Spring into Uke — Ukulele Intensive
Saturday, May 7 at 9:00 am EDT
with Jim Beloﬀ, Bernice Lewis, and Ron Gordon
We’re coming down from the cloud and we’re back in person for the 2022 edition of Spring Into Uke at Old Songs. This year the great Jim Beloﬀ will be back, teaching workshops, talking about his new book and the history of our modern day uke phenom, and of course performing. Bernice Lewis will also be teaching song smithing on the uke, and Ron Gordon will teach about ﬁngerpicking. Our schedule will maintain the usual 6 workshops, a concert, and is modiﬁed to adapt to our current realities. Lunch will be out and the day will wrap up by 4:30. We are looking forward to seeing you there and revving up our uke energy for the warm months ahead.
- 8:30 am — Doors open, participant check-in.
- 9:15 am — Introductions
9:30 am — Early Morning Workshops
- Old Songs Building — Advanced Beginners Workshop with Jim Beloﬀ: For those who know a handful of chords and a basic up/down strum, here’s a chance to take your skills to a new level. A half dozen or so well-known songs will be played while learning more chords, new ﬁngerings, new strums, transposing on the ﬂy and performance tips and techniques along the way.
- American Legion — Begin Playing Ukulele with Ron Gordon: Get started strumming and singing on this most accessible of all fretted instruments. We’ll learn the ergonomics of playing your uke, basic chords (reading a chord chart), and two essential strums. It will all be put together with a few classic songs. Get a great start to your ukulele career!
- 11:00 am — Late Morning Workshops
- Old Songs Building — Fingerpicking on the Uke with Ron Gordon: Fingerpicking adds new sounds and rhythms to your playing by highlighting the notes that constitute harmony. We’ll learn two patterns having very different “feels”: arpeggio and alternating thumb. We’ll apply these to two songs and educate that thumb.
- American Legion — Songwriting with the Uke with Bernice Lewis: There’s plenty of need for personal expression these days so this may help you to jump-start your creativity. We’ll go over the anatomy and physiology of songs and talk about what makes writing for the ukulele unique. We’ll talk about the structure of songs, and why it works. We’ll analyze components, storyline, use of poetic devices, chord structure, melody, and look at how contemporary song has evolved historically.
- noon — Lunch Out (of the building): There is a town park and a diner a block away. Many eateries on Rte 20, Western Ave.
- 1:30 pm — Afternoon Workshops
- Old Songs Building — Jazzing Up The Ukulele/At The Ritz with Jim Beloff: (intermediate) How to use chord substitutions to “jazz up” a simple 4 or 5 chord song. Based on the 2015 Flea Market Music book. We’ll also play through several Lyle Ritz classic jazz arrangements.
- American Legion — Songwriting II with Bernice Lewis: This will be a continuation of the morning session, along with critiques and helpful suggestions on improving the details and process of song smithing. Bring your creations and ideas to try out and discuss: there is no bad or best in composition… Just better.
- 3:00 pm — Uke Sampler Concert
- 4:30 pm — Everybody go home and practice!
Notes — Workshops are for approximately one hour. The American Legion is across the street from Old Songs.