Category Archives: AUS activities

September 14, 2017: Country Roads!

Take Me Home Country RoadsOn a warm September summer evening in Austin, over 160 ukulele players of all skill levels and ages – along with upright bass player Gary – gathered to strum and sing together. The atmosphere was especially warm and inviting, as we got ready to learn a song that nearly everyone in the room was familiar with: John Denver’s hugely popular global hit, “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” This song has been covered by MANY famous artists and played across the world at ukulele (and other instrument) clubs, so it was as good a time as any for the Austin Ukulele Society to share our take on it, too. After warming up our fingers and voices with Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” Bob took the group through helpful drills and practices of the chord progressions for each part of the song, and he also taught us some vocal harmonizing options. Afterward, we put the whole song together and played it through a few times, sounding better and better with each try. We took a break from practicing “Take Me Home, Country Roads” to hear great covers, instrumentals, Argentinian folk songs, and originals performed by our talented open mic participants. After the open mic performances, we played “Country Roads” a couple more times and then recorded it for ourselves and our YouTube friends around the world:

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for “Take Me Home, Country Roads” 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).

Big thanks to Janet, Bentley and Carlos, Richard, the Austin Ukestra, Jen, and Sophia for sharing such a variety of great music with us!

        

We look forward to seeing many of you at the Sahara Lounge for the “Ukulele Summer” fundraiser concert on September 28th (benefitting the Port Aransas Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund) and back at our next monthly meeting on Thursday, October 12th at 7:00pm! πŸ™‚

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!

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August 10, 2017: Material Girl!

Material GirlPossibly the largest group of ukulele players to ever attend an Austin Ukulele Society monthly meeting got together to conjure our 1980’s spirit on a sultry August evening. August 2017 marks the AUS’ 80th monthly meeting, and with the love for 1980s music alive and well across many generations, it seemed a great opportunity to learn an iconic ’80s song: Madonna’s “Material Girl.” After sharing some local ukulele news, Bob led the group through exercises to build our comfort level with the various parts of the song. There were opportunities to pick, strum, harmonize and more. With each run-through, the group got stronger at the chord transitions and more confident with the vocals. We were sounding great by the time we took a break to hear some amazing open mic performances. After the open mic portion, the group joined together again to play “Material Girl” a few more times and record it for our YouTube friends around the globe. Check out our skills by the end of the meeting:

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for “Material Girl” 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).

From a seductive performance of “Summer Wine,” to a bluesy rendition of “Suzie Q,” to a cheeky cover of “The Vegetable Song” (Don’t Touch My Plums), our first ever hula dancer accompanying a Hawaiian song performance, and a thoughtful instrumental of “Wichita Lineman,” the members were treated to a delightful variety of talent. Many thanks to the South Austin Ukulele Jam, Darryl, members of the Tuesday Ukulele Group, Vincent, and Kevin!

         

We look forward to seeing you at our September meeting, on Thursday, September 14th, at 7pm! πŸ™‚

  

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!

July 6, 2017: American Medley!

Ukulele players from all over Austin and beyond got together on the first Thursday of July to enjoy each other’s company by singing, strumming, learning, and listening to ukulele music.

American Medley

To kick things off, local ukulele news and events were shared. We then warmed up our fingers and voices with “Three Little Birds.” Bob then performed an “America-themed Medley” of George M. Cohan classics (“Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag“) coupled with Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” he put together for us. There are songs every ukulele player ought to know, and these three fit that bill well. Bob took the group through helpful chord progression exercises, and we played the medley through a few times. After the group practiced the tunes a few more times, Lyda set the camera up to record our performance for our YouTube friends around the globe. Check it out:

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for our “American Medley” 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 and enjoyed fantastic open mic talent, of both originals and creative covers, by five wonderful solo performers: Roger, Alexandria, JosΓ©, Jack, and Sho.

        

We look forward to meeting with everyone again in just 5 short weeks, on Thursday, August 10th! πŸ™‚

We also hope to see you all at another fantastic Ukulele Open Mic Night on Saturday, July 22nd! Once again the venue is the fabulous Rattle Inn, at 610 Nueces St. in Austin, at the corner of West 6th Street and Nueces. We’ll have sign-up from 6:00 until 6:30pm, with performances running from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Even if you’d rather not play, come out for a cool beverage (they have a great drink menu), good company, and a wonderful show! No cover, plenty of cold A/C, and you are welcome to bring in food from the adjacent food trucks or nearby restaurants. Don’t miss it!!

