Meet McClelland!

If you have read every blog post I have ever written you might recognize Craig McClelland as part of the Sukey Jump Band, Vespus and Skumbaag, however I am excited to introduce him in a new light- as a uke teacher and member of the Smoking Jackets.  Craig is, you see, a man of many talents!

Craig has got both ends covered....

Craig has got both ends covered….

We are getting the jackets tailored for some shows at the beginning of November, and Craig will be flying out from his beautiful home in Sturgeon Bay, WI for music making and teaching in California.

First stop- McCabes Weekend Ukulele Warriors, November 1st, noon.

The next day we will be joined by John Bartlit, the forth (and yet unphotographed member) of the Smoking Jackets.  We have two shows on Sunday- the first is and 11 am Sukey Jump show at McCabes, the second is the 3 pm benefit at the Coffee Gallery in Altadena.

He's the good looking one in the fez

He’s the good looking one in the fez

Here is a little about Craig and what he will be teaching at McCabes:

Those Problem Chords – D Major and E Major (and more).

As a beginning ukulele player you find yourself facing many challenges. You find yourself asking how do I tune my uke, do I really look good in a bowtie, and just how do I pronounce ukulele anyway. Playing chords is just another of these challenges and just as you are getting a pretty good handle on how to play such common chords as G Major, C Major, F Major and A Major and are getting pretty good at switching between them, along come two chords that strike fear in the heart of every beginning ukester– D Major and of course, the dreaded E Major. In this workshop Craig McClelland will help you find ways to approach these most feared of chords – fingering variations, different voicings, and even out and out “cheats” that you can use at your next uke jam until you do master the preferred voicings – all while learning a couple of easy songs and having a fun time. If all goes well, we may even examine a few more common problem chords (although the decision to wear a bowtie is left completely to you).

Craig McClelland is a professional musician (bass, guitar, ukulele, and tuba) and instructor with over 30 years’ experience, presently working with the American Folklore Theatre and the Peninsula Players Theatre in Door County, Wisconsin. Craig has taught music publicly and privately over the last 20 years after having studied bass at Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles, as well as earning a BA in Music at University of New Mexico and an MA in Humanities from California State University – Dominguez Hills. He has been pleased to share his music with students of all levels, having taught in elementary schools, universities and all levels in between.

In addition to his teaching and theatre work, Craig can be seen around the country in such diverse ensembles as the Vespus Marimba Band, the Sukey Jump Band, Crossing 32nd Street, the Links Ensemble, The Gazebo Guys, and America’s only heavy-metal vaudeville troupe, Skumbaag. In 2012, Craig was honored when Skumbaag was chosen as Ensemble in Residence for the University of New Mexico International Composers Symposium, featuring a wide range of his music, including selections from his original musical, The Lubbock Lights.

When not performing, Craig likes to be with his family in Door County and uses the time for songwriting, playwriting as well as substitute teaching band, choir, and theatre in the public schools. He can frequently be found doing workshops such as this one.

Craig would also like to thank the fine folks at McCabe’s for this opportunity to share his love of ukulele with your community.

just don't bring up the bananna

just don’t bring up the bananna suit

Both of the fine photos of Craig were taken in PHX by James Barnett  WeTakeNicePictures.com

This last lousy one was taken by me

A working lunch at our PHX regional office.

A working lunch at our PHX regional office.

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Weekend Ukulele Warrior – The Adventure Continues!

photo by James Barnett,  wetakenicepictures.com

photo by James Barnett, wetakenicepictures.com

Weekend UKULELE Warriors    Saturdays, 12:00 at Mc Cabes Guitar Shop, $40

8/30 FUNK IT UP with Daniel Ward learn hammers, slides and the requisite overbite to Play that Funky Music, White Boy.

NO WEEKEND WARRIORS for the month of September! Why don’t you hit the road and join at Wine country Ukulele Festival, Wiggle Out Loud festival and the Albuquerque Ukulele festival!?

