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Tag Archives: Ukulele Hunt

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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Ukulele Festival of Scotland 2019 – Day 1

As some of you might remember, I went to the UFoS at Dumfries last year & said it was the best-organised uke festival I’d attended, so was excited to make my second trip there over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

It was glorious weather, which showed off the fine landscaped Crichton Estate grounds at their best. Founded by Elizabeth Crichton in the 1830s, the buildings were originally built as a forward-thinking psychiatric hospital (which included gardens, arts & music therapy & a farm that the patients could work in) and it’s now a university campus, with Easterbrook Hall conference centre and Holiday Inn hotel.

The Festival was sold out, with around 740 participants, a large Purple Army of volunteers and over one hundred performers. As before, on arrival early Friday afternoon, people were being checked in efficiently & issued with wristbands, UFoS Songbooks & Programmes plus a very handy single-sheet at-a-glance schedule. Most of the organisation was done by Linda Butterworth, who does an amazing job, along with her husband, Stuart Butterworth, who leads and teaches many of the local ukulele groups.

In addition to those staying at the Holiday Inn, many people had brought their motor homes, which were parked along two of the roads, & a number of others were camping in the grounds.  I was in an Airbnb in Dumfries town centre – above a whisky & wine merchants with the strapline ‘The Drambusters‘ – &, as I’m teetotal, their stock was safe with me!

Attendees were arriving from all over the UK, Europe and even further afield, all carrying at least one ukulele. Some folk had already travelled to nearby Caerlaverock Castle, a moated triangular fortress about seven miles from Dumfries, for an open air strumalong, the first event of the Festival. But it was all about to get into full swing.

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Some of my photos from the first day of the Festival

After checking through the documentation, I sauntered to Crichton Memorial Church for the first workshop I’d booked – Harmony Singing, with The Naked Waiters (who were neither naked, nor waiters!). They come from Utah & premiered at last year’s UFoS. They sing close, tight harmonies, so I knew this would be an interesting session. They demoed a few of their songs,  took us through their arrangement of Jason Mraz’s I’m Yours  (in simple terms, you can play the chords of the tune, split into four groups & each group sing the notes that occur on a specific string to create four-part harmony) and gave us other tips on how they work out their arrangements.

I then strolled round the site & relaxed for a while in one of the Jamming Tents at the rear of the hotel (the other was totally full). There were mats, cushions & solar-powered lanterns to make them comfy.

After an evening buffet had been served in the bar, amongst other options, there was a Jam With The Stars strumalong from the eighty-two tune Festival Songbook, led in turn by different performers.  It was so packed, folding chairs & music stands had to be brought in from elsewhere to fit everyone in the room.

Later on, I left the jamming & walked across to the Candlelit Concert, back in the Crichton Church. There were candles lining the pathway into the entrance & every arched window had several more flickering at the bottom. More were arranged on the stage behind the performers.  The gig included Astraluna, Mike Haysom & Zoe Bestel. It was all very spectacular & atmospheric.

Mike’s performance is below & the others from the evening are linked above (all on his YouTube Channel).

Jeanette

 

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Twelve Days Of Ukemas – Day Two

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

Good luck & happy strumming!

Jeanette

 

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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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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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Sweary Steve’s Christmas Message

This year it falls to Sweary Steve to give PLUC’s festive message. I’m sure everybody who knows him will appreciate the card he sent us all: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2016 in Members' Items

 

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Happy Halloween – Trick Or Uke Treat

Here’s a version of  Warren Zevon’s Werewolves Of London by 23skidooooooooo & pals (piano riff for uke here). Don’t get grabbed by the ghoulies tonight!

 
 

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Hollesley 2015

If you like listening to or playing the uke, if you like meeting fun-loving, friendly and knowledgeable people, all in the heart of the beautiful Suffolk countryside, then Hollesley Ukulele Jamboree was the place to be. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Happy Pi Day!

Well, it is if you use the US date format, as today is 3.14.15 – which is the first few digits of the mathematical constant, Pi. As I haven’t snuck in any puns lately, here’s a lovely instrumental rendition of the Don McLean classic, American Pie, covered by Matthew Richards. Hop over to Ukulele Hunt to hear Woodshed play Pi on the ukulele & read how it even caused a legal battle.

Jeanette

 

PS I’m not quite sad enough to schedule this to post at 3.14…

 

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