Welcome to Ukulele Bedford
We are a community ukulele group based (oddly enough!) around the Bedford area. We meet weekly at The Kings Arms (24 St Mary’s Street, Bedford MK42 OAS) on Wednesdays at 7.30pm, and 'play out' quite regularly. We are always delighted to see new members - so come along one evening and give it a try!
Always wanted to play an instrument? Try the ukulele! We welcome anyone, with any level of experience or expertise.
Just learning? Come on in. Been playing for years? Welcome - we'd love to benefit from your talents.
All you need is enthusiasm - we can even lend you a ukulele for the evening!
The short answer to that is "Anything the members of the group want to!". From 1930's tin-pan alley to jazz standards. From 60's novelty pop to 90's rock to last year's hits. Admittedly, when we try them we find that some things work better than others on massed ukuleles - but just trying to play the seemingly unsuitable can be great fun. And sometimes surprisingly successful.
Members old and new are always encouraged to select songs they'd like to try playing.
From the last meeting:
"We were certainly a slimmed-down crew for last night’s session, even if most of us couldn’t pass as beach ready, but we made a decent noise for 15 or so people. Read on for some good news about our latest songbook.
We started last night with open mic, in which we had a new taker in Jo, who joined us barely a year ago with hardly a chord to her name. To go from newbie to open micer in a year is impressive and I am sure it won’t be the last time we hear from her. Other open mic slots were taken by Rex, Ian and Jon at least and all performed well to a warm (ok, a hot) audience.
For the main session, I was handed little bits of paper with suggestions from several sources, but I confess that I am not sure who contributed to the heap. We had plenty to keep us going with a fair smattering from the Gig Book and BrungStrums 2 and 5.
Our three songs for the Pirate Day on 28th September look to be Sea of Heartbreak, Jammin’ and Pirates, Tramps and Thieves, all of which we performed last night. Jammin’ needs a little finessing towards the end so we ought to practise those bits specifically rather than just the whole song, and we’ll get Pirates Tramps etc round soon. You’ll know the music and most of the words already, but we’ll need time to get familiar with the piratical changes.
Next week, we’ll do the same sort of thing. Give us a playlist beforehand or a few song suggestions on a scrap of paper and we’ll mould them into a perfect evening’s entertainment, or close to it.
Now the good news. BrungStrum5.3 is ready. Over the past few months, with BrungStrum5, David has been faithfully recording all the errors, omissions and suggestions that we have come up with, knocking them into shape and amending the book. This has gone through various iterations until we now have one ready to share with you all. Look through it, play it, enjoy it. It’s your music, after all.
But before you get too far, delete all your previous versions of BrungStrum5. Most of you will have BrungStrum5.0.pdf on your chosen device. Kill it. BrungStrum5.3 is the new kid in town, sweeping away all before it.
Unlike with our versions of the Gig Book that multiplied for various reasons (beer and cider festivals with bespoke additions, two or three versions of the main 2018 gig book and the Esquires set list at least) BrungStrum5.3 supersedes all previous versions. It will be the only one available on the website as well, so I don’t want to hear “which version is this in . . .” Obviously, most of BrungStrum5.3 will be similar to its predecessors, but the page numbers will be different, a few extra tribute and open mic songs will have crept in and, we hope, the chords will be just that bit crisper. If we find more errors, we’ll introduce BS5.4, but that’s not likely to be for another six months or more.
Jon and I put in most of the heavy lifting to create BrungStrum 5.0 (but note that was heavy lifting of your songs, so we couldn’t have done it without you), but we all owe David huge thanks for taking on the extra work of editing the new version. I think for BrungStrum5.3, all the rest of us did was provide the straws that didn’t quite break David’s back. Good camel!
I look forward to seeing you all and playing at least some songs from BrungStrum5.3 next week.