Welcome to the Tulsa Ukulele Club Website
We are a family oriented organization and encourage the entire family to attend, even the little guys, so long as they do not disrupt the meeting. Watch this site for special announcements for meetings when we will be offering free beginner's ukulele lessons.
We have been evaluating several alternative sites for our meetings, Watch the blog postings below for the latest meeting place.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
One of the recent entries in his blog is on White Christmas. Find it by scrolling down a few entries. His version of the song starts with a simple, but acceptable, three chord arrangement in the key of C, i.e., C, F, and G7 then adds Dm to spice it up a bit, then in version #3 adds two more, C7 and Fm for a very nice arrangement and finally for #4, adds B, F#7 and Gdim.
F#7 is the only one that you might have trouble fingering -- I expect you will find the others are easy and familiar. And if that is a bit too much, you can simply delete that chord (in two places) and use the G7 as shown in version #3.
The notations are using the Circle of Fifths system, so if you want to do it in, say the key of F, you can substitute F for I, Bb for IV and so forth. But in this blog, he shows the chord fingerings in the familiar key of C
Check it out and let's see if we can see how this goes on Dec. 13.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Jeff Burton has started to make several beginner videos for the real beginner and if you are in that group, you might find his style is slow and easy to comprehend.
Here is his link. He has 5 beginner videos out at this time. If you are starting out, you might like his style.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
The organizer of this web page has a lot of material -- songs and tabs, reviews, lessons -- and one link is to the ukulele related videos. There is a selection of "best of the year", "most popular" and the ones he has seen in the last week or so.
So if you want to spend some time this way, here is your link. And check out the rest of his web page too.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Catch the last clip with the Jive Aces using the very economical Dolphin uke -- shows what can be done.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I have a couple ukes that are not sensitive to this, like my Flea with it's plastic body and laminated top, I do have some that are solid wood. Back a couple years ago, I had two Pono tenors crack, and I believe that one was not my fault and the other might be a result of low humidity in the house (but Pono, to their credit toward good will, did replace both). So I do know that some ukes can develop cracks in the face and/or back.
So today, in the winter, I keep my solid wood ukes in cases, and I put humidifier gadgets in them. There are several commercial items available, but you can make one that is great. The photo shows my version, in this case with some expanded crystals poking out the top.
It is a small pill bottle, with a lot of 1/16" holes drilled in the barrel, and then a 1/4 teaspoon of Schultz Moisture Plus Watering Crystals inside. (Dorothy uses this product in some plant soils for selected indoor plants.) When immersed in water, the crystals rapidly expand with water, and then they very slowly release the water to the atmosphere. In my uke cases, one of these tubes keeps my humidity at good level for several weeks.
So if you have an upscale uke -- one made with solid wood -- best be careful and use a humidifier. (Laminated body ukes are not likely to crack but humidification is always a Plus.)
I'll make one of these for you if you need one.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Well there are several uke kits on the market that does not require a lot of experience or special wood working tools. The Grizzly kit is the cheapest, and could be the easiest to complete.
On a lark I got a kit and I just finished building one. The kit comes with all the woodworking compete (except for sanding) so the job is essentially to sand the pieces, do some simple assembly following the excellent instructions, do any pore filling you want (I did not pore fill) and apply a finish. I used TruOil for a finish, probably the easiest to use (and to repair later) and has no environmental concerns, nor are breathing masks needed. It provides a great finish.
The body is a laminate with a mahogany venier surface that is very pretty.
Now is this the greatest uke you have every played -- no -- it is pretty quiet, but the intonation is right on, all the parts are provided and well pre-assembled (the body), it does look nice, and it is yours.. Is it a better entry level value than the popular Dolphin model? Your call, but if you like to play around in the garage, go for the Grizzly.
Amazon has a good price and fast service.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
A nice job with a great tune.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Here is the link to the song in Cordie. A simple song in the key of C (but finishing with a chord of G)
(Sorry, but the link could not show for some reason.)
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
His group, plus several others, met in Austin for a huge jam session one evening.
They are enjoying themselves, and I hope you enjoy it too.
Thanks to Carol and her printer, I will have the Dallas club 2 and 3 chord song book packets available for you. Thanks, Carol.
So if you are interested, check out the FleaMarket marketplace ad for the Martin as well as the CraigsList Tulsa ad for the Kamaka.
