55 Famous Ukulele Songs

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*Updated for 2020!

Most music sounds sweet when played on our favorite little stringed instrument, but there are some clear favorites. Here are 55 of the most famous ukulele songs, with plenty to choose from depending on your mood at the moment.

*If you you want to learn how to play the ukulele check out this guide: Top 10 Sites For Online Ukulele Lessons For Beginners

And hey – if you don’t see the ukulele being used in the originals, you should know that the song made its way onto the list because it sounds amazing on the ukulele. We’ve included links to chords and lyrics, so you can try these famous ukulele songs for yourself.

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    • Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Year of Release: 2011
Artist: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Album: Alone in IZ Word / Facing Future
Video:

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Somewhere Over the Rainbow Chords and Lyrics
You might recognize this song as the one originally sung by Judy Garland in her role as Dorothy Gale in the original 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. The ukulele version, which was popularized in the movie 50 First Dates, gained even more fame when Israel Kamakawiwo’ole released his cover in 2011.

    • All I Want

Year of Release: 2013
Artist: Kodaline
Album: In a Perfect World
Video:

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All I Want Chords and Lyrics
All I Want gained fame when it was featured in The Fault in Our Stars film soundtrack. It’s an easy ukulele song to play, yet it is heart-wrenchingly beautiful.

    • All of Me

Year of Release: 2013
Artist: John Legend
Album: Love In the Future
Video:

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All of Me Chords and Lyrics
All of Me was written for John Legend’s wife, Chrissy Teigen. This beautiful song was the third-best selling song of 2014. Give it a try and impress someone special!

    • Aloha ‘Oe

Year of Release: 2002
Artist: Tia Carrere
Album: Lilo and Stitch: Island Favorites

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Aloha ‘Oe Chords and Lyrics
Aloha ‘Oe is attributed to Queen Lili’uokalani, who composed the song in 1878. It’s among the most famous ukulele songs ever written, and it is easy enough for newer players to perform with just a little bit of practice.

    • A Thousand Years

Year of Release: 2011
Artist: Christina Perri
Album: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Soundtrack
Video:

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A Thousand Years Chords and Lyrics
Christina Perri and her best friend David Hodges wrote A Thousand Years for Bella and Edward. It’s as popular now as it was back in 2011 – maybe even more so!

    • Banana Pancakes

Year of Release: 2005
Artist: Jack Johnson
Album: In Between Dreams
Video:

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Banana Pancakes Chords and Lyrics
Looking for a fun ukulele song to try? Banana Pancakes might just do the trick!

    • Better Together

Year of Release: 2005
Artist: Jack Johnson
Album: In Between Dreams
Video:

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Better Together Chords and Lyrics
Jack Johnson’s “Better Together” is a fun song to play! The lyrics might take a little time to learn, but once you put the words and chords together, you might find this catchy tune becomes a favorite.

    • Blank Space

Year of Release: 2014
Artist: Taylor Swift
Album: 1989
Video:

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Blank Space Chords and Lyrics
A little bit of trivia for you: Taylor Swift’s Blank Space seems heartfelt, but it was written as a satirical statement on the media’s coverage of the artist’s relationships.

    • Can’t Help Falling in Love

Year of Release: 1961
Artist: Elvis Presley
Album: Blue Hawaii
Video:

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Can’t Help Falling In Love Chords and Lyrics
Elvis Presley’s 1961 hit has been covered many times. Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots plays a fantastic ukulele version of Can’t Help Falling in Love, and it’s sure to inspire you to try this famous ukulele song for yourself!

    • Chandelier

Year of Release: 2014
Artist: Sia
Album: 1000 Forms of Fear
Video:

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Chandelier Chords and Lyrics
Sia wrote “Chandelier” with Rihanna or Beyoncé in mind, but opted to perform the song herself. Since its release, it has reached the top 5 on charts in 20 different countries!

    • City of Stars

Year of Release: 2016
Artist: Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone
Album: The La La Land Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Video:

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City of Stars Chords and Lyrics
If you loved La La Land, you’ll enjoy playing City of Stars! It’s not terribly challenging: Give it a try!

    • Count On Me

Year of Release: 2010
Artist: Bruno Mars
Album: Doo Wops & Hooligans
Video:

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Count on Me Chords and Lyrics
Count on Me has a classic island sound and easy lyrics. The song has a sweet, laid-back vibe that makes it a lot of fun to play.

    • Dream a Little Dream of Me

Year of Release: 1931
Artist: Ozzie Nelson
Album: Hits of the 1930s
Video:

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Dream a Little Dream of Me Chords and Lyrics
Dream a Little Dream of Me has been recorded by more than 60 artists since its original release in 1931. We love this cover by Danielle Ate the Sandwich – it’s sure to inspire you to try this famous ukulele song for yourself!

    • Hallelujah

Year of Release: 2001
Artist: Rufus Wainwright
Album: Shrek: Music from the Original Motion Picture
Video:

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Hallelujah Chords and Lyrics
Hallelujah was written by Leonard Cohen, popularized by Jeff Buckley, and famously covered by Rufus Wainwright in the 2001 animated feature Shrek. Since then, it’s been a favorite with ukulele artists. Even Jake Shimabukuro, famed for his marvelous ukulele fingerpicking style, has covered it beautifully. It’s worth noting that we couldn’t find a video featuring both Rufus Wainwright and the ukulele, so we chose this one featuring Espen Lind, Kurt Nilsen, Alejandro Fuentes, and Askil Holm. Although they’re accompanied by the guitar here, you can achieve a similar effect with your ukulele.

    • Hello

Year of Release: 2015
Artist: Adele
Album: 25
Video:

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Hello Chords and Lyrics
Feeling nostalgic or sorry for the way things ended with an ex? Let it out! Hello is the perfect song for expressing your emotions.

    • Here Comes the Sun

Year of Release: 1969
Artist: The Beatles
Album: Abbey Road
Video:

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Here Comes the Sun Chords and Lyrics
Here Comes the Sun has been covered so many times, why not try this classic ukulele tune for yourself? It’s sure to become a favorite.

    • Ho Hey

Year of Release: 2012
Artist: The Lumineers
Album: The Lumineers
Video:

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Ho Hey Chords and Lyrics
Want a fun, catchy song to play and sing? Give Ho Hey a try! The lyrics are easy to remember, and so are the chords.

    • Hey Soul Sister

Year of Release: 2009
Artist: Train
Album: Save Me, San Francisco
Video:

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Hey Soul Sister Chords and Lyrics
No wonder “Hey Soul Sister” is such a popular ukulele song: It’s Train’s highest-charting song ever, even winning a Grammy Award! While this tune is a catchy one, it’s not at all difficult to strum. Have fun playing!

    • Hey There Delilah

Year of Release: 2006
Artist: Plain White T’s
Album: All That We Needed
Video:

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Hey There Delilah Chords and Lyrics
Trivia time! The Plain White T’s Tom Higgenson wrote “Hey There Delilah” in honor of American track star Delilah DiCrescenzo.

    • House of Gold

Year of Release: 2013
Artist: Twenty One Pilots
Album: Vessel
Video:

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House of Gold Chords and Lyrics
Have fun learning House of Gold! The rhythm is unique, and when you pair it with the lyrics, you’re sure to make quite an impression!

    • I Don’t Know My Name

Year of Release: 2016
Artist: Grace VanderWaal
Album (Movie): Keep Your Seats Please
Video:

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I Don’t Know My Name Chords and Lyrics
Sweetly lyrical, “I Don’t Know My Name” was written by Grace VanderWaal, who taught herself to play the ukulele at age 11. Whatever your age, this song is a lot of fun to play.

    • I Make My Own Sunshine

Year of Release: 2012
Artist: Alyssa Bonagura
Album: Love Hard
Video:

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I Make My Own Sunshine Chords and Lyrics
I Make My Own Sunshine was featured in a 2012 Lowe’s commercial. The tune is easy to learn, and the lyrics are sure to put you in a great mood.

    • I Will Follow You into the Dark

Year of Release: 2005
Artist: Death Cab for Cutie
Album: Plans
Video:

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I Will Follow You Into the Dark Chords and Lyrics
Feeling sentimental? Learn how to play I Will Follow You into the Dark, and you’ll have one more way to express yourself while telling someone just how much you care.

    • I Won’t Give UP

Year of Release: 2012
Artist: Jason Mraz
Album: Love is a Four Letter Word
Video:

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I Won’t Give Up Chords and Lyrics
“I Won’t Give UP” is a beautiful love song – and it’s a good reminder to keep on practicing your ukulele! Hang in there even when things get tough!

    • I’m Yours

Year of Release: 2008
Artist: Jason Mraz
Album: We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
Video:

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I’m Yours Chords and Lyrics
I’m Yours offers a fantastic island sound, with plenty of strumming. This song might be famous, but it’s not at all difficult to learn and play!

    • I See Fire

Year of Release: 2013
Artist: Ed Sheeran
Album: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Video:

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I See Fire Chords and Lyrics
If you’re a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies, then you’ve probably found yourself listening to I See Fire as you recall some of the Hobbit’s most memorable moments. Why stop at listening? Now you can play it, too!

    • Island in the Sun

Year of Release: 2001
Artist: Weezer
Album: Weezer (The Green Album)
Video:

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Island in the Sun Chords and Lyrics
Get started with just four chords! Island in the Sun is super-catchy, and it’s such an easy ukulele song that you’ll learn it in no time.

    • Island Style

Year of Release: 2012
Artist: John Cruz
Album: Jack Johnson and Friends – Best of Kokua Festival
Video:

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Island Style Chords and Lyrics
Ready for some fingerpicking? Island Style isn’t the easiest song to play, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll find that it’s one of your favorite tunes. Give it a try when you’re ready for a little challenge!

    • La Vie en Rose

Year of Release: 2014
Artist: Cristin Milioti
Album: How I Met Your Mother
Video:

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La Vie en Rose Chords and Lyrics
La Vie en Rose was written by Edith Piaf, way back in 1945. The song has been popular on and off since then. Cristin Milioti covered La Vie en Rose in How I Met Your Mother, Season 9, Episode 16, strumming along to the soulful song on her ukulele. Try it for yourself!

    • Let Her Go

Year of Release: 2012
Artist: Passenger
Album: All the Little Lights
Video:

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Chords and Lyrics
Sweet and sentimental, Let Her Go is sure to make quite an impression on your audience. If you have friends who like to play different instruments, this song is one worth performing as a group.

    • Let It Go

Year of Release: 2013
Artist: Demi Lovato
Album: Frozen
Video:

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Let It Go Chords and Lyrics
Find your favorite little girl and let her sing along! If you’re a fan of Frozen, “Let it Go” deserves a place on your list of songs to learn.

    • Love Story

Year of Release: 2008
Artist: Taylor Swift
Album: Fearless
Video:

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Love Story Chords and Lyrics
In the mood for a fairy tale? Love Story is the perfect song to play!

    • Perfect

Year of Release: 2017
Artist: Ed Sheeran
Album: Divide
Video:

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Perfect Chords and Lyrics
An easygoing beat and simple chords make Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” a song worth trying, even if you’re fairly new to the ukulele. Your friends will be impressed!

    • Pompeii

Year of Release: 2013
Artist: Bastille
Album: Bastille
Video:

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Pompeii Chords and Lyrics
Pompeii is technically synth pop, but the song lends itself to the ukulele so well that it’s a favorite with players who are looking for a challenge. You’ll be strumming fast: Pompeii’s tempo is 128 beats per minute.

    • Pumped Up Kicks

Year of Release: 2011
Artist: Foster the People
Album: Foster the People
Video:

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Pumped Up Kicks Chords and Lyrics
Ready to impress your friends? Learn how to play Pumped Up Kicks on your ukulele! There’s no need to be intimidated: We found an arrangement with only four chords to learn!

    • Riptide

Year of Release: 2014
Artist: Vance Joy
Album: Dream Your Life Away
Video:

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Riptide Chords and Lyrics
Ready to learn a fun, famous ukulele song? Give Riptide a try! This song has just a few chords, and the lyrics aren’t too difficult to remember.

    • Say You Won’t Let Go

Year of Release: 2016
Artist: James Arthur
Album: Back from the Edge
Video:

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Say You Won’t Let Go Chords and Lyrics
“Say You Won’t Let Go” has a sweet sound, yet it’s fairly easy to play. Once you’ve got the strumming down, you’ll be ready to add some fingerpicking in the style of James Arthur. Give it a try!

    • Shape of You

Year of Release: 2017
Artist: Ed Sheeran
Album: Divide
Video:

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Shape of You Chords and Lyrics
Ready to expand your playlist? Ed Sheeran’s Shape of you has just four chords to learn, but the rhythm and lyrics make for a fun challenge.

    • Skinny Love

Year of Release: 2007
Artist: Bon Iver
Album: For Emma, Forever Ago
Video:

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Skinny Love Chords and Lyrics
Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” has been covered countless times, with a notable release by Birdy in 2011. It’s slightly challenging, making for a nice addition to your repertoire.

    • Someone to Lava

Year of Release: 2015
Artist: Kuana Torres Kahele, Napua Greig, and James Ford Murphy
Album (Animated Film): Disney Pixar Animated Short Film Inside Out
Video:

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Someone to Lava Chords and Lyrics
Grab your favorite someone and have fun learning how to play Someone to Lava! You’ll love it’s classic Hawaiian sound as well as its fun, catchy lyrics.

    • Stay with Me

Year of Release: 2014
Artist: Sam Smith
Album: The Thrill of It All
Video:

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Stay With Me Chords and Lyrics
Feeling lonely? Sing and play Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me” and see if your luck changes.

    • Stressed Out

Year of Release: 2015
Artist: Twenty One Pilots
Album: Blurryface
Video:

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Stressed Out Chords and Lyrics
“Stressed Out” isn’t the easiest ukulele song to play, but it’s sure to make quite an impression on your friends! Once you’ve learned the chords and lyrics, you’ll find that this is a favorite.

    • Sunday Morning

Year of Release: 2002
Artist: Maroon 5
Album: Songs About Jane
Video:

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Sunday Morning Chords and Lyrics
Sunday morning is the perfect time for practicing ukulele, and this song is a great one to cover. Have fun!

    • Take Me to Church

Year of Release: 2013
Artist: Hozier
Album: Take Me to Church
Video:

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Take Me to Church Chords and Lyrics
Ready to play something a little edgier? Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” might just do the trick!

    • The Cups Song (When I’m Gone)

Year of Release: 2012
Artist: Anna Kendrick
Album: Pitch Perfect Soundtrack
Video:

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The Cups Song Chords and Lyrics
Believe it or not, the Cups song (When I’m Gone) dates all the way back to 1931. The song was performed by the Carter Family, and credit for its lyrics and composition goes to A.P. Careter, as well as to Luisa Gerstein of Lulu and the Lampshades. Great song to listen to on your Wireless Headphones.

    • The Lazy Song

Year of Release: 2010
Artist: Bruno Mars
Album: Doo-Wops & Hooligans
Video:

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The Lazy Song Chords and Lyrics
Don’t do anything hard today…just play your ukulele! The Lazy Song has lots of chord changes, but it’s got a fun, laid-back vibe.

    • The Judge

Year of Release: 2017
Artist: Twenty One Pilots
Album: Blurryface
Video:

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The Judge Chords and Lyrics
Fantastic lyrics, a catchy beat, and lots of chords: “The Judge” has a nice, full sound, and once you’ve put all the elements together you won’t be able to stop playing it.

    • The Scientist

Year of Release: 2002
Artist: Coldplay
Album: A Rush of Blood to the Head
Video:

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The Scientist Chords and Lyrics
If you’re looking for a sad ukulele song, then consider Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” It’s got a slow, easy beat, along with wistful lyrics to help you express yourself.

    • Thinking Out Loud

Year of Release: 2014
Artist: Ed Sheeran
Album: X
Video:

Thinking Out Loud Chords and Lyrics
A little bit of trivia: Ed Sheeran plays and sings beautifully – but one skill was missing. He finally learned to dance just in time for the Thinking Out Loud video!

    • Tonight You Belong to Me

Year of Release: 2011
Artist: Eddie Vedder & Cat Power
Album: Ukulele Songs
Video:

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Tonight You Belong to Me Chords and Lyrics
Written in 1926 and covered countless times, “Tonight You Belong to Me” is the perfect ukulele song. It’s sweet, simple, and easy to sing along to. Give it a try!

    • Ukulele Lady

Year of Release: 1998
Artist: Bette Midler
Album: Bathhouse Betty
Video:

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Ukulele Lady Chords and Lyrics
If you want to treat your friends to a classic Hawaiian ukulele song, play Ukulele Lady for them! Bette Midler’s version is based on the original standard by Gus Kahn and Richard A Whiting, which dates back to 1925.

    • Upside Down

Year of Release: 2006
Artist: Jack Johnson
Album: Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George
Video:

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Upside Down Chords and Lyrics
Jack Johnson’s “Upside Down” has a chilled out, laid-back vibe, a fun beat, and fantastic lyrics. It’s a littler harder than some other famous ukulele songs, but with a little practice, you’ll be playing and singing along!

    • Valerie

Year of Release: 2006
Artist: Amy Winehouse
Album: Amy
Video:

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Valerie Chords and Lyrics
Jazz on the ukulele? “Valerie” proves it’s possible. Give this heartfelt tune a try sometime!

    • Viva La Vida

Year of Release: 2008
Artist: Coldplay
Album: Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends
Video:

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Viva La Vida Chords and Lyrics
Play the chords alone, or add some finger picking! Viva La Vida is a fantastic song whether you’re looking for something simple or if you want to take your ukulele technique to the next level.

    • Wake Me Up

Year of Release: 2013
Artist: Avicii
Album: True
Video:

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Wake Me Up Chords and Lyrics
Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” has wonderful lyrics and a marvelous beat, but it’s not too hard to play. With a little practice, you’ll be ready to show off for your friends!

    • You and I

Year of Release: 2006
Artist: Ingrid Michaelson
Album: Girls and Boys
Video:

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You and I Chords and Lyrics
Ready for a little challenge? Try playing Ingrid Michaelson’s “You and I” on your ukulele! The E can be tricky, but with some practice, you’ll get it right.

Best Summer Ukulele Festivals for 2017

ukulele festival

Let’s put that summer energy to good use! Ukulele Music Info presents the 2017 summer ukulele festivals and camps you can take part in.

JUNE

Ukulele Festival of Great Britain
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK
June 16-18

Aiming to have its eight “uke-tastic” year this 2017, the Ukulele Festival of Great Britain is one of the biggest ukulele festivals in the world. A three-day ukulele-action-packed celebration featuring the talents of Abe Lagrimas Jr., Ooks of Hazard, Ukulele Uff Trio, Kyas, Strumpdiddlyumptious, Poor Boys of Worcester, Katy Vernon, and Cue; with ukulele workshops for all levels, auctions, and raffle draws.

Kamloops Summer Ukulele Festival
Sorrento, British Columbia, CA
June 16-18

The Kamloops Summer Ukulele Festival is a whole weekend filled with ukulele fun and learning. This year’s venue is the Sorrento Centre which has a view of the beautiful Shuswap Lake. Instructors and performers include Manitoba Hal, Jim D’Ville, Tina Hebner, Jane Jelbart & Mark Jackson.

HUGE 2017
Haworth, Yorkshire, UK
June 17-18

Be sure your ukes are in good shape for this year’s Haworth Ukulele Group Extravaganza, it is going to be a wild ukulele festival. Expect plenty of mass uke strumming, tombola and raffle, HUGE Ale, and an awesome evening of entertainment. On Saturday, June 17th there will be a flash mob, an afternoon of ukulele groups playing sets including songs from musicals and loads of chances to join in and play. The festival mission is to not go any longer than 20 minutes without picking up a uke and playing songs from the 2017 songbook. In the evening there will be a concert by No Fluke. On Sunday there will be a Ukulele Steam Train Special from Haworth station on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway as well as a small flea market for folks to shop at. This year’s theme is Songs From the Musicals, wouldn’t it be great to hear I Dreamed a Dream played and sang with a ukulele?

Ukestock Festival
Leermens, Groningen, Netherlands
June 23-24

Described as a “small festival for a small instrument”, this is a weekend of workshops and concerts with the ukulele as the centerpiece. The artists performing at the very first Ukestock Festival are De Habachos, Professor Peter, The Kokosnackers, and Bad Mouth Orchestra.

6th Original Utah Uke Fest Concert
Highland, Utah, USA
June 24

The 6th Utah Uke Fest invites you to bring your ukulele and your friends for a whole day of free workshops, open mic picnic, ukulele jams and a free concert featuring The Naked Waiters, Cathy Cash, West Side Pride and UFO HUM.

SHNUGFEST
Dover, New Hampshire
June 24

An initiative of the Southern New Hampshire Ukulele Group, the SHNUGFEST is gathering for “ukesters” of all levels to have fun and enjoy the summer weather to the tune of their beloved ukuleles. For this year, the Upper Valley Uke Group, Andrea Shirbik, The Flukes, So. ME Strumers, SNHUG, Bob’s Your Uncle and the Concord Group are performing.

5th MUFF

Mandorah, Northern Territories, Australia
June 24-25

Savor the summer heat, this is two days of ukuleles, country, and folk by the beach. The Mandorah Ukulele and Folk Festival is a free two-day uke fest by the Wagait Beach organised by the Cox Country Club Inc. This is a weekend of good music, summer shirts, and leis. Performing artists are Ben Hur Helwend, Ali Mills, Mirrabooka, Tracy Bunn, Ben Evolent and Johnny McIntyre.

Midwest Uke & Harmonica Camp
Olivet, MI, USA
June 23-25

Last year’s Midwest Uke & Harmonica Camp received many favorable reviews. Praised for its well-organized flow, effective instructors and enriching classes, the camp is bound to continue what it has started with this roster of artists/instructors; Sarah Masiel, Craig Chee, Gerald Ross, Lil Rev, Jim Beloff, Rachel Manke, Stuart Fuchs, Cathy Fink, Steven Espaniola, Ben Hassenger, Marcy Marxer, Gerald Ross, Andy Wilson, Frank Youngman and Sandy Weltman.

JULY

Geraldine Ukefest 2017
Geraldine, South Canterbury, New Zealand
July 6-9

A little bit of Hawaii is coming to New Zealand! This year’s Geraldine Ukefest features Hawaii’s very own award-winning ukulele virtuoso Bryan Tolentino and Halehaku Seabury. These amazing ukulelist and 100+ more performances from different talented artist will make of you wanna dance and sing to the tune of their ukuleles’ “aloha-ness.”

Rocky Mountain Uke Fest
Durango, Colorado, USA
July 7-9

Rocky Mountain Uke Fest brings Kevin Carroll, Jack-n-Jel, and Devin Scott as instructors and performers for this year 3-day long ukulele camp.

Summer Strum 2017
Wirral, United Kingdom
July 7-9

Beat the heat of the summer and dance with the frolic sound of the ukulele at this year’s Summer Strum, hosted by the Wirral Ukulele Orchestra. Get entertained by the Wild Pear, Ian Campbell, Kiki Fox, Two of Us, El D’uke and many more. The Splintered Ukes are giving a free concert on Friday July 7th and Trellebelle Ukulele Orchestra are travelling all the way from Sweden to play at the event! 

Box Ukulele Festival
Box, Wiltshire, UK
July 8, 2017

Box Ukulele Festival is newly organized music event by The Queen’s Head that aims to showcase the variety of music genres one can play with a ukulele. Don’t mess with its size. Pop, punk, rock, indie, jazz, you just name it, you can play with the ukulele. Headlining for its first year will be The Mighty Lemon, and with them is their rock, punk and pop repertoire of songs.

Rye Ukulele Festival
Rye, East Sussex, UK
July 8

Prep your hippy outfits for this year’s Rye Ukulele Festival’s theme is a celebration of the 50th year of The Beatles’ 1967 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album. All you need for this uke fest is love and a ukulele! The 3rd Rye Ukulele Festival featuring ukulele bands from across the South East will take place on Saturday 8th July, from 11 am at The Cinque Ports Arms, Rye. It will include food, drinks, Ukulele stalls and more. The entry is free, and families (and ukes!) are welcome.

Uke-U-6
Bend, Oregon, USA
July 14-16

Come and be part of the Uke-U-6 ‘ohana and celebrate the spirit of aloha in this three days of friendship, ukulele music, and education. The performing artists include Andy Andrews, Neal Chin, Jim D’Ville, Danielle Ate The Sandwich, Arden Fujiwara, Denise Hinz and Patty Sage, Cinda Johnson, Aaron and Nicole Kim of the Quiet American, Lil’ Rev, Casey MacGill, Kalae Miles, Mark Ransom, and Carl Ventis.

Nanaimo Ukulele Festival
Nanaimo, BC, Canada
July 15-16

This year’s “great little festival” features two intermediate workshops lead by James Hill and two beginner workshops lead by Nanaimo’s very own Rob Wilkinson. James Hill and Anne Janelle will be adding to the fun with their ukulele-meets-the-cello performance.

47th Annual Oahu Ukulele Festival
Waikiki, Oahu
July 16, 2017

Who wouldn’t love to take part in Hawaii’s summer Ukulele Festival at Kapiolani Park Bandstand? It’s the largest annual summer tradition spreading the aloha spirit in the Aloha State itself after all. The festival is known for the performance of a ukulele orchestra composing of 800 kids. Now that’s too much ukulele at the same time!

Fifth Czech Ukulele Festival
Unetice, Czech Republic
July 28-30

Continuing its tradition of being the a mobile ukulele festival, this year’s Czech Ukulele Festival will begin with a ukulele train ride to exhibit the beauty of the spa town of Poděbrady. Then, the next two days will take place in the picturesque village of Únětice on the Prague outskirts, in a functioning brewery. The music for the festival’s main events will range from the Hawaiian classics of Aldrine Guerrero and Kimo Hussey to rhythm ‘n´ blues from Dead Man´s Uke and many more.

Third Annual CascoBay UkeFest
Portland, ME, USA
July 29, 2017

For the third time since 2014, the CascoBay UkeFest is yet again gearing up to give ukesters of all ages a day entertainment, learning, and good ukulele music at St. Luke’s Cathedral in the beautiful seaside city of Portland Maine. In addition to local ukulele groups performing, with the audience joining in on strum and sing-along songs; also the talented Stuart Fuchs will be performing and leading two ukulele workshops.

AUGUST

Utah Ukulele Festival
Logan, Utah, USA
August 5

Utah’s one and only all FREE and completely outdoor ukulele festival is taking place on Aug. 5 in Logan, Utah. The Utah Ukulele Festival offers free workshops/lessons for all ages, vendors/concessions, and wonderful entertainment all day long. Headlining this year’s event is multi-Na Hoku Hanohano nominees and father-son due, Mele’uhane who hail from the Big Island of Hawaii. Bring your camp chairs/blanket, your family and friends, and come soak up some sun while listening to the beautiful sounds of the ukulele.

Parbulele
Parbold, Lancashire, UK
August 4-6

Parbold’s Ukulele Festival “promises to be an unforgettable occasion in a truly beautiful location.” Look forward to a whole weekend of ukulele workshops for kids and adult alike, series of open mics and entertaining performances for UK’s best ukulele artists. The headline acts will include Ad Cooke, Michael Adcock, Chonkinfeckle, Ukulele Uff Trio and more! 

Uke-A-Bay
Colwyn Bay, Wales, UK
August 11-13

Woteva, Fagin’s Boys, Michael Adcock and Gaudy Orde are coming to bring rays of sunshine with their ukuleles to the biggest and brightest ukulele festival in Northern Wales.

New Jersey Uke Fest
Whippany and Morristown, NJ, USA
August 25-27

The Folk Project has again organized a whole weekend of fun ukulele workshops, performances, spontaneous jams, open mics, and vendors. Bringing in their ukulele prowess for the 2017 NJ Uke Fest are Kimo Hussey, Rachel Manke, Danielle Ate the Sandwich The Curt Sheller Jazz Trio and The Lords of Liechtenstein. 

Vienna Ukulele Night
Vienna, Austria
August 26

Der ukulelenprediger, eidaxl combo, puschkawü, the bad mouse orchestra and more are coming to the Local bar in Vienna for an exciting ukulele event. 

Garfest
Garstang, Lancashire, UK
August 26

A new addition to the Garstang Music and Arts Festival, GarFest is a day of full of unforgettable ukulele fun. A perfect activity for the kids this summer.

Ukulele Hooley by the Sea
Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
August 26-27

Dig those summer shirts out, practice your dance moves and tune your precious ukulele for two days of ukulele fun and frolics by the sea.

SEPTEMBER

Uking Under the Tuscan Sun
Sovicille, Sienna, Italy
September 9-16

A complete Tuscan Ukulele retreat in an idyllic Tuscan villa with a view of the Senese Mountains with workshops from renowned experts Peter Moss and Francesco Albertazzi.

Ukus in Fabula, the entertaining trio from Rome, will also be joining at the villa for a house concert, jam and morning workshop. Wine tastings, cooking classes, a Tuscan spa visit and excursions to Siena, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Castellina in Chianti and more are on the itinerary. Daily workshops and jams are planned. Also, the festival offers private chef-catered meals at a century old Italian villa.

Alabama Uke Fest
Lake Guntersville, Alabama, USA
September 9

The Alabama Uke Fest is a nice way to spend a Saturday with the family. The itinerary includes uke lessons, group strummings, open mics and performances.

Tune in Dunes VII
Lincoln, Oregon
September 15-17

James Hill & Anne Janelle, Steven Espaniola, Aaron and Nicole Keim, Jim D’Ville, Andy Andrews, Bryan Holley, and Hood River Trio are bringing joy and entertainment for this year’s Tune in Dunes VII.

Dock Street Uke Camp
Shelburne, Nova Scotia, Canada
September 15-17

Held in conjunction with the Whirlygig and Weathervane Festival, The Dock Street Uke Camp aims to provide a unique ukulele learning experience near the port of the beautiful Shelburne City.

OUC.5 Ohio Ukulele Campout
Loudonville, Ohio
September 22-24

Last year’s Ohio Ukulele Campout ended with an exuberant summer strumming. The ultimate ukulele camping experience is coming back this year at the Mohican Adventures Campground.

The Central Coast Uke Festival
Central Coast, NSW, Australia
September 23-24, 2017

Two days of ukulele bonding, dancing, market stalls, food stalls and rides for the kids, and performances at The Entrance Memorial Park.

Port Townsend Uke Fest 2017
Port Townsend, Washington
September 27 – October 1

Port Townsend Uke Fest is a 4-day limited uke fest and workshop to be held at Fort Worden State Park. Workshops include different style choices such as jazz, blues, swing, Hawaiian, pop, novelty, and jug band ukulele.

SPRUKE Brisbane Ukulele Festival
South Brisbane, Australia
September 29 – October 1, 2017

The SPRUKE is an initiative of the Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society Inc. that brings together people for the love of the ukulele. The finalized list of artists to perform during the SPRUKE includes Kyas Ryo, Ukulele Russ, Tyrone and Lesley and The Pockets.

Royal City Uke Fest
Dublin Street United Church, Guelph, Ontario
September 30, 2017

The very first Royal City Uke Fest is set to give you dynamic uke workshops, fun group strums and a performance from James Hill and Anne Janelle.

2017 Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival
Torrance, California, USA
September 30, 2017

The 2017 Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival is a celebration of the 4-stringed bundle of sunshine that has been making people smile, and sing and dance happily for over 100 years. This is a festival for everybody; whether you are an experienced ukulelist, a newbie, an occasional strummer or just a curious spectator.

2017 Albuquerque Ukekopeli Festival
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
September 29 – October 1

Play the uke with Albuquerque ukesters! You can be part of a live studio audience at the Friday night concert starring Ralph Shaw from England, Dani Joy from California, Mark Baker from Arizona and Gracie Terzian from New York. The next days will be filled with ukulele jams and workshops for all skill levels. What a great way to end the summer!

Top 15 Ukulele Music Blogs For 2020

ukulele


Whether you’re looking for advice, new ukulele music to play, or some fantastic tracks that feature the sweet, melodious sound of the ukulele, you’ll appreciate this compilation of ukulele music blogs. Check them out and discover exciting new music while enjoying some old favorites.

Indie Shuffle


Indie Shuffle is a place for all things related to independent music, and it’s a great place to find new bands to listen to, as well as to find music to inspire your own playing. Run by a team of international writers, the site offers a stunning array of music from every genre imaginable. Apps for android and iPhone add even more excitement, and you can submit your own music if you like.

Learning Ukulele with Curt Sheller


At Learning Ukulele with Curt Sheller, you can take advantage of 234 free lessons, plus hundreds of others with an inexpensive paid membership. This site offers a wealth of information to help you become a better player and take your ukulele skills to the next level.

Ukulele Hunt


Learn how to play, find out about the latest books, and get quick tabs and chords. Looking for ukulele lessons? You can find them here – along with lots of other goodies.

Molly’s Music


In or near Orange County, CA, and have learned all you can on your own? If you’re ready for instrumental or voice lessons, or if you’re looking for artist development tools, then Molly’s Music is well worth checking out. This is a fantastic site for all musicians, new and old alike.

Ukulele Underground


Learn about accessories, find out where ukulele aficionados are gathering and shop in a marketplace built by and for ukulele players. Ukulele underground is all ukes, all the time.

Live Ukulele


Find easy ukulele tabs, learn how to play beginner pieces, and fall in love with the fine art of ukulele playing. You’ll be introduced to famous ukulele players along the way, and you’ll love the “Aloha Spirit” found on this easy-to-navigate ukulele blog.

The Official Website of Ukulele Mike

Listen and watch as Ukulele Mike plays one hit after another, or take online lessons from the comfort of your own home. There are loads of excellent ukulele products available for purchase, plus free resources and a wealth of information for ukulele players of every level.

Flea Plucker


Take ukulele lessons on Skype, find links to festivals and events, and gain insight about ukulele-friendly places to visit. Flea Plucker is completely dedicated to bringing ukulele players together, and it is brimming with information you’ll appreciate. The blog is updated frequently, plus it features a robust series of archives.

Ukeeku


At Ukeeku.com, you’ll find sound samples from different ukuleles, plus links to events and much more. Whether you’re shopping for a new case or an upgrade to your current uke, this is a site that’s well worth visiting.
P.S. Ukeeku sells fabulous ukulele stickers!

Uke4U


If you’re looking for fantastic ukulele tutorials, then Uke4U is worth looking into. You’ll find popular songs as well as old favorites, plus links to apps and more. Links to shows can be found here, along with guest posts and some other fun stuff. Want to see Kermit the Frog play Ukulele Lady? This is the place to do it.

Ukulele Secrets


Tutorials and demonstrations abound on ukulelesecrets, which in their own words, will teach you “how to play ukulele like a badass.” Brought to you by the one and only Tim Keough, this site promises to take years off your learning curve so your ukulele playing sounds better, faster.

Play Ukulele by Ear


Offered by instructor Jim D’Ville, Play Ukulele by Ear will teach you to do just that, and more. Outstanding audio and video links can be found hear, along with links to ukulele workshops, retreats, basic lessons, and featured articles.

Ukelele Go!


Interesting Ukulele tabs, lessons, ebooks, and much, much more can be found here. If you need a useful lesson on fingerpicking for beginners, this is a great place to find it.

Bryan Holley


Bryan specializes in teaching beginners of all ages. His series of ukulele lessons and workshops with useful handouts and song charts help anyone advance their musical journey. His workshops have explored gospel, Hawaiian, and Latino music, the songs of Pete Seeger and Jimmy Durante, the hits of 1915 (when the first ukulele craze swept America), and fingerstyle ukulele.

Play Uke LLC’s Reno & Palm ‘Strings’ 2018 Ukulele Festivals

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The Reno Ukulele Festival, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary in May 2018, has grown into the largest Uke Fest in the western United States. But hot on its heels is Play Uke’s other event, the Palm ‘Strings’ Ukulele Festival, which is held in the sunny climes of Palm Springs, CA while most of the rest of the country is in the dead of winter. Because of the draw of the desert and the lure of poolside (or in-pool) uke’ing in February, attendance in Palm Springs could surpass Reno in the next year or two.

The lineups for 2018 are massive. Festival producer Douglas Reynolds says that he has so many performers that typically headline festivals booked for Reno’s Tenth Anniversary that he had to draw names out of a hat to determine the order of billing. Multiple styles of music will be represented in both performance and workshop settings. The core group instructing workshops and performing at both festivals includes six time Grammy Winner Daniel Ho, Master Teacher Peter Luongo of Langley Ukulele Ensemble and The Mighty Uke fame, and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Abe Lagrimas, Jr.

