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View Full Version : uke get togethers in santa monica or venice??



lisar
08-07-2011, 07:08 PM
...are there any?

janeray1940
08-07-2011, 07:15 PM
Well... not sure if classes qualify as get-togethers but there are a couple things going on. McCabe's in Santa Monica has a uke class; there's a beginning one starting up on September 19. And there's a group based on the Ukulele Fretboard Roadmaps (http://www.sokolowmusic.com/instructional/other) book that meets at a private home a couple times a month - this is more of an intermediate/advanced group. PM me if you'd like more info on either of those. The westside seems to be a barren desert when it comes to the ukulele - for a while I was driving to El Segundo to play with a Hawaiian group, but that's the closest ongoing thing that I know of.

Harold O.
08-08-2011, 04:33 AM
Hello Lisa - welcome to UU. I've met several people from the beach areas at various ukulele functions over the years, so there are plenty of players close to you. The trouble is, finding a suitable neutral location for folks to get together on a regular basis (that doesn't charge for the gig). By all means, get over to McCabes and check it out. They may have a bulletin board with postings for uke groups.

When you get wheels, the Canogahana Players would love to have you along for the ride.

janeray1940
08-08-2011, 04:45 AM
They may have a bulletin board with postings for uke groups.

LOL! They do have a bulletin board, but I've never once seen anything uke-related posted, and I'm there a couple times a week at least. Nice thought, though :)

There's just not much going on in the SM area, uke-wise. I've been pretty firmly entrenched in all things ukulele for a couple years now, and even though my immediate circle of uke friends is mainly westside-based, we find ourselves travelling pretty far to play with others. Collectively we've been to Sherman Oaks, Altadena, El Segundo, Carson, Torrance, etc. in search of uke happenings.

Pueo
08-08-2011, 04:48 AM
What Hawaian group in El Segundo? I live in Huntington Beach and play with Kolohe there, but I work in El Segundo, I might want to check them out, thanks.

janeray1940
08-08-2011, 04:55 AM
What Hawaian group in El Segundo? I live in Huntington Beach and play with Kolohe there, but I work in El Segundo, I might want to check them out, thanks.

Uncle Lincoln's group (http://www.swimboat.com/ukclass.htm), meets every Thursday night at Kahanamoku's Swimboat. Mostly Hawaiian and hapa haole songs. A really warm and welcoming bunch of people - you should check it out!

Pueo
08-08-2011, 05:25 AM
Uncle Lincoln's group (http://www.swimboat.com/ukclass.htm), meets every Thursday night at Kahanamoku's Swimboat. Mostly Hawaiian and hapa haole songs. A really warm and welcoming bunch of people - you should check it out!
Wow, they are right down the street from my office. I will stop by Thursday after work, thanks!

Lori
08-08-2011, 05:30 AM
I am hoping to start a beginners class for the West LA area. I have to wait for the proper person to return from vacation to see if it will be possible. I am hoping it might be at the Family YMCA in Santa Monica. Too early to know if it will happen.
I go to the Canogahana group. It is on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, and the traffic is not too bad. I also like the Pluckin' Strummers in Atwater (near Griffith Park), which happens on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays. If you want to car pool with me to one of these, let me know.
The Jumpin' Flea Circus Players of Los Angeles (North Hollywood) are intermediate to advanced and meet on 1st and 3rd Thursday nights, but that is really hard to make traffic-wise from the Westside.

–Lori

mitchchang
08-08-2011, 05:45 AM
Hello Lisa - I think Cali Rose has an ukulele group that meets in Culver City but I don't know the details. Hit her up on Facebook: http://facebook.com/calisings - tell her I said hi!

janeray1940
08-08-2011, 06:08 AM
Hello Lisa - I think Cali Rose has an ukulele group that meets in Culver City but I don't know the details. Hit her up on Facebook: http://facebook.com/calisings - tell her I said hi!

