I played a ukulele open mic on Father’s Day at Los Jalapenos restaurant with the Dallas Ukulele Headquarters (DUH) Meetup community. It was my first time with the group. I didn’t know what it would be like to play with a room full of ukulele players. They are an accepting bunch. I made some new musical friends.
I had replied as soon as I received the invitation for the open mic, saying that I would like to play. I got to the restaurant at what I thought was an early time. Most of the group that was coming was already there. I ordered food and was fixing my tea when Mark Levine, organizer of DUH, announced that the open mic would start shortly with the Happy Hour Ukes group. After the group we would start with the open mic list.
Which was when I first realized that the list was on a white board next to the stage. I got closer to see the list and found that I was first after the group. I got my ukulele out of the case and made sure it was tuned. The Happy Hour Ukes were pretty good. One of the guys was playing a ukulele bass. If you haven’t heard one before, it sounds like an upright bass. The drummer had a nice setup with a cajon and other percussion instruments. I’m blurry in the picture, but you can see his setup.
Being a complete newcomer, I was apprehensive about being the first one to play in the open mic. Open mics are nothing new, but most of the crowd could play ukulele better than me. However, I was pretty sure few of them had written songs. I was hoping that would help me be accepted by the ukulele crowd.
We were each to play two songs. I played the Aardvark Song – a song I wrote with my daughter when she was twelve. Then I played Love is The Thing – a song I wrote for the ukulele. Both songs seemed to go over well. But they really liked the Aardvark Song.
I returned to my table to applause, which is always nice. As I ate my food and listened to the other performers, I gradually became one of the group. Shared looks when laughing at jokes. People telling me they liked my song.
If you have a ukulele or ever thought about getting one, there are a lot of choices. But get it out of the closet or pick one up. Then join the Dallas Ukulele Headquarters Meetup Group. Download the songbooks from the files and go to town. If you’re a songwriter, it will give you another avenue to explore in writing songs. A new instrument also gets the writing juices flowing.
Then join us/them for events having ukulele jams. The places where they have their meetups always have good food. And these folks have a good time.
Peace be with you.