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!

June 8, 2017: Summer Breeze!

Summer BreezeSince summer weather and activities are fully underway in Austin, our June 2017 meeting had a summery theme. Nearly 150 ukulele players from all around Central Texas and beyond gathered to make ukulele music together. The evening began with introductions and local ukulele news, as well as a reminder that our July meeting will be on the first, instead of the second, Thursday of the month – July 6th. We then warmed up our hands and voices by playing Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.” To help us get ready to learn our summery tune, Bob gave us a great performance of his arrangement of Seals and Crofts’ “Summer Breeze.” Bob then took the group through exercises to help learn the song’s melody, transitions, and lyrics. We even fit in some nice harmonizing as well as picking/strumming, during the choruses. Afterward, we put the song together and practiced it a few times through, getting better and more confident each time. Check out our skills by the end of the meeting:

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for “Summer Breeze” 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 from our practice to enjoy excellent performances by open mic participants – it was truly a pleasure to hear Marie, Mark, Sophia and Sam, Walter, and Sho do a great variety of familiar songs with creative arrangements.

        

We look forward to the chance to strum and sing with many of you again, in just four short weeks, on Thursday, July 6th! πŸ™‚

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!

May 11, 2017: Radioactive!

RadioactiveOn a muggy Austin night, despite thunderstorms and hail warnings, over 120 strummers and singers from all over the Austin area (and visiting from as far as California!) joined us for a fantastic May meeting! We kicked off with some local ukulele news, including sharing a great article about the Austin Ukulele Society in Texas Music magazine’s Spring 2017 issue (written by AUS member Richard Walters). We then paid tribute to the late, great Bob Marley (on the 36th anniversary of his untimely passing) by opening our meeting with a cheery cover of “Three Little Birds.” After that, Bob introduced our song of the month – Imagine Dragons’ 2012 mega-hit “Radioactive” – by playing it for us and taking us through some chord progression exercises and harmonizing options. Bob’s exercises helped us sound really great right from the start, and we got better each time we practiced it. Check it out:

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for “Radioactive” 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 the Open Mic portion of the evening, we were treated to a great variety of talented performers doing covers and originals in both duets and solos, by Sho H and Shin, John, Alicia, Jack Pott, and Bob and Cindy.

        

We’re looking forward to seeing you at our next monthly meeting on Thursday, June 8th! πŸ™‚

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!

April 13, 2017: I Heard It Through the Grapevine!

Marvin GayeOn a warm central-Texas April evening, over 140 Austin Ukulele Society members gathered once again to make beautiful music together. The meeting started off with introductions and some local ukulele music show updates, and the group enjoyed warming up with β€œThree Little Birds.” We then learned to sing and strum the Motown classic, “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.” It’s been recorded by many great artists over the years (including The Miracles, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and a bunch of animated raisins from California), but it’s best known by far for Marvin Gaye’s moving and soulful 1968 version.

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” 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 some great songs by our fantastic open mic participants – big thanks to Walter, Kit, Shin, Cranius, and Cindy for sharing their talent with us.

                

We’re looking forward to seeing you at our next monthly meeting on Thursday, May 11th! πŸ™‚

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!

March 9, 2017: I’m Yours!

On a stormy March evening, a cheerful group of over 100 Austin Ukulele Society members gathered to make music together. The meeting started off with introductions and some local ukulele music show updates, and the group enjoyed warming up with “Three Little Birds.” Bob then performed Jason Mraz’s 2007 (ukulele featured!) mega-hit tune “I’m Yours” for us, to give us a preview of the arrangement we’d all soon be playing. Afterward, we went through some practice drills and worked out harmonies on the last chorus. We then put it all together, played it through, and recorded a video to keep our YouTube stardom going! πŸ™‚

We’re dedicating our performance to Jill and Sam of Telluride, CO. Jill plays in a ukulele band in Telluride called the Ukuladies and she and Sam are engaged to be married in July! Best wishes to you!

To play along with us, you can download the lyrics and chords for “I’m Yours” or download a copy of the presentation (what we project on the screen for all to follow along, including exercises and drills).

     

The open mic participants – Vince, Richard W., Richard H., John. and Cindy – were absolutely wonderful and shared great covers and originals with us.

                    

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at our next monthly meeting on Thursday, April 13! πŸ™‚

     

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!