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Many of us are being locked away, festivals, gigs and events are being cancelled or postponed. So, to ease the pain, we thought we would add some resources for you here.

Mim has added some links to ukulele professionals who will offer online teaching. Will Grove-White of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is also offering lessons.

We've asked three of our favourite retailers what's unique about what they do at this time. Of course, with many of us being forced to have extra free time, there's never been a better opportunity to learn new things - or even take up the ukulele.

From Southern Ukulele Store : "The Southern Ukulele Store (SUS) have been one of Europe's premier retail destinations for Ukuleles and accessories since 2008, stocking your favourite Hawaiian instruments and a host of the worlds most famous uke brands. We are not just a destination to buy a Ukulele though... If you are stuck inside right now; we are proud to have a Youtube channel with perhaps the worlds biggest library of Ukulele sound samples, comparison videos, string advice, news from the NAMM show and FAQs. It pleases us greatly to hold such an important place in the UK's Ukulele scene and we can continue to play a part in your life from the comfort of your own home."

Matt at World Of Ukes told us - "World of Ukes is a specialist ukulele retailer in Carlisle, run by Matt Warnes. Although the large showroom is unlikely to see many visits during the virus outbreak, the hundreds of ukuleles in stock are available to purchase online. World of Ukes also publishes UKE Magazine, the nation’s magazine for ukulele players, available on their website and via the UKE Magazine App. Matt, who has been selling, writing about and performing with ukes for several years, says, ‘an important part of what I do is recognising that music can change lives. It’s certainly changed mine!’"

also called Matt - The Uke Room gave us this - "The Uke Room is one of Europe’s biggest ukulele stores and ukulele school of excellence. Using 20 years of playing and teaching experience, Matt can help you find the right ukulele from you from budget starter ukes to beautiful custom specials. We set-up every uke to your specs and include free shipping in the UK. At the moment we’re offering viewings by appointment and still shipping worldwide. Matt offers Skype lessons and will shortly be offering regular ukulele music theory video lessons."

We've met and bought from these retailers, they are all knowledgeable, friendly and will listen to your needs. Especially in these times, we are sure that they will ensure you get the right advice for you. Look at their websites, email them, give them a call. If nothing else, please support them in any way you can, it's hard for us all.

The Hedge Inspectors are hosting online jams, on Tuesday evenings, the same schedule as the normal unplugthewood jam and open mic at the Lion Brewery in Ash. Hosted via the unplugthewood facebook page. There'll be the Hedge Inspectors leading, and I'm sure words and chords will be there for you to follow and play along.

We will add other things here, we are expecting some online gigs and other stuff in the future.

Here's Zagga's "New Hail".

Zagga - "New Hail"

Here's a song from Simon. You can download the PDF here, and there are lots of other (more normal!) songs on our songs page. The chorus is conveniently about 20 seconds long.

Cats, Ukuleles & Loo Rolls

Don't Stand So Close To Me

Simon Taylor, 24th March 2020

Keep safe.