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View Full Version : First time at a Uke club meeting - Stepping out of our comfort zone



bikemech
02-25-2017, 05:00 PM
My wife and I attended our first ukulele club meeting today. Well, maybe it's not a "club", but it was a get-together with some local folks who jam on Saturdays at a small music store in town.

I though it would be beginner-oriented but it was more of an intermediate-level play-along. I was concerned my wife might be too intimidated to have a good time (she began playing only two weeks ago) but she really enjoyed it. Heck, I was nervous myself, and I've been playing a lot longer. I just usually play alone at home.

A fellow with a guitar and another with a banjo even played with us for while. The folks were as nice as can be. We plan on being there again next week, and we might just bring some friends along!:music:

Uncle Leroy
02-25-2017, 05:03 PM
Fun! That is what it is all about.

Nickie
02-25-2017, 05:08 PM
That sounds so cool. years ago, a small group of ukers started an open mic at a bar n grille. Then they organized, the numbers grew, and then a jam session came too. Then they became a charity, and offered free lessons at the libraries. Now, they are 1540 members strong and have one of the best annual festivals in the world.
Your group may not want to do that. There are 3 small groups here also, off shoots of the biggest one, that meet once a week and just jam and grin.

bunnyf
02-25-2017, 05:08 PM
Fun to get together with other players. It builds confidence and pushes you forward. It can also introduce you to music that normally wouldn't be "your thing".

Debussychopin
02-25-2017, 05:36 PM
That sounds so cool. years ago, a small group of ukers started an open mic at a bar n grille. Then they organized, the numbers grew, and then a jam session came too. Then they became a charity, and offered free lessons at the libraries. Now, they are 1540 members strong and have one of the best annual festivals in the world.
When I read this I got a lump in my throat and my eyes teared for some reason. The beauty behind human spirit and a purpose fulfilled.

kohanmike
02-25-2017, 06:41 PM
My wife and I attended our first ukulele club meeting today. The folks were as nice as can be. We plan on being there again next week, and we might just bring some friends along!:music:

Where is that, what part of the country?

Griffis
02-26-2017, 02:08 AM
My wife and I attended our first ukulele club meeting today. Well, maybe it's not a "club", but it was a get-together with some local folks who jam on Saturdays at a small music store in town.

I though it would be beginner-oriented but it was more of an intermediate-level play-along. I was concerned my wife might be too intimidated to have a good time (she began playing only two weeks ago) but she really enjoyed it. Heck, I was nervous myself, and I've been playing a lot longer. I just usually play alone at home.

A fellow with a guitar and another with a banjo even played with us for while. The folks were as nice as can be. We plan on being there again next week, and we might just bring some friends along!:music:

That sounds like a blast, Uncle Zeke...er...David. Glad you both had fun! There is a local meetup once a month where I'm living now but I'm new to the area and haven't taken the plunge yet.

Oddly, I spent close to 40 years gigging, recording, auditioning on a number of instruments, but somehow the thought of going to a laid back uke meetup makes me more nervous to think about.


That sounds so cool. years ago, a small group of ukers started an open mic at a bar n grille. Then they organized, the numbers grew, and then a jam session came too. Then they became a charity, and offered free lessons at the libraries. Now, they are 1540 members strong and have one of the best annual festivals in the world.
Your group may not want to do that. There are 3 small groups here also, off shoots of the biggest one, that meet once a week and just jam and grin.

Nickie, I've heard you speak a little about this group. I would love to check it out or even get involved but I'm in the panhandle. We haven't made it further South than Clearwater/ St Pete yet...

UkerDanno
02-26-2017, 02:28 AM
Fun! That is what it is all about.

So true...I had a uke and knew a few chords but didn't know how to play anything until I joined a club, I learned by just playing along the best I could. That was almost 5 years ago...

Osprey
02-26-2017, 02:55 AM
That's exactly how I learned to play the ukulele. At first I could only play a few chords but I kept at it and eventually I could keep up. I enjoy playing by myself, but the real joy of playing the ukulele is playing and sharing with others.

hendulele
02-26-2017, 03:23 AM
That's exactly how I learned to play the ukulele. At first I could only play a few chords but I kept at it and eventually I could keep up. I enjoy playing by myself, but the real joy of playing the ukulele is playing and sharing with others.

Yep, me too. Nearly four years in and I'm still fairly limited in range, but I would have gotten nowhere without our local jam. We also play at senior and adult day centers, and sharing that joy can't be measured.