Joining those three in Palm Springs will be another Grammy Award winning duo, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, Seattle’s Matt Dahlberg, Heidi Swedberg, flamenco wizard Daniel Ward, and multi-string wizard and prolific music instruction book author Fred Sokolow. Joining in Reno’s tenth anniversary fun will be several couples: Sarah Maisel & Craig Chee, Victoria Vox & Jack Maher, Victor & Penny (aka Erin McGrane & Jeff Freling), Aaron & Nicole Keim, and Jim & Liz Beloff. Jazz virtuoso Michael Power rounds out the current roster, but Douglas says to watch out for late additions and surprise visits at both festivals.

For more info and reservations visit the festivals’ website!

Best Custom Ukuleles for 2018

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Looking for a ukulele? As this beautiful, portable instrument has gained popularity in recent years, available options have multiplied. Music stores and online marketplaces are full of lovely ukes, most with an appealing, classic vibe. But what if you’re looking for something completely unique, like a hand painted ukulele? Despite the availability of beautiful commercial designs, it can be tough to find appealing, personalized options. In fact, the search for a custom painted ukulele might take you hours, days, or even weeks. Knowing just how valuable time is, we’ve curated this A to Z list of some of the best, most unique ukuleles available online. Happy strumming!

Cedar And Sycamore

Cedar and Sycamore offers a unique approach to the fine art of ukulele making; instead of starting from the ground up, shop owner Hannah Price selects good-quality pre-built ukuleles and decorates them by hand. A visit to her shop reveals stunning artwork and eye-catching designs to please a variety of tastes. Whimsical floral designs, classic Hawaiian hibiscus flowers, beautiful birds, animals, fish, and even whales adorn each unique painted ukulele. Vibrant images and exquisite colors combine with talented artistry, making Cedar and Sycamore ukuleles truly enviable. Hannah Price is based in the United Kingdom, and happily welcomes the opportunity to create custom designs by request. Her ukuleles ship worldwide.

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Chameleon Spirit

Looking for something rare and Hawaiian-inspired? Chameleon Spirit may have just the thing. Shop owner Brianna Mercier is a talented artist with an eye for fine details. Her colorful ukulele designs pay homage to the ocean as well as to famous artist Hokusai, who is best-known for his woodcut image titled “The Wave.”

Chameleon Spirit is based in California, with exclusive designs on pre-built ukuleles available on Etsy.

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Coral Flamingo

Whimsical delights abound at Coral Flamingo, where you’ll find a wide array of decorated ukuleles with stunningly beautiful artwork as well as some fantastically silly characters meant to make you smile. Ocean-inspired waves, silly dogs, and fanciful cats with funny little faces are just a few of the designs to discover at this appealing online shop. Whether you’d like something glitzy and glamorous or if you prefer a customized ukulele design made-to-order, you’ll find it at Coral Flamingo. Shop owner Tamanna is based in Australia, and offers worldwide shipping.

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Fanner Guitar Works

If you’re in the market for a custom electric ukulele with a unique appearance, then consider giving Fanner Guitar Works a look. Shop owner Brian Fanner doesn’t just build beautiful guitars, he also offers an amazing assortment of electric ukuleles in a variety of colors and finishes, and his catalogue has been expanding since he first began adding ukes to his lineup in 2014. Original shapes, unique finishes, and robust features make Fanner Guitar Works ukuleles exceptional.  Brian Fanner is based in South Africa and ships his custom electric ukuleles all over the world. Interested parties can contact him to request specific designs and features.  

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Gargoyle Pastures

Want a painted ukulele decorated with your favorite Pokémon, or prefer one with a vibrant sunset scene?

Gargoyle Pastures happily delivers custom painted ukuleles in an endless array of colors, designs, and motifs. Shop owner Chris Scarlett is a talented young artist working out of Virginia.

Gargoyle Pastures takes orders for painted ukuleles, and offers shipping worldwide.

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Handmade by Alyssa

A custom ukulele from Handmade by Alyssa is a delight for the eyes. Breathtaking mountain scenes, serene sunsets, and vintage-inspired wildflowers are just some of the designs you’ll see when you visit. Shop owner Alyssa welcomes custom orders, and offers a stunning array of colorful ukuleles ready-made and painted to order.

Handmade by Alyssa offers a complete menu of options for custom orders, and is open to conversations about handmade ukulele designs. Based in Ohio, this talented artist ships her work worldwide.

Imaginesia

On the lookout for a colorful ukulele? Imaginesia may just take your breath away. Stunning, vibrant designs in a wide variety of motifs ranging from Jim Morrison of The Doors to classic Beatles imagery adorn these unique instruments. Abstract painted ukulele designs are available too; in fact, your own creativity can come into play if you’d like it to. Imaginesia shop owner Valène Jouvet gets high marks from customers, and ships to custom ukulele clients worldwide. Prepare to be amazed!

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Jenlo262

Fine artist Jennifer Lommers offers a huge array of handpainted objects, including custom ukulele designs to make the heart sing. Jenlo262 specializes in adorable birds, exquisite poppies, whimsical bicycles, and fantastic coffee-inspired pieces as well as amazing animal art. Jennifer Lommers is based in Corvallis Oregon, and may be contacted via Etsy or Facebook for custom painted ukulele designs. Artwork is available for worldwide shipping as well as at live shows throughout the Western United States.

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Juicebox Arts

Want a hand-painted ukulele, perhaps with some ocean-inspired artwork or whimsical cartoon cats?

Juicebox Arts happily delivers. Exquisite beauty and funky designs coexist harmoniously in this fantastic shop, which offers quite a few items worth looking at.

Juicebox Arts shop owner Carlymanders is based in the Netherlands and offers shipping to customers all over the planet.

Kelaska Custom Ukes

If you’re a fan of ukulele music, you might already be familiar with Kelaska, who offers popular ukuele covers on her YouTube chanel each week. Kelaska Custom Ukes offers instruments painted with vibrant colors and completely unique visual appeal. Whether you’d like a floral painted ukulele or one with a gorgeous galaxy-inspired design, you can place an order with Kelaska Custom Ukes. Shop owner Kelli Wright is based in Connecticut, and offers her designs to customers all over the world.

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L is for Lucky Creations

Vibrant colors, compelling designs, and hand-painted renditions of original and famous artworks make ukuleles from L is for Lucky Creations favorites with those who purchase them. Not only does shop owner Lauren Conklin offer a wide array of decorated ukuleles and other instruments ready-made, she takes requests for specific, personalized designs that get rave reviews. L is for Lucky Creations is based in Nashville, Tennessee, and offers shipping to destinations all over the world.

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Lupine Art

You’ll find a wide array of options when you search Lupine Art for colorful ukulele designs.

Shop owner Imaania Satwilkar works out of the United Kingdom, and offers a variety of options including whimsical animal motifs and delicate, colorful abstract designs.

Lupine Art offers worldwide shipping.

 

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Nymphaea Nerd

Sparkling mosaics, stunning colors, and peaceful ocean-inspired designs are just some of the offerings found at Nymphaea Nerd.

Shop owner Megan Hansen offers unique ukulele designs and takes orders for custom ukuleles, and then ships them to clients worldwide. Famous public domain artwork is available as well as original designs, making Nymphaea Nerd an excellent place to search for the painted ukulele of your dreams.

Famous public domain artwork is available as well as original designs, making Nymphaea Nerd an excellent place to search for the painted ukulele of your dreams.

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Tsunami Originals

Where to find a unique ukulele? Tsunami Originals may hold the answer.

Based in California, shop owner Soulnami Soulshifter paints vibrant, colorful designs and ships to custom ukulele shoppers all over the world. Visit  Tsunami Originals for a peek at current offerings.

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Calling artists and designers! Do you offer unique ukulele designs, and would you like to add your name to this list?
Ukulele enthusiasts want to see what you have to offer!
We invite you to contact us to learn more.

11 Best Ukulele Apps

best ukulele apps

Learning how to play the ukulele has never been easier with the help of technology. Whether you are just beginning to learn how to play or a hobbyist looking to refine your techniques, using apps might be an affordable option than taking online ukulele lessons which can be done at your own pace and at your own time.

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To get you started, here are 10 of the best ukulele apps that you can download on your smartphone or tablet.

The Ukulele App

iOS | Android

The Ukulele App makes learning how to play the ukulele easy as 1-2-3. Available for both iOS and Android, The Ukulele App features ukulele videos taught by The Ukulele Teacher; scales to help you find out what notes you are playing; a chord finder; and a tuner. With over 1 million downloads on Android, the app has received good reviews as lessons are clear, easy to follow and songs are learned very quickly, making it an ideal ukulele app download even for beginners.

Learning Ukulele in 7 Days

iOS | Android

Learning the Ukulele in 7 Days is one of the ideal apps to download if you are learning how to play the ukulele. The app functions both as a learning tool as it features a chord finder to search for chords and a tuner to aid in tuning your ukulele. The app contains seven lessons, providing step-by-step instructions which are great for beginners. Each lesson ends with you learning how to play a song. If you are a more seasoned player, you can skip the lessons and head straight to the play along.

Real Ukulele

iOS | Android

Real Ukulele is a free app for iOS and Android devices that offers the most realistic Hawaiian guitar simulator. It features a user-friendly interface and excellent sound quality as all noted were recorded with a live ukulele. The app lets you strum, pluck, and strike strings to let you play chords of any difficulty.

Yousician

iOS | Android

Yousician is one of the fastest ways to learn how to play the guitar, piano, bass or ukulele. The app features step-by-step tutorials, provides instant feedback on accuracy and rhythm, and a progress tracker to check your musical achievements. The app has received favorable reviews so far from both iOS and Android users and it has been lauded for its ease of use.

Ukulele Companion

iOS

The Ukulele Companion is the perfect tool for ukulele players available only on iOS. The app features a tuner, a collection of chords, a list of scales and beats to practice with on your Apple devices. Improvements to the app were also made, and it now features a metronome, Electronic drum set tracks, custom themes, and more.

iUke

Master playing the ukulele with iUKe, an app available exclusively for iOS devices. The app transforms you into a proficient ukulele player by showing you how to finger each chord in a song while teaching you the correct strumming pattern. Other awesome features of the app include a mixer, difficulty levels, multiple tunings, sharing your recordings on YouTube, and a left-handed mode, among others.

My Ukulele

Android

My Ukulele is a virtual ukulele simulator app for Android devices. It has several features including ukulele types such as standard and banjo uke, four playing modes including solo, tapping, chord and combined mode, 228 chords, right or left-handed options, and many more.

Ukulele Toolkit

Ukulele players will find the Ukulele Toolkit app very useful for your ukulele playing needs. The beautifully crafted app features a pro-standard tuner, an accurate metronome, a selection of strumming patterns, drum loops, 108 scales, interactive chord diagrams, chord progressions, left-hand mode, adjustable pitch, and four alternate tunings.

Ukulele Karaoke

iOS | Android

Learning how to play the ukulele can be fun and colorful with the Ukulele Karaoke app. Available for iOS and Android, the app is ideal for beginners as it teaches you how to quickly learn new songs without having to know how to read tabs or sheet music. The app features simplified chords, useful playing tips, an option to build your songbook, and many more.

Fret Trainer

iOSAndroid

Master the fretboard of the ukulele using the Fret Trainer app. Choose any tuning, any section of the fretboard, any chord, and any note, and start practicing using multiple different games that train you in different ways. Fret Trainer also provides other useful tools as well, including a scale explorer with over 60 scales to analyze with any tuning, and games that help you practice reading notes on a music staff and quickly mapping them to the fretboard. And if you’re left-handed, there’s a left-handed mode as well.

Play Ukulele

iOSAndroid

Turn your smartphone into a ukulele with the Play Ukulele app available for Android devices. The app allows you to play chords without fingering techniques, a chord finder, editing or setting a chord, use real ukulele tunes, a tuning mode, and playing and switching saved chords into one screen. A pro version is also available for purchase and it features more chords, soprano and tenor ukulele tunes and is ad-free.

Want to be added to this list? Contact us

Why You Should Learn the Guitar or Ukulele During COVID-19 Quarantine

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There’s no denying the difficulty of the COVID-19 quarantine. Even as stay-at-home measures begin to ease, ongoing restrictions have many of us feeling frustrated, at best — or downright miserable at the thought of spending even one more day at home. While these feelings are perfectly understandable, it’s possible to view the situation in a different light: as an opportunity to tackle a few of the top goals you’ve set on the backburner for years.

If you’re like many people, you’ve long harbored ambitions of mastering a new instrument. Caught up in the whirlwind of daily life, however, you may have struggled to set aside the time needed for lessons and practice. Now that you’re stuck at home, you should have plenty of leisurely evenings free for making music. Why wait? This could be the perfect opportunity to finally achieve one of your most important life goals.

Of course, not all instruments are equally suited to this unprecedented situation. While live lessons involving video conferencing are possible, they don’t quite compare to in-person sessions. Thankfully, some instruments are easy to pick up on your own. You’ll have the most luck with the ukulele or guitar, both of which provide a quick and easy introduction to the world of instrumental music.

Still not convinced? The following are among the most compelling reasons why you should make the effort to pick up a stringed instrument as you continue to navigate the complications of COVID-19 quarantine:

Easy to Learn

If you’re not feeling particularly motivated, opt for an instrument that allows for quick mastery — especially if you lack in-person guidance. The right instrument can make all the difference.

The ukulele, in particular, is a cinch to pick up on your own. Equipped with a book, a tuner, and a few good YouTube videos, you can discover everything you need to know to ace this instrument. A lack of ambition need not get in the way, as you can learn an easy song in a matter of minutes. If you have more time to dedicate to your musical education, however, you could very well become a ukulele maestro by the end of quarantine.

The guitar, although not nearly as basic as the ukulele, is simple enough that you can master a few chords in short order. In all likelihood, several of your favorite guitar songs feature the simplest, yet most appealing chords. That being said, plenty of challenging tunes are also available to keep you engaged not only throughout the duration of quarantine, but also far into the future.

Minimal Equipment Needed

While books, tuners, music stands, and carrying cases can be helpful, it’s also possible to learn the ukulele or guitar when you only possess a smartphone and the instrument itself.

A variety of apps and online videos provide the guidance needed to navigate the confusion of frets, strings, and chords. If you’re truly committed, you can use a detailed guide to master these essentials. Otherwise, several simple tutorials can help you navigate specific songs. This targeted approach may prove a valuable option when you’re short on time but impatient to get started.

Stress Relief

The stressful nature of COVID-19 quarantine cannot be denied. In multiple surveys, respondents confirm that their mental health has suffered greatly during this difficult time. Research also confirms, however, that instruments can play a significant role in easing such stress.

When you’re feeling down, you can release those pent-up emotions with the help of a song. If nothing else, you’ll enjoy a greater sense of purpose as you pursue the long-neglected goal of learning an instrument.

Social Connection

In a time of isolation, it’s crucial that you take every opportunity possible to build connections. The ukulele and guitar will both prove invaluable in this effort. On a nice day, you can head out on your porch to play songs for pedestrians as they pass by your home.

If you’re stuck inside, feel free to join a video chat and entertain loved ones with their favorite songs. With a little coordination, you can even sing with your friends or family members from afar as you use your new instrument to provide harmony. Feel free to also use your newfound skills to ease tension with household members, as arguments may otherwise be likely when cooped up.

A Sense of Accomplishment

Little in life matches the personal satisfaction of mastering an instrument. The sense of accomplishment attached to your newfound guitar or ukulele skills could provide valuable fuel to get you through the remainder of quarantine. Even the ability to play a simple song or two can make a real difference. If you come away from quarantine with bona fide instrumental skills, however, you’ll also emerge with a sense of pride that nothing can take away.

Whether you’re stressed, lonely, or simply bored, the guitar or ukulele could cure all that ails you during quarantine. Invest in yourself — you’ll never regret taking the time to master one of the world’s most appealing and versatile instruments.

How to Tune a Ukulele for Beginners In 5 Easy Steps

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Making sure your ukulele is in tune is one of the most important steps to playing ukulele, yet is often overlooked by many players.

I’m amazed how many people either don’t know how to tune a ukulele or get up on stage to perform and their ukulele is out of tune. Nothing can kill a great performance as an out of tune ukulele.

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Do you struggle with tuning? No worries, I got you covered.

In this article and video, I will show you the 5 steps needed to proper tune your ukulele.

Here are the 5 steps needed to successful tune your ukulele:

  1. Know Your String Names
  2. Have a Tuner
  3. Understand When a Note is Sharp or Flat
  4. Know Which Way to Turn the Tuning Pegs
  5. Make Sure to Tune the Right Note.

Let’s dive into each step a little bit deeper.

Step 1: Know Your String Names

To know your string names, first you must know what kind of ukulele you have. The most common ukuleles are the soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles. The great thing about these 3 different sizes of ukuleles is that they all have the same string names.

The string names for the soprano, concert, and tenor ukulele going from the 1st string (the string closest to the ground) to the 4th string (the string closest to your face) are A – E – C – G.

To make sure we are clear the string names are:

  • 1st string is “A”
  • 2nd string is “E”
  • 3rd string is “C”
  • 4th string is “G”

This will be the same whether you’re playing a ukulele with a high G or a low G.

The baritone ukulele has different string names then the soprano, concert, and tenors. The string names are:

  • 1st string is “E”
  • 2nd string is “B”
  • 3rd string is “G”
  • 4th string is “D”

For this article and video, we will focus on the tuning for a soprano, concert, or tenor.

Also Read: Top 10 Sites For Online Ukulele Lessons For Beginners

Step 2: Have a Tuner

The 2 main ways to tune a ukulele are by ear and with a tuner. Although eventually you want to be able to tune your ukulele by ear, using a tuner is the quickest and most efficient thing to do.

The 3 most popular tuners are clip-on tuners, ukulele tuning apps, or traditional hand held tuners. I use and recommend the clip-on tuners, like the ones made by Snark, because they are accurate and can tune using the strings vibrations, which is great if you are in a crowded or noisy place.

Be wary of some of the free tuner apps, they are not always accurate. A good and free tuner app for iOS and Android is by GuitarTuna.

Also Read: Our Guide to the 5 Best Ukulele Tuners

Step 3: Understand When a Note is Sharp or Flat

Having a tuner does no good unless you know how to use it. Knowing how to use it means knowing when a note is sharp, flat, or in tune.

Flat is when a note is too low and needs to be raised up. When a note is flat the arrow on the tuner will go to the left of the note.

Sharp is when a note is too high and needs to be lowered. When a note is sharp the arrow on the tuner will go to the right of the note.

When a note is in tune the arrow of the tuner will go right to the center. Some tuners will beep when the note is in tune.

Also Read: 50 Easy Ukulele Songs for Beginners

Step 4: Know Which Way To Turn The Tuning Pegs

If a note is flat (too low), then you must raise the pitch. For the 3rd and 4th strings, the tuning pegs on top of the headstock, turn the tuning pegs counter clock-wise to raise the pitch. Keep turning counter clock-wise until the arrow reaches the center of the screen.

For the 1st and 2nd strings, the tuning pegs on the bottom of the headstock, turn the tuning pegs clockwise to raise the pitch. Keep turning clock-wise until the arrow reaches the center of the screen.

If a note is sharp (too high), you must lower the pitch and will turn the tuning pegs opposite compared to when the note is flat. For the 3rd and 4th strings, the tuning pegs on top of the headstock, turn the tuning peg clock-wise to lower the pitch.

For the 1st and 2nd strings, the tuning pegs on the bottom of the headstock, turn the tuning pegs clockwise to lower the pitch.

The goal for each note whether it is sharp or flat is to get the arrow to the center of the screen.

Also Read: Top 9 Ukulele Tutorial YouTube Channels

Step 5: Make Sure To Tune The Right Note

A common mistake is that people will use a tuner and think their ukulele is in tune, but it still sounds bad. This usually happens because they tuned the wrong note.

When your tuning the 1st string, the “A” note, make sure the tuner says “A.” Sometimes people will tune the 1st string and get the arrow to the center of the display, but the note will read “Ab” or “A#” or “G” or “B.” If this happens, even though you think you tuned the note correctly, the ukulele will sound off.

Always double check that if you are tuning the “A” string then the tuner reads “A”, if you are tuning the “E” string makes sure the tuner reads “E”, if you are tuning the “C” string make sure the tuner reads “C”, and if you are tuning the “G” string, make sure the tuner reads “G.”

Another common mistake when using a tuner is that you are not tuning to 440 Hz. Although not every tuner can change the Hz frequency, but if you can then set it to 440 Hz and then tune up.

Sometimes the handheld tuners, like the ones by Korg, make it too easy to change the Hz without even knowing about it. Although certain areas of the world will use something besides 440 Hz, it is a safe bet to start with 440 Hz and adjust if needed.

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In Conclusion

Tuning a ukulele is an easy thing to do, but it does require some knowledge and some practice. If you follow the 5 steps outlined and practice you will became quick and accurate at tuning your ukulele.

Remember nothing can kill a great performance as bad as a ukulele that is out of tune. So, take a moment before you practice and perform and make sure your ukulele is in tune.

About the author:
Terry Carter, founder of Uke Like The Pros is a talented ukuleleist, guitarist, and songwriter with a Master of Music from University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Music from San Diego State University. His online ukulele lessons are featured here. You can follow him on his social media accounts: youtube.com/ukelikethepros | instagram.com/ukelikethepros | facebook.com/ukelikethepros

Ukulele Sizes (Soprano, Concert, Tenor & Baritone) – The Ultimate Guide

Ukulele Sizes

Ready to Play Ukulele but Confused with All the Choices?

In this article, I will guide you through the different ukuleles sizes, how and why they sound different, and how to choose and ukulele that will work for you.

Size & Sound

First and foremost, there are many ukulele sizes and each produces a different sound. Here is a simple rule not only for ukuleles but for all musical instruments, the smaller the size of the body the higher sounding the timbre.

When I say higher timbre, I’m not referring to volume, although many of our ears perceive a higher timbre as sounding louder, but simply that a sound has more treble (higher timbre) or more bass (lower timbre).

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For example, a soprano ukulele size, one of the smallest ukuleles, produces a high timbre because the body is so small.

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On the other hand, a baritone ukulele size, one of the larger ukuleles, produces a much deeper and low sound.

Different Ukulele Sizes

You may be asking, “How many different sizes of ukuleles are there?” Great question. Ukuleles come in many different sizes, colors, and shapes including:

For today let’s keep it simple and concentrate on the 4 most popular ukuleles (from smallest to biggest): soprano, concert, tenor, baritone.

History of the Different Ukulele Sizes

The soprano ukulele, which is referred to as the “standard” was the original ukulele size and ordinated in the late 1800’s. The concert ukulele which is slightly bigger and deeper in sound developed in the 1920’s. Next came the tenor which produces even more volume and deeper tones and followed by the baritone in the 1940’s which is the loudest and deepest of them all.

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How To Measure Ukulele Sizes

Today, there are many ukulele companies making many different sizes, shapes, and colors of ukuleles that it can be hard to know what size a ukulele is. The easiest way to determine the size of an ukulele is to measure it. How do you measure ukulele sizes? It’s simple, just measure the ukulele is from the bridge to the nut.

Here are the different ukuleles sizes in inches (in) and centimeters (cm):

  • Soprano ukulele size is 13 in (33cm)
  • Concert ukulele size is 15 in (38 cm)
  • Tenor ukulele size is 17 in (43 cm)
  • Baritone ukulele size is 19 in (48 cm)

Over time and with experience you’ll be able to tell the size of an ukulele just by seeing or holding it.

How To Choose A Ukulele Size

There are a few things you need to know when choosing an ukulele.

  • First, the soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles all use the same tuning: G – C – E – A. The baritone ukulele uses a different tuning: D – G – B – E.
    Unless you specifically know that you want or need a baritone ukulele, I would stick with the soprano, concert or tenor. Most of the ukulele lessons you find online or in books are written for the soprano, concert and tenor.
  • Second, choose your ukulele that feels right for you. If your 6 foot 5 inches and have huge hands a soprano instrument will probably be a bit small for you. When you go to a ukulele store, simply pick up each ukulele and hold it, even if you don’t know what to do, and determine how it feels with your body and hand type.
  • Third, determine what you want to do with the ukulele. If you just want to strum the chords to your favorite songs, then a soprano or concert ukulele will work great for you. If you goal is to play scales and move up and down the ukulele neck like Jake Shimabukuro, then a concert or tenor ukulele will work best for you. Remember that the smaller the ukulele size the smaller the neck which can limit what you can do with it.
  • Fourth, the type of wood used to make your ukulele will determine its price. Traditionally ukuleles from Hawaii are made from Koa wood, which only grows on the Hawaiian Island. Although, Koa wood produces an amazing, warm, and rounded tone, it is expensive. Since the demand and price of Koa wood has sky rocketed you are seeing more ukuleles made from spruce, cedar, rosewood, acacia, and laminate. Many ukuleles that are under $200 will be made from a laminate wood. Even though an ukulele made from Koa and one made from laminate may look the same, they are not. You get what you pay for. Yes, to get started a $150 ukulele may look and sound great to you, but you will hear and feel the difference when you move up to a quality hand-made ukulele made by companies such as KoAloha, Kamaka, and Kanile’a. My suggestion is to buy the most expensive instrument that fits your budget.

This is a great time to be an ukulele player. The ukulele is extremely popular and lots of companies are making ukuleles, so they are easy to find and afford. Now that you are done with this article go get your ukulele and play.

About the author:
Terry Carter, founder of Uke Like The Pros is a talented ukuleleist, guitarist, and songwriter with a Master of Music from University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Music from San Diego State University. His online ukulele lessons are featured here. You can follow him on his social media accounts: youtube.com/ukelikethepros | instagram.com/ukelikethepros | facebook.com/ukelikethepros

55 Plus Most Famous Ukulele Players You Should Know About

famous ukulele players

The ukulele is one of the most popular musical instruments of modern times. Ukulele chords make you automatically reminisce of the sunny Hawaii and relaxed dances.

Later in its development, the musicians performing country, indie and even rock music started playing the ukulele.

Many famous people play this instrument in their spare time as Tom Hanks, Ryan Gosling, Madonna, and others. Impressive, isn’t it?

It is also important to talk about professional ukulele players that made a contribution to the music itself. Here are our TOP-55 most famous ukulele players of all time.

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  • Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

    He was extremely popular in his homeland and immediately became famous all over the world. Israel was a man who advocated his social and political views through music, which was so admirable!
  • Jake Shimabukuro

    He is an outstanding American composer, who became famous due to his ukulele playing in the YouTube video. Shimabukuro combines elements of rock, blues, jazz and other genres, making his music extraordinary.
  • Eddie Kamae

    Performing in the group Sons of Hawaii, Eddie made the ukulele a solo instrument. He could also skillfully play the melody and rhythm simultaneously.
  • James Hill

    He was not only an outstanding Canadian ukulele player and even an educator. Fully focusing on playing ukulele, he developed instructions for children.
  • Eddie Vedder

    World-renowned musician plays on a variety of instruments, but has a special thrill to the ukulele. In 2011 it was released an album named Ukulele Songs.
  • Taylor Swift

    A worldwide famous songwriter and singer often accompanies her sweet voice by stringed musical instruments, such as guitars, ukuleles and banjos.
  • Daniel Ho

    Winner of prestigious awards, including Grammy is a talented musician and composer. Daniel stands on due to the inventive approach to the ukulele.
  • George Harrison

    The guitarist of The Beatles was heavily influenced by the Hawaiian music. Inspired by ukulele chords he combined them with Indian melodies, giving a unique style to his playing.
  • Genoa KeaweBeautiful voice and traditional ukulele playing touched to the heart. She performed for more than 60 years and always was loved by the audience.
    Wendell Hall. He valued the small dimensions of the instrument and took everywhere with himself. He played different kinds of ukulele and worked on professional instructions.
  • Greg Hawkes

    He was amazed by talented Paul McCartney who actually was a ukulele musician. Hawkes started making experiments with ukulele melodies combining them with The Beatles songs.
  • Don Ho

    Due to Hawaiian and Portuguese background Do Ho was engaged in ukulele playing. He was performing traditional American music with ukulele chords.
  • Ryan Choi

    He is one of the first musicians who performs ukulele music with elements of electronics. It’s worth listening!
  • Ingrid Michaelson

    She’s a talented Swedish performer who plays pop and indie music with ukulele chords.
  • Amanda Palmer

    Once when she used the ukulele during her concert, Amanda liked the sound of the instrument. Since then the ukulele accompanies Palmer’s songs and concerts.
  • Age Pryor

    The musician of New Zealand made a great contribution in the ukulele development founding the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra.
  • Patrick Wolf

    He is a modern musician and composer. Generally, he plays ukulele, viola, and piano, combining classical melodies with electronic sounds.
  • Julia Nunes

    Mostly famous by YouTube viral video of playing ukulele she inspires a lot of people. She performs both cover songs and her own ones.
  • Herbert Buckingham Khaury
    also known as Tiny Tim had played ukulele since his childhood. He took part in numerous ukulele festivals and accompanied his playing by the special high voice.
  • Lou Barbow

    An alternative rock musician who adds ukulele melodies to his songs.
  • Sam Brown

    An outstanding performer successfully runs several ukulele clubs. Just listen to one of her singles and you will be impressed!
  • Billy Carpenter

    An ukulele player of 20s who was famous for an particular voice techniques.
  • Zee Avi

    A Malaysian female musician who is popular for tender ukulele playing. Apart from playing, she makes creative artworks on her ukuleles and gives them to her fans.
  • Danielle Anderson

    A famous YouTuber and ukulele musician.
  • Jason Castro

    A participant of American Idol. He was the first one who played ukulele on the show.
  • Jim Beloff

    Obsessed with ukulele playing, he launched ukulele workshops, festivals, awards etc.
  • Joe Brown

    A worldwide famous musician who occasionally accompanies his performances with ukulele sounds.
  • Frank Crumit

    He was a popular singer and composer in the 20s. He was the first who played ukulele on the Bradway show.
  • Wayne Federman

    Comedian and TV-star who performed rock melodies of The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin etc with an electric ukulele. Nowadays he is a headliner on the stage of the British Ukulele Festival.
  • Andy Eastwood

    He’s a famous ukulele musician and an advocate of ukulele music He had released numerous singles and albums with ukulele melodies.
  • Cliff Edwards

    He is a self-taught ukulele player who is mostly responsible for ukulele popularity in the middle of the past century.
  • George Formby

    An English actor and musician primely famous for his unique character – wearing a suit and playing the ukulele made him memorable.
  • Kaplan Kaye
    An actor and composer is a part of an ukulele-duo, named The Ukaye Ukes.
  • John King

    An outstanding ukulelist who experimented with combining classical music and ukulele playing.
  • Gabby La La

    Mostly, she plays experimental genres of music adding ukulele or accordion melodies.
  • Molly Lewis

    She makes YouTube videos with ukulele playing. She became famous for making covers on Poker Face and Toxic.
  • Joni Mitchell
    She is a country musician. As the genre had a recession she began practicing ukulele and gained popularity
    .
  • Peter Moon

    He had a successful career of musician and then he launched a set of instructional videos on playing the ukulele.
  • Teresa Mary O’Shea

    She was a Welsh actress who considered to be a ukulele heroine and to make a contribution in the Golden Age of the ukulele.
  • Lyle Ritz

    He was a main contributor to the new wave of ukulele musicians. He performed jazz with the ukulele accompaniment.
  • Bill Tapia

He was a jazz guitarist and the ukulele legend performing on the one stage with Elvis Presley and Louis Armstrong.

  • Bennie Nawahis

He was a solo-player in the 20s and 30s. He was also known as King of the Ukulele.

  • Heidi Swedberg

She was an actress and has played ukulele since her childhood. Nowadays she ha her own musical band where she performs ukulele melodies.

  • Victoria Davitt

A leader of the band named Tres Femmes once added bass and ukulele sound to her songs.Nowadays she performs ukulele as a primary instrument in her singles.

  • Herb Ohta

He was an outstanding ukulelist of the 30s who played romantic music, jazz and mostly traditional Hawaiian melodies. Nowadays his son is also a successful ukulele olayer.

  • Roy Sakuma

He’s a prominent ukulele educator who is a founder of the Ukulele Festival, a leading event devoted to this instrument.

  • Ayano Tsuji

She is a Japanese musician famous for her uncommon singing and ukulele playing. Tsuji began playing ukulele after she understood that her hands are too small for the guitar. What a concourse of circumstances!

  • Dent May

Being a songwriter and a composer, May made an album fully devoted to the ukulele melodies.

  • Gerald Ross

He is an American musician and ukulele teacher who carry out workshops and practical lessons in the camps and festivals.

  • Billy Scott

He a British ukulelist who prefers this instrument because of its tender sound. He made a contribution to the developing of ukulele music.

  • Grace Avery VanderWaal

A 13-years old girl who performed playing ukulele on the stage of America’s Got Talent in 2016.

  • Ian Timothy Whitcomb

An English songwriter and singer who stimulated the interest towards ukulele melodies.

  • Ernest Kaʻai

The musician was first who played ukulele for the full song. He is the main authority of Hawaiian music of all time.

  • Aidan James

The distinctive feature of Aidan’s performances is playing rock music with ukulele accompaniment.

  • Laura Pergolizzi

She is better known as LP. Apart from a paricular voice, she adds to her singles the melodies of specific instruments, such as harmonica and ukulele.

  • Taimane Gardner

is a composer and a ukulele player. When she was at the age of five five, she picked up her first ukulele and started her future in performing. She would play on the streets of Waikiki with the beach boys. Taimane’s talent was discovered by a legendary crooner, Don Ho and she became a performer in his show. From there, her popularity grew and Taimane has performed all over the world.

  • Roy Smeck

was one of the great American popular musicians of the 20th century, and he wouldn’t be recognizable of he didn’t specialize in a musical instrument called the ukulele.As a boy, he was captivated with learning to play musical instruments, and he almost suffered a nervous breakdown from his relentless exercising. He eventually narrowed his focus into the acoustic guitar, harmonica, and banjo, and somewhere around the time of America’s entry into World War One, he started performing on the vaudeville circuit. He was a novelty musical actions.

  • Ian Emmerson

says that he got into ukulele by accident.He used to perform on and off for years as a guitarist in various bands and had written songs since he was a teenager.His first ukulele was a brown Lahaina and he took it so much and ended up selling all his guitars.

  • Phil Doleman

has become one of the most recognized players in the UK ukulele scene and has always been at the forefront of the ukulele revival for a long time. He is in demand for theaters,festivals and club gigs, and also private events in Europe and the United Kingdom. He has featured on several albums, performed on TV and radio, and has been on stage with some the finest players in the world.

  • Aldrine Guerrero

is an ukulele player coming from the island of Kaua’i. Aldrine began at local coffee shops in Kauai and churches and has since gone on stages from coast to coast in the US to international performances.Guerrero is one of the founders of Ukulele Underground together Ryan Esaki and Aaron Nakamura.

  • Sarah Maisel

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Sarah Maisel has always had the love for music. When she was six years old, she started violin lessons and played in youth orchestras for a few years. She focused on classical for the 10 years that she studied.In 2006, she and a friend went to check out an Ukulele group at a pizza parlor in Encinitas and it was at this time she developed a passion for playing the ukulele.

  • Ryo Montgomery

from Cairns, Australia is a guitarist, plays the Ukulele, Gigs and working in a music shop.He is living the dream having developed passion for the ukulele and performing in front of different people around the world.

  • Manitoba Hal Brolund

For the past 15 years, Manitoba Hal Brolund has had an international reputation for engaging in performances, storytelling and masterful ukulele playing. His foundation in American blues and roots music, confident vocals, and distinctive original music have made him be in demand at festivals, house concerts and soft seat theaters in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.Having been recognized as a master of ukulele, his instruments include a steel strung baritone-slide ukulele and a custom made double-necked ukulele.

  • Carla Morrison

is a singer of Mexican origin and she lives in Baja California Mexico.Her business is to create music with pedals with loops and clips, with her keyboard and guitar effects. In their sound, you can feel the melancholy very entertaining as it gives a lot melody and happiness.

  • Mick Fleetwood

is a British actor and musician, best known for his role as the drummer and co-founder of the rock band Fleetwood Mac. Mick is now a proud ukulele player and his model comes from mele ukuleles.

