Hitchhiker's guide to learning ukulele (DON'T PANIC)

pedagogy corner Jul 19, 2023

By Zsolt Schäfer

I recently re-read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and discovered a truth in there that also applies to learning ukulele as an adult.

"The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why, and Where phases. For instance, the first...

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How to Tune a Ukulele

pedagogy corner Mar 21, 2023

By James Hill

So you wake up in the morning, you pick up your ukulele but it sounds terrible. It's time to tune!

These days, by far the most common way to tune is with an electronic tuner.  Just clip one of these to your headstock, turn it on and pluck the first string, A. It's easy to remember that A is the first string because it's also the first letter in the alphabet.

Keep plucking as...

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Singing the strings

from the vault Feb 01, 2023

Once again, we are reaching back to the original Ukulele Yes! print magazine, this time with an article by J. Chalmers Doane who teaches you how you can use the ukulele as a vocal harmony generator.

From Ukulele Yes! Vol. 5. (1976). p. 12.

The fact that singing is the best way to train the ear is pretty well accepted within the music educational community. However, the excitement and musical...

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Hot Video Tips from James Hill

pedagogy corner Aug 09, 2022

Video content is where it’s at these days. Whether you’re a creator, music maker, teacher, or learner, there may very well be a need to record yourself. And there are plenty of tutorials out there about how to do this and what products are recommended.

But what about those little extras that experienced content creators and musicians learn along the way? James has a wealth of...

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How To Buy the Right Ukulele

james' two cents Jul 13, 2022

This video is part of Ready, Steady, UKULELE!, a comprehensive online course for absolute-beginners that costs just $1. Learn more

By James Hill

People often ask me, "how many ukuleles do you own?"  My answer is always the same: "If you still know how many you have, you don't have enough!" 

Ukuleles come in all shapes and sizes.  Compared to many instruments they're...

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Let's get interactive!

pedagogy corner Jul 13, 2022

What are interactive scores and what can we do with them? 

Interactive scores are part of nearly every online ukulele course in Uketropolis. Why? Because they bring music to life in a way that we could only have imagined even a decade ago. Powered by the amazing Soundslice platform, our interactive scores are "living sheet music."

Think of your trusty music books or paper scores: the pages...

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The Eliminator Game

from the vault Jun 21, 2022

Ready for a scale game that's competitive, addictive, and requires no electricity, batteries, apps or devices? We're throwing back to this great post by Suzanne Doane for this month's From the Vault, sharing a tried-and-true game for ukulele students of all ages: The Eliminator Game! 

We all know that the scale is a basic component of every musician's vocabulary. Playing it with ease and...

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Are your students ready for the Ukulympics?

pedagogy corner Jun 07, 2022

Strap on that uke, stretch those muscles, and get ready for this musical challenge of strength, skill, and perseverance: the Ukulympics!

It’s June and that means many teachers are pushing through the final weeks of classes or looking for summer activities to give to students. Or perhaps you’re up for a challenge yourself and want something fun as a guide! We’ve got a great...

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Medley Magic! Making Music Marvelous!

from the vault May 24, 2022

In this month's From the Vault, we throw back to a post from Michael Conway exploring the joy of medleys, a sequence of songs "glued together" by musical transitions and united by a common theme or style. They are fun to play and offer a great way for the novice arranger/composer to test new creative waters.


Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a...

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Open ears: why listening to many versions of a song is good for you

pedagogy corner May 10, 2022

Has one particular version of a song really resonated with you while others don't even come close? I experienced this with Jeff Buckley’s interpretation of the Leonard Cohen song, "Hallelujah." Though I like many versions of it, to me, nothing compares to Buckley's. So, why can listening to many versions of the same song be such a powerful exercise in the classroom?


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