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:
"I woke this morning with a dead arm, tingling fingers in my strumming hand and a croaky throat – sure signs that Ukulele Bedford had been spinning its own special magic last night. There were at least 27 of us, playing mainly from Pete’s list from the Bumper Book and the new BrungStrum 5 NOP songs.
From the Bumper Book, Build me up Buttercup went better than usual, despite the inevitable hiccough in the middle with the single strums. I knew we made a hash of it somewhere but couldn’t remember before we started just which turn in the road had the block in front of it.
With Martins’ help, we built up the volume in the bridges and reduced it in the verses of El Condor Pasa to make the whole thing more dynamic and interesting. Extending vowels so that words elided into one another also maintained the flow. In combination, that has markedly improved that song for us.
We only remembered that we were going to bring a pause or two into Friday I’m in love after the event – perhaps next time. Remember, everyone, remember.
For the new songs, the only one that didn’t work at all was No hopers, jokers and rogues, which surprised me as I had found it easy to play and almost hypnotic to sing. It’s a mystery why some songs just don’t cut it. I have heard other groups do that song with those chords in that key successfully, so the song isn't at fault; it's just the fit with our group. As I say, a mystery, but not one to lose sleep over, especially as most of the other new songs went well
. In particular, I think One day like this could become a standard, even though we have quite a bit of work to do on it in due course. The potential for harmonies and audience participation is high. I am sure we’ll also hear both Old red eyes is back and Psycho killer again.
Next week, we’ll be playing Pete’s songs from Souvenir 1 and Trevor’s from the early part of BrungStrum 5, both as listed in last week’s email (or on Facebook if you have deleted it), along with both of the Rs and some of the Ss from BrungStrum 5. We won't get all the way through those as that would make 17 new songs in a week when we comfortably manage about six, but have a listen up to Sorrow at least and then keep the rest up your sleeve for the following week.
If you were expecting Open Mic next week in its supposedly newly regular second Wednesday of the month slot, you’ll have an extra week to rehearse as we’ll run that from 7pm on 15th May. As usual, any contributions, from solo self-penned ballads to ensemble thrash versions of 1950s classics are welcome, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
There is a good selection of songs for next week even before any extra suggestions from the floor, so come and enjoy that first.
Strum well, strum often."
Regular meeting: Every Wednesday at: The Kings Arms (24 St Mary’s Street, Bedford MK42 OAS)
7.30pm - 10pm.
All very welcome.