and find some other beginners in the area - not to make a group, just one or two peeps to have a practice with.
I suppose skype is an option too, maybe? Anyone done that?

sukie
02-26-2015, 03:40 AM
As said in my introduction post, I bought a uke as I saw a guy doing old country, bluegrass and gospel songs on youtube.
That's mainly the kind of stuff I'm interested in playing (although, I'm a huge Springsteen fan, so a few of those won't hurt as well )
I don't feel I'm even ready for a group yet, but have been looking through the songs played at some local groups and well, meh - I'd say at least 75% of the songs really don't appeal to me.
I imagine, as others have said, that it would be good just for the social aspect, so I'll probably go to one of them when I get a bit better ( I'm thinking the one held in a pub will be my first choice ;) )

I think I might also try and find some other beginners in the area - not to make a group, just one or two peeps to have a practice with.
I suppose skype is an option too, maybe? Anyone done that?
Skype lags, so it isn't practical. Unfortunate.

Of course you are ready for a group. I remember the first time I went to ours. I couldn't play well at all. But I was encouraged to play the chords I knew. Each time gets easier. And, even if the music isn't totally what you love, it's fun -- and makes you a better player -- to play with others. And at a pub???? Heaven.

Kitty Waltz
02-26-2015, 05:09 AM
Skype lags, so it isn't practical. Unfortunate.

Of course you are ready for a group. I remember the first time I went to ours. I couldn't play well at all. But I was encouraged to play the chords I knew. Each time gets easier. And, even if the music isn't totally what you love, it's fun -- and makes you a better player -- to play with others. And at a pub???? Heaven.

Ah, shame about Skype.
I will go to a group soon - thanks for the encouragment. I'll be fine with the help of some brown booze.

Ukejenny
02-26-2015, 06:55 AM
In our group, I have a request sheet. I go through it and incorporate the songs into our play list. If you play in a group and would like to hear some different songs heard, maybe try suggesting a request or three to the leader. If they are against it, that is unfortunate. I want my group to play what they like. You can't please everyone all the time, but I try to accommodate the requests.

Interestingly, there is one person in our group who is very vocal about the songs they don't like, yet they have never signed the request sheet. What is up with that?

I've also explained to my group that none of us are going to like all the songs. I don't like all the songs we do, and I'm the leader. If I only did songs that I loved, I'd alienate everyone else.

We have beginners at every jam and I think that is a good thing. Many of our members are coming up on their first year anniversary of picking the instrument up. And new folks get into the groove pretty quickly. I think it helps a beginner to be in a group - it helps them get a groove going faster.

mikelz777
02-26-2015, 07:48 AM
...I have pretty eclectic taste that really does span generations and genres but was surprised to find that many folks were completely unfamiliar/unreceptive to anything but corny godawful songs.....I'm in my 60s and I don't really know what these folks were listening to all their lives, but apparently we don't share a lot of common ground. People rarely brought music to share and unfortunately when they did, it was usually cringeable (is that a word?).

I think the term you were looking for is "cringe worthy". ;)

This portion of an earlier post struck a chord with me. It also has me wondering what kind of music people listened to in their life, past and present, that would cause them to gravitate to the old, corny songs. Take someone who is 70 years old. They would have been born in 1945 and if you add, say 5 years to allow for earliest memories, you're at 1950. What a rich and fertile period of time for music from the 50s on with all the changes and various music styles blending and influencing one another plus you're still probably exposed to a lot of what the 40's brought.

