Tonight Nancy and I visited the Austin Ukulele Society during their monthly meeting. The agenda includes group sing-alongs, educational sessions, and an opportunity for individuals or small groups to play in front of an audience. (http://austinukulelesociety.wordpress.com/about/)
Probably fifty people were there, which was more than we had expected. There were ukuleles of all sizes, except the bass – and that’s the very one I had hoped to hear. The leader told me that there was only one man who had one but that he never brings it to their jams and that he was absent tonight. He agreed to put me in touch with the man, though, to see whether he would bring it to their next meeting.
The leader, Bob Guz, is a good teacher from what I observed. The participants caught on quickly to what he was teaching them. He used PowerPoint slides with the words and chords in the song and he demonstrated various strumming techniques. The song they worked on tonight was the Creedence Clearwater Revival hit, "Proud Mary.” It sounded very different from the typical Hawaiian music.
One of the solos was done by a man who had a new hand-made tenor ukulele made from a very light-colored wood. His necktie was a perfect match to the wood. There were several other solos and a husband-wife duet doing a song she had written.