Monday, December 17, 2007


High Strung. Broad St. Durham. See you there!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

SF Chronicle Uke article...

Nice article on our favorite instrument. Read it here.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Durham Uke Orchestra to play this Sunday!!!

The Durham Uke Orchestra will be playing at the historic homes tour in Hillsborough this Sunday December 2nd from 2-3 and 4-5pm. The address of the house we will be playing in is: 120 West Hill Ave S Hillsborough, NC

This from Chris K...

Wanted to pass on this info to you. On Saturday, December 8, Mad Tea Party will be at the Cave in Chapel Hill with Tippy Canoe (singer/ukulele player from the west coast) who will go on around 8 pm. MTP will go on around 10 pm.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Meetings in December...

We will meet on Mondays, December 3rd and 17th. 7pm. High Strung Guitars, Violins and Ukuleles. Broad St., Durham. See you there!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Next Meeting...

Monday November 19th. 7pm. High Strung Guitars, Violins, and Ukuleles. Broad St. Durham

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Come to Boo-kulele this Sunday!!!

Come to the ukulele celebration this Sunday the 28th of October. Here's the schedule.

4:30 - Lightnin' Wells master class
7pm - Friends ukulele group, Durham Ukulele Orchestra, Lightnin' Wells performance.

Be there.

Next Meeting...

Monday November 5th. High Strung, Durham. 7pm. See you there!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Next Meeting...

Monday, October 15th. 7pm-9pm. High Strung Guitars and Violins. Broad St. Durham

Monday, October 1, 2007

Next Meeting...

Tonight! October first. High Strung Violins and Guitars. Broad St. Durham

Friday, September 21, 2007

Radio stardom...

This from our resident Baritone player Brian Lewis:

"Plan B," my latest musical collaboration, will be performing on Saturday, September 22 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) on WCOM, the community radio station in Carrboro, North Carolina. You can listen via the Web at

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
(from left to right):

Michael Goy ...................... guitar and vocals
Kent Rossman ................... bass
Alyson Scoltock ................. harmonica and vocals
Brian Lewis ........................ guitar, mandolin, accordion, and vocals

Hope you can listen in!


What, no ukulele? For shame Brian!:-)



Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Ukes at High Strung...

The Kiwayas are here! The Kiwayas are here!

Just out of their boxes! Several models to choose from including the concert sized "Rock Ukes" which look like a Gibson Les Paul and a Fender Telecaster (Awesome!). There was also an acoustic standard and a pineapple standard that have great projection and sound pretty sweet. In addition to these, a few Kanile'a ukes are now winging their way across the country to High Strung. These Hawaiian ukes are great players and look stunning. So, if you are in the market for a new axe, check 'em out!



Sunday, September 16, 2007

Thanks for a great workshop!!!

Thanks to all those who attended the Kent Knorr workshop at High Strung this weekend! Hopefully, this is just the first in a long series of uke workshops in Durham. Hey, and big thanks to Kent! His preparation, attitude and pacing of the class were tremendous! How often do you get a spiral bound notebook with all the material from the workshop in it? Answer: Never! Kent: you rock!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Next Meeting...

Monday, September 17th. High Strung Violins and Guitars. Broad Street Durham. 7-9pm. See you there!


Monday, September 10, 2007

Ukulele workshop in Durham this Sunday!!!

Hey All,

Kent Knorr from Aloha U is going to be at High Strung this coming Sunday, Sept 16 from 1-3pm to do an intermediate ukulele workshop. He is going to talk about chord melody, strumming, and picking patterns. Kent runs his own Ukulele school in Wilmington called Aloha U and is a terrific player, so come join us. Cost is a bargain at $20. We can jam afterward if we want to.



Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Uke Hunt...

Ukulele blogs are kind of hit and miss in terms of their usefulness and content, but Uke Hunt is consistently great. Not only are there cool stories about ukulele players and bands, there are also nice tutorials with Tab and Midi to help you get better. Uke Hunt is also updated more than any other uke blog I've seen. Check it out here:
Uke Hunt



Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Great Post...

...from a guitar forum that is making the rounds on the uke boards. Good advice to those who are frustrated with their playing.