They need a local home.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Carol has printed out the latest jam book I got from the Dallas club -- this one being a two and three chord song book. This book contains songs from a wide variety of genre's and eras. While only having three chords in a song, it does not mean that they are ultra simple numbers using, as an example F and C7, but does include some numbers with the less familiar Em and more difficult chord changes. I think you will like this new addition to our collection.
Thanks to Carol for printing these out for us. WCD is at 18th and Sheridan adjacent to the large DirectTV office.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
click on the link and the home page will come up. There are two areas of interest.
You will see a fretboard and a list of available chords that will show the fingering in the open position, for three tunings - D, which they call Soprano, (popular in Canada, C Concert, with a high G, C - Tenor with a low G and G, for the Baritone. Click on the tuning you like and then use the "pick" to strum the chord to see how it sounds.
The other main item is the play-along section. There are a large number of songs in the list and after you select the tuning you want, find a song and you will see a video, the lyrics and chords, plus the actual fingering. Because it shows a song in the proper tempo and timing, you can get a good feel how it should be played. One caveat -- some of the songs seem to have been retracted for copyright reasons.
Have some fun with the songs. It is a good format.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
WalGreen has knee high stockings for ladies that come in a small egg shaped container. After the stockings are removed, put the lead pellets from a #8 shotgun shell in the container, and there you have one that fits into the hand very nicely.
One can use a small plastic pill bottle too, but the egg shape is nicer
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
This location has some clear advantages over our previous site and Bill Kumpe has arranged for our having this venue available to us for the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. Because of other groups using this restaurant, we probably won't have any date flexibility for things like holidays, but on balance I think we all agree that this is a good spot for us.
Thanks to Bill for setting this up.
I went to Braum's and cancelled all our future dates with them (and they did have fixed the double booking problem by reserving the room through December) and I thanked them for their support over the past year or so that I have used that location.
So you can count on the WCD for our future events, starting at 6:30 for some snacks, socializing followed by some program - instruction, circle jam, open mike or whatever we want to do.
Four fingers, four strings, for fun. Keep strumming.
Friday, August 5, 2011
Have you always wanted to play a musical instrument but somehow never "connected?" Are you already a musician but want to add something new to your repertoire? Are you an aging guitar player battling arthritis in your hands and shoulders? Are you a ukulele player who would like to visit with other players and take advantage of opportunities to play publicly and privately with other musicians?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions then the Tulsa Ukulele Club may be the place for you. The Tulsa Ukulele Club gives free ukulele instruction at nearly every meeting. We offer a mix of instruction, group play-alongs and individual/small group performance opportunities.
The next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 PM, Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at the Western Country Diner, 1905 South Sheridan, Tulsa, Oklahoma. From 6:30 until approximately 7:00 we will visit, compare notes, and hold a short business meeting. From approximately 7:00 until 7:30 we will conduct one on one individual instruction and offer group playing opportunities. Club President Ralph Kelly will oversee basic instruction and if there is any interest, Bill Kumpe will moderate a discussion covering how to play uke chord patterns on a guitar.
From 7:30 until whenever, we will hold an open mic jam. While the emphasis is always on uke, guitars, harmonicas, banjos, mandolins and just about anything else you can carry in is welcome so long as you it can be played along with a uke. If you don't own a uke yet, a limited number of loaners are usually available at meetings so long as you promise to treat them with respect.
So, come out and join us Tuesday evening. You'll have a good time and meet some nice folks.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
I know that my comparatively heavily built tenor Pono, with Worth brown low G strings* has a completely different voice than my other ukes , and has a very different voice than my very lightly built Howlett tenor with NyGut high G strings (and it itself has a brighter voice with Southcoast light gauge strings).
* Worth brown strings are known to be a mellow string set and the low G adds to this voice.
This video highlights some of the differences that instruments have. Maybe this will encourage you to consider evaluating alternate string choices for your particular instrument.
Now for a bit of Bartt promotion. Here is his web page http://www.bartt.net/ and here is his web page with videos of a number of performances. http://bartt.net/MediaPage.htm
As is obvious when you see or hear him play, he was trained as a classical guitarist and loves this genre of music, but his performances include more popular material. He is a prolific song writer and some of these are highlighted in the media page . He is courted to come to ukulele festivals around the world to give workshops and concerts. (He has been to the Dallas festival and will likely be there in 2012.) His web page contains a wealth of material for ukulele folks including song charts, advice on instruments and a section where you can get his CDs and a very good uke starter DVD (which I have). Check it out.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
And be sure to check out his other blog features. Good information.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
But this is always changeable, as is the location (should someone come up with a good alternative).
