Monday, August 20, 2007

StrumMn September kick-off

I've reserved the Roseville Public Library meeting room on Sunday September 9th from 2pm-5pm for our fall kick-off meeting. The library is at the corner of County Rd B and Hamline Avenue. Let me know if you need directions. It's a big room, come and help fill it!

There is a link on the right to a new flyer if you want to print and post one at a favorite music store or elsewhere.

Pick a song you'd like to try as a group and bring some copies along to share. Even better, get a copy to me that I can post or link to here so others can make their own copy and practice ahead of time.

Bring an extra uke or 2 along to share or to let others try out.

Bring a friend along to share the extra uke!

I'll bring my laptop so we can access songs on the internet or view DVD instructional material.

If you want to lead the group in something particular just let me know. (ie. TPA, Hawaiian, etc)

Let me know if I missed anything here and I'll update as necessary. Feel free to leave comments, I love getting feedback.

I hope to see you in September!
Keep StrumMn!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Just because I promised...

Here is a pic of the drum sander. I still need to build the dust hood and true up the drum itself but it's looking good and everything seems to be lining up nice.
I priced out crank handles and they cost $25! The black knobs are $4.75 each (I used 5) at any local hardware stores. I found the knobs for $0.75 each online and ordered them up. They came only as female knobs and I had to cut threaded rod to length and epoxy it to the knobs, a little extra work but saved a bunch of $. Then I bought a stop collar and got out the welder to build a crank handle, got it done for under $4 including a new locknut.

The platten was too wide and I needed to trim it up some which I did with a belt sander. I chucked the drum in a wood lathe to do some real rough work, getting some glue off, etc. But it needs to be finished by putting sand paper on a board and running that through to sand the drum itself. Then a couple coats of finish to seal the drum at which point I can wind the drum itself with sandpaper. Almost there! Like the yellow? Maybe I'll write DeWalt on the side in Magic Marker for fun.

I'll probably finish just in time to head back to work and won't get much time to play with it. :-(

Friday, August 17, 2007

8/22 Last Wed @ Como for the summer?

8/15 was another nice night at Como. The Mn State Concert Band played again, they're really good! I just did my thing up on the hill as usual.

I plan to be down there again on the 22nd but it may be my last Wednesday for the summer. On Wednesday 8/29 I'm starting a new job out near 62&494 and I have no idea if I'll be able to make it that day. I don't want to leave a uke in the car all day either. If you've been planning to drop on by then next Wednesday is the day to make it! The concert that night will be "First Light Trio" if anyone cares.

I hope to post more pictures of my drum sander this weekend too, it's getting close to being functional! Once I've got it up and running if any of you are interested in building a uke and want to run a couple plates through we can have a StrumMn meeting at my place and do a little woodworking while we're at it.

Hope you're all StrumMn the summer away, enjoy!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

8/8 and 8/15 at Como

Another nice night out playing the uke on 8/8. I drove down there in the miserable humidity thinking "what am I doing?" Got down there and the temp was 5 or 10 degree's cooler by the waterfall, it became overcast and the temp and humidity both dropped even more. It became the perfect evening to play outdoors! The Minnesota Concert Band did a concert on the promenade and sounded great too, but I stayed put and played uke.
Paging through my books I tried a couple songs that I'd bypassed previously as "too hard", now Moonlight Becomes You sounds like it may be do-able after all. I'd also played Build Me Up Buttercup a number of times. It always sounded great strummed but I couldn't get it to work as a chord melody arrangement. Last night I tried it for the first time in over a month and it seemed to work fine so I guess general chord melody practice is paying off. I also tried switching fingerings (again) for the alternating 2033 2433 chords in Sentimental Journey and what didn't work at all in the past seemed natural last night. The finger twisting I've been doing now makes it work for me a couple different ways depending on what chords I'm coming from or going to. Anyone interested in learning these just show up and I can at least show you what is working for me.
I don't think I've got anything going next Wednesday so I'll plan to be down there again on the 15th. I welcome any company if you care to come play some uke.
Keep StrumMn!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

uke building - drum sander

Well, it's taking shape! The main body is together and in primer. I won't paint it until the humidity drops a bit. The platten is just fit together, not fastened... good thing too as it's about 1/8" too wide! I'll have to narrow it slightly to fit, easy at this point thank goodness. The sandpaper for the platten belt and for the drum is on order so it won't be long now until I can do final setup and a test run. You can see another view of my sidebending form in the background of one of the shots.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

8/1 at Como and next try on 8/8

Well I went to Como again on 8/1. Was there about a half hour when I got a phone call from my wife telling me about the interstate 35W bridge collapse. I stayed put for another hour in case anybody else showed up to play, all the while hoping nobody decided to come THAT route. This was the first time I left early, I wanted to get the new abot what was happening. I doubt I'll ever forget where I was and what I was doing when I got the news.

Anybody up for some playing on 8/8? You can find me outside the pavillion near the waterfall from 6-8pm. I'm easy to recognize, I'll be the one playing the uke.

Keep StrumMn!