  • Bruce Springsteen

is a rock star and a well-known singer-songwriter. His best-known songs are Springsteen’s working-class roots in New Jersey.He now plays the ukulele musical instrument.

  • Barrack Obama

The 44th president of the United States is from Hawaii, and so he might know a few chords. Barack Obama loves playing the ukulele and has been seen performing in front of people even in his early life.

  • Elvis Presley

was an American singer, actor and song producer. He is widely known by the name Elvis.Elvis began his music career at Sun Records in 1954 when Sam Philips recorded Elvis performing several of Elvis’ favorite songs with Bill Black and Scotty Moore (guitar).

  • Bette Midler

is an American singer, comedian, and actress, She was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Jewish parents, and raised there. Midler then went to New York City to pursue acting on stage, and it was there that she started singing at Continental Baths, which is a gay bathhouse in the city, where she became close to her piano accompanist.She then developed the love for playing ukulele.

  • William H. Macy

plays and self-Soothes with the uke. He talks about the importance of the ukulele and music in his life. His wife, Felicity Huffman, says he uses the ukulele to self-soothe.

  • The Rock

playing ukulele to your list of internet treasures. The Rock who has lived in Hawaii and is of Samoan heritage plays the ukulele off-screen.

  • John Lennon

The legendary English musician, songwriter, singer, and peace activist, born in Liverpool, the United Kingdom who gained fame as a founder member of The Beatles. Lennon formed one of the most influential and successful songwriting with Paul McCartney.

  • JNeil Armstrong

It seems the first man on the moon played the ukulele.There is an image taken of Neil playing the ukulele after he had become the first man to walk on the moon.

  • Johnny Marr

​Born to Irish immigrants in Manchester. Johnny Marr is a songwriter, guitarist, producer and singer. He is known for being a founder member,guitarist and songwriter in cult band -The Smiths

  • Steven Tyler

He is singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and a television music competitions judge, also known as the head singer in the rock band Aerosmith, in which he plays the harmonica, piano and ukulele.

  • John Sebastian

was born in America and he was a singer and songwriter,harmonicist, guitarist, and autoharpist, and is best known as the one who founded The Lovin’ Spoonful.He also played the ukulele musical instrument.

  • Pierce Brosnan

is an Irish film producer, actor, and activist. He plays an Island Ukulele made by Raymond Rapozo. He has been playing for a few years now.

  • Greta Garbo

was a Swedish-born American actress during the 1930s.She has been pictured playing the ukulele.

  • Cybill Shepherd

is an American singer, actress and also a former model. She plays an Island ukulele.

Easy Guitar Lesson – Learn to Play the Guitar with 6 Vital Steps

how to play the guitar

So many people are passionate about playing the guitar. Those of you who do play, should help teach those who are truly passionate about learning. If you ever were eager to learn how to play the guitar, then this is your chance.

Easy Guitar Lesson – in 6 steps

Even before we start with the learning procedure, we will relate to an important aspect, which is your posture. Don’t slouch on a sofa or sit on a chair with arms, rather sit on a high stool. You will need free movement of your arms for ultimate comfort. Sit on a leveled area and make sure that your knees are angled at 90 degrees or facing you. Hands must be free for movement. Take this as your first lesson for playing the guitar. Assuming that you already have a guitar, follow these steps.

1. Learn the notes – Of course, this is the most important part of your learning process. First, all you need is to memorize the strings by heart. Here is a list of the strings that you can tune according to your requirements:

-E is the 6th string, thickest of all and known as the low E string
-A is the 5th one and is known as the A string
-D is the 4th in line and called D string
-G is the 3rd in sequence and called G string
-B is the 2nd and referred as B string
-E is the thinnest of all the strings and is acknowledged as the high E string

This is how you can learn it by rote and this actually makes it a fun thing to do:
-Eddie
-Ate
-Dynamite
-Good
-Bye
-Eddie
Again, remember a note is a single pitch, whereas a chord is a collection of notes. As a beginner, you need to focus on notes more than chords to begin with.

2. Leave your guitar and listen – While learning to play any musical instrument, this should be considered as your basic exercise. Keep away from the guitar, piano, violin or anything that you are learning for some time. Listen to free flowing music and enjoy it. This is the best way to go for it and you must be told that this is your trial to break down the notes. The rhythm, melody or even the bass line can drop you hints for this. Keep at it and you will decode the musical notes in no time.

3. Write down the notes – You can use a tab for this or a plain piece of paper and pen. We know you are a novice and there is no need to lose sleep over using accessories like an expert. Keep it simple and it will come easily. You can make a cheat sheet by watching some online videos too at this stage if you find deciphering to be a bit difficult. You are here to learn and there is no harm in trying to figure out what is going to work best for you.

4. Find an easy way to play it – Selecting an easy song to begin with. Every musician has his/her own style and you have to find yours, as you are no different to this rule. You should seek for your own unique way of playing. Keep trying until you succeed – practice is key.

5. Learn fretting – A fretboard is the area where you place your fingers while playing your music. Use your finger tips and not the fleshy part for playing. In fact, using finger tips provides you with the maximum space between the strings. Again, you need this space because you would want to play each note clearly and independently. You can use a pick, but train yourself about the right way to hold it.

6. Keep practicing – Practice makes perfect, no doubt about it. Once you know the song, the notes and you have found your melody, just keep practicing. A performing artist knows the true importance of rehearsals.

You may have dreamed of playing the guitar and today, we have tried our best to help you accomplish it. This is indeed an easy guitar lesson that will help a beginner enjoy their first songs.

Fall and Winter Ukulele Festivals for 2018

ukulele winter festivals

What does the ukulele sound remind you of? For some, it may be a soothing tune, and for others, it could be a reminder of a relaxing time well-spent at the beach. While it may seem like ukulele festivals only take place in the summer, the influence of the ukulele also reaches the fall and winter months.

Let’s take a look at some of the fall and winter ukulele festivals for 2017-2018 that you shouldn’t miss.

2017

 1. Liverpool International Ceilidh
Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada
Best Western Hotel and Astor Theatre
October 13 – 14, 2017

The Liverpool International Ceilidh is a two-day ukulele festival that features workshops, an open mic event and free jam sessions. On October 13, at the Best Western Hotel, the event will feature free performances by Strum and Sing Along featuring the South Shore Ukulele Players, Mike Diabo and the University of Maine at Machias Ukulele Club. Meanwhile, on October 14 at the historic Astor Theatre, the Liverpool International Ceilidh will feature performances by Ralph Shaw and The Chalmers Doane Trio.

2. Melbourne Ukulele Festival 2017
The Croxton Park Hotel and Tago Mago, Melbourne, Australia
October 14, 2017

Organized by the non-profit organization, Melbourne Ukulele Festival Inc., this year’s Melbourne Ukulele Festival is the seventh festival that brings together the world’s best ukulele acts. Dedicated to sharing the joy of the ukulele, the festival aims to cater to all ages whether artist, solo or a fan. The festival will happen simultaneously at two venues: The Croxton Park Hotel and Tago Mago. At the Croxton Park Hotel, afternoon shows will feature Yarra Ukes, The Brass Traps and Cat House, among others. Evening performances will feature artists such as the Melbourne Ukulele Collective, Ukulele Russ from Alaska and the Thin White Ukes. Meanwhile, afternoon shows at Tago Mago will include Kylie Brickhill, Laid Back and Blue and George O’Hara.

3. Strummin’ Man Uke Fest
Panama City, Florida, USA
October 13 – 15, 2017

The Strummin’ Man Uke Fest is a three-day festival that features ukulele artist concerts, workshops, vendors, and local and visitor ukulele groups. The festival is headlined by ukulele artists such as Craig Shee and Sarah Maisel, Lil’ Rev, Rachel Manke and Taimane. Apart from these, this year’s Strummin’ Man Uke Fest also features open mics, shop and food vendors and of course, to support the music in the community and education.

4. West Sound Ukulele Festival
Kitsap Conference Center, Bremerton, Washington, USA
October 21- 22, 2017

The West Sound Ukulele Festival is a two-day event in Bremerton, Washington, USA that celebrates the ukulele and the people who make music with it. The festival aims to encourage a sense of community among artists, participants, and the audience. To do this, the festival will feature beginning and skill-enhancing workshops, followed by a concert that will be held at the Admiral Theatre. Festival is super friendly for pregnant women.  It will include performances from the Del Rey trio, Aaron Crowell, Victoria Vox, Neal Chin and Milo Fultz. Meanwhile, a Music Marketplace that will feature all things ukulele will also take place at the Kitsap Conference Center.

5. Bulimba Uke Fest
Bulimba Golf Club, Queensland, Australia
October 22, 2017

The Hawaiian-themed Bulimba Uke Fest will feature workshops and a musical lineup that includes Mama Juju and the Jam Tarts, Aloha Baby, Willie Nelson’s Love Child, Vic Kena, Grace Miller, Stomp Ukulele Group-Maleny, Camp Hill School Ukulele Group, the BUMS uke groups: Freerange ChUkes, Flukey, The Cage and Gold Coast Hula Dance Group.

6. Berliner Ukulele Festival

ufaFabrik Internationales Kulturcentrum, Berlin, Germany
October 28 – 29, 2017

The Berliner Ukulele Festival is a two-day event that will feature workshops and performances from various artists. Attendees can look forward to playshops that will further enhance their knowledge on the ukulele. These playshops include Doo-Wop Til You Drop with Sarah Maisel which teaches the chord sequences for doo-wop, blues and pop; Shaping Your Sound with Craig Chee that will explore your own playing style including playing techniques; Cheri Picking with Tobias Elof which explores the ukulele technique heard in James Hills’ songs like “Ode to a Frozen Boot” and “Song for Cheri”; plus many more enriching classes to further one’s knowledge and ukulele playing style. Moreover, the festival will also feature performances by Sarah Maisel and Craig Chee, Tobias Elof, Ukulelezaza and Lucky Leles.

 7. Tampa Bay Ukulele Getaway

St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
November 3 – 5, 2017

The Tampa Bay Ukulele Getaway is a three-day festival that will feature outstanding artists who will be conducting workshops, meet-and-greets and a 45-minute set on the festival’s Saturday event. Among them are Del Rey, considered to be one of the best ukulele teachers around; Fred Sokolow, a multi-string performer and author of a range of instructional books and DVDs for guitar, banjo, Dobro, mandolin, lap steel and ukulele; Aaron Keim, a teacher of ukulele techniques and YouTuber, whose instructional videos have gained a wide following; Kyle Biss and The Applebutter Express Band, a musical act whose work has been featured in “The Good Lie” that stars Reese Witherspoon; Mike Hind, an artist who actively tours with the Flea Bitten Dawgs and who’s landed a cover on UKE Magazine; and Ty Olopai, a freelance musician who teaches ukulele at Penny Lane Music in Fort Lauderdale.

8. UkeFest Virginia

Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, Virginia, USA
November 4, 2017

The sixth annual UkeFest Virginia is a celebration of all things ukulele. The festival features workshops, concerts, a community stage, commemorative Jam Books and opportunities for enjoyment all around. This year, UkeFest Virginia’s special guest will be Lil Rev, a world-class entertainer who performs with the ukulele, harmonica, mandolin, guitar and banjo. He will also be joined by other artists such as The Aloha Boys, Danielle Ate the Sandwich, Skye Zentz, Frets Halligan and MIM.

9. Blue Mugs 5th Ukulele JAMboree

Barrington Tops National Park, New South Wales, Australia
November 10 – 12, 2017

Enjoy beautiful scenery together with relaxing ukulele sounds at the Blue Mugs 5th Ukulele JAMboree. This year’s event will be held in the foothills of the Barrington Tops World Heritage Area and the venue will be at the Riverwood Downs, a farm in which kangaroos and platypus reside. What’s unique about the event is that there are no main acts, but plenty of ukulele players from around the world who want to strum together. Those who want to share their talents with the general audience may do so as there will be a blackboard stage.

2018

10. Tropical Winter Ukulele Fest

Spa Hotel Vesileppis, Leppävirta, Finland
January 19 – 21, 2018

Enjoy a weekend of travel, adventure and music with the Tropical WInter Ukulele Fest. Set in Nordic scenery, the three-day festival features the best Finnish and international ukulele artists, workshops to develop playing skills and more. The lineup consists of international artists like Andy Eastwood, Phil Doleman, Opera-lele, Ukulelezaza and Elisabeth Pfeiffer, as well as Finnish artists such as Jarmo Julkenen and Savo Baroquke Orchestra and Klovni Elviira ja Mukulele.

11. Brown County Ukulele Festival 

Brown County Inn, Indiana, USA
January 26 – 28, 2018

The Brown County Ukulele Festival offers a fun and relaxing weekend of music and camaraderie. Festival goers can enjoy evening concerts, ukulele performances and an open mic, morning yoga with Heidi Kline and Shruti Nadis, various workshops depending on your skill level, and concerts in the evening.

The event will have special guests such as Barrett Hasselwood, Flea Bitten Dogs, Emi Sunshine and the Rain, Narciso Lobo and Lil’Rev.

12. 9th Annual Blue Mountains Ukulele Festival

Carrington Place, Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia
February 9 – 11, 2018
See festival poster here

The 9th annual Blue Mountain Ukulele Festival is a three-day event that delivers a range of activities for the ukulele enthusiast. On February 9, a dinner and show is scheduled, which is followed by free performances and workshops on February 10. On the last day of the festival, there’s free jam and strum to allow ukulele players to strum and collaborate with other attendees.

13. Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii

Kaka’ako Gateway Park, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
February 11, 2018

Founded by Japanese musician and ukulele pioneer in Japan, Kazuyuki Sekiguchi, the Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii is one of the most well-attended ukulele festivals in the world, attracting over 5,000 people. This year, the Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii will feature entertainment and ukulele-related exhibits will be put on display. Moreover, the event lineup will include famous musicians from Hawaii and Japan. While enjoying the music, guests can also indulge in some retail therapy at vendor booths and even have the opportunity to study professional ukulele playing techniques. Lawn mats are highly recommended as this outdoor music festival is best enjoyed with the whole family.

14. Palm Strings Ukulele Festival IV

Hilton Palm Springs, California, USA
February 22 – 24, 2018

The Palm Strings Ukulele Festival IV offers a bit of everything for everyone. The festival grounds is only two blocks away from the boutique downtown strip of Palm Springs and there’s plenty to keep attendees entertained. Guests can expect entertainment, shopping and workshops, as well as a pool and hot tub area with an outdoor bar and grill.

The year’s lineup includes Grammy Award winners Daniel Ho, Marcy Marxer and Cathy Fink, David Lindley, Matt Dahlberg, and more.

15. Waikoloa Ukulele Festival

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Paniolo Ballroom, Waikoloa Village, Hawaii, USA
March 3, 2018

Held annually every March, the Great Waikoloa Ukulele Festival is the celebration of Hawaii’s most favored instrument and music, the ukulele. Since its inception in 2011, the Great Waikoloa Ukulele Festival draws plenty of people from ukulele artists to enthusiasts from around the world. This year, guests can expect to hear music from ukulele masters, take part in giveaways, ukulele lessons and more.

TOP 10 Ukulele Events in the US

ukufest

There are lots of Ukulele lovers out there and you are likely one of them. If you are, then you might like to know what Ukulele events will be happening around you. Well, we are going to give you a list of the top ten Ukulele events in 2017 that would be happening in the US and we hope you make out time for any of them you might like.

    • Ukulele-Festival of Northern California

Date: scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 30, 2017
Time: The exact time for this event is from 9 am to 5 pm that same day
Location: The event is going to be taking place at the Chabot College-Campus performing Arts centre, 25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward, CA 94545

The Ukulele-festival of Northern California is said to be the longest-running Ukulele festival on the mainland; and has been attended by Ukulele lovers from neighboring countries such as Canada, as well as locals in the United States. Information regarding the price and performers for the event can be got by reaching the organizers via ukulelefestivalnorcal@gmail.com.

    • Midwest Uke Camp

Date: The Midwest Uke Camp is an exciting event that is scheduled to hold from June 23-25
Time: Camp begins at noon Friday June 24 at 1:45, ends at 2:00 pm on Sunday June 26
Location: Olivet College Campus in Olivet, Michigan

As it is a teaching event, classes are usually organized for the participants. The instructors in these classes are usually famous Ukulele players and that is what makes the program fun.
The Midwest Uke Camp usually picks top teaching artists from North America in order that the campers with rich and diverse experience of having to learn many styles and techniques. The full list of the instructors of the instructors for this event is yet to be released. Other relevant information related to this event can be found at www.midwestukecamp.com.

    • Uke U-6

Date:-This year`s event will be held between July 14 and July 16
Time:-TBD
Location:-The venue for this Ukulele event is the Cascade academy, 19860, Tumalo-Reservoir Road, Bend OR 97701.

The 2017 Uke U-6 is one of the top Ukulele events that many are already looking forward to.
This year`s event is going to feature some of the most successful Ukulele musicians and instructors. Some of the performers that are expected at the event include Andy Andrews, Casey McGill, Cinda Johnson and a host of others. More information on this event can be obtained from www.ukeu.info

    • The Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival

Date:-The event has been slated for the 30th of September
Time:-8:00-18:00
Location:-The venue is the Torrance Cultural Arts-Center located at 3330 Civic Center, Dr. Torrance, CA 90503.

Another major Ukulele event that is to hold this year is the Los Angeles Ukulele Festival. The event has been held every two years for over hundred years.
It is a festival that is meant for both professional players and amateurs alike. Novices are also welcome as spectators at the event. In addition, there will be performances by top notch Ukulele players and lots of workshops for participants. Further information on this event can be found at www.kalakoa.com

    • Las Cruces UkeFest

Date:-The Las Cruces UkeFest Ukulele has been scheduled to take place from May 19 to May 21 this year.
Time:-TBD
Location:New Mexico Farm and Ranch heritage museum.

The event is hosted yearly by Las Cruces Ukes, a non-profit organization that was formed by several Ukulele lovers in 2013.
Since the club was established, over 60 performances have been given and its popularity has continued to increase. The event boasts several high quality instructors such as Maker Baker and Jim D`Ville. For more details concerning this year`s workshop, visit www.lascrucesukes.blogspot.com

    • Uke Fest

Date:-This year`s event is scheduled to hold between 26 and 29th of May.
Time:-TBD
Location:-Ashokan Music & Dance Camps
PO Box 49, Saugerties, NY 12477

Uke fest is a yearly event that is organized by Ashokan music and dance camp. The festival is opened to the general public and tickets are included in the camp tuition. This event is being held for the fifth time since its inception.
It is essentially retreating that is made for Ukulele players of any skill level. It promises to be fun. The event is going to include concerts jam sessions, and great foods. Some of the stars that would be featured on the Saturday night concert include James Hill & Anne Janelle. To find out more concerning this concert visit www.ashokan.org

    • Jim and Liz Beloff in Concert

Date:-he concert has been slated to hold on Friday, February 24
Time:-TBD
Location:– Congregational church 1009 Main St., Branford, CT.

This particular Ukulele Concert is actually a fundraising concert in which the artists Liz and Belof would perform. T at First The concert is to be a fundraiser for the annual Alice Collins Memorial scholarship. The general ticket price for the public is $15. For more information, you can reach the organizers on 203-488-3088.

    • Ukulele Festival Hawaii

Date:-The event has been scheduled to hold on Sunday, July 26
Time:– 10.30 am to 5 pm
Location:

This year 2017 marks the 47th anniversary of the famous Ukulele festival Hawaii. The most interesting thing about this concert is that admissions are going to be free. The exact venue for the concert is at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand in Waikiki. It is one of the largest Ukulele events in the world. For more information visit www.ukulelefestivalhawaii.org

    • Palm-Strings Ukulele Festival III.

Date:– Scheduled to hold from the 23rd of February to the 25th.
Time:– Starts 13:00 Fabruary 23rd, end 20:00 on February 25th.
Location:-Palm Strings

It is an expanded Ukulele festival that would attract a wide array of ukulele players in the country. The show will begin on the 23rd with plenty of unique workshops that can hardly be matched anywhere else. There is also going to be a poolside and a kickoff party depending on the weather that day. In the hot summer month fleas might be an issue so make sure you have your ultrasonic pest repeller close by.
In addition, there is going to be a Saturday night performance by notable Ukulele players such as Victoria Vox and friends. Other stars like James Hill & Anne Janelle would also perform at the event. For more information follow this link: www.ukulele.cafe/palmstrings17

    • The Utah Ukulele festival

Date:– This year’s Ukulele festival has been scheduled to hold on August 5th.
Time:– 10am-9pm.
Location:-Willow Park 450 W 700s in Logan, Utah

For further information on this event please visit www.utahukefest.com

6 String Ukulele: A Complete Guide

6 string ukulele

A ukulele is a short-necked guitar played on four strings that originated in Europe. It was first introduced in 1879 in Hawaii by a Portuguese immigrant who played a variation of the instrument called a “branguinha,” a small, guitar-type instrument.

Hawaiians were impressed by the immigrant’s playing style that they dubbed the instrument as the “ukulele” or “jumping flea.” By 1900, the ukulele became synonymous to the Hawaiian islands.

Quick Look at Our Top Pick:

Editor’s Choice
Oscar Schmidt OU26T Ukulele – Satin Natural
Our Top choice is the Oscar Schmidt OU26T Ukulele – Satin Natural. The high quality of the materials and the overall precision makes this choice an easy one.
FEATURES
  • Beautiful voice
  • Great action
  • Gig Bag Included
  • Made by a reputable company
  • Affordable
  • Good value for money

6 string ukulele: a variation of the four string uke

While four-string ukuleles are the norm, six-string ukuleles are a class of their own. A six string ukulele is just one of the other four types of ukuleles available. Normal, four-stringed ukuleles are sopranos as it produces a small sound.

Concert or alto ukulele produces a richer sound and has a fretboard that is 2-inches longer than most. Meanwhile, six-stringed ukuleles fall under the tenor as it produces a rich tone.

Moreover, it is preferred for its versatility and is better suited for players with large hands. Lastly, a baritone is almost like a guitar but is smaller in size and it’s for those who want a deeper sound. However, six-stringed ukuleles are better suited for players who already have a bit of experience under their belt.

How do you tune a six-string ukulele?

Standard ukuleles or the four-string kind are tuned up 2 ½ steps up without the two bass strings. When playing with a guitar tab, the song is basically the same but just in a higher key.

Standard tuning for ukulele is GCEA, whereas a six-string ukulele is tuned in GCCEAA. Meanwhile, a guitelele is another six-string version of the ukulele, is tuned exactly as a guitar but starts on an A instead of an E.

What’s the difference between a six-string ukulele and a guitar?

While a guitar and a six-string ukulele both belong to the family of stringed instruments, the two may share the same physical looks but the difference lies in sound and the noticeable size difference.

Guitars often have six strings and sometimes more than that. Strings attached to the instrument vary in thickness and the string composition can range from nylon or steel.

Meanwhile, playing style can be done two ways: with fingers or pluck at the strings. Lastly, guitars are either electric or acoustic, which is the sound the guitar produces.

The sound of an acoustic guitar is made when strings are plucked and it vibrates through the hollow construction of the instrument. On the other hand, an electric guitar needs an amplifier to produce sound.

Meanwhile, the ukulele has a standard four strings made of nylon. The classification of ukuleles depends on the size and tone, such as the soprano, alto, tenor and baritone. Moreover, ukuleles also have different sizes, such as the pineapple and the more triangular fluke.

Six-string ukulele – our recommendations

Oscar Schmidt OU26T Ukulele – Satin Natural

The all-mahogany Oscar Schmidt OU26T Ukulele in Satin Natural is a six-string ukulele with chrome tuners. While this combination may take a while to settle in, the ukulele has a thin neck that is still comfortable to use even for big hands.

Its charm lies in the playing: the more you pick up the ukulele, the more that it becomes warm and rich in sound. While the ukulele is a bit rough around the edges, it still has a unique sound similar to a mandolin. However, new owners should be wary that the ukulele needs some tuning before playing as it is strung poorly.

 

Kala KA-6 Mahogany 6-String Tenor Ukulele

For ukulele players who want an excellent sounding six-string guitar that has also very good value for money, then the Kala KA-6 is a top consideration.

The ukulele features a mahogany body, 19 silver nickel frets, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, a mahogany neck and topped off with a satin finish. “A” strings are a few octaves apart but the ukulele still produces a pleasant sound to the ears. However, it would have to take a lot of tuning and playing for it to stay in tune with high C and A as the top offenders of this. Moreover, storage would have to be tricky as users might have a hard time to find a case that the ukulele can fit into.

Luna Tattoo 6-String Baritone Ukulele

The handy guitar ideal for travelers, the Luna Tattoo 6-String Baritone Ukulele features a mahogany body, a select spruce top, set neck, rosewood fingerboard and chrome hardware.

The size of the ukulele is similar to a mini-classical guitar and for avid travelers, can fit nicely on top of an overhead cabin on flights and can be taken on biking or beach trips.

For the tuning, Luna recommended tuning it to AAGCCE, but it also works fine if you tune it like a standard guitar.

Luna Tribal 6-String Ukulele Bundle

An ideal bundle for new and old ukulele players, the Luna Tribal is packaged as a bundle that has all the necessary accessories you’ll need to get you to start playing in no time.

Each shipment comes with a gig bag, a clip-on tuner, an Austin Bazaar instructional DVD and an Austin Bazaar polishing cloth. The ukulele features a mahogany top, back and sides and open gear chrome tuners, rosewood fretboard and bridge and comes in a satin natural finish for a sleek look.

The ukulele produces a beautiful sound but may take some warming up as it is not in tune in the first few weeks of use. Moreover, the neck fits comfortable even for ukulele players who have big hands.

Alvarez AU70B/6 Artist Series Ukulele

A versatile ukulele, the Alvarez AU70B/6 features a solid A+ Sitka spruce top, rosewood back and sides with semi gloss finish, rosewood fingerboard, mahogany neck and back tuners.

The uke features quality workmanship and plays wonderfully right out of the box.

Moreover, it produces a decent sound, holds tuning quite well and has a nice fit and finish. However, owners should take caution in storing the instrument in low humidity as it can crack easily.

Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian Christmas Song)

31. Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian Christmas Song)

  • Performer: Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters
  • Album:  Merry Christmas
  • Year of Release: 1950

Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way to say “Merry Christmas!” This isn’t the easiest ukulele song on our list but it’s not at all difficult to play, even though there are five chords. Don’t be surprised if everyone starts to sing along!

Chords Used: G, D7, E, C, A7

Mele Kalikimaka Lyrics and Chords

Was sind die Vorteile eines Ghostwriters?

Wenn Sie Ideen für Artikel, Blogs, Bücher oder Filme haben, möchten Sie vielleicht einen Ghostwriter beauftragen. Die meisten Menschen schreiben nicht gerne, aber sie haben fabelhafte Ideen, die in Millionen umgesetzt werden könnten, wenn sie einen Ghostwriter beauftragen. Der Schlüssel ist, einen Ghostwriter zu finden und mit ihm zusammenzuarbeiten, der sich leidenschaftlich fileür Ihre Ideen einsetzt. Der Aufbau einer Geschäftsbeziehung mit einem Ghostwriter kann Ihr Bankkonto und Ihren Standing im Leben verbessern – wenn Sie das wollen.

Vorteile der Beauftragung eines Ghostwriters

Ghostwriter schreiben gerne. Die meisten Menschen lesen nicht gerne, was traurig ist; außerdem schreiben sie nicht gern. Das sind gute Nachrichten für einen Ghostwriter, denn die Arbeit wird stetig sein. Ein Ghostwriter schreibt und erzählt leidenschaftlich gern eine Geschichte. Dabei spielt es keine Rolle, ob es sich um Belletristik oder Sachliteratur handelt. Wenn es um eine starke Handlung geht, kann ein Ghostwriter sie zum Leben erwecken.

Ein Ghostwriter übernimmt das gesamte Schreiben. Alles, was Sie tun müssen, ist, einen Ghostwriter zu finden und ihn seine Schreibmagie wirken zu lassen. Sobald das Projekt abgeschlossen ist, liegt es an Ihnen, Ihr Projekt zu vermarkten, aber zumindest ist das Schreiben erledigt. Schreiben ist die halbe Miete!

Ein Ghostwriter kennt sich mit verschiedenen Genres aus. Was ist das Style? Ein Ghostwriter schreibt für ein oder mehrere bestimmte Genres. Sie werden nun das Style in- hausarbeit schreiben lassen und auswendig kennen lernen und Ihnen einen Einblick geben.

Beauftragen Sie einen Ghostwriter, der frisch ist. Geben Sie neuen Autoren eine Possibility. Wenn Ihre Idee für den YA-Markt ist, brauchen Sie jemanden, der sich damit bestens auskennt. Sie wollen jemanden, der die Zielgruppe sein könnte. Wer könnte besser einen YA-Roman schreiben als jemand, der nicht zum Zielmarkt gehört?

Ein Ghostwriter wird Ihr Projekt innerhalb des Zeitrahmens fertigstellen. Ein Autor, der dafür bezahlt wird, Ihr Buch oder Ihren Web site zu schreiben, wird die Arbeit am oder vor Ablauf der Frist abschließen. Sie wollen bezahlt werden und nehmen ihr Geschäft ernst. Es gibt keinen Grund für sie, Ihr Projekt zu verzögern.

Ein Ghostwriter arbeitet von zu Hause aus. Sie müssen den Autor nicht von Ihrem Home Office oder Büro aus arbeiten lassen. Sie arbeiten von zu Hause aus, was für sie ein großer Vorteil ist. Ein Ghostwriter kann morgens, nachmittags oder nachts schreiben.

Grace VanderWaal: A 13-year-old Ukulele Superstar

grace vanerwaal

Before Howie Mandel pushed the “golden buzzer” for Grace VanderWaal to advance straight to the America’s Got Talent  live performance rounds after singing her original song I Don’t Know My Name he said, “You’re original that people not knowing your name is so right and so wrong because I think the world is gonna know your name.” With over 63 million views on her audition video in YouTube and close to a million YouTube subscribers, the world certainly did.

AGT Audition:

Grace VanderWaal’s First Ukulele

Today, if you ask somebody if they know Grace, three things are likely to be associated with her: her blonde bangs, AGT, and her memorable ukulele playing. But did you know that she actually saved up the money she got for her 11th birthday to buy her first uke? In an interview with her by David Sikorski of The Daily Beast after her infamous golden buzzer performance, she revealed that she got interested in playing the uke after being introduced by her sister to Twenty One Pilots. After learning to play the ukulele, she started performing in open-mic events near her home.

AGT Journey

For Grace, her AGT journey has been a great confidence booster. Before it, her friends didn’t even know she could sing, let alone she could write incredible songs. But Simon Cowell branded her as the next Taylor Swift, she managed to get an amazing standing ovation streak in all of her performances in AGT and she was adored by the live and home audiences. Having captivated the masses’ hearts with her quavering soulful voice, her relatable and insightful songwriting, and her masterful playing of the ukulele, she was hailed the winner of America’s Got Talent 2016. Aside from headlining her own show in Vegas, she also took home a million dollars. Being the 12-year old kid she was back then, her simple wish was to get a tree-house! And also donate some of her winnings to music charities.

Tree-house Video:

The VanderWaal Family

Grace and her family live in Suffern, New York. Her mom and dad are Tina and David VanderWaal respectively. She has an older brother, Jakob; and an older sister, Olivia, whom she considers her best friend. Her song Beautiful Thing which she performed during the quarterfinals of AGT was written for her sister. Later last year, she also brought home a new pug puppy she named Franky, short for Frankenstein. The internet has fallen in love with Franky and his irresistible photos posted on Grace’s Instagram account.

Style and Songwriting

In a video made by TeenVogue, Grace shared that people usually say she sounds like Sia, Halsey, or Melanie Martinez, which I personally agree with. She has the Sia-hoarseness in her voice, the raw and folk sound of Halsey, and Melanie Martinez’ playful style. A combination that marks her vocal style. Most of Grace’s songs, as she revealed in an interview with USA Today, are products of imagining what would it be like if she were a movie or book character and wrote a song. At a young age she explores emotions by trying to connect, understand and empathize with fictional characters. With so much sass, she continued, “I’m twelve, that is not my past experiences,” referring to the love songs she has written.

USA Today Interview:

The Next Taylor Swift?

Well she might be. At the age of 13, her songwriting is comparable with Taylor’s in terms of relatability and catchiness. And she’s charming and loved by the younger (and older) audiences. After all, Taylor Swift’s biggest market when she was starting out were teenage girls. This might be a big of a compliment, coming from Simon Cowell, but Grace VanderWaal is her own superstar in the making.

Awards and Nominations

VanderWaal has been listed by Billboard magazine in its 21 Under 21 List of Music’s Hottest Young Star. She was also nominated for the Best Female Artist category at the International Acoustic Music Awards in 2017, the youngest finalist in the awards’ history. And for this year, she was recognized as the Best New Artist in the 2017 Radio Disney Music Award.

Oh Nevermind It’s Just Grace

Her AGT experience made her more confident to post videos of her singing covers of her favorite songs. She has over 960 thousand subscribers on YouTube. Some of her lesser known original songs are uploaded in her channel Oh Never mind it’s just me / Grace VanderWaal. If you want to bless your ears with Grace’s awesomeness, go check her channel out.

Previous EP and A Taste of The Album to Come

After her AGT win, she signed a record deal with Columbia Records and got to work with producer Greg Wells for her Perfectly Imperfect EP. The EP contained studio versions of the songs she performed during the AGT 2016.

Perfectly Imperfect Playlist:

Her new single, Moonlight, dropped on YouTube, iTunes and Spotify yesterday. Slightly deviating from her usual acoustic and calm but soulful formula, this song climaxes to an energetic chorus with beats that will make you dance; going perfectly to her reminiscing lyrics We were dancing in the moonlight. Little Grace VanderWaal has been experimenting new sounds inside the recording studio. Here is a taste of her upcoming debut album she is planning on releasing by September this year.

Moonlight:

The world better watch out. Grace VanderWaal is bound to dominate pop music with her ukulele!

Uke Like the Pros Online Lessons Review: [Purchased and Tested]

uke like the pros 1

We decided to compare Uke Like the Pros online lessons with others, so we purchased access to the courses, spent time strumming along, and reviewed the features. Is it worth the investment? Enjoy this step by step review.

uke like the pros 1

In case you’re wondering about the story behind Uke Like the Pros, here’s the short version. Terry Carter, a San Diego-based singer, songwriter, ukuleleist, and guitarist, created the site to share his passion with others.

Terry has a Master of Music from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, as well as a Bachelor of Music from San Diego State University. He has worked alongside numerous musicians including Weezer and Josh Groban, and he has written tracks for shows on Animal Planet, CBS, MTV. Altogether, Terry has 25 years of playing and teaching experience to share.

Terry has been offering online lessons via Uke Like the Pros since 2017. He sends emails and offers in-person interaction weekly. If you prefer an intimate setting and a one-on-one feel plus the opportunity to interact with others, you’ll probably enjoy this site.

Uke Like the Pros has an active social media presence, too, so you can enjoy even deeper involvement if you like.

Online Ukulele Lessons for Beginners and Beyond

There are two membership levels to choose from. The standard $12.99/month membership is ideal for beginners who aren’t quite sure whether they’re ready to commit to a larger investment, or who want to purchase some courses a la carte.

We signed up for the premium level so that we could enjoy access to all the courses including more advanced ones:

  • Beginning Music Reading Course for Ukulele – This course contains 48 lessons in a step-by-step format. Whether you always wanted to be a sight reader or if you’re just now learning about the concept of reading music, you’ll get a lot out of this course: With practice, it will make you a better ukulele player. The information it contains can be applied to any instrument, and you can use it to develop yourself as a singer, too.
  • 23 Ultimate Chord Progressions for Ukulele – Just like it sounds, this course offers 23 chord progressions in 23 lessons. Not only do you learn chord progressions in this course, it also contains strum patterns that you can apply in other areas.
  • Master the Ukulele 2 – This course offers 26 lessons that take your playing well beyond basics, with multiple strum patterns, songs, and styles to learn including blues, rasgueado, classical, and reggae.

The $29.99/month premium membership is better for those who have spent some time familiarizing themselves with the instrument, and who know that they want to increase their skills over time.

It’s worth noting here that the premium membership includes all current courses as well as future ones, so there is nothing else to buy at a later date. Yearly memberships are also available for those who like the site and want to stay here.

