β˜… Our Next Meeting: Thursday, July 12! β˜…

We’re looking forward to making music with you again at the Austin Ukulele Society’s next meeting on Thursday, July 12, 7:00–8:45pm! 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.

Prince was one of the most talented musicians and prolific songwriters of the past several decades, and since his untimely passing two years ago we’ve wanted to pay tribute by playing one of his songs at a monthly meeting. At our next meeting we’ll learn to strum and sing “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man.” This infectious pop rock song was a hit from Prince’s 1987 album “Sign ‘O’ the Times,” an album still ranked by many publications and consumers as one of the greatest of all time.

You can practice “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” by downloading the chord chart here.

Prince’s original studio recording is in the key of C, which Bob also used for our arrangement, so you can strum right along with the Artist. Page 5 of the chord chart includes a tab for a picking part, and page 4 provides some tips that we hope will be helpful for practicing one of the song’s main chord progressions. Our arrangement includes a repeat of the chorus at the end (in place of Prince’s impressive guitar solo), but apart from that, it’s very close to the original.

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 with 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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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, July 12, at 7:00pm!

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

June 14, 2018: Up On the Roof!

On a breezy and warm June night, 150 or so ukulele players learned to sing and strum a lovely rendition of Carole King’s classic, “Up on the Roof,” first made famous by The Drifters in 1962.

Before we got busy strumming, we kicked off the meeting with introductions and local ukulele news, including an announcement about a workshop and concert Bob Guz will lead on Friday, July 13th (more info on that coming soon!). The group then enjoyed warming up their fingers and voices with Bob Marley’s always uplifting “Three Little Birds.” Then Bob took us through some very helpful chord progression exercises as well as his recommended strumming pattern for “Up on the Roof.” When we put the song all together, and with the great accompaniment of Aaron Lewis on U-bass, we were sounding fantastic! After a few more practice run-throughs we recorded it for our YouTube channel. We hope you enjoy it!

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Up On the Roof” 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 also treated to the terrific talents of our open mic participants: Cindi, Jay, Tuesday Ukulele Group (TUG) members, Chris, and Walter. With creative covers and impressive originals to boot, we felt fortunate to hear such great music.

(Upper left: Cindi. Middle row: TUG, Jay, and Walter. Lower right: Chris.)

As always, we look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Thursday, July 12th! πŸ™‚

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!

May 10, 2018: Rebels Just for Kicks!

The May 2018 Austin Ukulele Society meeting was a blast, with about 160 ukulele players kicking it Portugal. The Man-style by learning to strum and sing their huge hit “Feel It Still“!

Our meeting began with introductions and some local ukulele news, including reminders to support local ukulele musicians’ shows, learning workshops, and other chances to learn and play with other ukulele jams/groups around town. Remember, you can always keep up with these opportunities on our website, under the Events and Learning tabs. The group then warmed up, as usual, with Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.”

To help introduce us to our new song of the month, Bob performed, along with Aaron Lewis on bass, Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still.” Bob explained that there were only two chord progressions in the song and provided some helpful exercise drills, so we all got comfortable with the chord transitions quickly. Afterward, Bob took us through some harmonizing options, and we spent some time playing and singing the song. After a few times through, we were sounding really great – so we recorded it and and are thrilled to share it with our ukulele friends around the globe, on YouTube.

Thanks again to Aaron Lewis for accompanying us on bass and a special shout out to Shin – it was wonderful to have you back! πŸ™‚

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Feel It Still” 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!


Once we were feeling comfortable with “Feel It Still”, we took some time to enjoy the very talented open mic participants! Christi, Sho and Shin, Gaige, Roger, and Kathy and Bill all performed a diverse selection of very creative and cool cover tunes.

(Above, clockwise from upper left: Christi, Shin and Sho, Rodger, Kathy and Bill, Gaige.)

Looking forward to strumming and singing with you all at our next monthly meeting on Thursday, June 14! πŸ™‚

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!

April 12, 2018: The Mavericks!

On a balmy spring evening, one of the biggest groups of ukulele players at an Austin Ukulele Society meeting yet (170!), gathered to make music together. Our new-to-us song for the month was an infectious hit by The Mavericks, “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down.”

Before we launched into learning our new song, we kicked off the meeting with introductions, local ukulele news and ukulele shows around town. The group warmed up their fingers and voices, as always, with Bob Marley’s beloved and optimistic classic, “Three Little Birds.” Afterward, together with guest musicians Bill Jones on button accordion and Aaron Lewis on bass, Bob played through “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down,” to demonstrate the arrangement he’d prepared for us. Bob then took the group through some helpful drills on the chord progressions and strumming pattern, and included some variants on the two chords to give the sound a little more depth. We also practiced some harmonizing, since The Mavericks’ lead singer RaΓΊl Malo has such an amazing voice, and we wanted to do the band justice (and we did!).

Many thanks to Bill Jones for accompanying us on button accordion and to Aaron Lewis for keeping the rhythm going on bass; these additions made the evening much more special! πŸ™‚

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down” 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!


After playing and singing together for a while, we took a break to enjoy some great open mic performances. Both The John Davenport and Sho H. played fantastic originals for us, and we truly enjoyed creative and cool covers performed by Gaige and Matilda. The group is always warm and receptive to hearing what our friends are working on during the open mic portion of the evening; we look forward to you sharing next time, too!

(Above, clockwise from upper left: Gaige, Bob, Bill, Matilda, The John Davenport, Sho H.)