SailingUke
02-26-2017, 03:28 AM
I encourage beginners to get involved in our group as soon as they get a uke. Playing with other is not only fun, but it is the best way to learn and progress.
One tip I will give all group players is to LISTEN to the group. Do not get so engrossed in the songbook that you can't hear what is going on.

bikemech
02-26-2017, 04:23 AM
That sounds so cool. years ago, a small group of ukers started an open mic at a bar n grille. Then they organized, the numbers grew, and then a jam session came too. Then they became a charity, and offered free lessons at the libraries. Now, they are 1540 members strong and have one of the best annual festivals in the world.
Your group may not want to do that. There are 3 small groups here also, off shoots of the biggest one, that meet once a week and just jam and grin.
That is an amazing story. Thanks for sharing. There used to be a beginner-oriented group that met at the store but apparently that group had dwindled and this more advanced group formed out of it. We thought we would be attending the beginner-oriented meet but it turned out not to be so. It was wonderful and we were invited to come back again.

bikemech
02-26-2017, 04:25 AM
Where is that, what part of the country?

We are in Medford, Oregon.

bikemech
02-26-2017, 04:39 AM
Griffis said, ""That sounds like a blast, Uncle Zeke...er...David. Glad you both had fun! There is a local meetup once a month where I'm living now but I'm new to the area and haven't taken the plunge yet.

Oddly, I spent close to 40 years gigging, recording, auditioning on a number of instruments, but somehow the thought of going to a laid back uke meetup makes me more nervous to think about.""



Griffis,

Take the plunge!! The water is warm. You won't regret it. It was really neat to have the more experienced ukers and the guitar and banjo players who could improvise as we strummed. I am sure any group would benefit from your experience. Good stuff.

I seriously did not believe that my wife would ever agree to attend, especially considering she is a novice uker. As I said, I had my own reservations. When I got home and took my sweater off I noticed my armpits were covered in sweat! But the sweat was joyously earned and worn as a badge of pride. (OK, that's just weird.)

We had invited our neighbors to go along with us but it was short notice and they had plans but I think I already have them roped in to attend next week!

Regards,

He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named-Correctly

p.s. How do you respond with multiple quotes to different people as you did in your reply?
Drats! Somehow I messed up your quote.

Griffis
02-26-2017, 05:12 AM
We are in Medford, Oregon.

Ah, give my regards to Medford! We lived in beautiful Oregon 2009-2013, dividing our time 'twixt Portland and Lincoln City. Medford is a nice town.

To multi-quote, hit the little button in the lower right of the posts you wish to quote. You'll see "Reply", "Reply With Quote" and then right of that an icon that looks like quotations marks in a word balloon with a plus sign next to it.

You hit that button for each post you want to quote. It should go red after you click it.

Then, when you hit "Reply To Thread" it should include all the quoted posts.

Either that or you will cause a rift in the spacetime continuum and destroy our shared objective reality.

Good luck. We are all counting on you.

bikemech
02-26-2017, 06:10 AM
Ah, give my regards to Medford! We lived in beautiful Oregon 2009-2013, dividing our time 'twixt Portland and Lincoln City. Medford is a nice town.

To multi-quote, hit the little button in the lower right of the posts you wish to quote. You'll see "Reply", "Reply With Quote" and then right of that an icon that looks like quotations marks in a word balloon with a plus sign next to it.

You hit that button for each post you want to quote. It should go red after you click it.

Then, when you hit "Reply To Thread" it should include all the quoted posts.

Either that or you will cause a rift in the spacetime continuum and destroy our shared objective reality.

Good luck. We are all counting on you.


Consider your regards given to Medford.

Ah, the rift in the spacetime continuum (I always say "time-space continuum"). I love that phrase and use it often. Big science-fi fan here. Plus, I just like being silly.

Thanks for the heads up on the multi-quote procedure. I'll give it a go next time. And if I do happen to "destroy our shared objective reality" you might hear me cry these words, spoken in the worst possible Scottish accent in the history of the world, "I'm sorry, Captain. I can'na give her anymore power. I tried shovin' a weenie in the warp drive, but it did'na do a bit a good.", though these words were never spoken by any sci-fi-fi character, real or imagined.

Regards,

Not Engineer Scott

Rllink
02-26-2017, 06:10 AM
I though it would be beginner-oriented but it was more of an intermediate-level play-along. I was concerned my wife might be too intimidated to have a good time (she began playing only two weeks ago) but she really enjoyed it. That is the way it was for my wife. She won a ukulele at a festival, and she didn't even play ukulele. I paid for her to attend just so that she would be able to come into the sessions if she wanted. A couple of hours later she had taught herself some chords, then later that evening she was jamming. I think that in her case, and maybe your wife's case as well, is that she did not have lot of expectations for herself. She was just jamming away and playing what she could play. I think that we all need to be a little more that way. But anyway, I think your story is very cool. Keep it up.

bikemech
02-26-2017, 06:18 AM
That is the way it was for my wife. She won a ukulele at a festival, and she didn't even play ukulele. I paid for her to attend just so that she would be able to come into the sessions if she wanted. A couple of hours later she had taught herself some chords, then later that evening she was jamming. I think that in her case, and maybe your wife's case as well, is that she did not have lot of expectations for herself. She was just jamming away and playing what she could play. I think that we all need to be a little more that way. But anyway, I think your story is very cool. Keep it up.

