Category Archives: AUS activities

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!

April 11, 2019: Keep On Believin’!

JourneyThe Austin Ukulele Society was thrilled to host its 100th consecutive, always free and open to everyone, monthly meeting on April 11th, 2019, with over 200 members of our ukulele community in attendance! In addition to having in-person friends who drove from as far as Friendswood, TX, we were delighted to expand the horizons of our meeting’s attendance by live streaming part of the meeting, for the first time ever. An additional 59 ukulele friends from far and wide, joined us virtually via our YouTube channel – and played along with us on our warm up song, Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.” You can watch a recording of the live streaming event on YouTube.

To commemorate our journey to 100 meetings, we learned one of the most inspirational hits of all time: Journey’s 1981 classic “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Bob led us through some very helpful exercises and drills so that the group could get comfortable with the chord progressions, strumming styles, picking options and harmonies. We sounded better and better each time we played the song through. The added enhancements of Bob’s solo and Aaron Lewis’ u-bass playing truly added some magic to our interpretation of Journey’s epic tune. We appreciate all of the positive feedback from our YouTube ukulele friends!

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Don’t Stop Believin'” 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’re very grateful to our amazing open mic participants. Sho and Shin did a great Stevie Ray Vaughan cover, while Walter wowed us on a uke and kazoo version of a nearly-100-old-song tune. Jay did a rousing cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together” and welcomed plenty of audience participation. Kathy and Bill payed tribute to a dear friend and musician on an original song written by Kathy. Victoria performed a beautiful arrangement of Pink Floyd’s “Is There Anybody Out There” on guitalele.

 
We hope that you’ll all join us for our next meeting, on Thursday, May 9th! 🙂

 
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!

March 14, 2019: Ship To Wreck!

On a beautiful and breezy spring evening, ukulele players both local to Austin and visiting from points all around the U.S. for SXSW or spring break, participated in the wonderful music community that makes up the Austin Ukulele Society. Folks enjoyed getting to know each other before we kicked off the meeting with introducing ourselves, sharing local ukulele events and playing our warm up song (Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.”) Our Bob G. then jumped into demonstrating our arrangement of Florence + the Machine’s 2015 infectious hit, “Ship to Wreck.” He took the group through helpful exercises for each section of the song, getting us comfortable with the strum pattern, chord progressions, picking parts, vocal styles and harmonizing options. When we played the song through, our playing and voices were melodic and strong.

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Ship To Wreck” 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, we took a break to enjoy some very talented friends share the songs they’d prepared for the open mic portion of the evening. A huge thanks to Rich, Dave, Emma and Rodger for playing beautiful renditions of songs we could all appreciate.

 
We look forward to seeing you all at our 100th meeting on Thursday, April 11th! 🙂

 
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!

★ Our Next Meeting: Thursday, March 14! ★

Florence + The MachineOur March meeting is fast approaching! We’re looking forward to strumming ukuleles and singing harmonies with you at the Austin Ukulele Society monthly meeting on Thursday, March 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.

Since we kicked off the year by learning classic tunes like “Sweet Caroline” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” we thought this month would be a good time to do a contemporary song. So we’ll learn to play and sing Florence + The Machine’s 2015 infectious hit “Ship to Wreck.” If you’re not yet familiar with this song, we know you’ll quickly see the appeal of its poppy pre-chorus and chorus as well as Florence Welch’s passionate vocals.

You can practice “Ship To Wreck” by downloading the chord chart here. Like the original, the arrangement Bob prepared for us is in the key of C, so you can play right along with Florence + The Machine’s official video on YouTube. Also check out Florence’s terrific performance of this song on Saturday Night Live.

Please spend some time previewing the full six pages of Bob’s downloadable arrangement. Pages 1 through 3 have the chord chart with lyrics. Page 4 has tabs for the riff that appears in the intro, chorus, and other spots. Page 5 shows the melody and harmony parts for the vocals in each chorus, and Page 6 shows the melody and harmony parts in the pre-chorus for the lyric “And oh, my love remind me…”.

At the meeting, Bob will share more details about the song, perform it to demonstrate the arrangement, and then take us through some helpful exercises to get us comfortable playing 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.

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.

As always, we’ll have plenty of Austin Ukulele Society t-shirts available for purchase – including our fabulous new “Ukulele Cowboy” design, crafted by the talented Lyda Guz and screen-printed right here in Austin! Available in 100% cotton navy blue in mens/unisex, womens, and kids styles.

This new shirt and the “Mermaid” design cost $20; all previous years’ shirts are $15. We accept cash or a check made out to Bob Guz or Jen Richardson.

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on Thursday, March 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!

February 14, 2019: Falling In Love!

Twenty-one PilotsMembers of the Austin Ukulele Society warmly embraced the opportunity to meet on Valentine’s Day, since more than a few of us have sometimes asked our beloved ukuleles to be our Valentine. 🙂 The meeting kicked off with introductions, announcements of ukulele shows and jams and our always uplifting warmup song, Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.” Next, Bob G. played through, by way of demonstrating his arrangement, our appropriately romantic song to learn for Valentine’s Day – the timeless classic “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” He then guided us through some very helpful exercises to get comfortable with the chord progressions, strumming patterns, picking options and vocal harmonies. When we played through the song a couple of times, the group was sounding lovely. We played it through a few more times and recorded it to share with our loving ukulele community around the globe. Check it out:

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our arrangement of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” 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 took a break to enjoy the fantastic open mic portion of the eve, in which John and Sue, Peter (with John), Kit and Jack, Jay, and Vince all played songs full of love, joy and companionship.

We look forward to our next meeting, on March 14th (Pi Day!), and we hope you all join us again! 🙂

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!