PDA

View Full Version : New to ukulele in an area with no uke clubs or teachers



johnny_ukulele
07-11-2015, 04:13 AM
So, at midlife I decided to pick up the uke. Yay me! It is so much fun, but I live in an area with no uke clubs or teachers. I have a Mele Tenor Mahogany and I am new to this forum.

Does anyone have recommendations? Should I take classical or electric guitar lessons and then apply to uke. My favorite players (right now) are Herb Ohta Jr and Brittni Paiva. That is the style that I would like to be able to play. No previous training and only a little experience with guitar.

I would appreciate any suggestions.

Rllink
07-11-2015, 04:27 AM
My two cents, if you want to play the ukulele, I would learn to play the ukulele. I mean, I can't see spending time learning to play another instrument, when you could be using that time learning to play the uke. Lessons are fine, but there are a lot of people who are self taught. There is plenty on the internet to keep you busy.

As far as the musicians you mentioned, I don't know them, but I'm guessing that they are pretty good, to inspire you to take up the ukulele. Just remember that they have had years and years of work to get where they are. They had to start too, so don't get discouraged if you don't sound like they do in a month or two. Anyway, I'm in an area where there the ukulele players are few, no lessons, and I never played a stringed instrument before I started playing the uke. I'm getting along fine. One thing though, ukulele festivals are a great place to learn. Even if you can get to just one or two, do it. You will learn a lot, and come home excited about playing the uke.

Sylvan
07-11-2015, 04:40 AM
I am in the same boat as you - no teachers or clubs near me. I am self taught through the internet. I would start by watching the video lessons here on UU.
See Uke Minutes at: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?43393-Full-list-of-Uke-Minutes-with-subject-matter-in-title

Be patient, and enjoy learning in small steps. Keep playing and over time you will amaze yourself at the progress you make. Welcome to the forum.

robedney
07-11-2015, 05:22 AM
I'm fairly new to the uke and this forum myself. This had got to be one of the most helpful, friendly and active forums I've participated in on any subject -- and very welcoming to new folks. So, you've already got a community!

A few thoughts in response to your questions:

There may be more uke players in your neighborhood than you think. Use social media (Facebook, etc.) to have a look around for folks. You can also post here asking if anyone is near you. You don't need to be an accomplished player to start a uke club either -- desire is enough.

As Rllink wisely opined, learn to play the uke directly (now you have 4 cents)

There are lots of teachers who offer lessons via Skype. Skype is easy and cheap to set-up these days, and it's the next best thing to being there (Skype is basically two-way live video and audio over the internet). Google "ukulele lessons Skype" and you'll find tons of listings. Ask here for recommendations as well (maybe over on Uketalk, part of this forum).

You can also post a video of yourself playing and ask people here for advice. I've seen others do this, and they invariably seem to get excellent, gentle and encouraging responses from some very accomplished folks.

And as Sylvan said it's possible to teach yourself by using the incredibly rich resources available over the internet and here on UU. Youtube is your friend -- just search "ukulele" and you can spend lots of time following the river (and tributaries) of video that will flow your way.

Welcome to the forum!

Lori
07-11-2015, 05:39 AM
Hi Johnny, welcome to UU!
Sounds like you want to play finger picking solos. To get started, I would suggest you learn the basic chords first, like G,C,F, Am, D, Bb, C7, G7, Em, E7. Lots of good online lessons. Choose a song you like, just to get started. You should learn how to read tablature. It is pretty easy once you get the idea. http://ukulelehunt.com/how-to-read-ukulele-tab/Then, get some of the beginning finger picking songs from this site https://pdfminstrel.wordpress.com/2-tri-tabs-for-all-ukuleles-pdfs/ and this online book http://ukulelehunt.com/2008/11/12/wilfried-weltis-ukulele-tabs/. There are more sites to check out on the Westsideukes.com website http://www.westsideukes.com/favorite-ukulele-web-links/

Have fun, and you came to the right place for ukulele questions. The internet is a wonderful thing. You might be able to take private lessons online if you use Skype, Google Hangouts, or FaceTime.


