Ukulele Ensemble Playing with Danny Wootton and Guests
Dates: A six week course, from Monday 6th March to Monday 10th April 2017
Time: 7:45 – 9.15pm
Location: Pedlars, 128 Talbot Rd, London, W11 1JA
This six week course is for those intrepid ukulele adventurers who have graduated from Beginners Ukulele and beyond (or those who have acquired similar ukulele skills elsewhere). Rest assured that your teacher Danny will find parts for you to play which are commensurate with your level of skill. If you would like to check you are at the correct level for this course then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ukulele Ensemble focuses on playing together as a band. You will also learn a bit about arranging music and song writing.
We will concentrate on improving playing as a group. We’ll focus on playing different parts and different rhythms and we’ll introduce some new strums. We will work on learning to play songs from memory rather than relying on sheets. In this way we can listen and be in tune with one another. We will attempt to write songs and make some basic recordings, the course will end with a group performance and party.
Here is a little video of the last ensemble class performing at the end of term party with Arthur Jeffes of Penguin Cafe, to give you a bit of a flavour of what to expect:
*Please note you will need your own ukulele to attend this course. Please do purchase one in advance. We recommend Markala as a good entry level uke, or anything by KALA*
WE ARE ALL MUSICAL
By Danny Wootton and Thomas Patterson of the Idler Ukulele Club
From the dawn of time until only very recently, EVERYBODY made music.
Trust us, from your prehistoric ancestors to your great-great-grandmother, everybody sang or played music to their hearts’ content. Making music was as normal as eating or walking or loving or dying. It was natural, something we all just did. There was little divide between audience and performers.
Yet today we’ve become detached from that reality. We place pop stars and musicians on pedestals. Yet with practice and a bit of know-how, we too can make music of our own – because WE ARE ALL MUSICAL.
We’re starting a REVOLUTION! We’re taking back the art of music making, giving it back to the people.
Ukulele groups have proved to hundreds of thousands of adults across the world that making music is for EVERYONE, but we’re taking it further.
MUSIC-MAKING ISN’T JUST FOR AN HOUR A WEEK ON A MONDAY EVENING. MUSIC-MAKING IS FOR EVERYONE FOREVER, STARTING RIGHT NOW!
So with that in mind, we present to you:
THE TWENTY POINT GRAND REVOLUTIONARY MUSICAL MANIFESTO TO ENCOURAGE INSURRECTION, UPROAR, INSURGENCY, REBELLION AND ALL ROUND BETTER MUSIC MAKING FOR THE YOUNG AND THE OLD ACROSS THE WORLD STARTING HERE IN WESTBOURNE PARK ROAD BUT DUE TO SWEEP THE GLOBE.
1. BE KIND TO YOUR MUSICAL MUSE.
2. PLAYING IS FUN. PLAY! Remember that at all times. Practicing might be a DULL CHORE, so don’t practice, play and the more you play, the better you get, and the more FUN you’ll have with your instrument.
3. PLAY WITH PEOPLE OF ALL AGES. The teenager is OVER! Teenagers haven’t made good guitar music since the nineties. Dance music was 30 years ago. Play with people of every age, learn from the YOUNG and the OLD! Together we’ll make MUSIC THAT WILL MAKE THE STARS WEEP!
4. SCREW THE STATUS QUO.
5. Pop music can be GREAT but it is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD. It was killed by moneymen who destroyed the craft of the Brill Building Brilliants and the Tin-Pan Alley craftsmen. DON’T KNOCK THE ROCK, DON’T COPY THE POP – make your own NOISE.
6. With that in mind, THROW OUT YOUR TV, at least on a Saturday night. TALENT SHOWS ARE FOR SUCKERS!
7. BEWARE OF MUSOS WHO TELL YOU THAT POP IS DEAD! Like what you like, enjoy what you enjoy, and don’t let anyone tell you what is COOL.
8. SERIOUSLY THOUGH, LISTEN TO EVERYTHING! Genres are for losers. Expand your horizons, listen to metal and classical and avant-garde jazz. Keep digging and delving into newer, wilder sounds. You’ll love all of it, WE GUARANTEE IT* (*nb this is not a guarantee).
9. WRITE YOUR OWN MUSIC! Play around with chords and notes, make music that sounds good to you. Choose subjects and themes that are interesting to you. WRITE ABOUT EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING. There are no rules about what subjects can make a good song (though love is always a good place to start if you lack inspiration, quickly followed by sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll – as both subject and activity).
10. STEAL FROM EVERYONE AND MAKE IT YOUR OWN. Listen to everything, copy everything, eventually you’ll make a new sound and it will be YOUR OWN and it will be EXCITING AND NEW. Then somebody else can come along and steal it and turn it into something even more exciting and new.
11. WRITE SONGS FOR PEOPLE YOU KNOW. Songs are the best gift you can give, plus they’re CHEAPER THAN A BOX OF FERRERO ROCHER!
12. As Archdrude Julian Cope tells us, ‘YEAH’ is a RIGHTEOUS word. It is a noble word, a spiritual word and we shall a live by the gospel of YEAH! We shall say ‘YEAH’, sing ‘YEAH’, shout ‘YEAH’, proclaim ‘YEAH YEAH YEAH’. Not ’yes’, not ‘OK’, certainly never ‘No’ – but shout ‘YEAH’! SHOUT IT OUT LOUD, BROTHERS AND SISTERS! ‘YEAH’!
13. Also, as some other great person once said: GROOVE IS IN THE HEART!
14. Plus, remember, IT’S ALL GOOD!
15. If you have or know children, let them know that music is NATURAL and BETTER THAN A PLAYSTATION 4*. Play music with them, sing with them, dance with them, make songs with them, keep learning with them. (*even one with Grand Theft Auto V).
16. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS! They’re probably right.
17. DON’T BE SCARED BY MUSIC THEORY. Talk of semi-tones and meter, and all those notes and clefs and dots on the page, may seem scary but they’re not. Dig them, read up on them, use them. They’ll be the best friends you ever had.
18. DON’T BE BORED AND DON’T BE BORING. Only boring people are bored. If you ever feel bored, PICK UP YOUR INSTRUMENT AND PLAY THE BOREDOM AWAY. (Also listen to Boredoms, EXCELLENT EXPERIMENTAL NOISE PUNK BAND FROM JAPAN)
19. NEVER TAKE ADVICE FROM ANYONE! Including from this MANIFESTO! You’re all EXPERTS! (GODS)
20. NONE OF THIS IS IMPORTANT! If you’re worried by any of this, don’t be. We’re here to enjoy ourselves and that’s exactly what we’re going to do!