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Jerryc41
08-15-2018, 05:10 AM
My local uke group isn't as much fun as it used to be. Some members will suggest - or bring in - a song with a dozen or more chords, many of which are new to us and not easy. Naturally, playing doesn't go very well, so there is a lot of discussion, and we wind up playing them three or more times.

In the old days, we would go through our songs one after the other. As time went on, we were able to play more chords. It seems to me that throwing too much at us and playing one bad-sounding tune after another is not the way to progress. A few weeks ago, I suggested that we play familiar songs, and play them just once. We more or less did that, but people kept making fun of the procedure.

In my other group, we have a leader who complied about fifty songs, and we play them at random, going from one to the other. If one isn't perfect, it will be after we play it for a few weeks. This group is farther away, but I never miss it, and it's lots of fun.

Any comments?

JJFN
08-15-2018, 05:43 AM
With my group it seems that members bring in not necessarily difficult songs, but songs other members are not familiar with. I am trying to get our leader to take these suggestions, and play them at the NEXT meeting. So members can become familiar with the new tunes. I don't want this to seem like "homework", but an opportunity to play the tune better at the next meeting and increase your songbook. We will see how it works. That may work for you Jerry, it will also increase your chord vocabulary. Good luck.

Osprey
08-15-2018, 06:36 AM
Our group meets each Saturday Morning. We generally have the pdf’s of the songs sent out about midweek. This seems to work fairly well. Generally, there is a mix of easy and harder songs. I think both are important as the easy songs let the beginners be successful and the harder songs challenge all of us to improve.
I don’t necessarily like all the songs, but I like enough of them to make me come each week. I am sure people don’t like all my suggestions as well
Right now we are doing themes. Last week was Elvis, this coming week will be 60’s. Members send in suggestions which get compiled and sent out. We typically have 6 to 8 songs we try each Sat.

Uke Don
08-15-2018, 06:57 AM
I feel your pain. Gave up on my local group some time ago. Too many current top 40 songs (which I and most other members can't relate to) or 12 chord songs. There was constant turn-over of group members, and the organizers don't seem to get it. Uke is supposed to be fun.

S11LKO
08-15-2018, 08:46 AM
Being relatively new to uke (I’ve played guitar for a while) I don’t belong to a uke group, but am sorry you’re unhappy with yours.

Without wishing to hijack your thread here by posing this question to our members, is belonging to a uke group recommended in order to progress and learn? Should I start looking for one to join?

hollisdwyer
08-15-2018, 09:04 AM
It seems the norm that no two groups operate alike. I attend 3 groups. Two have their own repertoire in the form of songbooks. One regularly edits their books every year taking out songs that have fell by the wayside and adding those that members has suggested. The 3rd group, which meets only once per month, learns 4 new songs every month in the first half of the session and then has an open mike. I enjoy each for different reasons.
At the end of the day we each find our own tribe.

Graham Greenbag
08-15-2018, 09:07 AM
My local uke group isn't as much fun as it used to be. Some members will suggest - or bring in - a song with a dozen or more chords, many of which are new to us and not easy. Naturally, playing doesn't go very well, so there is a lot of discussion, and we wind up playing them three or more times.

In the old days, we would go through our songs one after the other. As time went on, we were able to play more chords. It seems to me that throwing too much at us and playing one bad-sounding tune after another is not the way to progress. A few weeks ago, I suggested that we play familiar songs, and play them just once. We more or less did that, but people kept making fun of the procedure.

In my other group, we have a leader who complied about fifty songs, and we play them at random, going from one to the other. If one isn't perfect, it will be after we play it for a few weeks. This group is farther away, but I never miss it, and it's lots of fun.

Any comments?

Your problem is a badly run group in which there is a wide diversity of skills, both will lead to frustrations and together they’re a poor combination. Bringing songs in and expecting others to play them really isn’t fair or productive use of time, folk need a chance to have a practice at home first. Expecting beginners to play twelve chord songs is unreasonable but so is expecting experts to be happy playing two chord songs all night, there has to be some give and take and appreciation of the needs of others.

The groups that I play in have song lists and only songs on those lists are played, if you want a different song then you can ask for it (Music to be played plus words, etc.) to be added to the list and the update to the list is circulated. I suggest that you ask your group leaders to implement that system and that the need to accommodate different skill levels is discussed - some members of my group just play the chords that they can on the more difficult music and in return the clever folk accommodate some really easy stuff. It’s all a matter of mutual respect and support of the weaker person really.


Without wishing to hijack your thread here by posing this question to our members, is belonging to a uke group recommended in order to progress and learn? Should I start looking for one to join?

Dave, I would definitely recommend going along to several clubs and picking the one(s) that work for you. You’ll have a lot of fun with the other Uke players and it will help you improve as a player too. Well that’s my experience and, whilst you are a far better player than me, I’d (still) be surprised if you found different.

S11LKO
08-15-2018, 09:54 AM
Dave, I would definitely recommend going along to several clubs and picking the one(s) that work for you. You’ll have a lot of fun with the other Uke players and it will help you improve as a player too. Well that’s my experience and, whilst you are a far better player than me, I’d (still) be surprised if you found different.

Thanks Graham, I’ll start searching. Sorry again for hijacking. X

Braddtastic
08-15-2018, 10:25 AM
My local uke group isn't as much fun as it used to be. Some members will suggest - or bring in - a song with a dozen or more chords, many of which are new to us and not easy. Naturally, playing doesn't go very well, so there is a lot of discussion, and we wind up playing them three or more times.

In the old days, we would go through our songs one after the other. As time went on, we were able to play more chords. It seems to me that throwing too much at us and playing one bad-sounding tune after another is not the way to progress. A few weeks ago, I suggested that we play familiar songs, and play them just once. We more or less did that, but people kept making fun of the procedure.

In my other group, we have a leader who complied about fifty songs, and we play them at random, going from one to the other. If one isn't perfect, it will be after we play it for a few weeks. This group is farther away, but I never miss it, and it's lots of fun.

Any comments?

It sounds like a portion of the group -- probably those who have been coming the longest? -- have advanced in skill and are growing bored. They may have forgotten what it was like when they were newer to ukulele, and what role the welcoming accessible environment played in getting to where they are today. If you keep it simple, the advanced folks will get bored and leave. But if you skew towards the advanced players, the newbies will never get a chance to get started. I suggest having two parts of each meeting, a "beginners hour" to start with and an "intermediate hour" that follows. Those not wishing to be bored can come late, and those not wishing to be frustrated can leave early.

