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View Full Version : Got Kicked out of Uke Group Because I brought a Bass



katysax
07-02-2015, 11:12 AM
There is a local senior center that has a ukulele group. I have played bass with them and they love to have me. Today the management of the senior center kicked me out because the group is ukuleles only. I had my solid body u-bass with me. They also want no amps no matter how soft. Even though they allow playing demo songs through speakers. ???

I did not make a big deal, just left.

turtledrum
07-02-2015, 11:19 AM
Wow...so sorry this happened to you....here's hoping that things get resolved or you find an even better place for you to be soon.

kohanmike
07-02-2015, 11:20 AM
What a bummer. We had a bit of a problem with one of the workers at the the Culver City Veterans Center with our uke group from the Culver City Senior Center, he hated the sound of ukulele, so when push came to shove, we had to meet in another room away from where he works. But otherwise, they love us there, including two amped basses and you see what styles are mine.

What senior center is that so I know to stay away from it?

Debby
07-02-2015, 11:30 AM
There is a local senior center that has a ukulele group. I have played bass with them and they love to have me. Today the management of the senior center kicked me out because the group is ukuleles only. I had my solid body u-bass with me. They also want no amps no matter how soft. Even though they allow playing demo songs through speakers. ???

I did not make a big deal, just left.

Sorry you had a rough time at the senior center. It would have been nice if they had let you stay, today, but requested you bring a regular uke next time. It's kind of extreme they asked you to leave.

Lori
07-02-2015, 11:36 AM
That's unfortunate. If you want to continue with that group, you could play an Ohana acoustic bass (OBU-22). It can be played unplugged if necessary.

–Lori

wickedwahine11
07-02-2015, 12:25 PM
Sorry you had a rough time at the senior center. It would have been nice if they had let you stay, today, but requested you bring a regular uke next time. It's kind of extreme they asked you to leave.

That is what I was thinking. It seems a bit extreme to kick you out. If they just no longer wanted bass they should have just told you to switch to a regular uke next time, not leave entirely.

katysax
07-02-2015, 12:30 PM
It was Canoga Park. I did have a regular ukulele with me, but this group is very beginner beginner. They play songs with no more than 5 chords and strum with the thumb. That's about it. It bores me to death to play ukulele under those circumstances. I've played with them before and no problem - they want me - it's just the people running the center. I might try coming back and bringing my acoustic u-bass and a smaller more unobtrusive amp - although what I brought was small. It was not just the amp he objected to but he kept insisting "ukuleles only" and would not accept that what I was playing was a ukulele bass. I had turned the volume up a bit just because I was adjusting the volume and the guy would not let me show him that it would be very quiet. The group meets very close to my house and it is an hour one day a week. I see it as a chance to practice very simple bass lines. But the level of the group does make me antsy.

I regularly play with the the Thousand Oaks ukulele group. That group is considerably more skilled and the people there are my friends. It's not like I have no chance to play. I just thought the guy was being unreasonable kicking me out in Canoga Park. The group was upset too. They have trouble staying together and the bass really helps.

I used to play saxophone in a jazz band where the leader had a no amps rule. The bass was a big upright double bass. He would not even allow that to be amped and for the most part we could not hear it. When I broke off and had my own band, we played similar material but used an electric bass. We also used an electric guitar. Even Benny Goodman's guitar player played electric guitar. Part of the reason the no amps jazz band fell apart was because the musicians were sick of not being able to hear the bass or the guitar. I have to admit that playing the double bass intrigues me but that would not be allowed either because it's not a ukulele.

coolkayaker1
07-02-2015, 05:49 PM
I don't really understand the "kicking me out" part.

Did the administrator, despite the outcry from the senior members that you say enjoyed your being there, say, out loud and in front of the others: "You...the one with the bass and the amp...get the f$&@ outta here. Now. I said NOW!"

������

He sounds like a man who is unhappy.

kohanmike
07-02-2015, 06:52 PM
I guess he'd kick out Jake with all that gear he carries with him, loopers, amps, PAs, electric bass accompaniment.

Uncle Leroy
07-03-2015, 01:18 AM
Wow! I am sorry to hear of this. It is unfortunate as seniors usually enjoy all kinds of entertainment. Seems a little close minded to me. Don't let it get you down. Keep on pluck in'

Surly-Mac
07-03-2015, 02:40 AM
Well - that's a shame... sounds like you've run into another "Power-Mad-Dog" (there seems to be more & more of them, everywhere.) Maybe the group will show up one day, all soprano ukes & harmonicas in neck racks, and give that "administrator" a proper send off. (Think: Bob Dylan, "Things Have Changed"...)

stevepetergal
07-03-2015, 02:44 AM
Are these truly the rules?
If so, I say don't bring an amp. Bring the ukulele.

vanflynn
07-03-2015, 03:35 AM
Thats a shame, for both you and the group. Most beginner groups really need the rhythm that a bass would provide.

