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- Teaching since 1990
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"I was apprehensive in the beginning for my first in person ukulele lesson. I didn’t want to feel stupid or be a slow learner. But Chris Immediately made me feel comfortable and by the end of the lesso..."
Took Ukulele lessons with Christopher M.
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Took Ukulele lessons with Christopher M.
"Nicole was a wonderful online instructor. My daughter (9 y.o.) learned so much - chords, how to read notes, rhythms and songs. Nicole also helped her prepare for a virtual talent show. Nicole went abo..."
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Popular Ukulele Articles from our Blog
10 Surprising Celebrities Who Play the Ukulele
Stars, they're just like us! Just like you, these famous figures learned chords and simple songs on the ukulele, spent hours practicing, and fell in love with this Hawaiian instrument. Check out these videos of 10 celebrities who you probably didn't know played the ukulele. 1. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson For such a big guy, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson looks right at home holding a tiny ukulele. 2. Ryan Gosling Please hold your swoons until the end of the Gos' ukulele performance. 3.
First Ukulele Lesson: What I Tell My Students Before We Play
The 'ukulele is a lot of fun to play, and we are fortunate to be alive in a time with so much information readily available about this instrument. In fact, there is so much info, it may be overwhelming and confusing. If you're a beginner, you may not know what to expect when committing to taking that first ukulele lesson, or to study any musical instrument. This article covers what you need to know about your first weeks practicing 'ukulele, from using the tips of your fingers to changing be
How to Sing and Play Ukulele in 4 Easy Steps
Learning to play an instrument is difficult enough, but what about trying to sing at the same time? It's really not as hard as it sounds! Here, teacher Willy M. takes you through the steps to play the ukulele while singing... It doesn’t matter what instrument I teach (piano, guitar, harmonica, drums, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, and voice), every student I ever have, with the exception of those playing harmonica, asks, “How do I sing and play my instrument at the same time?” The uk
How to Play Ukulele: 5 Easy Ukulele Songs
Once you've mastered playing chords on the ukulele, you're ready to move on to tackling some songs. Here are 5 easy ukulele songs that are great for beginners. Remember, it's okay to start slow and gradually increase your speed until you're playing the song at its normal tempo. Alouette This French folk song is light and breezy. With just two chords for you to master, this is a great song to practice singing while playing once you get the chord transitions down. Tabs and chords for
50+ Most Romantic Ukulele Love Songs
The ukulele is a small lute instrument celebrated for its sweet and nibble sound. Dreamy and whimsical sounding, the ukulele is often a go-to instrument for those looking to serenade someone. If you’ve ever had the desire to woo someone with your ukulele skills, then you’ve come to the right place! In our guide below, ukulele teacher Willy M. shares easy and romantic songs that sound delightful on the ukulele. Ready to discover some of the best ukulele love songs of all time? Our
How to Play Ukulele Like Taylor Swift | 3 Easy Ukulele Songs
If you've ever dreamed of being like Taylor Swift, today's your lucky day! In this article, teacher Willy M. will show you how to play ukulele like Taylor Swift, and channel your inner rock star... There’s no doubt that Taylor Swift is a music phenomenon. She has accomplished more at such a young age than most artists will ever achieve in their careers. And one of the reasons for her success is her mastery of the ukulele. In this blog post, we’re going to show you how to play
Learn to Play Ukulele: The Best Websites and Online Resources
With so many ukulele websites, it can be hard to determine which online resources are the best for your level and your needs. To save you some time in your search, ukulele instructor Willy M. has put together this list of the best ukulele websites and learning resources... It has never been a better time to learn to play an instrument like the ukulele. If you're dedicated to learning, there are more free instructional tools out there than ever before to help you not only learn the basics
