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Managing your online ukulele group meeting

Since asking for you to get in touch and let me know how your Ukulele Group are connecting during these times of social distancing, I’ve had lots of emails from various groups describing what they are doing.

While I’ve heard that some groups are managing to connect and play together through video chat, I’ve also had emails from others expressing frustration at managing the technology. It’s certainly not easy and issues with delay, background noise, etc, can make it very difficult to be able to hear one another clearly.

One group who I think are having some success with connecting via Zoom are The BUKES. I had an email from Matt Sargent who I think describes how they are using it:

“In terms of connecting together and playing music online, we’ve found that the key is to set up something which it’ll work with. Issues with delay, etc, pretty much rule out jamming together with everyone feeding in their own audio.

Instead, we have a sort of ‘open-mic night’ where people take turns to provide the audio. The others then mute their audio and just jam along to what the one person is playing. Or we listen to a recording of a previous rehearsal or a song we want to practice, and again, everyone else mutes and plays along. We can have the chord charts come up on Zoom too. After each ditty, everyone is unmuted so they can chat and then on it goes!

It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good – it’s fun, it keeps people in touch and it’s free! What’s not to like there?”

Thank you very much to Matt from The BUKES for contacting me and providing that useful tip on how Ukulele Groups can use video chat effectively.

I’ve also received a really useful email from Clive King, also from the BUKES, who goes into more detail on what he’s doing to facilitate their online meetings. Read more here.

If anyone has any other useful pointers, or would like to tell me about their Ukulele Group, please either comment on this post or send an email to: matt@noahukuleles.com

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