Author: ritukulele

The RIT Ukulele Club was founded November '12 by several ukulele enthusiasts who have worked diligently to play, compose, and teach ukulele music to musicians of all skill levels. During the year, we can be found playing around campus, rehearsing for a performance, or partaking in other social activities together.

We always welcome new members and other musical groups to network with us! We strongly encourage any interested individual to stop by and meet us. Zero prior experience required to be a part of this club; if you don't know how to play, we'll teach you!

Our general meetings are on Wednesdays from 7-9pm in Eastman 2000. Come say hi!

Two Months Until jUKEbox!

Hey ukeboots! Hope you all had a happy weekend, and hope you have a happy today as well!

100 Degreez Zelzius was on fire! Hot chocolate was served, Pictionary was played, Poker was all caramel, and a Puzzle had us stumped. Lots of P, we’ve realized. Should have bought more toilet paper!

IMG_7520

Next event on the horizon is our Open Mic with Jammies! Stop by the Fireside Lounge around 7pm on March 17th to donate your talents and your loose change. There will be prizes, music, and some good laughs I’m sure. Also, don’t forget to fill out this When2Meet to figure out the best times for us to practice for our upcoming spring concert!

jUKEbox 2: Attack of the Cajons is only a couple months away! Get hyped, folks!

Happy Leap Day!

 

What’s up, ukepups? Happy Leap Day! We have a ton of special news to deliver on this special day. First, don’t forget about the 100 Degreez Zelzius Jam Sesh this Saturday, March 5th! (Credit to our wonderful PR Director, Alexis Montoya, for her Photoshop skills.) In this upcoming week, drop by on Tuesday for our Middle School Throwback General Meeting hosted by our Secretary, Annie Monaco!

Watch out for St. Patricks Day (March 17th), when we’ll be co-hosting an Open Mic night starting at 7pm in the Fireside Lounge!  Our co-host is a good friend of ours, the [Unofficial] RIT Jammies. They’re a chill music group that’s just starting up as a club, and they make some great toast spreads! (Disclaimer: RIT Jammies meetings do not involve making jam.) ((Yet.))

And while our amazing Performance Committee works on songs for our annual Spring concert, jUKEbox!, our lovely Public Relations Committee has also been at work creating a new Tumblr and designing lovely graphics like the one posted above!

Thank you all for being wonderful. Happy Leap Monday! Uke on!

It’s happening!

Hey ukefriends! We finally have our songbook up and running! No longer will the precious members of RIT Ukulele Club have to scrounge for the most recent version of Can’t Help Falling in Love or Build Me Up Buttercup, now everyone and anyone can access an entire uke club song history with the click of a button! We thank you all for your patience during these troubling, sheet music-less times.

In other news, we are hosting a social event on March 5th called the 100 Degreez Zelziuz Jam Sesh. Starting at 4pm at the president’s apartment we’ll be drinking gallons of boiling hot chocolate and playing tons of hot jams!

And don’t forget about our new Instagram series, #MeetUke! Tag photos of your ukulele chillin on the couch or playing video games or volunteering at the local animal shelter so we can get to know them on a personal level past the sound of their sweet chords. You can also submit them to us at rit.uke.club@gmail.com!

That’s all for now, folks. Have a great night and uke on!

uke-valentines

How to Win this Valentine’s Day with a Ukulele

Forget the traditional flowers and chocolate! A sweet song accompanied by your ukulele is all it take to win this Valentine’s Day. It’s as easy as choosing your favorite love song, finding it’s tutorial online (thanks internet), and performing it live for your loved one. Don’t know which song to choose from? We got you covered. Here’s a list of songs full of love that we love to play followed by their tutorial from The Ukulele Teacher.

Tonight You Belong To Me -Steve Martin “The Jerk”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UJ4ffU3Lm0&w=560&h=315]

Thinking Out Loud -Ed Sheeran

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qBqnjPUk-Y&w=560&h=315]

Dream A Little Dream Of Me -The Mamas and The Papas

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=socgaSO4Ngs&w=560&h=315]

L-O-V-E -Nat King Cole

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv2iRwbufUs&w=560&h=315]

You and I -Ingrid Michaelson

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7CrlB4av7Q&w=560&h=315]

Follow The Ukulele Teacher on YouTube for incredible tutorials of your favorite songs and more.

