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bornagainjeeper
04-08-2009, 07:51 PM
So i live in southern illinois wine country...some of the finest fruit wines around and great grape wine to boot...Recently my friend, a magician, got a job at Blue Sky Vineyard as a table magician for the guests, and was told that they were looking for mandolin and lute players to walk around in the gardens and play to the tables...He suggested i give them a ring...

I'm concerned because A.) i have very limited experience playing in public (though i think 10 or fewer people at a table may not be an issue
B.) i can't memorize lyrics and chords well
C.) i may not be good enough to start with...

I'm pretty sure if i audition i'll get the spot...even though ukulele isn't what they are looking for...but i think i'd get it, which makes me nervous...there is no harm in auditioning, i can take defeat, but WHAT IF I GOT IT? could i really pull it off?

there videos (several play in a row)
http://www.blueskyvineyard.com/videos

Link
04-08-2009, 07:55 PM
YES.

Dude. A job playing the ukulele. Why are you even asking us? You should have taken the job and you could be bragging by now! At least give it a shot, BAJ.

SamWise
04-08-2009, 08:09 PM
Go for it. The risk of Youtube is that it doesn't discipline us to actually LEARN songs; we can get away with a lead sheet in front of us, and have 2 or 3 goes. Of the 40 or so songs I've done, I'm not sure I could play more than 10 right now.

I did, however, once have a side career as a covers artist in pubs, playing 2 hours a night to half-listening drunk people, and I was able to retain everything for that. Print up lead sheets with chords and words, so you can take a glance every now and then between songs - that will help. More than that, however, just practise a lot. Sing the songs over and over in your head, do your set right through every night at least once, in addition to working on the ones that need more. You'll do it.

bornagainjeeper
04-08-2009, 08:25 PM
Go for it. The risk of Youtube is that it doesn't discipline us to actually LEARN songs; we can get away with a lead sheet in front of us, and have 2 or 3 goes. Of the 40 or so songs I've done, I'm not sure I could play more than 10 right now.

I did, however, once have a side career as a covers artist in pubs, playing 2 hours a night to half-listening drunk people, and I was able to retain everything for that. Print up lead sheets with chords and words, so you can take a glance every now and then between songs - that will help. More than that, however, just practise a lot. Sing the songs over and over in your head, do your set right through every night at least once, in addition to working on the ones that need more. You'll do it.


thanks alot for the advice..all good...the one issue is, lead sheets are likely not an option because i'd be walking around from picnic table to picnic table in a big open yard playing table by table

HumbleSounds
04-08-2009, 08:25 PM
uke can do it!

FANaddic(t)
04-08-2009, 08:50 PM
DO IT! You've got it, I promise. It won't be as hard as you imagine, due to two main reasons: 1) strum any chord on a uke and people are instantly happy, and 2) the people to whom you are playing are already wine-induced happy. IF you do mess up or forget something, keep playing and fudge the lyrics...no one will notice.

People give advice all of the time, but this is from first-hand experience. My first gig EVER was in front of a couple thousand people at Mardi Gras. I'm not an extremely confident player either, but for the above mentioned reasons, it turned out to be one awesome experience.

Let us know how it goes!!!!!!! Good luck!!!!!!!

bornagainjeeper
04-08-2009, 08:50 PM
uke can do it!

all night long?

khrome
04-08-2009, 08:56 PM
all night long?

Yes! If you run out of stuff, just play C-F-G in different combos, strum patterns, or picking patterns. People won't even know. It's got my bf fooled - he thinks I'm an awsome player. lmao

I think you should go for it. Everything new is nerve racking. But just like anything else, it will get better with practice and exposure.

Ken Middleton
04-08-2009, 09:16 PM
First of all: you ARE good enough.

Playing and singing in public is largely a matter of confidence. If you can sing in tune (which you can) and accompany yourself simply with a regular beat (which you can), you will impress people. But you have to do it boldly and with panache. Don't be timid or doubt your abilities and most people with like what you're doing - simply because they can't (or daren't) do it themselves.

Sam's advice is good. Pick your songs well though. Choose some obvious ones to start off with and then add more when you get a feel for what will go down well. Choosing the wrong song (one that offends for instance) will spell disaster.

You have a powerful, loud and clear singing voice that is very easy to listen to. There is no problem there at all. Keep the ukulele accompaniment simple - most folks in the UK are impressed that it is possible to get any music out of it all (unless it's a song about window cleaning).

