We're a Ukulele enthusiast club based in Altoona, PA and surrounding areas. The Allegheny Ukes have existed in various incarnations since 2010 where we jammed on college campuses, the local YMCA, and in cafes.
As of 2014, we have re-established ourselves to have a set schedule of events! We have a Second Sunday Jam every month. Check our events calendar for the locations and times!
We eventually hope to branch out into community outreach, bringing the uke to the local schools, nursing homes, and service groups. Uke Evangelism!
As of January 2014, we have yet to establish an official membership structure. Mike Holzer and Steve Sherrill do the organizing and venue booking. If you want to volunteer for a leadership role or take on some aspect of running the club, let us know! We'd be happy to delegate some of our uke-club-running-duties to you!
Future Membership Plans
In the future, we're planning to establish some sort of dues-paying structure which will allow us to gain enough capital per year to arrange for workshops led by nationally known and recognized Ukulele performers and teachers. Since 2013, we've brought in touring artists such as Lil' Rev, Stukulele (Stuart Fuchs), and Danielle Ate the Sandwich for concerts and workshops. We hope to create and promote similar programs in the future! As part of membership, we'd also like to be able to offer a discount card to the local music stores. Stay tuned for updates on formal membership!
About our Jams
Our ukulele jams are open to players of all ages and abilities. We play in C6 tuning (GCEA). Generally, one or two people will 'lead' the session, often delegating particular songs to other members of the group to lead. If you want to lead a particular song, or introduce a new song, let us know about a week beforehand so we can get music printed or emailed to the rest of the club!
The first half hour is set aside to help beginners with any chords or chord transitions they may be having trouble with. We will go over 'new' chords being introduced in the music that day, if any. It also gives us a chance to work with each other closely and to get to know one another. If you're not a beginner and/or you want to just show up for the regular jam, then come a bit later.
Music is generally handed out at the jam session in photocopied packets. We recommend taking them home and putting them into an alphabetized binder for easy referal. We will ocassionally use music from The Daily Ukulele and The Daily Ukulele Leap Year Edition. Both of these song books are available online and in music stores for around $30.
The jams are free, but we always put out a donation jar. We suggest a donation of $5 per jam. All donations go towards covering our costs such as printing, website hosting, advertising, etc.
We plan to have 2-3 performances throughout the year with a varied set list. Participation is totally voluntary, but we like to have as many players on stage with us as possible.Think of it as a big group recital!
Getting Started with the Ukulele
If you're just starting out in the world of ukulele, the array of options can be maddening! We recommend picking a ukulele in the $50-$100 range. Ukuleles in this range are almost all quality instruments and you don't have to usually worry about tone or manufacturing issues. The brands available locally (in and around Altoona) are Kala, Makala, Lanakai, Oscar Schmidt and Kohala. These brands are all quality ukes that are excellent choices to get started with the ukulele! Ukuleles are also readily available online, but we recommend getting out to a local music store to try them out first. Also, supporting small businesses is awesome and you should do that!
We also recommend picking up a clip-on tuner to help keep your uke in tune. They run about $15 in stores (and less online). The clip-on tuner picks up the vibrations of the instrument and will display how sharp or flat a particular string is.