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HUG NEWS 24 11th Feb 20

Hope everyone is ok following the stormy weather. We appear to have got off lightly (so far!) on Wirral compared to other parts of the Country.

Melody Riffs It was great to see us throw ourselves into learning melody Riffs and starting to get to grips with Tab (even though it was a bit of challenge!

As I said this is an area that very few ukulele groups venture in to. Probably because it is quite hard to get to grips with but the rewards are high when songs feature melody Riffs.

The degree of learning going on should not be underestimated so a big thank you to all of you for giving it a go. Especially those relatively new to the ukulele. I believe each of us should have the opportunity to learn new skills if we want to but don't feel under any pressure to do so if you are not yet ready to play riffs or simply don't want to. Just remember some songs benefit from a combination of Strums and Riffs so each of us has a role to play.

Learning to play Riffs is very much the same process you went through when first learning to play, it was hard to get to grips with but gradually became easier. It's a skill so the only way is through practice, practice and yet more practice. Perhaps the biggest thing to master is that you are now having to be accurate with hitting and playing single or double strings whilst not hitting other strings. Exercises that help you get accurate on playing single strings are very helpful. Such as playing scales. I will demo such an exercise and post it in our members section in the website in the next few days.

Hopefully you have given I'm The urban spaceman Riff some practice. we will return to this on Friday along with Margaretaville and let It Be. Learning Riffs will broaden your playing and understanding of where notes are on the ukulele and moving around the fretboard. It is rewarding but will take time to master to a level you feel confident with. It's ironic that what you can do in the comfort of your own home suddenly deserts you within a group environment, it's just the way it is!

U3a Membership Renewal it is time to think about membership renewal from March. I do hope that you will want to renew your membership of Heswall U3a. It has so much to offer. As just one of many interest groups within the U3a the Ukulele Group has been a success but your continued attendance in the group requires you to continue to be a member of Heswall U3a.

U3a Meeting for new members. In case you have not seen it, there is a coffee morning on the 20th February at Heswall Hall at 10.00am. The meeting is aimed at new members of the U3a explains all the activities available and how to get the most from your membership and what is on offer. I will be attending.

Open Mike session, following on from our successful launch of this feature, it is time to plan for our next one on the last Friday in February. I am keen to encourage people who have not performed to put themselves forward. Priority will be given to first timers. Open to individuals or small groups performing a song that we don't currently have in our music. Any instrument is fine, doesn't have to be ukulele. It will be no more than a 15 to 20 minute in total (not each person!) feature and you can be assured of the love and support of us all, go on give it a go. I will put a sheet out for people to register interest on Friday.

New Songs, We have been using new songs to learn new techniques. I would like to aim for one new song each Month. We can feature the new song at the beginning of the month and then work on it the following weeks to build up our competence with the song. That format seems to work for us. I have added a fun version of The Galway Girl arranged for Ukuleles, to our website in readiness for March. You will find the PDF for it in our music section as well as a video of a ukulele group playing it, we will use this as the template for us. You will find that I will be adding songs to the website on a regular basis and wherever possible posting a video for you to practice playing along to. If you want to have a cheeky go at any of them before we get round to them then just have a go.

In our request session it will be good to also feature the newer songs we have been working on so far as well as our favourites. this will help to embed them into our playing.

We also have some songs in the music list that probably would be easier for us to learn so we can have some "quick wins" as well.

Hope to see as many of you as possible on Friday, cheers


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