May 14, 2020: I Wanna Dance!

I Wanna DanceOn a pleasant May evening (in Austin, TX), about 300 friends from around the globe met virtually, via YouTube, for the Austin Ukulele Society’s meeting. It was fun to welcome back our Austin-area friends, visitors from around the country and globe that joined us virtually in April, and first timers as well. Uke players from New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, England, Ireland, Brazil, Canada, and all parts of the U.S. joined in!

Huge thanks to Jen Richardson for her excellent moderating and responding to the comments in the Live Chat. Thanks also to Lyda Guz for running the PowerPoint presentations.

Our friend Marty Porter will be producing a collaborative video to accompany Bob’s cover of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody. If you’re interested in participating, please email AustinUkes @ gmail.com as soon as possible to receive instructions on how to create and submit a video of you playing/singing the song.

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After sharing some local and virtual ukulele news/jams/concerts, we warmed up our voices and fingers with Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.” Then we jumped into this month’s song. We’ve long wanted to work on one of Whitney Houston’s terrific pop songs, so we were excited to learn to play and sing one of her biggest hits, 1987’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” Bob Guz performed the song to demonstrate his arrangement. Next, he led us through several exercises, giving us the opportunity to practice each section of the song. We learned some picking and harmony options, too, and then played through the entire song a couple of times. As is our tradition, we wrapped up with Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again.”

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” or download a copy of the presentation and instruction guide, including exercises and drills. You can also watch a replay of the broadcast:

We really appreciate all of the wonderful feedback and photos you sent, letting us know how much you learned and how much fun you had!! πŸ™‚





 
Please check back for more info in early June about our next meeting, which will be on Thursday, June 11, at 7:00pm U.S. Central Time. Take care and be well! 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!


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!

April 9, 2020: Let It Be

Let It BeThe Austin Ukulele Society hosted it’s first ever fully virtual monthly meeting this April, due to widespread shelter-in-place orders. While Austin-area AUS members and visitors love meeting in person to learn, strum, and record a song together, there are silver linings to any challenging situation – and we are so glad that a big silver lining for us was sharing a lovely ninety minutes or so, with ukulele players from five continents! Friends joined us from nearly half of the states in the U.S., and from Canada, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, Scotland, Spain, England, Germany, Switzerland, and New Zealand – and more! πŸ™‚

It was truly lovely to have over 400 ukulele players, sheltering-in-place, while playing and singing three wonderful songs together. We owe a huge thanks to Lyda Guz, for her timely presentation projection skills, and to Jen Richardson for live commenting/responding to all that joined in.

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Our first virtual meeting was the perfect occasion to learn one of the Beatles’ most inspiring tunes, the 1970 hit “Let It Be.” Bob kicked off our meeting as we usually do, with some introductions – and we’re glad so many attendees made use of the Live Chat to chime in and say where they were tuning in from, greet one another, and ask questions. We warmed up with Bob Marley’s wonderfully optimistic “Three Little Birds” before Bob G. gave us a lovely demo performance of his arrangement of the Beatles’ “Let It Be”. He then took us through some helpful exercises to teach the strum style, chord progressions, and more, before we put the song together and played it through a couple of times. Afterward, we wrapped up our virtual meeting with our favorite closing song, Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again.”

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Let It Be” or download a copy of the presentation and instruction guide for all to follow along, including exercises and drills). You can watch a replay of the broadcast:

Our heartfelt thanks go out to the many folks who sent in or shared photos of themselves during the live event!! πŸ™‚







 
If we’re still sheltering in mid-May, we’ll meet again via our YouTube channel Thursday, May 14. We hope you’ll join us! Stay safe and keep strumming the magical 4-string instrument that fosters our beautiful music community. 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!


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!

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

The March 12th Austin Ukulele Society meeting was cancelled.

CarsGreetings, friends! Our next monthly meeting is fast approaching, on Thursday, March 12, 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.

With the passing of rock’n’roll legend Ric Ocasek about six months ago, we’ve been wanting to pay tribute by doing one of The Cars’ big hits: “Just What I Needed”. While we did this song years ago, as a much smaller group, it is such an infectious and catchy power-pop-rock song that it’s definitely worth revisiting, learning together (and recording). πŸ™‚ If you’re not familiar with it, check out The Cars’ original recording.

