About

Sevenukes is a Ukulele Orchestra based at Otford Methodist Church Hall, Otford. We have two groups based on ability who rehearse every Monday (6-7pm) or Wednesday (6.30-8pm) and the Wednesday group aim to play a gig or two each term. We are unable to accept members who are under 18 years old.

What’s different about this club?

Our ukulele orchestra is a hybrid between private lessons and the traditional social ukulele club. Learn as part of a diverse and friendly group!

Weekly rehearsals cater for beginner, intermediate and more advanced players meaning that Sevenukes really does cater for all! As in any good orchestra, the music will be aimed at mixed abilities, meaning that there will be simple chordal parts for beginners and tricky picking or rhythmic strumming parts for those who have been playing longer or want the challenge. We aim to make sure that each individual player finishes a rehearsal having learnt something, and that they finish each term having notably improved their playing regardless of their ability.

What you get as a member:
Approximately 10 rehearsals per term, (either on Mondays or Wednesdays) in which the following will all be covered:

  • How to play basic and more difficult chords and how to master chord shapes.
  • Strumming and a wide variety of strum patterns (including triple and roll strums!).
  • Singing and how to sing in harmony.
  • Fingerpicking (ranging from beginner to advanced).
  • Other uke techniques including, uke percussion, palm muting and vibrato.
  • A smattering of music theory.

Advice on buying instruments and what makes a good uke.
All of the above will be taught using songs and pieces of music as examples – these are the songs which we will be performing to the outside world. Suggestions will of course gladly be taken as long as we can learn something from playing them! There’s nothing worse than playing every song using only G, F and C!

Gigs– Previous gigs have included the Stag Theatre, Sevenoaks; Pizza Express, Maidstone; Newnham Ukulele Festival and Sevenoaks Festival. Take a look at out gigs page to see some videos and photos of our performances. These are great fun, but totally optional.

Online Support and Resources – Many of the materials which we use in the sessions will be available online and recordings will be posted of this term’s songs on the website so that you can strum or pluck along from the comfort of your own home!

The Instructor:

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Sevenukes is run by the notorious James Drake, who has a record for starting ukulele orchestras and is currently wanted by the authorities for doing so in Tonbridge, Eynsford and Nottingham. James first trod the path of the ukulele some five years ago, after seeing a particularly shiny one in the window of a music shop and simply being unable to resist. He now works locally as a private music tutor for the mighty ukulele and some woodwinds.

On a slightly more serious note, James is classically trained and has Grade 8 in Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone and Music Theory. He also has an instrumental teaching diploma (dipABRSM with distinction) and has experience teaching both children and adults alike and is fully DBS checked. He also currently runs two youth ukulele groups on behalf of Darent Valley Youth Music  and another adult uke orchestra.

Some of the photos on this site are courtesy of the unparalleled George Drake. Thanks, George!

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