The group I'm part of has a good mix of people as well, but they have built a very welcoming culture that encourages (1) patience for newer players skillsets, and (2) encouragement for them when a song comes along that is a little harder.

casualmusic
08-15-2018, 10:54 AM
[QUOTE=Jerryc41;2088542 Some members will suggest - or bring in - a song with a dozen or more chords, many of which are new to us and not easy.

Any comments?[/QUOTE]

Uke groups in our area always circulate new songs a week or so in advance so we can work it out through practise (and check out a video if needed).

As a newer player I asked about those fancy chords used by vituoso musicians to strut their stuff, and heard they aren't essential to play songs well. I got tips on how to simplify by disregarding or swapping in basic chords.

Perhaps a club member or local musician can present a workshop or writeup for people who want to simplify those multiple chords? Or they might know web pages that explain it.

A bonus is that learning basic groupings lets me transpose on the fly when my buddies want to play a song in a different key ie she has the song marked in C (C, F, G, etc) and my copy is marked in G (G , C, D, etc). Yeah it's basic stuff but as a beginner I did not know it until shown.

Musicians are not shy about marking up their song sheets with notes and changes and we can do the same.

Cheers.

Jerryc41
08-15-2018, 11:05 AM
Without wishing to hijack your thread here by posing this question to our members, is belonging to a uke group recommended in order to progress and learn? Should I start looking for one to join?

I would say definitely!

Jerryc41
08-15-2018, 11:07 AM
Bringing songs in and expecting others to play them really isn’t fair or productive use of time, folk need a chance to have a practice at home first.

That's part of the problem. Someone will bring in a song he's been working on during the week, but we're seeing it for the first time.

jimavery
08-15-2018, 11:17 AM
That sort of thing drives me nuts! When someone brings in a song they've not even tried playing themselves yet too, or which is printed in 6pt text because they've just grabbed it straight from the Internet (or both).

acmespaceship
08-15-2018, 11:24 AM
"This is the PERFECT group for me"
< there's a pretty wide gap in-between >
"This group makes me MISERABLE"

I'm going to assume that you are stuck in the middle and you are a reasonably flexible person with realistic expectations. It sounds like your group has a common dilemma: some of you are happy to play at a beginner level (which is great) while others want to push the envelope. There are lots of ways to deal with this.

My club plays a mix of easy and challenging songs. Every few weeks we do a 3-chord song night but we have plenty of 17-chord songs, too. We distribute song sheets a few days early, so people who want to can learn songs they don't know. This allows for self-selection: if it's Elvis night and I hate Elvis, I can skip the meetup that week.

We have a safety valve that I highly recommend to any group: anyone is allowed to bring in a song and lead it (or get somebody else to lead it). Anybody who's unhappy with our song choices can step up and become the change they hope to see in the world.

Obviously, my group is PERFECT! And yet I know players who won't come. Some think it's too easy. And some think it's too hard! No group can please everybody. Even if your group seemed perfect a while ago, its members are growing at different rates in different directions. Periodically, you are going to have to make some adjustments and accept that not everybody will be coming along. That's why there are lots of groups. If your group isn't working for you, and isn't flexible enough to change with your suggestions, then find some like-minded players and form a spin-off group. Don't storm off in a huff, simply invite people who want to play easier songs to meet on a different night.

There are higher-drama options that I do not recommend. I am a grizzled veteran of The Great Ukulele Schism of 2008 not to mention the Glorious Peoples' Revolution of 2013. I believe there are lots of uke players and there's room for lots of clubs. The only problem is when people decide THEY are right and everyone else is wrong, which is a recipe for trouble in uke clubs and life generally.

A group can be a fun social outing even if it is not perfectly fulfilling to you as a musician. Go or don't go. Start a new group if you like. Encourage change if you can. But don't be a complainer.

kohanmike
08-15-2018, 04:08 PM
The group I belong to for the last five years, The CC Strummers, started about eight years ago as classes out of the Culver City Senior Center lead by Cali Rose, her husband is Craig Brandau, both fairly well known in the uke world. The class meets twice a week for an hour, beginners Monday afternoon and intermediate Thursday morning. Cali picks the songs and provides her own arrangement lead sheets, excellently made, for a nominal fee of $3.00 a class. We do a great variety of music and she will also add songs that members of the group suggest. She's an great teacher. We perform often around town.

I was also a member of a once a week Meetup group, but the leader didn't know how to lead, the songs he brought in were just copy/pasted from internet that in most cases were difficult to follow. Although Meetup listed it as "beginners welcome," he didn't take into consideration the beginners and blew through songs. I consider myself an advanced intermediate and I often had trouble keeping up.

I played guitar for almost 50 years, but when I started playing uke and joined the group, I played and sang better than I ever did before.

8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 7 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. http://www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos)

SailingUke
08-15-2018, 04:18 PM
Our group meets twice a month. All levels and ages of players are welcome in the group.
We use the “Daily Ukulele “ books. An email is sent with a song list. The first part of our gathering is all group sing alongs. After a break we have folks do solos and/or lead a song.

RafterGirl
08-15-2018, 04:43 PM
I belong to three groups. Two that I attend regularly and one that I attend sporadically. All of them meet once a month. My two main groups have very good leaders who are also excellent teachers. The leaders pick the songs and send them out a few weeks ahead of time. The songs often have a theme. The leaders start the session with the easier songs and progress to the harder ones. My main group leader mixes in teaching moments with playing. Sometimes a member will have a solo prepared to perform. These two groups combined to bring Kimo Hussey in for a 2 day workshop that was spectacular. My main group leader also teaches a weekly workshop in the fall & winter. I think next fall she is dividing her workshops into a beginner & intermediate group every other week to focus better on the learning needs of each level of players.

My third group that I attend occasionally is more of a jam group. We’re in a circle & we go around the circle leading a song. We use the Daily Ukulele book or people bring in song sheets for the group. Not much teaching going on, but I get more experience in singing & leading songs.

Playing with all of these groups has improved my ukulele playing by leaps & bounds. Plus I just love playing my uke.......any time, any where, with anybody.

ksiegel
08-15-2018, 04:53 PM
I go to three uke groups, locally. Two are directed, with words/chords available prior to the group meeting. The third is mostly a circle - bring a few songs, pass them around, lead it when it is your turn, and take it from there. All three have people from beginner to very experienced, and everything in between.

