Greetings, friends! Our next monthly meeting is fast approaching, on Thursday, May 12, 7:00–9:00pm. We’re having a wonderful time meeting in person again and are truly looking forward to seeing you at our May meeting! We’ll meet, as usual, at the Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 6100 Berkman Drive, Austin, TX, 78723.
We need your assistance in mitigating the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus, in the following ways:
- Attend only if you’re feeling well and have had no known contact with someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19.
- While Travis County remains in the low risk of transmission category, wearing a mask at MUMC is optional. You are encouraged to wear a mask if you feel more comfortable doing so.
The Austin Ukulele Society team will do our part to mitigate risk by:
- Making disposable masks and hand sanitizer available.
- Spreading seating out as needed.
- Opening a couple of doors to improve air flow, as the temperatures allow.
We love learning songs from different genres and spanning many decades, so it’s always fun to choose each month’s new-to-us song. Since we haven’t done a country song in a while and have long wanted to do a Dolly Parton song, we think you’ll be just as excited as us to learn her 1973 huge hit “Jolene.” It’s Dolly’s most-covered song, and has been covered over the decades by many, including Olivia Newton John, The White Stripes, and Lil Nas X. We know you’ll enjoy getting familiar with “Jolene” if you aren’t already, and we look forward to strumming and singing this classic with you. 🙂
Dolly Parton’s original 1973 is in the key of C#m, so Bob has raised it a half-step to Dm in our arrangement. This makes it a very straightforward, ukulele-friendly 3-chord song. We’ll do the song at a somewhat slower pace than the original, but apart from that and the key change, the arrangement is pretty much the same as the original.
To practice, you can preview or download the lyrics and chords for “Jolene.” To provide an example in the key of Dm, Bob also created a short recording that includes the song’s intro and chorus. In this audio-only clip, Bob plays the strum pattern and each of the picking parts. He also sings each vocal part in the chorus – please give it a listen and feel free to play/sing along. 🙂
Here are some details about the song sheet:
- Pages 1 and 2 have the chords and lyrics.
- Page 3 has a description of the main strum pattern, along with a couple of simplified alternatives.
- Page 4 has options for the picking part that can be played during the Intro, the Choruses, and between each Verse, while other players strum the Dm chord. These are intended to evoke the fingerpicking lick that appears in Dolly’s original recording.
- Pages 5 – 8 has vocal harmony options for the Choruses.
At the meeting, Bob will perform “Jolene” 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 one 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 know, we create a new t-shirt every year. Celebrating our global AUS community, we are thrilled to unveil our 2022 edition t-shirt, “Ukulele Around the World,” 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 “Ukulele Around the World” design, “10th Anniversary,” Mermaid, Cowboy,” “Austin Lasso” and other shirts are $20. We also have vinyl decals with the AUS logo for $1 each. We can accept cash or a check made out to Austin Ukulele Society; you can also make payment via Venmo or PayPal.
Memorial United Methodist Church, 6100 Berkman Drive, Austin, TX 78723. We meet in the school located behind the church, in the gym.
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 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. 🙂
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, May 12, at 7:00pm!
Contact Us if you have any questions, need more information, or would like to be added to our mailing list.