Having fun making music

We’re a group of uke players who meet each Tuesday at 7:00pm at The Hancock Recreation Center – 811 E. 41st Street, Austin, TX. (Hancock Rec Center Web). Ask at the front desk and they’ll point the way.

We open our meetings by playing a couple of songs that we haven’t played for a while. Then we play a few songs from our current, and ever-changing quarterly songbook. Folks bring in songs they like and we try new songs – we’re open to anything! We project the song sheets on the wall – and we have loaner ukes at every meeting – so you don’t need anything! At the end of each quarter we pull a dozen or so songs from our current songbook, print song sheets,  and have an open uke jam at a local watering hole – we call it a UkeAlong.  We take our loaner ukes and usually get some bystanders involved  – it’s a lot of fun.

From 6:30pm to 7:00pm each Tuesday we have a gentle warm up where we play one and two-chord songs.

If you have any questions drop us an email – tug_info@tuesdayukes.org. We’re very informal, and this is a friendly group – so come out and play ukes with us.

Austin Ukulele Society Open Mic

The Austin Ukulele Society hosted another great open mic at Kick Butt Coffee on Saturday, August 17 – and TUG was there! Here’s our group performing Everybody Loves My Baby (Spencer Williams, Jack Palmer – 1924).

And to close out our TUG set we did Blitzkrieg Bop (Tommy Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone – 1976).

But TUG wasn’t through – here’s Walter – – –

And Mary Jane —

Rich played 2 songs –

And Ode to Billy Joe —

It was a ton of ukulele fun – thanks to Bob and Jen and Lida – and the Austin Ukulele Society for putting it together!

Tuesday Uke Ukulele Camps

TUG will be hosting two Uke Camps in September. This is a 4-week program for Seniors (50+) new to the uke or wondering if the uke is something for them (the answer is yes!). We cover the basics:

  • Parts of the ukulele
  • How to hold the ukulele
  • Fingering chords
  • How to learn new chords
  • Simple strumming
  • How to make more complex strums
  • How to learn a song on the uke
  • Strumming and singing
  • Reading TABS

And we play songs – but the end of the camp you’ll be playing two and three chord songs confidently in a group.

We’ll have 10 loaner ukes available for the classes, and TUG has donated 5 ukuleles to each location so there will be ukuleles available outside of class for folks to practice and play. So no uke – no problem!

If you’d like to see what we’ll cover in camp you can download our Uke Camp Book. All class participants will get a printed copy at the first camp meeting.

Our first camp will be at the Lamar Senior Activity Center, meeting Thursday mornings from 10:00 am-11:oo am – September 12 – October 3. Participants will need to be a member of (or join) the Lamar Senior Activity Center ($5.00/year). Contact the Lamar Senior Activity Center for more information on registering for the Uke Camp.

  • Lamar Senior Activity Center
  • 2874 Shoal Crest Avenue, Austin, TX 78705
  • 512-978-2480
  • Thursday September 12 – Thursday, October 3 10am – 11am

Our second camp will be at the Allen R. Baca Center in Round Rock. We’ll be meeting Wednesday evenings from 7:00pm – 8:00pm – September 25 – October 16. Participants will need to be a member of (or join) the Allen R. Baca center ($25/year). Contact the Allen R. Baca Center for more information on registering for the Uke Camp.

  • Allen R. Baca Center
  • 301 W. Bagdad Ave., Building 2, Round Rock, TX 78664
  • (512) 218-5499
  • Wednesday, September 25 – Wednesday, October 16
  • 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Come camp with TUG!

New Song File Folders

We’ve reorganized the song files a little. You can get to them using the Tug Song Sheets link in the sidebar. There is a new folder called – COMPILATIONS. This should be where you will find the Quarterly Song books – and other compilations of songs. These will be PDF format files with multiple songs. We’ve renamed the Archives folder to ONSONG ACHIVES – and this folder will only contain archive files for the OnSong application. (This allows folks with OnSong on an iPad to load songs and sets). We haven’t updated the individual song files yet – but should have those up-to-date in the next few weeks.

July Uke Along!

We had a great time at our July UkeAlong. We had about twenty ukesters – and a bunch of innocent bystanders got infected and played and sang along. The weather was great! Here’s the song sheet we used. Unfortunately – once again – I was having too much fun to remember to take pictures – so you’ll just have to imagine the awesome spectacle that is a Tuesday UkeAlong. (Next time I’ll draft someone more reliable to shoot some pics). Our next UkeAlong is scheduled for Tuesday October 1 at the Brewtorium. Watch this space for more info.

April UkeAlong!

Taking a uke break – the loaners are almost gone!

