I have been going to ukulele jams as part of a group called Ukulele Newbies, and it is a lot of fun. We don’t do any songs with chords that are too difficult, and the pace is generally merciful. Once a month there is a bigger ukulele jam for any player, not just beginners, and it happened last night. Travalon was going to a basketball game, so it was the perfect opportunity for me to check this jam out. I was a little intimidated, going to the “big girls’ jam” (an awful lot of the players seem to be retirement-aged women), but I just figured I could skip any chord that was too tricky. In fact, this strategy worked very well because the group was much larger than at our beginner jams, so nobody noticed if I dropped out on a chord or two. To my surprise, I actually could play almost all of the chords.
This jam was at a coffeehouse with a beautiful view of Monona Bay, and some random people sat and listened to us, but most of the people there were ukulele players. We had a fearless leader who also teaches the classes, and there was even a bass player, which really added to the sound. A few people performed duets, but most of the time the whole group played. I saw a couple of others from Ukulele Newbies, and we talked about how long we actually qualify as newbies. We have some musical background, so it wasn’t as if we came at the ukulele with no knowledge. One of them joked that we should call our northside group the “Nukes,” but she couldn’t remember what that stood for. I suppose the N is for Northside, and maybe the rest is just “ukes” for ukuleles. Even if we are no longer Newbies, we can still get together and jam as the Northside Ukuleles!