I'm in my 50s and I too have pretty eclectic music tastes which spans generations and genres and the ukulele song book I put together reflects that. As I sit and type this, I'm listening to Bob Dylan's "Radio Radio", songs he featured on his Theme Time Radio Hour. (bunnyf, if you're into eclectic, I'd highly recommend all 5, 4-CD sets. They can be had very reasonably on Ebay if not elsewhere) This particular volume spans from 1935 to 1957 (the general span of time for all the volumes) and 90% of the stuff here is by people you've probably never heard of (none of Dylan's music is featured) but the music is outstanding. The beauty of it is that there is such a variety of genres included. Blues, early R&B, jump blues, early rock and roll, country, jazz, swing, big band, pop music of the era, novelty songs, a lot of stuff that crosses several genres, etc. etc. Once you start listening to this kind of stuff you can really see how the various genres of music blend together and influence each other. Anyway, the music one listens to throughout their life is going to have an influence on what they like to play on the ukulele. If you have eclectic music tastes and enjoy music from many generations and genres, you have a big pool of music to draw from and to be influenced by. You're going to be more open to what you will play on the uke and there is going to be a lot more variety in your song book. If you have more narrow musical tastes in limited genres, then you have a much smaller pool of music to draw on and influence you. It would be interesting to study musical likes and dislikes among ukulele players to see if there is a pattern there which makes them gravitate toward the music we're referring to as stale and corny.

It makes me think of the time I was struggling to learn the since abandoned guitar early on and I got together with a buddy who played guitar. I was playing these lame, corny folk songs and he asked me why I was playing that stuff. He said that you could use the same chords to play cool songs. That piece of advice stuck with me and he was right.

bunnyf
02-26-2015, 08:14 AM
So with you! Why play "She'll Be Comin round the Mountain". Surely we can do better with those same 3 chords?

AJ Hill
03-08-2015, 06:44 PM
I was in the northern rivers ukulele orchestra ,,,the fella who runs that also runs the mullum nights ,,,we had a bit of a fallina out so I don't go to mullum ,,,but to be honest the mullum night is not much of a parsipitation evening you can't here your self play and can be quite annoying so it's just me the lone uke player at a local jam night with a bunch of other instrument players having a good time

ShibaUke
03-09-2015, 12:18 AM
Hi All,

In response to you original question mikelz777, the music my uke group plays is definitely music I would not have picked out, but its not because I think it necessarily sounds bad, its just that I am unfamiliar with it. I admit, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, U2, thats more my style, but I have already accepted that I am in the minority. It is true that most music written for ukulele today is music from the 20's - 70's. I think this is because it is probably easier to navigate the copyright issues (if the music is published as in The Daily Ukulele), but also because it seems most of the uke players out there grew up in that generation when the songs were really popular. When I play, I always try to keep an open mindset.

Something Sarah Maisel said once during a workshop she gave at Dave's Island Instruments (Gardena) really spoke to me. It is that no matter what music you are playing, there is always something you can improve on - whether that is simply strumming chords and setting the tempo (very important!), sight reading (which I admit is something I am frequently doing in my group), or just trying be in sync with others. That, to me, is what it means to play in a group. Plus, I really value the social aspect as well. I would venture to guess all of you on the UU Forum like that as well, otherwise why else would you post / read these posts? For me, it is the people in my group that keeps me coming back. I hope they feel the same with me and appreciate my contributions. By the way, Daniel, I am all for social gettogethers, with or without the uke. :)

As for me, my goal is to write music. I have tried to do this on my own and at times I have tried to arrange songs I think will work well in an ensemble. Sadly for me, its not my passion for the ukulele that gets in the way of me constantly churning out arrangements, but my job. I work a lot and I fit in uke whenever I can. On my own, I play (yes, my taytay music) and write the music I like, but it doesn't replace the camaraderie I feel when playing with others. That in itself is a totally different aspect of my ukulele growth. Overall, I am just happy to play with people who also enjoy playing. If they want a bit of a challenge every now and then and try out my arrangements, I'm all for that as well! Or if anyone is interested in co-writing or co-arranging something on the fly, I'm up for that challenge as well.

janeray1940
03-09-2015, 06:00 AM
Hi All,

In response to you original question mikelz777, the music my uke group plays is definitely music I would not have picked out, but its not because I think it necessarily sounds bad, its just that I am unfamiliar with it. I admit, Taylor Swift, Coldplay, U2, thats more my style, but I have already accepted that I am in the minority. It is true that most music written for ukulele today is music from the 20's - 70's. I think this is because it is probably easier to navigate the copyright issues (if the music is published as in The Daily Ukulele), but also because it seems most of the uke players out there grew up in that generation when the songs were really popular. When I play, I always try to keep an open mindset.