So for planning purposes, see the calendar.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Here is a pic of her during her term as Miss North Carolina:
Friday, July 8, 2011
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
The first portion of the meeting will be keyed toward instruction. We have done some work on promotion and there might be a number of newcomers at this meeting. Since the group will likely consist of a range of musical experience, it seems possible that we will split into two groups - one for basic beginners and the second one for those with more experience, such as a guitar player checking out the uke as another instrument.
So bring your friends who might be interested in the uke for there will be something for everyone.
And bring any spare ukes you have so that everyone who attends can have something to hold.
See you there
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I have a soft spot in my heart for cheap instruments. Not only because I am “frugal” but also because, as something of a minor bluesman, I recognize the fact that my blues and country forefathers often could not afford high dollar equipment but still made legendarily good music. Or, as in the case of Chester Arthur Burnett (aka the famous Howlin’ Wolf), they just would not shell out big bucks for instruments that were going to be drug around constantly, often into bad places where beer bottles and punches got thrown, etc. Unlike BB King who risked burning to death to save his legendary Gibson “Lucille,” Howlin’ Wolf would have just let his Epiphone burn, bought another one, and still have been money ahead on the deal.
The particular unit I bought has a slight blemish. I paid $65.00 dollars for it. After the purchase, I did a standard setup to my preferences. I changed the strings to Low G Aquila Nyguts, raised the action slightly with a steel shim so that jazz chords could be played all the way down the neck without string rattle and gave it a good polish. I intend to do a little more work on the frets which are the one slight problem with this otherwise very good instrument. Make no mistake. This is a vanilla instrument. No frills. Nothing fancy. I am tempted to name it "Plain Jane." But, if you close your eyes and listen, it won’t make any difference and you won’t believe you are hearing an under hundred dollar uke.
(c) 2011 Bill Kumpe, All rights reserved.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I got the feeling at the last meeting that I did communicate well when I talked about the "blues conversation" that is the back and forth dialogue between musicians in a blues number. This is a classic example of two very good French musicians having a conversation with their instruments. Listen for the give and take, how one takes the lead for a while and then the other. Notice how the person on backup (mostly harp here) "fills in the spaces" and occasionally plays with and even gently over the other player. Listen for the conversation. Blues is all about call and response, lead and refrain. Without getting too technical, I haven't taken the time to figure out what key they are playing in here but you can tell from the sound that the harp player is probably playing third or fourth position on a diatonic to harmonize with the guitar and vocals. That will put her generally in the same key but I don't believe that the scales would be exactly the same. But, as you can tell from the sound the overall effect is quite good.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Kimo Hussey is a Hawaiian musician that is well known in the guitar and ukulele worlds. He is retired from his time as a pilot in the Air Force and now spends a lot of time in musical education, travelling to uke festivals and giving workshops.
He has a long standing arrangement with DeVine Guitars and his favorite instrument in a DeVine baritone 6 string, with the two lower pitched strings doubled, an octave apart.
Here is a video in which he compares a 4 string tenor to his 6 string baritone, showing the effects of the lower tone of the baritone on the song feeling.
I will add that Kimo commented in both 2010 and 2011festivals on the tone of my personal Pono tenor (with a low G) and thinks that it is very good. He likes the lower tones of the larger instruments, as compared to a soprano.
You might want to also see his YouTube video called "troduction" in which he shows how to take the familiar 4 chord progression -- C, Am, F, G7 -- and by changing the position on the uke fretboard, change the voicing of the progression and use it in different parts of a song.
You can see Kimo and join him in a workshop, or get a private lesson from him at the Lone Star Uke Festival next spring in Dallas. Details to follow next year.
Friday, June 17, 2011
For example, do some clicks and go to the ukulele section on strumming and you will find a variety of strum patterns, each of which has (1) a video showing him doing the strum, (2) three MP3 recordings of the strum in slow, medium and normal speeds (so you can build up your muscle memory starting slowly and (3) the tabs for the strums.
Want to do some fingerpicking? It is here too. Great learning stuff with both visual and audio media.
Check out the songs too. There are probably some that you like and, generally speaking they are easy to play.