One of the directed groups has basic lessons about strumming, chords, and some super basic music theory. The songs are usually projected, and we play them through a few times. Sometimes, one or more of use wil bring something, and we work on it as a group. A pleasant environment, and occasionally we hit something that leads us all off somewhere. For example, last month one of the songs ended with a chord triad of Bb-B-C. That triggered a memory, I mentioned it, played the triad, and sang"Jeremiah was a bullfrog", and off we went, getting Hoyt Axton's "Joy To The World" on screen and everyone playing it. (Of course, we are all over 40...)

Group number 2 is directed, and we are also invited to bring our own songs. (I try to send mine out in advance, but sometimes fail to do so.) We use the handouts,and do the songs - most of which I have heard of, but not all. Last month, I ended up doing a lesson on chord transitions, because the progression lent itself to that, IF you played one of the chords as a barre chord. I'm probably more advance than most of the group members, but it is fun, and I haven't been yelled at yet...

Group 3 is the oldest of them all. The organizer teaches uke, guitar, banjo and mandolin lessons both privately, at the local community college, and at local music establishments. This one is the song circle. Most of what we play is straight-forward, but sometimes we do a lot of circle-of-fifths stuff, and other progressions. I try to bring at least 3 songs with me to this group, and I may be challenging
the other players more than I should. But I also try out new songs with this group, things I haven't played in front of others, and keys I wouldn't usually spring on the average beginner. This week, I had a Neil Sedaka song from the mid-70s in the key of Eb, and a 20-year old song that used F#m, Bm, C#7, and F#7 for the verse, with E, A, and D in the chorus. I show short cuts I've learned, and point out "cheats" on making chords. Sometimes it works, sometimes, not so much.

Then there is the other problem, and it is my fault alone: I tend to noodle, especially if either 1) I know the song really well, of b) I don't know the song, and I'm trying to get the melody down. I'm sure that it is annoying to some people, but it is how I learn the music.

spongeuke
08-15-2018, 04:54 PM
Group dynamics are usually complicated. My experience with 3 different groups and a couple of ones I drop into from time to time. from my experiance the easiest is one that plays from a self published song book of 150+ songs, emphasis on Hawaiian. It also has a strong and dedicated leader. Others use combinations of published song books to downloads and such.
From my limited experience I think that leading a group is only for ones that are absolutely committed to rejecting songs or altering them for voice and play, still have fun and good cat herding skills.
Appreciate those who can and those who can't but are willing.

mineymole
08-15-2018, 04:57 PM
I’d be curious on your thoughts Jerry about the Uke group I attended.

EDW
08-15-2018, 05:15 PM
My local uke group isn't as much fun as it used to be. Some members will suggest - or bring in - a song with a dozen or more chords, many of which are new to us and not easy. Naturally, playing doesn't go very well, so there is a lot of discussion, and we wind up playing them three or more times.........
Any comments?

I know exactly what you are talking about. A number of years ago I was playing regularly with a small group of players. Everyone was pretty much intermediate in skill level. Often, players would bring in jazz standards that they were working on. Many of these tunes were in tricky keys with numerous complicated jazz chords. Our sessions would often grind to halt as people tried to figure out the changes. In retrospect, I realize that it would have gone much better if we had sent these tunes around a week ahead so people couple figure them out and come in ready to play.

As some have mentioned, you might suggest having tunes selected and sent around ahead or hand out tunes that will be played the following week.

ampeep
08-15-2018, 05:35 PM
I normally play with 3 - 4 groups. There's no lessons - just jam sessions unless we have to practice for a gig. Sometimes I sit next to newer players who may not know all the chords or cannot switch positions fast enough. They play whatever chords they can & skip what they don't know. It's fine because it's not necessary for everyone to play every chord. (Sometimes it sounds better if they don't.) 😁

Martinlover
08-15-2018, 05:43 PM
Hey Jerry. I went to the group tonight and you weren’t there. I brought my 20-year niece (visiting from Florida). On her own she has noodled around with the ukulele. So she knew C, G, G7 and F. But couldn’t really make quick changes. The group was welcoming and accommodated her with several 2 and 3 chord songs before we moved on to more complicated songs. I remember when I started with the group and how non intimidating it was. Great for the new player. You in particular put me at ease when I told you I didn’t know how to play the chords or strum. You said, “Nobody cares.”
Sometimes I get bored with the songs and bring songs i’ve Just learned and am excited about. Some have fallen flat and some were sort of adopted into our collection. Others bring songs, too. I like that our group is willing to try whatever anyone suggests. Very democratic. But we do seem to fall apart when someone strong is not leading. Sometimes we sound good and other times pretty bad. Sometimes I prefer to stay home and practice. But I’m thankful to the group for being there.

Jerryc41
08-16-2018, 01:35 AM
Hey Jerry. I went to the group tonight and you weren’t there.

I wasn't there? Are you sure? I coulda sworn...:D

I hope to be there next week - with something new.

hoosierhiver
08-16-2018, 06:18 AM
I used to be in a small group, we played in a circle. We'd go around and everyone got their chance to pick a song. Wasn't always my favorite song, but it was fair and probably helped people to learn a few things they might have shied away from otherwise.

Down Up Dick
08-16-2018, 08:42 AM
I don’t usually belong to any groups. I’m not a group person, but, it seems to me, that it would be better to get together with a coupla three players with common music tastes and just play with them every week. If one goes to do anything with a big bunch of folks, there’s always gonna be different opinions about stuff.

My folks usta square dance in a big group, and there was always lotsa squabling about stuff at the meetings. There was even a coupla near fist-fights. Finally my folks just quit going. And an archery club I once belonged to squabled and picked sides about everything from work parties to the rules of range use.

I really don’t understand groups and clubs, etc. and I usually stay away from them. :old:

hendulele
08-16-2018, 08:52 AM
Our group is about to celebrate its 5th anniversary. I've been with it for all but the first six months or so. The founders split off from another jam in a nearby city, wanting to be closer to their homes, and it's worked nicely. We meet twice monthly and then have a special jam at a local bottle shop once a month on Tuesday (their slowest night of the week). We have between 12 and 25 people at any jam.

We have a "book," made up of songs brought in by the participants. The two- and three-chord songs are in the front and used for a 20-minute or so warmup. Then we move on to more difficult songs. When someone wants to add a song, they're asked to bring in a dozen copies. We circulate them, play them cold, and if we like it, it goes in the book. The system has worked so far.

We've had people drop in and out over the years. We welcome folks of all ability levels, so it requires patience. One of our better players split off to form his own group because he thought most of our songs weren't challenging enough. For the most part, though, the reason motivating the group is having fun and getting people to come back the next time.