We hope we’ve inspired you all to pick up your uke today. What songs do you think belong on this list? Have a Ukulele-Valentine’s story you’d like to share? We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments in the section below!

A very Happy Valentine’s Days to you all! Until next time, keep calm and uke on!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Why the Ukulele Should Be Your Best Friend During Finals Week

The dreaded, most horrific week of the year is here: Finals Week. With the haste to complete last minute work, study for multiple exams, and still try to function normally, the amount of stress that you experience can almost be too much to handle.

According to WebMD (good for research and not self diagnosis), stress begins its journey in our brain and travels throughout every cell in our body switching on a stress response for each one. If you stress yourself out too much, those cellular switches can remain on and lead to those tired, angry, and sad feelings commonly associated with stress. Worse, it may make you physically sick.

Luckily, research shows that playing any musical instrument can help switch off those stress responses and improve your health overall. You don’t have to be a pro at it either. In fact, “the more you seriously approach musicianship, the less relaxing it may be” according to WebMD. With the ease and serenity of the ukulele, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Finals Week is tough and at some point, you may wonder why you put yourself through all of this stress to begin with. Just remember that nothing good in life comes easy. All this hard work will lead to something great. You just need to push through!

To all students, good luck with exams! You got this!

To all teachers, good luck with grading! Be gentle.

Until next time, keep calm and uke on!

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Uke After Dark

Green Day, R. Kelly, and The Foundations are just some of the artists whose songs were magically transformed on the ukulele the night of our show, Uke After Dark. In a matter of minutes we turned a coffee shop into our own stage to play some of our personal favorite songs. Our members, who spent practically a whole semester practicing day and night, gave it their all at Midnight Oil in a crowd that filled the room. With our enthusiastic members and energetic crowd, Uke After Dark was a night we’ll never forget.

If you couldn’t make the show, fear not! We have posted some of the performances on our personal YouTube channel for your viewing pleasure.

A huge thank you to Midnight Oil, the crowd that stood with us all night, and our members who worked hard to make the night spectacular.

Have any songs you want to hear at our next show? Did you like a particular performance from Uke After Dark? Leave your comments below. We would love to hear from you!

Until next time, keep calm and uke on!

alex

Behind the Uke: Alex Beahan

It is rumored that you’ll never meet the same uker twice. The uniqueness of each uker inspires this next addition of Behind the Uke.

Meet Alex Beahan. A first year Industrial Design major with minors in Creative Writing and German, Alex has been playing the ukulele for two years. With a busy schedule that often accompanies an RIT student, he has managed to consistently bring energy and enthusiasm to each meeting for two years (that’s right, he started playing when he joined the club!). Outside of Uke Club, Alex holds the title of 3rd generation sailor (reportedly sailing since birth), fencing enthusiast, guitar and mandolin prodigy, artist, and avid reader. While his hobbies extend far beyond playing the ukulele, he manages to put time into practicing songs such as The Banjolin Song by Mumford & Sons. Here, Alex starts off our meeting with just that. Give it a listen!

When asked what he would like the world to know about the ukulele, he said this, “The ukulele is easy to learn and super fun!” We couldn’t agree with you more, Alex.

Catch Alex and more of our members perform on Thursday, November 20th at 9pm in RIT’s Midnight Oil for our one of a kind show, Uke After Dark!

Think Alex did an awesome job, have a request for the next addition of Behind the Uke, or questions about any of our performances? Leave a comment below!

Until next time, keep calm and uke on!

the_jerk

5 of the Most Powerful Ukulele Performances on Film

Every uker knows how exciting it is to see a ukulele make it’s way on the big screen. Seeing ukuleles in films means that more and more people are realizing just how great the ukulele is at changing the mood and setting a great vibe to any moment in life. After scouring the internet, I’ve collected some moments where the ukulele rocked the scene.

1. Forgetful Lucy (50 First Dates)

WARNING: Contains spoilers!

Adam Sandler takes on serenading Drew Barrymore in the classic comedy, 50 first dates.

2. Tonight You Belong To Me (The Jerk)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxpAyPj-nJo]

A beautiful duet between Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters by the shore. (My personal favorite!)

3. You Always Hurt The Ones You Love (Blue Valentine)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNZgUM542VI]

Ryan Gosling sings and plays for Michelle Williams as she dances alongside him.

4. The Moon Song (Her)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFl6CGdaOuU]

Joaquin Phoenix beautifully strums while Scarlett Johansson sings this song.

