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Monthly Archives: December 2018

Twelve Days Of Ukemas – Day Seven

Cynthia Lin produces some well-arranged songs at different levels, with strumalong videos to help you learn through playing along with her. The songsheets are always free at Bandcamp (you can just enter a payment of $0 – or more if you wish to make a donation to her).

Tutorial playlists include Beginners 1, Beginners 2, Fingerpicking and All Uke Lessons & Tutorials (currently over fifty videos). There are also regular Live Jams (eg at Xmas or on certain topics, such as Beatle songs).

Here’s one of Cynthia’s fingerpicking section songs – a lesson on how to play Sound Of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel:

 

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Twelve Days Of Ukemas – Day Six

If you enjoy browsing through uke blogs to see a mix of articles on improving your playing techniques, tips on how to tackle learning new songs, music from old-time tunes and bad jokes a’plenty, then you should enjoy Danno Sullivan’s Play It Daily site.

In addition to his entertaining blog, there are many free mini-courses (including alternative ways of tackling the E chord and how beating time to tunes on the radio can improve your ukulele strumming technique), Office Hours live interactive lessons & discussions that you can access from the Free Library. Plus there are a couple of Facebook pages with more tips.

You can also take out paid subscriptions to receive more detailed learning resources, such as supplementary daily emails to Chad Johnson’s Ukulele Aerobics training manual, if you wish.

Here’s Danno with a few tips for making barre chords easier & why you will find it useful to use them:

Playing The B Minor Barre Chord (videos lost in recent Play It Daily site redesign – lesson here, replacements coming soon)

 

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Twelve Days Of Ukemas – Day Five

Some of you may have come across James Hill, who is a well-known current uke-performer, often with his cellist wife, Anne Janelle. Popular YouTubes include him playing Billie Jean (with his imaginary orchestra) or using chopsticks to play.

James has a gained a good reputation with his workshops, which he offers whilst he tours the world. He runs a well-explained, structured learning community site called The Ukulele Way. It contains instruction for complete beginners (called Booster Uke) and then works through online books with PDF worksheets and tutorial videos to take players from Beginner, then Intermediate to Advanced: Book 1 starts with the basics of open strings and posture while Book 6 ends with challenging blues, jazz and classical fingerstyle arrangements.

There are about a dozen free lessons & a support forum, which you can access for free. To gain full membership (which has over one hundred videos) you need to pay a monthly subscription. Or you can buy the individual printed books, if you prefer.

EDIT: Jan 2020 – The Ukulele Way site above is about to be discontinued & replaced by a monthly subscription Uketropolis. Many of the items mentioned above are still available, plus several new free sections. A few free online tutorials remain on James Hill’s YouTube Channel.

Here he is with Part One of his Chord Melody Crash Course, which explains how to play the chords to a simple song & also add in the tune, or melody (and here’s Part Two):

 

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Twelve Days Of Ukemas – Day Four

For the Feast of the Holy Innocents, here’s a playalong & tutorial for Billy Joel’s Innocent Man,  brought to you by Marco D from Morristown Uke Jam. More MUJ songs are available in Dropbox.

Don’t forget to check out our other free song resources – in the links further down the right hand side of this page & also on the Songs & Songbooks page.

 

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Twelve Days Of Ukemas – Day Three

For those of you who are new to playing, Bernadette Teaches Music recently produced a 30 Day Challenge on YouTube which makes a good practical introduction if you have no experience of the instrument.

It takes complete novices through the basics, showing how to hold a uke, first chords, how to read tab, to play a few songs & an intro to music theory. Here is the full YouTube playlist & the worksheet booklet to accompany the videos (links also underneath each YouTube in the series).

Anatomy of the ukulele (video one):

 

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Twelve Days Of Ukemas – Day Two

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

Good luck & happy strumming!

Jeanette

 

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Twelve Days Of Ukemas – Day One

Happy Christmas to everyone who reads this blog!

At this time of year you might like to consider supporting others who use their ukulele-playing to help or give pleasure to others.

I’m always keen to promote Laurie Kallevig & the excellent work she does in travelling out to places like Mumbai & Kolkata every year, where she teaches ukulele to young survivors of human trafficking with her Survivor Girl Ukulele Band Project. They are currently seeking donations to fund the 2018 – 19 project – either directly or by downloading the Kickstarter CD that was made recently.

If that’s not your thing, why not support one of the many uke sites who work hard to provide excellent free songsheets or YouTube tutorials by giving them a tip or buying some of their e-books or other merchandise?

And if you want a little fingerstyle workout for today, here’s Helmut Bickel, who has over two hundred lessons on his YouTube channel.  Here is his rendition of Wham’s Last Christmas (tutorial: part one & part two):

 

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December 2018 Club Nights

Please note the following arrangements for our club nights around Christmas:

Tue 11 Dec & Tue 18 Dec – We’re at the Lewis Club, as usual.

Tue 25 Dec Xmas Day – BREAK.

Tue 1 Jan New Year’s Day – BREAK.

We return to the Lewis Club on Tue 8 Jan 2019. New members welcome. Check out our annotated map & transport information.

At the beginning of the year we posted about Steve Phillips, who has been playing a song a day on his uke to raise money for Solar Aid, which funds providing safe lighting for people in Africa. He’s been doing really well, covering a great variety of tunes. If you’ve not yet got around to donating, it’d be great if you could spare a couple of pounds.  In return, as a thank you, at the end of the year he will send copies of all the arrangements he’s used.

Here he is playing Rock ‘n’ Roll Winter by Wizzard:

 

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