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Tag Archives: Ukulele

PLUC Weekend Workout

One of the most popular articles on this site is Chris’s Very, Very, Very Basic Understanding of Music for Absolute Beginners.

The other day he spotted an excellent YouTube covering the same topic from film, games & TV composer Guy Michelmore, who explains it whilst playing examples on a keyboard:

Join composer Guy Michelmore as he explains the essentials of music theory in just 16 minutes! What is an octave? How do you make scales? What are intervals? What’s the difference between major and minor? What is the circle of fifths?! All explained in less time that it takes to make and drink a fresh cup of tea.

A free supporting guide Music Theory In Under 30 Minutes can be downloaded from his main website too.

Guy has many interesting & informative videos on his YouTube channel including a playlist of Music Theory ones; how to write music and working with sound samples.

Here is Music Theory in 16 Minutes :

 

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Pandemic PLUCking – Ukulele Gent

One of the nice things that’s happened throughout the various lockdowns is that many uke groups and performers have set up regular online strumalongs and workshops, which are open to people wherever they are round the world.

The latest to get in touch with us has been Gregory Gent from Ukulele Gent:

Hi. If any of your uke friends are looking for a fun play-along, we do one every Wednesday at 7pm Eastern Standard Time (midnight GMT). We bring in guest teachers/performers, use percussion on some songs, teach new strums, and always have the chords/lyrics scrolling on the screen.

Each show is recorded and also uploaded to YouTube. We’ve had some really great guests (ie Victoria Vox, Stu Fuchs, Lil’ Rev), so people can go back and watch the tips and tricks from the guests as well.

Feel free to pass this information on.

Hope to have some of your folk join us soon.

Ukulele Gent (YouTube / Facebook)

At the time of writing, I see their guests next Wed (13th Jan) are The Naked Waiters, whom I’ve seen live a couple of times. They are lively performers and certainly worth watching!

Here’s the recent session with Lil’ Rev:

 

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Happy 2021!

Jack & The Vox (mouth-trumpeting ukulele-player Victoria Vox & her guitarist husband Jack Maher) have been creating their crazy The Best Medicine Shows on Twitch full of music, fancy dress & japes to cheer up folk throughout the pandemic (live-streamed & also available afterwards there & their YouTube channel).

Their latest end of year number is Closer Together, Farther Apart, showing footage of people keeping in touch and still playing music despite the lockdowns.

Here’s to a better 2021 for everybody! Stay safe and take care. Jeanette

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2021 in Interesting Uke Sites

 

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New Uke For Xmas (2020)

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 & SummaryDay & Summary
01 –  Helmut Bickel – Fingerstyle02 – New Uke For Xmas – Useful sources
03 – Bernadette’s 30 Day Challenge04 – Songs & Songbooks – eg MUJ
05 – James Hill’s Uketropolis06 – Danno Sullivan – Play It Daily
07 – Cynthia Lin – Tutorials08 – Phil Doleman’s Two Minute Tips
09 – Samantha Muir – Classical Uke10 – Ten Thumbs Productions – Tutorials
11 – Richard Hefner – ezFolk Lessons12 – 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. Due to the pandemic, this might not be an option face-to-face currently – but look out for the many online gigs, strumalongs, lessons and festivals that are happening wordwide from groups, tutors and performers.
  • If you need advice on buying an instrument, Barry Maz has a wealth of independent reviews on Got A Ukulele as well as other handy info to help get you started.

Good luck & happy strumming!

Jeanette

 

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Future of PLUC?

Sheila's 50th - PLUC

Pre-Pandemic PLUC – Sheila’s Fiftieth

PLUC Tenth Anniversary

PLUC Tenth Anniversary – out in the beer garden with Julie

Just a reminder to current members that you’ve been sent an email asking if you wish PLUC to continue meeting up as a group or not. If we resume sessions next year post COVID restrictions we’ll be requiring a new venue, so need your response on how much you’re willing to pay for this.

Thanks a lot.  

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2020 in PLUC News & Info

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

UkeAbility - https://ukeability.org/chords

UkeAbility – Select the chords you know & be shown tunes with just those in.

UkeAbility has a nice twist on the standard playalong site!

You’re presented with a page of chord diagrams. Click to select the chords you know & you’ll be given a list of the tunes they have containing just those ones.

