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Category Archives: Buying Ukes & Equipment

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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New Year’s Workouts

Happy 2017!

Sheila's 50th IMG_0844

Sheila’s 50th – PLUC

  • If you’ve just received your first ukulele, then have a look round our site for playing tips, such as our New Uke For Xmas? article which directs you to some beginners’ guide and handy resources. Or search down the right hand side of the page for the many topics we cover.
  • Should you wish to buy a uke, check out our recommendations for decent starter instruments in Good Buy To All That….
  • For those of you wishing to access some online lessons,  James Hill’s Booster Uke is free until the end of Jan 2017, which will get you moving up & down the fretboard.
  • For a bit of a workout, why not try out the Chord Quiz on Ukulele Go or head over to Uke Hunt’s more challenging Ukulele Quiz 2016.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Grand Southern Ukulele Festival 2015

A reminder for those of you who might be interested but haven’t yet decided to attend  – the first Grand Southern Ukulele Festival is happening in Portsmouth from Fri 9 – Sun 11 Oct 2015. The main events are on the Saturday but there are workshops, performances, stalls  & jamming sessions over all three days. Artists include Phil Doleman, Aldrine Gurrero, Mike Hind, Krabbers, The Mersey Belles, Ben Rouse, Tricity Vogue & many others. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Save Tin Pan Alley!

Denmark Street – known as the British ‘Tin Pan Alley’ – lies tucked away just off Charing Cross Road & has been the home of many important music-related businesses since the 1920s: music publishers, songwriters, recording studios & rehearsal spaces, bars, sheet music vendors & instrument shops. Musicians connected with the street include the Rolling Stones, Kinks, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John & the Sex Pistols. The NME & Melody Maker magazines had their early offices there. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Radders’ Christmas Message

Ukulele Christmas - Ballard C Boyd's first Xmas album

Ballard C Boyd’s first Xmas album

A number of years ago I came across a link to a homemade Christmas album A Ukulele Christmas 2005 by a chap called Ballard C Boyd. He is a director / singer-songwriter. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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New Uke For Xmas?

English: A Kohala Seminary student poses with ...

English: A Kohala Seminary student poses with her ukulele in this 1912 photo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, if you’ve just received a new ukulele for Christmas, check out last year’s tips for handy resources, beginners’ sites & local groups (or come & join our free weekly sessions if you’re in London, Kent or Surrey).

If you’re looking to buy a uke, see our guide to good starter instruments. And do check round this site for plenty of articles on playing tips and other useful free websites.

And if you just want to enjoy a bit of uke fun, try out the Ukulele Hunt’s annual Xmas Quiz.

We’re back strumming at the Lewis Club on Tue 7 Jan 2014.

Jeanette

 

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PLUC Member’s Choice 2013 – Colin

I’d like to nominate the Eugene Ukulele website.

Great site, old songs that are not the normal run of the mill, a nice singing voice and an awesome collection of ukuleles. Plus he will tab a song if you ask him.

Cheers.

Colin

Here’s Butterfly Bandito playing the 1930’s number, My Canary Has Circles Under His Eyes:

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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