View Full Version : Ukulele clubs

12-01-2015, 07:12 PM
Most of the clubs in my area, Connecticut, are made up of players who play all the old stuff, Tin Pan Alley, Hawaiian music etc and I'm into neither. I'm playing Springsteen, Coldplay, Jonny Lang, the civil wars, snow patrol. Any suggestions on how to find other players playing more contemporary stuff. It gets lonely playing alone. Please don't suggest meeting halfway if I had to play 5'2 eyes of blue or if you knew Susie like I knew Susie I think I'd shoot myself first.

12-01-2015, 08:30 PM
I'm surprised that you can't find a club/group that plays more contemporary music, especially in a more populous part of the world than I live in.

Here in Perth, Western Australia there is quite a range of repertoire being played by the local groups. Some are in the same time warp as you have described. Like you, that's not for me either. Maybe I was just lucky to find a group that has a more current playlist.

12-01-2015, 09:10 PM
I hear you. I once took a look through our club's song books to count the songs that were written before I was born and I found ONE that maybe wasn't. (I am 44 and people often don't realize the Beatles broke up before I was born) Playing new songs also presents a problem for me because often times I don't know the newer songs someone once sent me a clip embarrassed that they had a Katy Perry song on the clip they sent me... I asked "who is Katy Perry"? I knew some of her songs but couldn't recognize the name.

phil hague
12-01-2015, 10:57 PM
I see your situation. I am always wanting to have a go at something different, but being older I don't know the new stuff. We need someone like you to teach it to us.

12-02-2015, 02:17 AM
I can totally understand where you're coming from. You might be interested in in reading through this thread where I ask others here if they like the music their ukulele group plays. http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?104967-Do-you-like-the-music-your-ukulele-group-plays (It was a pretty interesting discussion which ran for 11 pages.)

The appreciation (or lack thereof) of various musical genres/eras is such a subjective thing it might be difficult to find people who are on the same page. Even if you like or are open to music in the same genre/era, the music selection could still really turn one off. I like jazz a lot so I'm open to tin pan alley kind of stuff and even have some of that in my music book but it is a pretty small portion. Even so, playing stuff like 5'2 Eyes of Blue or If You Knew Susie Like I Knew Susie would totally turn me off because it is so corny and I would never choose to play them on my own.

[Just for reference and fun's sake, this is a sampling of the type of artist's music that I currently play: 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, The Kinks, George Harrison, Arlo Guthrie, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Fleetwood Mac.]

Luke El U
12-02-2015, 02:28 AM
Oh, to have the luxury of choice, the fulfillment of playing even with one other uke player, one other anything player. Those of us who are in a musical solitary confinement envy you.

12-02-2015, 02:54 AM
Oh, to have the luxury of choice, the fulfillment of playing even with one other uke player, one other anything player. Those of us who are in a musical solitary confinement envy you.

This kind of gets to the crux of the matter. There has to be a tipping point between wanting to play with others for the socialization/sake of playing with others and overall, liking the music the group plays. For me, I'm a bit of an introvert so there is a desire to play with others but the bigger draw would have to be playing a preponderance of music that I like or could connect to in some way. Not liking most of the music being played would not be enough to make me want to be part of a group just for the sake of playing with others.

12-02-2015, 03:02 AM
I can't find a ukulele group at all around here. If I could, I would probably play whatever they wanted, just for the experience. I even tried to start my own group, and found one person. Anyway, you could always join a group and try to get them to play some of the music that you like. Maybe they just haven't been introduced to it.

12-02-2015, 03:18 AM
I am lucky that I live in a town with 3 universities. BUT, I would say to create a group that meets the same day, time, and place (Mine meets the first Saturday of every month at a coffee house from 2-4). make sure to meet where young people go, and put fliers were they will see them.
You may still get some older players, just take the lead and only play modern songs.
I would say have a book that has the music.
My jam site with my book is at www.normalukejam.com
feel free to take what you need, lots of other books I have found around the web.

the songbook page password: normalukejam

Down Up Dick
12-02-2015, 03:23 AM
I play mostly folk music, but I noodle various melodies a lot too. However, mostly what I like to do is learn new stuff and try new things. I'm happy playing alone.

Maybe you could go to some meetings, meet some other Ukers and start a small group of like minded peeps. You'd probably only need two or three . . .

12-02-2015, 03:23 AM
When I started a uke club, I envisioned something hipper and more contemporary, like my perception of London's Ukulele Wednesday. It did not fly. The uke community, in Florida at least, leans very heavily toward the 5'2" crowd. Something from the 60s or 70s would be about as contemporary as they'd get. Even then, their choices couldn't be further from what I would want to play (think Monkees instead of Stones, The Carpenters vs Neil Young). As far as playing anything remotely modern...forget about it. It's funny, but just when I think maybe I'm being too obscure, I'll be in a store (not a cool store, just the supermarket or Walmart) and some Ed Sheeran or Imagine Dragons or Coldplay will come on the PA and wonder "Are they not hearing this?" Anyway, I stepped down from leading the uke club because it was just no longer fun for me. I play now with local guitar players and the selections are a little more diverse and while leaning toward the 60s and 70s at least a bit more open to the more contemporary. When you play with others, you're never gonna like everything but life's too short to play a ton of music you hate.