It’s interesting to look through & note which chords you can play without any thought – & likely to be far more that you expected! Scan through a second time: you’ll spot chords you do actually know, either through using them in context in a song you perform regularly or just ones you use occasionally & might need a little memory jog to recall.

Also, most of the moveable chords aren’t on there so, once you’re able to use those, that increases your repertoire up the fretboard giving you new voicings for familiar chords. Thus, if you know three ways to play C that gives you an even larger number of chords at your fingertips.

UkeAbility - https://ukeability.org/chords

UkeAbility – If you select 3 chords, they have 72 songs you can play

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2020 in Playing Help – Sites & Resources

 

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Play Music On The Porch Day At Home – 29 Aug 2020

I’d never heard of this annual event until a few minutes ago, but for anyone with a porch who wants to make music on their doorstep, this seems a fun notion. Beginning as an idea in 2013 “What if for one day everything stopped…and we all just listened to the music?” Play Music On The Porch Day is always the last Sat of Aug and runs from 10am – 10pm.

Play Music On The Porch Day - Aug 29 2020

Well, everything has pretty much stopped for most of us this year – and many of us have been grateful that we play an instrument or have been reliant on listening to different music over the last few months.

Naturally, this year the event is all about staying home, avoiding being in big groups and sticking to local rules about singing.

If you fancy a little social-distanced home-strumming you could register to tell others you’re taking part. Or why not look at the worldwide map to see if anyone near you might be playing so you can saunter past in your mask & support them with a friendly wave?

Have fun & stay safe!

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2020 in PLUC News & Info

 

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Lewis Club RIP

PLUC10 Group Pic 01 - With Julie

PLUC Tenth Anniversary – Out In The Beer Garden With Julie (second from left)

Another sad casualty of the Coronavirus  pandemic,  PLUC’s home for over twelve years, is gone. We’ve recently been informed that the Lewis Club at Lewisham Hospital has been permanently closed. The Trust have yet to decide how to repurpose the space.

We’ll be sending a thank you card to the erstwhile landlady, Julie Kitson. Her generosity in letting community groups like PLUC and the Role Play Haven use her upstairs room each week meant we could rehearse easily over the years without having to pay out for a more expensive venue. 

For present and past members, if you’d like your name or a little message added, please get back to me by Mon 17 Aug 2020. Cheers.

When things return more to ‘normality’ we’ll scout round for another similar venue, such as a room above a bar or cafe. Take care everyone and stay safe.

Jeanette

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2020 in PLUC News & Info

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

Phil Doleman, familiar to many as a mainstay of nearly every uke festival, has been busy during lockdown recording a pile of new tutorial videos. 

In addition to his playlists of handy Two Minute Tips and growing selection of Ukulele Lessons, there are now a number of Intros, Vamps & Endings videos. There is a pile of free resources to accompany these on his website, along with his clearly-written books, CDs and Patreon pages, all especially useful while you can’t catch him performing or teaching in person. 

The mini workshop here shows you how to play all over the ukulele neck with just four shapes. Phil explains how to use this knowledge to be able to create a couple of hundred different chords! As always, he’s very practical and describes how to incorporate these into your regular playing, rather than just trying to learn everything he’s told you by rote – which isn’t the way to learn musically:

 

To supplement this, you might also like to view Phil’s YouTube of Learning The Fretboard Notes Quickly & Easily or how to combine the two to make your moveable chords using a fretboard diagram.

 

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PLUC Weekend Workout

If you’ve been playing your uke for too long in one sitting during lockdown or are just new to the instrument, you might find yourself with some unexpected aches & pains. Or, if you have short fingers like me, you may be keen to find ways of improving your reach for those long stretches!

Bree, from You And Bree Music Tutorials, has carefully produced a video of useful and gentle stretches and massage for your fingers, hands, wrists & forearm based on her experience of playing with injury and conditions such as tendonitis & carpel tunnel. It’s well worth you watching and using a selection as part of your warm-up before playing (Chapters: 0:00 – Intro / Disclaimer 1:28 – Stretches 8:55 – Massage):

Once you’ve viewed this, you might fancy checking out Rob MacKillop’s finger independence exercises. By regularly incorporating techniques from these two videos you should find your hands are more relaxed and fingers gain strength & dexterity, making it more comfortable to play.

 

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