★ Our Next Online Meeting: Thursday, January 14! ★

Happy New Year, dear friends! We hope you had a great holiday season and kicked off the new year in good health and spirits. We’re very excited to begin the Austin Ukulele Society’s 11th year with a great virtual meeting on Thursday, January 14. It’s hard to believe, but our very first meeting was January 11, 2011! Thank you so much for being a part of our community and helping us thrive!

Join us on our YouTube channel to strum ukuleles and sing harmonies at our monthly meeting, on Thursday, January 14, from 7:00-8:30pm. The live event is scheduled, and it is the very first item at the top of the Austin Ukulele Society’s YouTube channel page. Simply click the YouTube Live Event to join when we go live on the 14th at 7:00pm (CST, GMT -06:00). The PowerPoint presentation (with our warm up and closing songs, as well as the new-to-us medley we’ll learn) will be viewable alongside Bob, during the YouTube event.

Lyda will take us through the slides while Bob explains and teaches his arrangement of our featured song. If you are logged into YouTube/Google, please say hello and share any questions/comments with Jen, moderating on behalf of the Austin Ukulele Society – Jen can get inquiries about the arrangement to Bob for live response. 🙂 If you have a chance to practice the song before the 14th, and you have questions, feel free to email them to us in advance.

Pro Tips:

  • The event is accessible without logging in and you don’t need a YouTube/Google account to watch. But to comment, you’ll need to log into YouTube with a Gmail account ID.
  • When you join the YouTube live stream, if the video or sound quality is not at its best, roll your mouse over the video to find the ‘gear’ icon. Click it and select the ‘Quality’ option; 480p or higher (we recommend 720p) should improve video and sound quality for you, if you have the internet bandwidth to make the change. 🙂

We typically start the year off on a positive note, and this year is no different – in fact, we’ll learn a great medley of two uplifting tunes. Bob has arranged a medley pairing the late, great Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now” with Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies,” of which we’ll learn Willie Nelson’s popular version. For us Austinites, it’s an extra bonus that both Nash and Nelson are native Texans. 🙂 We know you will enjoy learning to strum and pick these tunes with us.

Bob’s arrangement is in the key of D, like Johnny Nash’s original recording. Willie Nelson’s 1978 cover of “Blue Skies” is in Bm minor, but Bob changed it to Dm to fit with “I Can See Clearly Now.”

Download the song sheet for the “I Can See Clearly Now / Blue Skies Medley” and practice along with Bob’s gorgeous demo performance:

Here are some details about the song sheet:

  • Pages 1 and 2 have the lyrics and chords
  • Page 3 has diagrams and comments for the main strumming patterns, along with options for alternate strums
  • Pages 3 and 4 show picking parts that can be played during the verses of “I Can See Clearly Now”

During the livestream, we’ll go over these topics in more detail, including practice with a variation of the reggae strum pattern. One of the interesting aspects of this arrangement is switching back and forth between strumming patterns so we’ll discuss that as well. Bob will also review the chords in “Blue Skies”.

At the virtual meeting, Bob will perform the medley to demonstrate the arrangement, and then take us through some helpful exercises to get us comfortable with the chords and chord progressions, strum styles, and picking options before we put it all together to play it through. We recommend getting familiar with the song by listening to Johnny Nash’s original recording of “I Can See Clearly Now” and Willie Nelson’s cover of “Blue Skies,” and by practicing the medley using the song sheet and Bob’s demo video.

We always play Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” and Willie Nelson’s “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, available on the “Music Library” page. We’ll also display the presentations for these two songs during the live broadcast, for your convenience. 🙂

Newcomers and beginners are ALWAYS welcome, and we certainly look forward to having friends from far and wide join in with our live stream! Even if you’re a complete novice, we encourage you to join in. There are always easier ways to play the songs, even if you can play only a few of the chords. Or just sing along!

Stay tuned and keep strumming!! We’re looking forward to having everyone join in on Thursday, January 14, at 7:00pm US Central Standard Time!

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

Ukulele Society T-shirts!
As you may know, we create a new t-shirt every fall. In celebration of the Austin Ukulele Society’s 10th anniversary this year, we are thrilled to unveil our latest edition t-shirt, designed by the talented Lyda Guz!

The shirts are silk screened here in Austin at a fantastic locally-owned print shop and are available for purchase via mail order. The new 10th Anniversary design, Mermaid, Cowboy, and “Austin Lasso” shirts are $20 – all other styles are $15. Please drop us a line if you’d like to purchase a shirt (or two or three). 🙂 At this time, we can only ship orders within the U.S.

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!