10 Tips to Have the Best Ukulele Practice Ever
If you want to play the ukulele, you're going to need to practice! Music teacher Willy M. shares his top 10 favorite ukulele practice tips to bring out the musician in you... Everyone wants to learn to play an instrument like the ukulele, but for some of us it's hard to find time to practice it. There are days when you really want to practice, but by the time you finish doing all of the things you “have” to do, you're too tired to pick up your uke. Well, this article will chan
5 Easy Ukulele Songs to Learn and Play This Summer | TakeLessons
There are dozens of easy ukulele songs to learn! Even if you don't have a musical background, getting started on the ukulele is fun and easy. You can find a decent starter ukulele at your local music shop for around $40, and there are tons of free resources available online to help you strum your first chord. To get started learning some easy ukulele songs, check out these great YouTube tutorials. We've picked out five easy uke songs to help you learn how to play the ukulele. In order to
How to Play Ukulele in Different Genres
Want to learn to play ukulele in different styles and genres? Here, ukulele teacher Michael L. explains how you can get the most out of your ukulele and learn to play new songs and chords... What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the ukulele? Is it of someone playing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"? Or a singer/songwriter playing a soft ballad? Something like the volcano love song in the Pixar short film? I'm here to tell you that the ukulele can do so much more than tha
5 Happy & Easy Ukulele Songs for Beginners (With Videos & Tabs)
Looking for some happy ukulele songs to play? Music teacher Willy M. put together this great list of easy ukulele songs that are sure to brighten your day... I've had bad days. You've had bad days. Sometimes there's no escaping them. It's like the wise sage once said, "it rains on the just and the unjust." But instead of sulking, it always helps to find a pick-me-up, whether that be a delicious pint of ice cream or learning some fun ukulele songs! What Are Some Happy & Easy Ukulele Songs? T
5 Ukulele Strumming Patterns to Change Up Your Style
Ukulele strumming patterns can help you fit right into a specific style or make you stand out like a sore thumb. There are multiple aspects to strumming in various styles, including: Accents Count Eighth-note feel Techniques To fit into a certain style, you must understand and match those aspects. Listening is key, as well as mimicking favorite songs and players. While I don’t usually teach specific ukulele strumming patterns to my students (instead I give them a framework for
Buying Your First Ukulele: 3 Things to Consider
Thinking about buying a ukulele? Learn the ins and outs of finding the best ukulele for you in this guest post by Casselberry, FL teacher Laurie K... So you are ready to buy your first ukulele! Awesome, step one is complete... "Decide to play the uke!" I am going to go over three basics when considering this new and fun instrument, in order to find the best ukulele for you: Size Prices Styles Size There are four sizes for ukuleles: Soprano, Concert, Tenor, and Bariton
Acacia vs. Koa Ukulele: What's the Difference?
Are you considering a new ukulele, and wondering the difference is between an acacia vs. koa ukulele? It’s no secret that there are many factors to consider when shopping for a ukulele, and the choices can be overwhelming for beginner musicians. For starters, not only are there different size ukuleles, (soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone), but there are a wide variety of brands and styles to choose from as well. Should you get a solid wood? A solid top only? A laminate? And of course, yo
What is Fingerstyle Ukulele & How to Play it
Many of you may have seen this term “Fingerstyle Ukulele” and walked away curious. Isn’t all of ukulele music played with your fingers? And which hand does this term refer to, right or left? Well, fingerstyle ukulele refers to a particular style of playing which can be applied to any song. It primarily focuses on how you play your chords in the right hand. Most songs are played by strumming, but this style has us plucking through the notes of a chord, string by string, with each of our
