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Author Topic: Calling all ukulele players  (Read 37839 times)

Chet18013

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #60 on: May 08, 2011, 05:31:30 PM »
Two weeks ago we had an Escapee couple, the Sinclairs stop by for the afternoon and they spent the night in their RV in our yard. They are Brits and spend 6 months of the year traveling the US in their RV. Turns out Mike Sinclair is a very accomplish musician. His handle on the internet is "The Ukeman". (his site is http://www.theukeman.com/fr_mysongs.cfm) He spotted Laurie's Yamaha keyboard, which turned out to be the same one he has. Mike asked if he could try it out and we were treated to a wonderful concert. He made the keyboard do things we could only imagine, but never accomplish. He also travels with a ukulele and also can make that instrument produce incredible sounds. If you want a treat, poke around his site and sample some of his songs. While he does sell them, his site will allow you to play the whole song, not just a teaser of a sample.

We had a delightful visit and made a new friend. They have promised to return and give us the chance to hear more of Mike's playing.
Chet18013
Full time in a 45' '04 Monaco Signature
towing a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel

Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #61 on: May 08, 2011, 05:50:36 PM »
Thanks for the story and the link Chet, much appreciated. Sure looks like Mike is an accomplished musician. I'm off to see if he's You Tube or iTunes.

OK, I need to know the secret ... how did you lure this gem of a couple to your property?  ;D
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Chet18013

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #62 on: May 09, 2011, 05:37:15 AM »

OK, I need to know the secret ... how did you lure this gem of a couple to your property?  ;D

We're listed in the Escapees Directory of members and they saw our location and called us up.
Chet18013
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towing a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel

Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #63 on: May 09, 2011, 05:39:35 AM »
Thanks Chet.
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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #64 on: May 17, 2011, 09:37:21 PM »
Today I had a private coaching lesson at our home from a friend and accomplished musician. I've often described the guy as having more musical talent in his left big toe than I can ever hope to achieve. The guy plays guitar, banjo, keyboard, and other instruments. He's also the musical director for a local chorus (80 strong). He was recently (last week) in Maui and, knowing I'd bought a ukulele, sent me this photo as a joke; In the photo are his wife and another couple faking playing the ukulele. I replied to his email, urging him to buy a ukulele and teach himself, so he could teach me.

He turned up today playing as good as any ukulele player I've seen in person or online. He taught me more in 5 minutes than I've learned in hours of lessons online and on DVD, and in various books I've bought.

I'm crossing my fingers he'll do some ongoing training.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 08:00:47 AM by Tom »
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Luca1369

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #65 on: May 18, 2011, 07:12:43 AM »
He taught me more in 5 minutes than I've learned in hours of lessons online and on DVD, and in various books I've bought.

I know what you mean Tom.  Some of us can learn faster if someone shows us something one time than if we spend a lot of time trying to teach it to ourselves using courses or books.
Steve
1990 Fleetwood Southwind 36'
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For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tsu (570-490 BC)

Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #66 on: May 18, 2011, 08:09:04 AM »
Quote from: Luca1369
Some of us can learn faster if someone shows us something one time ...

Aye Steve, and some of us are just slow learners  :(   I was having a tough time strumming correctly, and what he showed me was counter to the way I'd learned (or tried to learn). After he had me running through some exercises repeatedly, both on my own and together, he put his $2,200 Taylor acoustic guitar in my hands and had me strumming it. That guitar was some instrument!
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Larry N.

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #67 on: May 18, 2011, 08:43:20 AM »
The quality of the instrument certainly makes a BIG difference in a person's enjoyment, and often in how quickly they learn. Many, many years ago I had an el cheapo guitar. It didn't sound good, the strings were hard to push down, and the overall satisfaction level was almost nil. It was tough even playing C-G-F, with a very basic strum.  After some time of that, my wife bought me a Takamini 12 string (not top, but decent quality), and I've been enjoying it, ever since. I even learned (relatively quickly, for me) a lot more chords and several quite useful strums, along with a handful of picking patterns -- all in not much more time than I'd spent trying to get a handful of chords on the el cheapo.

I'm not a musician, and a lot of things that come easy for some people (I once watched a very good guitar playing friend learn the banjo rather well in less than two weeks), take a humongous amount of practice to master, IF I can master them at all. But it's fun, with a decent instrument.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
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Luca1369

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #68 on: May 18, 2011, 09:24:24 AM »
The quality of the instrument certainly makes a BIG difference in a person's enjoyment, and often in how quickly they learn.