10/4 PLAY THE UKULELE IN A DAY with Heidi Swedberg and Daniel Ward

 10/11 RIGHT HAND-LEFT HAND This workshop is a passage to comfort.  Daniel Ward concentrates on the magic of discovering how easy it is to play when you get a simple group of skills that lines up both hands, and frees you from some old demons.  Handouts include simple warm ups and drills, fingerpicking, and strumming help, and a big overview of how it all fits.

10/18 DO-WACKA-DO! Heidi Swedberg teaches the signature ukulele strum and pairs it with a classic Americana Ragtime song.

10/25 SPOOKY! In deference to the season Heidi Swedberg hits the minor leagues and plays with the major/minor sound.

 

Classes at McCabes

 

ukelele lesson by heidi swedberg at McCabe's Guitar Shop, Los Angeles

photo by John Nybor http://estnyboer.com/photos/

I LOVE teaching at this place!  Family classes, private lessons and the Weekend Ukulele Warriors Series are all starting up again on July 12 and I look forward to meeting new students of all ages.  For info on signing up for these classes  and directions check McCabe’s website.

072411 GFP Junau Ukulele-136 web

UKUlear Family is a 4-week class for ALL AGES (Kids under 8 require a participating adult)  I particularly like working with mixed age groups.  There is so much to learn from one another and there are few opportunities for engagement with people outside of one’s age group.  I love the opportunity to be with people learning and growing together.  This class runs 4 consecutive saturdays at 1:30 pm.  We start at the very beginning, learning songs from the start.  This is a great class to get you started on a musical adventure for your entire life, whatever stage of life you are in!

Weekend Ukulele Warriors  So many students from either the One-Day workshop or the UKUlear family wanted to know “What’s next?”.  Daniel and I have been enjoying teaching at ukulele festivals across the country and loved the one-off format of festival classes.  We thought making a weekly series of festival style classes would be the perfect idea!  These Saturday noon workshops include beginner classes and more advanced lessons and are meant as stand-alone workshops.

Next week (July 12) and August 2 I will be teaching the one day beginner class PLAY THE UKULELE IN A DAY for beginners of all ages.

Here’s a rough schedule for the Warriors-

July 12  PLAY THE UKULELE IN A DAY

July 19   THE HAMMER (and how to pull it)  Hammering on and Pulling off for beginners

July 26   NO CLASS!

August 2  PLAY THE UKULELE IN A DAY

August 9  Get your STRUM on  Right hand technique to make your songs sing with DANIEL WARD

August 16 MAJOR TO MINOR Blues both ways with DANIEL WARD

August 23  FREIGHT TRAIN  your express ride to second position chords and travis picking

August 30  FUNK IT UP  Hammers, slides and a white man’s overbite with DANIEL WARD teaches you how to Play That Funky Music

 

 

Weekend Ukulele Warriors schedule thru June 21

Every Saturday at NOON it’s a fresh festival-style ukulele workshop on an intimate scale.  After teaching really big classes in Reno it’s great to switch gears and get one-on-one (or two on three) with people.

Todays fresh crop of Warriors

Todays fresh crop of Warriors

Here is the schedule thru the end of June…

5/10 WHAT THE PLUCK?! With Heidi Swedberg and Daniel Ward All levels are invited to learn plucking patterns. Simple and beautiful ways to give dimension to accompaniments, great tool for songwriting.

RAFFLE FOR KALA TRAVEL TENOR AT THE END OF CLASS!!!!

 5/17 NO CLASS (We’re gigg’in!)

5/24 Tiptoe Thru the TULIPS It’s the Song that broke the ukulele! We are going crazy and resurrecting the song made tabu in the uke world by Tiny Tim. Not only do we have a heartfelt appreciation for his artistic courage, but we also agree that it’s a GREAT song with really cool changes and takes well to jazzy chord voicings.

5/31 WEST COAST UKULELE RETREAT Come find us in Asilomar! NO CLASS

6/7 UKULELE BUILDING BLOCKS Daniel Ward reprises his ever popular techniques class. If you have taken this before, don’t worry- he will teach you the next level of tricks and exercises to get you playing better, faster and more comfortably.

6/14 Here’s your chance to learn a great jazz number- why not take ALL OF ME ? It’s a great song, for your repertoire. Simple structure and chords that can get as complicated as you are ready for.

