Houkulele: The Houston Ukulele Social Club

Houkulele is a growing, active bunch of players. Our membership welcomes players of any age or experience level.

If you live in the Houston, Texas area you are encouraged to join us even if you’ve yet to learn a single chord - we’re here to help one another grow as both players and enthusiasts. We strive to be welcoming, friendly and fun!

Our primary web presence and communication hub can be found on Facebook.

 

Upcoming Events

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Kevin Carroll workshop Septembe 12th - The full scoop!

Hello Houston!

I look forward to working on some ukulele music with you.  Two workshops in Houston on Saturday, September 12th:

Workshop #1
10:30-11:30AM
Solo skills: We will cover how to combine melody, harmony and rhythm and some useful practice approaches.

Songs will include C-Jam Blues by Duke Ellington, Lean on Me by Bill Withers and Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra.

Workshop #2
1:30-2:30PM
Ensemble playing: We will cover ways to create differentiated parts for all levels, improvising, and the necessary mindset to be a positive contributor in a musical group.

Songs will include C-Jam Blues by Duke Ellington, Low Rider by War and more!

$30 each or $50 for both.
Register at: www.kevincarroll.net/workshops

Location:
Kenneth Fowler and Family Residence
The Heights Neighborhood
Houston, TX 77009

Monday, August 10, 2015

Kevin Carroll workshops in September - save the date!

Save the date!

Ukulele musician and educator Kevin Carroll of Austin will be in Houston to teach 2 ukulele workshops on Saturday, September 12th.

We are seeking your input for additional ideas, but the first session is planned to focus on developing individual playing skills; the second on growing ensemble playing.

Details of time, place, etc., to follow in subsequent posts.

We're really looking forward to this chance to play and learn together and hope to see you there!

Check out Kevin's web site at: www.kevincarroll.net

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Amazing Grace - Chord Solo

Hello! Here are 3 files to help you get started with "Amazing Grace". Everything is written for gCEA tuning (sorry Baritone players - you can play the same shapes but it will be in C, not F).

The first page is a simple chord solo arrangement in F; staff of the melody and TAB of the chord solo. Melody note is always carried by the last string struck if you are playing down strums. This is a great version if you have never played a chord solo before. There are a few additional pages of scales and chord diagrams to show a little bit about how a chord solo works in the keys of F and C.

This is my original hand written transcription of the arrangement I played at the meetup. There are a few performance notes at the bottom of page 1. You can listen to Kimo perform it if you listen to the track on his recording, "Eminent Ukulele" ...iTunes has it. I worked out the transcription by listening to this. I have played it for Kimo and he says it sounds fine.

Kevin Carroll, the Austin-based uke teacher, was kind enough to enter my transcription in to GuitarPro. 

If you have any questions about this material, please contact me...or we can just talk at the next meetup.

Enjoy!

Kenneth

Friday, May 8, 2015

Houkulele Red Nose Day Jam, Thursday, May 21st

Houkulele, Houston's ukulele club, will hold a special meetup from 7-9 pm at Hickory Hollow in the Heights (101 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77007) on the first annual RED NOSE DAY USA (Thursday, May 21, 2015). This fundraiser is in support of Comic Relief Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

The meetup will function as a regular jam, but we'll be wearing our official Red Noses! We invite you to join us at Hickory Hollow - red nose or not, ukulele or not - to help fight world hunger. Whether or not you are able to join us, please consider sponsoring this very special meetup by visiting our fundraising page at:
https://www.crowdrise.com/houkulelernd2015/fundraiser/houkulele

Funds donated through the fundraising page go directly into Comic Relief, Inc.'s coffers. Any cash donated at the meetup will be tranferred to Comic Relief, Inc. via the page by midnight on Red Nose Day, and by the end of the meetup if possible.

We have set a modest goal as this is the first project like this we have done, but we certainly hope to exceed it! For more information go to RedNoseDay.org.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Houkulele Songbook Updates!

The first version of the Houkulele Songbook for 2015 is now ready for your playing enjoyment!

You can find it under the Songbooks section of the site:


Or you can download it directly here.

What's new in this version?
  • New songs
  • Updated songs
  • (Slightly) new format

To help you sort out what's different, we've added a new column to the contents page so you can see what's changed when:


Share and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Play Ukulele by Ear with Jim D'Ville!

