Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Phil Doleman, great uke teacher - sends me home buzzing and inspired...

"Life for a Lady with a Ukulele or Two..." (subtitle of this blog) inexplicably just seems to get busier - time is always full. It seems I used to have more of it to fit everything in ... perhaps it's just me getting older, which I certainly am, and can't complain about that, as the alternative is - not acceptable at the moment! But blogging is taking a hit, for sure. It isn't for want of something to write about, there's plenty. I'm playing uke just as much, I think, still flitting around from on song to another, one skill to another, one genre of music to another, one aspect of the uke and music to another ... and I still don't care. I know I'm making progress. And the credit for that goes to my uke teacher, Phil. Phil Doleman.

I've been going to Phil for personal lessons for more than two years now. I don't go every week or even every fortnight; I fit a lesson in every few weeks as is convenient for both of us, and it's just great. A highlight of my week. I always come away having learned lots, often with my brain hurting - I'm always having to say, "hold on, let me write that down, I'll never remember that when I get home..." and I always come away at the end of a lesson inspired and buzzing. He's good, you see. Knows how to teach. He weighs up where you are pretty quickly and can see what you need to improve your playing and widen your musical understanding. And now that I've been going to him for so long I'm totally at ease playing with and for him, no nerves - that's just great too. He's easy to be comfortable with.

I had a lesson today. Having woken a little late after my first really good night's sleep in ages, I was rushing to get everything together for my lesson, only realising when I arrived at Phil's home that I'd forgotten my glasses! What a chump... no problem though. We spent the whole hour doing stuff that didn't need sheets to read, based on chord progressions that Phil knew I knew... playing songs in several different keys, making me work things out just outside my comfort zone... interesting jazzy alternatives for the chords, all over the fretboard... wonderful stuff that sounded just great.

Well, LSH and I will be seeing Phil with Ian Emmerson on Thursday evening, off up to Belper again to see them supporting Del Rey. Looking forward to that. If you haven't got a ticket - well, you're too late. Sold out.

Next day, Phil will be travelling to Dumfries to appear at the Ukulele Festival of Scotland. A lot of my favourite performers will be there, but I'm afraid I will not. It clashes with the summer convention of the George Formby Society in Blackpool, and LSH (Long-Suffering-Husband) and I are delighted to be going to that, as we always do. Can't do everything, can't be everywhere! We will both be meeting up with friends we can now call old friends, I'll be helping to organise the Sunday afternoon concert, and might - just might - take a turn on stage.

So it's still all go. I promised to write about something I did in April - and I will. Honestly!

Thanks for dropping in, I really appreciate it - do come again! I'll try not to leave it too long before I write again!

Photo of Phil Doleman by Ed Sprake for GNUF