Hi all, the weeks keep rolling by and I swear rather than slowing down things seem to speed up. It's perhaps that we have replaced our previous routines for another set requiring social distancing and intensive use of social media. Now all those things we had an excuse for putting off are being done like DIY and decluttering.
(Just a reminder of what we used to look like with haircuts!)
hugukuleletv123, the live streaming has now become something that has a structure and is part of our lives, well for those who want it or can that is. As we become more comfortable with its advantages and disadvantages it is right that we use it to highlight new skills or even just remind ourselves of things we had learned but have perhaps neglected as well as playing our favourite songs.
New songs are always a good way to learn. Even though on the Road again is not a new song as such it allowed us to dip our toe in the water of learning again. It will be interesting to play this and other songs live again.
Keeping the learning going we will again play On The Road Again but this time we will play it in G. You will find the version in G in our music area on the website, please have this ready for Friday.
This will allow us to extend the learning because there are less familiar chords like B7, you will see there are two ways of playing B7. Try to learn the B7 with what is known as a Barre, thats the one with all the 1s at the 2nd fret. Why? well, becoming familiar with using a barre opens up to playing what are known as closed chords, i.e. chords that don't have any open strings.
Playing this song in G also helps to play different versions of a song in key and format rather than just playing them one way.
thewus.co.uk, our website is a real asset for us as it allows us to share information and, importantly for new people, allows them the ability easily to see what we are about and to access and use all our song material.
I have been doing some work on the site recently. You will start to see some dropdown submenus in some of the categories. For instance, click on Gallery and a submenu will appear called HUG 1st BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION. I have put images from our first Birthday here as a permanent record of the event.
Also, the Music Menu has a drop down submenu for Christmas Songs (there I've gone and used the Dreaded!) I will use this area for guess what?
Other U3a, I have been informed that word of our streaming is spreading and maybe that members of Chester U3a might like to join us in our Friday strumalongs. I have provided details for them on how to join Twitch and our channel. I have also extended a warm welcome to them from us all, the more the merrier in my view. It will be nice to extend our friendship with another ukulele group especially for when we can meet up.
Song writing, just a reminder that I have challenged you to write a song, either new words to a familiar song or a completely new song. I realise this can appear very daunting and first instinct is to say not for me, BUT try not to dismiss it out of hand, its actually not as hard as it seems if you just keep it simple. here are some basics:-
write from personal experience
use basic chords (magic chords, something on this later)
use the internet to find rhyming words
decide whether to rhyme pairs of lines or every other line.
I have often referred to the 4 magic chords, they are C, Am, F, G (or G7)
(In the key of C)
They are called the magic chords because they are the secret to many many songs. They have a familiar comfortable feeling to them so the listener already feels at home listening to them, they can be played in any order.
To illustrate this have a listen to this fun group performing loads of familiar songs using just these 4 chords! Do a search in Google or whatever you use for The Axis of Awesome on youtube.It is very funny but really makes the point about the 4 magic chords, see how many songs you identify! WARNING!!!! in some of the videos of them performing there is some choice language, sorry in advance, so don't watch if you might be offended.
So far 2 people have sent in songs so well done to them. They are very good. I will hold them back for the time being as I have given you until the end of June. remember you can collaborate. If you want any further help or advice let me know.
Learning Basic Blues, sadly, I received only one expression of interest to dip a toe into very basically learning to play the Blues.
Continued membership of HUG, last time I asked if there were people who no longer wished to receive correspondence from us. I did not receive any emails asking to be removed from our mailing list and so will continue to send information to the 50 people who are signed up. When we are closer to a date for resuming actual meetings I will ask again but will ask people to opt in this time. I will need to have a defined number of participants because it is likely there will for some time, be rules around distancing and we will have to ensure we can enforce them indoors. There will be insurance implications for us to take account of.
On the subject of meeting as a group, it is likely we will be able to meet in some way outdoors before meeting indoors. It is unlikely at the moment that we will meet indoors at Heswall Hall before September. Our thoughts therefore need to turn to venues that we could meet up and play outdoors if and when it is allowed. We will be guided as always by Claud as to what we can and cannot do.
Keep safe stay alert!
See you on line on Friday