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HUG NEWS 76 20th Jan 21

It was an interesting experiment to not publicise last weeks Blog and see if anyone did actually read it. After an initial slow start it has been read by 30 people as at Tuesday. So thank you to those who are reading. As with all we do there are different levels of buy in to HUG and that's ok. I feel comfortable now that those reading are doing so because they want to rather than because I am asking people to.

As always, the Blog will be the first source for new stuff that is on its way or we will trial. So you will be first to know.

Hugukuleletv123, we just about completed going through the Alpha list of our songs that we have available last Friday, I hope you enjoyed doing that. It served two purposes, firstly to save me the trouble of lining up songs and secondly, ensured that we did actually play all available songs over a three week period.

New method, I was able to try out the adaptations Kate made for me to the stream software.

This means I will become less and less reliant upon Youtube for streaming videos. It gives me control over stopping and starting videos by simply changing to a different camera. In simple terms, when I am on camera the music stops. The videos are now cached in another file and are accessed from there.

Selecting songs, the downside is that it is possible to play songs randomly but it would be truly random and so I would not know which song is going to play and would not be able to line up the songsheet!

So I am going to have one of you curate a song list each week that I will then put together ready for Friday. It will be from someone who attends the Hug Social.

Audio Tracks, we still have the original Audio only songs that we used to use. I want to start using some of these again, not all but certainly a few. Slight problem is I have to convert them for us to use so it will only be a limited few.

On this theme it would be great for those who produced the Audio tracks to now re do the songs in video form. I will put a list of these songs in next weeks Blog for the original contributors to consider redoing their song.

HUG SOCIAL, now that we are well and truly in to the New Year, it is good to start slowly introducing new to us songs. Building upon Return To Sender that we learned last week this week we covered All shook Up!. Its a fun and fast song. Definitely easy chords so not too stretching at the moment. The new to us songs will always be premiered on a Tuesday and once we have used the learning format they will be added to our song list with the chords and lyrics put in a more user friendly format ready for streaming. Thanks go to Geoff and Sheila for producing the videos. I ask them to faithfully record them in the format that we need to learn to play them, so thanks go to them for their disciplne.

Open Mike and Original Songs, I am receiving a few Open Mike songs which is great, thanks to those who have made a contribution. I will be holding them back so that we can have a special feature session. It will be a Tuesday Night HUG SOCIAL special event so as to make a feature of them.

I have only 2 Original songs (3 with one of my own). I know it is a big ask but if you are intending to submit an Original Song then let me know and I will ensure we schedule an event to feature them. Rough sort of timescale would be to feature Original songs mid to late February.

Blues Course, the second part of the course is now underway. We will now use the basics we learned in part one to learn more individual techniques such as playing lead parts and riffing over a Blues backing. I think this is the fun part and is immensely rewarding as you combine with others. We lost one person off the course sadly but I am pleased most are sticking with me.

I am going to offer the Blues Course again from late February but with a few tweeks now that I have learned so much from the first one. I will be asking if people are interested and will draw names from a hat if there are more than I can handle. The major tweek will be limiting it to no more than 4 people. Assuming of course that there is the interest. As before, it is a requirement that people undertaking the course have competence in playing Chords and a variety of strumming patterns. Another thing that has become apparent is that it is important to strum using finger/s rather than a plectrum. To be honest it is best to play the Ukulele this way and is a good thing to practice doing.

Third Age Matters, after being invited to submit an article to the National U3a on what we have been doing with our streams I have been contacted by the Communications Team at U3a and they are going to share our story in the National Newsletter. The full article I wrote will be in the U3a Blog, Sources.

They are really keen to share stories of u3a members using technology. They wanted photos of people shown playing in front of the computer/on the live stream. I have sent the ones I have. So please do ensure you receive the National Newsletter and can access the u3a Blog ( the green underscored address will take you there.

Further development, the ongoing development by Kate of controlling videos will continue. She is writing software that will enable us to copy down videos from Youtube so as to build up our own database of songs. Kate is also developing her own company software that she designed and sells so as to enable us to make use of it. This will give me voice activated control of our material so that videos will start and stop on my voice command rather than having to key press or move the mouse. This is a definite first!

So this week a bit heavy on text and light on photos, sorry!

I have been taking a deliberate route of addressing my work life balance so there may be delays with me doing things. I realised I probably came close to burn out with the build up to Christmas. Just easing back a bit.

Here's hoping that we do reap the rewards of the vaccine roll out in the near future. Stay safe and thank you for your support.


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