Hi to all, Just a quick reminder, we will warm up on Friday playing Singalong Medley 2.

We can then mix in some of our newer songs that we have been working on or have added to our song list with our favourites. As always, you are welcome to come up and sing any of the songs. Remember, our aim is to develop our selves as much as we can or indeed wish to, this includes our singing. We have great singers so just give it a go.

Our newer songs for us to continue working on are:- Ripple,( Instrumental intro, with us al La La Laing over it to the verse tune), Four Strong Winds, When I'm Dead and Gone, Jackson (mainly ensuring Ladies and mens singing parts are clear).

Developing our playing: I want to just focus us on 5 ESSENTIALS that I believe can help to develop our playing.

1. STRUMMING HAND- If our wrist is stiff this can result in us strumming from the elbow rather than from the wrist as it should be. Shaking our wrists before playing for say 30 seconds will help loosen them up. WARNING! DON'T DO THIS EXERCISE IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS WITH YOUR HANDS. This exercise will free up your hands of tension.

When we strum Ukulele we need to strum quite quickly so the smaller the strum is the faster we can be. Aim for your strum never to go beyond the body of your ukulele, ideally just more than the size of the sound hole.

2. LAZY FINGERS- Play with the tips of your fingers when making chords, not the pads of your fingers as this results in your finger laying across another adjacent string and we don't want that. Ideally, the first joints of your fingers should be bent in as much as possible so that you can play with the tips of your fingers. This way you will avoid a finger touching a string it shouldn't. Check your fingers are only touching the strings they should by slowly playing each string one after the other whilst making a chord. If a string doesn't sound right as you play each string of a chord then adjust your fingers until all the strings ring out nicely.

3. BAD POSTURE- Sit as upright as you can so that the ukulele is in line with your body as much as possible. The ukulele will be roughly at about 45 degrees pointing upwards so that your wrist is not under strain.

4. KNOWING SOME MUSICAL ESSENTIALS- Knowing basic timing like 4/4, 3/4, also,

1/4 notes, 8th notes, 16th notes, rests. We will spend a little time on this as it is best experienced.

5. DAILY PRACTICE- 10 minutes practice almost every day is better than one session of say 60 minutes per week. I realise we are all busy and have other interests but just committing to 10 minutes very focussed practice per day or as many days as we can will pay dividends. By focussed I mean setting yourself a specific thing to learn or practice rather than just doing what you are already able to do.

BUSY WEEKEND- This Bank Holiday weekend some of us are playing in various different Ukulele Groups at different events on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. If you are involved I am sure we will have a great time. If you have not yet experience the joy of playing live then I would encourage you to. HUG are very close now to playing live and this is something I am keen to do to share your talents with others. as always though if playing live is not for you then no problem.

See you all Friday


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