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RV-related and other recreational activities => Making music on the road => Topic started by: Tom on October 12, 2013, 07:15:33 PM

Title: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: Tom on October 12, 2013, 07:15:33 PM
It's a lousy camera angle (missed 2/3 of the band), and they didn't start shooting at the beginning of the song. Someone in the front row grabbed a video (on their cell phone?) of the opening number from our last (June, 2013) concert and uploaded it to YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdRFfiPraAQ

Not your normal Hawaiian hula song  ;D   

This was one of the few times we've mic'd the band, partially with the intent of creating a CD. But there's a guy in the front row clapping into the mic, which really stands out on the CD  :(

FWIW most of the folks in the camera shot are around 80 years old. Most of us young 'uns are off camera.

The band is now up to 46 players, even after some recent attrition. We expect some new recruits from our November 1st concert at a new-to-us venue, and maybe more from our December 8th concert at another (bigger) new-to-us venue. Every time we perform at a new venue, folks seem to come out of the woodwork asking to join &/or learn how to play. It's hard to believe there were just 9 (or maybe 10) players when I joined the band just 2 years ago.
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: SeilerBird on October 12, 2013, 07:25:58 PM
Very cool Tom. ;D
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: Tom on October 12, 2013, 07:51:09 PM
Thanks Tom, not our best advert. As a musician you'll appreciate how tough it is to keep them all in sync'.

Some folks can't even remember to bring the correct music, and I have to bring extra copies to concerts and "switch them out" at the last minute. One or two folks don't remember which instrument to play and when (ukulele vs banjo ukulele);  A banjouke doesn't sound good on a Hawaiian number  :o   So I plant folks at strategic locations in the seating chart at concerts to keep an eye on the folks who need help, and I mark the music in large, bold, red letters to identify which instrument to play and when.

The seating charts also get modified to help the folks who are hard of hearing, especially the folks who play/sing off the beat and, in some cases, might be several lines out of sync'. In these cases, I plant "loud" singers either side of them.

As I tell my other half, I just hope folks will look out for me when I get to that point.
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: Tom on October 12, 2013, 08:07:09 PM
Quote
The seating charts also get modified to help the folks who are hard of hearing ...

One thing I've observed is that most hearing aids seem to have a delay, which really exacerbates folks being off the beat. When I first joined the band, I had to consciously sit away from someone who was always off beat. I eventually figured out it was an issue with his hearing aids, and have since done what I can to help him out.
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: SeilerBird on October 12, 2013, 08:12:46 PM
The seating charts also get modified to help the folks who are hard of hearing, ...
Speaking of hard of hearing, I am asking people to repeat what they are saying way too often so I made an appointment to visit an audiologist on Monday. No doubt I will have to be fitted for a hearing aid. 50 years of loud rock and roll has taken it's toll. But it was worth it.
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: Tom on October 12, 2013, 08:36:48 PM
Quote
50 years of loud rock and roll has taken it's toll.


That will do it. My ears got screwed up when I worked in a steel plant for 7 years, but it doesn't seem to have affected my ability to stay on the beat.

FWIW at my last company we supplied chips to all the hearing aid manufacturers in the world, 90% of which are in Denmark. Got to know a  little about the industry and the players.
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: SeilerBird on October 12, 2013, 08:58:52 PM
Being as I started on the drums I have never had a problem with staying on the beat. I can feel the beat just as well  as I can hear the beat. The important thing for me is not having a vanity issue about wearing a hearing aid. If I need one I will wear one.
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: Tom on October 12, 2013, 09:08:14 PM
Quote
I can feel the beat just as well  as I can hear the beat.

Good point Tom. I suspect that few non-drummers "feel" the beat.

FWIW we have a bass guitarist in our band, specifically to help the folks who can't "hear/feel" the beat.

Quote
The important thing for me is not having a vanity issue about wearing a hearing aid.

Excellent point, and something we should all remember.
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: SeilerBird on October 12, 2013, 09:21:07 PM
I really enjoy playing my bass. I wish I would have taken bass more seriously when I was younger. It is a really cool instrument.
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: Tom on October 13, 2013, 09:06:50 AM
Last time we were in southern California with the RV I hooked up with several ukulele groups (Palm Desert, La Quinta,  & Indio). The leader of one of the groups had a "drum machine", intended to set the beat. Half the time the foot switch didn't work, and he'd end up kicking it. The other half it (the machine) kept drifting off beat  ???
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: SeilerBird on October 13, 2013, 09:19:05 AM
 The reality of drum machines is you have to be a drummer to successfully operate one. It is kinda like you have to know how to drive a car in order to be a mechanic.
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: Tom on October 13, 2013, 09:40:38 AM
I don't know if "drum machine" is the correct term; It was the only name I could come up with. The machine had only two controls - on/off pedal switch and beat. Once turned on and the beat set, there's nowt else to do. But this machine kept drifting off the beat. A simple metronome would have done a better job.

Personally, I don't need or use a machine or a metronome to set the beat.
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: SeilerBird on October 13, 2013, 09:57:48 AM
Drum machine is the correct term for any machine that plays drum parts. But you are right, one that is that simple can be operated by anyone.
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: Bob Buchanan on October 13, 2013, 01:28:23 PM
     Our high school band director tried to teach some how to feel the beat - but confided in me once that it's a tough one to teach. One either feels it or they don't. However, Mr. Holland did it in Mr. Holland's Opus.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ad5pKiflwew

Having grown up playing trumpet in high school, college and bugle in the Navy - that movie quickly became one of my favorites.
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: SeilerBird on October 13, 2013, 01:47:04 PM
I think the reason drummers feel the beat so easily is because no matter what piece of music is playing and no matter what the situation, drummers are always drumming. It is just something you can't turn off once you start playing the drums. For example, when I hear a piece of music tapping my toe or my fingers is just a natural reaction. But if I am doing something that does not allow me to tap along I will still be tapping mentally.

Another thing drummers do is they possess the ability to "sing" the drum part to just about any song they have heard a few times. I have the drum part memorized to thousands of songs whether I like it or not. It is the only instrument you can practice playing even without the instrument.
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: Tom on October 15, 2013, 06:53:40 PM
Last evening was the first joint rehearsal of the ukulele band with the Summerset Singers choral group, in preparation for the band's appearance in the Singers' Christmas season concert at this restored old theatre (http://www.elcampaniltheatre.com/). Putting 85 "good" voices together with 40+ ukulele players/singers sure makes a great sound, although we have a few bumps to smooth out in the next few weeks.

A few folks are members of both the band and the chorus, and we share the same Music Director. I'd join the chorus in a heartbeat, and last night was asked by their Assistant Director if I'd join. Unfortunately, I don't satisfy their local residency requirement.
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: Hfx_Cdn on October 16, 2013, 10:31:32 AM
     Tom, I was brought up to use the term AK instead of Old Fart.  It is the initials for the Yiddish translation "alter Kocker", I think it might be the same in German.  Just sounds so much more socially acceptable.

Ed
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: Tom on October 16, 2013, 03:23:44 PM
Ed, maybe I should have said olde fartes. I've never heard of AK, but the long version wouldn't sound socially acceptable where I was brought up  :o
Title: Re: Old farts playing ukulele
Post by: carson on October 16, 2013, 04:06:06 PM
Some of the old farts sure can be musical.

Listen here>>>>   http://www.fart-sounds.net/fart_sound_board.htm