We look forward to strumming and singing with you all at our next monthly meeting on Thursday, May 10th! πŸ™‚

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!

March 8, 2018: Count On Me!

On a lovely springtime evening in central Austin, an enthusiastic group of ukulele players of all ages and abilities met up to strum and sing together. Having learned some classics in recent months, it seemed fitting to focus attention on a hit from the past decade by a very popular and current musician. And so Bob put together a great arrangement of “Count on Me” by Hawaiian native, Grammy award winning singer-songwriter (and sometimes ukulele player), Bruno Mars.

To kick off the meeting, after introductions, Bob and AUS members alike shared some local ukulele news, including opportunities to meet up to play as well as support local ukulele music. (Remember, you can always find out what’s happening in Austin’s ukulele scene by checking out the AUS Events Page). After warming up fingers and voices by playing Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” Bob led the group through exercises to practice the chord progressions, strum pattern, and vocal harmonies that worked best for our group of nearly 150 players. Afterward, we put “Count On Me” all together and played it through a few times. It sounded just lovely:

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Count On Me” 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 all enjoyed the open mic portion of the evening, in which we were treated to the talents of some great musicians. John Lee Boyer, visiting from Iowa, played ukulele and harmonica on a great tune for us. He was followed by The John Davenport on a witty original. Vincent played a lovely instrumental, and Sho H did a terrific original he’s been working on, while Walter wrapped up the open mic with an entertaining, original song entitled “Red Fez” (accompanied by his kazoo and, of course, his very own red fez).

(Above, clock-wise: Walter, John Lee, Sho H, The John Davenport, Vince.)

We look forward to strumming and singing with you all at our next monthly meeting on Thursday, April 12th! πŸ™‚

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!

February 8, 2018: Hank Williams Heartache Medley

At the February meeting of the Austin Ukulele Society, over 140 ukulele players got together to lament love, strum, and harmonize on a couple of classic Hank Williams heartache tunes: “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and “Cold, Cold Heart”. It is, after all, our tradition to learn a Valentine’s Day song of love in February, and so we changed that up a bit since love sometimes hurts.

The meeting kicked off with introductions and local ukulele news, including opportunities to play together and support local ukulele music shows – as well as the Ukulele Open Mic Night at the Rattle Inn coming up on Saturday, February 24. After our warm up song, Bob led the group through some helpful chord progression exercises as well as picking and vocal harmonizing options on the Hank Williams medley he put together for us. The group practiced the songs’ parts, and when we put all together, it sounded great!

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our medley of “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and “Cold, Cold Heart” 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).


 
During the open mic portion of the evening, the group was honored to hear incredibly talented and diverse ukulele musicians share their craft with us. From 11-year-old Mason’s excellent cover of “Our Town,” to Rodger’s beautiful rendition of the Korean traditional song “Arirang,” to Jay’s timely cover of Steve Earle’s “Valentine’s Day” and Sho’s “12 Bar Blues” (a sampling of famous bluesy songs by many artists, including The John Davenport’s “Don’t Dallas My Austin”), closing out with Cindi’s romantic original “Can’t Wait to Get Back Home.”

 
We’re looking forward to seeing you all on Saturday, February 24th, for Open Mic Night at the Rattle Inn, then back at the Memorial United Methodist Church for our next monthly meeting on Thursday, March 8!

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!

January 11, 2018: California Dreamin’!

On a windy and chilly January evening, the Austin Ukulele Society kicked off our eighth year (!) with what appeared to be our biggest turnout to date: 165-170 players! The day had started off balmy and beautiful, as one might imagine a southern California winter’s day to be like. But by the time the group gathered that evening, the temperatures in Central Texas had dropped significantly and it felt very appropriate to learn The Mamas & the Papas vocal folk classic, “California Dreamin’.”

We played our warm up tune (Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”) to start our meeting, as we’ve done for the past seven years. After sharing some local ukulele news and reminders, Bob launched into chord progression practices, with picking and strumming options, to help everyone get comfortable with playing “California Dreamin’.” He also walked us through some vocal exercises, since this song features such great harmonies. We were fortunate to have Ann Mosher accompany us with a flute solo as in the original recording by The Mamas and The Papas. By the time we put it together and played it through a few times, everyone was sounding strong and confident:

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for “California Dreamin’” 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).



 
We took a break to enjoy excellent talent by the evening’s open mic participants: Cindi, Full Mental Jack-Kit, The John Davenport, Tate and Helen. It was great to hear such a wonderful array of ukulele performances that included terrific originals and covers alike.

 
The very next night, we were thrilled to welcome Lil Rev, a preeminent ukulele instructor and performer who hails from Milwaukee, back to Austin for the first time in five years. Rev presented a fantastic workshop inspired by his love for Lead Belly, teaching the group ways to add blues and boogie elements to their strumming, as well how to play several of Leadbelly’s most influential songs. Shortly after the workshop, Rev enchanted the full house of over 60 attendees with his exceptional storytelling and an excellent concert performed on both ukulele and harmonica. The group was thrilled to see their own Bob Guz perform a couple of tunes with Rev. After an excellent encore, we regaled Rev with a standing ovation; everyone looks forward to having Rev back in Austin in the not too distant future.

 
Everyone should look forward to the next meeting, on Thursday, February 8th, as the group takes on some Valentine’s-suitable material. πŸ™‚ See you then!

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!