Sooooooo much of this, I think, is generational. The 20s-70s stuff is what I grew up with; that doesn't mean I love all of it but at the very least, there's something comfortable about the familiarity.

I've tried, so many times, to listen to the "new stuff" including the artists that you mentioned, and - I just don't "get" it. I find many of the songs all sound the same; I find I can't understand the lyrics without looking them up online, and once I do that, they just don't resonate with me. What seems to be missing, to me, from most (not all) new stuff is melody - to my ear, very few contemporary songs have memorable melodies. Sure, they have memorable hooks or licks, but - take the lyrics away and play it as an instrumental and it just doesn't hold my interest. I'm sure there are exceptions; one contemporary artist I love is Kat Edmonson, who crafts songs with as much attention to melody as lyrics. Unfortunately it seems nobody has ever heard of her :(

I've often thought that the (very arbitrary) dividing line for what resonates with a generation was the advent of MTV and music videos (which didn't exist when I was the right age for it to be relevant, but only by a matter of a few years). I have slightly younger friends who not only love the "old stuff" (e.g. Beatles, Kinks, etc) but the "new stuff" as well, especially bands like U2 - and they all got MTV when they were in high school. Heck, U2 isn't exactly new - I saw them when they were totally unknown at the Hollywood Palladium a million years ago :)

Just some rambling thoughts on the matter, which I've been thinking about a lot lately. I've really enjoyed this thread.

Gillian
03-09-2015, 07:11 AM
After reading these posts, I feel pretty good about the way our uke club is run. The first hour is a mix of easy, intermediate and challenging songs, then the second hour is open mic/jam. We never know what we will hear from our members which makes it fun. The only rule is that the songs be secular, non-political and no vulgarity. For those who want to explore a song more, i.e change the tempo/feel or improve on a technique, we hold a Sunday jam where about 15 people come, rather than the 60+ who come to a regular meeting, although I must admit it was an amazing sound for a room full of folks trying to "chunk".

It's not unusual to play "Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" followed by "Walkin' After Midnight", the Doors' "People are Strange" then Beck's "Heart is a Drum". All good stuff.

Lori
03-09-2015, 09:44 AM
Nice thread!
I was really into music in my teens, and some of those songs I still enjoy. However, a lot of those songs I am worn out on. I don't want to do all the hits from the 70's all the time. I do enjoy music (and movies) from before my time. Playing with groups that pull from unfamiliar eras can be very enriching. It is usually the best stuff that survives the test of time, and it can become the song that sticks in your head days later. As far as the more modern stuff, I am really not finding a lot of new favorites, but I haven't been trying really. I have discovered The Weepies, and of course REM, Indigo Girls, and since the uke, James Hill, Jake, and Gerald Ross.
For instrumentals, a strong melody is really important, and that is harder to find in the more rap influenced era that we are in now. So much of the appeal of a song is in the production, so when the words and production are stripped away, and all is left is the melody, it is a real test to see if it will survive the transformation to a ukulele instrumental, or even a casual strum sing performance.

–Lori

janeray1940
03-09-2015, 01:47 PM
Maybe if your motivation is to play material you like in a certain way you should do the work to set up a working band.


This is great advice for anybody who wants to perform and is not happy with the existing format of their uke group. Rather than trying to change the group - break out on your own and do it! The people who want to join you will join you, and the people who are happy with what their uke group is doing can continue to do so.

Wicked
03-09-2015, 02:04 PM
The only rule is that the songs be secular, non-political and no vulgarity.

Personally, I wouldn't want to stifle anyone's creativity... but you go ahead and be you.

Gillian
03-09-2015, 05:08 PM
Personally, I wouldn't want to stifle anyone's creativity... but you go ahead and be you.

Well, if you want to sing religious songs knowing that there are folks in the room who don't share your beliefs, or your political ideology or drop the f-bomb in a room with kids there, you be you.