5. Devil In Disguise (Lilo & Stitch)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqL8C2Wcxmc]

A big fan of Elvis, Stitch rocks this number in the popular cartoon movie.

Beyond these five, ukuleles can be seen all throughout film history. Check out Amazon’s Flicks with Ukes list and Ukulele Underground’s forum for more movies to watch with your friends and family!

Are there any movies I’m missing that needs to be on this lists? Which one was your favorite? Tell us your thoughts in the comment box below!

Until next time, keep calm and uke on!

ukulele101

Ukulele 101: Basics

Getting your own ukulele for the first time is unforgettable. I remember carrying the tiny package with me on a hot crowded subway in New York City with growing anticipation as I reached closer to home and closer to getting my hands on my new toy. When I finally got home and unwrapped my uke, I sat on my bed, eyes glued to my computer screen, absorbing everything there was to know about caring for and playing my uke.

As for many, the internet was my teacher. I unfortunately knew no one skilled in ukulele playing (in fact, I didn’t even know anyone who owned a uke!) but thanks to YouTubers like The Ukulele Teacher, Endless Summer Ukulele and websites such as Ukutabs.com and UkuleleHunt.com, I was able to grasp the basic concepts of playing the uke. It wasn’t until joining Uke Club where I mastered strumming and finger placement (my biggest problems!). I encourage you to go out and find a group of cool people to play with. You may be able to learn tips not found on the internet!

Many in the club share this experience. In fact our very own Vice President and first guest blogger, Fafa Khamsidi put together a video to help out anyone who is just getting into playing the uke. There may be many videos introducing the basics of playing the ukulele, but none as great as this one!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1fm8jfg33U]

Here’s more from our guest blogger:

Hey! I’m Fafa Khamsidi, Vice President of RIT Ukulele Club. I’ve been playing ukulele for about 6 years now, but I’m still learning more about it all the time! I’m self-taught and I learned how to play purely through a basic diet of sloppy handwritten chord charts, Julia Nunes videos, and songs off of UltimateGuitar.com. It was all very clumsy. I didn’t even know any decent ukulele websites. So to make sure any New-kuleles (Uke Club’s term for new ukulele players) out there don’t end up like 13-year-old me, I’m going to try and relay everything I’ve learned to you folks!

TUNING

  • G C E A– from top to bottom! for soprano (beginner), concert (mine), and tenor. Baritone (biggest) is tuned DGBE equivalent to bottom four guitar strings, producing deeper sound.
  • Use an electronic tuner! top two strings pushing it away makes it higher, pushing in makes it lower; opposite for bottom two strings. match it up with the center line.
  • RELATIVE TUNING– A will be reference point, as it is with all string instruments (all string instruments have an A string). Tune to fifth fret on E to sound the same. fourth fret on C tune to open E. second fret on G to sound same as open A.
  • FALLING OUT OF TUNE– often with new ukuleles they can fall out of tune pretty quickly. most people get over this by constant tuning until the strings stretch out a bit over time. stretching is done by playing loudly and playing a lot. it’s healthy exercise for your uke!

CHORDS

  • BABY’S FIRST CHORDS– C, G, Am, F. Most songs use these chords, and a lot of them use exclusively these chords.
  • the only way to make switching from chord to chord easier is through practice practice practice!!
  • STRUMMING– I strum with my thumb, but probably only because I learned absolutely nothing about strumming from anyone. strumming with your thumb is fine, but everything I’ve read online says you’re supposed to be strumming with your hand like a pretend gun. except with your thumb closer to your pointer finger.
  • D.DU.UDU– basic strum pattern! most songs use this strum pattern, most songs we play in ukulele club use this strum pattern, and it is one of the easiest strum patterns to master! don’t tense up, though. gently bouncing through this pattern should come smooth and natural. keep your wrist relaxed but controlled, skipping along with your up-down arm motions.

I’M YOURS- Jason Mraz

BABY’S FIRST SONG– not usually the first song we teach in ukulele club, because You and I uses a few more chords, but I’m Yours is a song everyone knows and uses the chord progression I showed you before. I personally like to use this song to first introduce people to ukulele. Here are the chords!

Alright cool, thanks for listening! Hope anyone super-new to ukulele learned a few things from this video because I know I already have. Next time I’ll teach you guys some more advanced things!

Until next time, keep calm and uke on!

P.S We have a very exciting show coming up soon. Save the date for Uke After Dark!