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The USGB Ukulele Band of the Year Contest


Guidelines

The overall objective of a band entering this contest should be to produce a performance that is both pleasing to the ear and pleasing to the eye but above all, is entertaining. The guidelines provided here are just that - guidelines. They are not compulsory but are intended to guide you in deciding what would make a good entry to the contest.

Entries will be judged in three categories:-

The judges will each award up to 10 points for each of the above categories so bear in mind that every category is as important as every other category.

Entries will not be judged on the quality of their video, BUT a poor video might affect the ability of the judges to award you points in the other areas.

Musical Choices
Bands will be judged on their choice of song, their arrangement and the general sound that they produce, including intros and outros. It is possible, but not definite, that up-tempo songs will earn more points than slow songs as slow songs can drag if not played well and songs with 25 verses may well get a bit boring. You need to choose a song that will grab the imagination of the judges.
Groups covering well known songs may perform them in the style of a well known band, or choose to vary the style as they wish.

Technical Ability
Bands will be judged on their general technical abilities. Areas that might well get additional points are strumming patterns, solo riffs, harmonies, having parts of the band playing differently from other parts of the band, some singers singing differently from the others, etc.

Presentation
Bands should look the part both in their appearance and in their mannerisms and behaviour as they play. Use imagination and be creative. (As an example of mannerisms, look at the way that in “swing” bands the trumpet section might stand up to play a particularly notable part or the trombones might swing their instruments in a particular direction).

Video Quality
Entries will not be judged on the quality of your video as this is not a contest about how well you can make a video. You should, however, bear in mind that if you enter a very poor quality video, this might affect how well the judges can judge the other aspects of your entry. In making your video, you might wish to consider the following points:-

  • Ensure your camera is front and centre of the group. Video taken from the side will stop the judges from being able to see all your group and what your group is doing
  • If the camera is too far away, your group could appear as a speck in the distance. Try to get your camera positioned so that your group fills the entire frame.
  • Excessive audience noise or poor quality sound recording will stop the judges from hearing what you are playing
  • Try and get your sound balance right. If you have soloists, make sure they can be heard. If you have a bass player, make sure that they can be heard.