We had a great time at the Brewtorium on April 2. We had more than 30 folks playing and singing – and in addition to the ukes we had some great percussion, Kazoo, and harmonica playing. Thanks to the Brewtorium and everyone who came out. Our next Tuesday Ukealong will be July 2 at the Central Market on North Lamar. See you there!

AUS Open Mic

The TUGsters played at the Austin Ukulele Society open mic at Kick Butt Coffee on Saturday, February 16. Thanks to everyone who came out to play – it was a blast – and here’s a little video of our TUG version of Midnight Special.

Tug Song Files – Demystified

We use an iPad program called OnSong to project our songs each week at TUG. The songs we project are formatted using a simple text file format called ChordPro. By using the ChordPro format files in OnSong we can do things like change the key on the fly, display chord diagrams in different places, set the size and color of the fonts and chords, etc.

The format of a ChordPro file is really pretty simple. The chords are placed in square brackets ([]) where they should appear in the lyrics.

[C] Cecilia, you're [F] breaking my [C] heart, 
you're [F] shaking my [C] confidence [G7] daily
Oh, [F] Cecili-[C]-a, I'm [F] down on my [C] knees;
I'm [F] begging you [C] please to come [G7] home.

Note that the chords can be placed in the middle of words. For TUG when a chord appears within a word we add dashes before and after the chord (ex-[G7]-ample). Also, for TUG we try to keep a space between any word and a chord – this just makes the final chord chart a little easier to read.

The file format is a simple text file that you can edit with TextEdit or Notepad. It is better not to use a word processor such as Word – they add hidden characters which can make the song format strangely.

So, a simple text file of the lyrics with chords in square brackets is all you need to format a song for us to display. Everything else is completely optional. Here’s a few other formatting options you can use.

If you’d like to add musical directives – like “Play softly here” – you can use a comment tag. Put it on it’s own line and enclose it with curly brackets ({}).

{comment:Play Softly Here}
{c:Play Softly Here}

Since choruses tend to repeat, you can just enter the chorus once, then merely refer to it later in the song. You can define the chorus using {start_of_chorus} and {start_of_chorus} (or, if you like, {soc} and {eoc}.)

A very merry [G]Christmas - And a happy New [A]Year
Let's hope it's a [Em]good one - [G]Without any [D]fear [E]
A very merry [G]Christmas - And a happy New [A]Year
Let's hope it's a [Em]good one - [G]Without any [D]fear [E]

For TUG a chorus marked this way will be indented and bolded. When the chorus comes up later in the song you can use a comment line to indicate it:


We always add a title and composer line in our TUG songs. Enter the title at the top of your file like this:

{title:Let it Be}
{t:Let it Be}

The author line should be right below the title – we use the subtitle tag for this:

{subtitle:John Lennon/Paul McCartney}
{st:John Lennon/Paul McCartney}

For our TUG files – the first two lines look like this:

{title:Let it Be}
{subtitle:John Lennon/Paul McCartney}

That’s really all there is to it. Here’s a short song file in our TUG format. You can see the additional optional fields at the top of the file.

{t:Bow Tie Daddy}
{st: Frank Zappa - 1968}
{key:C }
{book: Q119}
{c: First Sung Note: C }

[C] Bow tie daddy dontcha [A7] blow your top
[D7] Everything's [G7] under con-[C]-trol
[C] Bow tie daddy dontcha [A7] blow your top
[D7] 'Cause you think you're gettin' too [G7] old

[C] Don't try to do no [C7] thinkin'
Just [F] go on with your [G7] drinkin'
[C] Just have your fun, you [A7] old son of a gun
[D7] Then drive home [G7] in your [C] Lincoln

[C] [C] [C] [B] [C]

And here’s what it looks like formatted in OnSong.

OnSong formatted ChordPro file

Check out the links in the ChordPro Format Sources section to the right for places to find songs in ChordPro format and tools for creating and viewing ChordPro files.

Tuesday Uke-Along III

The weather did not cooperate on September 11 for our Oskar Blues Uke-Along – so we decamped to the Central Market on Lamar – where Nancy hosted first TUG meeting long ago. We had a great time. Once we set up the loaners folks got interested – and pretty quickly all the loaners were out – and we had a whole table of ladies doing a ukulele Flash Class. Once we got to playing we had a series of dancers, and drop-ins – and everyone seemed to have a great time. The beer didn’t hurt.

In 2019 we’re going to go to a quarterly schedule for our Uke-Alongs – the first Tuesdays in January, April, July, and October. The January Uke_along will be January 1 – so we’ll plan for something special that day.

See you at the next Uke-Along!