You're right, I forgot about that one since it's during weekday hours when I'm at work. Here's the info (http://www.calirose.com/calendar.html). I've been told that even though it's at a senior center, it's open to all ages.

lisar
08-08-2011, 07:21 PM
thanks so much everyone for your kind advice x x
i started playing uke 6 weeks ago, take a class at mccabes every week...
janeray...im pretty sure i recognise you from mccabes? i hear your beautiful sounds as i wait for my class...?! so you where in my shoes a couple of years ago!
harold i would love to come to one of your get togethers! lori - am totally up for a carpool - lovely idea, i will send you my details x
mitch thankyou for the lead, looking up cali rose now!

janeray1940
08-08-2011, 07:31 PM
Oh hey Lisa, I think I know who you are... And, thanks :) I played a little when I was a kid, but I only knew maybe three chords, so really I was a complete beginner not all that long ago.

PoiDog
08-09-2011, 04:32 AM
The westside seems to be a barren desert when it comes to the ukulele -

I don't know if desert is exactly the right word, cause there sure seem to be more than a few of us Westside folks just here on this board. But beyond that, I would imagine being able to gather a reasonable sized group together on a regular basis would likely be kind of tough.

I know, personally, I would like to gather with a group, but my schedule can be very ad-hoc, so I tend to be wary of making a committment for fear of later having to break it and let down others. That just wouldn't be fair. Well, that and subjecting them to my playing :)

Still, it is comforting to know there are plenty of us out there. All we need to do now is come up with some sort of secret signal, like the Masons, so we can recognize each other on the street.

janeray1940
08-09-2011, 05:38 AM
I don't know if desert is exactly the right word, cause there sure seem to be more than a few of us Westside folks just here on this board. But beyond that, I would imagine being able to gather a reasonable sized group together on a regular basis would likely be kind of tough.

True; between UU and the classes I'm involved with, I've met quite a few westside ukers. Some just don't seem to be interested in playing in groups; others have jobs with odd hours beyond the typical Monday-Friday routine, not to mention family and other commitments, making a mutually agreeable time to meet up darned near impossible.

I had a plan to try to organize a westside weekend uke meetup over the summer, in a park, with no fees or dues involved, but life kinda got in the way and I had to let that idea go for the time being, but I do hope to make this happen at some point in the future.

Lori
08-09-2011, 06:19 AM
I am all for getting a Westside group together. Especially if we can avoid the areas/ time of day that get gridlock traffic. Some place with easy parking, or maybe I can ride my bike. Timing is always tricky, and my schedule is unpredictable, so I go to some groups only once a month. I know of several Uke players that go to more than one group, and then I see them at the Uke Fests as well.
Which reminds me, remember there will be a Southern California Ukulele Festival in Anaheim on Saturday September 24, 2011 at The Muzeo Plaza - 241 S. Anaheim Blvd - Anaheim, CA. 92805. The operation hours for the event are 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. This event was held in Cerritos last year, and moved this year to Anaheim. The website is still showing the old info from last year, but it is definitely happening. http://www.californiaukulelefestival.com/
–Lori

janeray1940
08-09-2011, 06:24 AM
I am all for getting a Westside group together. Especially if we can avoid the areas/ time of day that get gridlock traffic. Some place with easy parking, or maybe I can ride my bike.

Last summer some of us were meeting on Saturday afternoons at Veterans Memorial Park in Culver City, which has easy parking and lots of space. So, that's one possibility...

PoiDog
08-09-2011, 10:01 AM
[...] there will be a Southern California Ukulele Festival in Anaheim on Saturday September 24, 2011 at The Muzeo Plaza - 241 S. Anaheim Blvd - Anaheim, CA. 92805.


Last summer some of us were meeting on Saturday afternoons at Veterans Memorial Park in Culver City, which has easy parking and lots of space. So, that's one possibility...

Other than traffic and busy lives, this may very well be the other big problem: geography. Yeah, I know Anaheim isn't West LA, but Culver City, Westwood/Bretwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, Palms, Westchester, and El Segundo all considered part of "West LA" -- at least by their residents.

