Past Meetup

Ukulele Melee 2017

This Meetup is past

56 people went

Location image of event venue


The Ukulele Melee will be featuring Jim Beloff and his wife Liz as our headliners this year. We are so happy to have them! I still remember seeing Jim and his wife in concert for the first time at my first Ukulele Melee at the deCordova Museum. They are both such fun!

The Ukulele Melee is a day of ukulele fun! All are welcome! More information will be posted as we plan it. Please let me know if you want to teach a workshop this year. Everyone was so pleased with last year's workshops and performances. Let's do it again! Put Ukulele Melee 2017 on your calendar.

There will be two stages, the main cafeteria stage and the coffee house stage.

Cafeteria Stage

12-12:40 Strum Along with Jerry

12:40-12:45 Ukulele Kids Club

12:45-1:00 String Jam

1:00-1:15 Ukulele Fusion

1:15-1:45 Strum Along with Chuck

1:45-2:30 Workshops

*Learning Chords Across the Entire Fretboard And Q&A

For Advanced Beginner through Advanced Players.

Taught by Michael Chung and Ben Chung.

This workshop is an introduction to learning the notes that make up a chord and how these notes relate to the fretboard. We will use the fretboard diagram from Ukulele Underground to help you visualize notes and chords through the entire fretboard without using chord charts.

Through the examples of three basic chords, we will show you how playing the same chord in different parts of the fretboard can make your playing much more interesting. You'll also understand why chord shapes look the way they do and why they're "movable" while providing insights for improvisation.

In the second part of the workshop we will take any questions you have about the ukulele or about playing the ukulele. We can share our experience from studying and playing with ukulele masters in Hawaii for the past 8 years.

Questions can range from topics addressing strumming, picking, left and right hand techniques and practicing; to thoughts on getting the next ukulele or making your current ukulele sound better; to what we learned from Jake Shimabukuro's mentors and peers that everyday ukulele enthusiasts can use.

* Hula Dancing: Taught by Melissa Dullea, a hula instructor in Somerville MA with the group Hui Lehua.

Hula is a story-telling dance, giving voice to the deeds of Hawaiian people and the beauty of special places. This workshop will teach an introductory hula dance to the song "Lovely Hula Hands" written in 1939 by R. Alex Anderson.

This hapa haole song--sung in a Hawaiian style but with English lyrics, evokes a Hawaiian sensibility. It notes how lovely the hands of a hula dancer are, and compares them to elements found in the natural world.

* Sea Shanties: Taught by Jeff Wellin. Songs from the sea have many styles, moods and sources. We will learn some songs selected to show some of this variety, and that sit well on the ukulele. Come journey with us and learn some work songs, stories and ballads. This may be challenging to absolute beginners, but most of the songs will use simple chords and strums – the focus will be on the songs themselves more than on playing techniques.

* Faux Bass: Taught by Art Munger.

This workshop offers an option to traditional ukulele strumming. Accompaniment like this does not provide an authentic bass sound but does provide a unique sound similar to combinations of alternating bass notes and chords. The workshop is suited to ukuleles with a Low-G string. But hey, try your re-entrant tuned uke anyway; get the finger mechanics down and then apply later to your Low-G's. This technique can make ukulele accompaniment more interesting. In music with multiple versus, players can alternate between standard strumming and the alernative discussed here.

This technique uses a right-hand finger-style approach to playing an alternating bass pattern along with chords. Bass notes are played with the right-hand thumb while chords are played with the right-hand index and middle finger. No special chords are required. Use what you know. But, keep in mind that alternate inversions of chords may provide even more interesting bass sounds.

* Ukulele Bass with Dave: Taught by Dave Fuchs This workshop will include bass basics, scales, chords, and playing out of the box. Then, students will use what they have learned to play a Paul McCartney song.

* Protest Songs: Taught by Tin Pan Haole or John Hicks. This workshop will teach songs of Protest. This will cover use of music in activism going back to Joe Hill, and includes songs by Hill, Woody Guthrie, Si Kahn, Phil Ochs, Malvina Reynolds, Utah Philips, Ewan MacColl and others. Click here for the List of songs (

2:30-3:30 Jim and Liz Beloff workshop

Advanced Beginner Ukulele workshop (one hour):For those who know a handful of chords and a basic up/down strum, here’s a chance to take your skills to a new level. Another half dozen or so well-known songs will be played while learning more chords, new fingerings, new strums, a picking pattern, transposing on the fly, reading uke tablature and performance tips and techniques along the way.

3:30-3:44 Student led performance and strumming record breaking “Rockin Robin”

3:45-4:30 Jim and Liz Beloff Concert

Coffee House (Food and drinks will be sold here. People will be here to eat and listen during the course of the event. This will offer a small audience to those who would like to just jam or perform in a less formal environment.)

12:30-1:45 Open Mic - Please send me an email or message to let me know if you are interested in participating in open mic. Each performer should plan on one song to give everyone a chance to perform.

1:45-2:30 workshop

2:30-3:00 All workshop performers can come down and show off what they learned.

3-3:30 Kids strum along will be run by Melissa Graham.

3:30-3:44 - Everyone needs to go to the cafeteria for participate in the strum off.


Adults $10

Kids 8-14 $5

Kids Under 8 Free

Tickets sold at the door.

Parking is free.

Cutler is located ½ mile from the train station, an easy walk.

We will be donating proceeds to the Ukulele Kids Club.