Changing the world, four strings at a time
Since we've started having meetings in Marble Falls, some of our membership is quite happy because they live there. Sometimes people who are in the library stop to see what's going on. This evening a nice gentleman, Gil, was intrigued and 'just happened' to have his washtub bass in his van. We invited him to join us, we love having a bass player. We're pretty sure he had a good time.
Virginia, Lewis, Lisa, Luis, Gil,
Elizabeth, Don, Pat, Jon
Well, we've added another member to our roster, Jon, who claims not to have touched his uke in 10 years or so. Looks like he's picking right up where he left off. He has a lovely classic uke and has taken great care of it so he's on his way. It was a great meeting and a good time was had by all.
We're scheduled for a short program on April 27 at 7pm. The event is a Widows and Widowers Banquet held at the Fellowship Baptist Church in Marble Falls. Details and map on the Calendar, click on the Event name for particulars. The songbooks we will use are at the bottom of the Songbooks Page, titled WWBanquet.pdf and WWBanquetBaritone. I had to redo the song pages in order to make Baritone pages, so download and print them for your own use, they've been simplified and improved. We will provide enough copies for everyone and 3 music stands. Hope lots of us can attend!
Jon, Virginia, Liz, Don, Luis, Lisa, Cherie
We had a great meeting this time. A couple of our newer members are contemplating purchasing a ukulele and Don was able to advise them what kind and size they might want. This is the largest attendance yet. We tried out some new songs and covered some old ones. I've added to the Baritone Book so the members with Baritone Ukes can play without a cheat sheet. Next time we'll have a working laptop or two that they can play from (sorry).
Since I started the Highland Lakes Ukulele Club in July of 2014, I've been gathering song files from many sources on the web and posting them to the web site. Don has put together a system for meetings which has one computer and a hub that allows up to eight monitors to show the same page simultaneously. Members don't have to download, print and haul songbooks to the meeting and if we decide on changes, I can change them at will.
One of the most frustrating parts of producing the .pdfs is putting chord charts on them. I have to get a chord chart, chose the image I want, save it as a file, organize them, put them together for each song and insert it into the document. We have a new member who wants to learn to play her Baritone Ukulele which is tuned differently than a standard uke. It's the same tuning as a guitar, minus 2 strings. The Baritone Ukulele chords are completely different so she needs song sheets written for her. Yikes.
I found a great tool! Chordious is a program written to find and let you design chord charts for any stringed instrument. It's fairly intuitive to use, multi-platform and it's free. There's a written and a very good video tutorial, take a look if you ever had the frustration of finding, making or saving chord charts.
We had a great time this meeting, I've redone the songbook, added some songs and taken out some 'clunkers' that no one likes. We're building our repertoire of songs that contain Kazoo solos and that makes us a little giddy. We're a tame bunch, you'd be surprised.
Tonight we went to see Jake Shimabakuro at Bass Concert Hall in Austin. Jake is considered the world's best ukulele player and for good reason. He's taken a simple instrument places it's never been before, from a vibrant rendition of Queen's Hungarian Rhapsody to a heartrendingly delicate version of Schubert's Ave Maria.
His performance was amazingly vibrant for a duo, he plays with his whole body and never allows the audience time to get fidgety. His bass player Nolan Verner has exquisite technique (four finger picking) and complements Jake's music perfectly. He plays a four-string but I suspect he may have a BEAD tuning, at least I think I was hearing some thumping low notes.
We stayed to have our ukuleles signed by Jake. He spent time with each person who wanted an autograph and/or picture and made everyone feel noticed and appreciated. He's pretty much my ideal as a performer and a person.
Jake liked our Highland Lakes Ukulele Club business card; "Changing the world, four strings at a time."
Many thanks to our friend Daniel Adams for driving, his wife Carol Navarro Adams and our friend Katie Do for the wonderful company. It was a memorable and very special evening.
More photos soon!
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