Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Ukulele madness

I'm mildly obsessed with ukuleles at the moment. Can you tell? Three of my 101 in 1001 activities are ukulele-based and I am having a lot of fun spreading some ukulele madness around.

On Saturday afternoon, I arrived in to town with a bit of time to spare before meeting a friend for coffee. I decided to look for a ukulele tuner, as it can get noisy and confusing trying to tune 8-10 ukuleles all at once at the start of our ukulele orchestra practice each week. I bumped into a couple of managers from work, both of whom had expressed interest in joining our orchestra, but neither who had actually turned up to practice. One of them assured me she had a ukulele at home and would bring it on Tuesday; the other said she just needed to buy one but hasn't managed to get to the music shop yet. I pointed four shops down the street and said, 'that's where to buy them from - and I'm just heading there now to buy a tuner'. Suddenly, the three of us were wandering down to Alistair's Music. A short time later, she left with a stunning, purple Gypsy Rose ukulele under her arm and I had my tuner before we all went out separate ways again. Awesome!

On Sunday, three of us went to the ukulele lounge at the Southern Cross. Hosted by the Wellington Ukulele Collective, this is a regular jam session for people wanting to get together and learn new material, or just practise and improve their playing. We came away with lots of ideas and some new music, most of which we'll have to wait until our group are beyond playing the four basic chords, but lots of things we can work towards.

Today is our regular ukulele orchestra practice at work. Each week (or two), we plan to learn a new song to sing and strum while revising a couple we've already practised. It's slow going with a wide range of ability but sooooo much fun. I love it when new members arrive; I love it even more when they come back again, as it shows we haven't scared them off yet! Our wiki is growing along with our group and word is spreading that our ukulele orchestra is the place to be on Tuesdays. Progress!


Alli said...

So cool! Love the While My Guitar Gently Weeps video at the end too. How did you learn to play? It seems like such a great idea and it's really cool you're getting others involved as well. :) You rule!

hamilton said...

thanks for putting up the uke stuff, i found you by putting ukulele chords in my google search. i got 8 chords to start strumming with. just found a uke with the bridge removed, no nut and questionable strings. three screws and multiple tunings (as the strings stretched) and i was playing sea of love. i cheated a little and played my guitar for four years first. as a man at a music store told my friend about his uke, "you could use a tuner, but it's never going to be in tune."

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