The price was quoted at $99 / year for standard membership or $299 / year for premium membership when we looked.

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Get 20% on all courses

Like many other sources for online ukulele lessons, Uke Like the Pros provides a money back guarantee for users who aren’t satisfied, and it allows members to cancel anytime. Everyone who signs up gets a free t-shirt.

What Will You Learn First?

It’s up to you! This site has a crisp, well-organized layout that makes it easy to view different options and decide what you’d like to do.

Once you choose a membership level, you’ll find that there are a few different options for getting started including a basic “boot camp” aimed at total beginners.

After you get started, you can move on to bigger and better things. All of the courses included in your membership can be found in the library. We signed up for the premium level so that we could enjoy access to all the courses including music reading and ultimate chord progression.

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This section is home to the Uke Like the Pros “Tip of the Week,” Live Q&A sessions, and more.

Instruction Style and Unique Site Features

Terry’s style is easygoing and approachable. He’s friendly and professional when encouraging new players to get started, and he does an excellent job of explaining each lesson in terms of what to expect.

Every lesson includes details about how to play the chord or song being mentioned in a step-by-step fashion, with helpful tips on chord progressions and more.

Once you choose a lesson, you can play along online. You can also download mp3s and PDF files with music.

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You get a great view of Terry’s fingers during each lesson. You can go to full screen if you’d like an even crisper view. Many of the videos are shot in 4K, so they’re crisp and clear. Here’s an example from one of his Chord Mania sessions. In this lesson, Terry takes a little over three minutes to introduce F Major 7, ensuring you learn all about the chord and how it’s used.

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All course menus include brief descriptions of the lessons, so you can know what to expect. You can repeat the lessons as many times as you like. Once you’re ready to move on to the next lesson, it’s up to you to mark your lesson “complete” and move on to the next one. A ticker helps you keep track so you don’t lose your place.

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How to Get the Best Value from a Uke Like the Pros Membership

If you decide to try these lessons, we recommend that you take a look around and familiarize yourself with the site. See what’s available and then choose a course, starting at the beginning and pacing yourself through the lessons one at a time.

If you have questions or want to get a little more in-depth, it’s a good idea to get involved with the live Q&A sessions. The first entry on the Q&A page features a link to the scheduled Zoom Meeting, which is held every Friday at 9:15 AM Pacific Time. You can login using any system – Mac, iOS, Linux, Android, or PC. You can even phone in if you prefer. Once you’re in the Q&A session, you have in-person access to Terry.

Even if you can’t jump online during these sessions, it’s a great idea to take a look at the Q&A sessions after the fact to see if questions from other students are helpful. Each Q&A session lasts for about an hour. PDF downloads are available for songs covered during these sections.

The Tip of the Week section is an excellent resource as well. This area provides access not just to the current tip, but also to tips that were recorded in the past. It’s a wealth of information that will help you improve your musicianship one well-organized bite at a time.

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If you’re a complete beginner, we recommend getting started with the Beginning Ukulele Bootcamp. This section features 25 lessons including an introduction to different types of ukuleles, ukulele parts, how to hold your ukulele, how to strum, and a whole lot more. When you’re ready, you can move on to another series of lessons that interests you and keep on building skills from there.

Uke Like the Pros: Pros and Cons

Pros

There’s a lot to like about this site. We enjoyed the beachy vibe, for starters. Here are a few more things that stand out:

  • More than 300 lessons in the basic membership area alone
  • New content is added weekly
  • Relaxed, easygoing instructor

Of all the features available, we like the weekly Q&A sessions best. It’s clear that Terry makes an effort to get to know the people who participate in this forum, and he takes plenty of time to make sure that participants understand the answers to their questions.

Cons

No site is perfect. We don’t have any major complaints about Uke Like the Pros, but there are a couple of “cons” to be aware of:

  • There’s no song list.
  • You have to go into one of the courses to access the search feature, and the search feature only works inside that course. We couldn’t find an overall “search” section for the site.
  • There’s no option to purchase individual Skype lessons.

The Takeaway: Are Uke Like the Pros Online Lessons Worth the Price?

The short answer to this question is that it depends what you’re looking for!

While there is some content for advanced players here (especially in the Q&A and workshop areas), Uke Like the Pros joins many other ukulele lesson sites in catering mostly to beginners and intermediate players who are looking to expand their skills.

This makes sense as newer players are typically the ones seeking instruction.

At the same time, the site’s offerings are far from limited. We can see from the descriptions in the membership area that there are plans to expand soon with a Guitarlele course and a Fingerstyle course.

As these come online and more content aggregates in the Q&A and Workshop areas, more experienced players will be able to challenge themselves and further develop their playing styles. It’s also possible to ask anything during Q&A sessions.

We’re enjoying the content and even though we’re not beginners, we are finding plenty of useful information here including some cool jazz chord melodies. The site looks basic at first but as you explore the menus, you find that there are many hidden gems that can give you some ideas about what to work on next.

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The weekly Q&A sessions are a lot like having access to a live instructor, with the added benefit of downloads and the ability to go back and review things you might have missed. The per-month price for the premium membership is on par with what you’ll find at some competing sites.

While there are a few “cons” to consider, Uke Like the Pros is designed to give newer players a solid foundation and help them develop more advanced skills once they’re ready.

Like some other sources for online ukulele lessons, this site provides a free trial period that makes it easy to see if it’s a good match for you. If you think you’d prefer a friendly, one-on-one approach and a simple format, you may enjoy online lessons with Uke Like the Pros.

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Disclaimer:

We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review

Terry is a contributor and a dear friend of Ukulelemusicinfo.com. We have been collaborating for a while now in order to bring you the best up to date information. Having that said, we did our best to provide an objective point of view during the review. And the truth is that if we did not like Uke and the Pros online lessons we would be writing about it.

Amazing Grace

3. Amazing Grace

  • Performer: Chris Tomlin
  • Album:  See the Morning
  • Year of Release: 2006

Yes, you can play Gospel songs on the ukulele! Amazing Grace is a great one to start with – if you’re into Gospel, then you probably know all the words. This song was published in 1779 and has been reworked countless times since then.

Chords Used: C, F, G7, Am

Amazing Grace Lyrics and Chords

Banana Boat Song

4. Banana Boat Song

  • Performer: Harry Belafonte
  • Album:  Calypso
  • Year of Release: 1957

Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) is based on a traditional Jamaican work song. Harry Belafonte made it famous, and it has been covered  by many different folk singers over the years. The song is a lot of fun to play and sing – and because it uses just two lyrics and a simple strumming pattern, it’s one of the easiest ukulele songs there is.

Chords Used: C, G

Blowin’ In the Wind

5. Blowin’ In the Wind

  • Performer: Bob Dylan
  • Album:  The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
  • Year of Release: 1963

A classic folk song from the 1960s, Blowin’ in the Wind has wonderfully poetic lyrics that might take a little time to learn. But once you do, you’ll find yourself singing and playing a song that’s as nice to listen to as it is to perform.

Chords Used: G, C, D

Blowin’ In the Wind Lyrics and Chords

Bonfire Heart

6. Bonfire Heart

  • Performer: James Blunt
  • Album:  Moon Landing
  • Year of Release: 2013

When James Blunt released Bonfire Heart, he said it was about “love, life, fear, and hope.” Despite topping charts worldwide, this beautiful song is easy to play once you’ve got the chords down. It’ll take more practice than some other tunes we’ve covered here but the results are worth the effort! When you’re ready, add in some fingerpicking and percussive taps.

Chords Used: Am, C, Em, F, G

Bonfire Heart Lyrics and Chords

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

7. Breakfast at Tiffany’s

  • Performer: Deep Blue Something
  • Album:  11th Song
  • Year of Release: 1994

The lyrics to Breakfast at Tiffany’s were inspired by the film Roman Holiday, and it’s a must for any Audrey Hepburn fan! Whether you remember the film or not, you’ll enjoy playing this catchy tune; the repetitive melody makes it easy to learn.

Chords Used: D, G, A

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Lyrics and Chords

Brown Eyed Girl

8. Brown Eyed Girl

  • Performer: Van Morrison
  • Album:  Brown Eyed Girl
  • Year of Release: 1967

Yes, you can play classic rock on the ukulele – and some of the songs are easy enough for new players to cover with little bit of practice! Brown Eyed Girl calls for just five chords, and you can expect your friends to sing along to the refrain once you’ve perfected your own version.

Chords Used: G, C, D, D7, Em

Brown Eyed Girl Lyrics and Chords

Budapest

9. Budapest

  • Performer: George Ezra
  • Album: Did You Hear the Rain?
  • Year of Release: 2013

When talking with The Daily Telegraph about his hit song “Budapest,” George Ezra said that the song used the first three chords he ever learned, and that it was intentionally simple. If you’re looking for an easy love song to play on the ukulele, be sure to give this one  try!

Chords Used: C, F, A#

Budapest Lyrics and Chords

Clementine (Oh My Darling, Clementine)

10. Clementine (Oh My Darling, Clementine)

  • Performer: Bing Crosby
  • Album:  Twilight on the Trail
  • Year of Release: 1941

With just three chords and a simple rhythm, the old classic “Clementine” is among the easiest ukulele songs on our list. This traditional American folk ballad is believed to be the work of Percy Montrose, and it dates back to about 1884. Nobody really knows who recorded it first, but Bing Crosby is credited with taking it to the Billboard charts.

Chords Used: G, D7, C

Clementine Lyrics and Chords

Video: x

Fireflies

12. Fireflies

  • Performer: Owl City
  • Album:  Ocean Eyes
  • Year of Release: 2009

While Owl City’s “Fireflies” has five chords, F, C, and G carry you through most of the song, with Em and Am putting in quick appearances along the way. It’s a touch more challenging than some of the songs on this list, but still very easy to play!

Chords Used: G, C, F, Em, Am

Fireflies Lyrics and Chords

Happy

13. Happy

  • Performer: Pharrell Williams
  • Album:  Girl
  • Year of Release: 2013

Fun and upbeat, Happy can be a pretty easy song to play on the ukulele. There are more complicated arrangements available too, so you can make the song more exciting once you’ve gotten the basics down.

Chords Used: E7, C, Bm7

Happy Lyrics and Chords

Happy Birthday

14. Happy Birthday

  • Performer: Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill
  • Album:  N/A
  • Year of Release: 1893

Now you can accompany this favorite with your ukulele! Happy Birthday is easy to play, and it’ll make you the life of the party. We found a great ukulele cover with some fun add-ins toward the end.

Chords Used: C, F, G7

Happy Birthday Lyrics and Chords

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

18. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

  • Performer: U2
  • Album:  The Joshua Tree
  • Year of Release: 1987

Easily one of U2’s greatest masterpieces! I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For has been ranked as one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, yet it’s easy enough to play on our ukulele. Perfect for when you’re feeling soulful!

Chords Used: C, F, G

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For Lyrics and Chords

I’m Yours

19. I’m Yours

  • Performer: Jason Mraz
  • Album:  We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
  • Year of Release: 2007

If you like to sing, you’ll love playing this easy ukulele version of I’m Yours! Don’t be surprised if it ends up to be one of your favorites.

Chords Used: C, G, Am, F, D7

I’m Yours Lyrics and Chords

Island in the Sun

22. Island in the Sun

  • Performer: Weezer
  • Album:  Weezer (The Green Album)
  • Year of Release: 2001

Island in the Sun uses just 5 chords, but it’s incredibly catchy. Once you’ve got the chords figured out, work on imitating Weezer’s strum pattern, and then add in your vocals. Soon enough, you’ll be playin’ and havin’ fun!

Chords Used: Am, C, D, Em, G

Island in the Sun Lyrics and Chords

Love Yourself

28. Love Yourself

  • Performer: Justin Bieber
  • Album:  Purpose
  • Year of Release: 2015

Love Yourself is a Justin Bieber favorite, but did you know that Ed Sheeran took part in the writing process? This song is fun and catchy, so be sure to give it a try!

Chords Used: C, G, Am, Dm, F

Love Yourself Lyrics and Chords

Let it Be

27. Let it Be

  • Performer: The Beatles
  • Album:  Let it Be
  • Year of Release: 1970

Let it Be was released after the Beatles broke up in 1970; nevertheless, it was a top hit. The song is sweet, lyrical, and easy to play.

Chords Used: C, Am, F G

Let it Be Lyrics and Chords

Lullaby

29. Lullaby

  • Performer: Front Porch Step
  • Album:  Aware
  • Year of Release: 2013

As the name of the song suggests, Lullaby is simple and sweet! Just four chords and a few easy-to-remember lyrics make it a favorite.

Chords Used: Am, C, F, G

Lullaby Lyrics and Chords

Margaritaville

30. Margaritaville

  • Performer: Jimmy Buffet
  • Album:  Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
  • Year of Release: 1977

Believe it or not, Margaritaville has been popular for more than 40 years! This easygoing summertime hit is fun to play, with just four chords and plenty of sing-along potential.

Chords Used: A, D, D7, G

Margaritaville Lyrics and Chords

No Tears Left to Cry

32. No Tears Left to Cry

  • Performer: Ariana Grande
  • Album:  Sweetener
  • Year of Release: 2018
  • Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry” is a heartfelt tribute to the victims and survivors of the Manchester Arena Bombing. Give it a try and as Ariana mentioned in an interview, “Dance and live ya best life!”

Chords Used: C, G, F, Am

No Tears Left to Cry Lyrics and Chords

One Love

33. One Love

  • Performer: Bob Marley
  • Album:  Exodus
  • Year of Release: 1977

Believe it or not, Bob Marley’s “One Love” uses easy chords, and is a lot of fun to play. This is a great song to try if you’re interested in working on your timing and getting well-acquainted with the classic sound of reggae.

Chords Used: C, F, G, Am

One Love Lyrics and Chords

Over the Rainbow

34. Over the Rainbow

  • Performer: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  • Album:  Ka ‘Ano’i / Facing Future
  • Year of Release: 1990

One of the sweetest renditions of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World, this is a beautiful tribute to ukulele great Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. Practice makes perfect! Listen to Israel’s version as you work on your own stylings, and you’ll soon be ready to show off for friends.

Chords Used: C, Em, F, G, Am

Over the Rainbow Lyrics and Chords

Perfect

35. Perfect

  • Performer: One Direction
  • Album:  Made in the A.M.
  • Year of Release: 2015

While “Perfect” is a top hit, it’s also one of the easiest ukulele songs to play. With just three chords, it’s a song you can use to impress others once you’ve got the lyrics down.

Chords Used: Bm, D, G

Perfect Lyrics and Chords

Riptide

36.Riptide

  • Performer: Vance Joy
  • Album:  God Loves You When You’re Dancing / Dream Your Life Away
  • Year of Release: 2013

One of the most popular ukulele songs ever written, Riptide also happens to be fairly easy to play. It’ll take more practice and memorization than some of the other songs on this list, so be patient with yourself!

Chords Used: Am, C, G, F

Riptide Lyrics and Chords

Rude

37. Rude

  • Performer: Magic!
  • Album:  Don’t Kill the Magic
  • Year of Release: 2013

If you want to learn how to play reggae on the ukulele, then Rude is a good song to start out with. Once you have the chords down, practice the strum pattern. After a while, you’ll be ready to add the lyrics!

Chords Used: F, G, C, Am

Rude Lyrics and Chords

Saturday Sun

38. Saturday Sun

  • Performer: Vance Joy
  • Album:  Nation of Two
  • Year of Release: 2018

Sweet lyrics and simple chords make Vance Joy’s Saturday Sun a great ukulele song for beginners. With just a little effort, you’ll put it all together.

Chords Used: Am, C, D, Em, G

Saturday Sun Lyrics and Chords

Save Tonight

39. Save Tonight

  • Performer: Eagle Eye Cherry
  • Album:  Desireless
  • 3Year of Release: 1997

Save Tonight is a romantic song with just four chords and an easygoing strum. It moves at a slower pace than some other tunes, and you can play at a relaxed pace until you’re ready to pick up the tempo. Have fun with this one!

Chords Used: Am, C, F, G

Save Tonight Lyrics and Chords

Shine On

40. Shine On

  • Performer: John Cruz
  • Album:  Acoustic Soul
  • Year of Release: 1996

With just two chords, Shine On is one of the easiest ukulele songs you’ll ever play. It’s beautiful, too – particularly if you can find a friend to sing harmony.

Chords Used: C, G7

Shine On Lyrics and Chords

Stand By Me

43. Stand By Me

  • Performer: Ben E. King
  • Album:  Don’t Play that Song!
  • Year of Release: 1961

Simple, repetitive chord patterns and a slow, easygoing tempo make this classic easy to learn. The vocals are beautiful, but not at all difficult to add.

Chords Used: C, Am, F, G7

Stand By Me Lyrics and Chords

Sweater Weather

45. Sweater Weather

  • Performer: The Neighbourhood
  • Album:  I Love You
  • Year of Release: 2012

Ready for a change of scene and a fun song to play? Sweater Weather might be just the thing. This one requires some practice! Be sure to listen to the strum and percussion so you can get the tempo right.

Chords Used: F, Dm, Am, C, Gm

Sweater Weather Lyrics and Chords

Thinking Out Loud

47. Thinking Out Loud

  • Performer: Ed Sheeran
  • Album:  X
  • Year of Release: 2014

Despite its sweet, romantic sound, Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” is a simple song to play. The slow tempo and easy chords make it perfect for newer players who want to build confidence while playing a popular song!

Chords Used: C, Am, F, G, Dm

Thinking Out Loud Lyrics and Chords

You Are My Sunshine

48. You Are My Sunshine

  • Performer: Pine Ridge Boys
  • Album:  Bluebird: You Are My Sunshine
  • Year of Release: 1939

One of the easiest ukulele songs ever! You are My Sunshine isn’t just a tune for beginners…it’s been covered by famous performers including Johnny Cash! Add your own vocal stylings once you’ve got the chords figured out, and you may just have a hit on your hands. Yodeling is optional.

Chords Used: C, C7, F, G

You Are My Sunshine Lyrics and Chords

22 by Taylor Swift

50. 22 by Taylor Swift

  • Performer: Taylor Swift
  • Album:  Red
  • Year of Release: 2013

Taylor Swift’s “22” celebrates the wonders being a 22-year-old with your whole life ahead of you. Whatever your age, be sure to give this song a try! Once you get the lyrics and chords down, work on adding percussive taps.

Chords Used: G, D, Dsus4, C

22 Lyrics and Chords

All of the Stars

2. All of the Stars

  • Performer: Ed Sheeran
  • Album:  The Fault in Our Stars
  • Year of Release: 2014

All of the Stars is an easy song to play, and a heartbreakingly beautiful one to sing. We love Ed Sheeran’s original version, which was recorded for the soundtrack of the film The Fault in Our Stars, and there are plenty of fantastic covers to give you some inspiration for styling the song your own way. Be sure to check out Jackie Evancho’s version: It’s beautiful!

Chords Used: F, C, Am, G

All of the Stars Lyrics and Chords

Somewhere Over The Rainbow Ukulele Chords & Lyrics

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20% off Master the Ukulele Level 1
    • Over The Rainbow Uke Chords For Ukulele by Hawaiian Ukulele Player Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole

    • You might recognize this song as the one originally sung by Judy Garland in her role as Dorothy Gale in the original 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. The ukulele version, which was popularized in the movie 50 First Dates, gained even more fame when Israel Kamakawiwo’ole released his cover in 2011.

Here is how to play somewhere over the rainbow on the  ukulele easy for beginners.

Year of Release: 2011
Artist: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Album: Alone in IZ Word / Facing Future
Video:

Learn To Play This Songs Chords From A Pro

Over the Rainbow Ukulele Chords and Lyrics Tutorial

 

Here is the somewhere over the rainbow strumming pattern:

 

 

50 Easy Ukulele Songs for Beginners

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You’ve got your first ukulele! Now what? Whether you’re taking lessons or teaching yourself how to play the ukulele, easy songs can speed your progress and make learning a whole lot more fun.

Sure – chords are essential – so much so that we’ve got a complete chord chart for you to use as you learn.

But playing chords and simple kid’s songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” can get pretty boring. This collection of 50 easy ukulele songs for beginners does include a few old standards, but you’ll find lots of popular songs here as well.

Have fun with these easy songs! Break them down by learning the chords first, then working on your strumming pattern. Once you can play, add in your vocals if you want to, working in small sections and just letting the songs progress until they feel natural to you. Starting with familiar songs can speed the process, and so can watching videos that feature the songs being played on the ukulele. Keep on practicing! Soon enough you’ll be taking your playing to the next level.

1. Achy Breaky Heart

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  • Performer: Billy Ray Cyrus
  • Album:  Some Gave All
  • Year of Release: 1992

No list would be complete without at least one country classic! This song is a lot of fun to play, but it has just two chords.

 

Chords Used: A, E

Achy Break Heart Lyrics and Chords


2. All of the Stars

Learn To Play This Songs Chords From A Pro

 

  • Performer: Ed Sheeran
  • Album:  The Fault in Our Stars
  • Year of Release: 2014

All of the Stars is an easy song to play, and a heartbreakingly beautiful one to sing. We love Ed Sheeran’s original version, which was recorded for the soundtrack of the film The Fault in Our Stars, and there are plenty of fantastic covers to give you some inspiration for styling the song your own way. Be sure to check out Jackie Evancho’s version: It’s beautiful!

Chords Used: F, C, Am, G

All of the Stars Lyrics and Chords


3. Amazing Grace

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  • Performer: Chris Tomlin
  • Album:  See the Morning
  • Year of Release: 2006

Yes, you can play Gospel songs on the ukulele! Amazing Grace is a great one to start with – if you’re into Gospel, then you probably know all the words. This song was published in 1779 and has been reworked countless times since then.

Chords Used: C, F, G7, Am

Amazing Grace Lyrics and Chords


4. Banana Boat Song

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  • Performer: Harry Belafonte
  • Album:  Calypso
  • Year of Release: 1957

Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) is based on a traditional Jamaican work song. Harry Belafonte made it famous, and it has been covered  by many different folk singers over the years. The song is a lot of fun to play and sing – and because it uses just two lyrics and a simple strumming pattern, it’s one of the easiest ukulele songs there is.

Chords Used: C, G


5. Blowin’ In the Wind

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  • Performer: Bob Dylan
  • Album:  The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
  • Year of Release: 1963

A classic folk song from the 1960s, Blowin’ in the Wind has wonderfully poetic lyrics that might take a little time to learn. But once you do, you’ll find yourself singing and playing a song that’s as nice to listen to as it is to perform.

Chords Used: G, C, D

Blowin’ In the Wind Lyrics and Chords


6. Bonfire Heart

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  • Performer: James Blunt
  • Album:  Moon Landing
  • Year of Release: 2013

When James Blunt released Bonfire Heart, he said it was about “love, life, fear, and hope.” Despite topping charts worldwide, this beautiful song is easy to play once you’ve got the chords down. It’ll take more practice than some other tunes we’ve covered here but the results are worth the effort! When you’re ready, add in some fingerpicking and percussive taps.

Chords Used: Am, C, Em, F, G

Bonfire Heart Lyrics and Chords

 


7. Breakfast at Tiffany’s

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  • Performer: Deep Blue Something
  • Album:  11th Song
  • Year of Release: 1994

The lyrics to Breakfast at Tiffany’s were inspired by the film Roman Holiday, and it’s a must for any Audrey Hepburn fan! Whether you remember the film or not, you’ll enjoy playing this catchy tune; the repetitive melody makes it easy to learn.

Chords Used: D, G, A

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Lyrics and Chords


8. Brown Eyed Girl

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  • Performer: Van Morrison
  • Album:  Brown Eyed Girl
  • Year of Release: 1967

Yes, you can play classic rock on the ukulele – and some of the songs are easy enough for new players to cover with little bit of practice! Brown Eyed Girl calls for just five chords, and you can expect your friends to sing along to the refrain once you’ve perfected your own version.

Chords Used: G, C, D, D7, Em

Brown Eyed Girl Lyrics and Chords


9. Budapest

Learn To Play This Songs Chords From A Pro

 

  • Performer: George Ezra
  • Album: Did You Hear the Rain?
  • Year of Release: 2013

When talking with The Daily Telegraph about his hit song “Budapest,” George Ezra said that the song used the first three chords he ever learned, and that it was intentionally simple. If you’re looking for an easy love song to play on the ukulele, be sure to give this one  try!

Chords Used: C, F, A#

Budapest Lyrics and Chords


10. Clementine (Oh My Darling, Clementine)

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  • Performer: Bing Crosby
  • Album:  Twilight on the Trail
  • Year of Release: 1941

With just three chords and a simple rhythm, the old classic “Clementine” is among the easiest ukulele songs on our list. This traditional American folk ballad is believed to be the work of Percy Montrose, and it dates back to about 1884. Nobody really knows who recorded it first, but Bing Crosby is credited with taking it to the Billboard charts.

Chords Used: G, D7, C

Clementine Lyrics and Chords

Video: x


11. Counting Stars

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  • Performer: OneRepublic
  • Album:  Native
  • Year of Release: 2013

With an easy rhythm and just a few chords, Counting Stars makes a fun addition to your ukulele play list.

Chords Used: Am, C, G, F

Counting Stars Lyrics and Chords


12. Fireflies

Learn To Play This Songs Chords From A Pro

 

  • Performer: Owl City
  • Album:  Ocean Eyes
  • Year of Release: 2009

While Owl City’s “Fireflies” has five chords, F, C, and G carry you through most of the song, with Em and Am putting in quick appearances along the way. It’s a touch more challenging than some of the songs on this list, but still very easy to play!

Chords Used: G, C, F, Em, Am

Fireflies Lyrics and Chords


13. Happy

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  • Performer: Pharrell Williams
  • Album:  Girl
  • Year of Release: 2013

Fun and upbeat, Happy can be a pretty easy song to play on the ukulele. There are more complicated arrangements available too, so you can make the song more exciting once you’ve gotten the basics down.

Chords Used: E7, C, Bm7

Happy Lyrics and Chords


14. Happy Birthday

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  • Performer: Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill
  • Album:  N/A
  • Year of Release: 1893

Now you can accompany this favorite with your ukulele! Happy Birthday is easy to play, and it’ll make you the life of the party. We found a great ukulele cover with some fun add-ins toward the end.

Chords Used: C, F, G7

Happy Birthday Lyrics and Chords


15. Heartache

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  • Performer: One Groove
  • Album:  Make Your Move
  • Year of Release: 2005

Ready to play some Hawaiian reggae? Heartache is easy thanks to a repeating chord pattern! Once you’ve got the basics down and feel ready to take the song to the next level, consider learning how to fingerpick the intro lead.

Chords Used: C, F, G

Heartache Lyrics and Chords


16. Hey Soul Sister

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  • Performer: Train
  • Album:  Save Me, San Francisco
  • Year of Release: 2009

The original ukulele chord structure for Hey Soul Sister is a little more complicated than this easy version, but you’ll get a similar feel and have fun playing a very popular song that lots of people know!

Chords Used: A, B, Dbm, E

Hey Soul Sister Lyrics and Chords


17. Ho Hey

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  • Performer: The Lumineers
  • Album:  The Lumineers
  • Year of Release: 2012

Believe it or not, the Lumineers created “Ho Hey” as a kiss-off to indifferent concert goers who failed to participate in the fun. Today, it’s one of their most popular songs.

Chords Used: Am, C, F, G

Ho Hey Lyrics and Chords


18. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

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  • Performer: U2
  • Album:  The Joshua Tree
  • Year of Release: 1987

Easily one of U2’s greatest masterpieces! I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For has been ranked as one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, yet it’s easy enough to play on our ukulele. Perfect for when you’re feeling soulful!

Chords Used: C, F, G

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For Lyrics and Chords


19. I’m Yours

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  • Performer: Jason Mraz
  • Album:  We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
  • Year of Release: 2007

If you like to sing, you’ll love playing this easy ukulele version of I’m Yours! Don’t be surprised if it ends up to be one of your favorites.

Chords Used: C, G, Am, F, D7

I’m Yours Lyrics and Chords


20. I Make My Own Sunshine

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  • Performer: Alyssa Bonagura
  • Album:  I Make My Own Sunshine (Single)
  • Year of Release: 2012

Looking for a happy ukulele song that’s not too hard? This one might be just right!

Chords Used: G, D, Em C

I Make My Own Sunshine Lyrics and Chords


21. I Won’t Back Down

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  • Performer: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
  • Album:  x
  • Year of Release: x
  • Description goes here

Chords Used: Em, D, G, C

I Won’t Back Down Lyrics and Chords


22. Island in the Sun

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  • Performer: Weezer
  • Album:  Weezer (The Green Album)
  • Year of Release: 2001

Island in the Sun uses just 5 chords, but it’s incredibly catchy. Once you’ve got the chords figured out, work on imitating Weezer’s strum pattern, and then add in your vocals. Soon enough, you’ll be playin’ and havin’ fun!

Chords Used: Am, C, D, Em, G

Island in the Sun Lyrics and Chords


23. Island Style

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  • Performer: John Cruz
  • Album:  Acoustic Soul
  • Year of Release: 2003

Island Style is a great tune to play and sing – and it’s also one of the easiest ukulele songs for beginners!

Chords Used: C, C7, F, G7

Island Style Lyrics and Chords


24. Just the Way You Are

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  • Performer: Bruno Mars
  • Album:  Doo-Wops & Hooligans
  • Year of Release: 2010

“Just the Way You Are” was written in celebration of a woman’s beauty. This romantic song is a great one to play for someone special!

Chords Used: A#, Dm, F

Just the Way You Are Lyrics and Chords


25. Ku’u Home O Kahalu’u

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  • Performer: Olomana
  • Album:  Like a Seabird in the Wind
  • Year of Release: 1976

Play this song and you’ll feel like you’re on a beach in O’ahu. It’s a classic Hawaiian standard, with easy chords and words that might be a little bit hard to pronounce at first. Have fun!

Chords Used: C, F, G7

Ku’u Home O Kahal’u Lyrics and Chords


26. Leaving on a Jet Plane

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  • Performer: Peter, Paul & Mary
  • Album:  Album 1700
  • Year of Release: 1969

Written by John Denver in 1966, Leaving on a Jet Plane has a cool, easygoing vibe. With just three chords and simple, memorable lyrics, this classic folk song is a fun but easy addition to your ukulele play list!

Chords Used: G, C, D

Leaving on a Jet Plane Lyrics and Chords


27. Let it Be

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  • Performer: The Beatles
  • Album:  Let it Be
  • Year of Release: 1970

Let it Be was released after the Beatles broke up in 1970; nevertheless, it was a top hit. The song is sweet, lyrical, and easy to play.

Chords Used: C, Am, F G

Let it Be Lyrics and Chords


28. Love Yourself

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  • Performer: Justin Bieber
  • Album:  Purpose
  • Year of Release: 2015

Love Yourself is a Justin Bieber favorite, but did you know that Ed Sheeran took part in the writing process? This song is fun and catchy, so be sure to give it a try!

Chords Used: C, G, Am, Dm, F

Love Yourself Lyrics and Chords

 


29. Lullaby

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  • Performer: Front Porch Step
  • Album:  Aware
  • Year of Release: 2013

As the name of the song suggests, Lullaby is simple and sweet! Just four chords and a few easy-to-remember lyrics make it a favorite.

Chords Used: Am, C, F, G

Lullaby Lyrics and Chords


30. Margaritaville

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  • Performer: Jimmy Buffet
  • Album:  Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
  • Year of Release: 1977

Believe it or not, Margaritaville has been popular for more than 40 years! This easygoing summertime hit is fun to play, with just four chords and plenty of sing-along potential.

Chords Used: A, D, D7, G

Margaritaville Lyrics and Chords


31. Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian Christmas Song)

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  • Performer: Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters
  • Album:  Merry Christmas
  • Year of Release: 1950

Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way to say “Merry Christmas!” This isn’t the easiest ukulele song on our list but it’s not at all difficult to play, even though there are five chords. Don’t be surprised if everyone starts to sing along!

Chords Used: G, D7, E, C, A7

Mele Kalikimaka Lyrics and Chords


32. No Tears Left to Cry

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  • Performer: Ariana Grande
  • Album:  Sweetener
  • Year of Release: 2018
  • Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry” is a heartfelt tribute to the victims and survivors of the Manchester Arena Bombing. Give it a try and as Ariana mentioned in an interview, “Dance and live ya best life!”

Chords Used: C, G, F, Am

No Tears Left to Cry Lyrics and Chords

33. One Love

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  • Performer: Bob Marley
  • Album:  Exodus
  • Year of Release: 1977

Believe it or not, Bob Marley’s “One Love” uses easy chords, and is a lot of fun to play. This is a great song to try if you’re interested in working on your timing and getting well-acquainted with the classic sound of reggae.

Chords Used: C, F, G, Am

One Love Lyrics and Chords


34. Over the Rainbow

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  • Performer: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  • Album:  Ka ‘Ano’i / Facing Future
  • Year of Release: 1990

One of the sweetest renditions of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World, this is a beautiful tribute to ukulele great Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. Practice makes perfect! Listen to Israel’s version as you work on your own stylings, and you’ll soon be ready to show off for friends.

Chords Used: C, Em, F, G, Am

Over the Rainbow Lyrics and Chords


35. Perfect

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  • Performer: One Direction
  • Album:  Made in the A.M.
  • Year of Release: 2015

While “Perfect” is a top hit, it’s also one of the easiest ukulele songs to play. With just three chords, it’s a song you can use to impress others once you’ve got the lyrics down.

Chords Used: Bm, D, G

Perfect Lyrics and Chords


36.Riptide

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  • Performer: Vance Joy
  • Album:  God Loves You When You’re Dancing / Dream Your Life Away
  • Year of Release: 2013

One of the most popular ukulele songs ever written, Riptide also happens to be fairly easy to play. It’ll take more practice and memorization than some of the other songs on this list, so be patient with yourself!

Chords Used: Am, C, G, F

Riptide Lyrics and Chords


37. Rude

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  • Performer: Magic!
  • Album:  Don’t Kill the Magic
  • Year of Release: 2013

If you want to learn how to play reggae on the ukulele, then Rude is a good song to start out with. Once you have the chords down, practice the strum pattern. After a while, you’ll be ready to add the lyrics!

Chords Used: F, G, C, Am

Rude Lyrics and Chords


38. Saturday Sun

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  • Performer: Vance Joy
  • Album:  Nation of Two
  • Year of Release: 2018

Sweet lyrics and simple chords make Vance Joy’s Saturday Sun a great ukulele song for beginners. With just a little effort, you’ll put it all together.

Chords Used: Am, C, D, Em, G

Saturday Sun Lyrics and Chords


39. Save Tonight

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  • Performer: Eagle Eye Cherry
  • Album:  Desireless
  • 3Year of Release: 1997

Save Tonight is a romantic song with just four chords and an easygoing strum. It moves at a slower pace than some other tunes, and you can play at a relaxed pace until you’re ready to pick up the tempo. Have fun with this one!

Chords Used: Am, C, F, G

Save Tonight Lyrics and Chords


40. Shine On

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  • Performer: John Cruz
  • Album:  Acoustic Soul
  • Year of Release: 1996

With just two chords, Shine On is one of the easiest ukulele songs you’ll ever play. It’s beautiful, too – particularly if you can find a friend to sing harmony.

Chords Used: C, G7

Shine On Lyrics and Chords


41. Someone Like You

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  • Performer: Adele
  • Album:  21
  • Year of Release: 2011

If you’re in the mood for a sad breakup song, try playing “Someone Like You” on your ukulele. Just five chords and a slow tempo add up to a song that’s easy to learn and play.

Chords Used: G, D, Em, C, Am

Someone Like You Lyrics and Chords


42. Something Just Like This

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  • Performer: The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
  • Album: Memories Do Not Open
  • Year of Release: 2017

One of the most popular songs of 2017 – and pretty easy to learn, with just three chords. Something Just Like This makes you realize that you really don’t need superhuman gifts to play the ukulele!

Chords Used: C, D, Em

Something Just Like This Lyrics and Chords


43. Stand By Me

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  • Performer: Ben E. King
  • Album:  Don’t Play that Song!
  • Year of Release: 1961

Simple, repetitive chord patterns and a slow, easygoing tempo make this classic easy to learn. The vocals are beautiful, but not at all difficult to add.