I don't want to make anyone squirm when they come to our meetings to have a good time.

TheCraftedCow
03-10-2015, 11:06 AM
Our group is in its eleventh year of existing. There are still quite a few of we charter members who still attend. The reins were passed to me recently and I am open to suggestions from the group. The four previous starters of the group were careful to select songs suitable to all age levels. The song taught to the"newbies" always has been, and continues to be "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands. A verse about the little ukulele in His hands is also included. There is the responsibility of a leader to look out for the influences of music on the group of individuals who are under her/his influence. Valentine's Day songs were about successful love songs. People do not need to have songs about death, divorce, infidelity and a whole range of traumatic experiences thrown at them as entertainment. We aren't going to be singing about Going to Jackson. For children of all ages, suggestive, lewd, rude, crude songs are not on the program. By whose standard of morality is this decision made? Mine. There are initials in front of my name as well as after it. The people who asked me to be point man were aware my tolerances and intolerances. I have asked for volunteers to share in responsibilities, and perhaps have a few people as directors, but no one has come forward ....except to make the coffee.

itsme
03-10-2015, 04:29 PM
I can't say that I love all the songs that the 3 groups that I attend play but the important thing for me are the people in those groups. We have so much fun that those times have become a very important part of my life. When I first started playing and joined those groups, I was welcomed and supported. Just what I needed to encourage me to develop new skills and really enjoy myself.
That's exactly how I feel. :)

On my own, I'm mostly a classical fingerpicker, having come from a background in classical guitar. That's not something it seems many others are into, except maybe for the group Lori and janeray are in, but the timing/location aren't good for me.

So it's basically strumming and singing pop songs from all eras. Even if it's not always my cup of tea, I go for the camaraderie and fun of playing. Uke meets have become a very important part of my social life as well. I've met a lot of good people thru the uke community.

I don't love all the songs we do, and the Beatles get kind of old, but no song lasts more than a few minutes, so it's all good.

hollisdwyer
03-10-2015, 04:37 PM
That's exactly how I feel. :)

On my own, I'm mostly a classical fingerpicker, having come from a background in classical guitar. That's not something it seems many others are into, except maybe for the group Lori and janeray are in, but the timing/location aren't good for me.

So it's basically strumming and singing pop songs from all eras. Even if it's not always my cup of tea, I go for the camaraderie and fun of playing. Uke meets have become a very important part of my social life as well. I've met a lot of good people thru the uke community.

I don't love all the songs we do, and the Beatles get kind of old, but no song lasts more than a few minutes, so it's all good.

The Tin Pan Alley stuff is definitely not my cup of tea (with a few exceptions) but I always get a laugh playing the Kinks, Lou Reed, Paul Kelly, etc on a Uke.

janeray1940
03-10-2015, 06:27 PM
On my own, I'm mostly a classical fingerpicker, having come from a background in classical guitar. That's not something it seems many others are into, except maybe for the group Lori and janeray are in, but the timing/location aren't good for me.

That's too bad - we'd love to have you stop by if you were ever in the area. It's not easy to find other instrumental players!


and the Beatles get kind of old

Sacrilege! :)


I always get a laugh playing the Kinks

A couple of days ago I said half-jokingly that I wanted to start a uke group that ONLY plays the Beatles and the Kinks, so it was kinda funny seeing these two comments back to back. I suspect I'd be the lone member of my uke group!

kohanmike
03-10-2015, 07:50 PM
A couple of days ago I said half-jokingly that I wanted to start a uke group that ONLY plays the Beatles and the Kinks,... I suspect I'd be the lone member of my uke group!

I'm with you, Beatles and Kinks are certainly my cup of tea. "Sunday Afternoon" lends itself very well to uke, to me it has a Music Hall feel to it.

Dan Uke
03-10-2015, 08:03 PM
A couple of days ago I said half-jokingly that I wanted to start a uke group that ONLY plays the Beatles and the Kinks, so it was kinda funny seeing these two comments back to back. I suspect I'd be the lone member of my uke group!


