Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Ukulele Workshop

Photo by Ian @ Boulevard Music
I've been attending Cali Rose's Ongoing Ukulele Workshop for at least two years, maybe a bit longer. We meet at Boulevard Music in Culver City. Players of all levels are in the class, from advanced beginners to intermediate players like me.
Members of the group can suggest songs to play. Cali has a library of song arrangements. We also choose songs from Jim and Liz Beloff's "Daily Ukulele." Usually, we just have the chords and lyrics to a song. In class we figure out an intro, ending and a few embellishments along the way. Cali is a really good teacher, very patient and creative! She always pushes us to learn a bit more.

We just finished a four-week session. For our last class on Saturday, Cali surprised us by bringing in a U-Bass player to accompany us. Tom Kuwata plays U-Bass with The C.C. Strummers, the group that Cali leads at the Culver City Senior Center.

Tom Kuwata on U-Bass

Tom's bass accompaniment REALLY made our group sound good! All of our treble-cleff ukes sounded great with a "heavy bottom."  We quizzed Tom a bit about his U-Bass playing. He's only been playing bass for a few years. Of course, he plays ukulele too. Tom played the tuba in his high school marching band. He told us that when he was in high school, he played with an L.A. community band that performed in the Pasadena Rose Parade four times! I guess playing tuba in high school pre-disposed Tom to becoming a bass player!

This session, we played some old-timey favorites like EDELWEISS, FLY ME TO THE MOON, PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON, VINCENT and GLORY OF LOVE. We managed to fit in one song that is only about 35 years old instead of 50+ years old, STRAY CAT STRUT. For this last session Cali added ROUTE 66 to our repertoire. I really have to find some newer music to bring to the workshop!
Our next session starts on Saturday, May 26th. Call up Boulevard Music and register. We have lots of fun! If you are a beginner and want to learn to play the ukulele, Cali teaches a beginning class too. Call Boulevard for the schedule.

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