Just What I NeededThe original is in the key of E, but Bob shifted our ukulele-friendly arrangement up a half-step to the key of F. Apart from that change, we’ll follow the original arrangement pretty closely. Here are some details about the song sheet:

  • Pages 1 though 3 have the lyrics and chords
  • Page 4 has diagrams for the two main strumming patterns (one pattern for the Intro, Verses, and Interlude 1, another pattern for the Choruses, Interlude 2, and the Ending)
  • Page 4 also has additional details about the special strums in the Intro
  • Page 5 has tab for the riff that appears in Interlude 1 and the second half of Verses 2 and 3 (played on synth in the original)
  • Page 6 has vocal harmony options for the Choruses as well as Vocal Options for Part 1 of the Ending
  • Page 7 has additional vocal options for Part 2 of the Ending

As always, we recommend getting familiar with the song by listening to the original recording and also by practicing the song using the chart and diagrams, before we meet on the 12th, if possible. πŸ™‚

At the meeting, Bob will perform “Just What I Needed” to demonstrate the arrangement, and then take us through some helpful exercises to get us comfortable with the chords and chord progressions, strum styles, vocal and harmonizing options, before we put it all together to play it through.

We’ll also 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. As open mic time is limited to five participants, please sign up when you arrive and understand that preference will be given to those who have not participated recently or ever before.

Ukulele Society T-shirts!
As you may know, we release a new Austin Ukulele Society t-shirt design each year. Check out our latest edition, as usual created by the talented Lyda Guz and screen-printed right here in Austin at a fantastic locally-owned print shop! Available in charcoal heather cotton/poly blend in mens/unisex, womens, and kids styles.

AUS T-shirt 2019

Please bring cash or a check made out to Austin Ukulele Society. The new “Austin Lasso” shirts are $20, as are last year’s “Cowboy” and 2017’s popular “Mermaid” shirts. All previous years’ styles are $15.

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 loaner ukuleles at the AUS monthly meetings! They are Makala concert and soprano 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 “Music Library” 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.

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on Thursday, March 12, at 7:00pm!

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


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!

February 22, 2020: Kick Butt Open Mic!

We hosted another fabulous and fun Open Mic Happy Hour Saturday, February 22, at Kick Butt Coffee. We had more performers than at any of our previous open mic events! Ukulele-loving folks packed the place while over 80 musicians performed in groups, duets, and as soloists for the large, supportive, and joyous crowd. An incredible line-up of fantastic talent! A wonderful evening of friends and ukulele music! Thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy the music, all who performed, Lyda Guz for the fantastic photos, Bob Guz who acted as MC, and Jen Richardson for all her work in organizing the event!








For downloadable music, visit our Ukulele Music Library. For 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!

Ukulele Society T-shirts!
As you may know, we release a new Austin Ukulele Society t-shirt design each year. Our latest edition was created, as usual, by the talented Lyda Guz and screen-printed right here in Austin at a fantastic locally-owned print shop! It’s available in charcoal heather cotton/poly blend in mens/unisex, womens, and kids styles.

AUS T-shirt 2019

These new “Austin Lasso” shirts are $20. They are available at our meetings or Contact Us if you would like to have one mailed to you!


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!

February 13, 2020: What the World Needs Now!

Jackie DeShannonOn the eve before Valentine’s Day, about 160 members of the Austin Ukulele Society joined together to spread a beautiful and global message of love by learning the Bacharach/David-penned classic “What the World Needs Now is Love.” It’s a lovely song that has been recorded by a number of famous singers, topped charts around the globe and has also been featured in films. Jackie DeShannon was the first to have a big hit with it, in 1965.

We kicked off the evening with introductions and welcomed our first timers and visitors from far and wide. To warm up our fingers and voices, we played Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.” Then Bob G. led the group in exercises to help us learn the chord progressions, strumming and picking options and vocal harmonies of our featured song. When we played through the song together, we sounded better and better each time. As always, we owe a special thanks to Aaron Lewis’ help on the U-bass! We hope you enjoy our performance here:

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “What the World Needs Now Is Love” 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).


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Our open mic performance section was full of incredible talent, as usual! We were delighted by Marty’s cover of “You Belong to Me,” TUG’s PSA offering of “NyQuil Blues,” Kathy and the Kilowatts Duo on “I Like It Like That,” Bill’s instrumental original, and Michelle and Teigen’s great cover of Lenka’s “The Show.” We are grateful to all of you for sharing your music with us.

Clockwise from top left: Michelle and Teigen, Tuesday Ukulele Group (TUG), Bill, Kathy and the Kilowatts Duo, Marty

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Ukulele Open Mic on Saturday 2/22 at Kick Butt Cafe, and we look forward to our next monthly meeting on Thursday, March 12! See you then! πŸ™‚

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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!

Ukulele Society T-shirts!
As you may know, we release a new Austin Ukulele Society t-shirt design each year. Our latest edition was created, as usual, by the talented Lyda Guz and screen-printed right here in Austin at a fantastic locally-owned print shop! It’s available in charcoal heather cotton/poly blend in mens/unisex, womens, and kids styles.

