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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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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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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Beethoven's Symphony No. 7

from the vault Mar 22, 2022

Back in 1812, Beethoven completed his seventh symphony. His works are powerful and this theme from the second movement of the piece is no exception; a mix of hope and tragedy, elation and despair. Beethoven himself considered it one of his best works. We hope you enjoy exploring this two-part arrangement of it on your own or with your students. 

Download free scores (Print-friendly...

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Rag That Uke!

from the vault Feb 23, 2022


What Is Ragtime, Really?

When most of us think of ragtime music we think of Scott Joplin’s piano rags and the music of his generation (ten years either side of 1900, say). But the basic style is older than that and there’s good reason to think that it started with guitar and banjo music that wasn’t written down or recorded. In other words, the early ragtime pianists...

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Snow Shovel Blues

from the vault Jan 28, 2022

This From the Vault throwback feels just right for this time of year—in the northern hemisphere, at least! Enjoy James' student-friendly blues tune, Snow Shovel Blues


Download the free score in PDF format: 

Snow Shovel Blues is a fun, open-ended blues tune. With the idea of engaging both left- and right-brain learners in this...

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Why Improving Your Playing is the Most Enjoyable Way to Improve Your Teaching

from the vault Dec 20, 2021

This year-end From the Vault post harkens back to a holiday season article James crafted for a 2009 Ukulele Yes! issue. "After the rush and bustle and before school is back in session, take some time to play ukulele for your own enjoyment. Here's why it'll make you be a better teacher and here's a piece for you to sink your teeth into on your own time." 

(By the way, if you're interested...

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The Chameleon Chord

from the vault Nov 23, 2021

Break through that beginner's plateau with this all-too-often-overlooked chord shape. Learn how one chord shape can function as three different chords!

A jump back to September 2010 in this month's From the Vault where James shares a cool concept that was the initial spark for Booster Uke and his most popular YouTube tutorial.


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Ukulele Lowdown: Adding a bass to your uke group

from the vault Oct 27, 2021

It ain't a party 'til the bass shows up! Uke/bass player Steve Boisen walks you through the essentials of adding bass to your group/jam including pointers on instrument selection and finding the right person for the job in this month's From the Vault throwback post from June 2011.  

If you're keen to learn the ukulele, then you're in the right place! Uketropolis is the best...

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Learn To Play Hawai'i Aloha: Arrangement and Lesson

Learn to play Hawai'i Aloha on the ukulele, that you can learn for yourself and teach others. Continuing on with our recognition of the 'ukulele's birthday this week, celebrating the arrival of the Ravenscrag in Hawai'i in 1879.

Hawai'i Aloha, written by Christian minister Lorenzo Lyons (d. 1886), is the much-adored "unofficial anthem" of Hawai'i. It is sung in the streets, at private...

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