Author Archives: Austin Ukulele Society

★ Our Next Meeting: Thursday, November 14! ★

Mariah CareyGreetings, friends! We’re looking forward to strumming ukuleles and singing harmonies with you at the Austin Ukulele Society’s next monthly meeting on Thursday, November 14, 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.

Our November meeting is our last “formal” meeting of the year, as we have our 9th annual potluck/strum-a-long bash planned for Thursday, December 14 (more about that soon). So we typically get the holiday season started early by learning to sing and strum a popular Christmas song in November. While most of the Christmas hits we hear during the holiday season are from at least 50 years ago, there is one modern-day holiday classic from the 90’s that we are very excited to learn together: Mariah Carey’s hugely popular “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” made even more famous by the 2003 film “Love Actually.” Break out your reindeer antlers or elf ears, Christmas sweaters and Santa hats to have an even more festive time!

Mariah CareyThe original recording is in G, as is the arrangement Bob created for us, so you can strum and sing right along with Mariah! 🙂

Bob kept the arrangement quite close to the original version. To practice, preview or download the lyrics and chords for “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” Pages 1 through 4 show the lyrics and chords, including tab for the Intro’s picking part on page 1. Page 4 also has diagrams for the main strumming pattern (two options are shown, and they work fine together). Vocal harmony options for the last line of each Chorus appear on page 5. Vocal harmony options for the Ending are on page 6.

As always, we recommend practicing the song using the chart and diagrams and original recording on YouTube before we meet on the 14th, if possible. 🙂

At the meeting, Bob will perform “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to demonstrate the arrangement, and then take us through some helpful exercises to get us comfortable strumming and singing each component before we put it all together.

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 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

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. 🙂

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, November 14, 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!

October 10, 2019: Ah-woooooooo!

Sam the ShamThe Austin Ukulele Society had a howling good time at our Halloween-spirited October meeting! We started off the evening with introductions, local ukulele news and performance info, and our warm up song, Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.” We took time to admire the great costumes that many members wore. We were especially pleased to have several “Little Red Riding Hoods” and a big, bad wolf or two in the room as we got ready to learn a spooky hit from the 1960’s that pays tribute to the classic, dark fairy tale: Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs’ “Li’l Red Riding Hood.”

Bob shared some information about his arrangement and played it through to demonstrate it. He took us through exercises that helped us get comfortable with the chord changes, the strumming patterns, the vocal syncopation and the harmonizing options. We learned a lot and got better and better as we practiced, and we hope you’ll enjoy the video of us performing the song for all of our YouTube friends around the world. We are so grateful to everyone who joined us for the fun and a special thanks to Aaron Lewis playing U-bass!

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Li’l Red Riding Hood” 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 had a fantastic time during the open mic portion of the evening, as several folks got up to play a terrific variety of tunes they’ve been working on. Walter, Vince (aka Superman), Vincent and Pauline, Jay, and Kaia contributed an impressive array of cover songs that we all loved. And to round out the open mic performances, the Grim Reaper (aka THE John Davenport) and the Devil (aka Sue) performed an appropriate and wonderful original by Death himself called “I Woke Up Dead.”

Clockwise from top left: Walter, Kaia, Jay, Vincent and Pauline, John and Sue, Vince

We always have a fabulous time at our monthly meetings and we all look forward to our next one, on Thursday, November 14. Please join us! 🙂

 
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!

New T-shirt Design!
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!

September 12, 2019: Octopus’s Garden!

Abbey RoadThe September Austin Ukulele Society meeting got off to a wonderful start with a visit from our friend Jacob Borshard who brought beautiful silk-screened posters and shared info about the upcoming Voyage to Uketania X: Uku-Beatle-ele-lele show Thursday, September 26, at the Sahara Lounge. After some introductions and additional ukulele news, we warmed up our fingers and voices with Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.”

With September 2019 being the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles’ iconic album Abbey Road, over 140 ukulele players from Austin (plus visitors from Dallas, Houston, Florida, and more!) learned to play an incredibly fun and catchy track from it, penned by Ringo Starr: “Octopus’s Garden.” Bob demonstrated his great arrangement for us and took us through some very helpful exercises, to get us comfortable with the strumming styles, the harmonizing options, and the picking part of the outro. After practicing each component, the group put it all together and got better and better with each run through. We hope you enjoy our tribute to Ringo Starr and the Beatles. We are so grateful to everyone who joined us for the September meeting and a special thanks to Aaron Lewis for his great U-bass playing!

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Octopus’s Garden” 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 had several wonderfully talented open mic participants. Alex performed a ballad he’d written as a teen, John performed a fun and bluesy tune he’d penned, and Bob graced us with a Beatles cover of “Please Please Me.”

Clockwise from top: Alex, Bob, John

As always, we look forward to our next meeting — see you on Thursday, October 10! 🙂

 
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!

August 8, 2019: Let Her Go

PassengerOn a warm and muggy August evening, a group of 160+ ukulele enthusiasts joined to sing, strum, and learn together. The evening began with folks sharing local ukulele news and events, including a reminder about our upcoming ukulele open mic event at Kick Butt Cafe Saturday, August 17. We then quickly warmed up our voices and fingers with Bob Marley’s uplifting “Three Little Birds.”