I'm with you, Beatles and Kinks are certainly my cup of tea. "Sunday Afternoon" lends itself very well to uke, to me it has a Music Hall feel to it.

Perfect!! You guys are close to each other so you guys can start another group!!

hollisdwyer
03-10-2015, 08:26 PM
Perfect!! You guys are close to each other so you guys can start another group!!

Maybe we should set up a Skype group. The Spaniard in the Works though is that that I live in a time zone that is +12 hours ahead of EST (New York City).

Gillian
03-10-2015, 08:55 PM
Our club has a large (80+) turnout for Beatles night. I enjoy it because other members take over for me to lead some songs so I can play my bass uke....so many great McCartney bass lines...

I also just got a Blackbird tenor, so guess what the first song I played on it was.

Since you brought up the Kink's song, here's our songsheet for "Sunny Afternoon" (http://sanjoseukeclub.org/Song%20Book/Sunny%20Afternoon.pdf).

Yeah, yeah yeah! :)

Ukejenny
03-11-2015, 08:15 AM
Since you brought up the Kink's song, here's our songsheet for "Sunny Afternoon" (http://sanjoseukeclub.org/Song%20Book/Sunny%20Afternoon.pdf).

Yeah, yeah yeah! :)

Love it!!! Thank you!

Photojosh
03-11-2015, 08:46 AM
You know, I'd probably give "Beatles/Kinks" uke group night a try if I got a chance.

vanflynn
03-11-2015, 09:05 AM
Our small (more social than musical) group always has at least one person bring in a new song each get together. Some songs stick and others fail miserably.

Lori
03-11-2015, 11:04 AM
A couple of days ago I said half-jokingly that I wanted to start a uke group that ONLY plays the Beatles and the Kinks, so it was kinda funny seeing these two comments back to back. I suspect I'd be the lone member of my uke group!
I must have missed that one. I am open to Beatles/ Kinks music. I know Pee Wee was not interested in doing any more Beatles, but I'm game.

–Lori

Dan Uke
03-11-2015, 11:16 AM
I must have missed that one. I am open to Beatles/ Kinks music. I know Pee Wee was not interested in doing any more Beatles, but I'm game.

–Lori

Wow, Peewee still drives out there? That's commitment! He's seems more of a KROQ type of guy

janeray1940
03-11-2015, 11:27 AM
I must have missed that one. I am open to Beatles/ Kinks music. I know Pee Wee was not interested in doing any more Beatles, but I'm game.

–Lori

Nah, you didn't miss anything - just me pondering aloud at McCabe's as to whether or not people would come if we did an all-Beatles or all-Kinks uke session. Fred does an all-Beatles jam from time to time (I haven't been since I'm not into the jam aspect of playing) that I hear is popular.

I, for one, would be thrilled if either one of our uke groups took on more Beatles. I think much of their catalog really lends itself well to instrumentals.


Wow, Peewee still drives out there? That's commitment! He's seems more of a KROQ type of guy

We wish he still did! I haven't seen Peewee since he moved :(

Peewee and I are the same age, and it seems pretty typical for our generation to *not* like the Beatles (or whatever else was popular with our elder siblings). I'm kind of an anomaly that way - but I just didn't like the music of the 1970s-1980s so I just kept listening to and loving the older stuff.

vanflynn
03-13-2015, 10:55 AM
We just did a get together the other night and what bugged me more that the songs is the straight up down up down metronomic strumming. We have one member that really struggles with any type of strum pattern so we can't get very fancy.

What do other groups do??

sukie
03-13-2015, 11:08 AM
Vanflynn -- it's sounds more filled out if everyone doesn't play the same strum. Or the same chord "tones" -- cuz I don't know the right term. I find ukulele group the perfect place to work on a picking pattern or try to work out a strum. I like to chunk, but nobody seems to care for it, so I don't do it a lot. I don't think the people who don't want to improve -- and that's not a slam, they seem happy -- should hold anyone else back. Go for it.