As with any voluntary social gathering, YMMV!

Down Up Dick
08-16-2018, 09:09 AM
It just occurred to me that most of the big ukulele groups just sing and plunka, plunka, plunka. What’s there to argue about? What are the songs that are too difficult?

I wonder if anyone ever thought of having an all oldies group or a folk song group or a Gospel group. That might get rid of some of the bickering.

“Why can’t we all just git along?” :old:

kkimura
08-16-2018, 12:54 PM
It's really hard for one group to please everybody every time what with the different skill levels, everyone's favorite music genre and that if you have enough songs for all the skill levels and musical tastes you end up with a HUGH songbook.

Maybe better to split off into different groups on different days as the first group approaches critical mass. Beginners and intermediates by genre M,T,W with advanced and beyond T. Bring everybody together Friday ('cause you learn faster if you're exposed to advanced stuff) and maybe some open mic for the brave.

RafterGirl
08-16-2018, 01:14 PM
I must be lucky because all of the folks in my groups seem happy to have friends to jam with and learn stuff from. We have a few 20-30 year olds and the occasional teenager, but most of us are 50+. That seems to narrow our song selections, but I’m cool with current stuff (love to play stuff by Train). Maybe it’s because my two main groups have more of a teaching focus than just strictly jamming. We all learn something new each month. Whether it’s new chords, complex songs, or technique.

ksiegel
08-16-2018, 02:01 PM
I gig solo, as part of a duo, and as part of a trio. There is approximately 20 years between my duo partner and I, and our trio partner is another 20 years younger than that.

They know songs I don't know, so I must learn them, and I know songs neither of them know, so they learn as well. So far, it has worked out. I'm also the only one of the group who can't read music, but I can improvise and usually pick up the other songs pretty quickly.

Except for the Taylor Swift stuff - I like hearing it, but it takes a while for me to catch on.

As a group of 1/2/or 3, we push our limits. And they push back sometimes, but we don't give up. I'd really hesitate to bring some of the stuff we do together to a larger group, and expect it to work in one session, especially when we sometimes need 5-6 sessions to sing the same melody, and more to start harmonizing sometimes.


And sometimes, it hits on the first take - when I proposed "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You", even the 18 year-old knew the song, and we were able to harmonize the first time. Some songs facilitate that, and there is no real effort needed to make it happen.


-Kurt

bunnyf
08-16-2018, 07:14 PM
Sometimes the solution is to start your own group. I got tired of playing corny or juvenile songs, in keys I couldn't sing...or ones we played poorly w/ a dozen or so unfamiliar chords. While I'd rather not be the leader, I do get the final say on what goes in our songbook...familiar tunes, not too tough and singable for most (we lean heavily toward "the People's key" of G). We do The Eagles, The Beatles, Neil Young, Willie, Hank, Otis, Buffet, etc. I take suggestions and I don't have to LOVE a song to included it (Sloop John B, not a fav) if many folks like it, BUT I can't HATE it (These Boots are Made for Walking, Puff the Magic Dragon, yuck). We keep our list to about 100, adding and subtracting occasionally.
We go around in a circle with each person getting a chance to select from our songbook and to lead (if they want). Works for me. Another plus, if you start your own group, you get to pick a location and time convenient to you. You don't need a ton of folks to get started. You can have a nice time jamming with just a handful of interested people.

TopDog
08-16-2018, 10:26 PM
Our group has been around for ten years now; with 'new' songs (new to the group that is!) we generally give out the songsheets, and suggest everyone plays around with it at home,and listens to the original recording (if available) and then we play it for the 'first time' at the following meeting. It seems to work for us. Our songbook is now over 200 songs,and we play a couple of dozen at each meeting, old favourites, newer ones that we like, and some 'off the wall' shots that we have in the book, but maybe have not played for a while! Each group has its own dynamic,and our aim is to keep it interesting without being intimidating! We are all around the same standard of playing, and having settled into a pattern, we have had newbies drift in and out, when they (for example) want to play all the latest music chart hits,and they discover that we don't do that! Easy going, no stress, pick a song you/we like, learn it as a group, and stick with it. It suits us fine.

Pete F
08-16-2018, 10:43 PM
I've only been to three different local groups here in the UK, and they are universally terrible. You certainly won't advance your playing, or even hear yourself playing, and they generally play dross. That's just my experience of course :D

Barrytone
08-16-2018, 10:56 PM
We have a core of songs we play at gigs without too much rehearsal. New songs are introduced one or two at a time. Often these songs are unfamiliar to all so we take time to learn chords and phrasing, sometimes changing the arrangement completely. It is an evolving exercise.
I also try to teach finger style, right hand technique and alternate chords and voicing. Some times it sticks some does not.
I try not to end up sounding like so many other, well intentioned groups. I like to create our own individual sound and style but still able to fall back on the old favourites to suit the gig.

spongeuke
08-17-2018, 07:25 PM
. If one goes to do anything with a big bunch of folks, there’s always gonna be different opinions about stuff.
And an archery club I once belonged to squabled and picked sides about everything from work parties to the rules of range use.

That conjures quite a vision. Feather flew?

bratsche
08-18-2018, 07:36 AM
Are ukulele players the only instrumentalist birds of a feather who often like to flock together?

Not meant to sound snarky, but I'm genuinely curious. I don't think I've ever encountered this phenomenon with regard to people who play any other instrument. Suzuki violin groups, perhaps, but that's part of their educational phase, not so much a social gathering.

bratsche

Jerryc41
08-18-2018, 07:39 AM
Are ukulele players the only instrumentalist birds of a feather who often like to flock together?

Not meant to sound snarky, but I'm genuinely curious. I don't think I've ever encountered this phenomenon with regard to people who play any other instrument. Suzuki violin groups, perhaps, but that's part of their educational phase, not so much a social gathering.

bratsche

At a recent uke fest, I heard two people say, "Get twenty ukuleles together, and you have a party. Get twenty guitars together, and you have a fight." I prefer a party to a fight. :D

ampeep
08-18-2018, 09:55 AM
I think it depends - I've been in jams with up to 15 guitars with no problems. Folks can play different parts & rhythms as long as the players listen to each other.

sculptor
08-18-2018, 10:41 AM
I feel your pain. Gave up on my local group some time ago. Too many current top 40 songs (which I and most other members can't relate to) or 12 chord songs. There was constant turn-over of group members, and the organizers don't seem to get it. Uke is supposed to be fun.