I've played in public lots (though not on the ukulele). The secret is:

1. Be confident.
2. Choose the right material.
3. Be pleasant and smile.
4. Prepare some witty reposts that make them laugh without putting them down (even if they deserve a good thumping).


KEN

Pippin
04-08-2009, 10:13 PM
What you need to do is work on memorizing your songs. You will not be able to carry chord sheets with you as you walk from table to table. There will be more than ten people. Those events can have a lot more people than a single table. That is the reality here.

You will have to work on learning your songs completely and be able to play about thirty or so before you can realistically take on a gig unless you know that the duration is short enough for fewer songs or you are "part" of the entertainment and not the whole show.

I am not being negative... just that I'd love to see you succeed and that means being properly prepared.

Having said all of that... work at a song list and have them all memorized... then go for it.

HumbleSounds
04-08-2009, 11:11 PM
all night long?

Yup, you could totally do a cover of that song too. Here's a link, http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4n5c_lionel-richie-all-night-long_music

:p

ukeshale
04-08-2009, 11:56 PM
hope you go for it man!

buddhuu
04-09-2009, 12:49 AM
Yes! If you run out of stuff, just play C-F-G in different combos, strum patterns, or picking patterns[...]

Part of a very important point.

Many members of my band play with music stands and sheets! We've actually made it part of the band's trademark "look"! Obviously, If you're walking around that gets difficult to do, and you can easily come to rely on it to the extent that you're screwed if you forget your music.

Instead of trying to memorise the chords individually for every song, maybe try to recognise which ones use which common progressions (as most probably will).

For example, just about every 12-bar blues will use the I-IV-V.

Many others will be built on I-vi-IV-V ...or... I-V-vi-IV ... etc etc etc.

Once you get into your head the association between common progressions and a list of songs which use them, it can relieve the pressure quite a bit!

If the worst comes to the worst, build your set around songs that only use common progressions. It can still seem like a good varied repertoire. "La Bamba" is different enough from "Johnny B Goode" that most punters won't realise they have much same chords. Play in a couple of different keys and you can make the sense of variety even greater.

:shaka: :music:

TheWannabe90
04-09-2009, 12:55 AM
Why not? what's the worst thing that can happen?
(apart from a guy destroying your uke for disturbing his romantic picknick)
But when choosing your songs, don't always think "What do I like to play?"
You should pick songs that people know and can sing along,
success guaranteed
Go for it you lucky bastard...

Ukulele JJ
04-09-2009, 01:32 AM
Instead of trying to memorise the chords individually for every song, maybe try to recognise which ones use which common progressions (as most probably will).

For example, just about every 12-bar blues will use the I-IV-V.

Many others will be built on I-vi-IV-V ...or... I-V-vi-IV ... etc etc etc.

Once you get into your head the association between common progressions and a list of songs which use them, it can relieve the pressure quite a bit!

Thinking of chords in terms of key relationship rather than letter name was an enormous help to me. Specifically, I started using the Nashville Number System when I got to town a gazillion years ago. It really helps train the ol' ear, and eventually eliminates the need to even have a chart for a lot of songs in the first place.

But that's kind of a different topic.

As to whether or not to take the gig... heck yeah! :cheers:

JJ

deach
04-09-2009, 01:57 AM
I couldn't do something I love as a job. I could probably do it as a part-time thing but never as a profession.

UKISOCIETY
04-09-2009, 03:05 AM
I couldn't do something I love as a job. I could probably do it as a part-time thing but never as a profession.

Why do you hate posting here so much? :(


That's your profession, right?

deach
04-09-2009, 03:09 AM
Why do you hate posting here so much? :(


That's your profession, right?

I have a Fluke AND a BP.

Ukuleleblues
04-09-2009, 04:12 AM
Go for it. It's a perfect match for the uke. We do the same a local garden, we volunteer there. Try it you'll meet alot of great people at the least. Don't be nervous, just go and have fun.

Yopparai
04-09-2009, 04:16 AM
If it is, in fact, a wandering minstrel thing, going from table to table, that would seem to me to reduce the number of songs you have to have at the ready. Play song 1 at the first table, stroll over to the next and play song 2. song three at the next table and you can start over.. The people at table 4 haven't heard song 1 at all.

If you find the idea of performing in front of live bodies appealing, you are going to have to start somewhere, so why not here? They will even pay you! All my public playing has been non-paying.

hoosierhiver
04-09-2009, 04:17 AM
Do it !, it'll be a fun summer and if you flop, there's plenty of wine handy.;)

UKISOCIETY
04-09-2009, 04:18 AM
I have a Fluke AND a BP.

