I used to have a yoga teacher that ending every session with that phrase "Be Thankfull for your many blessings in life. It made aware of how good my life is every time she said it so, be thankful for your family, friends, your music, your health…………..your many blessings, whatever they are.
We started out by reviewing the C scale, up and back, and finished by playing the descending C scale which, given the right rhythm, is the first phrase of Joy to the World. Try it at home. Pick out all of the notes in Joy to the World. You will only need notes in the C scale and you never go below the C string or above the high C.
We reviewed the notes in the C and G major chords (the 1,3 and 5 of the C scale). The discussion also included the closed shapes for the chords. The diagrams with the closed shapes is on the resource page, for those who are ready to move beyond the first postion chords.. If you are still working on your first position chords, stick with that and use the exercises on page 45 to practice making the change from C to G.
We practiced playing triplets in exercise 2 on page 42 with Row, Row, Row your boat (a group of 3 notes of equal length played in the time of two).
We played on-beat and off-beat chords with Three Blind Mice on page 43
We then play our first song in 6/8 time - Fais Dodo. (6, 8th notes to the measure) including how to strum in 6/8 time. We will get a chance to play this song again next week.
Next we moved on to practice Shortnin' Bread (pg 46) and I passed out a couple of variations to this song (on resource page)
For fun we sight read (very well, I must say) a couple of Thanksgiving Songs (on the resource page).
For Next Week Practice El Tortillero (slow version on resource page). Remember that the rhythm is the most challenging thing about this piece. Start by listening to the recording, then work on measures 24-26 until you know the notes and how they should sound (timing). Then work from the top. Note that this is 3/4 time. We will also play Fais Dodo in the key of F (pg 48).
I am thankful that you all chose to take my class and so I got to meet you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
From my point of view, I noticed big improvement this week, It seems like you are beginning to get more comfortable reading the notes and playing together. Bravo! Even if you still can't keep up in class, that's OK. You may observe your own improvement at home. For some people it takes a long time to get comfortable enough with the notes to play them in class.
Up on the Housetop will give you an opportunity to practice something enough to feel confident. Just practice the heck out of it, until you can't miss a note. I know that is a bit boring, but that's the way to get there.
Uke II Parts for Up on the Housetop:
Bruce, Kathy, Cathy, Glena (afternoon class)
Marcy, Bill, Carolyn, Roger and Ray (evening class)
Everyone else plays Uke I
Remember to practice the chords as well, which we will play while we sing.
Next week is Thanksgiviing and if it works better for you (because of family in town, etc.) please feel free to attend the other class. Afternoon class is at 2:30, evening class is at 7:00.
For next week, please practice: exercises and songs on page 42-43, G chord, Fais Do Do and Shortnin' bread. Slow versions of these songs are on The resource page.
We will save El Tortillero for the following week.
Also on the resource page you will find the 12 bar blues played with 2 closed shapes. This is a challenge exercise if you are comfortable with first position chords and ready to take it on. If you are still having trouble making the changes in first position, you can just ignore this exercise and continue practicing your C, F, and G Chords.
New Orleans was great… but it is always wonderful to be back home.
Very nice work on Au Claire de la lune and Long, Long Ago. And gold stars for all of you who tried playing uke I and and uke II at the same time on Au Claire de la lune and the variation of Long, Long Ago.
For next week, please practice:
In the Bleak Mid-winter
Auwe Ke Aloha E
slow versions of the on the resource page.
Also try working on your Bb chord at home
For the Christmas BUG Jam (Dec 5), we will play Up on the Housetop. I am working on writing out a harmony part for that so we may have one additional part next week. I will bring the music to class.
BOOK 2 class - will begin Feb 9, 2015 and will be a 12 week session. The cost will be the same - $150.00 plus materials ($25.00). There is a good possibility that I will need to combine the 2 Book 1 classes. It really depends on how many people sign up. If so, the class will still be on Tuesday but we will find a time that will work for the majority. Book 2 contains wonderful and interesting repertoire and works mostly on re-inforcing skills learned in book. It does get into a bit more music theory and I also supplement with more theory, chords and strumming.
Bellingham Ukulele Orchestra has some Holiday performances coming up. Click here for date and time.
Remember the BUG mini-fest this coming Saturday. Click Here for details.
Gail MacDonald is a