View Full Version : New Uke Group - any specific format to follow within each session?

10-09-2011, 08:14 PM
Hi guys

The Forster Jumping Fleas 'restarted' after a brief 'hiatus' and I have 'sort of' inherited the mantle of 'convener'!

We have no set format that we follow when we meet up - we usually spend the first 5 mins making sure everyone is in tune, then we jump from song to song & linger longer on those that 'need some more work' ...... with no set pattern of 'learning' as such.

Being new to the Uke Group scene, is there any recognized format that we should follow to help make us better players? We have 2 groups - the Beginner group & the OK group, both held on the same day, but different times. Occasionally an OKer will join the Beginners group & visa versa, which is good.

I'd appreciate any suggestions that may lead to a slightly more 'formal' approach to our sessions, yet keep them as the friendly gatherings that they are!



10-09-2011, 08:28 PM
Well the first thing I would say is always have a purpose and let everyone know the purpose well beforehand.

We have something happening most weeks we meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays and on the third Friday and first Saturday of the month. We meet at three different venues which caters for the bulk of our group.

On Wednesdays’ it’s a workshop where we introduce new songs workshop others and then finish with requests, On Fridays it’s a jam where we go round the table and you pick a song, on Saturdays it’s a gig so we will play from a set list.

10-09-2011, 09:07 PM
Thanks Rob - which group are you with? So far, we have about 5 turn up to each group. One member is planning a 'gathering' for Australia Day next year at the local Retirement Village, along with their Choir as vocal back-up to our uke players, so we are choosing a few songs that we plan to do on that occasion. We will be practising them on most if not all sessions and also add some more - altho we are unlikely to perform more than 3 in one go!

Even our 'OK' group are really a bit better than 'beginners', with only the one chap who has a thorough knowledge of the chords & a lovely strong singing voice.

We meet weekly at Club Forster (similar to an RSL club - Returned Services for our US buddies) except for school holidays, when we need to find alternate venues.

I've just put together a songbook for our group, with (largely) easy songs, as most of our members are not up to speed with the more difficult chords (me included, tho I am better than some!) Most of us have bought Daily Ukulele, but many of the chords are beyond our members, hence the 'beginners' booklet, from songs already on the web.

There is actually a Music Festival up at Wingham this weekend - http://winghamakoostikfestival.com.au where the Taree Ukulele Orchestra will be performing, amongst heaps of others, but unfortunately, I'll be in Sydney & will miss it! :( Shame, as I would have loved attending, I am sure!

OK, so I'll shoot out an email for the groups to 'prepare' the 3 songs we have already chosen for Aussie Day next Jan - and then take 'requests' in the last 10 mins or so. We only have 1hr at each session, so not a long time, really, given that you lose a bit of time 'tuning' & 'socialising' as well at the start!

Thanks for the tips



10-09-2011, 11:51 PM
Aloha Roberta,

I'm with the Blue MUGs and if your in Sydney this weekend why not come out and play with us on Sunday morning?


If you are preparing a 'Regular Set' it's good to play it as a group often we have a few songs that always come up at every gig/workshop and if I have anything to do with it it's usualy a Beatles song ;)

10-09-2011, 11:59 PM
At our local Group,which I started,we generally
have four 'new' songs per session,which I provide,
get photocopies etc and bring along.We play each
of the songs through,usually twice,then sing a few
songs from our 'back catalog',as we have been going
almost one year now.Spread throughout the session
I usually get four volunteers to sing a 'solo' spot for
the group.Then to finish,we go through the four new
songs once more,and a few more 'oldies'.It seems to
work okay,and we arrived at this format by trial and
error in the early days!

10-10-2011, 01:00 AM
Sounds like a good plan, luthien. It sounds like your meetings may be quite a bit longer than ours! We DO tend to go over some of the songs that we are 'better' at, but then you don't always make progress of if you don't push yourself, eh?

Thanks for the invite to join you, Rob - but I'll be out kayak fishing Pittwater area on Sunday morning! :D he, he, that is my OTHER passion! :) I had checked your site out before, when I googled Uke Clubs in Aussie! It looks like you have a very strong uke community up there! I hope ours grows too! We had about 6 with Banjos ring about joining up - but none did! I tell a lie - 2 did - 1 also had a couple of ukes & the other is buying a Mainland Banjo Uke from Mike at Mainland as he liked mine so much!! 3 others in my group also want Mainland Banjo ukes, so we are in discussion with Mike as we speak for a 'bulk' order!

I love the Mountains - I've hiked the Megalong Valley a couple of times & my grandparents had a holiday place near Megalong Valley Lookout some 60+ years ago! My brothers went to Blue Mountains Grammar - so we have a history in the area! I haven't been back in a long while, but it is on my list! I'll make sure I pack myuke & plan on joining you guys one Sunday!



10-10-2011, 04:56 AM
Arpie,I didn't mention,but our meetings are fortnightly,
on Wednesday evenings,and last from 7pm to 9.30pm
with the option to extend if we have guest performers
or need to carry on with anything!
One example being,we had the Re-Entrants come as our
guests one session,and it was a splendid night and hardly
lasted long enough! If you are not familiar with the band
check out The Re-Entrants on YouTube.They are two guys
who met via the net,who live locally to each other (and to
me) who play brilliant covers of songs.
The 'official' start time was 7.30 as some members cannot
make it before then,but we usually kick off,after tuning and
greetings,around 7.15pm.I always announce who cannot come
along,and who have apologised by email to me;any news of
any members playing gigs,special birthdays etc too.Its good
fun and we all enjoy it!

10-10-2011, 05:14 AM
Let everyone have a turn to pick a song to play, it's up to them to provide the sheet music (and pick something reasonably easy for beginners). Everybody gets to share and play something they like.

Uke Republic
10-10-2011, 05:27 AM
The Daily ukulele is an easy one to make progress with along with various tunes the group wants to play.

10-10-2011, 09:11 AM
Let everyone have a turn to pick a song to play, it's up to them to provide the sheet music (and pick something reasonably easy for beginners). Everybody gets to share and play something they like.

Yep. I agree. Our Uke Club is much better now that everyone gets a chance to pick out a song or two. No more complaining about always playing the same style of music. (that'd be me)