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. On occasion, we 'play out' for charity events. 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:
"According to Tuesday’s blog on the ever-splendid UkuleleHunt website, “It turns out every love song ever written is a steaming pile of garbage.” Perhaps that’s little harsh, but for an emotion that’s supposedly full of joy and all-consuming passion, the peak of human feeling, it has certainly inspired some real dirges from songwriters across the ages. But never mind. The 18 of us present last night – depleted, presumably, because of the foul weather, half term and the need to visit a romantic petrol station to buy chocolate and roses – fought our way through over 20 of the 24 songs in our various books with the word “love” in the title. We left out a couple of prehistoric ones that none of us could remember, including, with just a hint of irony, I Love a Ukulele. Themed nights are always a mixed bag, and we certainly found some good stuff in ours along with the romantic tosh, and we did get through a lot of music last night.
We also found time for a late Cranberries tribute with Zombie and both Love me Tender and Unchained Melody, neither of which were in any of our books, perhaps surprisingly.
Beyond that, we are getting to grips with Road Runner. The stops and starts need to be really crisp to make it work for performing out, but the Am->E->Am change is better after practice. Rockabye is teetering on the edge of singability for us, but I don’t think it’s time to reject it yet.
Next week it’s a general open request night. We’ll play anything you want from any book, from the Boat Book to Spookelele, so make sure you have everything from the website on your chosen device. We’ll go through one or two more of the less-played BrungStrum 4 songs in a bit more detail as well.
I suspect we won’t necessarily go as far as UkuleleHunt, which this morning lists all its anti-Valentine’s songs (at least three of which are in our books) to console the lovelorn and the hungover, but we aren’t continuing this week’s theme. So, think energy, think volume, think power . . . and now think of some tunes and have them in mind for next week.
If you can’t find anything you want to sing in the current books, perhaps you should be gearing up for our next open mic session in two weeks’ time, when you won’t be restricted to any of the 800 or so songs that we already have in the bag. Anything goes, so get your songwriting boots on or dust down your favourite ukulele hip-hopera ditty and share it with the rest of us.
Until next week, strum well"
Regular meeting: Every Wednesday at: The Kings Arms (24 St Mary’s Street, Bedford MK42 OAS)
7.30pm - 10pm.
All very welcome.