Chords Used: C, Am, F, G7

Stand By Me Lyrics and Chords


44. Stay with Me

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  • Performer: Sam Smith
  • Album:  In the Lonely Hour
  • Year of Release: 2014

While Stay with Me is Sam Smith’s most popular song to date, it’s an easy one to play on your ukulele. The gospel-inspired tempo

Chords Used: Am, F, C, G

Stay with Me Lyrics and Chords


45. Sweater Weather

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  • Performer: The Neighbourhood
  • Album:  I Love You
  • Year of Release: 2012

Ready for a change of scene and a fun song to play? Sweater Weather might be just the thing. This one requires some practice! Be sure to listen to the strum and percussion so you can get the tempo right.

Chords Used: F, Dm, Am, C, Gm

Sweater Weather Lyrics and Chords


46. Sweet Home Alabama

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  • Performer: Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Album:  Second Helping
  • Year of Release: 1974

Since its release in 1974, Sweet Home Alabama has been covered countless times. Once you learn the main riff, you’ll find that the rest of the song comes together pretty quickly.

Chords Used: D, C, G

Sweet Home Alabama Lyrics and Chords


47. Thinking Out Loud

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  • Performer: Ed Sheeran
  • Album:  X
  • Year of Release: 2014

Despite its sweet, romantic sound, Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” is a simple song to play. The slow tempo and easy chords make it perfect for newer players who want to build confidence while playing a popular song!

Chords Used: C, Am, F, G, Dm

Thinking Out Loud Lyrics and Chords


48. You Are My Sunshine

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  • Performer: Pine Ridge Boys
  • Album:  Bluebird: You Are My Sunshine
  • Year of Release: 1939

One of the easiest ukulele songs ever! You are My Sunshine isn’t just a tune for beginners…it’s been covered by famous performers including Johnny Cash! Add your own vocal stylings once you’ve got the chords figured out, and you may just have a hit on your hands. Yodeling is optional.

Chords Used: C, C7, F, G

You Are My Sunshine Lyrics and Chords


49. You’re Beautiful

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  • Performer: James Blunt
  • Album:  Back to Bedlam
  • Year of Release: 2004

You’re Beautiful is James Blunt’s most popular US single, despite its easy tempo and simple chords. Practice the vocals carefully and you’ll have a hit on your hands.

Chords Used: C, G, Am, F

You’re Beautiful Lyrics and Chords


50. 22 by Taylor Swift

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  • Performer: Taylor Swift
  • Album:  Red
  • Year of Release: 2013

Taylor Swift’s “22” celebrates the wonders being a 22-year-old with your whole life ahead of you. Whatever your age, be sure to give this song a try! Once you get the lyrics and chords down, work on adding percussive taps.

Chords Used: G, D, Dsus4, C

22 Lyrics and Chords

Tyler Joseph Ukulele Top 25 Songs

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Tyler Joseph is the lead singer of the duo band Twenty One Pilots (TOP), which he formed together with his friend Josh Dun the drummer. With their fourth album Blurryface they achieved the breakthrough and in just two years they became well known throughout as well as outside USA. Tyler is a talented musician who started playing piano during his late childhood but couldn’t get into music school. That did not stop him from pursuing a music career, so he started writing his own songs and together with few of his friends started a local band. Their early gigs were not very successful and soon his mates backed out, so he recruited Josh Dun and together they started performing on bigger stages. Tyler’s music is comprised of various styles combining in unique ways, creating a mix of rap, indie and ballads. His songs are sometimes influenced by his Christianity and full of meaningful lyrics, which bring out emotions especially in the acoustic versions with piano and ukulele. Here is a selection of Tyler Joseph’s best 10 ukulele songs:

  • 1. Stressed out: Stressed out is one of the biggest hits by Twenty One Pilots. The ukulele version is in many ways better than original, because it brings out the emotions and pain of the lyrics. It’s main theme is the struggle of growing up and becoming more and more frustrated as compared to innocent childhood.

    2. Car Radio: An acoustic version of this song was delivered by Tyler Joseph and his ukulele, along with the soft beat of drummer Josh Dunn. This song is filled up with a depressing vibe and a helpless feeling of being lost without a radio in the car because someone stole it.

    3. Isle of Flightless Birds: Listening to Tyler Joseph’s live performance of this song using ukulele and drums can motivate anyone who is wasting their potential to start thinking about their lives. It is dedicated to all who grew wings but haven’t yet learned to fly (“Flightless Birds”).

    4. Ride: While playing for a small group of fans, Tyler Joseph played a new remix of the song Ride, using only the ukulele and his voice. The simple melody and fast flowing lyrics have the power to captivate and make you sway while wishing the song would never end.

    5. Lane Boy: This song talks about the common problems many talented musical artists face nowadays. The somewhat aggressive lyrics and cracking voice of Tyler are perfectly matched by the sharp strings sounds of the ukulele in the acoustic version.

    6. Polarize: One more song off the Blurryface album is named Polarize. Tyler and his ukulele are once again captivating in the live session, giving the impression of a person crying for help, not knowing the right from wrong and how to face his fears.

    7. Holding onto you: Tyler’s dialogue with God in the fast rapping style accompanied by sound of ukulele is an overwhelming experience. This song is full of hidden meanings and complex feelings, so every listener can interpret it differently.

    8. House of Gold: This lovely song with a playful melody and a funky rhythm can’t keep any listener unaffected. Tyler’s voice is soothing and clean, making it a perfect song to listen while travelling in a car.

    9. We don’t believe what’s on TV: A satirical song about finding your own way and open mindedness with a slow dreamy beat of uke.

    10 Tear in my heart: The opening line of this song is good enough to understand the meaning of broken heart and why it is important to let it tear. The acoustic version by Tyler Joseph meets all the standards of the talent and creativity needed to fall in love with its simplicity and meaningful message.

    11. Addict with a pen

    The pair that is twenty-one pilot’s Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun gave a large applause for their strong live sets and a different mix of piano-driven pop and lyrical uplift. No unpopular people to the way, twenty-one pilots has created an emotional national following through their strong live performances at countless news shows and tours.

    12. Heathens

    Extracted from the No. 1 Suicide Squad soundtrack, “Heathens” has blurred beats and evolved into yet different huge song for Tyler. It was ranked at No. 2 on the Hot 100, Adult Top 40 and Mainstream Top 40 while winning Hot Rock Songs

    13. Doubt

    Doubt is an album song from the lead 10 set Blurry face that is added up easily by the title. The song is filled with doubt with an attractive rhythm with lyrics like “Don’t forget about me album carrying it through the first half.

    14. Friend, Please

    Twenty one pilots individual aired out their individual-titled appearance album in 2009. The list was more moving and photographic tonally and “Friend, Please” is evocative of the previous work by Muse.

    15. Screen

    In 2013, twenty one pilots aired out their third studio album Vessel, the first on a bigger list. “Screen” is distinct in a view that it is thepairs changing tone fused with a Jason Mraz-like song.

  • How To Travel With Your Ukulele Without Breaking It

    ukulele travel

    Traveling with a fragile string instrument is no easy feat, even if it’s something as small as a ukulele. It’s a bit of a hassle, like traveling with a pet. But if you really want to take your beloved uke on your road trip or vacation overseas and have no idea how to go about it without breaking your ukulele or losing your sanity, well, we’re here to help. Once you’ve bought your ideal ukulele, here’s how to travel with it so you can play it everywhere you go!

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    Invest in a quality hard-shell case

    A soft padded gig bag or carrying case is good for daily runs around town, but it won’t offer much protection for your ukulele when you’re traveling over long distances, trying to make your way through a crowd of people and going through airports.

    We highly recommend getting a snug-fitting, padded hard case with a locking latch for your ukulele because traveling instruments do get dropped, tossed and banged around a lot.

    Protect it from heat

    If you’re traveling by car, a gig bag is good enough protection since you probably have more space in the vehicle. But even so, you need to protect your ukulele from heat, so avoid leaving your uke out in the trunk or wherever it’s in the heat of the sun.

    Cover it with a light-colored towel or blanket. If you’re stepping out of the car during the day, it’s best to take your uke with you because temperatures can shoot up really high really fast. Trust us, you don’t really want to come back to a warped or cracked ukulele.

    Can you bring a ukulele on a plane?

    Different airlines have different regulations when it comes to traveling with musical instruments. A smaller ukulele, such as a soprano ukulele, can be taken on the flight as carry-on item most of the time. Your last resort should be to surrender your ukulele to the conveyor belt. Aside from risking damage during transportation, you’ll also be running the risk of possibly never seeing your uke again.

    Know airline regulations

    If you have no choice but to give your ukulele up as checked baggage, make sure it’s in a hard-shell case that contains your information and hope for the best.

    This is why it’s helpful to find out your airline’s regulations first about bringing musical instruments on a flight. Do your homework so you can prepare, either by getting a carry-on backpack that can fit your ukulele and meet the guidelines or by buying a hard-shell case.

    Most airlines have published guides for carry-on item size and weight. On Delta for example, a ukulele is accepted as a passenger’s free carry-on baggage item, provided it can easily fit in the overhead bin or other approved storage areas in the plane cabin.

    When you put your ukulele in the overhead storage, it’s best to make sure it’s in last so nothing falls on it or crushes it during the flight, especially if it’s in a soft gig bag. And unless your ukulele is safely ensconced in a hard-shell case, we don’t recommend stowing it under your seat where you or the passenger behind you can accidentally step on it.

    Tip: If your ukulele fits, you can put it (whether it’s in a hard case or a soft bag) under the seat during takeoff, then move it to your lap during the flight to prevent it from being kicked or stepped on.

    Whether you’re checking your ukulele in or bringing it along in the cabin, it’s crucial to first loosen the strings and other parts that will contract or expand with extreme changes in air pressure and temperature. Doing so will help you avoid having a ukulele with a broken neck.

    We hope that helps in making sure your ukulele is prepared to journey with you. Safe travels for you and your ukulele!

    Best Books for Learning How to Play the Ukulele in 2019

    ukulele handbook

    Today, when everything is available on the internet, an average person can learn any skill with just a click. However, the traditional way of learning through the pages of books are still standing the test of time especially with people who do not want to be distracted by the temptation of getting stuck on social media.

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    This list provides eight ukulele books for anyone who wants to learn how to play the ukulele whether you are an absolute beginner with little to no musical background or an intermediate player who is looking to polish their skills and strengthen their technique.

    1. The Ukulele Handbook by Gavin Pretor-Pinney and Tom Hodgkinson
    Both ukulele pros and amateurs have talked highly about The Ukulele Handbook which critics have lauded as the “ukulele Bible.” The Ukulele Handbook covers a quick and cohesive illustrated guide to the ukulele from the history of the instruments up to its popularity at present time. The book serves as a one-stop shop for all things ukulele as it not only provides song tabs and chords but also gives a beginner’s introduction to the anatomy of the ukulele, the kinds of ukuleles, and how to tune, pluck, and strum the instrument. The handbook, penned by writers and self-proclaimed idlers Gavin Pretor-Pinney and Tom Hodgkinson, is complete, easy, and colorful.

    2. Get Plucky With The Ukulele: A Quick And Easy Guide To All Things Uke by Will Grove-White
    Similar to The Ukulele Handbook, Get Plucky serves as a mini encyclopedia all about the ukulele. The book is written by ukulele musician Will Grove-White who is a member of the world-renowned Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. With 25 years of experience and counting, the author’s love and passion for the ukulele is translated into this book. More than just a teach-yourself-guide to the ukulele, this book has been known to be best enjoyed by just reading through it on a relaxing day on a comfortable couch with a cup of coffee.

    3. Ukulele for Dummies by Alistair Wood
    The “For Dummies” book franchise has a plethora of topics and concepts in book form, and the ukulele — of course — is no exception. In true “For Dummies” fashion, Ukulele for Dummies offers a crash course in the ukulele from picking the right kind of ukulele to learning how to play the instrument in a variety of styles including pop, folk, and Hawaiian music. The book comes with an audio CD that contains all the musical notation included in the book. To anyone who is looking for a fun and clever way to be taught how to play the ukulele, the book’s witty yet straightforward approach might just be perfect for you.

    4. Ukulele Primer Book for Beginners by Bert Casey
    The Ukulele Primer is both for beginners who already have an instrument but don’t know where to start and for those who want to get back to playing the instrument. The book is designed for soprano, tenor, and concert ukuleles and has 50 pages containing helpful tips, chord charts, musical notation, and picture guides. The book also comes with an 86-minute DVD that covers all the instructions in the book plus important techniques a beginner ukulele player must learn. Each lesson is played at different speeds so you can practice the lessons at your own pace until you can play at normal speed.

    5. Essential Elements Ukulele Method Book 1 by Marty Gross
    The Essential Elements Ukulele Method Book 1 is as beginner friendly as a ukulele book can get. You’re guaranteed to learn the basic ukulele chords in just a couple of hours even if you don’t know how to read music. Don’t be fooled by the 48 pages of the book as it already covers all you need to know about playing the ukulele including chord progressions, note reading, tab reading, and more. Go-to songs to play on the ukulele like “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “The Rainbow Connection” are featured in the book. The book also comes with an audio CD that lets you check your chords and notes and keep you on track.

    6. Absolute Beginners Ukulele by Hal Leonard Corp.
    Absolute Beginners Ukulele is published by Hal Leonard Corporation, one of the world’s biggest publishing houses for music. With over 50 years of publishing under their belt, Hal Leonard Corporation has made its way to the doors of music schools, orchestras, and chorale groups around the world. Absolute Beginners Ukulele is a 40-page book that is both a visual (with its picture guides for playing chords and notes) and aural guide (as the book comes with an instructional audio CD of chords and songs to play along to) for beginners. The look-and-learn approach of the book fits anyone who wants to learn how to play the ukulele without the lengthy, textual explanations.

    7. Ukulele Aerobics: For All Levels from Beginner to Advanced by Chad Johnson
    To master any instrument, it is always smart to practice a couple of days every week, if not every day. Exercises on an instrument will help you play more comfortably and smoothly and will also train your ears with notes. Ukulele Aerobics contains various exercises for players who have a grasp of ukulele basics to advanced ukulele players who are looking to master flawless techniques on the instrument including strumming, fingerstyle, staccato, and tremolo. Another publication from Hal Leonard Corp., Ukulele Aerobics follows an effective 40-week format that can walk you through the lessons at an appropriate pace. The lessons start with basic strumming and get progressively difficult every week but are provided with detailed explanations so as not to shock you and your fingers. This book is perfect for people who would rather learn how to play the ukulele in a methodological way rather than learning the instrument one song at a time.

    8. Fingerstyle Ukulele – A Method & Songbook for Fingerpicking Backup & Solos by Fred Sokolow
    The last book on our list is also for ukulele players who want to hone their skills and take it to the next level. Fingerstyle Ukulele aims to teach you how to play solos and accompaniment on the ukulele for different styles of music like folk and blues. The book is written by Fred Sokolow who is a renowned multi-instrumentalist and recording artist and has penned instructional books on a variety of instruments. The book comes with an online access to the audio guide of the lessons that will help you check your progress and your performance with each lesson.

    Top 11 Tips for Ukulele Beginners

    play ukulele

    If you are a ukulele enthusiast, as with any other skills, you need to start learning somewhere, right? We have listed 11 useful tips that will keep your learning momentum going.

    Credit: musicgroupies.com

    1. Find the right Ukulele

    Whether you want to initially start with a cheap model to decide if playing the uke is the right thing for you, or you have already put your mind to being good at it and you opted to go with a higher-end model, you need to do some research on what makes a quality ukulele. Our ultimate ukulele buying guide can help you with your ukulele search.

    2. Invest on mastering the basics

    First off, spend time learning about the Ukulele parts and how to tune it. Form a habit of tuning it before playing. You need to practice on holding your ukulele properly. This is important to make it comfortable for you to play the uke and to produce finer sounds. When sitting, you can use one of your legs to hold the uke’s weight and when standing you can let the body of your uke rest on your chest or belly while strumming. Let your strumming hand rest on the top of the uke’s body to play with more ease. Learn and memorize the most basic chord shapes. Doing so will increase your chord repository. This will be very useful when trying to learn new songs.

    3. Your fingernails matter!

    You fingernails contribute to the sound your Ukulele can make. Keep your fretting hands’ fingernails neat and short to allow clean fretting for a more distinctive sound. Letting your strumming fingernails grow a little can help produce a great sound. For picking and strumming, you might want to grow your nails on the thumb, first, middle and ring fingers.

    4. Start with a simple song

    Starting off, you might get overwhelmed with the plethora of songs you can learn to play with the uke. You might want to learn one of your favorite songs which is likely to have a complicated chord in it or a trickier time signature. Practicing with a complicated song isn’t gonna help. As a beginner, your focus should be improving your familiarity of moving from a chord to another, keeping steady, on-beat strumming, and producing great sound. You can enhance all this by starting with easy ukulele songs that use 3-4 basic chords in their progression.

    5. Practice and repetition are key

    Practice can feel repetitive and tedious. And that might be a good sign! If it feels easy, you are starting to get better. Repetition is often linked to effective learning. Malcolm Gladwell wrote about reaching success in his book Outliers, where he coined the 10,000 hours rule. Successful artists and athletes he said, have an accumulated 10,000 hours of practice before they become very great at what they do. This, we can easily say, is also true with getting better at playing the uke. With persistent practice, you can surely be great at playing the uke.

    6. Manage expectations

    Before playing the uke, it is important you set your expectations high. Chances are you are going to play badly at first. But by setting realistic expectations, you can manage your frustrations and avoid getting your spirits crushed.

    7. Slowly crank it up a notch

    Effective practice can improve your uke playing. From time to time assess where you are and decide if it’s time to crank it up a notch. If you feel your normal uke routine is getting easier and easier, it might be time to learn some trickier songs.

    8. Record yourself

    To pinpoint what areas of your playing need improvement you can record yourself.

    9. Listen to (or watch) other Ukulele players

    Listening or watching other ukulelists play, can give you an idea on how to improve your playing. You can consider this as a chance for you to learn other techniques that you can incorporate into your own style. There are many online resources you can learn from. Artists like Kimo Hussey offer uke lessons online.

    10. Learn music theory

    If you feel like getting serious on your uke playing, it will be really helpful to learn about music theory. Music theory is the language of music. Forming enough foundation in music theory can make you a better musician. By learning the building blocks of music, you can experiment more with your ukulele playing. And if by chance you wanted to start composing songs with your uke, music theory will be your best friend. See our list of recommended sites for learning ukulele online.

    11. Have fun!

    Last, but not least, do not put too much pressure on yourself. Playing the uke should be a fun experience. The very sound of it is meant to make people dance with joy. Go have fun, play, and make people happy with your newfound smile-inducing skill.

    Top 10 Sites For Online Ukulele Lessons For Beginners

    Ukulele Care and Maintenance Tips

    ukulele wood

    Ukuleles, like every instrument, need to be cared for. Assuming they don’t, is a mistake. Just because they are small, does not mean less effort should be invested for upkeep. From the oil on your fingers to the heat of the sun, the notorious air humidity, and accidents that may arise, your ukulele is prone to hazards you could not imagine.

    If you want your uke’s life prolonged, whether it is laminated or made from solid wood, make sure to follow these ukulele care and maintenance tips.

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    1. Maintain a proper grip when playing

    The main concern here is the prevention of dropping your ukulele. Several damages may happen to your uke when you drop it: irreparable scratches and dents, neck and body breakage, tuning problems, bridge or saddle detachment and other grave scenarios you will not be happy about. This is why we advise treating your ukulele with the best care possible – dropping it is one of the worst things that can happen.

    2. Be mindful and subtle when using picks and capos

    When you are using a pick, make sure that it does not directly touch your uke’s body, specially when strumming a little harder, for that may cause ugly scratches. On the other hand, improper placement and removal of a capo, can cause neck dents. When placing a capo (especially those without rubber coatings), widen its clamp enough to prevent rough contact with the neck. When removing a capo, be sure it is fully unclamped before pulling it off.

    3. Say no to having a dirty, claggy uke

    Ukuleles are prone to grease buildup from natural dirt and the oil from your hands. The result is a sticky instrument that is unpleasant to play. To prevent this from happening, make cleaning your uke after every playing sessions a habit.

    For the body, thoroughly wipe it with a microfiber cleaning cloth to remove dirt and dust before storing it. When removing built-up grime or dried oil and sweat, clean it with a slightly damp cleaning cloth and make sure to remove all smudgy marks on your uke’s body. Dry it with another clean cloth after. If your uke is painted or has a shiny finish, you can use polish products to keep its gloss.  

    The fingerboard is slightly harder to clean. If you can get your hands on a super fine grade wire wool, the better, but a microfiber cleaning cloth would suffice. Very carefully rub the fingerboard with the cleaning cloth to remove dirt and oil. You can also slip the cloth underneath the strings to clean the board meticulously.

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    Ukulele strings do not deteriorate as fast as guitar steel strings. However,they pick up oils from your hands. Make it a habit to wipe them after playing to remove the picked up oils. Doing so will prevent dirt from sticking to your strings.

    4. Be mindful of where you store your uke

    Never leave your uke by a fireplace, heater, oven, radiator, in a car or in a place with direct sunlight. The heat can crisp you uke’s wood and make it brittle and prone to cracking and breaking. Avoid placing your uke (even in its case or bag) in a place where it might drop. Keep your uke away from places where it might get wet from spilled liquids.  

    5. Watch out for restringing red flags

    The truth is, there is no one rule stating when or how frequent you should change your strings. It is really up to you. But there are red flags to watch out for signaling the need for a new set of strings.

    From time to time, run your fingers across the strings in search for nicks or grooves cut into them. These notches or cuts are caused by the pressure from the frets or the natural stretching of the strings. These can affect your uke’s tuning and intonation and is a sign of imminent breaking.

    Brand new strings tend to go out of tune often because of they are still stretching. This problem gets solved when they are finally stretched to their prime. If you find your seasoned strings constantly out of tune, you might consider restringing.

    Lastly, if your uke started producing dull, ugly sounds, it might be time for you to restring.

    6. Humidity is tricky

    This last tip is for solid wood ukulele users. Humidity is simply the amount of water vapor in the air. The wood used in ukuleles, although processed and cured, still absorbs and bleeds moisture. After all, wood is an organic material. Too high and too low humidity can both harm your ukulele. Keeping the right amount of moisture in your ukulele’s wood in relation to the humidity is a dire requirement to keep it in its top condition.

    Your ukulele should be stored in a place with 40% – 60% relative humidity. When there is too much humidity in the air, the wood tends to swell, the tuning pegs and frets corrode quickly, glued joints get undone, the neck might bend and in extreme cases, the bridge and braces loosen. Heightened fret action and neck bending are the usual signs of swelling in ukuleles. When there is too little humidity in the air on the other hand, the wood gets dry. This leads to the shrinking of top and back of the uke, loosening the braces and causing fret buzzing due to the lowered fret action. When wood is deprived of moisture, it easily cracks and breaks.

    Your job is to “control the weather” wherever your instrument is stored. Keep a hygrometer in your storing room to monitor the humidity level and take suitable actions to keep the ideal 45%-60% humidity. You can choose from an analog or digital model, and some cases come with one built in. To control room humidity you can use the following:

    • Air-conditioning – Together with their cooling function, air conditioners also dehumidify the air. Having an AC will protect your uke during hot and humid summer months.
    • Dehumidifiers – Dehumidifiers do what their name suggests. They reduce the level of humidity in the air but unlike air conditioners they do not come with cooling capabilities. They are also cheaper than ACs.
    • Portable room humidifiers – A portable humidifier can increase the humidity level in the room where you keep your ukulele. Good models cost around $100 and they are usually light and user-friendly.
    • Case humidifier  Case humidifiers can control the environment inside your ukulele’s case. To stay informed of the humidity in your cases, there are digital hygrometers like Humiditrak that lets you monitor humidity levels in your phone or computer.
    • Invest in a hard-shell case  If you travel for shows or gigs, it is smart to buy a hard-shell case latch that locks to protect your uke from possible accidents. Keeping your uke locked in a hard-shell case is the safest way to travel with your instrument whether on a plane, bus, train or even just your own car.

    Just like any other instruments, ukuleles, despite their size, require a considerable amount of upkeep and maintenance. If you want to keep your ukulele in its best condition and rid yourself of possible repair costs, you should start taking good care of your aloha-buddy.

    Top 10 Ukulele Stores and Dealers in the United States

    ukulele store

    For anyone looking to play a new instrument, there’s always the dilemma of where to buy your own and what kind of specifications one should look out for. Picking the right place to purchase the right kind of ukulele is the first step to your ukulele journey, and below are the top ukulele stores in the US.

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    1. Kamaka Hawaii, Inc. (South Street, Hawaii) – Located in South Street, Hawaii – Kamaka is one of the most trusted and well-known ukulele brands. As the trademark instrument of Hawaii, Kamaka ukuleles are traditionally given to young children as gifts to start playing the instrument at an early age. Well-known ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro owns a Kamaka ukulele and even recommends young players to start with a high-quality ukulele. Established in 1916, Kamaka Hawaii prides itself in being the home of the original pineapple-shaped ukuleles made from acacia koa lumber. The store also caters to customers looking for vintage or secondhand Kamaka ukuleles.
    2. Kala Brand Music, Co. (Petaluma, California) – Another well-known brand in the American ukulele community is the Kala. This popular ukulele’s birthplace is in Petaluma, California but due to the instrument’s surge in popularity, Kala was able to branch to Hawaii and Virginia. What has made them an established brand is their commitment to taking traditional standards in building ukuleles and taking a modern, innovative spin on them. In 2007, Kala created the original U-Bass which is an instrument in the shape of a ukulele but sounds like an upright bass. Customers who have already bought an instrument, both in the shop and online, have returned to purchase more to grow their ukulele collection.
    3. UKE Republic (online, showroom in Austell, Georgia) – UKE Republic started out as an exclusively online store in 2007 as a response to the demand of online ukulele shops. As the number of customers grew, they opened a showroom in Austell, Georgie in 2012. Their shop is carefully curated with only the best brands of ukuleles and ukulele accessories, and people are welcome to test drive the ukuleles and ask the friendly staff for a demonstration. Their customer service is known to cater to a variety of needs, specifications, and skill levels. If you get lucky during your visit, you might also witness a wonderful performance from their occasional open jams they host every now and then.
    4. The Ukulele Site (Haleiwa, Hawaii) – The Ukulele Site is a favorite among ukulele players. The simple setup and aesthetically pleasing design of the store is very warm and welcoming. Any visitor can easily enter and be enchanted by their wide selection of ukuleles. The staff lets customers play any instrument on display and will even encourage them to try playing different types of ukuleles to help identify and pick from different sounds produced by different types of materials used to build ukuleles. Visiting their website beforehand is also recommended where you can find videos of different ukuleles being played. The Ukulele Site takes pride in their passion, love, and knowledge of the ukulele wherein customers can walk in with as many questions as they can ask and walk out happy with all the relevant answers.
    5. Ukulele Station America (Oregon, Illinois) – Ukulele Station America in Oregon, Illinois is very popular with locals mostly because of the owner John Lindhorst. Lindhorst is very active in Oregon’s art and music scene and is also very passionate about encouraging local businesses and organizations to create spectacular events. Ukulele Station is a dealer of household names in ukulele brands including Kala and Ohana, but the locals visit the cottage-turned-store mostly for the ukulele lessons that the store also offers or just to spend time with Lindhorst who is always generously and warmly offering serenades to visitors.
    6. Hale Ukulele (San Diego, California) – What is special about small friendly neighborhood shops is that they extend their services beyond their business and Hale Ukulele in San Diego, California is the perfect example of that. Visitors to the shop are welcome to sit down, play the instruments, and jam for hours. It is recommended to call the shop prior to visiting to find out if your desired ukulele brand is on sale. The store also offers individual and group ukulele lessons and has a recording studio available to local artists for rent. Moreover, Hale Ukulele is also a supporter and affiliate of a few ukulele clubs in San Diego.
    7. Uke Hut (Long Island, New York City) – Uke Hut in Long Island, New York is not only the first ukulele shop in New York City but is also a ukulele lounge and performance venue. As an authorized dealer, their shop includes well known Hawaiian K brands and every purchase will come with a free tuner. Uke Hut has hosted concerts for artists like Eva Kano and even Yukata and Hula themed events. Customers have lauded the place as “ukulele heaven” and have praised the owners for being very accommodating and patient with newbies. In 2014, Uke Hut opened a second branch in Queens, New York City.
    8. Fan Guitar and Ukulele (Richmond, Virginia) – Fan Guitar and Ukulele is a humble local shop in Richmond, Virginia owned by John Gonzales del Solar who used to be a musician in the Navy band. A fateful landing in Hawaii has introduced him to the ukulele and there he fell in love with the instrument and eventually set up shop with his wife. Fan Guitar and Ukulele has amazed customers with their quick and friendly customer service and their ability to do flawless instrument repairs. Some customers were even able to acquire rare strings, parts, and other accessories from the shop.
    9. Mainland Ukes (Nashville, Indiana) – Mainland Ukes in Nashville, Indiana is a local family business that sells their own brand of ukuleles made from mahogany, spruce, cedar, and mango wood. Their instruments are strictly acoustic with no electric pickups and they all come in Aquila brand strings which put these ukes on the higher scale of modulation. Mainland Ukes are perfect for anyone who can’t afford to purchase high-end well-known brands but do not want for quality to be compromised. Despite being a humble local shop, Mainland Ukes ships internationally and every instrument purchased is highly encouraged by the store to arrive with a case. The shop also caters to special occasions by offering special gift wrapping and gift certificates. It is highly encouraged that interested visitors call the shop prior to dropping by so the owners will know when to expect you and extend to you the best customer service.
    10. Magic Fluke Co., LLC (Sheffield, Massachusetts) – Magic Fluke is another store that makes their own instruments. What started out as a basement shop in Connecticut grew from the continuous demands of customers hence the need to move to a bigger and more accommodating space. Magic Fluke also produces other instruments including banjos and violins. Their instruments are fondly named after critters like the Fluke and Flea, the Cricket, and the Firefly for their ukulele, violin, and banjo respectively. Anyone into clean and minimalist designs would easily fall in love with Magic Fluke’s instruments. While their mains store is situated in Sheffield, Massachusetts, their instruments are distributed and sold all over the US including Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, and Michigan.

    Ultimate Guide to Learning Chord Progressions

    chord progressions

    As ukulele players, most of our time is spent playing chords and making sure to hit the right chord change at the appropriate moment. Most of us start out by learning our favorite songs and strumming along merrily. At one point though, it is important to delve into some light theory to understand the inner workings of chord progressions to reach the next level and really enhance your playing.

    Once you see these progressions as little formulas and understand where they come from, learning ukulele chords and memorizing songs become a real breeze. You will eventually save time and recall music in a more efficient manner.

    Applying Roman Numerals to Chords

    One way mankind has decided on how to identify chords and their functions in a song is by Roman numerals. When you take a major scale, say C major, if you build 3 note chords on each of its scale tones, you get a variety of chords. Since there are 7 different notes in the scale, you get 7 different chords and they go like this:

    C – C major
    D – D minor
    E – E minor
    F – F major
    G – G major
    A – A minor
    B – B diminished

    First of all, it’s important to remember the order of the nature of these chords. It should be well rehearsed and free of hesitation. In the major scale, this order
    never changes and it is the foundation of many musical theory concepts.

    After you’re done doing that, it’s time to apply this to other keys and the best method of doing that is to see each scale tone as a Roman numeral. Since we have 7 different notes and chords, we apply a Roman numeral from the root to the last not of the scale. It will look like this:

    I major
    II minor
    III minor
    IV major
    V major
    VI minor
    VII diminished

    If you commit these to memory, you’ll be able to figure out which key any song is in and eventually even write your own! So it’s well worth it. At this point, it’s a good idea to spend some time working out the whole range of chords from any given scale. So pick one and write down all the chords that it includes to fully understand how this works. Here’s an example in G:

    G major
    A minor
    B minor
    C major
    D major
    A minor
    F#diminished

    Figuring out which scale a song is in

    Once you’ve learned the Roman numeral system and you are comfortable with it, it’ll be simpler to identify a song’s key and analyze its chord progression. To do so, write down all the chords that are present in the piece. Usually, a good place to start is when you notice two consecutive major chords (for example Bb and C) to figure out which key the song is in. In that case, it would be F, because that’s the only scale that has both the Bb and C major chords.

    If you’re having a hard time figuring it out, put all the chords in ascending order of their root notes and see if you can figure it out that way. Try it out with songs you already know and understand how it works for yourself.

    Once you know the key, it’s easy to apply Roman numerals to each chord and see the chord progression as a series of Roman numerals. Most chord progressions will run for 4 bars, but this can vary and things will look different depending on the time signature and general arrangement of the song.

    Popular Progressions

    The more songs you learn, the more patterns you will see in the progressions composers use to write music. There are definitely go-to chord movements and reoccurring orders in which chords are played. Here are some of the most used progressions.

    I – IV – V – I
    I – IIm – V – I
    I – VIm – IV – V
    I – V – VI – IV

    I suggest you practice these in all the keys you can think of, it will definitely help you to absorb and understand the concept.

    Applying barre chords

    Where things get really interesting is when you apply this knowledge to the ukulele fretboard. By purposefully using barre chords and omitting the open chords of the uke, you will translate the chordal changes to physical movements. Muscle memory is quite important in music and will help you save time and develop finesse and efficiency.

    By learning a few of the major and minor barre chords, you’ll be able to play most chord progressions in one area of the neck using the same chords over and over again. Start with these two chords and practice all the I, IV, V chords you can in every scale. You can start with the root of the scale based on the 4th string, but also make sure you practice with the root being on the 3rd string chord and see the difference between the two.

    4th string root major chord:

    3rd string root major chord:

    Now with the addition of this minor chord whose root is based on the 2nd string, you can play all the progressions included in this article.
    As you can see, no matter the key, your fingers are always doing the same thing, it’s simply the area where you play that changes.

    Although all this may seem like a lot of work, the idea behind is that the more you recognize the musical patterns that exist, the faster you will be able to memorize songs and their progressions.

    Another awesome side effect of seeing things in Roman numerals is that you will be able to transpose any song without actually thinking about adjusting each and every single chord of the piece. You’ll just translate it into the numeral system and apply the correct chord in the new key you want. If you spent time working on translating the progression to barre chords, it will be a simple task of starting in the right key and let your fingers do all the work with minimal thought!

    About the Author
    Marc-Andre Seguin is the webmaster, “brains behind” and teacher on JazzGuitarLessons.net, the #1 online resource for learning how to play jazz guitar. He draws from his experience both as a professional jazz guitarist and professional jazz teacher to help thousands of people from all around the world learn the craft of jazz guitar.

    5 Best Ukulele Under $200

    Best Ukulele Under 200

    Best Ukuleles Under $200

    There are tons of cheap ukuleles out there, and some of them are pretty good.

    If you’re ready to take your playing to the next level and experience a better sound though, you might want to spend just a little more.

    Believe it or not, some of the ukes that made their way onto this budget-friendly list are also among the best ukuleles made by larger manufacturers.

    Advanced features, better accessories, quality setups, and better tonewood are just a few things you’ll enjoy when you decide to spend just a little more on your new ukulele.

    Quick Look at our Top Picks

    Image Product Features

    Top Pick

    Kala KA-PWC
    • Pacific Walnut top, back, and sides
    • Smooth satin finish
    • Lots of extras including a protective hard case and instructional DVD
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    Cordoba 15CM
    • Includes a hard case, instructional DVDand tuner
    • Beautiful mahogany uke with an abalone rosette
    • Cordoba silver tuning machines with pearl buttons
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    Best Affordable

    Oscar Schmidt OU5
    • Hawaiian Koa wood body and top
    • Abalone binding and rosette
    • Grover chrome tuners
    Check Price/a>
    Lohanu Concert Ukulele
    • Glossy finish on Spalted maple body
    • Numerous accessories included
    • Comes with strap buttons pre-installed
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    Bondi Ukulele
    • Beautiful mahogany concert ukulele
    • Live Skype lesson included
    • Affordable
    Check Price

    After comparing more than 50 ukuleles under $200, we’ve come up with this helpful list.

    Kala KA-PWC Pacific Walnut Concert Ukulele Bundle

    Kala KA-PWC

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    Kala ukuleles are among the best on the market, and this one is a fantastic addition to their line. The Kala KA-PWC Pacific Walnut Concert Ukulele offers beautiful Pacific Walnut wood construction; the top, back, and sides are all solid tonewood rather than laminate. The ukulele’s neck is made with mahogany, and the fingerboard is walnut to match the body.

