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View Full Version : Played uke live for the first time.



angelopb
04-22-2010, 06:03 AM
I have been playing uke for 2 months. At the wednesday night open mic(read: unpaid bar band gig), I thought I would play my M32 Flea with the band. But since I am the bass player, I had to figure out a way to introduce the Flea to an audience used to strats, teles, tube amps, keys and bass. This is a blue collar kind of bar. Smokey and loud. Some of the patrons could have teeth that are not in good repair. You get the idea.

I thought we would try "Minnie the Moocher" by Cab Calloway. It's a simple 3 chord (Em--C7--B7) deal that forces audience participation.

So with my bass guitar strapped on I held my little Flea up high ans started the song. Then as it picked up and the other instruments came in, I put it down. There is no volume knob on the pickup or anything so i didn't want it to feedback. So I had to think how I was going to lay it down. I finished the song on my bass.

I think playing the uke this way in a bar band setting gives it legitimacy. Afterwards, I just kept walking around playing the uke and talking to people. I guess we are all uke ambassadors so I was doing my part to spread the stoke.

I would like to play an arrangement of Autumn Leaves in this bar. But small steps. This was my first time playing uke in front of an audience so it was sort of a big deal to me, almost like a confirmation that I am now, a uke player.

Rzr
04-22-2010, 06:15 AM
Awesome! Sounds like a great way to spread the joy of the ukulele.

Captain_Lovehandles
04-22-2010, 06:18 AM
He's legit!

Uncle Rod Higuchi
04-22-2010, 07:34 AM
I'll bet it brought smiles to the faces in the audience. Probably to those on the stage as well.

Congrats for overcoming whatever held you back before.

Keep uke-in',

sukie
04-22-2010, 07:58 AM
Good for you! The bar patrons can be won over. When the Twin Cities Ukulele Orchestra plays it's always fun to watch the faces of the crowd. They have a look of skepticism when we start and are usually won over by the end. I love it when they say, "Wow! You guys are good." Keep us informed of your success.

Skitzic
04-22-2010, 08:16 AM
Good way to work it in. I just stuffed it in their faces the first time I cranked it out lol.

Chris Tarman
04-22-2010, 12:35 PM
I am the bass player in two different bands. In one band, I've played uke and bass on the same song, but I only have a 4 beat rest to switch. So I have the uke on a sound-hole hook strap and the bass strapped on. During the switch, I have to tuck the uke under my right arm and hold it in place (so it won't flip on the hook) while I finish the song on bass. It's pretty awkward, but it works. The audience gets a kick out of it. We have a gig this Saturday, so I'll try to get my wife to take some pics of me during that song so I can post them. I need a better uke with a pick-up. The one I have is a cheap, heavy Oscar Schmidt, but hey... it was only $50 at the local pawnshop.

Harold O.
04-22-2010, 12:55 PM
I am the bass player in two different bands. In one band, I've played uke and bass on the same song, but I only have a 4 beat rest to switch. So I have the uke on a sound-hole hook strap and the bass strapped on. During the switch, I have to tuck the uke under my right arm and hold it in place (so it won't flip on the hook) while I finish the song on bass. It's pretty awkward, but it works.

Get one of Lori's Uke-a-loops http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?27011-Vote-for-the-Ukulele-Half-Strap-Name!&highlight=loop

Then you can just hang the uke over your left shoulder while thumping the bass.

angelopb
04-23-2010, 05:07 AM
Chiris, I would love to see pics on how you do it. I have the flea colar thing but havn't figured it out yet. But my concern is that i have no voume knob on the uke, so if i just let go of the strings, it could start feeding back while I am on bass. I am thinking just to find something to set it face down on, like a garment or soemthing.

mds725
04-23-2010, 10:13 AM
Get one of Lori's Uke-a-loops http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?27011-Vote-for-the-Ukulele-Half-Strap-Name!&highlight=loop Then you can just hang the uke over your left shoulder while thumping the bass.

Here's Lori's "Uke Leash" website: http://www.ukeleash.com/

Chris Tarman
04-23-2010, 05:07 PM
Chiris, I would love to see pics on how you do it. I have the flea colar thing but havn't figured it out yet. But my concern is that i have no voume knob on the uke, so if i just let go of the strings, it could start feeding back while I am on bass. I am thinking just to find something to set it face down on, like a garment or soemthing.

I'll try to get some pics at our gig tomorrow night. I don't think my way is really even anything like OPTIMAL, but it works. Might not work so hot if there was alcohol involved! Actually, I had a string break last night at practice. So if I can't get it replaced, I may be using my friend's tenor, which will work with a more normal strap. IF I can get ahold of him and IF he'll let me borrow it (I would think he would though, since I got him interested in getting it!).

Chris Tarman
04-24-2010, 09:38 PM
Here are a few pics from our gig showing how I double on bass and uke. Luckily I only have to do this on one song! It is awkward. But it worked a little better tonight since I had to use my friend's tenor after all. I could use a normal strap on it, instead of the sound-hole hook thing. And this was a MUCH nicer uke than my plug-in-able one. Is "plug-in-able a word"? It OUGHT to be!

angelopb
04-25-2010, 06:44 AM
Thanks for posting those. Looks like you managed to swing it out of the way when you went back to bass. It also looks like the bod of the uke was touching the bass while you were playing it.
Not an issue for the flea because its plastic. I am going to try the flea collar and see what that does. Maybe I try to get a shot. I think the pictures of the audience reaction would be cool.

Chris Tarman
04-25-2010, 01:45 PM
Yes, the body of the uke touches the bass the whole time. I almost made a serious blunder. I had turned the volume of the bass down when I was getting the uke on, and guess what? That's right! I forgot to turn it back up when I started the song on the uke. I only have 4 beats to switch to bass. Luckily I thought about it during the uke part and managed to reach down and hit the volume knob before I had to switch to bass. That would have brought things to a screeching halt!