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View Full Version : Ukulele Singalong: What I learned



tuscadero
06-28-2009, 06:21 AM
Last week I posted that I would be playing at a friend's luau Saturday night. I had not played in front of a large group of folks like that and I asked for your advice about playing in public and you all gave some great advice.

1. One thing that jamin9306 mentioned was that "if people are singing along 90% of the time they have the tempo wrong" and he was SO right. But I went to the music store on Friday to get extra strings and they had a cool set of bongos. I remembered what jamin9306 said and bought them on the spot. I also picked up some shaker eggs and a cow bell and handed them out during the singalong and it helped everybody stay together and get involved. It also sounded awesome.

2. When we did Suspicious Minds, by Elvis, we got to the bridge, where he slows down, and I wasn't sure how to play it, and most of the people didn't really know how to sing it, but my cousin is an Elvis freak, so she just took over and sang it acapella. It was an accident, but it worked so well everyone was giving us both props after the song ended. So, my advice is to listen to the other people around you and embrace the accidents.

3. I learned that my little book is great for the singers, but it's really small and hard to read by firelight when you're playing. Luckily, we had a flashlight and one of the guys held the book for me. Very helpful. But I will probably make a larger version in a binder for myself for the future. And I'll definitely keep my eye out for some kind of lighting solution.

4. You can never have too much cow bell.

Thanks for all your support.

ukebrudder
06-28-2009, 06:26 AM
Sounds like you have a lot of fun with that. It would have been cool if you filmed parts of it!

Thumper
06-28-2009, 06:28 AM
Great insights, and thanks again for that terrific songbook!

Bratset
06-28-2009, 06:59 AM
Sounds like lot of fun!
And thanks again for the wonderful songbook!

Playscool39
06-28-2009, 07:06 AM
Thanx voor sharing your fine day and your songbook

Pippin
06-28-2009, 10:09 AM
You can never have too much cow bell.

That skit was soooo silly, but I still think about it and laugh.

I am happy that it went well for you. I hope your next gig is even better.

ichadwick
06-28-2009, 12:06 PM
...When we did Suspicious Minds, by Elvis, we got to the bridge, where he slows down, and I wasn't sure how to play it, and most of the people didn't really know how to sing it, but my cousin is an Elvis freak, so she just took over and sang it acapella. It was an accident, but it worked so well everyone was giving us both props after the song ended. So, my advice is to listen to the other people around you and embrace the accidents.
We have an international Elvis Festival here every year - our 17th or 18th coming up next month. Draws tens of thousands of people to hear and see the tribute artists (>100), join in the street festival, have fun at the vendors and beer gardens... huge event, Gets media coverage from alkl over the place, sanctioned by EP Enterprises and Graceland. One of the major events in the tribute artists' circuit. If you win in Collingwood, you are headed for the world stage.

Anyway, I have thought about how much fun it would be to have a ukulele Elvis set. We have kids as Elvis, women as Elvis, fat guys, thin guys and arms-windmilling guys as Elvis. Why not a uke group doing Elvis? I plan to talk to the Toronto uke crowd next month when I get down there for their weekly jam, see if anyone's interested. Suspicious Minds might work (I'll tell them you inspired me!)

You can never have too much cow bell.
Better that than cow pattie.

seeso
06-28-2009, 01:19 PM
Whoo hoo! That's awesome, Stace.

mailman
06-28-2009, 02:34 PM
Glad to hear it went well! I'm still enjoying playing through the songs in the songbook....even though there are a few I've never heard of. The others were well worth printing it out.

Was there any video of your debut?

haolejohn
06-28-2009, 02:46 PM
Where can one get their hands on the songbook? I like songbooks:)

What ukulele did you use?

A light suggestion. i use a headlight LED light that I use for camping as my night playing light. Best $20 I ever spent.

ihavenotea
06-28-2009, 07:30 PM
3. I learned that my little book is great for the singers, but it's really small and hard to read by firelight when you're playing. Luckily, we had a flashlight and one of the guys held the book for me. Very helpful. But I will probably make a larger version in a binder for myself for the future. And I'll definitely keep my eye out for some kind of lighting solution.


We went camping this weekend and your little songbook inspired me to create one for our camping trip. We never did get to do any group singing, sadly, but I did get to play a lot of ukulele and harmonica.

I didn't quite finish my book before the trip (otherwise I would have posted it in your songbook thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15232)), but I printed out a draft. It was tricky… very nice for vocalists but hard to manage in the dark. I will have to take haolejohn's suggestion about the headlight before out next trip.

Thanks for the feedback on your sing-along. Very helpful.

Utterly off topic – one our neighbor campers recognized the Monkey Island theme when I played it on harmonica!

ihavenotea
06-28-2009, 07:33 PM
Where can one get their hands on the songbook?

Tuscadero's Luau Singalong Songbook is in this thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15232).

And everyone should have a copy of Rise Up Singing (http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Up-Singing-Group-Songbook/dp/1881322130/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246253576&sr=8-1).

deach
06-29-2009, 12:19 AM
Awesome Tusky!

UKISOCIETY
06-29-2009, 12:53 AM
Great story! tHANKS FOR SHARING!

tuscadero
06-29-2009, 02:16 PM
We have photos! My friend just posted some photos to Facebook.

http://staceygeorge.com/photos/singalong1.jpg
Here's Larry on the aforementioned bongos, and you can see people flipping through their songbooks.

http://staceygeorge.com/photos/singalong2.jpg
That would be me in the hat with the uke, and my hero, the guy who held the flashlight!

http://staceygeorge.com/photos/singalong3.jpg
More Cowbell!:shaka:

pigwig
06-29-2009, 03:56 PM
That songbook is awesome. Looks like you guys had a great time! :shaka:

Joe H
06-30-2009, 09:29 AM
Glad to hear the night went well. Thanks for sharing that songbook.

tiki_ink
06-30-2009, 03:42 PM
4. You can never have too much cow bell.

.

I gotta have it!!! Cause I gotta a feva......and the only prescription.............. is more COWBELL!!!

Brown
06-30-2009, 06:52 PM
congrats on your first singalong and thanks for that book, gets boring to look at same old ASCII print outs.