Pandemic PLUCking – Live Sessions?

So, are groups slowly returning to face-to-face activities as Covid restrictions get removed? We’re proceeding cautiously but do get in touch if you wish to join our waiting list for when in-person sessions begin again. At present, we are trialling some Wed evening strumalongs by invitation only, to ensure safe social distancing, and hope to extend this as the weather improves. If you would like to learn more, please email with details of your ukulele experience and what you are currently playing.

If you wish to interact with live sessions, the following regular events might be of interest:

  • Stuart Fuchs (aka Ukulele Zen) – Free live YouTube lesson & strumalong at 5pm BST / noon EDT on the first Sun of each month.
    • Here’s a recording of the most recent one:
Stu Fuchs April Livestream – 3/4/22
  • UkeTok – Free online uke club sessions with a large songbook of a couple of hundred tunes. Words & chords are displayed onscreen. They use Jamulus where you can hear each other playing.
    • Mon & Thur 7.30 – 9pm UK time. Full details of how to join are on their website.
    • Second Sun of the month – an extra live strumlalong is also on YouTube (& recorded for viewing later) – Sun 10 April, 7.30pm BST – access on their YouTube Channel.
  • UkeJam UK – Live strumalongs 1st & 3rd Suns of each month at 8pm UK time. Chords & lyrics onscreen, recordings can be played afterwards.
UkeJam UK 20/3/22 Session


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Ukrainian National Anthem

Here’s Colin Tribe‘s arrangement of Shche ne Vmerly v Ukrainy i slava, i volia (‘Glory and Freedom of Ukraine has not yet Perished’). As ever, music & tabs are available directly from Colin:

Colin Tribe playing Ukrainian National Anthem, in an act of solidarity and support

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PLUC – February Valentine’s Challenge

Do you love playing your ukulele? If so, why not join in our February Uke Challenge to see where you are with your playing & where you can improve…

Make This Pizza By The Slice Ukulele Heart Box

As many of of our new PLUC members have only been playing during lockdown, we thought they might find it hard to measure their playing progress. Even the more seasoned players amongst them could find something new to learn or refresh an old skill after spending time in the pandemic largely practicing alone.

To give a bit of variety and motivation, we suggested that they try the following challenges. If you fancy joining in, do let us know how you get on in the comments below:

1) How many chords do you know? Look at our UkeAbility article – you might be pleasantly surprised once you’ve measured it. It could open up a lot more songs for you to play. Or highlight where you could practice new areas, such as perfecting your bar chords or choosing moveable ones to make your playing sound more interesting.

2) Check your rhythm is steady. It’s easy to lose focus when playing solo. Can you play a full song at an even tempo, without slowing down in the tricky bits or speeding up where it’s easier? Can you sing and play at the same time? Watch Cathy Fink’s metronome tips demo. Now pick a tune you’re currently working on. How slowly can you play it accurately using this method? How fast can you play it accurately using this method? How much can you improve the tempo over a couple of practice sessions – what range do you now have? What do you notice about the difference / difficulties of playing at each extreme? Do you need to relax any tension build-up afterwards?

3) Are you progressing in your playing and learning new songs effectively? Fiona Barry’s free practice tips guide may give you new ideas to try out to reduce the mistakes you make.  If you like to log your own progress, Stu Fuchs has a free practice diary you can use to track things over the year.  What tips work best for you? And what are you concentrating on for the next month – warm-ups, techniques, songs, lessons / strumalongs etc?

We look forward to hearing your ‘scores’ & feedback. We’re interested to learn how far you’ve got during lockdown, what you’re currently doing musically & what you plan to work on over the next few months.

All the best, stay safe & happy strumming.



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Happy New Year 2022!

Happy New Year 2022!

Let’s hope for a safe, healthy & happy new year. Here’s a free PLUC Circle of Fifths 2022 Calendar.

PDF version:

Word version:

Why not print it out & mark every day you practice your ukulele? Read more about the Circle of Fifths and how it can help your playing.


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PLUC Weekend Workout

Brianna Kavanagh, from You and Bree Music Tutorials , covers a variety of topics, such as New To Ukulele , YouTube Tricks & Hacks For Learning Ukulele Online and Stretches To Prevent Pain When Playing.

If you’ve ever been too busy to do your usual practice (or even bored whilst stuck in a queue or traffic jam) here are some suggestions of five ways you can still practice without a ukulele!

You and Bree YouTubes:

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PLUC – Lessons in The Limelight: Matt Stead

Matt Stead found that there were plenty of lessons out there for complete beginners, but not so much content for folk as they improved and wished to learn more advanced playing techniques. He decided to set up several series of free structured video courses, giving all the details you’d get from face-to-face lessons with him. He hopes to encourage people to learn those good habits at the very start that make your playing easier and stop you becoming bored by progressively honing your skills in fresh areas.