Flower Power: 75 Easy Ukulele Songs for Beginners from the 60s and 70s
Ready for a time warp? Ukulele teacher Willy M. has 75 classic tunes from the 60s and 70s that are perfect for your ukulele - and are easy ukulele songs for beginners to master! Anyone who has ever attempted to learn a new skill knows that it can be frustrating and difficult at times. But, when you finally achieve success, the feeling of accomplishment is incomparable. There was something about the music of the 1960s and 1970s that has remained popular year after year. The nice thin
Ukulele Fingerpicking for Beginners
As you advance in your ukulele lessons you will learn different techniques to achieve different sounds from your instrument. Ukulele fingerpicking is an important component if you want to boost your playing skills and take your music to the next level. Here, ukulele teacher Willy M. teaches you ukulele fingerpicking basics... Whether you’re a beginner ukulele player or have been playing for a while, learning how to fingerpick can add a whole new dimension to your playing. This style of
4 Awesome Blogs to Help You Learn Ukulele Online
Whenever you pick up a new hobby, it's a great idea to start following some blogs on the topic. Learning ukulele is no exception, and luckily for you, there are many great blogs about playing ukulele. Whether you're taking private ukulele lessons or trying to teach yourself, these blogs are a great place to learn ukulele online, explore new ideas, and have fun along the way. Read on to discover the best ukulele blogs around! 1. Uke Nut If you're interested in learning to play fingerstyle uk
5 Ukulele Strumming Patterns You Should Know
One of the most iconic sounds in music is the sound of a ukulele strumming patterns. It automatically conjures up in one’s mind scenes of a beach in Hawaii (which happens to be the title of an amazing Ukulele song by Ziggy Marley, but we’ll get to that) with its tiki huts, hula skirts, and lei. It’s most likely what brought you to want to learn the ukulele in first place. And this technique, strumming, is one of the first techniques you need to master in order to bring your Ukulele pla
7 Cool Ways to Make Your Own Amazingly Creative Ukulele
So you want to know how to make a ukulele? Whether you're feeling crafty on a rainy day, or you're ready to set aside some serious build time, you can find a DIY ukulele project that's right for you! 1. Cigar Box Ukulele This tutorial shows how to make an electric tenor ukulele using a cigar box and a few ukulele parts purchased online. Even with these simple components, you can fashion an instrument with a unique look and a great sound. Some of music's greats, including legends like B.B.
Ukulele Artist Danielle Ate the Sandwich Interview
If you've spent any time checking out rising musicians on YouTube, you've probably seen Danielle Ate the Sandwich's popular original songs or cover videos. Danielle is a uke-slinging singer-songwriter with a dash of comedy who touts inspirations like Paul Simon, Death Cab for Cutie, and Katy Perry. I got the chance to talk with Danielle today about her musical upbringing, writing the songs for her new album The Drawing Back of Curtains, and her personal journey of growing up as an artis
15 Hawaiian Words Ukulele Players Should Know
When you're taking ukulele lessons, you will learn to play some classic Hawaiian songs. While Hawaiian songs tell stories of love, Hawaiian culture, and history, you may find some new, unfamiliar terms in the lyrics. To help you out, we've compiled a list of 15 words you may hear when you're learning ukulele. You will hear a mix of traditional Hawaiian words along with some pidgin words (a slang-type language used in Hawaii). Here are 15 Hawaiian words ukulele players should know...
How to Play Ukulele: The Complete Guide for Beginners
So you bought a new ukulele and you're ready to start playing. Congrats! Hopefully by now, you've found a teacher, and maybe even had your first few lessons. To help you get off to a solid start, ukulele teacher Willy M. has created this ultimate ukulele guide for beginners... This beginners' guide has everything you need to get up and running with your ukulele! In this article, you'll learn how to tune your ukulele, how to play ukulele chords, basic strumming patterns, and how to pl
Learn to Play Ukulele | How Often Should I Practice?
