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Chris Tarman
04-25-2012, 12:51 PM
Tonight is the first meeting of the uke club I am organizing, The Uncompahgre Valley Ukulele Society. I created a Facebook page and group, which generated some interest. I put flyers up around town, which got a few more people. And I put an announcement in the Community Events section of the local paper. I know of four people coming for sure, with another three to five "maybes". Oh, and I had an older man call me last night (he saw the announcement in the paper) to ask if it was ok if he showed up a little late after his choir practice. So that's probably FIVE for sure. But who knows how many people saw the newspaper and are coming? I'd be thrilled to get ten to fifteen folks to turn up! We're meeting at the local library's meeting room, so space won't be a problem.
I picked six or seven songs (not planning to try to do them all tonight!) that had pretty basic chords and which everyone was likely to have at least heard, no matter how young or old they are. And I also printed out a three page sheet of common chords. I have enough ukuleles to cover anyone who shows up without one (within reason!). I know that at least a few people have their own, but I also know that several do not.
So, I think I'm ready. Wish me luck! I'll let you know tonight or tomorrow how it went, and hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures.

RyanMFT
04-25-2012, 01:24 PM
Way to go Chris! Good Luck, and please update the thread after your club meeting!

Next....a ukulele running group? Have fun!

23skidoo
04-25-2012, 01:29 PM
Good luck, Chris - hope you get a gaggle.... one thing we've found with the SEUkers is that chord sheets with the chord symbols printed on them (a la chordie.com) is a big help, especially for beginners. If you get a regular thing going, you might suggest everyone get a copy of The Daily Ukulele - lots of great tunes, something for everyone..... We also have a thing where people bring in ten copies of a tune if they want the group to try it out. Good luck, again, and have fun, man......

Chris Tarman
04-25-2012, 01:39 PM
Good luck, Chris - hope you get a gaggle.... one thing we've found with the SEUkers is that chord sheets with the chord symbols printed on them (a la chordie.com) is a big help, especially for beginners. If you get a regular thing going, you might suggest everyone get a copy of The Daily Ukulele - lots of great tunes, something for everyone..... We also have a thing where people bring in ten copies of a tune if they want the group to try it out. Good luck, again, and have fun, man......

Those are good ideas. The chord sheets and songs I printed have the symbols on them. I know at least a couple of the people coming are fairly experienced guitarists, but I'm not sure about the others.
I went to a uke club meeting in the Chicago area last May (and I'll be attending again next week!), and what they did was have everyone give a small donation (I think it was $3) to cover the cost of copies. The Denver Area Ukers (I've also attended one of their meetings) apparently send out their songs for the month in an email, and everyone prints their own copies ahead of time (except people like me who dropped in because I was in the area!). I sort of like the idea of doing it that way, but that sounds like a lot of work! I guess making 20 copies of everything is too, though!
Well, time to load the ukes into to car!

Chris Tarman
04-25-2012, 05:39 PM
Ok, back from the meeting. There were ten people! Four of the ones I thought might come didn't. The guy who was coming after choir practice showed up around 7:00 as expected. There were FIVE people who had never contacted me about it! I knew one of them, but still... in fact, initially I thought he was there to make fun of me! Not really, but after the first newspaper announcement he had asked my wife "Is Chris trying to start a UKULELE CLUB????" and she had the impression that he was amused. I used to play bass in a jazz/funk band with his son, who is a great sax player, so I thought he might be turning up his nose at "that silly little instrument". All but three of them had their own ukuleles of various makes and qualities: a no-name, barely functioning soprano; a couple of Lanikais; an old Harmony; a new Oscar Schmidt; a Kala; and a Martin S-O.
Two people were completely new to ANY instrument, and took some extra attention. Luckily, several other people there stepped up to the plate for that! The one flaw in my plan was that I had spent so much time thinking of how to get them there that I had totally overlooked the "what to do with them once they're there" part!
So it was nice having a couple of the more experienced guitar players help show people how to press the strings down and what-not!
I guess if you count the one husband who didn't play but helped his wife try to figure out how to make chords, there were actually ELEVEN people (not counting me).