6/21 FLAMENC-A-LELE with Daniel Ward Classical Spanish guitar songs and strums for the ukulele

6/28 NO CLASS (We are in Santa Fe for a very special wedding!)

Weekend UKULELE Warriors  Saturdays, 12:00 at Mc Cabes Guitar Shop, $40        Sponsored by KALA Brand

Another fine photo by James Barnett http://wetakenicepictures.com

Another fine photo by James Barnett http://wetakenicepictures.com

WE’LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT!

This weekend: McCabes for ALL AGES (with DYLAN DUPRE!)

Just back from the PHENOMENAL Reno Ukulele Festival! What a fantastic time we had!  (More on that in the next post)   Now we are all fired up to jump right back in to teaching ukulele to all ages here in Los Angeles at McCabes. (OK, Santa Monica… but close enough!)

Dylan:Reno

We loved working with our friends Craig and Sarah, and we hope to welcome them back to Weekend Ukulele Warriors as soon as they can fit it into their very busy schedules.  I’m still working through the chord substitutions from the handouts in the last workshop they led.  Our new friend and colleague,  Dylan, pictured here in photos from Reno,  is a killer player and has the best Bb you have ever seen. He will teach you how to play it HERE, and you can listen to his first song HERE.   These are AWSOME videos-  Go Dylan GO!  Maybe we can schedule a date for you to teach at McCabes soon!  It is your birthday on Thursday, after all.  Don’t put it off another year!

Because we are bopping around  we will have some rather irregular dates for the new UKULEAR FAMILY class, and a new time to boot!  If you are interested but know you will be unable to attend a class in the series don’t let that deter you- we would be happy to prorate for you.

UKULEAR FAMILY is an all-ages class, 4 Saturdays, May 3, 10, 24th and June 6, 1:30 PM.  Kids under 8 are $50, and require a participating adult.  Adults are $110.  You don’t have to have a kid to attend, but it helps if you can act like one!

The Weekend Ukulele Warriors series continues on Saturdays at noon.  This week Daniel and I teach an intro Nashville System and the following week we teach plucking patterns to juice up your playing.  We are just about to draw the lucky winner of a Kala Travel tenor uke from the names of workshop attendees, so come to class and get your name in- maybe you will be a winner, like Dylan!

Speaking of McCabes and ukulele… in a few weeks the lovely Louise Goffin will be singing and playing her 4 strings at McCabes!  Come catch her show at 8 pm May 17th. Get your tickets HERE

 

 

Sevillanas this Saturday!

The Weekend Ukulele Warriors series at McCabes continues this Saturday with a workshop teaching how to transfer a traditional spanish guitar form from guitar to ukulele.  It sounds sexy and difficult, but you’ll be surprised to discover how simple it is!Image

Daniel Ward, our resident flamenco, breaks down the melody and the strum into simple bite sized pieces.  And here’s a shocker- only 2 chords!  Come this Saturday at noon and pick up your own showstopper.

Next week we bring it back to basics with our Play the Ukulele in A Day workshop, designed for the absolute beginner.  If you are new to uke or new to music, this class is for you!  All ages welcome, kids under 8 require participating adult.

AND_ our lovely sponsor, Kala Ukulele has donated another Travel Tenor Uke for us to raffle off!  Your name goes in the hat every class you attend!  Come on down and be a winner in every way!

Kid’s Shows Ahead

concert series v2

This weekend the Sukey Jump Band is excited to be playing a new family music concert series in Venice CA.  There just is not enough of these events in LA!  The Ecole Fontaine at 1047 Abbott Kinney has a cool thing going- they are hosting family concerts with a drum circle afterwards lead by the Sandra Sandia, a performer known for sharing latin influenced music with LA Kids and adults for 20 years.

We are also excited to be partying with the Big Bunny over Easter Weekend at the LA Zoo.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday we will be doing shows in “The Treetops” at the zoo from 11 am to 3 pm.  There will be crafts, a Big Bunny and… ANIMALS, natch!

Hope to see you there!

Also this weekend- the Weekend Ukulele Warriors continues, with Daniel Ward teaching Sevillanas, traditional Spanish Guitar for the ukulele!