Holiday Potluck & Strum-a-long: Thursday, December 13!

Can you believe the holiday season is already upon us? Whether you find all of the hustle and bustle a bit stressful or it’s your favorite time of the year, our 8th annual Austin Ukulele Society Holiday Potluck and Strum-a-long is something you don’t want to miss! Each year, in lieu of our regular monthly meeting at Memorial United Methodist Church, we have a social event with food, drink and, of course, plenty of ukulele strumming and singing.

When
Thursday, December 13, 2018 from 6:30 to 9:00pm, giving us a nice amount of time to mingle, nosh, sip, and play music.

Where
The High Road on Dawson, located at 700 Dawson Rd, Austin, TX, 78704. We’ll be in the second floor event space (click photo to see the entrance). Free and plentiful off-street parking! There’s plenty of space so bring along friends and family! Children are welcome!

What
Strum-a-long and Potluck! Feel free to bring a dish to share. Any type of food, snack or dessert is welcome; just remember to take home with you any dishes you bring. Plates and utensils will be provided. There will be a full, cash bar with beer, wine, liquor, soft drinks and water available. Please note that NO outside beverages of any kind may be brought in, including bottled water.

Music
We’ll mingle, eat, drink and play the holiday songs we’ve learned over the years. We’ll project the chord charts from our repertoire of Christmas songs from years past; feel free to get familiar with them. Download our 2018 Holiday Songbook, which contains the chords and lyrics for all of the songs below in one handy PDF booklet designed to minimize page turns when printed two-sided)! Our friends from TUG (the Tuesday Ukulele Group) will bring their loaner Makala ukuleles, so if you find yourself without a uke that day, fret not. 🙂

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)   ★★ NEW! ★★ Chord Sheet Presentation Video
Blue Christmas Chord Sheet Presentation
Holly Jolly Christmas / Marshmallow World Chord Sheet Presentation Video
Let It Snow / Winter Wonderland Chord Sheet Presentation Video
Mele Kalikimaka / Jingle Bells Chord Sheet Presentation Video
Rockin’ Christmas Medley Chord Sheet Presentation Video
Santa Claus is Coming to Town Chord Sheet Presentation Video

We’ll also have an open mic portion of the party. Feel free to prepare a song, holiday-themed or not. Perform it yourself and/or lead the group in playing/singing along with you! A sign-up sheet will be available.

And in case you want to get in some holiday shopping, we’ll have plenty of Austin Ukulele Society t-shirts available for purchase – including our fabulous new “Ukulele Cowboy” design for 2018, crafted by the talented Lyda Guz and screen-printed right here in Austin! Available in 100% cotton navy blue in mens/unisex, womens, and kids styles.

This new shirt and 2017’s “Mermaid” design cost $20; all previous years’ shirts are $15. We accept cash or a check made out to Bob Guz or Jen Richardson.

One final note about the High Road on Dawson: It was built in the 1950s and unfortunately is not ADA compliant, and our event is on the second floor. Any person with accessibility concerns can be carried in or assisted by friends/family, if possible. There are restrooms on the same floor as our event.

If you have any questions at all about the party, please drop us a line and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Please spread the word among your ukulele peers and remind them that we will NOT have a regular meeting at Memorial United Methodist Church (MUMC) in December. Our next meeting at MUMC will be on Thursday, January 10, 2019.

Remember, our next meeting will NOT be at the church. Instead, we will be celebrating our 8th Annual Holiday Potluck and Strum-a-Long, on Thursday, December 13, at the High Road on Dawson, located at 700 Dawson Road, 78704. See you there! 🙂

November 8, 2018: Baby Please Come Home!

As the first chilly November evening descended on Austin, 125 or so ukulele enthusiasts from the Austin area and as far as England and Costa Rica gathered to play and sing together. We kicked off the meeting with introductions, local ukulele news and events, along with a reminder that our December 13th get-together will be our eight annual holiday potluck/strum-a-long at the High Road on Dawson instead of our regular Memorial United Methodist Church meet-up (more info on that in early December).

After warming up with Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” we kicked off the holiday season in style, both fashionably and musically, as we learned to play “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” made famous by Darlene Love on Phil Spector’s fantastic 1963 album “A Christmas Gift for You.” Bob explained and demonstrated his great arrangement and launched us into some helpful exercises. We enjoyed practicing the chord progressions, strums, finger snaps and vocal harmonies, and when we put it together to play the song through, we sounded great and recorded it for our global ukulele family. We hope it helps you get your own holiday spirit going this year!

