Cool hand ukes online jam details

Hi Guys, so with our new social distancing there are not going to be many opportunities for us ukers to jam or get together. We’ve wondered if we could find some online means to play, sing and giggle together and take our minds off loo rolls for a short while.

To that end, a few of us had a quick online get together today to see if we can hold a jam session online, there are some drawbacks certainly, but the session seemed to be fun so it’s worth another go for sure. There are lots of online meeting tools, and the better ones all cost £££’s use. I have access to one through work called GoToMeeting which we can try for a while at no cost, so I suggest we start with this one. Its called GoToMeeting. it can host up to 150 people at the same time so that should be all we need.

Who can join the jams?
The jam open to anyone to play anything, to just sing or just listen and laugh at the rest of us idiots, so please pass on or invite anyone who you think might benefit from some light relief right now. There’s no fee, and for the first session I suggest we use the Cool Hand Ukes book, but if anyone from another group would like to us to use theirs, please get it to me somehow and I can share and show the songs we play, but if it’s songs CHU don’t know, it would be nice if they could lead those songs.

What do I need?
This is all a bit techie, so bear with…
To join a web meeting you will need as a minimum :
• a Windows PC or laptop or Mac or tablet or smartphone. It must have speakers as a minimum .
• a broadband internet connection.
not essential but also:
• a built-in microphone (so you can join in the chat)
• video camera (so we can see your lovely faces)
• a headset with a mic are a good alternative to a built-in speakers and mic if you have such a thing.

A fairly recent laptop/macbook/tablet should have all that you need, you can also use a smart-phone, but it might be a little small. As with all tech the later/faster the hardware, the better the experience, but it’s all about the joining in, not the tech!

What do I need to do to make it work?
• If you are using a tablet or smartphone, the before the session visit the App Store or Play Store and download the GoToMeeting app. It’s free and looks like an orange flower. When its time for the meeting, open the App and enter the meeting ID into the box.
• If you are using PC or Mac, just visit and click the Join a meeting button, where you enter the meeting ID

How will the jam work?
• When we start the meeting you will be able to hear everyone else, and see anyone who is sharing their video camera, and if you have a mic, we’ll be able to hear you too.
• We will show on screen the song being played, so if you normally use your tablet as a song book, you should still be able read the song.
• Now here’s the BIG downside. When we play a song, we have to mute all but one person, as otherwise there is a horrible howl-round messy garbled noise, because there is a large time lag between the person leading, and the next person and the sound travelling back. So, we call play and sing along, but we only hear the person leading that song, maybe that’s a good thing as you can stop and start as much as you like. When the song has finished, everyone is unmuted we have a giggle, swig some wine (well we’re all home aren’t we? ) and then do another song. Simples. If you’re isolating at home with other people, why not get them to singalong too? It might stop them beating you over the head with your ukulele if you’re playing and sing at the top of your voice for an hour!
• So, for that reason and to stop a blood bath at my house, it will be great for us take turns in leading songs, but don’t feel you have to, but if you would like to, you’re very welcome to do so.

When and how do I join the meeting?

• Open to suggestions, but how about Wednesday nights starting at 7:30 until 9:00
• Please join this meeting:
o from your computer, tablet or smartphone by clicking on
o If you have already installed the app, enter the Meeting ID: 390-444-165
o If you want to get ahead and check your system out before-hand try this link first:
I’ll add these as meetings to the Cool Hand Ukes website and facebook page, along with all these notes…
I’m sure you’ll have some questions or issues in getting it working properly, so please have some patience with it, and I’m afraid I’m still working, I’m lucky my job is not affected yet, so we’ll give it a go, and if after a week people would like to organise midday sessions, I’m sure we can work something out, or it might be such a poor replacement for Uke jams that we abandon the idea, but I think we should at least try..

Hopefully speak/see you Wednesdays

Andy x

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