That ain't nothing! I relate best to music 3 or 4 hundred years old. :nana:

-- Gary

PS I'm not actually not a banana despite the emoji!

hendulele
08-18-2018, 11:46 AM
Are ukulele players the only instrumentalist birds of a feather who often like to flock together?

Not meant to sound snarky, but I'm genuinely curious. I don't think I've ever encountered this phenomenon with regard to people who play any other instrument. Suzuki violin groups, perhaps, but that's part of their educational phase, not so much a social gathering.

bratsche

Bluegrass jam sessions are much more frequent here than uke jams.

Could be a function of our location, of course. And bluegrassers play a wider variety of instruments. Just don’t let a drummer in the building!

hendulele
08-18-2018, 11:51 AM
Sometimes the solution is to start your own group. I got tired of playing corny or juvenile songs, in keys I couldn't sing...or ones we played poorly w/ a dozen or so unfamiliar chords. While I'd rather not be the leader, I do get the final say on what goes in our songbook...familiar tunes, not too tough and singable for most (we lean heavily toward "the People's key" of G). We do The Eagles, The Beatles, Neil Young, Willie, Hank, Otis, Buffet, etc. I take suggestions and I don't have to LOVE a song to included it (Sloop John B, not a fav) if many folks like it, BUT I can't HATE it (These Boots are Made for Walking, Puff the Magic Dragon, yuck). We keep our list to about 100, adding and subtracting occasionally.
We go around in a circle with each person getting a chance to select from our songbook and to lead (if they want). Works for me. Another plus, if you start your own group, you get to pick a location and time convenient to you. You don't need a ton of folks to get started. You can have a nice time jamming with just a handful of interested people.

I’ll second this. There needs to be a leader to keep the group moving and curate the songs, but (as when I lead our group), the leader doesn’t have to be the best player or singer. So long as you have someone moderately competent :rock::anyone:

acmespaceship
08-18-2018, 03:12 PM
Are ukulele players the only instrumentalist birds of a feather who often like to flock together?

Not meant to sound snarky, but I'm genuinely curious. I don't think I've ever encountered this phenomenon with regard to people who play any other instrument. Suzuki violin groups, perhaps, but that's part of their educational phase, not so much a social gathering.


Mountain dulcimers also tend to congregate with their own kind. I believe it's because uke and MD are widely considered "beginner-friendly" instruments. Which means two things:

1) Many of the people who play these instruments are total beginners. They have no formal training. They don't read music, they don't know what the roman numerals mean, they don't know how to "wing it." They don't know how to fit into a jam; they'll have to depend on the kindness of strangers who will tell them what key this is, and what the chords are.

2) Those strangers are not always kind. You know it, I know it. Just try showing up at a bluegrass jam, an Irish trad session, or another mixed-instrument group as a rank clueless beginner, carrying your ukulele and a page of chord diagrams. Too many self-styled "musicians" have no patience with a beginner who plays a "toy."

Even if one of those highfalutin guitar players is a nice person who wants to help, there's a limit to how much help a guitarist can give. The chord fingerings are different and a strum that works on guitar won't necessarily work on uke. I swear, if I hear someone say "just watch the guitarist's hands" one more time, I'll strangle them. I don't know guitar chords -- why should I? (yeah, I know, so I can cue off the guitarist's hands... but beginners already have enough trouble learning chords on their own instruments)

Most uke clubs are friendly to beginners and full of people who are just now discovering the joys of playing music. The clubs provide chord/lyric sheets that are arranged to sound good and be easy to play on ukulele. Experienced players can help beginners. It is a safe place where anyone is welcome and ukes are not drowned out by larger instruments.

As players gain confidence, it is good to go out and play with other instruments. But not everybody wants a challenge. Some folks are happy to keep this a simple hobby. I think sometimes it's hard for dedicated musicians to remember that many people are happy (in fact, thrilled) just to strum three chords and sing You Are My Sunshine.

spongeuke
08-18-2018, 06:20 PM
And an archery club I once belonged to squabled and picked sides about everything from work parties to the rules of range use.


That conjures quite a vision. Feather flew?

I was refering to the feathers on the arrows.

igorthebarbarian
08-18-2018, 09:13 PM
This is a good thread. I’ll second what acmespaceship said, and that it’s supposed to be fun. Minimal chord change songs (3-6) out of the Daily Ukulele book seems to be the best universal method. If I don’t know the songs, I’ll make note of it and listen to it on YouTube when I get home.

Jerryc41
08-19-2018, 04:20 AM
Bluegrass jam sessions are much more frequent here than uke jams.

Gee, I wonder why. :D

I love blue grass - especially banjo.

111337

bratsche
08-19-2018, 08:33 AM
Most uke clubs are friendly to beginners and full of people who are just now discovering the joys of playing music. The clubs provide chord/lyric sheets that are arranged to sound good and be easy to play on ukulele. Experienced players can help beginners. It is a safe place where anyone is welcome and ukes are not drowned out by larger instruments.

As players gain confidence, it is good to go out and play with other instruments. But not everybody wants a challenge. Some folks are happy to keep this a simple hobby. I think sometimes it's hard for dedicated musicians to remember that many people are happy (in fact, thrilled) just to strum three chords and sing You Are My Sunshine.

Thank you for the detailed explanation. It makes more sense to me now. I had no idea that people in ukulele clubs all played together, regardless of their individual abilities (or lack thereof). That is remarkably patient and helpful of the more advanced players. So in that sense, it is rather an educational setting. I would have thought you'd have different groups playing, divided by levels, in which case I wondered "why only ukuleles and no other instruments?" (especially for the more proficient players).

bratsche

Jerryc41
08-19-2018, 09:48 AM
2) Those strangers are not always kind.

Sad, but true, which helps explain why ukulele groups and festivals are so popular.

Osprey
08-19-2018, 09:56 AM
The local music store where our group meets has a free beginners class at 9:30 each Sat morning and our group comes in at 10:30 some of the beginners group stays to play with us. We are mostly a strum and singalong group. Once a month we do have open Mic and individuals or small groups get to perform. It is a very supportive group. But to push myself to improve I am also a part of a smaller subset that performs occasionally. I am also the leader of a group that is preparing to perform at the Strummin’ Man Ukulele Festival in Oct. I am by no means the best player in that group but someone has to do the grunt work of organizing rehearsals, etc. I like all the opportunities I have to play. Each group has its own rewards. I am a pretty happy ukulele player.

bratsche
08-19-2018, 11:01 AM
1) Many of the people who play these instruments are total beginners. They have no formal training. They don't read music, they don't know what the roman numerals mean, they don't know how to "wing it." They don't know how to fit into a jam; they'll have to depend on the kindness of strangers who will tell them what key this is, and what the chords are.

