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:
"Life at Ukulele Bedford Online is getting complicated, so this week’s mailing is having to serve a few purposes: an update on last Wednesday’s session, a request for you to add your song suggestions for this coming Wednesday to a Google Doc, and an invitation to this Wednesday’s brand new Open Mic Online session (doors open at 6:45pm for the performers’ sound check, with a 7pm start).
OK, so now that you know what’s coming – here’s the update from last Wednesday… At last Wednesday’s Ukulele Bedford Online session we had 23 April fools, including a few welcome faces that we haven’t seen for a while. We never name and shame folks for not joining us, but it was great to see Graham, Cath, Ron and Ronald again. Although similar in number to the previous week, we had quite a few people that were trying Zoom for the first time. It’s great that the technology is enabling us to continue playing virtually together until we’re able to play together again in reality at the Kings Arms.
Inspired by Graham and Cath’s return, we started us in the Gig Book (2018 Beer Festival Corrected) with Whiskey in the Jar followed by Half the World Away. Then we switched over to Brung Strum 4 for Blame It On Me, and then into the Bumper Book for The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea, Act Naturally and Folsom Prison Blues. I had failed to keep an eye on the time, so we took our break a bit later than advertised at around 8:07pm (British Summer Time). We started up again at 8:20pm having emptied, filled and cleaned our glasses. We began Part Two with Friday I’m in Love, from the Gig Book, before returning to the Bumper Book for Daydream and Ghost Riders in the Sky (which is a song in danger of becoming popular). Then I think we may have switched back to the Gig Book for Leaving on a Jet Plane and Sunny Afternoon, before concluding our entertainment with Sway. All in all, a good evening’s playing was had by everyone. A big ‘shout out’ goes to those of you who suggested songs and those of you that lead songs – it was really great to hear a few new people leading songs and it is trend that I hope we will continue.
Super, moving on to this coming Wednesday – let’s try a Google Doc for your song suggestions…
It’s fair to say that I struggled a bit making myself heard between songs last week, so in a rather brilliant brainwave that I’ll attribute to Jon, please can I ask you to put your song suggestions into the following Google Doc, so that we don’t have so much faffing between songs this week? It is pretty easy to use – just click on the following link to open the document in your web browser, and then type the name of the song book, the page number and title of the song you want us to play. If you’d like to offer to lead us through your song, please add your name.
Brilliant, and finally Open Mic – we need you, as performers and appreciative audience members…
This Wednesday (April 8th), we were due to have an Open Mic session from 7pm to 7:30pm at the Kings Arms. I’ve checked with David and Jon and with some trepidation we’ve decided to give it a try Zoom style – we just need a group of volunteers to perform. David will be compering the Open Mic session, so if you’d like a spot please either contact David directly or add your name to the Open Mic table in the above Google Doc. We’ll then start our (now regular) sing-along session at 7:30pm and run through to 8pm or so, before taking the obligatory break, and returning for Part Two around 8:15pm (and finishing at 9pm).
OK, Super, Brilliant – in summary…
This coming Wednesday (9th April) the virtual doors will open at 6:45pm, in case you want to do a sound check, before David starts the Open Mic session at 7pm – if you don’t want to perform this week, please come for 7pm and support those who do. Unless we get any better offers, Jon and I will lead the sing-along session from 7:30pm. Please use the above Google Doc if you’d like to suggest a few songs for us to play or put your name down for an Open Mic spot. Getting songs and names in advance should make both sessions run smoother, so please give the above Google Doc a try. I warned you it was complicated, but strange times call for strange measures (imperial and metric). If any of you read this far, I hope to see you online on Wednesday; if I lost you on the way, just click on the links and see what happens. I hope you all have a good week.
P.S. I believe the 40-minute limit for our Zoom call has been relaxed, so we’ll just have the one Zoom link this week (below). Apparently security is getting tighter at Zoom HQ, so don’t forget the password in case you’re asked for it on the door (it’s the first half of the name of our group in lower-case, but don’t tell anyone I told you).
P.P.S. As I mentioned last week, some of you might find it easier with a headset if you have one, but no worries if you don’t. If you’re on a Windows computer (rather than a tablet) I’d suggest you open the Settings, navigate through to the ‘Audio’ tab and press the ‘Advanced’ button, then select the ‘Enable Original Sound’ checkbox. When enabled, this stops Zoom’s voice recognition algorithm from cutting out your Ukulele.
Best Wishes, Trevor."
Regular meeting: Every Wednesday at: The Kings Arms (24 St Mary’s Street, Bedford MK42 OAS)
7.30pm - 10pm.
UPDATE: Currently 'meeting' online every Wednesday evening via Zoom. Want to join it? Just email us for details!
All very welcome.