Ooo, swish!

/979

dominicfoundthemooon
04-09-2009, 04:29 AM
you can so do this.. just get a fun little outfit! people just want to have fun! and when i play on the plaza.. i find that if i know the basics.. i can get a long.. remember you are going going to be at a table for 1 or 2 songs.. max 4 or 5.. they are not going to want you there a ton.. get a little act down.. jokes.. etc.. makes for good tips.. and learn things like brown eyed girl.. and wild thing.. some tom petty! stuff everyone knows.. it is all G-C-D anyway right! and another thing people like is when you make up songs on the spot and sing about them.. i did this a lot because i did not know covers..

also.. get yourself one of these.. CLICK HERE (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=360090491031) you can tune it to a ukulele and use those chords.. now i would tip someone playing this thing!! how fun right!!

peace

Ken Middleton
04-09-2009, 04:33 AM
If I were younger, and I lived in Carbondale (I don't know where that is, but I'm sure it's very nice), I'd do it. Like a shot!!!


KEN

UKISOCIETY
04-09-2009, 04:56 AM
If I were younger, and I lived in Carbondale (I don't know where that is, but I'm sure it's very nice), I'd do it. Like a shot!!!


KEN

Carbondale's about a half a mile from nowhere. They like Salukis there.

/I kid. I went to ISU in Normal, Illinois. I wished I was in Carbondale sometimes!

Ukulele JJ
04-09-2009, 05:48 AM
If it is, in fact, a wandering minstrel thing, going from table to table...

Wandering minstrel? I guess you could call it that. Which would explain why Jeeper is so anxious about the possibility of taking the gig.

He's merely suffering from pre-minstrel syndrome.

:uhoh:

JJ

russ_buss
04-09-2009, 05:53 AM
Wandering minstrel? I guess you could call it that. Which would explain why Jeeper is so anxious about the possibility of taking the gig.

He's merely suffering from pre-minstrel syndrome.

:uhoh:

JJ

ZING!!!!


you should go for it BAJ, good luck man!

Yopparai
04-09-2009, 06:04 AM
A traveling musician was playing for an audience one day when suddenly his hands curled up into claws and he fell to the ground, moaning in agony. One fellow in the crowd grew concerned and asked, "Do you think he is OK?" His neighbor reassured him, saying "Yeah, its just minstrel cramps."

SamWise
04-09-2009, 06:06 AM
thanks alot for the advice..all good...the one issue is, lead sheets are likely not an option because i'd be walking around from picnic table to picnic table in a big open yard playing table by table

Ken's advice is good - be confident, that will carry the day. Also, when you make a mistake (and everyone does), people will take their cue from you. If you are embarrased and mortified, they will be too. If you laugh at yourself cheerfully and carry on, so will they. Finally, I know you can't carry lead sheets around, but they still have a value. If you're anything like me, once in a while your mind will go blank, and you won't be able to remember any of your songs, or the first chord to any of them. At that moment, you'll be happy to be able to nip back to your uke case and get a reminder! One glance is usually enough to free up the blockage.

sukie
04-09-2009, 08:28 AM
Go for it. In the future you don't want to look back and say "Wish I'd tried that."

Oswegan
04-09-2009, 08:31 AM
I would only do it if I could wear a really gay pirate outfit.

deach
04-09-2009, 08:33 AM
I would only do it if I could wear a really gay pirate outfit.

Doesn't he do that normally?

Ahnko Honu
04-09-2009, 08:36 AM
I would only do it if I could wear a really gay pirate outfit.

Maybe just a puffy shirt
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_UfBePUbn2Us/SDpID11OjaI/AAAAAAAACTs/Ppnh39mLbtA/s400/puffyshirt.jpg

PoisonDart
04-09-2009, 08:55 AM
Dude, go for it. Once you're signed up you'll be amazed at how fast and hard you work to get a good song list down.

Btw, You have any plans to go to cavestock? I'm thinking of going.

Ahnko Honu
04-09-2009, 08:58 AM
Go for it, and we can all live our musical dream job fantasy thru you. ;)

Oswegan
04-09-2009, 09:38 AM
Maybe just a puffy shirt
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_UfBePUbn2Us/SDpID11OjaI/AAAAAAAACTs/Ppnh39mLbtA/s400/puffyshirt.jpg

I would only wear that shirt if I could play the Honu ukulele with the turtle shaped bridge.