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” or download a copy of the presentation and instruction guide (what we project on the screen for all to follow along, including exercises and drills).


While we have your attention…

If you don’t already follow this website, why not take a moment to click on the “Follow Austin Ukulele Society” button? We’d really appreciate it! It’s in the right margin, just under the “Like us on Facebook” button and looks just like this: .

By following our website, you’ll always be kept up-to-date with the latest meeting announcements and other Austin Ukulele Society news. Thank you so much!


We took a break to enjoy our talented open mic participants, as Kevin Carroll’s Blues Band, Vincent and Richard presented us with excellent interpretations of great songs.

Top: Kevin Carroll’s Blues Band. Bottom row: Vince (left), Richard (right)

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on Thursday, December 13th, from 6:30-9:00pm, at the High Road on Dawson. 🙂

For more downloadable music, visit our Ukulele Music Library. For more Austin Ukulele Society videos, check out our YouTube Channel.

Contact Us if you have any questions or would like to be added to our mailing list!

October 11, 2018: Who Can It Be Now?

On a mild October evening, 140+ local and visiting ukulele players (from as far as Cali, Colombia!) enjoyed our Halloween-inspired meeting. There were plenty of Dia de los Muertos shirts, animal ears and rockstar wigs – even Batman made an appearance! – as we got into the spirit of the season. Men at Work’s classic but creepy 1981 hit “Who Can It Be Now?” fits our tradition of Halloween-themed October songs and may make us all a bit more wary of trick-or-treaters at our doors this coming All Hallow’s Eve. 🙂

Our meeting kicked off with introductions, local ukulele event announcements and our warm-up, feel-good song (Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”). Bob introduced us to a special guest – one of Austin’s best saxophone players, Paul Klemperer. They performed Men at Work’s “Who Can It Be Now?” to demonstrate the arrangement Bob had prepared for us. Bob led the group through several helpful exercises for the strumming pattern, chord progressions and vocal harmonies. As the group played the song through a few times, we sounded better and better each time. With the assistance of Paul Klemperer on sax and Kevin Carroll on U-bass, we recorded the song to share with all of our ukulele-loving friends on YouTube. Check it out!

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Who Can It Be Now?” or download a copy of the presentation and instruction guide (what we project on the screen for all to follow along, including exercises and drills).


While we have your attention…

If you don’t already follow this website, why not take a moment to click on the “Follow Austin Ukulele Society” button? We’d really appreciate it! It’s in the right margin, just under the “Like us on Facebook” button and looks just like this: .

By following our website, you’ll always be kept up-to-date with the latest meeting announcements and other Austin Ukulele Society news. Thank you so much!


We loved the extraordinary talents of our open mic participants, who shared a wonderfully eclectic mix of songs that included a duet on a cover of a Swedish band, a Halloween-appropriate 1960’s cover (“Haunted House,”) a couple of original love songs from Colombia and Austin, and a great cover of a humorous Roger Miller tune. Thank you to Erin and Gabrielle, Walter, Camilo, Curt and Roger for sharing these lovely performances with us.

(Clockwise, from top left: Erin and Gabrielle, Camilo, Richard, Curt, Walter.)

As always, we look forward to strumming and singing at our next monthly meeting, on Thursday, November 8th! 🙂

For more downloadable music, visit our Ukulele Music Library. For more Austin Ukulele Society videos, check out our YouTube Channel.

Contact Us if you have any questions or would like to be added to our mailing list!

September 13, 2018: Cruel To Be Kind!

Adding some much needed brightness to the rainiest week Austin has seen in 2018, the September meeting of the Austin Ukulele Society put huge smiles on the faces of many, as we learned to sing and strum Nick Lowe’s super poppy 1979 new wave hit “Cruel To Be Kind.”

