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View Full Version : What do you do with a ukulele ensemble?



dianalele
01-12-2011, 04:03 PM
I got my first ukulele 2 years ago, and all of a suddent there are like 20 music majors on my campus who have ukuleles. They are interested in started a ukulele ensemble or a ukulele club, and they asked me to kind of put it together and run it, which I am totally honored to do so.

I know there are hundreds of ukulele get-togethers all over the place, and I was just wondering if you could share what you do at your meetings? What do you play? Where do you get the music? Who runs it? Do you take turns? Do you spend time teaching for the people who arent as advanced? What do you do about differences in ability? Do you know of a place or website that I can get good music arranged for ukulele ensembles? Does anyone arrange music themselves?

I know I asked a million questions, but answer what you can! I'm just looking for ideas to spark my brainstorming.

fitncrafty
01-12-2011, 05:03 PM
I am a complete newbie...but our uke club people bring copies of music (or just play by ear telling chords) and we all play together from pages. We have discussed having a songbook.
There is another group an hour and half away that have the first hour working on Chord review for newbies and then they decide what songs to play and play them.

Other groups are more like open mike night, I guess it depends on who the people are. If you are all experienced you may want to do it that way.
Good luck!

Doug W
01-12-2011, 05:42 PM
I know there are hundreds of ukulele get-togethers all over the place, and I was just wondering if you could share what you do at your meetings? What do you play? Where do you get the music? Who runs it? Do you take turns?

I think you need to start with one benevolent dictator acting as the cosmic overlord. I believe you have already volunteered for the position.
Music in parts is a little trickier to find as opposed to music for solo uke but considering the fact that you say there are 20 music majors on campus who have ukuleles, I would guess that most of them have music notation editing programs on their computers or in their heads.

Choose 2 tunes you really like for the first gathering and arrange them or get help from another music major to arrange them into 3 or 4 parts


Do you spend time teaching for the people who aren't as advanced?
Every time we get together


What do you do about differences in ability?
Let people play what they can and try to have some really simple parts for beginners. Look at the latest picture in this thread and you can get an idea of just the age spread in our little group. We all laugh a lot at our sessions.
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?23427-Montevideo-MN-western-Minnesota


Does anyone arrange music themselves?
Sort of. One easy thing is to search for a MIDI file of something you like and open it with an editor like "Power Tab Editor".

Power Tab Editor download (http://en.kioskea.net/download/download-3939-power-tab-editor)
Set up Power Tab for ukulele (http://liveukulele.com/tabs/how-to-use-powertab/)

If you are not a computer geek and find the setup confusing, as dictator you can delegate that task to one of your flunkies.
For example, find a MIDI file of "Walk Don't Run" by the ventures and import it into Power Tab Editor

Download Walk, Don't run by The Ventures from this page
http://www.ics.uci.edu/~dan/midi/rock/index.html

Import it into Power Tab Editor.