Play Ukulele Now
- 3.5 hours on-demand video
- 27 mins on-demand audio
- 33 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- Explore the ukulele and learn to play it
- Identify and clarify the musical options afforded by the ukulele
- Provide not just the basic techniques, but challenge students to develop their own styles
- Provide encouragement throughout the entire learning process
- Relish the history, lore and future impact of the ukulele, the music it makes and players who perform it
- Keep it fun
- Software to read PDF files, view video and hear audio
- Ukulele, tuned GCEA
- Electronic tuner, pitchfork, piano or a good ear for pitch recommended
- Penchant for fun
The diminutive ukulele, born of a marriage in Hawaii in 1879, is currently in its third wave of worldwide popularity. It's a charming, friendly instrument and ultimately easy to play. But there are treasures hidden in its depths.
If you want to learn how to play ukulele, in this course an aficionado of the ukulele for 50 years and teacher of it for 20, will hold your hand as you learn to play ukulele, learn its parts, its lore, its tuning, and show you how to steer it into the world of harmony, melody, rhythm and song.
Written lectures are often backed up with video presentations. And the instructor is available via email. This course is appropriate for absolute beginners trying to learn how to play ukulele, guitar players who wish to migrate to the ukulele, and accomplished ukulele players looking for new challenges.</p>
- Absolute beginners
- Advanced beginners
- Advanced players
- Students of culture and music of all kinds
- All ages: children to retirees
- Anyone who wants to learn music
A brief overview of how to tune your ukulele. Even if you have a silicon ear (electronic tuner) to help you tune up it's still a good idea to know how the ukulele is tuned within itself. What's important is that YOUR ear is pleased and that you allow the ukulele to help you train your hearing ability.
Start playing right now! Introducing the 1, 2 and 3-finger chords, also known as C, F and G7, you will begin strumming and chording the uke and be making music by the end of the lecture.
In this lesson we learn two new chords, play a tune and get our feet wet with a bit of music theory. By the end you should have a pretty good idea what the job of playing the ukulele is all about. Except for providing avenues of discovery, my job is over. Now it's up to you to explore and flesh out your own playing style and techniques. That task never ends.
Jam along on this two chord song (C and G7) to practice your strums and doo-dads. Use it to give yourself the freedom to horse around while still keeping the beat. You might want to download the pdf file of the words and chords first so you have them in front of you to reinforce your efforts. The task isn't so much to learn the song but to use the song to hone your skills and build up your ukulele toolbox.
A demonstration of how to play and pulse the trill on the ukulele and a couple of tips on working it into your songs.
This video focuses on picking and plucking individual strings as part of a strumming pattern. It is Part 1 of a lecture that leads to my own favorite strum, a movement I've come to call "plicking" since it seems to be a mixture of picking and plucking. Hopefully you will find a similar manner that suits your goals as a ukulele player. I learned this one 50 years ago from a dormmate in college. His strum was different than what I wound up doing, and yours, too, will probably be different. But, so what? It's all good.
Sixteen chord diagrams for all 12 keys: the root major, major 7, 7th, 6th and 9th; the root minor, minor 7th, minor 6th, suspended 4th, add 9; dimished, augmented, a 7th augmented, augmented/diminished 5th, 4/9 and 6/9 chords. Each sheet has three groups in rows that coincide with the video chord groups in this chapter. Print the last page for easy reference. These charts are as boring as a dictionary, but hopefully just as useful. In another chapter we will look at chords in a completely different context. I suggest you print these out for easy reference when not at your computer.
Each group of chords in this lecture has a corresponding video in this chapter. The aim of the videos is primarily to help you find your way to make the various chords, But some of the videos add a tidbit or two of useful information that might interest you or facilitate your voyage through the world of ukulele epressed music. If you're having trouble making a chord, visit the video and see if it helps. If that doesn't help, send me a note and I'll do what I can. (updated 6/22)
The C major scale is the first full scale one can play on the ukulele, and it goes on for two octaves. This lecture can be printed out on legal size paper. If you desire to pick tunes rather than strum them, or if you wish to strum tunes and conjure the melody from time to time, give this lecture a bit of quality time. You will be amply rewarded for it.
Be sure to the videos. They will help you get settled picking melodies. The Diatonic Scale (the do-re-me scale) video demonstrates how to play another keys.
This diagram is a study aid to help in understanding the Circle of Fifths and is a companion to the video lecture on the same subject. Understanding the Circle is one of the best ways to help alert your music ear to a song's movement. The goal is to take some of the mystery out it and thus improve our playing by helping us to anticipate the next chord.
This Carter Family song is a simple three chord song. I like to throw a bit of scale notes between stanzas. This is a good tune to explore stepping out of strumming and while picking individual notes to imply the melody. Any string you pick while holding a chord is a note in the C scale. Don't lose the beat, but give yourself permission to randomly pick notes while strumming. Download the lead sheet to set the words and chords. You do not have to play what I play--I'm simply changing strums and picking notes to give you an idea of things you can do. Make up your own "chops"!
Play along with the video a few times to get the idea. Download the pdf file to learn the ret of the song. Experiment with different strums. This is a good one to have jn your repertoire to start folks singing.
Play along with this popular song as many times as it takes. Experiment with different strums. Try accenting the first beat of each bar with a different strum or pick. Play it until it becomes your song. Download the pdf for the words and chord placement in another form.
This is a simple two chord song called Two Chord Song. There are versions of it in four different keys, C, G, D and F. Play along with it many times to increase you're familiarity with the chord changes. If you play it often enough--even to the point of boredom--you may find yourself creating strums, picks and "do-dads" that make your playing more interesting and fulfilling.
To really learn to love the ukulele, it's best to know its history and lore. The more you know, the more you want to play, the more you want to play, the more you do, the more you do, the better you get, the better you get, the better you feel, the better you feel, the better the world is. That's how it works. Uke on, fellow pluckers!