Also, since my first instrument was violin, my instinctive response as an "obvious solution" (to me) for those people mentioned in earlier posts - those who didn't know the chords, or couldn't play songs with too many of them - would be, "well, simple - just play the melody, then!"

But I guess that wouldn't work, if uke players begin their learning with chords. Whereas a violin pupil will be on melodies from day 1, but will be a few years along before even knowing what a chord on violin is.


bratsche

Rllink
08-20-2018, 10:10 AM
Those strangers are not always kind. You know it, I know it. Just try showing up at a bluegrass jam, an Irish trad session, or another mixed-instrument group as a rank clueless beginner, carrying your ukulele and a page of chord diagrams. Too many self-styled "musicians" have no patience with a beginner who plays a "toy."My friend who is a ukulele player went to Irish night at a local restaurant. People come together and play Irish music one night a month there. My friend said that they were not very inviting and that they wouldn't let him play his ukulele. But really, it was that there was not a ukulele part in Irish music. Sure, you can play Irish and Bluegrass songs on a ukulele, but when it comes to playing Irish and Bluegrass music, every instrument has a part. Everyone is not just sitting together playing the same plunk a plunk a plunk. But my friend went back a couple of times and I think that he found that people were friendlier than he thought they were in the beginning. He is learning to play the fiddle now. The down side is that he is so absorbed with the fiddle that he seldom plays his ukulele. I am torn between just playing the ukulele and maybe learning to play a guitar or fiddle too so that I can play bluegrass music. I'm not much into Irish. But I'm afraid of ending up like my friend and abandoning the ukulele for something else. I don't want to do that.

Choirguy
08-20-2018, 10:28 AM
I have debated whether to join into this discussion but I think it is time. My wife and I made a trip down to Memphis this summer, partly to attend a Tuesday night weekly meeting/play along with the Memphis Ukulele Flash Mob, which is led by Pete McCarty, and meets at one of the Central BBQ locations. The place is packed every week, and songs are projected—and all the songs are arranged and led by Pete; although others jump into leadership roles when he is gone.

I came back to my local jam after attending that jam, and regardless of my love for the people at our local jam, I found myself unhappy with the jam—and felt the same way the week after. I didn’t expect to feel that way, and now have had about a month to think about it.

I think the main area of my discontent has been the combination of food and community. Our local jams—those that tend not to be thematic (e.g. bluegrass or Americana)—happen on Friday mornings/early afternoons at local music stores. This means that a good percentage of the population (e.g. people that work) cannot attend a jam, and the group that meet then skews older than me, and thus musical preferences also skew older.

The answer might be to start a jam/play along that meets later in the day (evening or weekend) that meets in a restaurant, but I have also been told that restaurants face fines from music organizations if there are people playing music in their location without appropriate music performance licenses! Argh!

We also have a challenge that local groups already meet on Monday night, Thursday night, and Friday day. I once tried getting a jam going in a city to the Southeast of the cities, but it ended up being yet another activity for the people in the Twin Cities Area to drive to, yet another day of commitment for their schedules—and that wasn’t the goal.

Related to all this, our sermon series at church has been about being a good neighbor. I’m not going to get preachy on anyone here, but the last topic was eating together—it’s something that we all do, and it naturally creates community.

So, I don’t know how to solve the problem—but I think that a location where food can be ordered (and perhaps drink) would result in the community dynamic that I am looking for—and it naturally should result in a better cross-section of the population. I’m not afraid to be a leader or to prepare materials—that’s what I do in my life. But how do you get around the music license issue, if that’s really a thing?

Rllink
08-20-2018, 11:16 AM
So, I don’t know how to solve the problem—but I think that a location where food can be ordered (and perhaps drink) would result in the community dynamic that I am looking for—and it naturally should result in a better cross-section of the population. I’m not afraid to be a leader or to prepare materials—that’s what I do in my life. But how do you get around the music license issue, if that’s really a thing?There is a coffee shop in our neighborhood and they would let anyone sign up and come in on Saturday nights and play for the last hour that they are open. Anything from sitting in the corner solo on a stool to setting up the sound system and bringing in the band. If no one signed up we would just do an impromptu open mic. Just recently they quit allowing it over licensing. They didn't want to pay the fees. Too bad, as it was a great place for the not so great to play.

bratsche
08-20-2018, 12:03 PM
Choirguy, perhaps you should find a neutral venue (one not subject to licensing problems), like a recreation center or a church basement, and have a "potluck ukulele jam"? You could rotate who brings the paper plates, plasticware, napkins, etc. and maybe the drinks.

bratsche

Down Up Dick
08-21-2018, 06:43 AM
I wonder how or if a uke group could play and sing in parts. I mean like melody, harmony and baritone or bass. I think that would be much more interesting than just plunka, plunka, plunka. Certainly a step up.

Does anybody’s group do that? Maybe the ones who are bringing in the more difficult tunes are just trying to stretch themselves.

I dunno know. Waddaya think? :old:

Osprey
08-21-2018, 06:54 AM
I wonder how or if a uke group could play and sing in parts. I mean like melody, harmony and baritone or bass. I think that would be much more interesting than just plunka, plunka, plunka. Certainly a step up.

Does anybody’s group do that? Maybe the ones who are bringing in the more difficult tunes are just trying to stretch themselves.

I dunno know. Waddaya think? :old:

In our group there is at least one player playing a U-Bass, several of us play Baritones, one or two play banjo-Ukes, some sing harmony, I often find the melody is too high for my voice. Mostly we just have fun.

igorthebarbarian
08-24-2018, 09:08 PM
I have debated whether to join into this discussion but I think it is time. My wife and I made a trip down to Memphis this summer, partly to attend a Tuesday night weekly meeting/play along with the Memphis Ukulele Flash Mob, which is led by Pete McCarty, and meets at one of the Central BBQ locations. The place is packed every week, and songs are projected—and all the songs are arranged and led by Pete; although others jump into leadership roles when he is gone.

I came back to my local jam after attending that jam, and regardless of my love for the people at our local jam, I found myself unhappy with the jam—and felt the same way the week after. I didn’t expect to feel that way, and now have had about a month to think about it.


I've seen Petey Mack's facebook videos (I'm a friend of his on facebook) and they are always amazingly well-organized and ridiculously well-attended. I am always shocked at the number of attendees he has. I think his group is one of the gold-stardards for what most uke groups are probably striving to be. And I can see how you would come back and feel the inevitable letdown if comparing your local group to his.