You know practicing is a huge part of learning any instrument, and the ukulele is no different! Learn how to make sure you're practicing effectively with this guide from music teacher Carol Beth L.... So you've begun to learn to play ukelele. It is a fun instrument, and there's a lot you can do with it, whether it's accompanying others or playing your own songs. But how long and how often do you need to practice to make it worth it? You may have heard the saying that “practice makes perf
'Ukulele Parts: A Guide to the Instrument
An alien from space may look at your 'ukulele and think, "This is a simple instrument. You pluck the strings, the vibrations of which create pleasant wiggly air (also known as sound). What is all that extra stuff on it?" Look a little closer and you'll see all these pegs and notches. Are you able to answer the alien's question? Would you like to know what they're called and what they do? Welcome to the tour of your 'ukulele. Headstock Starting at the top (or bottom if you're reading music
How to Improvise on a Fretted Instrument: a Step-by-Step Guide
Learning how to improvise is often seen as a more advanced skill attempted only after you have mastered the basics. It is often clouded in mystery and seems almost like magic when demonstrated through a great improviser. However, we can turn that idea on its head and use improvising as a path to learning how to play an instrument, even from the early stages. Humans are naturally improvisational (just think about how you like to move or even “drum” to songs you love), and we can use t
'Ukulele Songbooks for Beginners
Songbooks are a great way to expand your knowledge and repertoire on your instrument. They can also open you up to learning songs you may not have considered previously. If you've chosen the 'ukulele, you may be overwhelmed with the options you have for songbooks, and have trouble finding a book that has the music you want to learn. In this article, you'll see a few options listed to help you make your choice. Free PDFs Online There are plenty of free options online. A quick Google search
How to Strum a Ukulele
In order to play any stringed instrument (like a ukulele), you have to learn how to strum! Not quite sure which technique to use? In this article and video, Winston Salem, NC teacher Willy M. shows you how to strum a ukulele... Today we're going to take a closer look at how to strum a ukulele. I have also included a video to show you the proper technique. Before we get into strumming specifics, let's review how to hold a ukulele and how to tune a ukulele. Whether you're a beginner
How to Play You Are My Sunshine on the Ukulele
As far as songs to learn on the ukulele goes, You Are My Sunshine is near the very top of my list to recommend to students. It checks all of the boxes of a good first song to learn: Number 1: It has a very simple and easy to hum melody Number 2: It only has three chords (C Major, F Major, and G Major) in it and is usually played in the key of C (our favorite on Ukulele!) Number 3: It is very recognizable and is somewhat already in our ear, so we don’t have to go in blind and learn it
Uke Players Who Will Inspire (and Surprise) You!
I have a question for you. How many famous uke players can you name? After America’s Got Talent skyrocketed Grace VanderWaal to fame, chances are you can name at least one. The spunky and talented then 12-year old certainly made the ukulele a well-known instrument and showed that you can make a career out of this often undervalued instrument. You may be surprised to learn, however, that there are many other famous musicians who play the ukulele, and some non-musicians whose ukulele playing may
How to Play the Dm Chord on a Ukulele (Plus D & D7) | TakeLessons
Learning the Dm ukulele chord on a ukulele and its neighbors, D & D7, can help you quickly expand your ukulele repertoire. After all, the sweet tone of the ukulele really comes out when the right chords are played. This guide will teach you how to play D minor on a ukulele along with D major and D7 as a bonus! To understand the unique quality of each essential chord type, it’s helpful to practice chord variations that are based on the same root note. For example, you can work on the D m
3 Important Things to Know Before You Learn to Play Ukulele
Are you ready to pick up a ukulele and start strumming? Ukulele teacher Willy M. shares three things you should know before you strum that first chord... Hey budding ukulele players! I wanted to take a moment to tell you about three important things you should probably know before you decide to learn to play ukulele. 1. Make sure you have a ukulele and not a toy When I first decided I wanted to learn to play ukulele, it was after a trip to visit relatives in Florida. I walked into a g
One Easy Trick to Convert Guitar Chords to Ukulele Chords | TakeLessons
Are you trying to learn a song on the ukulele but can only find guitar chords? Several years ago, I learned an easy trick to convert guitar chords to ukulele chords and I’m going to share that with you! I’ve played guitar all my life and have a collection of Gibson and Epiphone Les Pauls. For my birthday a few years ago, my girlfriend bought me an electric Les Paul-style ukulele. I’d never played a uke before -- ever. I had to go online to even find out how to tune the thing! Und
What is a Concert Ukulele, and How is it Different?