    This fantastic uke features sleek, simple black binding, a standard headstock, Graph Tech NuBone nut and saddle, and Aquila Super Nylgut strings. A smooth satin finish protects the wood while keeping the instrument’s look warm and natural. This ukulele is part of a package that includes a clip-on tuner, a polishing cloth, an instructional DVD, and a protective hard case.

    Pros:

    • Holds tuning very well once the strings are broken in
    • Comes with great extras including a hard case
    • Beautiful tone considering the low price

    Cons:

    • One report that the bone was too high and needed to be filed down; instrument was fine after that
    • One report of rusted grommets on case; company took care of the problem immediately

    Customers Who Purchased this Said:

    • This is a great entry-level instrument. I’ve been playing for about 7 years and this is a fun uke. I have two others that were much more expensive but I’ve been hard pressed to put this one down.
    • My daughter loves it! We opted for the Kala for the sound quality and it was worth the extra money from the base model Kalas. Sounds amazing. Pair it with some felt picks and you’re ready to go!

    Why Buy This Ukulele?

    Not only is the Kala KA-PWC a beautiful instrument made with richly patterned, solid walnut wood, it offers a great setup right out of the box, including good-quality strings. It easily satisfies budgetary constraints while offering a nice step up from a basic laminate wood or low-quality plastic ukulele, plus it comes with a hard case that represents a bit of an investment all by itself. If you’re looking for a good package deal on an instrument that’s built to last more than a few years, this one is likely to appeal to you.

     

    Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele Bundle

    Cordoba 15CM

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    The Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele comes as part of a bundle deal that includes a hard case, a clip-on tuner, a handy polishing cloth, and an instructional DVD to help you get started with your new uke. This a beautiful instrument thanks to its mahogany wood top, back, and sides. An abalone rosette adds a touch of contrast while keeping the look classic, and a natural satin finish lends a rich look without picking up too many fingerprints along the way.

    Cream ABS binding, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, a composite saddle, and pearloid fingerboard inlays complete the look. This ukulele features Cordoba silver tuning machines with pearl buttons, and comes with Aquila New Nylgut Concert 7U strings.

    Pros:

    • Attractive instrument with a beautiful, full sound
    • Good quality components, nothing like a toy
    • Excellent tuning machines

    Cons:

    • No strap buttons or strap
    • A few reports of manufacturing flaws; most mention that Cordoba took care of problems when notified

    Customers Who Purchased this Said:

    • This ukulele sounds great and it’s a very nice quality instrument for the price. I highly recommend it for anyone who want to pick up the ukulele, but wants a reasonably priced instrument.
    • It’s everything you could hope for and more. The sound is terrific…this is a real instrument, not a toy. While it does sound like a traditional uke, it has none of that tinny sound of other low cost models. Tuning pegs work great and it seems to keep tune quite well.

    Why Buy This Ukulele?

    If you’re in the market for a ukulele that’s well under the $200 mark, you’re definitely going to want to give this one a look. Good components, a top constructed of nice solid mahogany tonewood, and meticulous construction pair with nice extras, making this an outstanding choice for the serious beginner or an intermediate player who’s ready for an upgrade.

     

    Oscar Schmidt OU5 Concert Ukulele

    Oscar Schmidt OU5

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    The Oscar Schmidt OU5 Concert Ukulele features select Hawaiian Koa wood, which is used for the body as well as the top. Abalone binding and an abalone rosette combine with a gorgeous gloss finish, making it a standout. A Nyatoh neck supports the rosewood fingerboard, which offers some contrast along with the rosewood bridge. Grover chrome tuners and Aquila strings add even more value. Oscar Schmidt stands behind the OU5 ukulele by offering a lifetime warranty.

    Pros:

    • Amazing traditional “Island” sound with plenty of resonance
    • Very well built
    • Excellent setup

    Cons:

    • Some people dislike the look of the moustache bridge
    • Not quite as loud as some other, similarly priced ukes

    Customers Who Purchased this Said:

    • I would consider this ukulele to be one of the best beginner ukuleles and one of the best ukuleles for the buck on the market. To get a considerably nicer instrument would cost considerably more money!
    • Not only is this a beautiful ukulele, but the Koa wood gives it a true ukulele sound – smooth and beautiful! The action is set up great all the way up the frets and maintains tuning quite well. No bleeding of overtones, with clean, clear notes, really easy to play.

    Why Buy This Ukulele?

    There’s a reason why the Oscar Schmidt OU5 makes it onto so many “best ukuleles” lists! This company has been making stringed instruments since 1871, and they’re famous for using quality components such as the Grover tuners featured on the OU5. Every instrument is inspected and adjusted in the USA by one of Oscar Schmidt’s technicians, ensuring that fret ends are smooth, action is precise, and sound quality is beautiful. Perfect for learning to play ukulele the right way, and fantastic for continuing your musical journey, this uke continues to offer standout performance in every way.

     

    Lohanu Spalted Maple Concert Ukulele

    Lohanu Spalted

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    The Lohanu Spalted Maple concert ukulele is fantastic on its own, and it comes as part of a bundle that includes plenty of extras including a padded gig bag, a neck strap, and built-in strap buttons, along with video lessons to get beginners started off on the right foot.

    This ukulele features a spalted maple top, back, sides, and neck, a rosewood fingerboard, and slot head tuning gears. Extra Aquila strings are included. This uke is fitted with a 3-band EQ and an electric pickup, along with a built-in tuner. An unconditional lifetime warranty is included.

    Pros:

    • Has an arched back which means better, fuller, more sustained sound
    • Strap buttons are pre-installed, no need to visit a luthier to have them added after purchase
    • Can be played as an acoustic or electric uke; built-in tuner will work so long as batteries are charged

    Cons:

    • Laminate, not solid wood

    Customers Who Purchased this Said:

    • I did hours of research and finally landed on this Lohanu. This uke screams quality, it sounds beautiful, and it seems like the best value for the money.
    • This is a beautiful instrument with a fantastic sound. The laminate gives the instrument a beautiful look without any sacrifice in sound or tone. Tuning pegs are geared and hold pitch well and the electronics sound great in my amp.

    Why Buy This Ukulele?

    If you’re hoping to play with a band and you’d like an electric ukulele, this one is definitely the best in its price range – plus, you can play it acoustically so you get the best of both worlds. The electronics are not the best on the market however they are backed by warranty and previous customers mention that Lohanu goes out of its way to take care of any problems. Overall though, the instrument is a joy to play, with a full, rich sound and plenty of resonance. Most people who try it love it and mention that they’re amazed that they received an instrument as nice as this one for less than $200.

     

    Bondi Ukulele Starter Kit – Concert Size

    Bondi Ukulele Starter Kit

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    The Bondi Concert Ukulele features African mahogany wood construction, a handmade deluxe saddle, and an engraved sound hole. It arrives with Aquila strings and comes with a leather strap in a rainbow etched design.

    This ukulele is part of a huge bonus package that includes a very nice compression case, a tuner, a Skype lesson, an 11-part video series, and lifetime support as well as a lifetime warranty on all components. Bondi stands behind this ukulele with a 30-day money back guarantee. Every ukulele sold contributes to putting a Cambodian teacher through Bondi’s ukulele course, helping kids learn music as part of their education.

    Pros:

    • High-quality sound from a mid-range priced instrument
    • Nice accessories, good quality bag
    • Very well made, particularly for an instrument at this price point

    Cons:

    • Some color variation between photos online and items received
    • Some confusion about how to get access to the video and Skype lessons; However, per Bondi, these are emailed via Amazon but will not arrive if you check the “Don’t receive follow-up emails” box when ordering. If missing this info, contact Bondi directly.

    Customers Who Purchased this Said:

    • You will not be disappointed with the purchase or the customer service. Bondi is top notch!
    • Excellent bundle and we love the free lesson. My child had no clue about anything and they got her headed in the right direction. Make sure you have good internet with the latest Skype update before you get started.

    Why Buy This Ukulele?

    Bondi is a standup, standout company that serves the community along with its customers. The instrument itself represents a good value and the extras are worth quite a bit more than what you pay altogether. This setup might not be ideal for someone who doesn’t need accessories and introductory lessons, but for a beginner, it’s an outstanding deal that includes a ukulele that sounds great and provides more than a few years of enjoyment. Whether you’re brand new to ukes or if you’re looking for a nice upgrade, Bondi is more than just decent.

    Key Considerations when Buying a Ukulele Under $200

    While it’s possible to find a decent ukulele under $100, you’re going to enjoy some added benefits if you have a little more money to invest in a ukulele under $200. If you’re hoping to hold onto the same instrument for more than a few years, this is probably the most reliable category to search in. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you make your selection.

    • Body Style: Did you notice that all the “under $200” ukuleles we reviewed were concert size? Many of these come in other sizes, but concert size fits most players pretty well – it’s small enough for most kids to learn on and comfortable enough for most adults as well. The sound is a little bit richer than what you’ll find in a soprano uke, yet it’s definitely got plenty of desirable “Island” quality.
    • Materials: You’ll find that some of the best ukuleles in the under $200 category offer solid tonewood tops and/or bodies, while others are laminate. Don’t be afraid to give laminate ukuleles a try, particularly when they receive favorable reviews from others. They’re generally a big step up from plastic, and when paired quality components, laminates can be perfectly acceptable. If you’re absolutely set on solid tonewood, you’ll find some good choices here as well as in the ukuleles under $500 category.
    • Accessories: Many of our favorite ukuleles come with added accessories. While these might not be as nice as high-end accessories purchased separately, they do cut the price of your overall investment significantly.
    • Who’s playing: While experts are likely to appreciate ukuleles in higher cost categories, there are plenty of nice choices here for intermediate players and beginners alike. And, if you’re someone who loves to play but doesn’t want to risk a nicer instrument by taking it to the beach or on backpack trips into the mountains, a ukulele in the under $200 category is likely to serve you well by sounding great and keeping worries to a minimum.

    5 Best Ukulele Under $500

    shutterstock 696274312

    Ready to upgrade your ukulele and purchase an instrument that’s designed to last decades or maybe even an entire lifetime? If so, you’ll be glad to find that there are plenty of high-quality ukuleles under $500.

    These are some of the best ukuleles on the market, hands down. While they’re not custom ukes like the ones available for more than $1,000, they do come with high-quality components, excellent tonewoods, and other desirable features.

    After comparing more than 20 ukuleles under $500, we’ve come up with this list of the 5 best ukulele under $500.

    Image Product Features

    Top Pick

    Kala KA-ASAC-T8
    • Full, rich sound
    • Solid Acacia wood body
    • Takes your playing to the next level
    Check Price
    Lanikai CKCGC
    • Made with solid Hawaiian Koa wood
    • Gold hardware and die-cast tuning machines
    • Sweet, classic island sound
    Check Price

    Best Affordable

    Kala KA-SMHS
    • Solid mahogany top, back, and sides
    • Faux tortoise shell binding with black and white purfling
    • Pre-strung with Aquila strings
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    Kala KA-SSTU-C
    • Solid spruce top; mahogany back and sides
    • Chrome die-cast tuners with black buttons
    • Travel bag included
    Check Price
    FLEA Magic Fluke Natural Ukulele
    • Solid Birch soundboard; hard maple neck
    • Flat bottom; sits up on its own
    • Gig bag included
    Check Price

    Kala KA-ASAC-T8 Solid Acacia Tenor 8-String Ukulele

    Kala KA-ASAC-T8

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    The Kala KA-ASAC-T8 ukulele is made with solid acacia wood, which offers a gorgeous reddish brown color that almost glows. The rosewood binding, herringbone purfling, and rosewood bridge and fingerboard lend subtle contrast while contributing to this ukulele’s classic appearance.

    With eight strings rather than four, this tenor ukulele offers an incredibly rich, full sound that might make others sound weak in comparison.

    Pros:

    • Incredible sound, with plenty of mellow resonance and beautiful intonation
    • Sounds like nothing else out there, and not terribly difficult to learn

    Cons:

    • Sounds a little washed up or blurry on fast tunes, but perfect for slower songs

    Customers Who Purchased this Said:

    • Perfectly set up out of the box. Sound and feel are amazing!
    • One strum and the resonance of the wood traveled into every cell of my being. Since purchasing this uke I’ve spent 6 to 8 hours a day with it in my hands because I love the way it sounds.

    Why Buy This Ukulele?

    If you’re ready to expand your horizons and you love the richer sound that a tenor uke provides, you are going to love this one from Kala. The chords are well-extended and very complex, and as you extend your skills, you’ll find that this instrument excels for a variety of musical styles. Rumor has it that Kala will be raising prices soon, putting this instrument above the $500 mark. If you’ve been thinking about picking up an 8-string ukulele, this might be the perfect time to do it!

     

    Lanikai CKCGC Concert Ukulele

    Lanikai CKCGC Concert Ukulele

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    A classic! The Lanikai CKCGC Concert Ukulele offers a curly Koa wood body and top, assuring well-balanced tone and a rich island sound. With gold hardware, die-cast tuners, and a lovely satin finish, this ukulele looks as beautiful as it sounds.

    Traditional rosewood is used for the fretboard and bridge, assuring clean, crisp notes that ring out.

    Pros:

    • Excellent instrument for the price; solid curly Koa wood, not laminate
    • Pleasing appearance and great sound
    • Easy to tune, holds tuning very well

    Cons:

    • One reviewer had to install a new nut for the 4th string as the original was cut a little too low.

    Customers Who Purchased this Said:

    • I have had many ukes over the years and this one has been the best sounding and playing of them all. I like the concert size much more than the soprano as it is easier to play. The sound has great resonance and each string is pure in tone.
    • The koa wood is highly figured. This ukulele looks good, plays easy, sounds great, and notes correctly.

    Why Buy This Ukulele?

    If you’re in the market for a traditional concert ukulele that will last for decades if not an entire lifetime, then you are going to want to shortlist this one. It’s got a lovely Island sound that’s perfect for traditional and contemporary tunes, and it’s sized to accommodate most players.

     

    Kala KA-SMHS Solid Mahogany Soprano Ukulele

    Kala KA-SMHS Solid Mahogany Soprano Ukulele

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    The Kala KA-SMHS soprano ukulele is made with solid mahogany wood for a rich, sweet sound and exceptional tone. Faux tortoise shell binding adds a touch of subtle contrast, and chrome diecast friction tuners make for fast, easy tuning. A traditional rosewood fingerboard and bridge complete this pretty, classic ukulele.

    Pros:

    • Light and easy to tune
    • Pleasing tone
    • Loud and responsive

    Cons:

    • Friction tuners make it tough to micro-tune

    Customers Who Purchased this Said:

    • If you want a non-China built ukulele plan to shuck out anywhere from 600 to 2000 dollars. For just over 200 bucks, this is a fine soprano ukulele with excellent tone, solid wood, accurate action. Outstanding for the price.
    • I love this soprano! It is solid mahogany which is why I wanted t and I love the friction tuners. The key to them is keeping the screws in back tightened enough so they don’t slip. The sound quality is great and will get better since mahogany opens up and gets sweeter sounding as it ages.

    Why Buy This Ukulele?

    Those who love the traditional sound of a Soprano ukulele will appreciate this one. Its music is pure and sweet, with far more resonance and quality than you’ll find in a similar-looking laminate ukulele. Accurate action, a charming appearance, and solid construction make this lovely little uke a pleasure to play.

     

    Kala KA-SSTU-C Concert Travel Ukulele

    Kala KA-SSTU-C Concert Travel Ukulele

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    The Kala KA-SSTU-C concert ukulele features a solid spruce top, along with mahogany back and sides. The neck is mahogany as well, while the bridge and fingerboard are of traditional rosewood.

    Die-cast chrome tuners with black buttons complement the simple black binding, which adds just a touch of contrast. Aquila super nylgut strings are included, along with a Kala logo travel bag.

    Pros:

    • Big, beautiful sound – it’s thin and light, but sounds like a full size concert uke.
    • Excellent craftsmanship, and the narrow depth makes it very comfortable to play
    • Great action, excellent setup

    Cons:

    • No strap button
    • Padded case is a pretty tight fit and doesn’t have pockets outside

    Customers Who Purchased this Said:

    • I was told that I couldn’t install a strap button, but Kala sent me a letter, saying they install blocks on the travel ukes, complete with pre-drilled holes so the wood won’t split. Found an instrument repair shop to do the job. Great instrument and with customer service like this, it’s another reason to go with this ukulele.
    • If you need a travel uke this is the one for you. It’s better than I hoped, out of the box, tune it up and go! Instrument is well set up and has a lovely sound, much bigger than you’d guess by its size.

    Why Buy This Ukulele?

    If you’re looking for a good travel uke with a rich, pleasing sound and a surprising amount of punch, you’re probably going to fall in love with this one. It’s a favorite with backpackers and other travelers as it fits easily into smaller bags. Quality components, good customer service, and overall playability make it an outstanding, portable choice.

     

    FLEA Magic Fluke Natural Concert Ukulele

    FLEA Magic Fluke Natural Concert Ukulele

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    With a birch top for a crisp and lively tone, the FLEA Magic Fluke natural concert ukulele offers a hard maple neck, a precision polycarbonate fingerboard with comfortable non-metal frets, molded back and sides, and a flat bottom so you can set it up just about anywhere.

    A 30-day limited warranty is included, along with a complimentary gig bag. Every purchase includes a donation to hospitals for music therapy programs.

    Pros:

    • Clear, bright sound with a warm, sweet tone and no buzzing.
    • Durable go-everywhere ukulele
    • Excellent, correct intonation; stays in tune very well

    Cons:

    • Non-traditional appearance can be off-putting for some

    Customers Who Purchased this Said:

    • This is my third Magic Fluke instrument, and it’s a fabulous addition to my collection. Very well-made, an beautiful sounding.
    • I was looking for a ukulele made in USA and I knew I couldn’t justify the cost of a solid handmade Hawaiian uke so I decided on this one. It sounds great, stays in tune well, and is easy to play. I love the flat bottom.

    Why Buy This Ukulele?

    Those who aren’t committed to traditional appearances are probably going to like this ukulele for its easy maintenance, its amazing sound, and its go-anywhere durability. These instruments are designed for easy playing and learning, and they’re meant to last. Every FLEA ukulele is fully inspected and set up prior to shipping, greatly reducing the likelihood that you’ll encounter any manufacturing flaws.

     

    Key Considerations when Buying a Ukulele Under $500

    While it is completely possible to find a decent ukulele for less than $100 and a pretty good one for under $200, serious musicians are likely to prefer instruments higher up on the scale. In case you’re curious about whether these are the best ukuleles on the market, the answer is that they’re definitely among the best that larger manufacturers have to offer, but not nearly as nice as a custom ukulele that comes in closer to $1,000 or even $1,500. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering ukuleles under $500.

    • Body Style/Size: You can find good examples of every body style in this category. Most of the ukuleles we reviewed here come in different sizes, so consider looking a little deeper if you don’t see the exact size you prefer on our list – usually, additional sizes are listed on each instrument’s product page for easy reference.
    • Overall Quality: Those looking for something beyond an entry level ukulele will appreciate the fine woods, beautiful finishes, exceptional construction, unique features, and quality components that go into ukuleles in this category. Most of these have quite a bit of “Wow!” factor compared side by side with cheaper ukes.
    • Brand: There are plenty of great manufacturers out there, but some stop their product lines at lower-cost instruments simply because there’s a good market brimming with beginning players who are looking for ukuleles under $200 or even under $100. This time, we found plenty of nice options and ended up recommending a few standouts, including three ukuleles from Kala – not surprising, as they’re one of today’s best ukulele manufacturers. This having been said, don’t get too hung up on brand so long as the instrument is a good one. There are plenty of great instruments out there including some from smaller luthiers who don’t have a widespread presence.
    • Your Needs as a Player: What do you want in a ukulele? We recommend making your own needs a top priority, especially when choosing a better instrument that’s likely to be with you for many years. We tried to include some unique options in this short list, and it’s likely that one of these will appeal to you. If not, keep looking! You may end up paying a bit more but the perfect uke is somewhere out there.

     

     

    Locally Sourced Wood Yields Great Ukuleles

    wood ukulele

    This is a guest post by Jonathan Dale, of Jupiter Ukulele, who builds his own ukuleles from local wood found in Eastern Pennsylvania.

    Wood. Most stringed musical instruments, including ukuleles, are made out of wood. (There are the plastic ukuleles, and the carbon-fiber ones, but we’ll leave those aside.) Wood, being a wonderful product of nature comes in an almost infinite variety with an almost infinite variety of characteristics. Couple this variability in the basic material with all of the design and construction choices that one can make when building a musical instrument and the possibilities are endless.

    Wood and its Purpose

    Wood in an instrument serves two purposes, with two different sets of characteristics. First and foremost is how the wood reacts to, changes, and hopeful enhances the energy of a plucked string so that the energy in that plucked string is converted into sound energy. This is the source of the endless debate about which type of wood ‘sounds better’.

    Then there is the secondary purpose of being pleasing to the eye. How a piece of wood looks may not be central to making music, but it is important to the happiness of the player of the instrument. If every time one opens the case one gets to take out a beautiful sculptural object, (which a ukulele can certainly be) a player will be that much more inspired to play and practice. Does curly koa sound better than straight grained koa, I don’t think so but that curly stuff sure looks good!

    Top, Back and Side Wood

    When building a stringed instrument like a ukulele one generally differentiates between the top wood, which responds directly to the vibration of the strings, and the wood used on the back and sides which (depending on your thinking) may amplify the top vibrations, or may isolate the energy of the top vibrations to just the top. For this discussion we will focus on the back and side wood, since that is where most of the ‘looks’ come from.

    There is lots of debate, but from reading I have done, and my own personal experience, the choice of back and side wood may have a 15% effect on the overall sound. From the guitar world there is much reverence paid to things like Brazilian rosewood as being the cream of the wood crop. This in spite of other experiments that used alternate woods, and in a blind test listeners could not pick out Brazilian. (Still, it looks lovely.) Then there is the problem of overharvesting of the tropical rosewoods, illegal logging in the rain-forest, CITES listing which effects import/export or taking an instrument across international borders (like to Canada), etc. (However, the vast majority of the tropical harvesting does not go into instrument production.)

    Local Wood

    I live in Eastern Pennsylvania, in the Appalachian region. The Appalachian region is hardwood central to the US with all sorts of species, growing in all sorts of environments. I decided that I did not want to build instruments with wood that came from some tropical forest, who knows where and who knows how. Certainly there must be great instrument woods available locally. (Also, I’ll admit it, I’m frugal and local wood can be had for much less up-front monetary expenditure.) These days a lot of the back and side woods I use started with me and a chainsaw. I have not directly taken down any trees, but keep my eyes out and take advantage of trees that have been taken down for other reasons and some wood comes from a local sawmill, sawing locally harvested trees. Some examples of what I am using:

    Sycamore Wood

    When putting in a new bridge near my house, they took down a big old sycamore tree (Platanus occidentalis). I went and cut a number of big billets, that I later re-sawed into ukulele wood. Sycamore, being related to the maples, make a great sounding instrument, and when sawn just right has a spectacular grain pattern. One of the advantages of harvesting my own sycamore is that I can cut it ‘just so’ to reveal the grain pattern. Get off even a few degrees on the angle that the wood is cut and the pattern disappears. I have a stack of wood that you just can not buy.

    I have cut some black walnut (Juglans nigra) from left-overs of a logging operation and have bought a chunk from the local sawmill. A black walnut body and redwood top (see my blog for more on the redwood, recycled from of water-tank planks) makes a superb sounding instrument.

    South Florida Wood – The Casuarina

    My latest ‘discovery’ is a wood that was planted all over South Florida, and it is now considered an invasive species. In Florida, it is known as “Australian Pine” though it is not a pine. I know it as Casuarina (Casuarina equisetifolia). It is harder and heavier than the rosewood, (comparable to ebony), sinks in water even when dry, rings when you tap it and it looks great to boot. I cut some from trees taken down as part of restoring a natural area (cutting out the invasive trees) and that were blown down in a hurricane. Casuarina takes a wonderful polish, makes great body and side wood as well as fingerboards. One is using wood from an invasive species so there is no cutting of rainforest trees to get a hard heavy lovely wood, though you have to do it yourself, there is no commercial harvesting of
    Casuarina.

    Other Local Goodies

    Then there are many other local goodies; dogwood & dogwood burls, black locust, curly maple (both red maple and sugar maple), curly ash, old spruce trees, etc. As a small builder I have the opportunity to individually source and cut particular pieces of wood, to maximize the potential of each piece of wood both acoustically and aesthetically. A production shop or factory does not have this ability, but rather has to rely on consistently available and more uniform materials that can be processed with a minimum of labor. I have the luxury of being surrounded by wood, and I keep my chainsaw sharpened because who knows when one will be driving past that next great thing!

    Top 20 Music Blogs 2019

    Want to keep up with your favorite artists, learn what’s new in the world of music, enjoy video interviews with top stars and more? Music blogs are the answer, no matter what genre you prefer.

    Here are our top 20 picks, along with a few quick highlights for each. Looking for a specific music blog review? These entries are arranged in alphabetical order rather than by popularity for easy A-Z referencing. Enjoy!

    A & R Factory

    If you want to discover new artists, then take a trip to A & R Factory, where you’ll be able to keep an eye out for new talent that appeals to your musical taste. This music blog does not discriminate; it caters to independent labels as well as major publishers, radio stations, and others. As one of the world’s top Artist and Repertoire blogs, A & R Factory is a proud recipient of numerous awards, including a 2017 Top 10 UK Music Blog award.

    AMBY: A Music Blog, Yea?

    Concert photos, links to stars’ twitter feeds, and fantastic “Gimme Your Answers” two-minute interviews are some top features found at AMBY: A Music Blog, Yea? Cool extras like exclusive music videos and interesting stories make this one of the world’s top 100 music blogs, plus you’ll find ongoing contests, concert ticket giveaways, and more. AMBY is run by a global team of writers and photographers who keep fans in the loop via a solid social media presence; follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and more for at-a-glance updates.

    Awesong

    Want to be considered for a review? Awesong offers artists the opportunity to upload tracks, plus they give budding talent the opportunity to play for a massive online audience of more than four million listeners. Hundreds of prominent artists are featured here, too, and there are thousands of cover songs to listen to, including numerous tracks from India’s up and coming talent. Prepare to entertain or be entertained; whatever your preference, Awesong delivers.

    Caesar Live ‘N Loud

    Interviews, performance videos, and loads of great updates make Caesar Live N Loud a favorite as well as the recipient of a Top 200 Music Blog award. Featured posts take top billing as expected, but older stories and even older archives are easy to find, and they take you back to some of yesterday’s most exciting music milestones. Check out the Mixtapes and don’t miss the free downloads. Like many other top-billed music blogs, Caesar Live N Loud showcases new artists and well-known stars alike.

    EDM Nations

    Listeners and artists alike appreciate EDM Nations for its vast menu of offerings. You’ll find all things music-related here, including new releases, in-depth reviews, the latest music festival news, and inspiring posts covering a diverse array of topics. Free downloads are plentiful here, plus you’ll find no shortage of videos and much more.

    For the Love of Bands

    If you don’t want to rely on radio stations to discover new music, then you’re likely to appreciate For the Love of Bands. Features include artist spotlights and reviews, plus a big Spotify playlist where you can listen while you multitask. Artists will appreciate this award-winning music blog just as much as fans; some posts focus on helpful topics that help musicians get noticed, plus there’s a cool “Bands about Bands” feature that has bands review one another. This is just the tip of the musical iceberg; For the Love of Bands is a huge blog with plenty to explore.

    Indietronica

    A sleek, simple design with prominent mixtapes and more, Indietronica offers a welcome respite from the everyday. Read up on the philosophy behind some of the most compelling indie tracks, grab instant links to Spotify so you can add new favorites to your playlists, and share Soundcloud links. Indietronica features a “Sounds Like” comparison with each entry, making it easy to decide what to listen to next while providing you with some additional indie inspiration in the event you really like what you’re hearing and want to discover more.

    Kings of A&R

    Ready to dig deep into one of the best Artist and Repertoire blogs around? Look no further than Kings of A&R, where editor Dean Cramer has been shining a spotlight on up and coming artists since 1999. Artists hoping to achieve mainstream success come here in hopes of joining the likes of Twenty One Pilots, The Fray, and many others featured on Kings of A&R before they reached fame, and fans hoping to discover new sounds appreciate the blog as well. New entries are available almost every day, and a strong social media presence makes it easy to keep up with what’s new.

    KMM Reviews

    Whether you’re an artist who wants to submit new music for review, or a fan with a longing for some new tracks to make your day extraordinary, you’re likely to enjoy KMM Reviews. There’s a little bit of everything here; classic reviews cover old favorites like U2’s The Joshua Tree, and introductions provide quick summaries that highlight new artists on a level playing field with well-known musicians. If you like records, be sure to check out the blog’s “Flying Vinyl” entries.

    LIVE Music Blog

    Whatever your favorite genre, you’re likely to find some new discoveries when you head over to LIVE Music Blog. A massive compilation of entries awaits, along with a slick design that’s eye candy for anyone who loves album covers and more. Browse the latest music news, check out reviews, or watch videos while you’re there. If you happen to have something specific in mind, you’ll appreciate LIVE Music Blog’s easy-to-find search feature.

    Music Enthusiast

    A few music blogs seem to have a little something for everyone – and Music Enthusiast is one of these. Interesting, thoughtful posts covering individual songs, albums, concerts, music festivals, and even movies top the list of things that make this blog a must-visit while earning it a Top 100 Music Blog award. Genres include blues, jazz, pop, R&B, rock, and soul, with just a sprinkling of country tossed in for good measure. Music Enthusiast covers time-honored artists and albums as well as newer ones, making for some delightful reintroductions to old favorites you might not have heard in quite some time.

    Music Tech Student

    While Music Tech Student does offer some entertaining components, it exists to provide musicians including students and teachers with resources designed to take careers to the next level. There’s a heavy focus on the technological side of the music industry, which is highly valuable to those who want to make money with their music as well as those who are interested in the way music and technology intersect. Music Tech Student covers a vast variety of topics ranging from electronic music to film and game audio to mixing, mastering, and music video production.

    Pigeons & Planes

    Looking for some new sounds? Pigeons & Planes is all about discovery, great music, and talented artists. The blog covers several genres; indie rock, pop, hip-hop, and electronic are among those covered most often. Where some blogs cover either established stars or emerging talent, Pigeons & Planes provides a balance of both. It’s the perfect place to check out new releases, watch videos, read news, and more.

    Pitchfork

    Whether you’re into indie, mad about pop, or crazy for experimental music, you’re likely to appreciate Pitchfork. This is a massive blog with vast social media coverage, and it’s got treats for those who enjoy everything from rock to hip hop to metal. Reviews, interviews, and cool features are just the beginning; Pitchfork also covers music news so fans can keep up with the latest happenings, plus it reintroduces artists from past decades.

    Primal Music Blog

    Looking for something unique? You’ll find it at Primal Music Blog, which features an outstanding array of underground artists, along with interesting single premiers, plenty of post-punk, and some outstanding psychedelic archives. EP reviews provide introductions to a variety of artists who prefer to stray off the beaten track, providing endless opportunities for new discoveries. If you’re an artist, consider submitting music to Primal Music Blog; they’re always looking for something new to discover and share.

    Sync.

    New music, live sessions, festival updates, and videos are just some of the great features you’ll find on Sync. Check out playlists and top ten lists while you’re there, and take a look at some of the blog’s suggested links. Sync’s Backtrack feature takes you for a quick trip into the past so you can see how some of today’s top acts got their starts. For indie, dance, electronic, pop, and alternative music fans, this top-rated blog is a must.

    The Camp House

    Country music – the live, Texas kind – is the focus at The Camp House, which is also the home of the 65 & Sides Society. Live, small-venue concerts are featured here, each of which is limited to 65 pairs of tickets. Additionally, you’ll find fantastic artist spotlights, favorite links, new music, and news. The Camp House is relatively new to the music blog scene; even so, it received a Top 100 Music Blogs award.

    The Write Reviews

    If you appreciate underground artists, then you’ll probably enjoy The Write Reviews. Besides album reviews, this independent music blog offers interviews, artist of the month spotlights, and featured emcees, plus it’s home to The Write Rhymes Radio Show. Artists can submit their work for review, with several options to suit their needs. The Write Reviews is a Top 100 Music Blog award recipient as well as a Top 100 Hip Hop Blog award recipient.

    Turtle Tempo

    If you love nothing more than independent music, Turtle Tempo has you covered. This UK-based music blog received a Top 25 Independent Music Blogs award, and a quick visit will show you exactly why. Loads of updates, quick top-5 picks every Friday, New Music, Top Performances lists, and artist interviews are just some of the features you’ll find here. The focus is on unsigned, independent, and alternative artists, who are welcome to submit music.

    Unheard Gems

    Unheard Gems is a music site set out to bring listeners the best in new and emerging artists. The team of two bring together a collection of artists from all over the world and across a variety of genres with the potential to be the next big thing which they feel deserve to be heard by a larger audience. By interviewing artists like Mathew V, Traces, Wet, Huntar, Luna Shadows and more Unheard Gems brings viewers and listeners closer to the artists they already love and introduce them to artists they should get to know. Besides interviews, Unheard Gems releases music reviews, updates on new or upcoming music, musician focused articles, and keeps a catalog of incredible artists. Unheard Gems has also recently joined forces with the blog AltWire.net and posts content on both blogs covering an even wider array of artists. Unheard Gems works to bring you the best in new music and emerging artists.

    We All Want Someone to Shout For

    Founded way back in 2008 and enjoying growing popularity ever since, We All Want Someone to Shout For crosses genres in search of the latest, best music available. Concert reviews, music videos, Soundcloud links, and previews are some of the blog’s best features. Every post provides a quick intro to the artist or band being covered, along with a short discussion that digs a bit deeper into the details. We All Want Someone to Shout For offers a crisp, interface for a user-friendly experience.

    Where the Music Meets

    Ready to explore and dig really deep into the indie scene and more? Where the Music Meets has you covered with interviews, reviews, and more. You’ll find massive Soundcloud and Spotify playlists here with plenty of new sounds to discover, plus some exciting links to like-minded partners. If you’re an artist, you can feel free to send a submission for consideration by the expert reviewers at Where the Music Meets. Who knows? Your act might be featured next.

     

    25 Best Gifts for Ukulele Players

    ukulele festival

     

    Thanks to its ability to produce a mellow sound and treat newcomers to an easy learning experience, the ukulele has become one of today’s most popular instruments.

    Quick Look at Our Top Pick:

    Editor’s Choice
    Uke Like the Pros Online lessons
    Our Top choice is Uke Like the Pros Online lesson with More than 300 lessons in the basic membership area alone.
    FEATURES
    • New content is added weekly
    • Relaxed, easygoing instructor
    • Weekly Q&A sessions
    • Everyone who signs up gets a FREE t-shirt
    • Affordable
    • Money back guarantee

    It’s no surprise then, that friends and family members find themselves searching for the best gifts for ukulele players. Whatever the occasion, we’ve got you covered with all kinds of ukulele accessories and much, much more. Whether you’re in search of a birthday gift or something to celebrate a major holiday like Christmas or Hanukkah, you’ll find plenty of ideas in our ultimate ukulele gift guide!

    1. Online Ukulele Course

    Most ukulele players want to improve their skills, and online ukulele courses make a fantastic gift that keeps on giving! We like Ukulele Buddy for its easygoing style, its simple learning tools, and its cool play-along feature. Uke Like the Pros is another fantastic option. Both sites offer a personalized feel, with well-known teachers.

    Good online ukulele courses are almost as nice as in-person lessons, while being more affordable and a whole lot easier to fit into a busy schedule. Package it with small uke-themed gift such as a keychain so they’ll have something to unwrap, and you’ll make this surprise even better!

     

    2. Ukulele Chord Stamp

    Chord Stamp

    Check Amazon Deals

    Perfect for the budding music writer and great for ukulele players who want to up their game or transcribe music! We found this cool ukulele chord stamp gift pack by WhirlWindPress – it comes with 84 ukulele chord flashcards, a laser-engraved rubber stamp, and a handy ink pad.

     

    3. Ukulele Wall Hanger

    Ukulele Wall Hanger

    Check Amazon Deals

    Help them get organized! A ukulele wall hanger protects the instrument from damage while putting it in easy reach.