But I think many people here are overthinking this post. I'm guessing that is because most of the folks here are serious about the uke (which makes sense), and are past that beginner stage.

I think most uke group people just want to get out of the house to "do something" (vs. staying home and watching tv/ surfing the internet). They want to meet like-minded nice folks and have fun. Ukulele is supposed to be fun.

As others have said, ukulele groups are usually really welcoming to newbies. I've sat next to people who can barely strum, but that's cool, no one really cares and you can't really hear yourself in the din of everyone else in the room playing. I think most people come to sing along, play some easier songs, get out of the house, make something that resembles 'music' and make some memories!

The ukulele is supposed to be non-scary to non-musicians. I realize there are others in the group who really good and can sight-read and pick melodies; those folks are great to have/ build out the sound, but the group I play with is mostly beginners/intermediates.

There's a lot of us however, who have never played an instrument before, so this is it! Learning the main chords and singing at the same time is a gigantic Win for people who didn't grow up playing music/ who were deathly afraid of taking the leap and trying something new at an older age. Heck, just going out to these meetup events in-person at first is terrifying, but again, uke people are generally nice and welcoming - or they should be!

ampeep
08-24-2018, 09:29 PM
I agree with igorthebarbarian - there are lots of newbies in these groups as well as more accomplished players. My friends are pretty good guitar players, but we get together only once or twice a year.

When I first went to a uke group session, I didn't intend to go back due to this disparity of abilities. When I decided to join that first group, had to adjust my expectations - it's been fun.

Edspyhill05
09-02-2018, 04:37 AM
Take the sheet music from the Meetup and play them for a week. Maybe take 2 or 3 “easier” ones and make a mini set list to be played every day. Make an exercise of every chord change or sequence that you have issues with, and play them over and over. Most of it is muscle memory. Lately I started to see chord sequences that come up in many songs.

Ed

Rllink
09-02-2018, 06:33 AM
I agree with igorthebarbarian - there are lots of newbies in these groups as well as more accomplished players. My friends are pretty good guitar players, but we get together only once or twice a year.

When I first went to a uke group session, I didn't intend to go back due to this disparity of abilities. When I decided to join that first group, had to adjust my expectations - it's been fun.
I don't particularly like large group strum-alongs, I've done them at ukulele festivals, but if there were any close to me I would certainly attend just to meet people and to get out and play.

Choirguy
09-02-2018, 07:08 AM
I went to our local jam on Friday and brought my new ukulele bass (there was a large amp at the music store where we meet, so I could easily hook up). I haven’t spent any time in my life playing bass, other than string bass in college (vocal and instrumental music education major), and I had played this bass perhaps no more than an hour before bringing it to the jam. I made a lot of mistakes, but did pretty well for not much bass experience, and that made the jam a musical challenge for me. I have to work out all of the standard bass riffs, but I - V is pretty well thought out on the bass overall.

Graham Greenbag
09-02-2018, 07:49 AM
I wonder how or if a uke group could play and sing in parts. I mean like melody, harmony and baritone or bass. I think that would be much more interesting than just plunka, plunka, plunka. Certainly a step up.

Does anybody’s group do that? Maybe the ones who are bringing in the more difficult tunes are just trying to stretch themselves.

I dunno know. Waddaya think? :old:

To me that actually seems to be the core of a very good idea. The logistics might be burdensome to manage but harder versions of a song to embellish / sit on top of an easier version (so both versions in a form of complementary unison) could give something for everyone. The singing is beyond me, my voice was never trained and I don’t think that many actually are. However with the Uke Music a harder version could have more and different chords plus details of various strumming patterns ........... I’d struggle but bring it on.

PereBourik
09-02-2018, 10:31 AM
I wonder how or if a uke group could play and sing in parts. I mean like melody, harmony and baritone or bass. I think that would be much more interesting than just plunka, plunka, plunka. Certainly a step up.

Does anybody’s group do that? Maybe the ones who are bringing in the more difficult tunes are just trying to stretch themselves.

I dunno know. Waddaya think? :old:

Peter Luongo taught this in a class at Reno Uke Fest a couple of years ago. "All you people sing the A string. All you people sing the E string. Everybody else sing the melody." It was great.

bunnyf
09-02-2018, 06:12 PM
Nancy Piver’s group SLO Strummers in San Luis Obispo CA did just that. Nancy was a very accomplished arranger and many songs were broken down into multiple parts. It was challenging but the group has a core of fairly dedicated players. I enjoyed playing with them when I lived out in CA. Also, while I was there, we had James Hill do a workshop and it happened to be on “singing the strings”. Like PereBourik described, different folks sang each different string as you made the chord (helping people find the harmony). Nice workshop. James and his wife were wonderful to hear play and very nice folks too.

bunnyf
09-02-2018, 06:32 PM
My friend who is a ukulele player went to Irish night at a local restaurant. People come together and play Irish music one night a month there. My friend said that they were not very inviting and that they wouldn't let him play his ukulele. But really, it was that there was not a ukulele part in Irish music. Sure, you can play Irish and Bluegrass songs on a ukulele, but when it comes to playing Irish and Bluegrass music, every instrument has a part. Everyone is not just sitting together playing the same plunk a plunk a plunk. But my friend went back a couple of times and I think that he found that people were friendlier than he thought they were in the beginning. He is learning to play the fiddle now. The down side is that he is so absorbed with the fiddle that he seldom plays his ukulele. I am torn between just playing the ukulele and maybe learning to play a guitar or fiddle too so that I can play bluegrass music. I'm not much into Irish. But I'm afraid of ending up like my friend and abandoning the ukulele for something else. I don't want to do that.

I also really enjoy bluegrass music and while I was living in the Pismo Beach area I found a small group of oldtimers that got together in a gazebo in the park once a week. They werent hardcore bg, but were mostly bg, with a little old country, gospel and blues mixed in. Several guitars, several banjos, one or two mandolins. They were welcoming to the ukulele but Ive since found that that is not usually the case elsewhere. Ukulele doesnt really have a natural role to play in bg, but can kinda play the backbeat like a mando but actually its really not loud enough to be useful. Anyway, like your friend, it lead me to just take up mandolin.