Dang, now I sound like a total cynic, don't I? I didn't mean to. But the more one parses it out, the more one understands the obstacles.

On a positive note, I got my Uke Leash yesterday, and I've got to say, I am quite happy with it. It's more comfortable and less intrusive than I feared, and it does provide a great deal of support.

janeray1940
08-09-2011, 10:11 AM
Other than traffic and busy lives, this may very well be the other big problem: geography. Yeah, I know Anaheim isn't West LA, but Culver City, Westwood/Bretwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, Palms, Westchester, and El Segundo all considered part of "West LA" -- at least by their residents.

Dang, now I sound like a total cynic, don't I? I didn't mean to. But the more one parses it out, the more one understands the obstacles.



Except for two things: I do know uke players for whom geography/traffic means nothing; they willingly brave rush-hour traffic to get to Torrance or Sherman Oaks or wherever weekly. And, geography hasn't been an obstacle for the Jumping Flea Circus Player or the Pluckin' Strummers - I know several people from the westside who have checked out both.

I still think the main obstacle is that nobody has had the time/inclination/whatever to actually start something on the westside in the first place. Our group at McCabe's is on-again, off-again, but is mostly regulars who keep coming back when it's "on." This leads me to believe that if something similar was happening, there would be interest.

Also worth mentioning - the Fretboard Roadmaps group in Santa Monica has had people drive from as far away as Ventura, and the McCabe's group draws people from the Valley and Pasadena. SoCal uke folks seem, overall, undeterred by distance.

Lori
08-09-2011, 12:07 PM
As a native to Los Angeles, distance is not the issue really. It is travel time during rush hours. I used to attend computer user groups all the time, until the travel time and frustration level got too high. After all, 1 hour and 15 mins to go 13 miles is just not bearable. I make special plans to make the Jumpin' Flea Circus group by spending that day at my Mom's house, which puts me closer to a decent travel route. Saturday and Sunday meetings help out the cross town travelers a lot. The freeways work great if the're not too many cars.
The tricky part is finding a good location to host the group. Will McCabes host a group? Would there be a fee?
Anaheim is the closest we will get to a Uke Fest for Los Angeles this year, I'm afraid. It should be fun though.
–Lori

janeray1940
08-09-2011, 12:16 PM
Will McCabes host a group? Would there be a fee?

I doubt that this would be a cost-effective option. Room availability is pretty limited there; there's only one room that would be large enough and it's used for classes usually.

Playing in a park was pretty pleasant (and free) last summer. At the time we looked into other "community room" type places but they were all pretty expensive (libraries, civic centers have these but they are several hundred dollars a day).

During the winter last year we rented a room at the Talking Stick coffeehouse in Venice. I think it was something like $20 an hour, can't recall for sure, but it worked pretty well.

Harold O.
08-09-2011, 02:02 PM
I doubt that this would be a cost-effective option. Room availability is pretty limited there...


That's one of the great things about the Guitar Merchant. We'd have to bring in 100 people to overflow the room we get. And he lets us in for the love of it all. Most folks donate $5 to the cause each time and it all goes to the store. But there is no way to overstate the importance of having a friendly location for small gatherings. Good on you, Lisa, for stirring the pot once again.

misterbee
08-12-2011, 10:04 PM
Add me to the list of Westsiders that would love to join a group, but doesn't have the time to start one. I have taken Uke 1 at McCabe'a a couple of times, and while I learned a lot, I yearn for more. The last time, we passed around a list for people who wanted to get together and play, but nothing came of it.

I have been to the Jumpin Flea Circus, and they are great. With my work schedule, it's really tough for me to get there on a Thursday night, though. I live just a couple of blocks from the Talking Stick, and would be willing to chip in for the cost of the room. There has to be a way to get this going on the westside. The Fleas and the Pluckin Strummers both meet in churches. Maybe the Venice United Methodist Church would rent us space at a decent price?

janeray1940
08-13-2011, 06:37 AM
I have taken Uke 1 at McCabe'a a couple of times, and while I learned a lot, I yearn for more. The last time, we passed around a list for people who wanted to get together and play, but nothing came of it.

