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Thread: Practicing something else too?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Ames, Iowa

    Default Practicing something else too?

    I'm always practicing and working on getting better. But the ukulele is just one component. I also work on my singing, which needs as much help as my ukulele skills, and I work a lot on presence. I'm going to admit that I sit down there practicing how I'm going to introduce songs to an audience and what I'm going to say between them. Anyone else work on the whole package and not just the uke?

    I also put up all my gear, play through it and take it down, just to get a feel for what works and what doesn't. Especially when I get a new piece. I might practice for an hour sometimes and end up focused on the gear, not the uke. Does that happen to you?
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA


    Yes. The pros always have an idea of what they are going to say—before they say it. Whether it's song introductions, player introductions, banter and even hecklers. They have it down.

    I don't mean it's all written out and you just read it off. But the points you want to make. Can just be some outline talking points or a phrase or two that keys what you want to say.

    Audiences like a little story to the songs you are going to do. What it means to you. Who wrote it. When you first heard it. History. Something quick that sets the tone. And how it relates.

    Even how to deflect hecklers without being mean. How to keep them from taking control.

    At a gig or even open mike, I write a couple of points at the top of a song sheet. Or have some info on the set list.

    If you are playing with another person, or a band, you need to get the non-song parts worked out. Who MCs and does the intros. Or how you'll split up the intros.

    Loose enough to have plenty of room to be spontaneous, while knowing what y'all want to convey at critical points.

    Strangely enough, working it out ahead of time frees your thinking to be more interactive and quick with quips and banter. Easier to have fun with performing.

    And be entertaining.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Pickering, ON, Canada


    Yes I like to be prepared so I go through my gear before a performance. As you say singing is as big or bigger then the playing of the ukes. It is an accompaniment instrument and if vocals are good the performance shines. We practices the vocals a lot.

    I always get elected to introduce the song so as Ken listed I will give whatever backstory I feel appropriate. I do solo stuff as well as being part of a duo and foursome. We do open mic’s so the sound system is there but we bring our own instrument cables , mic, mic cables and stands.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 02-26-2020 at 10:28 AM.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017


    At last year's TBUG ukulele festival, Mim taught a class called "From Seat to Stage." Tips on getting up & performing. She's an amazing performer. A real hoot to watch in person. Some of her tips were.....
    1. Be confident. The audience is on your side. Make mistakes with flair. You always sound better to the audience than you think.
    2. Be nice to your sound guy. Stay in front of the mic. Learn how to work the mic stand & equipment.
    3. Practice your introduction & your Thank You. Interact with the audience. Have Fun!
    My ukulele family.....
    KoAloha Koa concert - circa 2006 (Living Waters)
    aNueNue Moon Bird concert - Spruce & Rosewood - 2018 (Blackwater)
    Blackbird Clara - 2019 (Oasis Bright)
    Cocobolo concert - 2019 (Worth Brown)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Catskill Mountains, NY


    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    ...I work a lot on presence. I'm going to admit that I sit down there practicing how I'm going to introduce songs to an audience and what I'm going to say between them.
    Just like in the restaurant industry, presentation is very important.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

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