There are many differences among ukuleles. Some of those differences are small and some are quite noticeable. Even among the same style of ukulele, there are slight differences such as material, construction, neck length, body size, and neck width and circumference. Yet, there are definable characteristics for each style that puts an instrument squarely into a category. A soprano ukulele is the smallest of the ukulele family. The concert ukulele is the next size up, and the tenor ukulele is
Ahoy Matey! 5 Easy Pirate Songs to Play on the Ukulele
Whether you're celebrating National Talk Like a Pirate Day or sailing the high seas, playing a pirate tune on the ukulele is a fantastic way to pass the time. Try one of these tunes from ukulele teacher Willy M.; they're rated arrrr for pirates! Who doesn’t want to play the ukulele? It’s the perfect instrument for sitting on the beach in summer. But while you’re sitting on the beach, relaxing, watching the boats sail by, seeing the crabs scuttling along the sand, what naturally comes t
Top 20+ Most Surprising Ukulele Cover Songs
You'd be amazed what you can play on the ukulele! Music teacher Matthew K. counts down 20 of his favorite surprising ukulele cover songs... The ukulele is a fun instrument to play! Originating in Hawaii, the ukulele has four nylon strings that are tuned to C major. It is very easy to play, and you can strum it any way and it will provide a nice tone. Often when one thinks of the ukulele, they think Hawaii, or Luau. Although it originated in Hawaii, many contemporary songs can be covered
How to Read Ukulele Tabs and Where to Find Them: A Beginner's Guide
Want to learn some cool riffs on your ukulele? In this lesson, ukulele teacher Willy M. shares how to read ukulele tabs and where to find ukulele tabs online for your favorite songs... How to Read Ukulele Tabs for Beginners The wonderful thing about ukulele tab notation is that it’s quite easy to learn to read. Once you learn the basic notes and symbols and practice playing, you can get the hang of it pretty quickly. Follow these simple steps to be well on your way to playing the uke like a
Types of Ukuleles: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide
Whether you want to buy your first ukulele or upgrade to a new instrument, there are several different types of ukuleles to choose from. Here, ukulele teacher Michael L. introduces you to the different types of ukuleles so you can make the best decision for your goals and your budget... When you're shopping for a ukulele (for yourself or your child), it's important to know the different types of ukuleles so you can find the right fit for you. There are several different types of ukuleles
7 Essential Ukulele Chords for Beginners
Ready to start learning to play ukulele? Check out these easy ukulele chords from music teacher Raymond L. and you'll be strumming a tune in no time! There are many easy ukulele chords that could be considered essential for beginners but I will try to limit my choice to only seven. In my opinion, it's best to start with these seven chords based on the following criteria: the technical difficulties or skills required to play them, the usefulness of the chords, their harmonic properties, and th
Strum Patterns You'll Need to Play Hawaiian Ukulele Songs
Get your uke and start strumming! Music teacher Christopher S. shares how to play five common ukulele strumming patterns... In order to play any stringed instrument, such as the guitar, mandolin, or ukulele, you have to learn how to strum it. Strumming is an essential part to playing the ukulele, which gives it that true Hawaiian-Island sound. If you’re going to learn how to play Hawaiian ukulele songs, you need to master the right strumming patterns. In this article, I will d
How to Tune a Ukulele for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide
One of the first things you need to learn when taking ukulele lessons is how to tune a ukulele. Ukulele tuning is a must if you want it to sound good, and is pretty standard once you get the hang of it. After all, the songs you want to play won’t sound right if your ukulele is not properly in tune. So how is a ukulele tuned? Is there a specific ukulele tuner? We’re glad you asked. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on tuning a ukulele for beginners, whether you ar
11 Christmas Ukulele Songs
