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Category Archives: Interesting Uke Sites

PLUC Weekend Workout

Kev has found an interesting rhythm practice YouTube from musicwithnopain. It’s about five minutes long, has ten levels of difficulty and will also help you understand the musical notation too.

They reckon you should play this every day for a week to improve your sense of rhythm:

 

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Neil Innes – How Sweet To Be An Idiot

Sad news today that musician, comedian and writer Neil Innes has died. A local Goldsmiths College alumni, he’s known for being a member of the avant-pop Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band; dubbed the ‘Seventh Python‘; part of Rutland Weekend Television, most notably in the Pre-fab Four spin-off The Rutles; and in other comedy bands, as well as being a successful solo performer.

I’ve seen him live a handful of times – at the BBC; playing in various London pubs (once with Mitch Benn and another with The Idiot Bastard Band, which included Ade Edmondson, Phill Jupitus, Simon Brint and Rowland Rivron) and also solo in a tiny village hall down windy country lanes out near Southwold.

A lover of the ukulele, there’s a nice interview with him speaking to John Tribe from Ukulele Tutorial. Chords for almost two hundred of his songs are on his website.

Here’s Linda Louden‘s cover of My Little Ukulele:

 

 

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New Uke For Xmas (2019)

If you’ve got a new ukulele for Christmas or are considering taking up playing one, you’ll soon find there are lots of on-line resources to help you, whatever your level:

Day & Summary Day & Summary
01 –  Helmut Bickel – Fingerstyle 02 – New Uke For Xmas – Useful sources
03 – Bernadette’s 30 Day Challenge 04 – Songs & Songbooks – eg MUJ
05 – James Hill’s Ukulele Way 06 – Danno Sullivan – Play It Daily
07 – Cynthia Lin – Tutorials 08 – Phil Doleman’s Two Minute Tips
09 – Samantha Muir – Classical Uke 10 – Ten Thumbs Productions – Tutorials
11 – Richard Hefner – ezFolk Lessons 12 – Stuart Fuchs  – Tips & Tutorials
  • Have a general look around this website, as we pick out a wide selection of our favourite tools & tips, on-line uke lessons, songbooks, chords, music theory, forums, equipment & other website resources. In particular, my musings on what helped me when I first got my uke as a complete beginner may prove a useful summary if you’re totally new to playing.
  • Joining a local group is always a boost – whether you are a beginner, improver or expert player. We’re a very friendly club based in Lewisham which meets every Tuesday for free jamming sessions. Everyone is welcome & we pride ourselves from having members from all over London, Kent & Surrey. We’re back strumming in the New Year from Tue 7 Jan 2020. Contact us for more details.
  • If you aren’t near Lewisham, do check out the Mighty Ukulele for Londonwide gigs, events & UK clubs or Uke Hunt’s extensive clubs & groups listings covering  UK & Ireland; Europe; USA & Canada and Australia & New Zealand for a local group.
  • If you need advice on buying an instrument, Barry Maz has a wealth of independent reviews on Got A Ukulele as well as a schedule of uke festivals and other handy info to help get you started.

Good luck & happy strumming!

Jeanette

 

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UK Christmas Number Ones – 1984 (& 1989 & 2004)

The original version of the hugely successful charity single Do They Know It’s Christmas?, written by Bob Geldof & Midge Ure in reaction Michael Buerk’s BBC reports of famine in Ethiopia, was performed by Band Aid, a group comprising of the biggest names in British music at the time. It even led to the enormous Live Aid benefit concert the following summer.

In addition to various reissues, the song was re-recorded in 1989 by Band Aid II and 2004 by Band Aid 20,  giving three different versions of the same song the top slot in their respective years.

Here’s an excellent collaborative cover version produced by Ronin Wong, who gathered 43 performers around the world – mainly uke players – into this video collage (full credits & back story). See how many faces you recognise!

And, if you’ve been enjoying this trip down chart memory lane, why not try Smooth Radio’s Christmas Number Ones quiz or Uke Hunt’s annual Xmas ukulele-themed one?

More info on Wikipedia.

 

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UK Christmas Number Ones – 1974

Glam Rock band Mud swapped their Tiger Feet for crepe-soled shoes to play their Elvis Presley pastiche Lonely This Christmas.

Here’s Ukulele Paradijs with a delightfully cheesy version, recorded in Gouda:

More info on Wikipedia.

 

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UK Christmas Number Ones – 2015

The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir, from PLUC’s local NHS Trust, were responsible for 2015’s charity Xmas number one. Released after they were runners up in the BBC’s The Choir: Sing While You Work  and at a time of crisis for the NHS, A Bridge Over You combines two previous hits: the iconic Bridge Over Troubled Water (probably Simon & Garfunkel’s best-known hit) and Coldplay’s Fix You (used for various good causes, such as a tribute highlighting the aftermath of the 7/7 London Bombings in 2005).

Helmut Bickel gives one of his fingerstyle tutorials for Fix You.

Enjoy Paxukulele & Sunny performing Bridge Over Troubled Water:

More info on Wikipedia.

 

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UK Christmas Number Ones – 1994

Stay Another Day has proved to be East 17‘s biggest hit.

It was written by the band’s lead songwriter, Tony Mortimer, and is about his brother Ollie, who took his own life. For 2019 Mortimer has recorded another version with the Waltham Forest Youth Choir to raise money for the charity CALM.

Here’s a group from Learn To Uke Ukulele Tutorials, fittingly playing in Walthamstow, E17:

More info on Wikipedia.

 

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