Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sweet Sherrie Yvonne's Ukulele Paradise-My New Teaching Page!

I love Weebly as it's so easy to get a site going there! I started off this year by offering lessons in banjo & mandolin,thinking I'd have a pile of students by now,but this was not the case. To date,I have 1 mandolin student. So,I started looking over the clues given me by the Universe to see where my destiny lies. Last Xmas,I got a reso uke. This year,early,I was gifted 2 fixer upper banjo ukes. My most popular blog? This one. OK-I'm a little dense. (No comments from the peanut gallery) So I no longer offer banjo lessons,I do still take mandolin students,in addition to classical guitar students,however my main focus in teaching is now ukulele. (Including baritone!) 
    I feel like a weight has been lifted off me now that I decided to do this. If you'd care to visit the site & share it with your uke friends,click Sweet Sherrie Yvonne's Ukulele Paradise and have a look around. I adopted a surfy theme,wanting to stay true to my Native Californian beach roots. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Back To School,Football,And Other Newness

The end of summer already! I hope it was a good one for you. And with Fall coming,it's back to school,football,and adding to one's song list. On the list of interesting things I'm doing uke-wise,I'm polishing up previously learned tunes and enjoying being a new subscriber to Ukulele Magazine. I'm crossing my fingers that in a year they become perhaps a bi monthly publication as opposed to being a quarterly one. 
  I've been exploring where I want to go musically. As many of you know,I'm a multi instrumentalist-and over the past two or so years have tried out a lot of different instruments. I also realize there's only so many hours in a day and only so much playing one's fingers can handle in a day as well. So I've decided to mainly focus on ukulele (of course!) mandolin,and guitar (classical/fingerpicking) While I'll still knock around with things like banjo,I seriously want to stay with small instruments. (I know guitar 
isn't small,but I've been playing one since I was 11 & I'm too far in to quit now.....) And flute.Which I'm doing a swell job on teaching myself to play. Back to ukuleles..........
    I've decided to restore a banjo uke that was given me quite awhile back. A Stella in much need of parts. As we speak I'm hunting for the bracket that attaches to the dowel stick to hold the neck in place-without that,any other part aquisitions would be useless. I'm hoping to have it restored before December-and yes I'm doing it myself. 
    As far as image goes (watch out boys,we're gonna talk fashion & makeup for a bit) I found some sweet Kindle book deals on flapper fashion & makeup. If any of you ladies are interested and have an e reader,do look up the titles "1920's Fashion For Your Body Type" and "Vintage Makeup: a simple guide to the 1920's,30's,40's,and 50's". Lots of awesome ideas in these books which I got the Kindle versions for 99¢ ea! And stage presence is always important. 
    Another cool discovery was thru Ukulele mag,where they mentioned a "new" CD by an artist named Papa Lemon. I never heard of this ukulele artist from so long ago,and you can hear some sample tracks on Amazon. I'll be picking this CD up soon. 
      Are you working on Halloween tunes & Christmas carols yet? Have any Holiday gigs lined up? Busking plans? And speaking of busking (I'm so glad you mentioned that!) There is a busking blog aimed at women. I never realized that there's not many chick buskers out there. The blog is The Womens Buskers Project & it's a hoot to look at-so do have a visit and say hi!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ReVamping Your Style

    Everyone needs to revamp their playing style every now & again as well as their performances......not so much in skill & perfection but also in your songlist and the how's of how you share your playing. It's wonderful when we get a bunch of songs down,and then the thing to watch out for is when do they start to get stale? Having a rotating song list can be mighty helpful to not only keep your playing fresh,but to also prevent you from getting into a hum-drum as a player. 
    How bout your performing wardrobe? Have the clothes you wear for performing gotten to be more like uniforms? Perhaps it's time to dazzle it up with some new clothes and donate the old ones. (unless of course there's an item you wear that's more like a trade mark for you)  
Nothing against the Hawaiian look,but I really wish players would get away from wearing tropical prints so much. Yes,I know the uke is a Hawaiian instrument but that doesn't mean everyone has to dress like they went to a gift shop on the islands. Be innovative (and decent!) with what you wear when playing for folks. Stand out in a good way. 
   How about videos? Have you made any lately? (I need to do this) Have you recorded anything? (another need to do for me) I have found it's all too easy to make videos and then just "forget it" for awhile. Time flies (I was shocked at how long it's been since I wrote an entry here) and before you know it, it's been half a year with no new videos or recording. I'm making a goal of doing one new video a month. And with Christmas season just months away,I want to do some carol videos. Not to mention Halloween? (I have a great arrangement of "The Addams Family Theme" I need to start plucking again) 
    Make a short list of what you'd like to do in the reVamping yourself areas listed above. Don't make it overwhelming,say a list of 5 things to start with. Start haunting vintage clothing stores,looking at songbooks & sheet music at used book stores or online,etc. Make a video of yourself playing every so often. Get a new strap if you use one. You get the drift by now,I'm certain. It's frightening how artists can get into a rut-I know this from personal experience. It happens quicker than you think it can. 
      And have fun with it- the most important thing!