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PLUC – Ten Years On

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Next month is PLUC’s tenth birthday.

Founder, Simon, is doing us a blast from the past by digging out the original songbooks used for those early sessions. And to contrast with that, the current regulars have voted on their favourite & least favourite numbers of the one hundred & nine tunes we now play, so we will be announcing our latest PLUC Top Ten Tunes & slotting them in too on the night.

If you’re an ex-member who would like to attend the celebratory evening, do get in touch to learn more details & book a place.

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Posted by on June 16, 2018 in PLUC News & Info, Uke Night

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Why not whip out your ukes and have a go at Ukulele Hunt’s Annual Chord Quiz?

There are twenty-five questions, covering five different areas – from naming the chord in the diagrams to identifying different chord progressions (that’s where your instrument might come in handy!).

Good luck.

More Uke Hunt quizzes.

More PLUC Weekend Workouts.

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Our newest member, Dave, recently found this useful YouTube which gives a number of simple – but deceptively challenging! – finger independence exercises, from Rob MacKillop.

It’s a short sequence which will help you develop dexterity in your fingers and also, importantly, train your hand to relax & only use as much pressure as needed in forming chords. Dave’s been using this about a week & says it’s definitely helping to loosen up his hand for the tunes he is trying to learn.

More PLUC Weekend Workouts.

 

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Pratts Bottom Village Fete May 2018

This year’s fete saw the rain start just as we started performing! But we remained largely dry under the marquee, playing two sets of twelve songs in each half, each around forty-five minutes.

PLUC at Pratts Bottom Village Fete, Sat 12 May 2018

PLUC at Pratts Bottom Village Fete, Sat 12 May 2018

Band members are: front row L – R – Chris, Jeanette & Rufus; middle row L – R – Bob, Andrew & Steve; back row L – R – Colin, Dave & Marie. Here we are with our version of Lady Madonna:

During our interval, Colin’s band Famous Last Words played a forty minute set, culminating with a rocking version of the theme tune to Fireball XL5 from their lead singer & mandolinist, another Dave.

Our loyal but rather soggy audience including PLUC member Dave P & his wife, Chris, plus their mates – yet another Dave & his wife – remained under their brolleys for the second half, even managing to grab a couple of video clips of us. In keeping with the day’s theme, this one is a Chas ‘n’ Dave stalwart, Ain’t No Pleasing You:

As ever, we’re available for charity events, ukulele festivals and private bookings, so do get in touch if you’d like us to perform for you.

We hope to get more videos up of us playing on our WebmasterPLUC YouTube channel.

 

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Ukulele Festival of Scotland 2018 – Quiz

I’ve just returned from a weekend at the most excellent & beautifully-run Ukulele Festival of Scotland, held in Dumfries. I’ll write more about it soon, but for now, here’s a little teaser for you.

Name the ukulele player on the right with the long, dark hair by commenting below.

(Bonus points available if you can name the other three ukers.)

Jeanette

UFoS - Name Those Ukers Quiz

UFoS – Name Those Ukers Quiz

 
 

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PLUC Tips – Gail

Here are some practical tips from Gail, who is always busy travelling around from her home in Colchester (where she plays in a U3A class and also in a group Ukulele for Fun, who do little gigs, mostly for old people’s homes) and her family, looking after her young grandchildren in Catford & elsewhere. So she is used to carrying round all her equipment effectively between locations and playing under different conditions! She’s also an avid crafter, doing knitting and other hobbies, and makes use of equipment she has from those activities to create some cheap and functional items for her uke-playing.

Gail's Essential Equipment - Nappy Carrying Bag, Clipboard, Handy Notes, Ring Binders, Book Stand

Gail’s Essential Equipment – Nappy Carrying Bag, Clipboard, Handy Notes, Ring Binders, Book Stand

Hopefully you’ll find some of these useful, particularly if you’re going gigging. We always take clothes pegs to keep our songsheets firmly in position, especially when playing in the open-air, but Gail has come up with several more of her own suggestions here:

  • Use a yellow highlighter for certain things to make them more readable, such as the chorus, any chords printed in faint red or new chords to you.
  • It’s useful to have a pencil, rubber and piece of paper at the ready to note changes to the printed chords in a song, new intro/outro, useful bits of info regarding all sorts of things to do with music and other playing tips.
  • Other recommended ukulele-based little extras to keep handy are a clip-on tuner and a rubber stamp to print the little chord layout diagrams neatly on your sheets.
  • You can get a small fold-up book stand for your folder or tablet cheaply from Poundland, so you can prop up your music to see it more easily.
Gail's Essential Equipment - Stationery, Flexible Torch & Chord Cards

Gail’s Essential Equipment – Stationery, Flexible Torch & Chord Cards

  • A clipboard is useful to prop up single songs on your Poundland book stand (stopping them from flopping over).
  • I have also acquired a flexible tube with a little torch on each end that bends round your neck. You can aim this at the songsheets in a dark area, such as the pew of an old church with no overhead lighting. But do check the batteries aren’t dead first as it’s more efficient with working batteries! This tip was on the recommendation of my friend who has sight problems.
  • A large nappy carrying bag makes a useful carrier for the folding book stand, clipboard and all my songsheets that I keep contained in a large folder.
Gail's Essential Equipment - Make Notes As You Go

Gail’s Essential Equipment – Make Notes As You Go

  • To make a uke strap, first use a drill carefully to fit a strap button screw into the base end of the uke. Then you can attach a home-made strap which can pass under the strings at the fret end – a nice shoe lace would work well or some Petersham ribbon. If you use one of those quick release side clip buckles from a haberdashery shop or eBay, like found on a pushchair, then it’s easier to get on and off.
  • Label your carrying bag and uke case with a luggage label for when you leave it behind so other group members know who has lost it!
  • Print two copies of a songsheet instead of one, so if somebody hasn’t got one you can help. It’s a good way to thank people who have kindly passed one onto you – with songsheets ‘what goes around, comes around’ I have found.

Gail

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Escape the first four frets of your ukulele with the first in a new series of tutorials from Ukulele Russ. Here he shows you how to move up the C major shape, complete with a couple of song examples:

 

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