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Worshiplele

Wulf playing ukulele, standing next to his double bass

Ukulelist

Yes, I made that word up, so you can say you heard it here first. Tonight I had a bash at leading the music at church using my ukulele. For the small size of the evening service I didn’t actually draw on the ability to plug my uke in but definitely drew on the fact that it plays in tune up and down the neck.

It wasn’t a solo affair, which was probably a good thing. A ukulele is the kind of instrument to make people smile; brilliant on a gig but one doesn’t want to be too distracting when trying to lead songs that point towards God! I’m co-ordinating the music at St Clement’s this term and one of the principles I am working on is “heaping the coals together” or, in other words, not leaving one musician providing all the music for a service (unless they want to do that). This is my first weekend in charge and it looked like I was going to end up on my own after all but then I spotted that one of my fellow bassists was down to do the prayers and then another friend, who wanted to hear tonight’s speaker, offered to bring her guitar along.

Hurrah! The resulting sound was lovely. I shan’t get too full of myself though. I think I played quite creditably during the service but hit a sticky moment in the song one of the other members of the group suggested after the close of the service when my mind went blank on how to play an F#m (d’oh… unfortunately it failed to cross my mind that I could use the Em shape two frets up). Perhaps I’ll be at the forefront of a global wave of uke-toting worship leaders but I need to do a bit more practise first!

  • Magnus Forrester-Barker

    I’ve played my bass ukulele in a worship band before (well, there were two of us playing, so it was just about a band) but I’ve not tried to lead with a uke… yet.

    Actually, judging by the number of people who asked me after the session what instrument I was playing, I think that just having the bass uke in the band may have been a bit of a distraction. It happened to be the only bass instrument I had to hand when I was asked, at very short notice, to play.