They are well worth investigating and would certainly help you spice up the tunes you do. Why not try out a couple a week in your practice to see what new methods you can accomplish over a few months?

  • Ukulele For Beginners – Thirty videos taking you from choosing a size of uke, tuning up, holding a uke & whether to use a strap, playing different types of chords clearly, changing chords easily, how to strum correctly, working out how to strum to any tune (without learning lists of ‘strumming patterns’ by rote!), playing in waltz time (known as 3/4 time), using sheet music, making your playing more interesting with dynamics and swing, fingerstyle, intro to playing scales, learning the fretboard and picking out melodies by ear.
  • Intermediate Ukulele – Twenty-five videos covering topics such as creating chord melody arrangements, adding percussive sounds to your strumming (eg chucks/chunks, muting and drumming), playing triplets, alternating thumb picking, accents & syncopation, twelve bar blues, mastering the E chord, hammer-ons/pull-offs/bends/slides, moveable chord shapes, soloing with pentatonic scales, transposing songs into different keys, circle of fifths, turnarounds and diminished chords.
  • Ukulele Next Steps – This course is still in development but videos so far include jazzy chords, chord melody, creating two-part harmonies and three moveable chord shapes you can play all over the fretboard.
  • Playing Up The Dusty End – Twenty-four videos showing you how to become more adventurous in your playing by using the possibilities of opening up the whole fretboard. Learn all the notes with simple tricks and melodies, improve your barre chords, use moveable chord shapes effectively, play jazzy songs, chord melodies and pentatonic scales across the fretboard to improvise and solo.
  • Uke Theory – Thirty videos imparting useful skills that help you understand how music works. Unlock the fretboard by learning about the different scales – chromatic, major, minor & pentatonic, how chords are built, common chord progressions, twelve bar blues, circle of fifths, reading tablature (aka tab), using suspended & augmented chords (sus & aug), modes, intervals, time signatures and reading music.
Warm-up Exercises from Matt’s Beginners Ukulele Course – see his YouTube Channel for more.

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PLUCking Ukes – Ten Minute Practice Tips

Many of the top ukulele players you see at festivals also run excellent workshops, where they impart their extensive knowledge to attendees. Peter Moss started playing the uke when he was eight and has been performing for over fifty years. He posts ten minute uke lessons, ukulele shorts (tips ideal for watching on a phone) and also tunes arranged in parts for groups on his YouTube channel. Unusually, on his Patreon page, one of the membership levels gives you an online monthly one-to-one lesson with him, which is excellent value!

Here’s part of his How To Play A Ukulele In 10 Easy Steps series, explaining the differences with a baritone (which is tuned differently to the other uke sizes):


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Fingerpicking With The Ukulele Fool

At this time of year you’ll spot a number of interesting new resources to help your playing. This one is a free twenty-one day fingerpicking video course from Lisa, The Ukulele Fool. Learn different fingerpicking patterns and techniques with songs such as Amazing Grace and House Of The Rising Sun. Sign up here.

The Ukulele Fool – check out her YouTube Channel

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Christmas Jamming 2

Fancy digging out your ukulele for some live playing? UkeTok‘s free strumming sessions happen 7.30pm – 9pm GMT every Mon and Thurs evening and allow you to hear everyone at the same time (not just one player, as with Zoom). The chords and lyrics are on-screen for you to follow.

UkeTok Xmas Jamming session info
Find out more at

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Posted by on December 27, 2021 in Interesting Uke Sites, Uke Night


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New Uke For Xmas (2021)

If you’ve got a new ukulele for Christmas or are considering taking up playing one, you’ll soon find there are lots of on-line resources to help you, whatever your level:

Day & SummaryDay & Summary
01 –  Helmut Bickel – Fingerstyle02 – New Uke For Xmas – Useful sources
03 – Bernadette’s 30 Day Challenge04 – Songs & Songbooks – eg MUJ
05 – James Hill’s Uketropolis06 – Danno Sullivan – Play It Daily
07 – Cynthia Lin – Tutorials08 – Phil Doleman’s Two Minute Tips
09 – Samantha Muir – Classical Uke10 – Ten Thumbs Productions – Tutorials
11 – Richard Hefner – ezFolk Lessons12 – Stuart Fuchs  – Tips & Tutorials
  • Have a general look around this website, as we pick out a wide selection of our favourite tools & tips, on-line uke lessons, songbooks, chords, music theory, forums, equipment & other website resources. In particular, my musings on what helped me when I first got my uke as a complete beginner may prove a useful summary if you’re totally new to playing.
  • Joining a local group is always a boost – whether you are a beginner, improver or expert player. Due to the pandemic, this might not be an option face-to-face currently – but look out for the many online gigs, strumalongs, lessons and festivals that are happening wordwide from groups, tutors and performers.
  • If you need advice on buying an instrument, Barry Maz has a wealth of independent reviews on Got A Ukulele as well as other handy info to help get you started.

Good luck & happy strumming!



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