And kind of along the same lines of beginners jamming away, my wife really gets a lot of benefit from playing along with Aaron and Nicole in the Quiet American videos. We bought one of their beginner books for which they have video play-alongs available online. It works really well. It's like playing live with experienced players.

Rllink
02-26-2017, 06:28 AM
And kind of along the same lines of beginners jamming away, my wife really gets a lot of benefit from playing along with Aaron and Nicole in the Quiet American videos. We bought one of their beginner books for which they have video play-alongs available online. It works really well. It's like playing live with experienced players.I don't think I can get mine to do anything like that. She has been performing as a singer all her life, and we both do some gigs and busking together, but in the past she has just sang along and I've sang and played the uke. But she learned a few chords and started playing, and as new chords show up, she just learns them and plays along now. If a song has chords that she doesn't know, or something is too much for her to keep up with, she just mutes the strings and keeps on strumming. She keeps learning new chords and it works for her. But she insists that she isn't learning to play the ukulele, that she is just playing around with it. Whatever.

Griffis
02-26-2017, 07:16 AM
Consider your regards given to Medford.

Ah, the rift in the spacetime continuum (I always say "time-space continuum"). I love that phrase and use it often. Big science-fi fan here. Plus, I just like being silly.

Seems a pity we couldn't have met while we were in Oregon. I am also a big science fiction fan...cinema and tv more than literature, but I have read a lot of the greats as well. Big Star Trek geek...my wife is the Star Wars geek. Still trying to make her aware that Star Trek is superior.

I am a big buff for 50s-60s monster, horror and sci-fi b movies.

bikemech
02-26-2017, 07:40 AM
I don't think I can get mine to do anything like that. She has been performing as a singer all her life, and we both do some gigs and busking together, but in the past she has just sang along and I've sang and played the uke. But she learned a few chords and started playing, and as new chords show up, she just learns them and plays along now. If a song has chords that she doesn't know, or something is too much for her to keep up with, she just mutes the strings and keeps on strumming. She keeps learning new chords and it works for her. But she insists that she isn't learning to play the ukulele, that she is just playing around with it. Whatever.

I hear you. Your wife definitely has an advantage in that she has a musical background. My wife has no musical background, though she did try to take up piano when our youngest was learning. She's an accounting manager. She's a numbers and statistics person. She's definitely more left brain than right. It's hard for her to hear the beat, or feel the rhythm of the music. She thinks more along the lines of, "What's the strum pattern?" "How many beats in a measure?" But during the group play-along she was starting to hear and feel the rhythm, strumming away. It was neat to see.

bikemech
02-26-2017, 07:48 AM
Seems a pity we couldn't have met while we were in Oregon. I am also a big science fiction fan...cinema and tv more than literature, but I have read a lot of the greats as well. Big Star Trek geek...my wife is the Star Wars geek. Still trying to make her aware that Star Trek is superior.

I am a big buff for 50s-60s monster, horror and sci-fi b movies.

Ships that pass in the night...

I'm guessing you are an avid watcher of Comet TV. Check it out if you haven't heard of it.

Regards,

Not Frank Herbert

Griffis
02-26-2017, 09:04 AM
Heck yes, love Comet! Have hardly watched tv the last several months though, but I have a pretty sick dvd and blu-ray collection, even after getting rid of 80% of it...

Rrgramps
02-26-2017, 10:05 AM
Playing with a group of ukulele's is fun, and I have only had the pleasure one time, at the Brown County Inn, put on by Mainland Ukuleles. I live not quite an hour east from Nashville, Indiana, and would love to find a group closer to where I live. Bloomington Indiana has a club, but Bloomington is almost two hours away.

I'm tempted to contact my library, and see if we could interest some folks in coming over for a jam fest. Maybe even find a good leader from the group. If not, I'll try for awhile until someone can take my place. Pretty sure that would be mighty quick, with me at the lead. LOL

bikemech
02-26-2017, 12:05 PM
Group playing is about a social experience, with the music there so you have something to do and talk and maybe giggle about. Band playing is about a technical musical experience where you care about the technical details of the music and look for gigs.
It does not matter how good or bad you are at a good group experience, it matters more how much you enjoy getting out of your house and meeting people and socialising. As long as you are close to being in tune and on time, all will be well. People who care too much about the technical details at a social session or jam should go to a band practice. So if you find a group like the one described here, you will be self conscious at first, which is natural, but don't let that stop you going.
And just because you do attend a group where the technical details are a bit lax and the music is always the same tunes everyone knows, you still have 165 hours left in a week to get into your technical stuff and to practice diligently, and you can still perform at an open mike or for a concert. You can have some social fun at a weekly group session and do some "serious" music in the same week. In the world of your ukulele you can do both, with the same ukulele, it wont break.

Bill1,

I really like your definitions and what you say, overall, in this post. Good stuff.

Thank you

Osprey
02-26-2017, 01:26 PM
Bill1,
I agree