On Tuesday, March 31, at Lord of Life Lutheran Church (The Woodlands) (3801 S Panther Creek
Dr, Spring, TX 77381) there will be two workshops offered - one hour each:

7:00 pm

Strumming Ukulele By Ear (All Levels) Free yourself from memorizing Down-Up patterns! Starting with the basic index finger strum, Jim will quickly have your muscle memory absorbing fun strums like The Gallop Triplett, The Chunky Chop and many more strumming techniques that will spice up your playing.

8:00 pm 

Play Ukulele By Ear Vol. 1 Get the most out of your ukulele experience by learning to Play Ukulele By Ear. This entertaining and informative workshop will give you the tools you need to tap into your innate musical abilities. Playing by ear is easy, fun, and it will propel your understanding of how music works to a new level. This workshop will make you a better listener and student! All skill levels welcome, however, knowledge of basic chord shapes (C F G7) is helpful.

Cost to attend is $35 for both sessions. To attend only one or the other is $20. To reserve your spot and make payment arrangements (through PayPal) contact Jim directly via email: dville at teleport.com

Friday, February 6, 2015

Galveston Mardi Gras 2015 - Parking and Wristbands

 From Larry, our parade coordinator...

Due to street closures, the best way to access the Convention Center garage is to come up 53rd Street towards Seawall and take a right through the Rain Forest Cafe parking lot to get to the parking garage.

Wristbands will be available for the group which will enable them to get free food from the Krewe of Gambrinus vendor. Restrooms will be open at the Convention Center.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Galveston Mardi Gras 2015 - This Weekend!


Here's the latest info from Dave:

All ya all,

Here is a run-down of what to expect this weekend... Most of what is in here has been posted before, but these are some reminders. The weather looks like it will cooperate!

Please note that all Houkulele members, fans, and supporters are welcome to participate-regardless of musical ability!

Krewe of Gambrinus Mardi Gras Parade
  1. Parade is Saturday, February 7, 2015, Galveston, TX, Parade starts at 6:00pm.
  2. Roaring 20’s is the theme. Costumes appropriate to the period are desired. Decoration of the truck/trailer to be conventional Mardi Gras colors.
  3. Songs, chords, and YouTube play-along links have been posted on the site...please practice!
  4. There will be Gatorade and water in a cooler in the truck bed. BYOB if you want something else.
  5. We will be placed in the Float section rather than the Marching Band Section
    • Truck/trailer to be assembled on Thursday afternoon-and Friday in West Isle on Galveston Island. Final decoration touches to be done after spotting in the parade lineup on Saturday.
    • Sound check on equipment on the truck/trailer Friday evening
    • Truck/trailer to be at Avenue G and 44th at 0900 am on Saturday morning to be spotted in place and then proceed with the floats under police escort to the Seawall Blvd. (Should be in place by 11:00am, expect spot between 57th and 59th Streets)
    • Finish decorations on the truck/trailer at the Seawall
  6. We are invited to PLAY and play in the Krewe “PartyZone Section” before the parade (we get fed) and can warm up on our pieces (not expected to perform a concert)
    • “Party Zone Section” festivities are from 3:00pm to 5:00pm
    • Expect to play for our supper (warm ups for us) between 3:30 – 4:45pm
  7. Parade scheduled to start at 6:00pm The parade route runs along Seawall Boulevard, turns north on 25th Street and winds through the Historic Strand District in downtown Galveston. Parade duration is about two and one-half hours.
  8. Transport: The Krewe of are putting on a bus to take our participants back from the parade end to the Galveston Convention Center Parking Garage (parade start).

    Parking at the Galveston Convention Center (5600 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77551) is a two story parking garage located directly below the Convention Center with over 700 parking spaces. There are two entrances on 57th street and one entrance in the Hilton parking lot. At the parade end we will load everyone onto the trailer and the truck and follow the Floats to the Avenue G and 44th takeoff point where we will offload participants who would climb on the Krewe supplied bus to take us back to the cars at the Convention Center. A partial takedown of the truck/trailer decorations would be conducted to allow it to travel back to West Isle.
  9. Advise that you bring your ukulele but leave the case in your car. There is limited space available in the truck/trailer for transport of these during the parade.
  10. There will be 12 seats on the trailer for those capable of plugging into the sound equipment with 4 mics. There will be cords already on the trailer…..just being your instrument.
  11. There will be two SAG seats available on the trailer for people to rest.
  12. We will have the Houkulele Banner lead our unit like last year,,, some non-playing volunteers will carry the banner.
  13. 1000 instrument picks are on hand with the Houkulele Logo to be used as handouts. There are some beads left over from last year and we can give those out as well.
  14. There will be some Kazoos available at the trailer for those that need one.
  15. There will be a safety meeting beforehand so that everyone will know what to expect. We have access to two Motorola Radios to communicate from the trailer to the tow vehicle for stops.
  16. The parade stops periodically... we will play and sing but please do not encourage the crowd to rush the trailer for picks or beads. These could be potential safety issues for us.
Last but not least... please come and have fun. Bring your camera to take pictures. We can pool our results for a nice album.

