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Category Archives: Playing Help – PLUC Tips

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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PLUC Tips – Tina

Here is one of my favourite uke tutorial YouTubes.

This is by Ten Thumbs Productions. Tyler Austenfeld produces a wide range of ukulele materials – he does a couple of new song tutorials every week (from beginners to advanced; classics to the latest chart hits) in addition to lessons covering different playing techniques.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Happy 2015!

Top Referring Sites 2014

Top Referring Sites 2014

Our free downloadable PLUC 2015 Calendar shows the movable major chord shapes for year-round reference, in a handy diagram from UkeGeeks.com. Thanks to Buz for kindly tweaking the layout for us! (He also runs PizzaByTheSlice, which contains many uke-related designs & is well worth a look.) Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Happy 2014!

As usual, WordPress have sent us a report to show how the site has done over the last year. And if statistics aren’t your thing, do grab our free 2014 PLUC calendar, which contains a handy Circle Of Fifths (our full-sized transposing tool is available here). Read the rest of this entry »

 

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PLUCking Ukes – Ten Minute Practice Tips

transpose chart guitar

Transposing Chart  – Guitar (Photo credit: ljguitar)

Over the last few weeks, both Chris & Simon have mentioned how useful it can be to play the same song in a number of different keys, to expand your repertoire to learn the full range of chords. It is also a good way to start understanding more about music theory; to see how chords relate to musical keys & begin understanding how transposing works (ie putting tunes in another key).

Doctor Uke has a good selection of songs on his site in multiple keys: Five Foot TwoAmazing GraceWhy Do Fools Fall In LoveTiptoe Through The Tulips & It’s A Blue World. You’ll soon spot that some keys are easier to play on the uke than others. Going through one of these sheets until you can play all variations easily will give you a good workout.

If you look on several song sites, such as Chordie or Tontonremy & find a song you want to play, there are options on the page to trranspose it, so with a quick press of a button, you can have the song in a new key. Or you can use the PLUC Transposing Tool to work it out manually. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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PLUCking Ukes – Ten Minute Practice Tips

Over the last few weeks I’ve had a number of different discussions about how people go about practicing – where to find the time; what people do; how to keep it interesting etc.

stop_watch_final

Stopwatch: Creative Commons  sheko.ru

One of our new members contacted me to say that he would be too busy over the Summer to attend club nights but would return in the Autumn, adding that he’d then hope to have time to practice & keep up with things. Particularly as he’s a beginner, I suggested he try to fit in some regular daily practice,

I know it’s hard when things are busy but if you can, try your best to do just ten minutes to keep your hand in. Pick a time you can make every day for having a quick strum on the uke (eg first thing in the morning before you get busy, while you’re waiting for dinner to cook, when the TV adverts are on etc). Some folk set a timer! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2013 in Playing Help – PLUC Tips

 

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