This month, we learned to play and sing Passenger’s epic 2012 hit “Let Her Go.” Bob demonstrated the arrangement he’d prepared for us and explained the strum styles and the picking part. He led us through great exercises to help us learn the picking parts as well as the strumming and singing. The group got better and better with each practice! Together with Aaron Lewis’ terrific u-bass rhythm, we recorded “Let Her Go” to share with our YouTube community around the world. We hope you enjoy playing along with us as much as we enjoyed singing and strumming this one together.

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

 
As usual, the open mic performers wow’ed us with their talent and variety. For the first time, we had a song sung to us in German by our friend Sabine. She even provided the lyrics in case we wanted to sing along! John performed a moving original called “California,” Kathy and Bill did a killer version of the Beatles’ “She Was Just Seventeen,” Rich performed a stellar version of “Girl From Ipanema,” and Helen rocked out on a punk favorite of hers called “One Chalupa, One Enchilada.”

Clockwise from top left: Kathy and Bill, Sabine, Helen, Rich, John

As always, we look forward to our next meeting — see you on Thursday, September 12! 🙂

 
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!

July 11, 2019: Summer of ’69!

Bryan AdamsA fantastic group of ukulele players from all over the Austin area – and beyond, including a visitor from Germany – got together on a warm, summer night, to sing and strum together. We kicked off the meeting with introductions and local ukulele news, including workshop opportunities, performance info, and a reminder about our upcoming ukulele open mic eve at Kick Butt Cafe on Saturday, August 17. Then we warmed up our hearts, voices and fingers by playing Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.”

Since summertime has undoubtedly arrived in central Texas, this month we learned to sing and strum a classic, up-tempo rock hit with a nostalgic summer theme: Canadian rocker Bryan Adam’s hugely popular 1984 hit “Summer of ’69.” After Bob previewed his arrangement, we launched into very helpful practices of the strum patterns, chord changes, and vocal styles using the great exercises Bob had prepared for us. When we put the song together and played it through a few times, we sounded terrific. We hope you’ll check out the video we recorded to share with our uke friends around the globe. Very special thanks to Jay Clement for his rockin’ accompaniment on U-bass!

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Summer of ’69” 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 were treated to a great variety of talent from our open mic participants. Helen, Iris, Rodger, Vince, and Sho & Shin all gave us fabulous renditions of the songs they’d been working on.

Clockwise from top left: Iris, Helen, Rodger, Sho & Shin, Vince

As always, we look forward to sharing our favorite night of the month together – see you on Thursday, August 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!


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!

June 13, 2019: You’re So Vain!

No SecretsThe Austin Ukulele Society was pleased to host its June meeting for a wonderful group of ukulele-playing friends from far and wide. Our summer meetings are especially fun, as we find teachers and students who are too busy during the school year making time for our favorite hobby – strumming that uke and singing along! We began our meeting with local ukulele news, including announcing a fundraising workshop and concert to be presented by Bob Guz on Friday, July 26, and a reminder about our upcoming ukulele open mic eve at Kick Butt Cafe on Saturday, August 17. Then we warmed up by playing Bob Marley’s always uplifting “Three Little Birds.”

This month, we learned to sing and strum Carly Simon’s 1972 hit, You’re So Vain.” This great song has definitely stood the test of time in its popularity; it has been covered, sampled, used in films, and more over the years. Bob shared some details about his arrangement and played it through to give us a delightful example of what we’d be learning. Bob then took us through some helpful exercises to get us comfortable with the chord progressions, strum patterns, picking options and vocal harmonies. We put the song together and sounded better and better with each practice. We later recorded it for our YouTube friends around the world. We’d like to give a special thanks to Aaron Lewis for his excellent accompaniment on U-bass – it always enhances our uke performance but was especially nice for providing the rhythm on “You’re So Vain.”

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “You’re So Vain” 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 our open mic portion of the evening we enjoyed the talented brothers Sho and Shin on a great duet, while Marie (with baby Zia) performed a clever original, and Jay did an excellent tribute to Leon Redbone. As always, we’re so thankful to our open mic performers for sharing their craft with us.

 
We can’t wait to see you all on Thursday, July 11, for our next meeting! 🙂

 
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!

May 9, 2019: Losing My Religion!

On a stormy May evening, approximately 150 friendly musicians gathered to enjoy strumming their favorite four-stringed instrument. As usual, we welcomed a delightful mix of members who have been attending our meetings since 2011 along with first-time guests visiting from as far as California and Florida. We got started with some ukulele-related announcements and introductions and then quickly moved into our warm up song (Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.”)

This month, we learned to sing and strum a huge early-1990s hit, made even more popular by its critically acclaimed music video: R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion.” The mandolin riff on which the song is built translates really well to the ukulele! Bob told us a little about his arrangement for this song and gave us a great solo live demo to boot. He led us through very helpful exercises for learning the chord progressions, strumming patterns, picking part options and vocal harmonies. When we put the song together and practiced it, we sounded better and better each time through. We recorded it for our YouTube friends around the world – we hope you enjoy it!

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Losing My Religion” 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 enjoyed the excellent offerings of our talented open mic participants for the evening! Bertie gave us a great rendition of “Sentimental Journey,” Helen rocked us with the Meat Puppets’ “Backwater,” and Rich crooned and strummed a great version of Sinatra’s “Young at Heart” (as tribute to his own recent birthday and Kevin Jolly’s recent retirement).

 
We’re looking forward, as always, to our next meeting! See you all on Thursday, June 13, at 7:00pm! 🙂

 
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!