- Dave Skodack

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Galveston Mardi Gras 2015 - Latest Info

Here's the latest info from Dave:

All ya all,

I have had some conversations with Larry Thompson with the Krewe of Gambrinus.  Here are some of the plans and details of the Mardis Gras Parade you should be aware of.
  1. Parade is Saturday February 7, 2015, Galveston, TX
  2. Roaring 20’s is the theme.  Costumes appropriate to the period are desired.  Decoration of the truck/trailer to be conventional Mardis Gras colors as last year.
  3. Songs, chords, and YouTube play-along links have been posted on the site...please practice!
  4. There will be Gatorade and water in a cooler in the truck bed.  BYOB if you want something else.
  5. We will be placed in the Float section rather than the Marching Band Section
    • Truck/trailer to be assembled on Thursday afternoon-and Friday in West Isle on Galveston Island. (If you are available to help assemble on Thursday or Friday, let me know when you sign-up) Final decoration touches to be done after spotting in the parade lineup on Saturday.
    • Sound check on equipment on the Truck/trailer Friday evening
    • Truck/trailer to be at Avenue G and 44th at 9:00am on Saturday morning to be spotted in place and then proceed with the Floats under police escort to the Seawall Blvd.  (Should be in place by 11:00am, expect spot between 57th and 59th Streets)
    • Finish decorations on the Truck/trailer at the Seawall
  6. We are invited to PLAY and play in the  Krewe “Party Section” before the parade (we get fed) and can warm up on our pieces (not expected to perform a concert)
    • Participants  in the “Party Section” to be in place by 4:00pm
    • “Party Section” lasts from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
  7. Parade scheduled to start at 6:00pm The parade route runs along Seawall Boulevard, turns north on 25th Street and winds through the Historic Strand District in downtown Galveston. Parade duration is about two and one-half hours.
  8. Transport:  The Krewe of Gambrinus wants to help us this year.  They are going to put on a bus to take our participants back from the parade end to the Galveston Convention Center Parking Garage (parade start).
    • Parking at the Galveston Convention Center (5600 Seawall Blvd, Galveston, TX 77551) is a two story parking garage located directly below the Convention Center with over 700 parking spaces. There are two entrances on 57th street and one entrance in the Hilton parking lot. The parking is complimentary and this is where all of the Krewe will be parking.
    • At the parade end we would load everyone onto the trailer and the truck and we are asked to follow the Floats to the Avenue G and 44th takeoff point where we would offload participants who would climb on the Krewe supplied bus to take them back to the cars at the Convention Center.  A partial takedown of the Truck/trailer decorations would be conducted to allow it to travel back to West Isle.
    • A potential hiccup might be if we have too many participants to all get on the Truck/trailer...we would have to anticipate this and make alternative arrangements so that some could go directly to the Band Bus parking area and leave from there like we did last year and that would mean we would still need the Trolley.  Will have to see how many plan to participate...
  9. Advise that you bring your ukulele but leave the case in your car.  There is limited space available in the Truck/trailer for transport these during the parade.
  10. There will be 12 seats on the trailer for those capable of plugging into the sound equipment.  There will be cords already on the trailer…..just being your instrument.
  11. There will be two SAG seats available on the trailer for people to rest.
  12. We will have the Houkulele Banner like last year to lead our group...some non playing volunteers to help carry that would be appreciated.
  13. The decorations for our unit are being reused from last year and replacements have been ordered to replace those damaged.
  14. 1000 instrument picks have been ordered with the Houkulele Logo on them to be used as handouts.
  15. Once the new sound equipment is put together there will be a preliminary sound check to be conducted at Fuller’s Vintage Guitar (date and time to be announced).  Those with plug-in instruments would be encouraged to attend.
  16. Planning to join us?  Then sign-up!
More as the time grows nearer...
- Dave Skodack

Galveston Mardi Gras 2015 - Sign-up!

Planning to join us for the Krewe of Gambrinus Galveston Parade on February 7th? Great! Here's your chance to sign-up:
2015 Krewe of Gambrinus Galveston Parade Sign-up

UPDATE: Sign-up is closed - see you there!