Hopefully some in the group will speak up.

PhilUSAFRet
07-03-2015, 03:48 AM
Makes you wonder who the administrators are there to "serve."

katysax
07-03-2015, 05:59 AM
They've been playing for two years with no bass. I'm considering coming back with an acoustic bass Kala but I just don't know how they are going to hear anything. Most of them have to be looked at directly and shouted to just to talk.

In any event I don't want to play ukulele with the group. They play a lot of really dumb stuff like "On top of Old Smokey" and they strum everything the same - with the thumb. They really very much want the bass. For me it was a chance to practice the bass with almost no pressure and driving only a couple of miles. Maybe I'll come and bring the acoustic bass even if I'm the only one who can hear it because it is still a chance to practice.

It does seem like the staff at the Senior Center is inflexible. But they do have to deal with a lot of different people who are difficult.

sukie
07-03-2015, 06:09 AM
Sorry to hear. It sounds silly.

janeray1940
07-03-2015, 06:23 AM
Sounds more to me like a case of bureaucracy gone wrong than anything personal. Sorry to hear it.

Having been to a fair number of uke groups, I can say based on experience that not every group will be a good fit. In fact, for me, most of them AREN'T a good fit. I share your sense of boredom when it comes to simple beginner-level strum songs, and in my experience that's precisely what most uke groups play. Maybe some of them will have a "star" who gets to play lead once in a while, but generally that honor is reserved for one person and everyone else is just strum, strum, strumming the same thing (or attempting to!). For a lot of people, this is enough - they enjoy the social aspect and the fact that they are strumming a few chords is challenge enough for them. And sometimes you can change that - it sounds like this particular group welcomed your bass and was open to change, but if the powers that be forbid it, well - looks like your choices are to bring a uke and strum, strum, strum, or, to simply move on.

mrufino1
07-03-2015, 06:42 AM
Sounds like there's little reason to return. Finding people to play with who enjoy the same things you do may bring much more happiness and productivity. I don't know your situation, but it sounds like there's better opportunities out there. Why does it have to be a ukulele group? I'm using my rondo uke bass on weddings playing every style imaginable and it's fitting really well. Most people haven't even noticed that I'm playing a different bass, which tells me it fits well. And there's no reason for out of work bassists! Plenty of need, paid and unpaid, whatever your speed.

From everything you've posted you seem to have a great , attitude and love music, surrounding yourself with the same will be a great situation!

katysax
07-03-2015, 07:27 AM
As I said earlier I have a regular group that I play with which I like very much. The level is much more advanced and the people are closer to my age and interests. Also, I don't just play with ukulele groups. I sometimes play with a bluegrass group and I sometimes just get together with friends and play. I generally don't have the time to play every opportunity that I have - I have a couple of people trying to get me to play with their rock bands - but I haven't had the time.

The reason for going to that particular ukulele group was mostly just convenience, its close by. It only meets for an hour. The people are nice but a bit older than me. It was an additional group. It's really not a big loss if I don't go. The group liked having the bass - they appreciated it because it helped them stay together.

One thing I like about the bass is that everyone always needs a bassist. Even if you aren't a superstar you can provide a simple bass line and it is much appreciated.

acmespaceship
07-03-2015, 01:35 PM
If the uke club wants its bassist back, then members should complain to management and explain that they *want* you there. The manager may think he is doing the club a favor by sending away an instrument that doesn't seem to belong in the club. All a misunderstanding.

Or there might be other people at the center who complained about the amplified bass (are you, like so many bassists, playing at a volume that makes you audible far away where nobody hears the ukes at all?) I have learned from numerous upstairs neighbors that bass carries and can be Really Annoying.

Or could it be that somebody in the uke club complained, and the manager is playing the fall guy? A good bassist is a great addition to a uke club, especially one with beginners, but it isn't always true that the bassist and the other players mesh well. I've known bass players who thought they were helping and, really, they weren't.

In other words, it's easy to assume management is being a jerk, and I wouldn't be surprised if that's true, but you might not know the whole story.

katysax
07-03-2015, 04:10 PM
I'm sure that the group wants me and the manager was the one being a jerk. As I said I have played with them before. I understand completely that bassists can be annoying and my playing philosophy on the bass when accompanying a group is "less is more." I did have the volume up higher than it should have been for a couple of notes really just a couple of notes - I was just setting up the bass when the guy kicked me out. I was trying to explain that I would keep the volume down quite a bit. He was just being strict about the rules. Honestly I'm over it it wasn't a big deal and I've spent more time on it in this forum than I care about it.