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).
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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! 🙂
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