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MEMBER'S COMMENTS MARCH 2014
 

Andy Stanton
04/03/2014



Hello everyone,
If you go to 'chord charts' you will find that each chord diagram has a link which will (if you are logged on) take you to the chord editing feature.

You can now amend any chords you feel might be improved.
PS. I won't be there tomorrow. I have business in Birmingham.
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Tony Dawes
04/03/2014



Hi Andy, is there any reason why the fret markings on the chord charts and play list have been dispensed with on the newer additions?
Talk soon
Tony

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Andy Stanton
04/03/2014



Well spotted that man!  Yes, the architecture of the hyperlinks are now radically different.  I could re-introduce the marks but it would raise the whole thing to another level of complexity.  However, if people do think it's important then I'll have a crack at it.  
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JeffT
04/03/2014



Too observant, I didn't notice any change. (I am only worried about the 'chord diagrams' for the more unusual chords).  
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Tony Dawes
04/03/2014



I am very worried about going anywhere near HYPERLINKS in case I land up somewhere in the outer universe! All I need to know is which button to press.
Tony

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Andy Stanton
04/03/2014



Have no fear! Almost all the hyperlinks on this site are internal (they point to other parts of this site).  The only ones that link to external sites are all on the links page.
Even the YouTube clips are contained within a frame on a page within the site.

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Andy Stanton
12/03/2014



It was bound to happen sooner or later.  House of The Rising Sun has just been added to the play list.

By the way.  Could those who have been experiencing difficulties with their printers give it another go.  I've forced a page width and I'm hoping that will over ride anything your printers are doing to reduce the width of the printout.
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JeffT
12/03/2014



Just looked at House of The Rising Sun, it has an E :( , I suppose I will have to learn to play it at some point.
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Tony Dawes
14/03/2014



Thanks Andy that works a treat.
Tony

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Andy Stanton
14/03/2014



On the whole it was o.k. yesterday.  My honest view is that as a group we have come a very long way in the last year.  However, we have still have some way to go.  There are certain dos and don'ts we still have to get to grip with.  The first don't is we don't ever apologise for a performance no matter how bad it is.  Believe me, it's the ukulele we're playing.  If you start apologising for the quality of your performance, you'll never finish apologising. Just smile (eyes and teeth, eyes and teeth) and barefaced cheek will see you through this.

Blues skies was a bridge too far, and not surprising really as I don't think we ever reached agreement over the rhythm.  I also struggle because the chorus is just out of my vocal range.

Anyway, there was loose talk yesterday about strumming patterns. Please DON'T walk away with the notion that strumming patterns are in any way prescribed.  There isn't a set strumming pattern to any particularly tune which is why I a reluctant to start indicating as such on the song sheets.  There's a useful clip   which highlights this point. Any particular strumming pattern is about your interpretation of the song.

I notice in one or two songs, particularly Listen to Rhythm Of The Falling Rain, there were a number of different strumming patterns happily co-existing.  I for one was only strumming on the off beat (nice and leisurely, I would recommend it).

The upshot is that you need to work on your own strumming patterns, play along with things, experiment, work out what works for you.  

Finally DO enjoy your practicing.  We are making progress.Click to ENLARGE video clip

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Robin Hardy
14/03/2014



Andy, Thanks for the work on the printing - it works fine for me.

Apologies . . . don't worry - it's not for the performance,  I' m so glad you don't think I should apologise for that!  . . .  for the "loose talk" afterwards.

Your comments on strumming patterns could be of use - if only I knew what the off beat was, I could join the laid-back section!

Cheers, Robin
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Andy Stanton
14/03/2014



Um pah Um pah Stick it up your Jum pah.

The 'Um' is the on beat. The 'pah' is the off beat!
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Christine Watson
14/03/2014



Hi Andy,
Thanks for the encouragement after yesterday.  I agree with your comments about the feeling and playing the uke and I wish I could play like some of the others ie David & Jeff etc.  I felt a little lost not being able to hear them because they bring us along.  Maybe something to be addressed in the future!  Had a great time anyway and hope to enjoy more in the future.
Christine
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JeffT
18/03/2014



I thank you Christine for your confidence in my ability but don't let enthusiasm and volume fool you into thinking that I have any talent or that I know what I am doing!!
Jeff
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Andy Stanton
19/03/2014



Jeff, that statement completely encapsulates the spirit of ukulele playing!
Thank you!
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JeffT
21/03/2014



Anybody up for a challenge? Try this  

and this  


I have had a go at the strumming bit(righ hand side) but not the picking yet!!Click to ENLARGE video clip

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Andy Stanton
21/03/2014



I've added five new songs from the list David was suggesting for the Troc gig.

Bring Me Sunshine - a Nice simple song we should be able to do well after a bit of practice.

For Me And My Gal - A little harder it has a snatched chord changes.  What I mean by that is there are two chord changes in as many notes several times throughout the song.

Have You Ever Been Lonely - A nice simple song if somewhat maudling.