Nickie
03-13-2015, 02:24 PM
Funny that the Beatles were mentioned. We're doing an all Beatles song jam session next month!
Most Beatles songs are easy....a few are challenging. We save the challenging stuff for last, so when the beginners leave, and the diehards take over, it works well.
Sukie, I like to chunk too, but I'm not very good at it. I do it whether anybody else wants to or not.
I have no problem with anyone who doesn't want to improve, but I don't let them hold the rest of us back.

Jandante
03-16-2015, 10:42 PM
I was in the northern rivers ukulele orchestra ,,,the fella who runs that also runs the mullum nights ,,,we had a bit of a fallina out so I don't go to mullum ,,,but to be honest the mullum night is not much of a parsipitation evening you can't here your self play and can be quite annoying so it's just me the lone uke player at a local jam night with a bunch of other instrument players having a good time

I have seen the publicity for the Mullum nights, but haven't ever gone along. You must be a very able player to participate in the Ukulele Orchestra! Our little group is not up to jamming yet as we have from beginners this week to those who started through last year. By the way, is jamming to you several playing together by ear without music in front of them? I saw a notice in the local music/pool store that there would be a jam starting up on Sunday afternoon at a local hotel, and when I asked about it, it was actually walk -up with solo vocalists (with or without guitar) amplified.

Tootler
03-17-2015, 11:12 AM
I have seen the publicity for the Mullum nights, but haven't ever gone along. You must be a very able player to participate in the Ukulele Orchestra! Our little group is not up to jamming yet as we have from beginners this week to those who started through last year. By the way, is jamming to you several playing together by ear without music in front of them? I saw a notice in the local music/pool store that there would be a jam starting up on Sunday afternoon at a local hotel, and when I asked about it, it was actually walk -up with solo vocalists (with or without guitar) amplified.

That's not a jam, it's an open mic. A jam is what you described in your question above - people playing together in an informal setting. Some people might bring their song folder along then call out the chords from their song sheets.

AJ Hill
03-20-2015, 05:52 PM
The mullum uke night is not an open night it's just the same bloke who is plugged in to an amp,,,or his uke is at least and know it's not a jam never said it was ,,,my meet up is a jam no paper music just a bunch of tunes in our heads that we do our best to get out more fun than the uke clubs in this part of australia that's for sure that seem to keep playing the same old beginner stuff

Jandante
03-20-2015, 06:28 PM
,my meet up is a jam no paper music just a bunch of tunes in our heads that we do our best to get out more fun than the uke clubs in this part of Australia that's for sure that seem to keep playing the same old beginner stuff That is great Alan, we probably only have one person in our group that could join in a jam session, my hubby.

Freeda
03-20-2015, 06:30 PM
I got a lengthy email from a member who was complaining that the songs are too easy. Same week I got a Facebook message from another member wanting to get together prior to meetings in order to practice.

Can't make em all happy.

itsme
03-20-2015, 06:58 PM
I got a lengthy email from a member who was complaining that the songs are too easy.
I can understand that. It gets rather boring when all the songs use the same 3-4 chords in the same key. On the other hand, when there are a whole bunch of unfamiliar chords in a piece, I tend to get a bit lost.

Hms
03-21-2015, 01:07 AM
We have. Leader, who chooses the music. He then prepares it so it works with respect to key and playability,and then sends it to us to print and practice prior to the next open monthly meet. We can all put suggestions forward as to songs we would like to do.
We have a paid membership of about 60 members, we have a once a month saturday morning meet in a local cafe, where we try out new songs to see if they work, or if the arrangement needs to be tweaked. This also means that at the monthly open, there wil be people there who know the tune, some we don't have a load of people sitting around going Eh!
We also have, most months, a blues evening, where about a dozen or so of us get together and play blues. We have just adopted the Real Book of the Blues as a resource for music, in addition to what we bring.
When available, we have workshops, having hosted Manitoba Hal, Del Rey and Phil Doleman.
As a group we do perform, for festivals, benefits and charities.
We have a great sociable time, many laughs, lots of beer and fun.
I don't necessarily like all of the music we play, but hey, some people don't like my choice of music!
Of the several local clubs I have tried, this one plays the music I like, was the most welcoming, and the one I found the most fun, although it was the furthest away.
H

Down Up Dick
03-21-2015, 06:27 AM
I don't belong to a group; I'm pretty much a loner, but I've seen them in videos and on TV. Anyway, it seems to me , from reading this thread, that most of them are way too big.