AUS T-shirt 2019

These new “Austin Lasso” shirts are $20. They are available at our meetings or Contact Us if you would like to have one mailed to you!


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!

January 9, 2020: Karma Chameleon!

Culture ClubOn January 9 over 150 ukulele players joined together to kick off the 10th year of monthly Austin Ukulele Society meetings in terrific style! We had a wonderful time, with a few friends who’d been present at our very first meeting in January 2011, as well as many friends we’ve come to know over the years, plus first-timers and visitors from afar. We thank you, as always, for your warmth and enthusiasm, your strumming and your singing, and affection for our favorite 4-string instrument.

We always like to kick off the year with a very popular and well known classic hit, and Culture Club’s 1983 chart-topper “Karma Chameleon” is a great pick. After introductions, sharing local ukulele updates, and warming up with Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” Bob G. performed “Karma Chameleon” to demonstrate his arrangement. He then took the group through some helpful exercises, so we could learn the chord progressions, strumming pattern, picking options, and vocal harmonies. We worked hard and sounded great when we put the song together and played it through. It was an especially wonderful addition having Aaron Lewis on Ubass and Cynthia Sadler on percussion. Check out our performance here:

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Karma Chameleon” 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).


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As always, we truly enjoyed some excellent open mic participants. Darryl backed up by Sweet Tea, Al (all the way from Stillwater, OK), Sho, Rodger and Rich all gave us beautiful and creative renditions of a variety of songs.

Clockwise from top left: Darryl and Sweet Tea, Al, Rich, Rodger and Sho

We look forward to seeing you all again on Thursday, February 13, for our next monthly meeting – and at our Ukulele Open Mic Happy Hour on Saturday, February 22, at Kick Butt Coffee! πŸ™‚

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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!

Ukulele Society T-shirts!
As you may know, we release a new Austin Ukulele Society t-shirt design each year. Our latest edition was created, as usual, by the talented Lyda Guz and screen-printed right here in Austin at a fantastic locally-owned print shop! It’s available in charcoal heather cotton/poly blend in mens/unisex, womens, and kids styles.

AUS T-shirt 2019

These new “Austin Lasso” shirts are $20. They are available at our meetings or Contact Us if you would like to have one mailed to you!


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!

December 12, 2019: Holiday Potluck and Strum-a-long!

On a beautiful but chilly December evening, the Austin Ukulele Society celebrated its ninth annual Holiday Potluck and Strum-a-long, at the High Road on Dawson. We enjoyed sharing delicious food, desserts, and beverages, while mingling with friends old and new. We got our ukuleles out and played some of the wonderful Christmas tunes we’ve learned over the years. A wonderful evening of music! Many thanks to Jay Clement, who joined in on U-bass.

We are so grateful for the wonderful year we’ve had, making great music with our Austin-area ukulele friends and visitors from many places. We wish everyone peace, love, and joy through the holiday season!




 
We enjoyed a terrific display of open mic performances, with some great holiday song renditions, originals and creative covers. The performers included Dave Smith, a lovely debut by Uku Girls Meet Hula Girl, Jack Pott, Cranius Astounding, Mary Jane Ford, Jay Clement, Walter Minkel, Barry Bramhall and Sho & Shin Humphries. So much talent was shared, and we truly appreciate it!


Clockwise from top left: Dave Smith, Jack Pott, Cranius Astounding, Jay Clement


Clockwise from top left: Uku Girls Meet Hula Girl, Barry Bramhall, Walter Minkel, Sho & Shin Humphries, Mary Jane Ford


🎄 🎁 Holiday Music! 🎁 🎄

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Download the 2019 Edition of the Austin Ukulele Society Holiday Songbook! It includes charts for all of the joyous Christmas and wintry-themed songs belong in a condensed format designed to eliminate page turns when printed two-sided. See charts, presentations and video performances for each individual song below. Enjoy!

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) Chord Sheet Presentation Video
All I Want For Christmas Is You   β˜…β˜… NEW! β˜…β˜…
(Mariah Carey cover)
Chord Sheet Presentation Video
Blue Christmas (Elvis Presley cover) 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 wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and a happy start to 2020!! We’ll see you at our regular meeting on Thursday, January 9, as we kick off the 10th year of the Austin Ukulele Society! 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!

Ukulele Society T-shirts Make Fantastic Gifts!
As you may know, we release a new Austin Ukulele Society t-shirt design each Fall. We are thrilled to reveal our 2019 edition, as usual created by the talented Lyda Guz and screen-printed right here in Austin at a fantastic locally-owned print shop! Available in charcoal heather cotton/poly blend in mens/unisex, womens, and kids styles.

AUS T-shirt 2019

These new “Austin Lasso” shirts are $20. They are available at our meetings or Contact Us if you would like to have one mailed to you!


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!