The evening began with introductions and local ukulele news of other group playing opportunities and performances around town, including the upcoming ukulele tribute to Willie Nelson (Uketania 9 – Ukulele Willie) on Wednesday, September 19. We warmed up with Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” and then our Bob G. performed Nick Lowe’s “Cruel to Be Kind” to demonstrate the arrangement we’d be learning. Bob led the group through exercises he’d prepared to help everyone get familiar with the strumming pattern, chord progressions and harmonizing opportunities. When we played the song through a few times, we sounded terrific. After the open mic part of the meeting, we played and recorded “Cruel to Be Kind” to share with our ukulele friends around the world!

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Cruel To Be Kind” or download a copy of the presentation and instruction guide (what we project on the screen for all to follow along, including exercises and drills).


While we have your attention…

If you don’t already follow this website, why not take a moment to click on the “Follow Austin Ukulele Society” button? We’d really appreciate it! It’s in the right margin, just under the “Like us on Facebook” button and looks just like this: .

By following our website, you’ll always be kept up-to-date with the latest meeting announcements and other Austin Ukulele Society news. Thank you so much!


We enjoyed varied and creative covers of classic tunes from the 1930s through the 1970s, by Paul, Kent, Class Act, The John Davenport and the Austin Ukestra.

(Clockwise, from top left: Paul, Class Act (Brock, Christine, and Charlie), The John Davenport, and the Austin Ukestra.)

As always, we’re thankful to all who join us at our monthly meeting, and we look forward to making more ukulele music with you next month on Thursday, October 11th! 🙂

For more downloadable music, visit our Ukulele Music Library. For more Austin Ukulele Society videos, check out our YouTube Channel.

Contact Us if you have any questions or would like to be added to our mailing list!

★ Our Next Meeting: Thursday, September 13! ★

Our next meeting is fast approaching on Thursday, September 13, 7:00–9:00pm! Be there to strum and sing along with ukulele players of all levels. We’ll meet, as usual, at the Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 6100 Berkman Drive, Austin, TX, 78723.

As some of us were lucky enough to hear at the Ukulele Open Mic event on September 1st, Bob Guz “previewed” our featured song, performing Nick Lowe’s incredibly catchy 1979 hit “Cruel To Be Kind.” This fun tune has been on our “to do” list of songs for some time, and Bob has put together a great ukulele arrangement, in the same key as the original.

You can practice “Cruel To Be Kind” by downloading the chord chart here. And you can play right along with Nick and the boys on their original recording.

The chord chart is on pages 1 through 4. On pages 5 and 6, you’ll find vocal harmonizing options for the pre-interlude section and the choruses. Page 7 has tabs for the interlude guitar solo that can be played while some of us strum the chords.

At the meeting, Bob will share more details about the arrangement, perform it for us as an example, and then take us through some helpful exercises and drills, to help us get familiar with the song and comfortable playing and singing it.

We’ll include some open mic time for those of you who’d like to showcase a tune you’ve been working on. A sign-up sheet will be available at 6:30.

Location
Memorial United Methodist Church, 6100 Berkman Drive, Austin, TX 78723. We meet in the school located behind the church, in the gym.

Memorial United Methodist Church Map
Map it
mumc_overview
Where to park and find the gym

For those attending for the first time, the church is easy to find – but it is big. You’ll enter from Berkman Dr. using a ‘one way’ entrance and you can park anywhere alongside or behind the church. Past the canopied main entrance, on the same side of the building, there is another entrance on the right. Walk in there and you’ll be in the gym. From there simply follow the sounds of ukuleles tuning up. 🙂

Newcomers and beginners are ALWAYS welcome! Even if you’re a complete novice, we encourage you to come out. Many beginners come to the meetings, and it’s so great to see their skills grow over time! There are almost always easier ways to play the songs, even if you can play only a few of the chords. Or just sing along!

Our friends from the TUG (Tuesday Ukulele Group) now make available five loaner ukuleles at the AUS monthly meetings! They are all Makala Concert ukes, and you can borrow one to play during the meeting. You’ll find them at the front of the room; so if you don’t have a uke yet, or you forget your uke at home, or your uke is in disrepair, please join us and borrow a TUG loaner uke. 🙂

Feel free to get familiar with the chord charts for any of the songs in our repertoire, all available on the “Download Music” page. We always play “Three Little Birds” and “On the Road Again” as our opening and closing songs, so if you’re new to the group and want to get familiar with them, you can play along using the presentations and our videos.

As always, we’ll have plenty of Austin Ukulele Society t-shirts available for purchase – including our latest design below, crafted by the talented Lyda Guz!