In a regular musical group, people play different parts that blend together to make beautiful music (hopefully), but, in many Uke groups, everyone plays plunka, plunka, plunka and sings the melody at the same time. That doesn't make for lasting satisfaction.

I think people would be happier in smaller groups (3 or 4 peeps) that could sing/play in parts. Smaller groups would be easier to manage, and it might be easier to find places to play. The music choices might be better accepted too. Those who weren't interested in practicing and improving could continue with the plunka, plunka groups.

Anyhow, that's what I think. :old:

UkerDanno
03-21-2015, 09:17 AM
I don't belong to a group; I'm pretty much a loner, but I've seen them in videos and on TV. Anyway, it seems to me , from reading this thread, that most of them are way too big.

That's a good point, our club in Sun City has probably 70-80 members and sometimes we have 40-50 at weekly meetings. But the leader, who is a strong leader and knows every song you can imagine has gotten to where we are buying mic's, projectors, ipads, etc, etc. It's gotten out of hand, I think. I'd rather sit in a circle with 10-20 and have people pick out songs and play and socialize and have fun!

We have shows once in a while and it's good we have a strong leader, but it's become the "Leader" Show with his backup band.

We had a show recently and were practicing a version of "If I had a Hammer/Uke" from the Santa Cruz book, there were parts that were off and he could recognize it. So, I took it upon myself to redo it and fix it, consulting with the club president and came up with a great version everybody could understand and play. When we presented it to the leader, he rejected it and found another standard version on the internet.

Sooo...pretty much pissed me off!!! OK rant over...:shaka:

tooney
07-30-2015, 03:53 PM
First, this is only my two cents, which may not even be worth that. :-) I respect everyone's opinion here.

This is a somewhat old thread, so I don't know how many people will see this, which is okay. I just found this thread and I can finally admit NO, NO I DON'T LIKE THE MUSIC MY UKULELE GROUP PLAYS! But it's the only group around, they are LOVELY people, and they are welcoming. Anyone is welcome, and no one is judged. That outweighs the music for me. We play a lot from Daily Ukulele. None of my suggestions have made it into the regular line-up.

One part of the problem is they play up to speed right away, and no more than 3x total. I get it, there's a limited amount of time but sometimes I'd like to concentrate on a song more. Oh well.

For the record, I really don't like Big Rock Candy Mountain. But it's not about me, it's about something bigger that I want to be a part of. That outweighs not being able to play my favorite songs.

Buiietbob
07-31-2015, 12:32 PM
I'm new here but after reading some of the post I see I must speak.I see that we don't like this music or that music or the group that plays it.I can't understand this at all.Stay away. I live in bluegrass hell.When I was playing guitar I wanted to play blues,you would have thought I had a plauge. I have been insulted to max for wanting to play.So if I could find a group to play with I would be there to be with folks,I can play what I want when I alone which is most of the time. buiiletbob

kkimura
07-31-2015, 12:40 PM
Some day I'm going to get that "plunka, plunka, plunka" stuff down pat.

Ukuleleblues
07-31-2015, 02:33 PM
I'm new here but after reading some of the post I see I must speak.I see that we don't like this music or that music or the group that plays it.I can't understand this at all.Stay away. I live in bluegrass hell.When I was playing guitar I wanted to play blues,you would have thought I had a plauge. I have been insulted to max for wanting to play.So if I could find a group to play with I would be there to be with folks,I can play what I want when I alone which is most of the time. buiiletbob
LOL, Bluegrass Hell, we must be neighbors!! Remember the scene from the Blus Brothers? "What kind of music you play here?" "Both kinds, Country and Western"