Author Archives: Austin Ukulele Society

Holiday Potluck & Strum-a-long: Thursday, December 12!

Can you believe the holiday season is already upon us? Whether you find all of the hustle and bustle a bit stressful or it’s your favorite time of the year, our 9th annual Austin Ukulele Society Holiday Potluck and Strum-a-long is something you don’t want to miss! Each year, in lieu of our regular monthly meeting at Memorial United Methodist Church, we have a social event with food, drink and, of course, plenty of ukulele strumming and singing.


When
Thursday, December 12, 2019 from 6:30 to 9:00pm, giving us a nice amount of time to mingle, nosh, sip, and play music.

Where
The High Road on Dawson, located at 700 Dawson Rd, Austin, TX, 78704. We’ll be in the second floor event space (click photo to see the entrance). Free and plentiful off-street parking. There’s plenty of space so bring along friends and family. Children are welcome!

What
Strum-a-long and Potluck! Feel free to bring a dish to share. Any type of food, snack or dessert is welcome; just remember to take home with you any dishes you bring. Plates, napkins and utensils will be provided. There will be a full, cash bar with beer, wine, liquor, soft drinks and water available. Please note that NO outside beverages of any kind may be brought in, including bottled water.

Music
We’ll mingle, eat, drink and play the holiday songs we’ve learned over the years. We’ll project the chord charts from our repertoire of Christmas songs from years past; feel free to get familiar with them. Download our 2019 Holiday Songbook, which contains the chords and lyrics for all of the songs below in one handy PDF booklet designed to eliminate page turns when printed two-sided! Our friends from TUG (the Tuesday Ukulele Group) will bring their loaner Makala ukuleles, so if you find yourself without a uke that day, fret not. 🙂

All I Want For Christmas Is You   ★★ NEW! ★★
(Mariah Carey cover)
Chord Sheet Presentation Video
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) Chord Sheet Presentation Video
Blue Christmas 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’ll also have a longer open mic portion of the party. Feel free to prepare a song, holiday-themed or not. Perform it yourself and/or lead the group in playing/singing along with you! A sign-up sheet will be available.

And in case you want to get in some holiday shopping, we’ll have plenty of Austin Ukulele Society t-shirts available for purchase – including our fabulous new “Austin Lasso” design for 2019, crafted by the talented Lyda Guz and screen-printed right here in Austin!

AUS T-shirt 2019
This new shirt (as well as our “Mermaid” and “Ukulele Cowboy” designs) cost $20; all previous years’ shirts are $15. We accept cash or a check made out to the Austin Ukulele Society.

One final note about the High Road on Dawson: It was built in the 1950s and unfortunately is not ADA compliant, and our event is on the second floor. Any person with accessibility concerns can be carried in or assisted by friends/family, if possible. There are restrooms on the same floor as our event. We apologize for any inconvenience the lack of ADA compliance may cause.

If you have any questions at all about the party, please drop us a line and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Please spread the word among your ukulele peers and remind them that we will NOT have a regular meeting at Memorial United Methodist Church (MUMC) in December. Our next meeting at MUMC will be on Thursday, January 9, 2020.

Remember, our next meeting will NOT be at the church. Instead, we will be celebrating our 9th Annual Holiday Potluck and Strum-a-Long, on Thursday, December 12, at the High Road on Dawson, located at 700 Dawson Road, 78704. See you there! 🙂

November 14, 2019: All I Want For Christmas!

Mariah CareyOn a chilly November evening, around 150 members of the Austin Ukulele Society created plenty of warmth and cheer as they gathered to sing and play ukulele together. After sharing some local ukulele news, introducing ourselves and welcoming visitors, we played Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” as we always do, to kick off our musical time together. As is our habit at our November monthly meeting, we learned to sing and strum a holiday favorite together. This year, we enjoyed paying tribute to Mariah Carey’s modern-day classic, “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

First, Bob demonstrated his arrangement for us by performing it. Then he led the group through some very helpful exercises, to get us comfortable with the strum pattern, chord progressions, picking options, and vocal harmonies. We sounded better and better as we played each part and then the song in its entirety. We are grateful to Aaron Lewis on U-bass for helping us keep the rhythm. We hope our performance gets you in the holiday spirit — check it out:

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “All I Want For Christmas Is You” 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 always, we were thrilled to enjoy the talents of our open mic performances. Kevin Carroll and his Ukestra treated us to a Scottish instrumental piece, Bob and Jay did a great cover of the Beatles’ “Two of Us,” Rodger performed a ukulele classic from “Blue Hawaii,” and we were very pleased to welcome Pastor Cynthia to the stage for her first time ever, as she did a fabulous cover of R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It.”

Clockwise from top left: Jay and Bob, Cynthia, Rodger, Kevin Carroll and the Ukestra

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and we look forward to seeing everyone at our 9th Annual Holiday Strum-a-long and Potluck on Thursday, December 12, at the High Road on Dawson. More details coming soon! 🙂

 
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!

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!