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Category Archives: Interesting Uke Sites

Bright Idea!

In a nice variation on the ‘playing a different tune on the ukulele every day for the whole year’, Steve Phillips has decided to use it to raise awareness & collect donations for SolarAid. This charity sends low-cost solar lights to families without electricity in remote areas of Africa (such as regions of Malawi, Uganda & Zambia), so that they can use free renewable energy, instead of relying on dangerous & inefficient home-made kerosene lamps, which are expensive to run.

Steve will be recording & posting a new song daily throughout 2018 & I’m sure will appreciate some ideas for sun & light-related numbers! He’s already done Bring Me Sunshine & Mr Blue Sky.

A donation of around £4 can get a lamp to a family. And donors leaving their email address will get the chance to have all 365 uke arrangements at the end of the year.

Here’s a cheery Johnny Cash number to enjoy, I Hardly Ever Sing Beer Drinking Songs:

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Have A Tim Minchin Christmas!

Merry Christmas everybody (other winter celebrations available)! I was pleased to spot a couple of the excellent long-haired, bearded, bare-foot Australian musician, Tim Minchin’s numbers in this year’s Ukulele Wednesdays Xmas Songbook.  Why not hop over to page 37 to enjoy this jolly little number Woody Allen Jesus? And while you’re there, read about donating old ukes, volunteering to entertain for Crisis or even giving some goods or money to a homeless charity or foodbank. Thanks.

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2017 in Interesting Uke Sites

 

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December 2017 Club Nights

Please note the following arrangements for our club nights around Christmas:

Tue 12 Dec & Tue 19 Dec – We’re at the Lewes Club, as usual. We’ll be sticking with playing our regular numbers but I’ve copied Mele Kalikimaka to the 2017 Xmas Songs folder in Box, as we usually play that as our traditional Hawaiian festive number during December.

Tue 26 Dec Boxing Day – XMAS BREAK.

We return to the Lewis Club on Tue 2 Jan 2018. New members welcome.

For those of you wanting a Christmas strumalong, do have a look at Cynthia Lin’s Beginner Holiday Ukulele Jam from last year – a free songbook of thirteen numbers & you can play along with the recorded webcast. Here she is with one of the numbers, All I Want For Christmas Is You:

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Tamás Gáll has just developed a new chord training site called It’s Chordtime, which allows you to change chords to a regular metronome tempo and help become a smoother player.

  • The initial page lets you select a number of chords to practice – either random or specifically picked ones. You can choose a set or random progression. Optionally it shows suggested chord diagrams (uke or guitar).
  • On the second page it’s possible to alter the playing speed & number of beats per bar. The next chord coming up is shown so you can ready your fingers to move efficiently.
  • You could easily adapt this to choose chords in a specific song you’re learning, to improve a strumming pattern or polish a new picking technique, increasing the pace gradually as you progress.
It's Chordtime - Screendump

It’s Chordtime – Screendump

Do give it a try and let him know any feedback you have for potential enhancements. And if you enjoy this, have a look at our other PLUC Weekend Workout & PLUCking Ukes postings, including Uncle Rod’s Ukulele Boot Camp chord drills & musictheory.net’s Fretboard Memorisation Tool, which can also aid your playing speed and accuracy.

 

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It Was Fifty Years Ago Today…

The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper, with its iconic cover art, is possibly the most influential pop album ever, recorded with great ingenuity on just four-tracks back in 1967. A mix of styles, from rock to vaudeville, psychedelic to Indian, it’s seen as an early concept album.

Unsurprisingly, numerous ukulele versions of its songs abound. Dip into most of our regularly recommended YouTube artists & songbook sites to find some of these well-known tunes lurking. However, for those seeking chords to the entire album, why not try Beatle-lele or Stewart Greenhill? The former site has interesting playing tips (& we use his version of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds); the latter allows for easy transposing or showing in different layouts.

Eat My Uke gives tabs of the main riffs for all of the tunes, played here in a medley:

 

And here’s WS64 playing the album in full:

 

Now you know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall!

 

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How Do You Feel About The Ukulele? – Survey & Interviews

portrait

Emma Winston (image from  usesthis.com/interviews)

Local Goldsmiths’ PhD student and musician, Emma Winston, is currently collecting information from the ukulele community for her research into the instrument, surrounding how people perceive it and their participation in uke groups. The results will eventually form part of her doctoral research.

Players and non-players are invited to take this short survey. Emma is also at the stage where anyone keen to talk ukuleles with her further is welcome to email her. She is conducting informal interviews – more just general fact-finding chats than a huge list of questions – which can be face-to-face, over the phone, by Skype, email or whatever suits you best!

Extract and photo from an recent interview on The Setup:

I’m Emma Winston, and I’m a PhD student, musician, teaching assistant, sound artist, and botmaker.

I’m in my first year of an MPhil/PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London, where I’m studying the contemporary subculture surrounding the ukulele and the people who play it, particularly as that relates to identity and creativity. I’m still in the very early days of research, but it’s an instrument marked out by beginner-friendliness, a DIY aesthetic and real passion for what is often seen as a novelty or joke instrument (despite quite a long and rich multicultural history). In the last few years it’s increasingly become bound up in narratives of gentrification, twee middle-class aesthetics and hipster culture; yet it was also the only instrument recorded to have sold more, not less, during the depths of the UK economic recession, and has formed the centre of community activity for everything from mass world record attempts to music therapy groups for Alzheimers. It’s a fascinating instrument, largely because the ways in which people use it are fascinating, and if you’re reading this and have any particular interest in (or hatred of!) it please do get in touch, since I’m currently at the ‘talk-to-as-many-interesting-people-as-possible’ stage of research.

Survey : http://ukulelesare.xyz/

Emma’s email address: e.winston@gold.ac.uk.

Various PLUC members have past & present connections with Goldsmiths, so we’re pleased to mention this interesting project on our website.

Goldsmiths, University of London, is one of the UK’s leading universities for the creative arts, from film and art to popular music. Notable musicians who studied there include Damon Alban, Katy B, James Blake, Graham Coxon, Neil Innes, Alex James, Rosie Lowe, Andrew Poppy, Adrian Sutton, Errollyn Wallen MBE & Amelia Warner (aka Slow Moving Millie). Regular & varied music performances, talks and festivals take place during the year, most of them open to the public & many completely free, ranging from classical to contemporary, electronic to pop, featuring established performers, recent graduates & students.

 

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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.

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