This is a great site to add to your web browsers bookmarks.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
The latest blog has a short video where he has a good instructor in Santa Cruz, Dave Egan, discussing both left and right hand mechanics. One thing that he did not verbally highlight was that he strongly recommends holding the uke high and at a significant angle -- somewhere near 45 degrees -- so as to get both left hand and right hand knuckle positions more aligned with the strings than many players seem to use. A good video to view. Scroll down to this interview.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
I would post this young lady's real name if I knew it but I don't. Online she is just "MissZooey." What we do know is that she is Australian, a PHD candidate somewhere, is cute as a button, has a strong, clear singing voice, great ukulele skills and a sharp sense of humor. The ukulele seems to encourage smart people to speak their mind musically. MissZooey is one of hundreds of ukulele players who perform their own compositions online. Many of these compositions are smart, funny, and entertaining. This one is no exception. MissZooey has a vanity channel on YouTube. I can highly recommend it.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Many famous songwriters (like the Beatles) use a uke to compose with since the chords are simpler and the smaller neck does not cause hand and arm pain when being played for long periods of time. And, the uke is increasingly gaining respect as a serious instrument. It's easy to learn, fun to play and cheap to acquire. What's not to like about a uke?
Monday, May 30, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
“Close the [C] door light the [C7] light” showing where to play a chord. I personally prefer the chords to be on a line above the lyrics but this works, and you can always change to the alternate format.
Friday, May 20, 2011
By Bill Kumpe
I have been looking for a new acoustic electric uke. In the past few weeks, I have played dozens of ukes and studied the online specs on just about everything available on the American market. I have listened to hundreds of ukulele clips on YouTube. I even ordered the Les Paul acoustic electric and sent it back after one session.
The bottom line is that I probably already have just about as good a uke as you can get for the money I want to spend. After studying, listening and experimenting at great length, I came to the conclusion that my Lanikai SC concert ukulele, if it had quality electronics, would sound just as good as about anything else available.
The Lanikai SC series are an incredible value for the money. I paid a hundred for mine. The price has gone up however and is now in the hundred and twenty five range online. It is a quality instrument. The back and sides are mahogany, the binding is maple and the top is solid spruce. The fretboard is rosewood. The fit and finish are nothing short of beautiful and the tone is mellow and complex for a uke. The fact that the top is solid spruce means that the instrument's tone and volume will improve as it ages if it is played frequently and properly cared for.
These ukes do have their problems however. It took several adjustments to get the string height right on mine. It had a nasty string buzz on the higher frets which was eventually eliminated by adding a thin steel shim under the bridge to raise the action. This also had the unexpected and pleasant effect of greatly increasing the volume and projection of the little guy. (However, be advised that doing a proper set up on one of these guys, especially tweaking the bridge height and polishing the frets, will probably void the warranty.)
Electrifying it was a problem. I had a Dean Markley transducer pickup professionally installed by a local luthier. It would not stick properly for some reason and also picked up internal noise that you never heard externally. Something buzzes like the dickens in there that an internal transducer amplified like mad. But, second time around was a charm. I self installed a much more expensive Shadow transducer pickup externally directly behind the bridge. (The pickup cost more than the uke.) The volume is amazing and the tone is even more mellow and complex than the acoustic sound alone. So far as I'm concerned, it's a match made in heaven.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
This program has a small fee but many will find it very useful. Here is the link to the web page
This program has fingering positions for the full fretboard of about 40 different instruments, including of course, the ukulele with 6 different tunings, mandolins (about a dozen different tunings), 3 different varieties of banjos with a number of tuning options in each, and plenty of guitar tunings.
Not only is the full fretboard shown, but all the notes and in all possible chord variations are provided.
I’ll give one example of the usefulness. For a uke with standard C6 tuning, if you want to play a Cm chord, the normal fingering tables show this as 5333. This is a standard movable chord fingering that we need to know, but the program shows a lot of options to that might work better for you. It shows that one can play it as 0333 or an easier 0036. In the second position, normally shown as 8766, one can also use 0086 or 0786. Apply this approach to all the chords we use and you can see the utility of the program to suggest alternatives to the standard tables.
It has other features including having a capo and doing reverse chord lookup, and when a chord is shown as a suggestion, you can listen to the individual notes as well as as a chord.
One can make up different tunings. For example, some folks like to tune a tenor uke with a low G or a baritone with a high D, an open G, or even a Cautro (low G and low A). These options exist.