You do know that there is also Uke 2, and then the ongoing (but only for a few weeks at a time) Continuing Uke at McCabe's, right? The currrent Continuing Uke session is ending Monday but it's definitely been "more" than repeating Uke 1 - we've had a challenging chord melody, some fingerpicking stuff, and a bit of theory. If you PM me your email addy I can put you on my list to let you know when it will start up again.

misterbee
08-13-2011, 08:24 PM
Thanks janeray. I do enjoy the classes at McCabe's. I keep checking the McCabes website, and i seems like Uke 2 is always listed as "dates pending". What skill level is needed for continuing Uke? I am prolly somewhere between Uke 1 and Uke 2. I also enjoy the casual nature of groups like the Jumpin Fleas. I think they are a great group, but getting there has been a challenge for me.

janeray1940
08-13-2011, 11:33 PM
Understood; I tried doing the commute to Jumping Fleas for a few months - it was fun once I got there, but when the friend I carpooled with pointed out that we spent more time in the car than actually *playing* we kind of lost our motivation to go.

Continuing Uke is a little more advanced, and more formal than a group like Jumping Fleas. I'd estimate that the minimum skill level would be to be comfortable with barre chords (a couple of our arrangements are almost entirely barre chords) and reading tab (not just chord charts but melody lines).

As for Uke 2 - I asked when I was there earlier today and there isn't a date set for the next session, but "probably not this year" was the answer I got.

Lori
08-14-2011, 05:58 AM
What I would really enjoy is having a "ukulele orchestra" type group, where we could play different parts together depending on our skill levels. Some people would strum, and others could pick different melody and harmony lines. It would take a long time to practice up songs like that, but it would be really satisfying (if people practiced enough in between). I don't know if we could find a good source for arrangements, so we might have to work them out ourselves.

Anybody interested?

–Lori

janeray1940
08-14-2011, 06:39 AM
Anybody interested?


Me! I'm not sure that a source for arrangements exists, but hey, we can do it ourselves.

SailingUke
08-14-2011, 07:12 AM
Me! I'm not sure that a source for arrangements exists, but hey, we can do it ourselves.

Look on James Hill's site and UkuleleYes.
He has arrangements for sale and adds new ones from time to time.

Lori
08-14-2011, 07:13 AM
Me! I'm not sure that a source for arrangements exists, but hey, we can do it ourselves.
That would be great! It would be fun to work out songs on our own.
I would even be willing to play the guitarlele on some of John King's guitar/ uke duets. I have been practicing both parts of Aloha Quickstep from his Famous Solos and Duets book.

–Lori

Lori
08-14-2011, 07:23 AM
Look on James Hill's site and UkuleleYes.
He has arrangements for sale and adds new ones from time to time.

Thanks Alan! I wish there were more songs though. But this is a good start!
http://www.ukuleleintheclassroom.com/sheetmusic/index.htm
–Lori

janeray1940
08-14-2011, 07:32 AM
Thanks Alan! I wish there were more songs though. But this is a good start!
http://www.ukuleleintheclassroom.com/sheetmusic/index.htm
–Lori

Ditto that :)

janeray1940
08-25-2011, 03:26 PM
Aloha westside (and westside-friendly) ukers - Lori (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/member.php?8438-Lori) and I are seriously discussing the feasibility of starting a ukulele orchestra/ensemble on the westside, and are planning to meet this Saturday (along with several others, and counting) 8/27 around 1:30pm at the Talking Stick coffee house in Venice to plot and plan. Other interested westside uke folks are welcome - if you're interested, please shoot me a PM so I can keep you posted of any changes in location and/or time.

stuben
08-29-2011, 06:34 PM
Thank you both, looking forward to the 19th.
Stu

janeray1940
10-17-2012, 04:53 AM
Figured it was worthwhile to update this thread, which led to the formation of the Westside Ukulele Ensemble (http://www.westsideukes.com/).