True.  You don't need to be involved with battling the physical properties of your instrument when you're trying to learn how to play it.  An instrument that fits and feels good in your hands will go a long way in aiding the learning process.
Steve
1990 Fleetwood Southwind 36'
http://seaworthy.com

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tsu (570-490 BC)

Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #69 on: May 18, 2011, 10:11:38 AM »
On the flip side, the el cheapo ukulele that this guy bought in Maui (just so he could learn to play and come home to teach me) is, by his own admission, a piece of junk. But he was playing some darned good music on it.

I was pleased to hear him say that my moderately priced uke has good tone and good tracking.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 10:14:01 AM by Tom »
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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #70 on: June 01, 2011, 08:13:37 PM »
My long time friend and accomplished musician agreed to coach our small local ukulele group. The first session was a week ago at a local church and the second session was last evening at our house. People who had previously left the group (because they weren't learning) and others attended because of this guy's reputation.
 
Everyone, from ukulele newbies to long time (60 years) players, learned something. All the folks I talked with came away extremely positive and thirsting for more.
 
Our dog (Gabby) decided to get in the third picture. I was cracking up when she was poking her nose into all the purses and bags on the floor behind the chairs.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 08:15:08 PM by Tom »
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Luca1369

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #71 on: June 02, 2011, 07:58:16 AM »
Our dog (Gabby) decided to get in the third picture. I was cracking up when she was poking her nose into all the purses and bags on the floor behind the chairs.

Very slick Tom.  Lure the folks in for a ukulele lesson and then have your dog rifle their purses. 
Steve
1990 Fleetwood Southwind 36'
http://seaworthy.com

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tsu (570-490 BC)

Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #72 on: June 02, 2011, 08:34:13 AM »
Aye Steve, although I did make an announcement as we were breaking up that, if folks had lost anything from their bags or purses, Gabby had probably taken it  ;D
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Luca1369

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #73 on: June 02, 2011, 09:41:00 AM »
So how are you personally coming along with your ukulele lessons? 

I tried learning once, after I heard Izzy's version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow/It's a Beautiful World.  The only song I ever learned to play on a uke.  To me, the chording wasn't difficult, the hard part was trying to imitate Izzy's island strumming style.
Steve
1990 Fleetwood Southwind 36'
http://seaworthy.com

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tsu (570-490 BC)

Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #74 on: June 02, 2011, 10:05:31 AM »
Quote from: Luca1369
So how are you personally coming along with your ukulele lessons?

Steve, my playing took a huge leap forward when my friend (an accomplished musician and music director) bought a ukulele, taught himself to play it, and agreed to coach our group. He has a teaching style that allows folks who've played for 60 years to learn something, while bringing learners like me along at the same time.

Basic strumming was my first obstacle, but my friend fixed that in the first 5 minutes. We're gradually learning other strums and strumming techniques.

I still have a very long way to go to consider myself a player but, as the NYC cab driver story goes ....

Q. How do I get to Carnegie Hall?

A. You practice.

One of the ladies attending our coaching sessions was born in Hawaii. She doesn't know how to read music, but plays exceptionally well by ear. She was showing our coach a few island tricks on Tuesday evening, but explained that some things can only be learned by growing up and living there.

Izzy would be hard for anyone to imitate.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 10:08:51 AM by Tom »
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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #75 on: June 24, 2011, 08:07:02 PM »
Today I played at my first 'official' gig with the local ukulele group (The Delta Strummers). We played and sang at a nearby assisted living place. A small audience, maybe 60 people, but they were all engaged with our songs.

I woke up this morning with no voice at all but, after some sinus medication and lots of fluids, I was able to sing three solos. When I sang our closing song - God Bless America - I donned my Uncle Sam hat and had the whole audience singing along. What a blast!
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seilerbird

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #76 on: June 24, 2011, 08:09:10 PM »
The rush of entertaining is incredible. You sound like you need a PA Tom.

Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #77 on: June 24, 2011, 08:13:05 PM »
Quote from: seilerbird
You sound like you need a PA Tom.

Not me. I'm able to belt it out with no audio support.

When I was first asked (at zero notice) to sing that patriotic song at a retired guy's club I'd applied to join, I almost blew their audio system out. After that, I don't use a mic for 150 or so people in the audience.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2011, 08:40:18 PM by Tom »
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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #78 on: June 24, 2011, 08:39:55 PM »
Quote from: seilerbird
The rush of entertaining is incredible.