Or if you are playing a mandolin, guitar, bass, banjo or whatever, you have the same features with those instruments.
That's enough of a teaser. Go to the web page, to the product tab and do the tutorials or download the demo program (free) and play with it at your leisure.
Friday, May 13, 2011
I received my new Epiphone Les Paul acoustic/electric ukulele by Fedex yesterday morning. I ordered it from Sam Ash. The unit shipped the same day I ordered it and arrived exactly when predicted. I just wish the rest of this story was as pleasant. This was probably one of the first units delivered since I ordered it the same day they became available on the market.
The unit came very well packed. Upon visual examination it is a very impressive little instrument. It has a mahogany body and a maple top. There are four bolts attaching the neck in a classic solid body style neck joint. The wood work is solid. The finish is nice. The white binding is visually pleasing. It has the appearance of being very solidly built. Built like a tank actually. And, the setup appeared to be quite good. However, when I touched the first tuning machine, there was considerable play in it, almost an eighth of a turn before it caught. And when it did catch it was not at all smooth but rather had an unlubricated gears feel about it.
I tuned it up and noticed that the tone was very bright, almost annoyingly bright with the chords having an unusually "spanky" feel to them. After I finished tuning and played around for few minutes, I plugged it in to my Crate CA15 Acoustic Guitar Amp using the provided cord. I was immediately greeted by sixty cycle hum so loud you could barely hear the strings. I checked the connections and everything seemed to be plugged in normally.
I then pulled out the provided cord and plugged in using one of the high quality cords from my guitar bag. The hum was considerably reduced but did not go away. It was lower but still there and annoying. I shuddered to think what it would sound like plugged into a PA system or a high power amp. I noticed that if I touched the metal plate of the jack, the hum went away. I leave this amp set up in my living room most of the time. I do not have hum problems with my other instruments. The amplified sound of the uke was disappointing. Even played through a good acoustic amp, the instrument has an almost annoyingly bright sound.
By this time, I was wondering what Sam Ash's policy was going to be on returns. I started carefully looking the instrument over, again playing it acoustically. As an acoustic uke alone, there are far better hundred dollar ukes out there. My Lanikai SC Concert has a deep, full, complex tone compared to the Epi and the Epi does not make up the difference when amplified. Also, the fret distances seemed small to me. With my chubby fingers, I probably would not be able to get anything useful out of it above the seventh or eighth fret.
A good set of strings would probably help and getting a technician to take a look at the wiring would probably cure the hum. But, I have plenty of projects at work. I don't need one in my hobby. There are other acoustic/electric ukes out there that don't have these kinds of problems. Bottom line, if Sam Ash will take it back, this guy is going back on the store shelf.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
The Epiphone Les Paul acoustic electric ukulele is scheduled to be available at selected music stores and online outlets sometime this month. It is a solid wood tenor uke with mahogany body and neck and a flamed maple top. It has a built in under the saddle piezo pickup. However, there are no on board controls for the electronics, a feature usually found on this type of uke. The neck is bolted on and appears to be extraordinarily robust with four through the neck bolts attaching the neck joint to the body. There are no videos or sound files of the uke in action other than a rather cheesy almost no chord or two by "Dr. Epiphone" in their one minute online ad/promo video. The price is set to be $99.00 on the street including an Epiphone gig bag.
As in all things musical, the proof will be in the playing and we have yet to hear how the littlest Epi will sound, especially plugged in. It is disappointing that the unit will not have onboard controls making the use of an outboard preamp with some sort of EQ and volume control almost a necessity for serious amplified players. It is also disappointing that the unit will only be available in Cherry Sunburst. Gibson's official website shows a beautiful little Tobacco Sunburst unit being set up by a technician in Nashville. I contacted Gibson and they told me in no uncertain terms that the Tobacco Sunburst unit will not be available on the market at this time. That's a pity because the little red EPI will stick out like a sore thumb on a stage with a bluegrass or folk group. However, Epiphone has a history of providing quality instruments at a very good price and we can only hope that this will be the case with the little Epi Les Paul.
Saturday, April 30, 2011
We are a family oriented organization and encourage the entire family to attend, even the little guys, so long as they do not disrupt the meeting. Watch this site for special announcements for meetings when we will be offering free beginner's ukulele lessons.
Thank you for visiting our website. Please contact us if you have any questions at email@example.com.