     

     

    4. A Cool New Neck Strap

    Cool New Neck Strap

    Check Amazon Deals

    A great ukulele neck strap makes playing more comfortable. We really like this one from Cloudmusic – it has a cool Hawaiian vibe and it comes in a variety of colors.

     

     

    5. Ukulele Stand

    Ukulele Stand

    Check Amazon Deals

    A ukulele stand protects the instrument and puts it on display. There are a lot of options available, and most are affordable. Kala’s mahogany uke stand makes a great gift for the player in your life: Not only is it easy on the eyes, it folds up to fit inside a gear bag.

     

     

    6. A Good Ukulele Tuner

    Good Ukulele Tuner

    Check Amazon Deals

    Many ukulele starter packs come with tuners, but they’re often not the best. A quality ukulele tuner like the D’Addario NS micro clip-on is sure to see plenty of use, thanks to its accuracy.

     

     

    7. A Better Ukulele Case

    Ukulele Case

    Check Amazon Deals

    A good case is often toward the top of many ukulele players’ gift wish lists. There are lots of bags and cases to choose from, but for overall protection and affordability, this one from Fino hits the mark. Like others, this durable ukulele case comes in different sizes – double check to be sure you get the right one!

     

     

    8. A Tablet/Phone Holder

    Tablet/Phone Holder

    Check Amazon Deals

    Many ukulele players rely on their phones or tablets for viewing lessons, play-alongs, and more. This cool tripod by Rockville has an adjustable mount that accommodates most phones and tablets. While it’s not a traditional gift, it’s sure to be a hit.

     

     

    9. Finger Jingles

    Finger Jingles

    Check Amazon Deals

    They will never guess what’s in the package! Finger Jingles make a cool gift that adds a bit of percussion to some of their favorite songs.

     

     

    10. Rhythm Ring Shaker

    Rhythm Ring Shaker

    Check Amazon Deals

    Often imitated but never duplicated, the Rhythm Ring Shaker is easy for ukulele players to wear while strumming. They’ll like the way this inexpensive gift adds depth to their playing.

     

     

    11. Blank Ukulele Tabs

    Blank Ukulele Tabs

    Check Amazon Deals

    Encourage creativity with a big pack of blank ukulele tabs. This set from Timbre Notebooks features blank tabs alternating with lined paper, perfect for writing lyrics or taking notes.

     

     

    12. Music Nomad Guitar Care Kit

    Music Nomad Guitar Care Kit

    Check Amazon Deals

    Help them keep their instrument in top-notch condition with products made just for the woods used in building instruments. This complete instrument care kit was designed for guitars, but it works just as well for ukuleles.

     

     

    13. String Fuel Cleaner and Lubricant

    String Fuel Cleaner and Lubricant

    Check Amazon Deals

    Ukulele strings work best when they’re in great condition. Music Nomad’s String Fuel makes a great gift for ukulele players who want their strings to last longer and sound better. While this useful present is very inexpensive, it’s guaranteed to please.

     

     

    14. Spare Ukulele Strings

    Spare Ukulele Strings

    Check Amazon Deals

    No matter the uke’s quality, the strings eventually need to be replaced. A spare set of strings makes the perfect gift, yet it’s definitely on the low-cost end of the spectrum. If you choose this option, be sure to find out which size ukulele the recipient plays.

     

     

    15. Dashboard Doll

    Dashboard Doll

    Check Amazon Deals

    Whether you go for the classic hula girl or a cool shark, you’re going to get plenty of smiles when you give the gift of a dashboard doll. Hint: Be sure the figure is playing ukulele!

     

     

    16. Ukulele Air Freshener

    Ukulele Air Freshener

    Check Amazon Deals

    The ultimate in cheap gifts for the ukulele player in your life! This novelty air freshener combines a fresh scent with a fun Hawaiian hula theme.

     

     

    17. Ukulele Mug

    Ukulele Mug

    Check Amazon Deals

    Sometimes music is the best therapy. This colorful mug makes a fun ukulele-themed gift for any player! We like this stainless steel travel mug, too.

     

     

    18. Ukulele-Themed Beverage Container

    kulele-Themed Beverage Container

    Check Amazon Deals

    Perfect!  This insulated drink carrier keeps beverages hot or cold, so they’re never without their favorite refreshment.

     

     

    19. Ukulele Capo

    Ukulele Capo

    Check Amazon Deals

    The UGY capo isn’t quite as fancy as some other options on the market, but it’s a favorite thanks to its ergonomic design. A capo is ideal for players who are learning new skills as well as those who are more advanced.

     

     

    20. Ukulele Books

    Ukulele Books

    Check Amazon Deals

    There are lots of good ukulele books out there. The Daily Ukulele is a great example: Written by Jim Beloff and Liz Beloff, it contains 365 songs along with tips, a chord chart, and more. This book is the perfect companion for players at every level.

     

    21. Ukulele Pickup

    Check Amazon Deals

    The ideal gift for a ukulele player who wants to be heard when playing solo or with a band! There are quite a few to choose from. The Luvay acoustic pickup may not be the best for experts, but it’s a good choice for newer players, and is easy to attach.

     

    22. Ukulele Jewelry

    Ukulele Jewelry

    Check Amazon Deals

    Whether they prefer earrings, rings, or bracelets, ukulele jewelry makes a fun gift. This abalone shell pendant from Hawaiian Silver Jewelry is a classic that goes with just about everything.

     

     

    23. Ukulele Picks

    Ukulele Picks

    Check Amazon Deals

     

    Perfect for secret Santa or stocking stuffers! Ukulele picks are always appreciated. Most players like leather ones like these from Anwenk: They’re long-lasting, and they provide an authentic sound.

     

    24. A New Ukulele

    Check Amazon Deals

    Once people get started with this instrument, they tend to long for a larger collection. Cordoba’s ukuleles are a great example of quality instruments that also happen to be affordable. Be sure to check out our ukulele reviews for many, many more ideas!

     

    25. Concert Tickets

    ukulele-fest

    Last but not least, consider taking your favorite ukulele player to a concert or festival. Here’s a schedule for the current season.

    There you have it! 25 of the best gifts for the ukulele player on your list, at prices to suit any budget. Whatever their interest or skill level, they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness as well as the special human touch that comes with a gift well-wrapped. We hope you enjoy the holidays – however you celebrate!

    10 Best Ukulele Christmas Song Books

    christmas ukulele song books

    ‘Tis the season to ring in the yuletide cheer with parties and gatherings spent with family and friends over good food and even better company.

    But a Christmas celebration is not the same without the joy of sharing and learning ukulele music. Here are our top suggestions for the best ukulele Christmas songbooks that you can purchase right now.

    21 Easy Ukulele Songs for Christmas

    Ideal for beginner ukulele players, the 21 Easy Ukulele Songs For Christmas offers a great selection of easy-to-play Christmas songs that are divided into two, three and four chords. The book makes it easier to understand chords, and comes with instructional videos that you can sign up for. It’s also a great Christmas present for enthusiastic ukulele players.

    100 Christmas Carols for Ukulele

    This massive collection of Christmas carols for the ukulele contains chords to classic songs such as “Deck the Hall,” “Joy to the World,” and “Silent Night.” The book presents the chord and melody in standard notation, which is useful for those who are not familiar with some of the songs included. What’s great about this huge collection of songs is that they can be played just by strumming the chords while singing or as instrumental pieces that allow players to substitute chords for the melody notes through different playing techniques. In addition to this, the songs are not difficult to learn and play, making it a delightful book to own.

    It’s a Ukulele Christmas: Over 80 Holiday Favorites

    “It’s a Ukulele Christmas” contains over 80 holiday songs that are arranged to be easily played on the ukulele. It features classics like “O Christmas Tree,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” as well as songs from Hollywood Christmas movies like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” While the songs are for more advanced beginner ukulele players, the book contains chords, notes in tab, regular music notation and suggested rhythm for strumming.

    Jumpin’ Jim’s Ukulele Christmas: Ukulele Solo

    Get in the mood for some ukulele holiday strumming with “Jumpin Jim’s Ukulele Christmas: Ukulele Solo” book. It features 30 Christmas classics, specifically arranged for the ukulele. It includes songs like “Deck the Halls,” “Jingle Bells,” and “Joy to the World.” The book is also a great choice if you are in the process of learning how to play the ukulele as the chords are not too difficult. While it doesn’t require the player to read music, it’s essential to know where the tunes should go. The book also has a “how to” page that explains tuning and how to transpose if you understand keys. There is also a helpful chord chart. Moreover, it comes in a great handy size.

    Christmas Ukulele Fake Book

    This book contains a collection of over 250 songs packed into a handy and portable package. It has great chord selections, accurate melodies and no need to turn the page while strumming. Notes are also listed on top of each song, making it the ideal go-to book for beginner ukulele players. It features a mix of popular Christmas songs as well as little not-so-common holiday songs, making it more fun to re-learn any songs that you might have forgotten. Among its list of songs are “Do You Hear What I Hear,” “Feliz Navidad,” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come
    Home).”

    Christmas Carols for Ukulele

    With just 26 Christmas classics, the “Christmas Carols for Ukulele” has a carefully curated list of enjoyable songs that include “Away in a Manger,” “Go, Tell It To the Mountain,” and “Up on the Housetop.” The book features appropriate arrangements for advanced beginners. It also has melodies written in simple rhythm patterns which can be helpful for those who are rhythmically challenged and newbie music students.

    First 50 Christmas Songs You Should Play on Ukulele

    Ideal for beginner and intermediate ukulele players, this book features 50 Christmas holiday favorites that are presented in melody, lyrics, and chord diagrams. The book offers a nice arrangement to songs like “Deck the Hall,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” and “Mele Kalikimaka.” The tunes featured in the book are in a range for the soprano ukulele. Moreover, the book is recommended to be bought in its physical form over Kindle due to sizing issues.

    Christmas Ukulele Solos: 20 Holiday Favorites Arranged in Chord-Melody Style for Tenor Ukulele

    Ring in the holidays with 20 festive Christmas tunes in standard notation and tablature for tenor ukulele. While the book will require that you have more than basic beginner skills, it’s not a very advanced book. It’s great for those who are still learning to hone their ukulele playing skills as the songs have plenty of movement on the fretboard, quick chord changes, stretching, and fingerpicking. Songs featured in the book include “Blue Christmas,” “Feliz Navidad,” and “Jingle Bell Rock.”

    Just for Fun — Christmas Ukulele: More Than 40 Christmas Classics

    If you want a music book that offers an interesting mix of challenging and interesting chord melody arrangements, then this may be for you. “Just for Fun: Christmas Ukulele” features over 40 Christmas classics that have three arrangements. These include melody in notation and tab, an easy rhythm option with a simple strum pattern and chords, and intermediate-level rhythm option in full notation and tab. The book has simple chord arrangements as well, making it a full package for different levels of play.

    Christmas Carols for Solo Ukulele: for Tenor Ukulele

    This book is an ideal find for beginners to advanced ukulele players. While it is stripped to the bare minimum in terms of the arrangement, it offers challenging chord stretches and is easy to understand for beginners who have had some practice playing the ukulele. Moreover, all of the songs are written for tenor ukulele with a low G string. The 20-songbook features chord-melody for Christmas favorites such as “O Come, O Come, Immanuel,” “We Wish You A Merry Christmas,” and “Away in a Manger.”

    Cheap Vs. Expensive Guitar Brands

    cheap expensive guitar

    There is an age long misconception among various people and even beginner guitarists that ‘more expensive’ guitars play better and tend to sound better too. Teenagers save huge chunks of money to just buy a better guitar but is it all worth the money in the end? Everyone loves to impress their friends with a shiny new expensive guitar hung over their shoulder.

    For many, the instrument itself is the first object of music desire. And to a less-experienced player? A guitar is the evidence of them being a ‘true’ guitarist. Although, getting a custom-made guitar, out of the hands of a master craftsman surely is a thrill, more expensive guitars are not necessarily always better.

    According to Musicjunkies.com With a tough competition in the market, cheap guitars are getting better by the day. Manufacturing techniques and automated cutting have allowed the manufacturers to make better guitars, especially electric guitars for a more affordable rate. Steep competition among the manufacturers as well as retailers has allowed the prices to stay just above the cost.

    If a person is willing to search, there are several good guitars available at lower prices. However, a number of people still adhere to the mentality that lower-priced guitars are either imitations, beginner, or “lesser wonderful” than their expensive counterparts. It is high time we understand about choosing the right guitar, which is not necessarily always on the higher end of the budget.

    Misconception regarding the word “Cheap”

    • In modern times, the meaning of the word “cheap” has differentiated from having a lower price to signify a product that is of lower-quality. Due to this miscalculated perception of this word, low-priced guitars have found an even sadder reputation.
    • When a guitar is being sold for a lower price, it does not mean it will melt away as soon as it touches your hands. Cheap means a lower price segment. On the other hand, throughout the various brands of guitars, the word “expensive” does not ensure quality; rather it means that the product is costly.

    Misconception that the Guitar makes Music

    • A lot of people, especially teenagers, tend to believe that the better or costly the guitar is, the better sound it will make. The rail of thought usually encourages people to purchase only the top-of-line guitar models. While it is true to an extent that better equipment will produce better music, but it is only to an extent, the guitar is a single part of your equation out of many.
    • All electric guitars are played with the help of effect pedals, which means that even if you own a low-priced guitar, but know how to blend your music and mix effects, it will still sound good. The player makes the music. It does not matter whether your guitar is a cheap one, or straight out of some big-shot guitar player collection, if you do not have enough skill, both will sound crappy. A well-built guitar will have the capability to hold its tuning, with a straight neck and good sustain.

    Misconception that Cheap Guitars are made Cheaply

    • This misconception is true to a certain extent. Yes, cheap guitars are made up of cheaper materials as opposed to the more expensive ones. Low-priced guitars are made of up plywood bodies, while the expensive counterparts are made with more solid and expensive wood like mahogany and rosewood. Cheaper guitars have cheaper lacquers, paints and finishes. Electronics and hardware may also differ greatly. Moreover, there are different quality grades for bridges, pick guards, tuners, pickups, tremolo mechanisms etc.
    • During the past few years, the guitar making industry has adopted a more mechanized-approach. This approach allows for higher consistency, lower pricing and greater speed. Cheaper guitars are mass-produced with advanced manufacturing techniques which allow the manufacturers to produce uniform products with almost no oversight.

    With lesser time being spent on quality control, the cost of the final product is lowered. However, various purists resist the advanced mechanization, a fine craftsman can craft a better and higher-quality instrument with machine tools over a craftsmen working alone.

    Various brands of guitars have testing procedures that are extremely strict, and only a few instruments are finalized and made commercial. More than one individual determines whether the instruments are capable to be shipped out or not.

    Every bit of the making procedure, workmanship and quality of materials determines how a particular guitar will feel in your hand and sound to your ear.

    A poorly made guitar is never fun to play. If a guitar is not fun in your hands, chances are that it will end up collecting dust somewhere. It’s not always about the best and the newest guitar, it is about which guitars make you feel your musical passion the most. This is why some old used guitars, with years of experience infused into them, make the playing experience priceless.

    Misconception that Expensive Guitars stay tuned for longer period of time

    • A cheap guitar typically does not stay in tune for as much time as a higher-end guitar. However, while this is true to a certain extent, not all the expensive guitars stay in tune. The problem of having a stringed instrument is that tuning is a continuing and recurring issue, which has followed the instrument ever since it was invented.
    • A number of guitars, including the expensive ones, come with high frets, which can complicate the tuning process.

    Another big misconception people have is that a newly purchased guitar has new string on it. While it may be a new guitar for you, it may be lying in the showroom for a while, and may have already been played by various people. This can dull the strings considerably. Once you have bought your new guitar, you should almost always replace the strings with your own preferred brand. Ruling out strings and tuning issues are issues common with all guitars and are assumed mechanical.

    Purchasing a fine guitar is a long-term investment in your musical career. When you go in a showroom for your next guitar purchase, do so with an open mind. It is important to do your homework. Just because a guitar is expensive won’t guarantee that it will make better music, or suit your hand better.

    Evaluating the quality of the guitar means looking at the individual parts, which make up the overall instrument i.e. body and neck, frets, electronics, pickups, hardware and tuners.

    Remember, Gibson, one of the most popular guitar brands were once cheap and considered to be a piece of trash.

    Cats and Ukulele

    download

    So we love cats and we love Ukuleles so why not have the best of both worlds. So we went out and did a whole lot of research to find the funniest Uke cat videos on YouTube and the results are well, pretty hilarious. Some of the videos here were featured in major news outlets such as the Huffington Post. According to Feline Culture We’re not the only nut jobs that love both cats and ukuleles. Further digging did show other wonderful online resources such as http://www.coolcatukes.com and catster.com. Do you have a Ukulele-cat encounter worth sharing? Let us know all about it in the comment section and we’ll add right away to our top ten PURRFECT list.

      1. The Ukulele Cat

      1. Damn cat!!

      1. The Ukulele Cat

      1. Cat playing the ukulele

      1. Cat Likes Ukulele

      1. ttention Starved Cat Interupts Girl’s Ukulele Song

      1. Nerdy Love Song with Added Kitten Bonus!

      1. Cute Cats singing Happy Birthday (with Ukulele)!

      1. Ukulele Cat

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4MkIN24q9k

      1. Cats hate ukulele

    Ashokan Uke Fest: Spend a Weekend Perfecting Your Ukulele Skills

    Uke Fest 4 e1527139625913

    Happening Friday, May 25 through Monday, May 28, Ashokan Music & Dance Camp’s Uke Fest is an immersive, family-friendly weekend of music workshops, concerts, and more dedicated to the ukulele. All levels are invited to join!

    A sampling of the workshops that will be offered: Holding Down the Uke Groove, a rhythm-focused class for confident beginners and intermediate players; Flamenco Sevillanas, a flamenco class for intermediate musicians; Ukulele From Scratch, for total beginners; Celtic Ukulele, for adventurous beginners and above; Blues Uke; BASS-ICS for bass uke players; and more!

    Uke Fest instructors and performers Heidi Swedberg, Daniel Ward, Gerald Ross, Kevin Carroll, Ben Hassenger, Fred Sokolow, and Lynn Sokolow are world-class musicians and teachers from all over the United States. In addition to teaching weekend-long workshops, the camp staff will perform in an All-Star Uke Concert for campers and the public on Saturday evening.

    Uke Fest is just one of Ashokan’s annual Music & Dance Camps. Produced by celebrated folk duo Jay Ungar and Molly Mason since 1980, the Ashokan Music & Dance Camps—the first camps of their kind in America—offer weekend and week-long workshops with world-class instructors in a variety of music genres.

    In addition to music, each camp offers great meals, nature hikes, and comfortable onsite lodging; work exchange opportunities and discounted youth pricing are available so people of all ages and economic levels can join the Ashokan community.

    All the fun takes place at The Ashokan Center, a not-for-profit arts and environmental education center located on 385 acres of bucolic woods, fields, and streams in the beautiful Catskill Mountains in New York State.

    To learn more or register, visit Ashokan’s website.

    The Most Important Strum Pattern For Ukulele Players

    uke like the pros

    This is a guest post by Terry Carter, founder of Uke Like The Pros. Carter is a talented ukuleleist, guitarist, and songwriter with a Master of Music from University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Music from San Diego State University. His online ukulele lessons are featured here.

    One of the hardest things to do as a ukulele player is to listen to a song and be able to identify the strum pattern that is being used. Students ask me time and time again, “Can you show me the strum pattern for this song?”

    Many online resources will show you the chords and lyrics to your favorite songs, but rarely do they show you the strum pattern.

    Finding the strum pattern for songs can be difficult since some songs use simple eighth notes patterns, while other songs use more complex sixteenth note patterns.

    In my years of playing and teaching I have listened to, transcribed, and played thousands of songs and I have found something very interesting. There is one strum pattern that will work over all styles of music whether it’s Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Christian, Hawaiian, or Country. By knowing this one strum pattern you can play almost any song that you want.

    This strum pattern is so important that I call it the “Granddaddy Strum Pattern.”

     

    This strum pattern uses quarter notes and eighth notes, but what makes it tricky is the “tie” that happens between the “+ of beat 2” and beat “3.” Make sure to practice it slowly and build the tempo up as you get more comfortable with it. Trust me once you get it you’ll be off and running playing your favorite songs and jamming with your friends.

    Bring Your Ukulele Along to These 2018 Music Festivals

    festival bring ukulele

    Most people go to music festivals to enjoy the performances offered and majority of the time, there are specific artists visitors look forward to. But there are music festivals that want the crowd to be as interactive as possible and that means being a part of the music performances. The festivals below are some that will love if you bring along your own instrument, especially a unique one like a ukulele – strum along as you vibe with the music. You might not be able to go on stage yourself but you will create your own audience wherever you are. People will join you as they create their own beats and sing along.

    Hangout Music Festival

    Where: Alabama, USA
    When: May 18-20, 2018

    Photo Credit: Hangout Music Festival

    The three-day festival is perfect to cool down as it is held right on the public beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama. Hangout Music Festival has multiple stages so there will definitely be a place where you can jam out to your favorite type of music; from rock to EDM. But if you feel like you need a break from all the awesome music and find some peace, grab your ukulele and play some calming tunes as you hear the waves crashing on the beach.

    Meo Sudoeste

    Where: Portugal
    When: August 7-11, 2018

    Due to the incredible performances from a large variety of genres and the extraordinary views, Meo Sudoeste is one of the most anticipated festivals in Portugal. Located right on the coastline of the Atlantic, it is the perfect festival to refreshen yourself on the beaches and strum your ukulele as you feel the warm sun along the cool waters.

    Lightning in a Bottle

    Where: California, USA
    When: May 23-28, 2018

    One of the best music festivals in California, Lightning in a Bottle will definitely make you feel the love once you step foot on the location. Its mission is based on cultural respect, sustainability and harm reduction – all forms of love in different aspects. And what better way to bring people together than with various forms of art. Once you start playing your ukulele, people will instantly gather around and share a space full of love. There’s no better way to experience a festival than with people who send out positive energy.

    Lost Paradise

    Where: Australia
    When: December 28, 2018 – January 1, 2019

    The best way to end the year is with Lost Paradise. Located just north of Sydney in Glenworth Valley, you will be in awe by all the nature. Open to all, from kids to the elderly, the relaxed, fun and quirky ambiance makes everyone feel welcomed. This is the perfect chance for you shy performers to break free and bring along your own instrument to put on a show. The more music, the better!

    Sziget

    Where: Hungary
    When: August 8-15, 2018

    Photo Credit: Rockstar Photographers @rockstarphotographers

    Being one of the largest music and cultural festival in Europe, you can expect to have the time of your life. Sziget is located on an island on the Danube and for a week you can join the party! That’s right, for seven days. Don’t be intimidated by the days since you can definitely stray away on one of the days to re-charge. You can bring along your ukulele and embrace all the greenery the island has then head back to the party when you are ready.

    Pukkelpop

    Where: Belgium
    When: August 15-18, 2018

    For over 30 years, Pukkelpop is the complete music festival experience which has become one of Europe’s best music events. It started off as a local music event but has grown throughout the years and has become a three-day alternative festival. Even with the 200 music performances, it still has a cozy feel that makes it different from many other festivals. No other way than to become more comfortable than with your own music. Bringing your ukulele will set the perfect vibe to kick back and relax.

    GREENROOM Festival

    Where: Hawaii, USA
    When: September 7-8, 2018

    In celebration of the beauty the Earth has to offer, the GREENROOM Festival brings people together to enjoy art while also promoting eco-awareness. Located right on the beach of Waikiki, the GREENROOM Festival expresses the importance and appreciation of the beach and surf culture while providing entertainment for its attendees. What better way than to enjoy the blue waters and white sand than with some music so make sure to bring your ukulele. And if you don’t bring it, you can definitely find ukuleles in many places on the island. Surf, warmth and tunes – a perfect day on Waikiki Beach.

    The Essential EQ Guide for Ukulele Musicians

    ukulele eq guide

    This is a guest post by Ryan Harrell. Harrell used to be in a startup, now he’s mostly in a studio. He runs MIDINation where he helps other musicians market themselves better.

    If you’ve ever been around a recording studio, you would know that solid EQ is the foundation of a good mix. No amount of technical wizardry will save your track if you can’t get it right.

    The ukulele, like its acoustic sibling, the guitar, can be a difficult instrument to EQ. Focus too much on the high-end and you’ll end up with a thin mix without any body. Emphasize the mids and you won’t get the sharp timbre that defines the ukulele. I’ll share some best practices on EQing your ukulele recordings below.

    Note: I’ve used Ableton Live’s stock EQ plugins in this tutorial. You’re free to use Logic Pro, FL Studio, or any other recording software of your choice.

    How to EQ Ukulele

    Let me preface this tutorial by saying that there is no “right” way to EQ an instrument. A lot will depend on the track, the other instruments, and the kind of sound you’re going for. In a drum-heavy track, for instance, you’ll want to emphasize the ukulele’s high-end. A softer track will benefit from a ukulele with thicker mids.

    If you’re unfamiliar with EQ, you can broadly divide the entire spectrum into three areas:

    1) Low-end: Frequencies between 0-200Hz. Sometimes, frequencies up to 400Hz are included in the low-end “bass” spectrum.
    2) Mid-range: The mid-range is the “meat” of the recording and includes frequencies from 200-2000Hz. The top-end of this range (>1000Hz) is sometimes grouped under ‘high-end’.
    3) High-end: Frequencies above 2000Hz. Emphasizing the high-end will give your tracks a defined sharpness.

    Graphically, this is represented as follows in Ableton’s stock EQ plugin:

    Keep in mind that these are rough guidelines. Depending on who you ask, you might hear different classifications for these ranges.

    As an instrument, the ukulele produces a lot of mid-range frequencies with very little in the >10,000Hz range. There are also some low-end frequencies that create a characteristic “rumble”.

    For example, here is a ukulele track I recorded recently. Notice how the bulk of the sound falls within the 200-1,000Hz range.

    Let me walk you through a step-by-step process for EQing this track.

    Low-End Frequencies

    We’ll start with the low-end frequencies. Unless you’re doing a solo ukulele track, you’ll likely have kick drums and/or a bass. Both the kick drum and the bass occupy the 0-200Hz frequency range.

    Therefore, the first step in the EQ process should be to roll-off the low-end frequencies from your ukulele track. This gives your bass and kick drums “room” to come through. Otherwise, your track will sound muddy and have an unpleasant rumble.

    In your EQ, use a low-cut filter to roll off all frequencies up to 200hz, like this:

    Alternatively, you might roll off the extreme low-end (0-120Hz) and use a notch filter to pump up the 120-200Hz range to give your track a stronger body.

    Mid-Range Frequencies

    Next, let’s tackle the mid-range.

    We’ll first focus on the 200-500Hz frequencies, i.e. the “low-mid” range. If you look at the spectrum graph above, you’ll notice that this is the thickest part of the recording.

    You want to emphasize frequencies in this range since it gives your track a strong body. Without it, your track might sound thin.

    To do this, use a bell or notch filter to pump up the frequencies in the 200-500Hz. Keep the ‘Q’ (the amplitude of the curve) under 1.0 for a smooth curve, like this:

    The next set of mid-range frequencies – 500-2,000Hz – can be difficult to tackle. In ukulele recordings, this the range where you hear the intricacies of chord changes. Emphasizing this range will create a fuller sound. However, it will also leave little room for vocals and might result in a muddy mix.

    How you choose to EQ this range will depend on your personal preferences. If I have vocals in the track – which is usually always – I’ll duck these frequencies using a notch filter, like this:

    High-End Frequencies

    This brings us to the high-end.

    The high-end in a ukulele track should be emphasized, but only a little. You want the sharp timbre of the instrument, but you don’t want it to overpower the vocals or any other lead instruments you might have.

    I like to use a shelf filter at the 3,500Hz mark to really bring out the sharpness of the sound.

    Finally, I like to add a high-pass filter to roll off any extremely high frequencies around the 18,000Hz mark. This gives my vocals more room to shine through.

    Finally, I’ll add a couple of notch filters to remove any unwanted frequencies.

    To do this, add a notch filter with a very sharp Q (>5). Click on the headphone icon to enable ‘audition mode’. Now move the notch filter around, listening for any sharp whistle-like sounds or unpleasant frequencies. If you hear any, remove them by dragging the filter to the bottom, like this:

    Add as many notch filters as you need to remove all unpleasant frequencies. This will make your mix sound even better.

    Keep in mind that these are only guidelines, not hard rules. You can have completely different EQ based on your requirements. For most tracks, however, the above guidelines will sound good enough.

    Tips for EQing Ukulele

    Before we leave, here are a few tips you should follow when EQing ukulele tracks:

    1) Keep other instruments in mind: Your ukulele track won’t exist in isolation. Keep other tracks and instruments in mind while EQing. If you plan to have a strong bass, roll off the lower frequencies. If you plan to have vocals, duck the high-mid frequencies. Always think of how the ukulele will interact with other tracks.
    2) Understand the ukulele’s role: What kind of role does the ukulele play in the track? Is it the main rhythm instrument? Or does it merely complement other rhythm instruments? This will have a big impact on how you EQ your ukulele tracks. If it is the main rhythm instrument, you’ll want a thick mid-range to give the track body. If it is a complementary instrument, you might want to roll off all but the very high-end.
    3) Your recording microphone matters: How you record the ukulele will impact the recording as well. The AKG C414, for instance, has a characteristic “warmth” defined by the fullness of its mid-range. The Shure SM57 has more clarity and a stronger high-end. Experiment with different mics and mic positions until you get the sound you want.

    EQing a ukulele isn’t easy. You will have to play around extensively with different filters until you get the sound you’re looking for. There are no fixed rules, but the settings shared above will fit most tracks, especially in softer, ukulele-focused acoustic songs.

    Best ‘City of Stars’ Ukulele YouTube Tutorials

    city of stars ukulele

    Although “La La Land” was released back in December 2016, the soundtrack is still going strong. The renowned theme song “City of Stars” was written by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Noble Paul. It continues to be a popular song amongst beginner and professional ukulele players. Here’s a roundup of the best YouTube tutorials for playing “City of Stars” on the ukulele:

    Katie DeNure / One Music School

    John Atkins / The Ukulele Teacher

    Katie Norregaard / Katie Norregaard Music

    Jenny Peters & Rebecca Bogart / Learn Ukulele The Easy Way

    Ukulele Underground

    Ben / Ukulele Road Trips

    Want to be added to the list? Contact us

    Best Guitar Blogs for 2018

    best guitar blogs

    What’s new in the guitar world? Whether you’re looking for tips on fine-tuning your skills or choosing the best guitar, blogs have the information you crave. Some of the following guitar blogs even include interviews with top artists and hot new performers, providing insight and inspiring your own playing. Take a look! We’ve done the legwork so you don’t have to. Here are our top picks, plus a quick rundown of each. Entries are provided in alphabetical order for easy access. Enjoy!

    Adam Rafferty

    If you’re fascinated by fingerstyle guitar and want to pick up some tips, be sure to visit Adam Rafferty. This blog is written by the pro guitarist himself, in between performances. Introductory lessons are free, and if you like, you can take lessons from Adam. The blog covers specific techniques to help you improve your playing, and an accompanying podcast provides even more insight.

    Classical Guitar

    Learn classical guitar technique, view videos, and get performance tips. These are just a few of the treats you’ll find at Classical Guitar, a clean, crisp blog with plenty of interviews and editorials hidden among the repertoire guides and reviews. Whether your goal is to learn classical guitar or improve your performance, you’ll find inspiration and guidance here.

    Dolphinstreet

    One visit to Dolphinstreet, and you’ll be hooked. It’s an outstanding resource for anyone who wants to become a better player, and it comes complete with free online guitar lessons. The blog offers a strong focus on blues and rock, plus there’s a complete section covering slide guitar. While much of the content is free, there are also webcam guitar lessons so you can interact in person.

    Dutchbopper’s Jazz Guitar Blog

    Videos, guitar reviews, amp reviews, and plenty of inspiration can be found at Dutchbopper’s Jazz Guitar Blog. Covering a wide range of topics from bebop to blues, this insightful, award-winning guitar blog also includes licks and riffs to try on your own, plus entertaining stories and quite a bit of jazz guitar history.

    Electric Herald

    Want to build a guitar from a kit, or design your own guitar online and have it built to your specifications? Want to learn how to do basic lutherie work, like re-fretting your own guitar? These are just a few of the Electric Herald’s highlights. Brimming with helpful articles, news, and advice, it’s a must-read.

    GuitarHippies

    Quick video lessons, guitar maintenance tips, and insight into the best guitar apps are just a few of the great things you’ll find at GuitarHippies. There’s lots of guitar-centered entertainment here, too – you’ll find videos to inspire you and plenty of articles to grab your interest. Guitar reviews, accessory reviews, and interviews make this blog a well-rounded one. Check it out, and plan to take your playing to new heights.

    Guitarz

    With a vast library of archives dating all the way back to 2002, Guitarz is an outstanding resource for anyone who wants to improve their playing or learn more about guitars in general. You’ll find plenty of guitar reviews covering new and vintage instruments alike, plus reviews on accessories, books, and much more.

    Guitar Adventures

    Brand new to the guitar? If so, you’ll appreciate everything Guitar Adventures has to offer. From Guitar reviews designed to help you make an informed purchasing decision to a complete guide to beginning guitar, this blog has lots to offer. Guest posts cover topics ranging from how to tune a guitar to helpful tips for singing and playing guitar at the same time. If you want to become a better player, this is a great place to start.

    Guitar Noise

    Get free guitar tabs, enjoy hints and tips on playing beginner guitar, and find plenty of guitar songs to play. Guitar noise is also a fantastic source for guitar lessons. Posts cover a wide range of topics – whether you’re looking for ways to improve your guitar technique or if you’re in search of tips for buying a ukulele or adding another guitar to your collection, you’ll find them – and much more – here.

    Guitar Trance

    Looking for beginning guitar tutorials or more advanced guitar techniques? You’ll find plenty of inspiration at Guitar Trance, along with loads of helpful tips for choosing guitars and accessories. You’ll also find ukulele reviews and guides, a complete guide to metal guitars, and a guide to creating your own DIY guitar cabinet. These are just a few picks – this blog is a massive one with exciting resources for players of every level.

    Guitar Vibe

    Concert reviews, film reviews, and interviews are among the many offerings found at Guitar Vibe. This massive guitar blog got its start way back in 2005, and there’s tons of great content hidden in the archives. The blog offers special sections on games, gear, and books, all of course centered around the guitar.

    I Heart Guitar Blog

    Watch videos, learn about upcoming music tour and concert dates, and enjoy plenty of guitar and guitar accessory reviews along the way. I Heart Guitar Blog is dedicated to all things guitar, ranging from the newest bands to vintage vinyl. It’s a great place to make new discoveries, plus there’s a podcast to provide some entertainment for your downtime.

    Jazz Advice

    Want to build skills and knowledge while mastering the art of improv? If so, Jazz Advice is a resource not to be missed. There is a strong focus on building individual skills, plus there are insightful articles on theory. Some entries analyze master jazz guitar players to provide a deeper look at their methodology, all in hope of imparting new knowledge to readers. In case the wealth of free content isn’t quite enough, courses are available as well.

    Justin Guitar

    Looking for free guitar lessons to help you get started? If so, be sure to check out Justin Guitar, where you’ll find more than 1,000 lessons created over the course of about 15 years. All popular guitar styles are covered, and lessons are neatly categorized for beginners and intermediate players. Books and DVDs are available too, in case you like the methods you’re learning and want to do even more on your own. New content is added regularly, making this blog a favorite with thousands of regular visitors.

    Lichty Guitars

    You might have heard about Lichty Guitars, home of luthier Jay Lichty. Not only is this an incredible source for customized guitars and ukuleles, it’s also a great resource for those who want to take their knowledge to the next level. The blog focuses on custom guitar builds, sharing insight into the best woods for building guitars and much, much more. Even if you’re not in the market, you may want to look, if only to view these beautiful instruments and the incredible artistry that goes into each and every one.

    Music Instruments Center

    Music Instruments Center is a resourceful site focused on guitars and other musical instruments. On their site you can find the best music product reviews, guides, tips and tutorials. The site was founded in 2016 by Alex Frank inspired by the difficulty to find great and reliable instruments online. The website caters  customers all over the globe.

