Wiltshire Publications

New Ukulele Club launched

A mere idea in 2014, after some pilot workshops, Warminster Ukulele Club had its first formal monthly meeting for adult ukulele players on 1st February this year.

For ukulele players of all ages, abilities and musical tastes, it is fun and informal. There is expert, informed and friendly guidance from on-hand tutors.

The first Sunday of each month host the main Club meetings. Annual membership costs just £15, guest members paying £2 per session with all music provided, as well as professional guidance.

Knowledge of some basic chords, simple techniques and ability to read ukulele tablature, chord diagrams or clef notation is required; this is not as daunting as it sounds as it equates to RGT Grade One level. It is easy to find out if someone is at this standard by chatting briefly to one of the tutors, who can also advise on lessons for complete beginners.

On Saturday 8th August, a free open ukulele event at the Club’s current venue (Chinns Court, Warminster) makes it possible to chat to tutors about learning ukulele from scratch, improving your skills or taking ukulele exams. Also, examples of every type of ukulele, from tiny piccolo ukulele to the warm sounding bass ukulele, as well as the new ground-breaking Eco-lele, will be on display.

Newcomers can find out what suits them best; experienced players can try their hand at the demonstration instruments and anyone can receive expert advice. At the venue there is a ukulele hospital where tired or damaged ukuleles may be revived.

Throughout the year, other events include subsidised workshops and children’s classes. The Club encourages and facilitates performance opportunities, such as recently playing for a large and appreciative crowd during the Salisbury Magna Carta celebrations pageant.

Beginner or expert, young or old, all can enjoy ukulele – purely for fun or for serious study, with many benefits. Music is good for mind, body and soul and the ukulele is a great social instrument.

The vocal skills of Tom Hiscocks, Club chairman, often enhance Club meetings; participants are encouraged to sing along if they wish. Tom gained 98% at the highest level in the first ever accredited ukulele exams sessions in 2014. While the accent is on fun, the Club also aims to support general musicianship for its members and guests.