Ahnko Honu
04-09-2009, 09:43 AM
I would only wear that shirt if I could play the Honu ukulele with the turtle shaped bridge.

Or the pink Makala with the dolphin shaped bridge.
http://www.mesdirect.com/Content/Files/images/MES0668.jpg

Oswegan
04-09-2009, 09:45 AM
Or the pink Makala with the dolphin shaped bridge.
http://www.mesdirect.com/Content/Files/images/MES0668.jpg

But that would require an eye patch.

Ahnko Honu
04-09-2009, 09:47 AM
But that would require an eye patch.

ARGH matey!

Baron K
04-09-2009, 10:18 AM
Of course you should take it! You've got a great voice and a sweet personality and everybody will love you. And don't worry about having a hard time remembering songs - since the audience will change, you'll be playing the same ten songs over and over until you puke.... And then you will add some new songs and throw in a couple of your own and drink some wine and get naughty suggestions from ladies and life will be grand!

I read a chineese saying once that went: If you think to much about the next step you'll end up standing on one leg the rest of your life...

ricdoug
04-09-2009, 10:53 AM
We've used these at parades and other public performances:

http://www.kani-ka-pila.com/index_files/ProductList.htm

On Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can print "booklets" and on some versions you can print size as a percentage of the original document.

For your application, start off with a half dozen songs you are familiar with. Every group you approach and play for is a new audience and your music will be "new and fresh" to them. Practice always is a key ingredient to a good performance. I've played in many shopping mall/center parking lots while my wife was busy looking at every purse and pair of shoes in the establishment. I get everything from tips, ladies dancing to my music, requests to play parties/weddings/gigs, singing along, song requests, threats, heckling... you name it. It's all good public performance practice. Ric

bornagainjeeper
04-09-2009, 10:57 AM
Dude, go for it. Once you're signed up you'll be amazed at how fast and hard you work to get a good song list down.

Btw, You have any plans to go to cavestock? I'm thinking of going.

naw i never go...not exactly my scene...hippies give me the willies...you live around here?

bornagainjeeper
04-09-2009, 10:58 AM
Of course you should take it! You've got a great voice and a sweet personality and everybody will love you. And don't worry about having a hard time remembering songs - since the audience will change, you'll be playing the same ten songs over and over until you puke.... And then you will add some new songs and throw in a couple of your own and drink some wine and get naughty suggestions from ladies and life will be grand!

I read a chineese saying once that went: If you think to much about the next step you'll end up standing on one leg the rest of your life...

ah yes the ladies...there are tons of beautiful college ladies there at all times, i figure i'd havta play I'm Yours....i'll sell my soul to mraz to get a date...i have before

PoisonDart
04-09-2009, 11:07 AM
I'm from chicago but have friends from Herrin and Cdale that are going and invited me to come down. Hippies probably describe them about right.

Ukuleleblues
04-09-2009, 11:21 AM
Go for it. In the future you don't want to look back and say "Wish I'd tried that."

Oh so true, Nothing is worse than regrets.

ricdoug
04-09-2009, 11:31 AM
These ukulele players play a gig about every week and a half!:

http://yesterukes.blogspot.com

Now that's a buzy performing schedule. Ric

ricdoug
04-09-2009, 11:32 AM
Go for it. In the future you don't want to look back and say "Wish I'd tried that."

Your gig's coming about soon, isn't it, Sukie? Ric

sukie
04-09-2009, 11:56 AM
Your gig's coming about soon, isn't it, Sukie? Ric

Sorry to go OT, but ricdoug asked -- :)

2 gigs! Actually the Twin Cities Ukulele Orchestra -- of which Lanark founded and I am a member -- has it's first gig at the 331 Club in Minneapolis on April 24th. (I feel like I'm on TV plugging our event). There are 7 of us performing our set that night. It's exciting. Then on April 29th I play at our Meals on Wheels luncheon. In the interest of keeping my sanity I have scaled back and have decided to play with the pianist and we have a singer. We are going to do a variation of Ken Middleton's arrangement of Dona Nobis Pacem. Since we'll have over 270 drivers it seemed better to go easy this year. Maybe next year I can WOW! them. I'e been practicing with the amp and went over to my aunt's house to practice with a piano too. Figure the TCUO night will help me not be so nervous. I'll let you know how things go.
Thanks for asking.

