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June 16th practice at the Coffee Connection

Thanks Warren and Caroline for hosting the practice today. Hope Warren gets better very soon!
For those who didn't make it today, we ran through the set a couple of times, and used a couple of amps and some pick ups to hear ourselves amplified. I know we have several players who have some way to amplify their ukuleles. I also have 2 microphones that clamp to the sound hole, which Caroline and Howard tested today with great success. I know Jeff and Delia and Lori have pickups on their ukes. So I assume that MJ, Warren and Daffodil don't have any way to amp their ukes yet. It would be nice to get this figured out before the Stumble so we can test it out. 
As far as I know, there are 3 ways to amplify:
1. Have a pick-up installed in your uke.
2. Use a contact mic that either clips onto the sound hole, or is attached on the soundboard with putty (Delia has one of these).
3. A microphone on a mic stand directed at the uke. Jeff spotted this one on Amazon. 
Like I mentioned, I have two mics that fit description #2 (Caroline and Howard are welcome to borrow them). I also have an extra concert sized Teton solid body electric uke that someone can borrow. I will bring this stuff on Tuesday night at the Coffee Connection Meeting for you all to look at and consider.
Not sure how the vocal mics should be done. Should we go for mics on stands, or some sort of headset mic? I think the singers should think about that part.
On Tuesday, we will spend the first half of the meeting working on the top voted instrumentals we chose from the poll: The Entertainer, Aloha Quickstep, and Tears in Heaven. Make sure you bring your music for those songs. The second half of the meeting will be another run through on the Parade play list. I will try and get there early to open up the room so we can set up the sound equipment and maximize our playing time.

Preparation for July 4th Parade


We had a good meeting last Tuesday, and have made up a playlist for the upcoming parade. Since we will be on a float, it would be best if we memorized the music so we could make eye contact with the audience. We have included a couple of our signature instrumentals to maintain our identity as more than just a sing and strum group. So we added Eleanor Rigby and Tijuana Taxi to the mix, and have decided to add instrumental solos to all the singing songs. Those of you that want to solo, here is your chance to shine. It would be nice to have harmony singing on This Land is your Land. If you see any good examples of effective harmony for that song, it might be nice to try out a couple of different approaches, and see which one works best for us.

New Songs are in the download folder marked Finalists in the 2015 July 4th Parade folder.

The Playlist to concentrate on:

Eleanor Rigby (instrumental)

Tijuana Taxi (instrumental)

Hound Dog (Elvis version)

Twist and Shout (Beatles version)

This Land is Your Land in C (with vocal harmony)

Born to be Wild (we have transposed from the original Em to Dm)

Here is the link to the event:




Great Fun at the First Santa Monica Ukulele Festival

Well, the first Santa Monica Ukulele Festival was great fun. Too bad it was on the same day as the Los Angeles Ukulele Expo downtown. I am sure it diluted and confused the local uke population. The evening concert at SOMOHi was a bargin at $15, and it benefited the Santa Monica High School music department. The high school orchestra was 80 pieces, and the young choral singers were all very good. Great to hear the ukulele performers, sometimes playing solo, other times, duets, and then sometimes with full orchestra. Quite a range, to be sure. Next year, I hope more people are aware of the festival. We had great fun playing in the ampitheater. Next time, we need more time for sound check. There were some songs where the balance was way off. Hard to know how to have more control in that area, but we should talk about it at the next meeting. As always, it was just as much fun reheasing for the event as the event itself. Thanks to all ... Jeff (who arranged our particiaption), Warren and Caroline (who hosted rehearsals), Howard, MJ, Delia, Jessica, Daffodil, and Amy.

Advance player to about 5 minutes for the start of our set.



Next Meeting Feb 3rd

OK, our next meeting is coming up, and we might as well plan what we want to play. It has been suggested that the first 2 or 3 warm up songs be singing/ strum songs. So, for those of you who have a hankering for a song or so in that category, make your preferences known, so we can come prepared. 

We should start plannig on what to play for the next YMCA showcase as well. Last time we decided that 2 instrumentals and one sing-a-long was a good combination. If we can choose the sing-a-long song, I can let Lidia know and she can spread the music to the other musicans in the show. I haven't heard the date yet, but it should be in March, on one of the Saturdays. Let's nominate 5 songs to consider, and keep the best 3. The sing-a-longs should be in a key we can comforably sing in, and not have too many fancy chords. We want it to be a guitar friendly experience. Maybe check out songs from Daily Ukulele vols 1 and 2.

So email me, or comment on the blog here with your suggestions.



McCabe's Holiday Show 2014 Video

McCabe's Ukulele Ensemble, Christmas 2014 from Marijane Miller on Vimeo.

Thanks to everybody for another great show!