In a Shanty In Old Shanty Town - This is a fiendishly complicated song (no less than 14 chords).  It also has a fairly unorthodox lyric structure. My advice is do not try this one for the Troc Gig. Here's two other clips of the same song:-






















Lili Marlene - A favourite of the Old Forces Sweetheart.  It's fairly straightforward to play, but I thought we were supposed to be a happy band.Click to ENLARGE video clip

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Andy Stanton
21/03/2014



Please note.
Bring me sunshine is in the key of F. I note that there is an earlier copy from other groups doing the rounds which is in Bb.
F is an altogether easier key for both chords and voices.
Please ensure that it is this one that you bring to the group.
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David Hall
22/03/2014



Thanks for the additions Andy,you are quite right about the "shanty" song,not even sure I meant to include that one as I do try to keep things very simple for myself. Anyhow a superb website and thanks again.
David H.
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Andy Stanton
25/03/2014



Relayed from David Hall's email:-

"Here are a few songs that I thought would go down well at the 'Troc'. Not in any order yet and there could be others. Please as always suggestions are very welcome:

Ainít she Sweet.
Amazing Grace.
Bye Bye Love.
Button up your Overcoat.
Cockney Medley.
Five Foot Two Medley.
Have you ever been Lonely.
Iím leaning on a Lamp Post.
Living Doll.
Lili Marlene.
Putting on the Agony.
Travelling Light.

See you on Wednesday
David."  


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Andy Stanton
25/03/2014



I'm sorry if I seem both repetitious and boring on this.  I am going to suggest that when planning set lists for gigs two criteria apply:-

1.  Do we know the song? (and by that I do not mean 'Have we a song sheet for it?')
2.  Are we confident with the song (i.e. 'Can we play it well?', rather than 'do we like it?')

I suggest this for a number of reasons.  If we know the songs then practice time is not taken up just familiarising ourselves with it, but Heaven forbid working out arrangements.  If we are confident with the songs we are far less likely to stumble not only during rehearsals but during the performance itself.

I wasn't around when this gig was announced so I'm still not sure of the date.  Can anybody help with that?

By all means let us practice these new songs now in readiness for future gigs, but why do we always set ourselves up for disappointment by adding new untried stuff to our set list?

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Robin Hardy
25/03/2014



Andy - my, you were up early this morning!

Your suggestions would certainly help me.

I delayed joining because I realised the group was preparing for the Christmas concert.

When I joined we were asked to perform - rain songs - which involved the group learning new songs.

After that I thought, "good, now I can find out which songs the group play for fun" - i.e. play because the group are reasonably comfortable playing them and enjoy them.  If I can learn them, then I'll feel I really am part of the group.

Then a request to play "old folk's songs"  - actually, although I like a lot of WW2 music, the only remaining member of that generation I know well in my family - an ?? year-old, loves a bit of rock and roll, a bit of jazz, any good song or a pop song to sing or dance to, though strangely not keen on rap and hip-hop (?).  In fact, she went to her first rock concert with us recently, and really enjoyed Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" recreated live by  two Australian musicians, and thought it was fantastic!

So I say, if the music's good, it's good.  If the group plays it well that's a lot better, and our enjoyment of it will undoubtedly improve the performance.

Besides, if those new to the group get chance to learn the favourite songs, they will feel "included" and even more at home in the group.

It would be a great help to me if there was a list - (although it remains to be seen if I can get through a whole song in one go!)
- could we produce a list of those songs, an A-list if you like, to which songs can then be added when the group is "Happy" with them?     (Dare I say, Andy, could this be done with a mark or section on the play list?)

It would be good to hear what others think.

Thanks for all your work on the web-site Andy, and your offer to help us novices.

All the best,  Robin
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Andy Stanton
25/03/2014



It's an interesting suggestion, and it's likely to be a controversial one as well.

It wouldn't take too long for me to generate a filter to gauge how confident people feel with songs on the playlist.  I suspect that there will be a wide range, always assuming that people are being honest with their judgements.

In my judgement of the 85 songs on the playlist I think we are competent with about half of them, we are good with about 20, and excellent on about 6.  We are still not word perfect on any of them, even the simplest.

I appreciate that my standards might be exacting, and that most people are in it just for the fun, which is good and fine, and I have no truck with that, unless of course it starts distorting the original intention of having fun, and people start to feel excluded because they can't keep up as we never have time to consolidate what we are doing.

Do people want me to incorporate some means of indicating members' confidence in playing songs on the set list?  It could be a one to five star rating.
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Andy Stanton
27/03/2014



FOLSOM PRISON BLUES

After yesterday's discussion about the length of the pause at the end of each verse of FPB I said I would put something in comments about it.

The pause is of four bars length (4/4 time) starting with the last word of the line (the 'tone' part of St Antone).  Count in your head 1 2 3 4,  2 2 3 4 , 3 2 3 4, 4 2 3 and then in with 'When'.  Practice this in front of a mirror until you get it right.

I'm including a piece of the sheet music (the nerds among you will note that it's in the key of F, please disregard that).


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Andy Stanton
30/03/2014



Hi everybody,

I've put together a survey form with which I hope we can work out precisely
1. the songs we are confident about and
2. the songs we like.

I'd invite everybody to take part.  The instructions are on top of the page, so best of luck.

Special request.  Please, please be honest with your statements.  The return itself is confidential, and believe me there is no way of looking at the data and assign who stated what.

To get to the survey just log on and then click on 'SURVEY' in the menu.  All the instructions you need are there.  If you run out of steam, just click on the PROCESS button, and then come back to the page later on.
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Andy Stanton
31/03/2014



I've now updated the playlist part of the website to incorporate the ratings of (a) confidence, and (b) popularity for the songs on the list.

So far the displayed results only reflect the views of the three people who have done the survey to date.

If you would like the picture to more accurately reflect the consensus of the group then, if you haven't done it already, please complete the survey.

Again to access the survey you have to log in, and then the link SURVEY appears on the menu.
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