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RyanMFT
04-25-2012, 06:51 PM
Way to go Chris!! Looks like a great time was had by all. Look at your smiling face man....spreading the ukulele love! Are you playing the Gibson....I like your style!

itsme
04-25-2012, 08:01 PM
Ok, back from the meeting. There were ten people!
That is awesome! Glad to hear it went so well and you had a decent turnout. :)

23skidoo
04-26-2012, 02:13 AM
Good stuff, man - great turn out...... congrats!

fitncrafty
04-26-2012, 02:29 AM
Good Luck Chris! I hope you have a great time!!

Captain_Lovehandles
04-26-2012, 02:37 AM
That's awesome, Chris! Here's to many great jams.

nscafe
04-26-2012, 04:31 AM
Inspiring! I need to try to get something going here...

Chris Tarman
04-26-2012, 05:56 PM
Ryan,
Yes, I was playing the Gibson. I let a woman I know who's a pretty good guitarist play my Martin Style 2, and I let the sax player's dad use my Kiwaya. I let one of the totally musically inexperienced people play my Mainland pineapple. Everyone else had their own.
Oh! And I got a bass gig out of it! The woman who borrowed my Martin is a friend of my wife's. She's never heard me play bass, but today she emailed me and asked if I could play bass at her CD release party. She played bass and guitar on the CD. Even though she's never heard me play bass, the lead player for the gig is the guy I've done the uke/guitar duets with on YouTube, and I've played bass with him a lot. So I assume she asked him about me. Sweet!

mm stan
04-26-2012, 11:01 PM
Wow Wow Wow ..Congratulations with your first nite uke group meeting...that is so great to hear...amazing all those
ukers that came out of your neighborhood..and what a great place to play too..looks nice very happy for you.

sukie
04-27-2012, 04:12 AM
Awesome, Chris! it took our group a long time to get that many people.

You going to Denver Uke Fest?

Chris Tarman
04-27-2012, 12:15 PM
Awesome, Chris! it took our group a long time to get that mant people.

You going to Denver Uke Fest?

I am going, but only for Saturday. I managed to wrangle one day off in addition to my two week vacation that starts tomorrow. And my wife was already going to Denver that weekend for her brother's wife's baby shower, which is on Sunday.

Chris Tarman
04-27-2012, 12:18 PM
Wow Wow Wow ..Congratulations with your first nite uke group meeting...that is so great to hear...amazing all those
ukers that came out of your neighborhood..and what a great place to play too..looks nice very happy for you.

It is a good place to play and have meetings, but it is hard to book on a consistent basis. It would be very hard to get it, say, every third Wednesday or anything like that. It's a popular and busy room, because it's free. Luckily, one of the women who showed up said she lives 2 blocks away, and her house used to have a basement cafe business, and her husband works evenings, so she offered her place for future meetings! I need to follow up to make sure she's serious about the offer, but it sounds very promising!

sukie
04-27-2012, 12:58 PM
I am going, but only for Saturday. I managed to wrangle one day off in addition to my two week vacation that starts tomorrow. And my wife was already going to Denver that weekend for her brother's wife's baby shower, which is on Sunday.

I'm going also. I hope to meet you. Look for the lady with the flamingo uke. That'll be me. :-)

Ukulele JJ
04-27-2012, 02:43 PM
You are a ukulele hero, Chris. Good job and congrats!!!

JJ

Chris Tarman
04-28-2012, 05:45 PM
Here are a few more pictures, taken by one of the attendees:
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mm stan
04-28-2012, 09:23 PM
Hey that gal has a Martin..wow

lozarkman
04-29-2012, 02:13 AM
Dang Chris - Makes me wish I lived back in Grand Junction!! What a wonderful start with so many so early. What a challenge for you to keep the group active, interested, and growing. But your love for the ukulele shines through and they will respond to that love. Good luck and keep us posted. Lozark

Chris Tarman
04-29-2012, 05:47 AM
Hey that gal has a Martin..wow

Heh... It's mine, but I suppose you knew that!

Chris Tarman
04-29-2012, 05:49 AM
When I see these pictures, I can't get over how white my hair is! When I look in the mirror, I see the black underneath more, but in pictures it comes out almost ALL SILVER!