Ukes4Fun Sessions FAQ

This is a compilation of Dot and my answers to Frequently Asked Questions from people who are thinking of attending a session for the first time.  If you are inviting someone along, please feel free to point them this way so that they know what to expect.  Most of these answers are already scattered around this web site somewhere.

Download pdf version of this page to print:
2016-09-01 Ukes4Fun FAQ v2

Ukes4Fun Sessions FAQ

1. Do I need to be able to play to a particular standard?

Thursday Sessions: YES and NO

We meet in a Public Bar and anyone is welcome to come along and watch or to have a go at joining in.  However, we are aware that complete beginners struggle with the fast pace of these sessions.  You will find it a lot easier to join in if you have already been playing at least once a week for about six to nine months.

There are several “Beginners Ukulele Classes” in the area, masses of free ukulele lessons online and more “Beginner Ukulele” books than you can shake a stick at!  Have a look at these resources on this website too:

Please see this page for more information about Thursday Sessions:
Thursdays @ The Cumberland Arms Byker – and more!

1st and 3rd Thursdays:

  • just turn up,
  • introduce yourself to Dot, who leads the sessions,
  • find a seat
  • say “Hello” to your neighbours.
  • Everyone is very friendly.

2nd Thursday in the month: We are trying out a different sort of session (see Thursdays @ The Cumberland Arms Byker – and more!).

  • Denis will usually lead this session.
  • We ask people to bring “new songs” to this session, rather than straight to the 1st and 3rd Thursday Sessions.
  • This is also a good place to reintroduce old songs from our songbooks that have not been played for a while. (The person who led them might have moved away or just abandoned them – poor little orphan songs that need some TLC!)

4th and 5th Thursdays: NO SESSION

Sunday Sessions: YES

Information about the Sunday Sessions will be updated soon.  In the meantime, please note that Sunday Sessions are NOT suitable for “beginners”.

  • Just turn up
  • introduce yourself to Dot, who leads the sessions,
  • find a seat and say “Hello” to your neighbours.
  • Everyone is very friendly.

2. Will I get tuition?

NO. There is no formal tuition at sessions.

However, people help each other out with tips and showing how to play chords when there is a song with no song sheet. We organise occasional workshops. These are open to other ukulele players as well, not just people who attend our sessions.

Please see this page for more information and to sign up for email updates about workshops and other events: https://ukes4fun.org.uk/workshops-and-events/

If you are looking for individual tuition, this page might help: https://ukes4fun.org.uk/2014/09/29/tips-ukulele-tutor/

There are also several classes at The Sage: http://www.sagegateshead.com/join-in/music-for-adults/instrumental/ukulele/

3. Should I bring a Music Stand?

Probably not . . .

There is only room for small “table top” music stands on Thursdays (every week) but there is more space at the Millstone on Sundays (about twice a month).

4. Is there a “Set List” for sessions?

NO. There is no “set list” for sessions.

People are invited to take turns leading songs and it is up to them what song they choose.

Some songs will definitely be from the existing songbooks.  You can download copies to print here:
https://ukes4fun.org.uk/songsheets/ If you use a “Songbook” app on a mobile device, you can download individual song sheet files for these songs in chordpro format here: http://bit.ly/ukes4funSongFiles

5. Will I be expected to lead songs at the sessions?

NO. But you can expect to be INVITED to lead songs. 

How you respond is up to you. You can say, “Yes”, “Later”, “Maybe”, “After I have had another pint!”, “Never”, “Another time”, “Next week”, etc. The idea is that you know that you would be welcome to volunteer to lead a song at any point. However, there is absolutely no requirement to do this if it is not your thing!

* Let Dot know if you want to lead a song *

If you want to lead a song from our Songbooks, take no notice if someone says something like, “X usually sings that!”  – it happens all the time and it doesn’t matter.  Some people lead particular songs at gigs with “Misspent Uke and Friends”.  These songs sort of “belong” to them simply because it helps if they have a chance to lead them regularly at sessions.  I can’t give you a list because things change over time.
Don’t worry about it. Just be aware that it is a factor that might explain why some people always seem to be leading particular songs.

* If you want to lead a new song *

If you want to lead a new song, ie. not in the songbooks, or a familiar song in a different key or arrangement:

  • please bring it first to the session on the 2nd Thursday in the month or a Sunday Session
  • bring about 10 copies (lyrics, chords and chord diagrams)
  • you can also post the song sheet via the Ukes email list a few days in advance (emailing the same day will be too late for most people to see it)
  • please bear in mind that the lighting is very poor in The Cumberland Arms and most of us have old eyes.  We simply cannot read song-sheets that are in small fonts and/or pale, “draft quality” printouts.

6. What is the Ukes email list?

It is a private “Google Group” email list. It is very “quiet” list, spam free and is only relevant to people who attend our sessions, eg. notices of changes of meeting dates,
posting song sheets rather than bringing printouts. If you want to join it, the easiest thing to do is to tell me what email address you want me to add. (Please do not post
your email address in the comments box after this blog post! That is a sure fire way for spam bots to find it!)
Or you can join yourself here: Ukes Email List If you change your email address at some point then you will not get any more emails from the list.  Please
let me know if you change your email address and I will add your new email address to the list.

7. What else do I need to know?

All Sessions:  Some seats are “invisibly reserved” for regular singers or people who need to sit near a wall socket to plug in an amplifier. Please do not be offended
or embarrassed if you inadvertently pick “the wrong seat”. It will all become clear.

Sunday Sessions: Information about the Sunday sessions is about
to be updated. In the meantime, please note that the Sunday Sessions are NOT suitable for “beginners”. These pages will give you more idea of what to expect:

There is lots more information on this website. If you have any questions, please check this web site to see if the answer is already here. If you still can’t find
the answer, please get in touch. You can do this by leaving a comment at the end of this blog post or by using this spam-protected email link: http://scr.im/ukes4fun

Best wishes,
Liz Panton

Updated: 1 Sept 2016

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