Let me throw my hat in the ring on this common debate for the ages and specifically target what seems to be the crux of your question, which to me revolves around your frustration of not being able to pick up things on the guitar as quickly as you like. I see between 65 and 75 students a week on a one-to-one basis, the majority being "baby boomers" in their 40s and 50s. Your "being humbled" is the most common thing I deal with from week to week with my adult age students. You're far from being alone, as I'm sure you're well aware of by reading similar threads from other adult students and players on this forum.

I become a psychologist and therapist as well as a guitar teacher each week, that's just the reality of the situation. Having said that, there's no question you can become passable and beyond at any point on the guitar, because I've seen it happen numerous times; re-read the posts by Leo, Dave and Brian which echo that point. Here's my approach in working with all my students, particularly students in their 40s and 50s.

PATIENCE: The only students that don't succeed at all in my five decades of guitar teaching are impatient learners. I call it the "magic wand" students. They want to learn everything in a month, with the expectations of just having it all happen magically with very little effort. These type of students have usually been to anywhere from two to seven other teachers and wonder what's wrong with these teachers, without taking an honest look in the mirror. They usually have short attention spans and want to learn five different styles right away. Occasionally I can turn this type of student around with some tough love, but often than not, their impatience sinks their ship, not only for guitar, but usually for most other life ventures as well. The patient student realizes the journey and always reaches their playing goals. That student accepts the time period involved and is content from beginning to end.

PERSEVERANCE: Keep at it at all costs;don't get lazy. Make yourself a practice schedule routine that's consistent and practical. Like physical exercisee, pace yourself, don't over-practice. You can only do so much physically in a reasonable amount of time allotment daily; also you burn out mentally and frustration sets in. Start your practice routine by playing a couple of tunes you can play in your sleep, then get down to work and devote the majority of your practice time to what you are WEAK at. End your regimen with a tune or two that you can play in your sleep to remind yourself that you're a player.

PERSPIRATION: I lean heavily towards the Ernest Hemingway philosophy: "Learning is 99% perspiration...1% inspiration." Just put in the hard work on a consistent basis, staying patient and persistent and good things will happen on a gradual basis. There's no substitute for the hard work and effort you need to apply. In the case of music, you've got to play with others at a certain point. Your learning curve will increase at a faster rate. If you're doing solo guitar stuff, then get out and do open mics, a gig or just play to loved ones in your respective households. It'll help you memorize material, increase your confidence and help your playing self esteem.

PSYCHE: Here's the big one! Most adult age students who are either starting or returning to playing guitar on a regular basis, psyche themselves out. As Mike pointed out: "you have to have the mindset of a kid." Absolute fact. The teenage students you are so blown away by have NO FEAR! They simply go for it, without worrying about making mistakes, clanking a string or what the theory involved is. No doubt, as has been pointed out, they have more time, more physical agility, they started younger, etc., but most adult students defeat themselves mentally before they start.

Here are some of the ongoing issues and how I address them:

"I should be farther along at this by now." it's a PHYSICAL process that simply takes time to develop with finger independence, eye and hand coordination, the synchronization of two hands, etc. Just remember, everyone you admire sounded just like you after playing the first three to six months. Put into perspective the number of years those players you admire have practiced and played beyond your current playing time allotment. Your intellect will help you down the road, but initially you're dealing with physical barriers.

"I suck." No you don't, that's just a way of saying you have crappy self esteem. Anyone on this forum can show anybody else something on the guitar and learn something.

"I have no rhythm" or "I play like a white guy." I cringe at these statements. Everybody has rhythm, you just have to work at it and then gain playing experience with others; sure, it can take a while, but it's there, whether you believe it or not.

"He's godlike" No, he or she is not! They're just great players that have worked their asses off to excel at what they have accomplished. All "godlike" players will be the first to tell you: Yeah, I know a lot and can play well, but the more I know, the more I realize how much I don't know. These tend to be the most humble players who realize how far they have gotten, but appreciate how many other musical tributaries are out there. They'll be the first to squirm about being called "godlike. " Right, you'll probably never reach those heights, but it should inspire you to woodshed and reach the next rung of your own musical journey.