    Six String Soul

    How to repair a guitar amp? How to setup your electric guitar just right? These are just a couple of things you’ll learn when you visit Six String Soul. This blog does cover some of the finer points of guitar playing, but it is unique in that there is a strong focus on the guitars and guitar equipment. Interviews with gear builders and guitarists add even more interest, making each visit insightful as well as entertaining.

    The Guitar Addict

    This award-winning guitar blog has been around since 2008, and it’s jam-packed with excellent content just about everyone can appreciate. Offering everything from advice on guitars and accessories to tips on becoming the best player you can be, it’s updated on an almost daily basis so there’s never a shortage of new information to enjoy.

    The Guitar Learner

    Ready to learn guitar riffs? Want to know how to check a guitar for authenticity? Looking for tips on choosing the best amps? These are just a few useful things you’ll find when you visit The Guitar Learner. Winner of a Top 75 Guitar Blogs Award, it features entire sections on guitar wiring & pickups, amps, effects, and of course, guitars. Articles cover tips for new and more experienced players alike, making the blog a useful resource for just about every player.

    The Guitar Teaching Blog

    While most top guitar blogs are aimed at students and casual learners, The Guitar Teaching Blog is designed as a resource for guitar teachers. Whether you’re a full-time teacher or someone who offers lessons on a more casual, case-by-case basis, you’ll find this is a valuable resource. It comes complete with tips for creating lesson plans, building your guitar teaching business, and much more.

    Mika Kane: How The ‘Ukulele Changed My Life

    mika kane

    This is a guest post by Mika Kane, a ukulele enthusiast and professional player. Kane is currently studying music at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and is a member of the Kamaka Team. For more info, visit Mika’s website, and follow his YouTube and Facebook channels. 

    When you’re a kid, adults tend to ask, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Back then I didn’t know the answer. As I grew older, I was exposed to new and different things. I remember back in elementary school, we would play ‘ukulele once a week for 45 minutes. At the time, I wasn’t interested in playing.

    My dad tried to get me to play ‘ukulele as a hobby shortly after, but I still wasn’t interested. It wasn’t until 7th grade that my friends would bring their ‘ukulele’s on the bus ride home and start jamming songs. It was November, and my friends were taking the ‘ukulele class at school and started learning Christmas songs for the upcoming Christmas concert. I strongly remember them playing Carol the Bells. For some reason, I was absolutely fascinated when I observed them playing. I just had to learn how to play! My friends taught me the chords so that I could play in the background while they play the melody. The rest is history.

    Little did I know that the ‘ukulele would forever become a major part my life. Although I was in a band class playing alto sax, my friends taught me all the songs they were learning in their ‘ukulele classes. Every day at school, everyone would see me carrying my ‘ukulele, playing it at every chance. All this excitement and curiosity led me to do some independent research. I took it upon myself to self-teach myself to play more complicated songs. At the time, Jake Shimabukuro was the man to look up to for ‘ukulele playing, and I remember watching my first video of him playing “Dragon” on YouTube.

    It would be the first song of his I would go on to teach myself in 8th grade. I didn’t stop there; I was dedicated to learning all the Jake songs I could! I figured the more songs I play, the more techniques I would learn. Thus, being able to play more genres of music while increasing my musical repertoire. At this time, adults would still ask me “Mika, what do you want to be when you grow up?” I would respond, “I don’t know”, but really, I wanted ‘ukulele to be a big part of my future. I was too ashamed to say that I wanted to become a famous ‘ukulele player because that just sounds silly and unrealistic. Slowly as I continued my journey throughout the 8th grade and on to High School, I would go on to entering many ‘ukulele contests, as well as having opportunities to playing in public. Each experience gave me more confidence and a clearer vision that maybe playing ‘ukulele professionally may in-fact be possible.

    During my senior year in high school, I made a huge decision. I decided that I wanted to attend college to study music. I would go on to attend the University of Hawai’i at Manoa on the island of O’ahu. Little did I know that this would be one of the best decisions of my life. When I got into the music program at my school, they didn’t have an ‘ukulele program, so I got placed into classical guitar as my primary instrument. At first, I was very disappointed and nervous because I never really played guitar throughout my life, and now I’m about to declare myself a classical guitar major in the music department. However, this would be a blessing in disguise. Taking a step back from the ‘ukulele, I was completely engulfed in the music program. I was studying classical guitar, music theory, aural training, music history, counterpoint, form and analysis, and well, the list goes on and on. This has completely changed the way I thought, played, and approached the ‘ukulele.

    During this time, I also met Dr. Byron Yasui, the ‘ukulele professor at the Music Department. Dr. Yasui has endless amounts of accomplishments, but most recently, he was the mastermind behind the first ever ‘Ukulele Concerto, Campanella that was premiered on June 6, 2015, featuring Jake Shimabukuro. Although he taught a beginning ‘ukulele class, I ended up taking it because why not! This would be yet another blessing in disguise. Although I have heard of Dr. Yasui as a jazz ‘ukulele artist, when I saw him play for me some jazz ‘ukulele, I immediately knew that this is what I wanted to do: the style, the genre, the harmonies, everything about it. I would go on to become his private student learning his secrets, the importance of music theory integrated with the ‘ukulele, and more importantly, being the one to carry his torch. His vision for me was to become a teacher and teach the next generation of ‘ukulele players the importance of musical theory. Although I never thought about becoming a teacher, this has opened my eyes to the possibility of having a career of teaching and playing the ‘ukulele.

    Reflecting back, I feel like the ‘ukulele has taken me down a path that I could not have imagined even years ago. It has completely changed my life. Now when people ask me, “Mika, what do you want to do after college?” with an answer full of confidence, I say, “I want to be an ‘ukulele player, one that gets to travel and perform, but also, one that educates and gives back to the next generation of ‘ukulele players.” Follow me and my on-going journey with the ‘ukulele 🙂

    The Great Uke State of Michigan: Elderly Instruments, Mighty Uke Day and More

    elderly ukulele staff 1

    On a side street in the Old Town section of Lansing, Michigan stands an old red brick building, with I.O.O.F. picked out in white bricks over the entrance. Next to it is a large cinderblock building with a huge colorful mural depicting musicians and instruments. This collection of buildings houses Elderly Instruments, their home since 1984.  

    Founded in 1972 by Stan Werbin and his then-partner, Sharon McInturff, their goal was to cater to the stringed instrument player, with a special focus on making the high-quality pre-WWII instruments available.  While the showrooms are full of hundreds of stringed instruments of every type and style, Stan has a special place in his heart for the ukulele.

    Walk into Elderly, check in with the front clerk and declare and log in any instruments you are carrying with you, and then head in, taking a left at the door and walking into the front room. To your right will be an entire wall of ukuleles. From floor to ceiling, there are dozens of brands represented in every style and shape and color you can imagine.  And if you walk around the corner, you’ll see that the back of that wall is covered with still more ukuleles, many of these are vintage and ‘elderly’ instruments.

    From the $40 Watermans to the $4,000 vintage Martins, there are over 300 ukuleles to select from the Elderly inventory.  You can try them hands-on and consult with the many friendly musicians that work to find your next ukulele!  There are over 90 different sets of strings to choose from when trying to get the perfect sound from your instrument.  Cases, straps, humidifiers and pretty much any accessory you can think of is available.  There is also a wide selection of books, CDs, and DVDs to choose from.

    Elderly has become the central point for The Great Uke State of Michigan. They are a key sponsor of Mighty Uke Day, an annual gathering in May featuring some of the top ukulele players in the world with three days of events including concerts, open mics, workshops and vendors.  Elderly hosts some of the workshops in their classroom and runs specials on ukuleles and accessories.  Past guests have included James Hill, Kalei Gamiao, Victoria Vox, Victor & Penny, Stuart Fuchs, Gerald Ross, Sarah Maisel and Craig Chee.  Many of the events are free to the public, while some workshops and the concerts have a fee.

    Li’l Rev, Chris of Elderly Instruments and Liz and Jim Beloff in the central room at Elderly

    But the gem of Mighty Uke Day is the display of classic and vintage instruments in the entrance hallway, many from Stan’s personal collection.  Varying each year, you will see novelty instruments of all styles, shapes and designs.  Some even belonged to famous ukulele players of the past.

    Elderly also sponsors the Midwest Ukulele and Harmonica Camp in May of each year.  Held on the campus of Olivet College, it is a beautiful venue with the opportunity to learn from the best!  In addition to eight workshops and two concerts, you have the chance to mingle with fellow ukulele players from all over the country.  Instructors have included Jim Beloff, Paul Hemmings, Li’l Rev, Cathy Fink, Marcy Marxer, Kimo Hussey, Stuart Fuchs, Craig Chee, Sarah Maisel, Gerald Ross and Stephen Espaniola.  

    If you are traveling through the Midwest, you owe it to yourself to visit Elderly Instruments!  

    The Ukulele Dude, Mark Swarthout, plays and teaches ukulele in the Detroit Metropolitan area, just a short drive from Elderly.  He is the author of “Unlock Your Ukulele” and has regular reviews and blogs at TheUkuleleDude.com.

    Ukulele Music Info Interview with Andrew Hardel

    rockclass101 andrew 1

    We were honored to interview Andrew,  founder of the RockClass101.com ukulele teaching community. Andrew operates the successful Rock Class 101 YouTube Channel with over 15K followers.

    Please introduce yourself to our ukulele community:
    Hi guys, I’m Andrew and I run RockClass101.com. We are an online lessons community catering to the ukulele enthusiast who is passionate about learning to play ukulele.

    What is your musical background?
    As a child, I used to watch Elvis Presley concerts with my dad. It was one of my favorite things to do! Funny thing was that I never paid much attention to the fact that he was a vocalist, I was mesmerized by the guitar that dangled around his hips.

    So after asking and begging for quite some time, my father purchased a guitar for me and signed me up for lessons at 10 years of age. But, it wasn’t until a few years down the line when one of my instructors turned me onto Van Halen that I truly became hooked.

    I spent my formative years locked in my room practicing nonstop. In 2010, I was fortunate enough to attend The Atlanta Institute of Music. The education I received there transformed my playing! It wouldn’t be possible to do the things I do today without what I learned in college.

    What/who inspired you to teach ukulele lessons?
    One of my instructors at Music College, Vitali, said something to us one day that I’ll never forget. He said “More musicians should aspire to be teachers, not only rock stars”.

    To me, his words moved mountains. You see at this point, I had been teaching privately for 4 years. I absolutely loved it and the more I taught, the better I became as a teacher. Fast forward a few years and I realized that I could create a lessons website which would provide a way for me to compose, perform, and teach. 3 aspects of musicianship that defined who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do.

    What do you love most about teaching?
    Helping people accomplish their musical goals. It’s so rewarding to be a part of their journey; to see them improve and grow as a player and musician. At the end of the day, music is meant to be shared. It’s an honor to help others create music in their life.

    Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?
    In 10 years from now, I hope to continue to be a part of the ukulele community. It’s a community unlike any I have ever been apart of. There is so much joy and love in this community; it’s just amazing!

    What tips or advice can you give beginner ukulele players?
    The best advice I can offer is to: Have a Plan. Some of the most common questions I get asked are: “Where do I start?” and “What do I work on?”. These are excellent questions!

    The analogy that I love to use is playing an instrument is sort of like walking into a gym. When you walk in, you’re greeted by a room full of machines. Which one do you start with, and how do you use it, and how much should you use it?

    There are so many facets to playing ukulele and overall musicianship, that it raises just as many questions as our gym analogy.

    To tackle these big questions, I’ve created Learning Paths. Learning Paths is a step-by-step guide in which we will define a starting point, create a detailed list of what to work on, and summarize what to have under your belt before advancing to the intermediate level and beyond.

     

    3 Essentials for a Good Ukulele: Volume, Tone and Sustain

    Pete Howlett uke

    This is a guest post by Pete Howlett, who builds and sells his one ukuleles in his workshop in Gwynedd, UK. 

    With 23 years making ukulele I think I am beginning to finally refine for my brand the three essentials for a good ukulele (in order) volume, tone and sustain. Greater minds than mine might have a different set of criteria or have these three in a different hierarchy; however I have most often witnessed that these, in this order are how people assess a ukulele.

    So you may ask, “How have you achieved this so confidently?”

    This week I number up my 860th ukulele. There is no substitute for repetition when you are refining a craft. For any single craftsman the opportunity to try again is another chance to improve. I’m still at it! I have been away from the workshop for a few days and this have given me headspace to think about tweaking my bracing for the umpteenth time. Sitting in a hotel room preparing this blog, I can’t wait to get into the workshop and try this out on the next instrument in the hope I might improve the tone more.

    Having an open mind and constantly researching is another essential work-habit. I had resisted the side port for years just thinking it was a gimmick until I
    tried it 10 months ago. Now it is on every instrument except my Martin Simpson model or unless otherwise declined by the client. And it’s true! It
    really does improve the player experience and improve that all important volume constraint caused by the size of the instrument. I’m so sold on the idea
    that I now make a tool for sale that enables you to add a side port in 2 minutes.

    Sustain is all about literally and actually walking to the edge. It’s about that balancing act between brace placement, thickness and profile coupled with the
    elasticity and deflection of the top achieved by careful thicknessing. I am not a fan of ‘tap-tone’ tuning. I really do not think it has relevance for me. However,
    David Hurd’s theories on deflection certainly resonate with me and I am by 10ths of a millimeter, getting to a final thickness coefficient with each of the top
    woods I use.

    Now all this looks like I am some AR nerd that has a ‘recipe book’ of all the changes and nuances in my work. Not a bit of it; nothing is written down, not even measurements! Invited to write a blog I have translated the things in my head that constantly whirr round, into a coherent form that will help you understand the continuing mastery of my craft. According to Katsushika Hokusai who at 75 said, “I think I am beginning to get this right…”, I have a long way to go.

    Going North: Ben Shares His Ukulele Road Trips

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    Ukuleles and backpacking adventures, what could be more inviting? My name is Ben and I travel with my blog Ukulele Road Trips, sharing and singing about the world. This past year, I decided to get my backpack and my ukuleles #GoingNorth. The idea was to pick the coldest places possible and to bring the sunshine of the ukes there.

    Credit: UkuleleRoadTrips Instagram Account

    It all started with the invitation from the Québec ukulele festival to come and perform, and this invitation transformed itself into a whole frozen trip of happy melodies, passing through Toronto, Québec (French-speaking Canada) and Iceland!

    Credit: UkuleleRoadTrips Instagram Account

    One particular video sums up the spirit of the adventure, a song of course filmed outdoors, where it was so cold, it was impossible to play without huge gloves. Hence this composition, on the frosty banks of Rimouski, Québec, Canada:

    As you can see, there’s no weather that creates joy. We sort of have to grab smiles by the scruff of the neck wherever we are. Even when #GoingNorth through storms and snow.

    The new songs from the adventure are being shared on ukuleleroadtrips.com. There are also additional posts about the local culture and podcasts recorded with young (or young at heart) locals. So, many angles to discover new cultures from.

    In many ways, the present trip and the whole idea of the blog is really a testimony to the qualities of the tiny stringed instrument we all enjoy: the ukulele. For all its players, and for myself through Eastern Europe in 2015 and in the snow of Québec lately, it has uplifting qualities. Qualities that bring a smile to all that cross our path when we travel with one and the people I kept in touch with.

    Ben and the Ukulele club of Kiev, Ukraine, in 2015. Credit: UkuleleRoadTrips Instagram Account

    And so I’ll leave you with the “theme-song” of the trip, that addresses all about the ongoing trip, “Going North”!

    This is a guest post written by Ben, who shares his wonderful ukulele adventures on his blog www.UkuleleRoadTrips.com.
    Follow him for more details: 
    Ukulele Road Trips on Facebook
    Ukulele Road Trips on Youtube

    How the Ukulele Has Changed My Life For the Better

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    This is a guest post by Daniel Arthur, a ukulele player and enthusiast. Check out his YouTube Channel and Facebook page.

    The ukulele’s inexplicable ability to spread joy is certainly nothing new. The ukulele has over a hundred years history enjoyed varying levels of popularity. Yet in many ways it feels like the joy of ukulele has been kept a secret. During this recent ukulele revival there are ever increasing numbers of people who are discovering this joy and regard it as a revelation.

    This was precisely how I experienced my own ukulele discovery six years ago. Music had always been a prominent factor in my life. I had played in bands and created solo projects with the guitar during my teens and early adulthood. Artistic expression has always been a cathartic way to overcome my social awkwardness and to gain self-esteem. During my mid-twenties I traveled with my guitar and played on streets and boulevards across Europe. It was during this period of travel that I met my wife and the ukulele came to us as a wedding gift. When I started playing the ukulele it was like falling in love all over again.

    At first, he ukulele just sat there gathering dust. When I eventually picked it up and started to strum I was first taken by its sweet sound. Before long I was searching the internet for chords and tabs to a wide variety of songs. The first thing I wanted to learn was the theme music for The Super Mario Bros.

    Just like being in love I soon found that I could not think about anything else. I discovered two incredible things. First was that there are a lot of ukulele players out there. Thanks to the internet I learnt how to play many songs and techniques. I also found out that are many groups of uke players using social media to share ideas, videos and discussions. When I first saw Jake Shimabukuro’s video “While my guitar gently weeps” and James Hill’s “Billie Jean” I realized that there is more to this instrument first meets the eye. This further fuelled my curiosity; I had to find out more.

    Thanks to Al Wood’s site Ukulele hunt, I found out about ukulele festivals. I have always enjoyed a good music festival but nothing could have prepared me for the ukulele one. Not only was the musical quality of the main acts just superb, the chance to meet these ukulele heroes and even attend a workshop was truly an enriching experience. And addictive! I have since travelled to Finland, Czech, Sweden, Denmark and the UK to enjoy ukulele festivals and workshops. Each festival is a little different and unique in some way, but the attendees seem always to be enthused, jovial and willing to join in a strum-a-long or jam session. There is nothing better or engaging than feeling that level of enthusiasm that comes with people’s passion. The ukulele scene has risen in the last ten years from a quirky ragtag group of enthusiasts to and thriving scene that looks poised for world domination.

    The second thing that I discovered is directed inward, towards myself. Since opening my mind and my heart to the ukulele I have find so many qualities about myself that I hadn’t really seen before. My musical ability has improved with practise, yet there is more. I feel that I have become more patient and tolerant with myself and others. When I play at an open-mic or jam session I find that I am willing to listen to others. Musicians are generally very helpful and supportive with each other regardless of musical ability. An open-mic or a casual jam session is an arena for learning as much as it is a place for performing. However, one must be willing to listen to benefit. In my experience ukulele people are willing to play and jam together, perhaps more so than with other instruments because the ukulele is accessible and welcoming. The ukulele levels the playing field as there seems to be little pretention regarding skill with the focus being having fun. The ukulele is first and foremost a fun and social instrument which evident in the number of ukulele clubs appearing all over the world.

    Whenever I am having a stressful day I play the ukulele and it is the best remedy. There must be some science behind this but my theory is that music is a healing force. My mind is sharper, I remember things better and learn new things quicker. My self-esteem has never been higher and I believe that the ukulele has been a vehicle for this happiness.

    It is now my mission to share this happiness. Today I am teaching the ukulele and playing in Oslo Ukuleleorkester as well as working on my solo ukulele projects. I continue to play on the streets and it is always fun to see and feel how passers-by responded to ukulele. When I see someone smile, sing along or even dance during these street performances I know that I have made a connection and have spread some happiness in what might otherwise be a mad world.

    How To Practice Guitar Exercises

    guitar practice

    Devoted practicing of guitar playing is the surest boulevard to becoming a pro. If you have a passion for guitar playing, and you wrap it up with dedicated exercising, you are going to achieve your guitar playing dreams.

    It takes passion and dedication to learn every aspect of a guitar. Before I could even hold a guitar right, I yearned to play like rock stars, which I really envied. Today, I’ve played in bands from my city, I’ve taught guitar playing in schools, and I’m proud of my guitar knowledge. I got to where I am through passion and constant practice.

    If you develop the right habit, you are going to develop guitar playing skills that are going to stick and even get better with time. This article covers how, more than what, to learn on guitar playing and the most effective way to go about it. If You need a good guitar, you can check acoustic guitar reviews here.

    Tune Your Guitar

    Whether you are a beginner or just a pro trying to perfect his or her guitar playing skills, you need to tune your guitar correctly first thing every practice session. You can tune it yourself or use an electric tuner. You can also use free online tuners to bring your guitar back in tune. That is the only way you won’t be wasting your time and energy thinking you are doing something based on your guitar playing skills, yet you aren’t. An out-of-tune guitar can be really frustrating. The sooner you learn how to tune your guitar the better your practice sessions will get, and it will greatly boost your chances of understanding the guitar fast and better.

    Get Comfortable

    Find a comfortable chair to sit on before you begin your practice. And by the chair, I mean something without arms. There are guitar playing stools with cushions common at guitar shops. You can also use benches, stools, or anything that supports a straight-back posture. You can use regular kitchen furniture as well. Sitting comfortably is the first step to playing your guitar well. It will also help you hold your guitar the way you should.

    Hold It Right

    Holding your acoustic guitar correctly helps distribute energy right so that you don’t strain. Therefore, you can play for a longer period before getting exhausted. It also helps you play your guitar correctly. Rest the guitar on the upper part of your leg of your strumming hand and hold it tight into your body. Aim the neck up at around 45 degrees.

    Practice Playing Cords

    Exercise on forming cords and playing them properly without strumming any dead strings. You know you still have work to do on forming and playing clean cords if notes don’t ring out evenly. There should not be any louder or quieter note in the chord. Learn how to switch between chords so that your transition becomes as fluid and as smooth as possible. Learning barre chords may take some time, especially if you are a beginner, but with persistence, you can grasp them first.

    Practice to common beats

    One of the most effective and essential ways to practice playing acoustic guitar is by learning to play to a beat. Playing in time will help you become a good guitar player. Playing to a beat allows you to play the notes you see rather than the ones you can see, which is why it is more effective. It will help develop a sense of rhythm without much struggle. That’s what will make you a noble guitar player.

    Practice Scales

    Use scale sheets or other available materials to help you learn or perfect on scales. You can get good materials on the internet that can help learn the basics. You can begin with the pentatonic scale, which is a common rock key learned by guitar players. It comprises of 5 notes in each scale and forms the basis for several different music types. I would advise practicing different scales and modes because it will help improve your playing.

    Learn to Play Different Songs

    When you have different things to practice on, it breaks the monotony and the boredom that comes with concentrating on just a section of the whole learning process. Depending on your guitar playing skill set, you can pick on songs to practice playing. There are many songs that can be played by a beginner. Select the songs that you’d want to learn and pick out different parts. You can use tablature, sheet music, or just listen by ear. If you can chain together the various portions of a song, then you on the way to learning to play with stamina.

    Build Passion

    Your interest in guitar playing is backed by your passion to boost your learning ability. You have to be passionate to be able to endure the processes involved in practicing acoustic guitar exercises. Passion doesn’t always come automatically, but you can develop it through loving music and developing an unwavering interest in acoustic guitar playing. Passion can build over time and you can play a part in building it. Learning to play acoustic guitar becomes a lot easier if you have a passion for it. It makes learning easier and more enjoyable. Also, passionate people practice more and they have no problem following their practice routines.

    At Least 30 Minutes Every Session

    You should practice playing your guitar for at least 30 minutes a day. That is the only way you are going to get to where you want to get to within the stipulated time frame. More importantly, doing so is the best way to building up your stamina and retaining your muscle memory. With time, as you acquire more skills and become more comfortable with playing, you will have to increase your daily practice time bit by bit.

    Final Verdict

    Well-planned practicing of acoustic guitar exercise will result in quick learning and will help you nature your guitar playing skills. Use your eyes and ears as much as you can. It will boost your learning ability a great deal. Many great guitar players learned to play guitar by listening and watching songs played on screen repeatedly. Try these tips and those used by renowned guitarists and you might get to where they are sooner than you think. Besides, your skills will become better and better until you reach your goals.

    See a list of best guitar blogs for more inspiration!

    Andy Sankey Shares His Ukulele Journey

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    This is a guest post by Andy Sankey, a ukulele player and composer. Check out his Website, YouTube Channel and Facebook page.

    Before playing and adopting the ukulele as my main instrument of choice I was a professional guitarist, I did not appreciate the joy and flexibility the ukulele offered as a musical instrument until I was given my first ‘real’ ukulele as a gift over 10 years ago. Since then I have released two ukulele albums, Marked Card a solo instrumental album and Never to Fade a collaborative album and I now use this infectious instrument in most contemporary work.

    There are no rules to my playing style, I finger pick, hammer-on, pull-off, strum etc. as required although I do favour finger picking as it enables me to incorporate more melodic elements which is important for the solo instrumental work I do which has been described by others as “folk style with a classical feel”. I do like to combine strumming techniques with fingerpicking to expand the rhythmic and dynamic range of the compositions and songs; I also include percussive taps and flicks where appropriate. Most of these techniques came from playing guitar previously but have found I have developed and integrated more on the ukulele since I started playing.

    The equipment I use in the studio is a Córdoba 32T-CE, although this is an electro-acoustic tenor ukulele in the studio I favour the acoustic sound and resonance when recording. For shows and concerts I use the Godin MultiUke Koa HG with a custom Cornell valve amplifier. This sounds excessive but as a guitarist I worked closely with Dennis Cornell developing these amplifiers and the sound is one of the best sounding and representative acoustic sounding amplifiers I have used.

    The ukulele has enhanced my compositional work in various ways; it is the ideal travel instrument to take anywhere and play, which enabled me to create music in inspirational environments. Another way the ukulele has influenced my composition is the enjoyability factor, it is fun to play and creating music never feels like a chore, when I compose music for synchronisation it can sometimes be difficult to find inspiration. It is also easy to create happy and up beat music on a ukulele compared to guitar or piano, in my experience. In a lot of my synchronisation work the composition is created on the ukulele and then I layer different timbre and in many cases by end of the production stage the ukulele is removed but the parts are not waisted as they are often found in my instrumental compositions.

    Working with singer/songwriters, most recently with Chloe Hazel – Scarlet Coast, using the ukulele as the main and in some cases the only instrument it has given the singers space to improvise and incorporate their individuality into the performance. My style of playing gives the harmonic, melodic and rhythmic elements to support the vocals but the natural minimalist sound creates room for both the vocals and ukulele to work together and deliver a complete sound which is sometimes lost or restrictive when singing with an ensemble or ‘enthusiastic’ solo guitarist or pianist.    

    Introducing Ariel Ukulele

    ariel ukulele

    This is a guest post written by the talented Ariel, from Ariel Ukulele. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter @ariel_ukulele or subscribe to her YouTube channel

    One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. – Bob Marley

    Music has a power to connect us to those around us and our surroundings. I am very grateful for the fact that through the ukulele I have been able to share my music with my amazing family, friends and fans!

    I have always found peace in singing, be it in the shower or during car rides. I love to sing at the top of my lungs in my room when I’m happy or upset. Music is my way of expressing my emotions. I love the ukulele because it allows me to create an acoustic sound that completes and compliments my voice.

    Every week I look forward to practicing and creating a new ukulele cover and tutorial on my YouTube channel. I decided to create my ukulele channel because I had a notion of criticism while watching other people’s ukulele tutorials. But rather than just criticising others, I decided to be heard and in a way “fix” it. My goal in the tutorials is to offer everything you need to learn: chords, finger placement, strumming, lyrics, tempo, etc. I strive for my tutorials to be precise and clear. My boyfriend (co-producer of the channel) and I learned how to use After Effects so we make the diagrams and graphics exactly how we want to. And the rest is just music 🙂 Here is one of my favorite videos:

    Bubbly – Colbie Caillat

    The first step in filming a tutorial is choosing a song. I choose differently every week, sometimes it’s a song that what in my head all week. Alternatively, I look at the top songs for ukulele tabs or chords searched or a fan request. Then it’s all about practice, practice, practice! I want to ensure that my best performance is captured. I strive to have my singing and ukulele playing to be perfect, but I too, at times make mistakes. The next step is finding a location. I have a special love for nature so I try to film in natural locations as frequently as possible. If you follow me on my social channels then you may notice that I was initially in Slovenia and Croatia and then I returned home to the US. Virgin Islands.

    For those who may not be familiar with the small islands in the Caribbean, this is St. Thomas – my beautiful, but tiny, island of 32 square miles!

    Credit: www.vacationstogo.com

    Embed from Getty Images

    At least it was like this before the hurricanes. And yes I mean the TWO Category Five hurricanes! On September 6th, 2017, while I traveling abroad, my lifetime home (including loved ones) was hit by Hurricane Irma, and the 230 mph winds ruined everything in her path. Roofs were blown off, concrete walls crumbled from the pressure, roads became rivers, cars were made into dented cages of metal, homes and all the memories it contained flew off into the wind, boats washed ashore or sunken in the ocean, cell phone communication made impossible, sturdy telephone and utility poles snapped in half like twigs, leaves, branches and trees ripped forcefully from the earth’s hold. Destruction. And then exactly two weeks later Hurricane Maria brought enormous amounts of water, wind, and flooding ruining whatever was already destroyed. I was not there for this heart-wrenching experience and I am so blessed and grateful that my family and friends were not harmed physically during the storm or in the aftermath. But Irma and Maria did take the roof off my house and ruined everything inside it.

    This is my home now…

    Credit: USAToday.com

    As soon as I heard about the hurricanes, I knew that my original plans after coming home would be changed. I would be returning home to help recover and rebuild resiliently. It hasn’t been easy, as I’m writing this two months later, I, like many others, still do not have power at the temporary home we were relocated to. But there have been many volunteers and donations, from the community and also from the US mainland and abroad, all working together to aid. And those who live here have been strong and resilient, doing all it takes to recuperate and get back to some kind of normalcy.

    So… how is this related to the Ukulele?

    Through it all, I had the support of my fans to keep me motivated to continue with my music. Fans sent me encouraging messages to stay strong and help rebuild. I would especially like to thank Love Laced Apparel that sent me clothing and donated to the families of those affected by the hurricanes this summer. Even in the midst of destruction around me, I find these pockets of beauty. There are too many sad pictures and stories of destruction. The Ukulele helped me find beauty and hope that you will find it too through my videos.

    Thank you for reading this post, I hope it will motivate you to create and enjoy music in your life. Be grateful for the things you have, and remember that even if you lose it all overnight, revival is difficult but always possible. Embrace nature and find peace and love in your home. Last, connect with people around you, and listen to their music and stories.

    -Ariel, producer of Ariel Ukulele youtube channel.

    Ukulele Music Info Interview with Ryan Choi

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    Hi Folks, Ryan Choi is one of the most innovative and talented Ukulele players in the US today. We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to catch up with Ryan to hear more about his journey playing the Uke and about his plans for the future.

    Please introduce yourself to our community

    My name is Ryan Choi. I live in Honolulu, Hawai’i, where I was born and raised. I compose and record music. I released three albums in 2016, Three Dancers (Accretions), Whenmill (Off), and Company / Arbors (Der Schöne Hjuler-Memorial-Fond), the first two of which featured original pieces for the baritone ukulele, an instrument that my name is now bound up with, somewhat to my chagrin, since I see myself principally as a composer and an arranger, as someone who makes recordings. My interests in music—and sound—extend beyond any one instrument.
    One day my discography may or may not reflect this. I hope that it does.

    What is your musical background?

    A blend of the formal and the self-experimental, more the latter. I didn’t take up the ukulele until a relatively late age. Before this, I was trained in western classical music on the double bass and spent many years studying scores at the piano, reading books on theory, thinking about music and improvising, trying on mask after musical mask—I was very much in hiding during this time; then, in my early twenties, I quit music for a number of years; I never earned a music degree. My musical perspective is predicated on this peripatetic sort of background. The analogue to consider is comparing the outlook of a person who spent their childhood living in one place to that of another who grew up moving around—each would have a unique sense of what “home” is.

    Can you tell us about the title you selected for your second release, Whenmill?

    A windmill mills wind, a whenmill mills time.

    -What do you love most about playing the ukulele?

    Odi et amo: what I love lives at amicable odds with what I loathe. As a minority instrument, the ukulele is quaintly mistreated, its practitioners lightheartedly imposed upon to address its “exoticness” with questions that wouldn’t be asked of a guitarist or a pianist; one is all too frequently taken gently by the hand, sat in a box, made to be a spokesman for a whole that doesn’t exist in reality as primly as it does in the questioner’s mind. My experience of being a player of a so-called minority instrument is, at different times, mired in self-questioning political tension, willed contentment, and slavish pugnacity—it’s quite fascinating, and maddening. I marshal the phrase “minority instrument” with the utmost intent; the standard discourse in music parallels nontrivially the standard discourse in matters of culture and ethnicity, and not only in the ways in which rank and merit are meted out—both are expressions of the same preponderant pattern, one of many naturally occurring (like geological formations), current in our collective reason.

    What kinds of plans do you have for the future?, Any new albums or tours in the works?

    No tours and no plans to. I have a few things now in post-production that are coming out this year and I’m already preoccupied with the releases that will follow—some of it ukulele, some of it not—and I’m very fortunate to be so, because I’m not always so busy, and I never assume that my music won’t up and leave me again, as it has in the past; yet, even when I am in the depths of one of these miserable fallow periods—not at all touching or looking at my instruments—I still secretly shoulder the assumption that afflatus will come knocking again, even though I know this is a baseless fiction that I use to console myself in the face of sheer future uncertainty: the death of a piece (so key to its being) remains for this author a harbinger of short-lived relief and longer- lasting unease.

    What tips and advice do you have for beginners?

    I’m hesitant to give tips. It puts me in the position of teacher to an imaginary student when I have no credentials as such, and there are so many different types of ukulele players in the world—some of whom need little to no steering and others that require extensive intervention—that to give general advice is a rather hapless exercise in diminution. Advice is most effective, and least harmful, when tailored to a specific person after one has gained some personal familiarity with the advice-seeker. With this caveat, I’ll share four things (which only happen to come readily to mind at the moment): one, don’t spend too much time listening to other ukulele players; two, don’t waste time practicing, better to spend the time engaged in the real thing; three, there are times when you must look outside of music for the solution, even if it’s only to find that there is no outside; and four, be vigilant of all confectioners of advice.

    Official website:
    http://www.ryanckchoi.com

    Ukulele Music Info Interview with Katie DeNure

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    We had the opportunity to interview Katie DeNure,  a talented and certified ukulele, guitar and voice teacher in the state of Wisconsin. DeNure operates the successful “One Music School” YouTube channel,  full of engaging educational videos for any ukulele enthusiast.

    What is your musical background?
    I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t surrounded by music. As a little girl, I was constantly singing. Once I started to learn how to play the piano, I felt a drive to learn as many instruments as I possibly could (flute, guitar, ukulele, penny whistles). When I was 17, I became very ill and I completely lost my voice, and that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. My speech pathologist assigned me classical voice training as part of my rehabilitation, and the new voice that emerged from that painful time was stronger than I could’ve ever imagined.

    What/who inspired you to teach ukulele/guitar/voice classes?
    I earned my teaching degree in 2007, and taught Bilingual Language Arts for many years. I was very humbled by the fact that people kept asking me if I would teach their children how to play the guitar/ukulele and sing, but I disqualified myself at first because I didn’t have a music degree. Eventually, I started teaching music lessons on the side, and the demand became so great that I left my teaching job and now teach music lessons exclusively.

    What do you love most about teaching?

    I love empowering and encouraging someone else to be able to do something that they thought they could never do. As teachers, we know that we are not just teaching people how to read music or play their favorite songs. We know that we are really teaching patience, gratitude, and perseverance. I’m so grateful to be able to do what I do, and I hope that my students use their gifts to encourage others.



    Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

    In ten years from now, I hope to be coaching other teachers and entrepreneurs. I want to equip them with the logistical tools that they need in order set up and improve their business so that they can pass on their passion and love for arts to their students. I also hope to be singing and playing along side my daughter. She’s only 18 months old right now, so it would be thrilling to hear her sing and harmonize with her.

    What tips or advice can you give beginner ukulele players?

    Try to “stay in your lane”. It’s very easy to look at someone else’s greatness and only see your own shortcomings. Try not to look on either side of you because everyone was not designed to run the same race at the same pace. Focus on progress and not perfection. If you are better than you were yesterday, celebrate that growth, and keep moving forward. Do the best you can with what you have, and don’t give up.

    Visit One Music School for ukulele, guitar and voice lessons.
    Read more about the top ukulele tutorial YouTube Channels.