That's so true.
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Jim Dick

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #79 on: June 24, 2011, 11:54:58 PM »
The rush of entertaining is incredible. You sound like you need a PA Tom.

Tom,

Trust me, he doesn't need a PA!
Jim

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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #80 on: June 25, 2011, 12:14:52 AM »
LOL Jim, nobody accused me of being quiet  ;D

Quote from: Tom
Not me. I'm able to belt it out with no audio support.

When I was first asked (at zero notice) to sing God Bless America at a retired guy's club I'd applied to join, I almost blew their audio system out. After that episode, I don't use a mic for 150 or so people in the audience.

As an aside, my friend is the choral director for a local chorus. We were sitting on our boat anchored somewhere on the CA Delta last year, when I turned on a favorite Welsh song and said " this would sound good with 4-part harmony in your chorus". Sure enough, he's included it in the chorus' upcoming performance, albeit sung in English. Last Monday I was invited to attend a choral practice and was introduced as "my buddy Tom who came up with the idea for this song: He's here to audit you singing, and will be back in a couple of weeks to sing the song to you in Welsh".

Oh crap! I don't want to sing to this august group. But, Ernie being the creative guy he is, told me privately "You're going to belt it out in Welsh, and the chorus will be humming behind you and it's going to sound great".
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 12:37:14 AM by Tom »
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Jim Dick

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #81 on: June 25, 2011, 07:07:49 AM »
Tom,

We'd love to hear you do that song. :)
Jim

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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #82 on: June 25, 2011, 08:11:48 AM »
Which one Jim? God Bless America, or Ar hyd y nos (aka All through the night).
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seilerbird

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #83 on: June 25, 2011, 09:33:31 AM »
Tom,

Trust me, he doesn't need a PA!
He woke up the next day without a voice. Being loud and singing properly are two totally different things. This is why PAs were invented.

Tom and Margi

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #84 on: June 25, 2011, 09:50:27 AM »
He actually was voiceless the morning before he was scheduled to sing.  If he lost his voice after, it was probably due to the sinus infection.  Believe me, I've heard him.  Most people have forgotten more than Tom knows about projecting his beautiful Welsh voice.  In a contest with the "real" Tom Jones, I would take our Tom every time.
 
Margi
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 09:52:53 AM by Tom and Margi »

Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #85 on: June 25, 2011, 10:02:40 AM »
Thanks Margi.

Quote
He actually was voiceless the morning before he was scheduled to sing.

That's correct, and was due to a sinus infection. I could barely talk when I woke up, and was convinced I wouldn't be able to sing. But, by performance time, I was feeling much better and decided to give it a shot, although I nursed my voice a bit until the last number. Not a 'professional' performance, but we're billed as an amateur group.

I must admit that I had to re-learn how to sing when I joined a barbershop chorus some years ago; Singing in harmony with 80 or so others was quite different from my freestyle solo singing. Their vocal coaches sure taught us to "sing properly".

I'm now having to learn all over again, this time to sing with a "band", and I must admit it's a bit of a challenge for me; I came in on the wrong beat on a couple of songs/verses yesterday, but the players quickly caught it and adjusted accordingly. I mentioned it when I talked with the leader last evening, and her response was "unlike most of our singers, we can hear you, and are therefore able to adjust and keep in step with you".
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 10:14:29 AM by Tom »
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seilerbird

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #86 on: June 25, 2011, 10:42:03 AM »
Well great, I hope I get to hear him at Quartzsite next year.

Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #87 on: June 25, 2011, 10:44:53 AM »
You might be waiting a long time  ;)

Quartzsite is one of the worst places for my sinuses; Chris and I both get very bad infections in the desert, and end up having to visit the nearest doc, clinic, or ER.
 
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 10:47:07 AM by Tom »
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Tom

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #88 on: June 25, 2011, 12:19:09 PM »
The wife of one of the players took some pictures with her PAS camera. Her husband just stopped by our house to let me grab pictures from her camera.

We were a bit pinched for space yesterday, so she has some audience heads in the pic. Half the audience was off to one side, which was why I was facing that direction in this shot.
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Ned

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Re: Calling all ukulele players
« Reply #89 on: June 25, 2011, 12:31:45 PM »
Love the hat :)  George M. would be proud.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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