"What's that buzz?" Don't worry about a small buzz. Keep playing. If you obsess on every little ambient sound, you'll never get through playing a piece. If there's major fretting problems, then stop and slow down to a reasonable playing speed.

"I've got to understand everything before I play." No you don't. Get the physical coordination down, play songs, have fun and worry about the theory down the road.

Overall, don't beat yourself up, don't think too much, don't be intimidated, don't worry what you hear someone else do. In time, you will have your small victories and maybe even a couple of 15 minutes of fame moments. Remember, you started late in the game, so keep in perspective the amount of time and gig experience lifetime players have had in comparison to you. Keep your chin up and set your own goals with confidence and enjoyment.

Next Meeting...

There will be NO UKE JAM on Labor day. The next Uke Jam will be Monday, the 17th of September.



Thursday, August 9, 2007

New books and videos at High Strung...

Hey All,

I was in High Strung this week and discovered that Christine and Lee had received a huge order of Uke related books and videos. All the Jim Beloff books and videos are now in stock. The Ralph Shaw videos are there (The Essential Strums video is awesome!). The Ukulele Masters series is there. The Fretboard Roadmaps book is there (Great Book!). So, if you were thinking about ordering any of these online, stop by High Strung instead for some instant Ukulele gratification and support the business that's been so supportive of us.



Next Meeting...

The next meeting of the group will be on Monday August 20th. 7pm. High Strung Guitars and Violins in Durham. Let's keep the good momentum going! The Jams have been super-fun lately! Come one, come all.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Thanks all...

Thanks to all who showed up tonight at High Strung! What a great jam. You guys made it really fun and the addition of a Baritone (thanks Brian!) made the group sound nice and rich. Hope you all keep coming out.



Sunday, August 5, 2007

Next Meeting...

Monday, August 6th. High Strung on Broad St. in Durham. 7pm-8pm Beginners welcome. 8pm-9pm Intermediate/advanced players only.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams...

New chart. Find it in the right hand column.



Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

Online transposition tool...

Here's a handy tool for transposing a song from one key to another.

The Transposition Wheel

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Next Meeting...

Monday July 23rd at High Strung Music on Broad Street. 7pm. Beginners welcome.

La Vie En Rose...

I have been looking for a chart for this for ages and finally found one in an antique shop in Dallas. Grab it here. Plus, I just uploaded a ton of new charts for other stuff. Find it in the right hand column.



Friday, July 20, 2007

My Blue Heaven...

Hey Y'all,

I just posted a PDF of My Blue Heaven. I transposed it from Eb (yuck) to the friendlier key of C.

Also, I have finally uploaded some mp3s. You can find them in the right hand column.



Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Next Meeting...

There will be no Uke Jam on Wednesday July 4th. We will resume with the normal schedule on July 18th.


Practice songs...

Hey Y'all,

The songs you should be practicing for our Jazz/Retirement home set are:

Sunny Side of the Street
All of Me
Slow Boat to China
I Can't Get Started
I'm beginning to See the Light
Blue Skies
Dream a Little Dream of Me
Tonight, You belong to Me

I feel we need at least 3 more to have a viable set.
Just off the top of my head...

Pennies From Heaven
You'd be so nice to come home to
Paper Moon



Monday, June 18, 2007

Next Meeting...

The next meeting of the Durham Ukulele Group will be at High Strung on Ninth Street in Durham on Wednesday June 20th at 7pm. 7-8 Beginners welcome. 8-9 Intermediate (working on our set list of jazz standards). Please come!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dream a Little Dream

Hey Y'all.

I was thinking of other songs and I really like Dream a Little Dream of Me, so I quick made up a PDF of an arrangement I have. Take a look.

Page 1
Page 2



Saturday, June 9, 2007

Play Along MP3s

Hey Y'all,

Thought you might like to have a uke reference for a couple of the tunes we're working on. In the nav bar on the right under "play along mp3" I've uploaded some recordings of me playing the tunes so you can strum along. I'm also working on PDFs for all the tunes. Enjoy.