Our newest shirt will cost $20; all previous years’ shirts are $15. We accept cash or a check made out to Bob Guz or Jen Richardson.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Thursday, September 13, at 7:00pm!

Contact Us if you have any questions, need more information, or would like to be added to our mailing list.

August 9, 2018: Chandelier!

An enthusiastic group of 150 or so ukulele players attended the August meeting of the Austin Ukulele Society. Seasoned players, novices, first timers and visitors from outside of the Austin area were all happily welcomed, as always. We’ve wanted to do a contemporary hit by a female artist for some time, and at this meeting we learned to strum and sing Sia‘s 2014 electro-pop hit “Chandelier.”

We got started with introductions and ukulele news, including reminders for our upcoming Ukulele Open Mic Happy Hour on September 1st and Uketania 9 (Ukulele Willie) on September 19. We then warmed up our fingers, ukuleles and voices with Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.” Next, Bob told us a little about his arrangement of “Chandelier” and performed it for us, to give us an example of what we’d be singing and playing. Bob then guided the group through practicing the strum patterns, chord progressions and picking options for this song. We played it through a several times, getting more confident and sounding better and better with each run through. We hope you enjoy our performance on YouTube!

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Chandelier” or download a copy of the presentation and instruction guide (what we project on the screen for all to follow along, including exercises and drills).


While we have your attention…

If you don’t already follow this website, why not take a moment to click on the “Follow Austin Ukulele Society” button? We’d really appreciate it! It’s in the right margin, just under the “Like us on Facebook” button and looks just like this:   .

By following our website, you’ll always be kept up-to-date with the latest meeting announcements and other Austin Ukulele Society news. Thank you so much!


We enjoyed our open mic participants’ performances. Thanks to the Kevin Carroll’s Celtic music group, Vince, Tate and Mason, and The John Davenport for sharing their talent with a great variety of tunes.

(Top left: Vince, Top right: Kevin Carroll’s Celtic music group, Bottom left: John, Middle row: Tate and Mason.)

We look forward to seeing you at the Ukulele Open Mic Happy Hour on September 1st at Kick Butt Coffee – and, of course, at our next monthly meeting on Thursday, September 13th! 🙂

For more downloadable music, visit our Ukulele Music Library. For more Austin Ukulele Society videos, check out our YouTube Channel.

Contact Us if you have any questions or would like to be added to our mailing list!

July 12, 2018: I Could Never Take the Place…

A lovely group of ukulele players from all parts of the Austin area (and as far away as the United Kingdom) gathered on a warm July evening to strum ukuleles and sing harmonies, as we paid homage to the late, great musician and songwriter Prince (sometimes also known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince) with our take on his 1987 hit “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man.”

Before Bob began teaching us this great pop rock hit, we kicked off the meeting with introductions, local ukulele news and our warmup song that always lifts our spirits and voices, Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.” Then Bob shared some info about the multi-layered musicianship and vocals in “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” and performed it for us as a demonstration of the arrangement. Bob took us through some very helpful chord progressions, strumming patterns, picking options, and harmonizing possibilities. We practiced the song, getting better and better each time, and recorded it to share with our ukulele friends around the globe. We owe a big thanks to Aaron Lewis for his U-bass accompaniment and hope you enjoy our cover of this Prince classic.

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” or download a copy of the presentation and instruction guide (what we project on the screen for all to follow along, including exercises and drills).


While we have your attention…

If you don’t already follow this website, why not take a moment to click on the “Follow Austin Ukulele Society” button? We’d really appreciate it! It’s in the right margin, just under the “Like us on Facebook” button and looks just like this:   .

By following our website, you’ll always be kept up-to-date with the latest meeting announcements and other Austin Ukulele Society news. Thank you so much!


We were delighted by our wonderful open mic participants! Matilda, Mason, Rodger, Helen and Demi all shared fantastic renditions of both modern and timeless tunes – we are so grateful for their willingness to do so.

(Top row: Matilda, Helen, Rodger. Middle row: Mason, Demi.)

We hope you’ll join us at our next monthly meeting, on Thursday, August 9th! 🙂

For more downloadable music, visit our Ukulele Music Library. For more Austin Ukulele Society videos, check out our YouTube Channel.

Contact Us if you have any questions or would like to be added to our mailing list!