The holidays are right around the corner; get in the spirit with these classic Christmas ukulele songs. From "Jingle Bells" to "Mele Kalikimaka," learn these Christmas ukulele tabs with Winston, NC teacher Willy M... Ho! Ho! Ho! While, I don’t look a lot like Santa Claus (well, apart from the beard and pudgy belly), I'm bringing you a sack full of holiday cheer this month with Christmas ukulele songs! That’s right, I'm going to give you fun holiday songs that you can play on your uku
How to Play Ukulele: Easy Chords to Get You Started
When you first start learning how to play ukulele, chords are a great place to begin. Chords are groups of notes that, when played together, create a harmony. Learning to strum a sequence of chords is a great way to practice ukulele and eventually learn to play songs. Luckily, learning how to play ukulele chords can be quite simple once you get started. First we'll go over one basic chord and how to read chord charts and by the end of this article you'll be ready to strum away! Note: Make
A Beginner's Guide to Ukulele Notes [Charts Included]
An excellent starting point for all beginners is to learn their notes on the ukulele. As you learn to navigate the notes on the fretboard, you’ll build an understanding of the basics - so you can start playing tunes in no time! Once you’ve mastered the individual notes, you can use them to build chords, and chords quickly turn into songs. These individual ukulele notes are also necessary for learning how to play licks or riffs. In this article, we'll discuss different ways to tune
11 Hawaiian Ukulele Songs for Beginners
Looking for some authentic Hawaiian ukulele songs? We've compiled a list of eleven awesome Hawaiian songs that everyone will enjoy. Whether you want to play these songs or just listen, each of them are popular hits with strong connections to the beautiful state of Hawaii. We've included each song's history, tips on how to play them, and videos of each song. We hope you enjoy listening and reading about the stories of these beautiful Hawaiian songs - in the spirit of Hawaii, “Aloha!” How
7 Ukulele Strumming Patterns for Beginners
No matter where you are in your ukulele lessons, learning different ukulele strumming patterns will help you improve your technique and your sound. Here, ukulele instructor Willy M. goes over some basic strumming and fingerpicking patterns... Welcome to picking on the ukulele with Willy. In this lesson, we will learn how to insult, berate, sting and verbally abuse your ukulele! Just kidding! We're going to talk about ukulele strumming patterns. We'll also cover picking techniques and st
Which Online Ukulele Tuner is the Best?
Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned player, your ukulele won’t sound good if it’s out of tune. Unfortunately, not everyone can attain perfect pitch tuning by ear, but thanks to online ukulele tuners, you don’t have to! Let’s take a look at four of the most popular options. UkeTune If you’re looking for a simple, no-frills ukulele tuner that won’t overwhelm you with ads, alternate tuning options and other potentially confusing features, UkeTune fits the bill.
How to Restring a Ukulele in 5 Easy Steps | TakeLessons
When you think of playing the ukulele, you probably imagine learning the notes, discovering strumming patterns, and performing your favorite songs. However, with exploring the ukulele comes learning to take care of it, too. This involves changing ukulele strings out every now and then. Musicians need to restring ukuleles when the strings start to sound dull due to wear and tear. Obviously, you will want to do a ukulele string replacement when a string snaps, but instead of just replacin
3 Big Benefits You Get From Taking Ukulele Lessons
Think you can teach yourself to play ukulele? Music teacher Willy M. shares three reasons why it's important to take lessons and learn about your uke with an expert... A lot of people take a vacation to Hawaii or Florida or somewhere tropical and pick up a starter ukulele as a memento of their trip. They get home to Debuke, Montana, or Bangor, Maine or some other cold place where the people have never heard of a ukulele, and decide to start to learn how to play to remind themselves of t
10 Things You Probably Don't Know About the Ukulele
You might know chords and strumming patterns, but do you know these 10 ukulele facts? Uke teacher James W. has some great trivia for you... The ukuele is a universally popular instrument and a fine way to enjoy music together anywhere anytime. So, here's a little food for thought for the next time you're strumming one... The ukulele descended from an instrument called a machete brought to the islands by sailors visiting Hawaii from Portugal. You may have heard that ukulele means �