A simple breakdown of different skill sets present at each level of ukulele playing. Please note: this is solely my interpretation and this does not correlate to any other method of level identification.
Tips for selecting the right size ukulele, different learning options, and how to appropriately encourage practice. Also considerations for parents such as what age to start lessons and how to find songs for your child to play.
What makes a uke Hawaiian and how Hawaiʻi-based builders add a touch of special to their instruments. Plus info about prices and how traditional build styles are moving into the future with technology.
The difference between hard cases and gig bags and what I recommend. Includes info on humidity, storage tips, and things that most people will want to keep in their case to stay prepared for any situation.
This uke lesson lays down a foundation of the key points you need for good timing and shows you how to count beats properly, understand tempo, and figure out how a time signature affects a songʻs count.
Tips and tricks for simplifying challenging chord shapes. What you can do to hack a chord that you’re struggling with to make it easier. Includes example breakdowns of some notoriously hard uke chords like E and Bb.
Tips for visualizing your next chord moves and how to make them easier. Learn to see the similarities between chord shapes and how to use them to connect the dots so that your fingers don’t have to work as hard.
Ukulele lessons about playing single notes on one string (or two).
Electrifying your instrument requires a whole new set of considerations for the average uke player. These are tech articles explaining the different components you should become familiar with. More advanced topics are towards the bottom.
Everything you need to know about making your acoustic ukulele create an electric signal with a piezo pickup. Learn the difference between active and passive, pickup types, installation, and my top picks for most ukes.
Tips for getting out of a learning rut. Every once in a while in a player’s journey you end up feeling uninspired and stuck. These tips are what I’ve found to be helpful for getting stoked about playing again.
How to make your notes ring more true and insight on the incredible skill of Herb Ohta Jr. and how he plays so clean. Includes section on the mechanics on creating notes so you can properly troubleshoot your own playing.
How to use a computer and a mic to create a recording of your playing through a DAW program. This ukulele lesson teaches you about mic placement, recording interface connections, and the gear you need to record.
If you don’t have access to a local teacher, there are still many resources you can study from.
Hands down, the best lessons and videos you can buy, in my opinion, are any of James Hill’s offerings over at Uketropolis (affiliate link, as well as the ones below). There are courses for total newbies (Ready, Steady, Ukulele!) up to experts (UkuleleX) with several stops between, including the well-regarded The Ukulele Way which teaches the art of playing solo arrangements.
I worked as a site admin for years at The Ukulele Way (before Uketropolis) and really had a chance to see the program inside and out. James’s work ethic for creating truly useful content is profound, he takes care of his customers, and he’s the best uke teacher around, in my opinion. If you want some top-notch ukulele tutorials and well-thought-out lesson plans, don’t miss it. The course costs are incredibly reasonable considering all the great material you get access to.
Another great resource is Ukulele Underground University. Taught by Aldrine Guerrero, these lessons cover many areas of study like theory, song tutorials, genre styles, and also include guest teachers for more diversity. There are also weekly updates and live streams.
Finally, I’ve been very impressed by the book and corresponding video lessons Daniel Ward has put together called Arpeggio Meditations. You can check out my review of the program here. There are 16 studies presented with the focus on picking hand agility and, obviously, arpeggio playing. In addition to beautiful transcriptions in the book, there are accompanying videos that can be rented on Vimeo (for a whole year).
About the author:Brad Bordessa I’m an ‘ukulele artist from Honoka’a, Hawai’i, where I run this site from an off-grid cabin in the jungle. I’ve taught workshops internationally, made Herb Ohta Jr. laugh until he cried, and once jammed with HAPA onstage in my boardshorts. More about me