Lanark
04-09-2009, 06:45 PM
. Figure the TCUO night will help me not be so nervous. I'll let you know how things go.
Thanks for asking.

Nerves won't be a problem. That's what the bar is for. (And the bar for us is pretty low.) A couple of shots beforehand and we'll be brilliant.:rock:

DeG
04-09-2009, 06:59 PM
Jeeper, you must do it. With a support network like us, there is no way you can fail. Just figure out 10 simple songs to begin with and build from there. Have them ready by the Congress and you can practice on us. :)

Rock-A-Hula
04-09-2009, 07:34 PM
Congrats, bornagainjeeper! I vote that you should go for it!

...I mean, even if the patrons hate your music and start huckin' stuff, you'll hardly even feel those small pieces of fruits and berries that they have laying around wine venues. Oh sure, you might incur an occasional minor abrasion from flung wedges of gouda -- but nothing serious I'll bet.

The bad news is that your dry cleaners will hate you for the berry stains.

The good news is that you're not playing at a cantaloupe festival for your first gig! :D


Nerves won't be a problem. That's what the bar is for. (And the bar for us is pretty low.) A couple of shots beforehand and we'll be brilliant.:rock:

:biglaugh: yup. I know I always like to lurch out blotto for the Dona Nobis Pacem?! Always a congregation-pleaser! http://img241.imageshack.us/img241/3567/emogrinyesfk7.gif

uke5417
04-09-2009, 08:23 PM
I think it comes down to if you want or have to do it.

I watch your stuff and I know you've got the chops. Yes, you might have to bone up on a few things, get those memory cells going, but, hey, you're a student, and I'm sure you can memorize enough to get by. If you have to, you can. Period.

If you want to opens the conversation. Do you want to use it as an opportunity to play your own stuff? Covers? I don't know, but I imagine there are plenty of musicians who would die to escape Coverland. You've got a great voice, good uke skills and songwriting ability. Is this an opportunity to do that? Can you negoitiate that with management, or just do it? If you're not comfortable singing to an audience, could you just play (again, you've got the chops)?

Either way, it seems a heckofa ride, one that doesn't come along every day. Might as well give it a shot to see what it's like. If it doesn't work out, you can always say they were a bunch of wannabe wine snobs who didn't know a wine thief from a negociant.

josuegroundhog
04-10-2009, 08:28 AM
Jeepers Jeepers!
I'm not gonna say anything that hasn't been said but that would be an awesome gig!

Two of my favorite sayings in music are:
You don't need to be good if you can find an audience that doesn't know the difference.
and
If you miss it once it's a mistake. If you miss it twice, it's jazz.

Let us know how it goes!

bornagainjeeper
04-10-2009, 08:44 PM
I think it comes down to if you want or have to do it.

I watch your stuff and I know you've got the chops. Yes, you might have to bone up on a few things, get those memory cells going, but, hey, you're a student, and I'm sure you can memorize enough to get by. If you have to, you can. Period.

If you want to opens the conversation. Do you want to use it as an opportunity to play your own stuff? Covers? I don't know, but I imagine there are plenty of musicians who would die to escape Coverland. You've got a great voice, good uke skills and songwriting ability. Is this an opportunity to do that? Can you negoitiate that with management, or just do it? If you're not comfortable singing to an audience, could you just play (again, you've got the chops)?

Either way, it seems a heckofa ride, one that doesn't come along every day. Might as well give it a shot to see what it's like. If it doesn't work out, you can always say they were a bunch of wannabe wine snobs who didn't know a wine thief from a negociant.

I havn't really gotten in touch with them yet, i might havta just drive out there and bully my way in...thanks for all the compliments...i'm not too nervous about singing in front of people, one of the first days of speech class i started out a speech about ukulele with some playing and singing...so that doesn't really bother me...i think i'd be able to play whatever i wanted but i'm not sure if it will be during business hours or just special events....i'd prefer just regular business hours...it'd just be fun to interact with all the patrons

iamdanielle
04-10-2009, 09:47 PM
AWESOME.

You should definitely go for it!! I'm sure you'd rock it.

nikolo727
04-11-2009, 05:12 AM
honestly, go for it!! that would be the best job ever. now you have a reason to practice at home for a good 8 hours a day. take some lessons here on UU and learn some songs and go out and have fun!!!

JoeyJr858
04-11-2009, 05:23 AM
Go for it! Spread the love of the uke, and GET PAID too! HAHAH