Doune Ukule Group

When Joe and Jackie Gilmour moved to Doune in December 2020, from Garstang in Lancashire, they were still in the throes of the Pandemic. Lockdown made getting involved with the local community very difficult. Joe found playing his ukulele helped him to get through the isolation and anxiety.

Joe had played ukulele for five or six years and had been a member of a Ukulele Group in Garstang. The ukulele is an incredibly social instrument and much of the fun is playing with other people. As restrictions eased, Joe was keen to join a group up here but couldn't find anything nearby.

So, Jackie came up with the idea of starting a new group. Back in March 2022, she posted on the local Facebook Group, asking if anyone was interested. Jackie said, “That week we had six ukulele players in our front room. Four of whom were complete beginners! The following week we were up to eight members. I had to stop promoting the group at that stage, as our front room wasn't big enough to take any more!”

At the beginning of June 2022, they took the plunge and hired the Rural Hall in Doune. Since then, membership has increased to over 30, many complete beginners. Joe has been leading and teaching the group, but he explains, “I am not a music teacher, or even a musician really. I’m a competent, intermediate player at best. But I am a retired teacher, so have been able to pass on what I know fairly well. Our new members have all made good progress, and they keep coming back! 

Anyone, young or old, musician or non-musician can play the ukulele. Its happy, joyful tone makes it a delight to play and accessible to everyone. It is easier to learn than the guitar and other stringed instruments like the mandolin. The small size reduces wrist tension because the notes are reachable without stretching. Plus, it only has four strings, which makes chord shapes and scales easier to learn.

Doune Ukulele Group meet at the Rural Hall in Doune every Wednesday, 7.30-9.30 pm, with a break for refreshments. We are a warm, friendly, and supportive group. New members of any age or musical ability are always welcome.

Buying a ukulele won't strain your wallet the way other instruments do. You can buy a nice new ukulele for around £30. But they have a couple of spare ukuleles, so people can come along and try it out before purchasing an instrument. If you fancy having a try, or if you already have a uke and would like to join them, just contact us.

(Article taken from The Bridge magazine)


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Doune Ukulele Group performing at Doune Gala, summer 2023