Rllink
09-04-2018, 03:57 AM
As much as we talk about how welcoming the ukulele community is, that is not always the case. Several years ago I got wind of a ukulele group that was meeting up and playing so I went in search of it. I finally tracked down a member who worked at a an organic food store and asked him if I could play with them. He told me that they were an exclusive ukulele club and basically left it at that. I later found out that they were actually a ukulele band that liked to promote themselves as a ukulele club that got out of hand. Now it is a few years later and there are two or three other ukulele players out looking for gigs and opportunities to play around here, myself included. I've since talked to a few of those players that are in that band and they don't make it a secret that they consider themselves the originals and the rest of us interlopers, and they can get down right hostile sometimes. Anyway, they were some of the very first ukulele players that I met when I first started, and they certainly formed an image of exclusion that does not conform to the usually welcoming community that we are familiar with. So I guess I'm saying that whatever you do there are all kinds, some more welcoming than others.

Bill Sheehan
09-05-2018, 06:02 AM
R.L., it's unfortunate that you experienced a "lukewarm" reception from the organic food guy and certain others associated with his group. But as you observed, that kind of dynamic shows up in various contexts in life, and it's a shame that this happens. Maybe this is your calling to "go solo" on the coffee house circuit !!

Nickie
09-05-2018, 06:56 AM
Our club, the 4th largest one in the US, is very welcoming to beginners. Almost everything we do is geared to beginners. There are workshops, jams (really sing and strums), open mics (mostly intermediate and advanced players) and our festival. There has never been an advanced player workshop, really not even an intermediate one. The powers that be tell me that advanced and intermediate players don't show up. Crap, I say.
I'm a little disappointment in them right now. Our new group, Ukers For Life, is all volunteer, hospice volunteer certified, have played for patients and staff at Shriner's an hour drive away, several times, have been playing for hospice patients for 3 months. We asked to be adopted by the club so we would be under non profit status so we could raise funds and get re-reimbursed for our high mileage. They turned down our request for mileage, told us that they would have to approve any fundraising, and offered to buy some used sound equipment for us (we've never played plugged in). This seems to be non-negotiable, it wasn't even voted on.

What a shame.
What would you do?

Jerryc41
09-05-2018, 07:10 AM
What a shame.
What would you do?

Yes, it is a shame when a group gets like that. The ukulele is all about having fun. When the fun stops, what's the point? If you're willing to keep driving long distances to play, you might be able to deduct the mileage from your income tax, but you'd have to consult a tax lawyer. I've used online programs for taxes, and they ask how much I've driven for charity work or to donate items.

acmespaceship
09-05-2018, 08:46 AM
I'm a little disappointment in them right now. Our new group, Ukers For Life, is all volunteer, hospice volunteer certified, have played for patients and staff at Shriner's an hour drive away, several times, have been playing for hospice patients for 3 months. We asked to be adopted by the club so we would be under non profit status so we could raise funds and get re-reimbursed for our high mileage. They turned down our request for mileage, told us that they would have to approve any fundraising, and offered to buy some used sound equipment for us (we've never played plugged in). This seems to be non-negotiable, it wasn't even voted on.

What a shame.
What would you do?
Incorporate Ukers for Life as a not-for-profit arts corporation. Set up your board of directors. Then open a corporate checking account at a bank that won't charge you fees. My theatre troupe did this decades ago so we could accept donations, sign contracts, rent space, reimburse expenses and not pay sales tax when we buy stuff. Not to mention the limited liability for individual members lest somebody trip over a mic chord and try to sue us.

Look around for organizations in your state that can help you get this done. It won't cost much in time or money and it will allow your group to make its own decisions.

Martinlover
09-05-2018, 10:14 AM
You know Jerry, I don’t know how you can be unhappy with the ukulele group when I’m there. :p

Jerryc41
09-05-2018, 10:38 AM
You know Jerry, I don’t know how you can be unhappy with the ukulele group when I’m there. :p

Of course! That goes without saying! ;)

See you tonight! I'll bring the Pineapple Sunday.

bunnyf
09-05-2018, 11:16 AM
Sometimes Nickie, you need to go your own way in order to get things done. I know it’s not always easy but the good part is that you have a vision, a mission and you CAN make it happen. Good luck with your group. It’s a noble cause bringing a few moments of escape and perhaps bringing back fond memories to folks going thru such a difficult time. God bless you.

Graham Greenbag
09-05-2018, 11:13 PM
Our club, the 4th largest one in the US, is very welcoming to beginners. Almost everything we do is geared to beginners. There are workshops, jams (really sing and strums), open mics (mostly intermediate and advanced players) and our festival. There has never been an advanced player workshop, really not even an intermediate one. The powers that be tell me that advanced and intermediate players don't show up. Crap, I say.
I'm a little disappointment in them right now. Our new group, Ukers For Life, is all volunteer, hospice volunteer certified, have played for patients and staff at Shriner's an hour drive away, several times, have been playing for hospice patients for 3 months. We asked to be adopted by the club so we would be under non profit status so we could raise funds and get re-reimbursed for our high mileage. They turned down our request for mileage, told us that they would have to approve any fundraising, and offered to buy some used sound equipment for us (we've never played plugged in). This seems to be non-negotiable, it wasn't even voted on.

What a shame.
What would you do?

I’ve been thinking this over for a couple of days but I just keep coming up with perspectives on the situation that don’t match yours, sorry.

Now don’t get me wrong, I see your points and they are valid but others may feel that they are comfortable with the way things are and don’t want any changes. You and they both have a right to think differently and they are the ones who do the work of directing and managing the Club. To be fair running a music group isn’t easy (I know because I’ve been one of the people who does such hidden things) and I can readily see why those running your group might not want any possible additional work or complications.

I think that Bunnyf’s response was pretty much perfect, very nicely put too. There are times when it’s best that you go your own way and take charge of things, so branch-out on your own and achieve what it is that you want to do. Good luck with the Hospice work and also with organising some learning workshops.

Nickie
09-08-2018, 08:57 AM
Incorporate Ukers for Life as a not-for-profit arts corporation. Set up your board of directors. Then open a corporate checking account at a bank that won't charge you fees. My theatre troupe did this decades ago so we could accept donations, sign contracts, rent space, reimburse expenses and not pay sales tax when we buy stuff. Not to mention the limited liability for individual members lest somebody trip over a mic chord and try to sue us.

Look around for organizations in your state that can help you get this done. It won't cost much in time or money and it will allow your group to make its own decisions.

Thank you. We are looking for a c-corp that will accept us, and promote us, and give us the mutually beneficial relationship we need. If that doens't work out, we'll do just what you suggested.
There are only 5 of us right now, so we'd prefer to be under another group's non-profit status.
And thank you bunny and Graham.