–Lori

stevepetergal
07-11-2015, 06:34 AM
You've been given very good suggestions. Let me add that you may find a classical (or acoustic) guitar teacher who would be willing to teach you the ukulele. I met just such a teacher in my area who does and she doesn't even own an ukulele herself.

the.ronin
07-11-2015, 06:43 AM
Theres absolutely nothing wrong with learning uke by yourself - especially with sites like this one as a resource.

Ironically I'm in an opposite situation. I've learned uke by myself and am just starting to consider maybe taking a class. It's fine self teaching but I think at some point you really need direct guidance to get you further.

sukie
07-11-2015, 08:48 AM
So, at midlife I decided to pick up the uke. Yay me! It is so much fun, but I live in an area with no uke clubs or teachers. I have a Mele Tenor Mahogany and I am new to this forum.

Does anyone have recommendations? Should I take classical or electric guitar lessons and then apply to uke. My favorite players (right now) are Herb Ohta Jr and Brittni Paiva. That is the style that I would like to be able to play. No previous training and only a little experience with guitar.

I would appreciate any suggestions.

Look for Skype lessons. Especially if you are liking Hawaiian songs. Brittni teaches Skype lessons.

actadh
07-11-2015, 10:41 AM
I am the same way - no uke clubs or teachers. In fact, I was asked by one shop that after I learned on my own, to teach what I learned for them so they could have a ukulele instructor. I am not going to do that, but I thought that was interesting.

So many videos are out there that once you learn the basics you could certainly pick up the style of Ohta etc..

But, the boring stuff of learning chords, strumming patterns, and fingerpicking comes first. I like the Uncle Rod"s Boot Camp to get started on learning the chords.

Pick ten songs that you know well - not that you can play well, but that you know how they sound. Make sure that you like them, as you are going to live with them for a while. (For me, it was some classical. some 1940's, and some classic rock.) I used Dr. Uke and Scorpex to find most of them.

When you can play those songs you chose without looking, try to transition to fingerpicking and do ten more - learn them until you can play without looking at the music or your hands. Many of the Links and tabs here on the forum are very good such as Putter's tabs.

(For me, fingerpicking didn't seem to connect between my brain and my fingers until I got 20 Easy Fingerstyle Studies by Rob MacKillop, but YMMV.)

Once you get those 20 songs internalized, you likely will have several tempos, genres, chords, and approaches to music that are now basic to you.

Good luck!

johnny_ukulele
07-11-2015, 12:22 PM
My two cents, if you want to play the ukulele, I would learn to play the ukulele. I mean, I can't see spending time learning to play another instrument, when you could be using that time learning to play the uke. Lessons are fine, but there are a lot of people who are self taught. There is plenty on the internet to keep you busy.

As far as the musicians you mentioned, I don't know them, but I'm guessing that they are pretty good, to inspire you to take up the ukulele. Just remember that they have had years and years of work to get where they are. They had to start too, so don't get discouraged if you don't sound like they do in a month or two. Anyway, I'm in an area where there the ukulele players are few, no lessons, and I never played a stringed instrument before I started playing the uke. I'm getting along fine. One thing though, ukulele festivals are a great place to learn. Even if you can get to just one or two, do it. You will learn a lot, and come home excited about playing the uke.

Thanks for the response. I will stick with the uke since that is what I want to learn. I know that I usually need some motivation to keep going in the beginning, so I will probably take at least a few lessons, but definitely will use the resources here.

johnny_ukulele
07-11-2015, 12:23 PM
I am in the same boat as you - no teachers or clubs near me. I am self taught through the internet. I would start by watching the video lessons here on UU.
See Uke Minutes at: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?43393-Full-list-of-Uke-Minutes-with-subject-matter-in-title

Be patient, and enjoy learning in small steps. Keep playing and over time you will amaze yourself at the progress you make. Welcome to the forum.

Thanks... I think patience and repetition for me will be the key. I will definitely watch the videos here.

johnny_ukulele
07-11-2015, 12:26 PM
I'm fairly new to the uke and this forum myself. This had got to be one of the most helpful, friendly and active forums I've participated in on any subject -- and very welcoming to new folks. So, you've already got a community!

A few thoughts in response to your questions:

There may be more uke players in your neighborhood than you think. Use social media (Facebook, etc.) to have a look around for folks. You can also post here asking if anyone is near you. You don't need to be an accomplished player to start a uke club either -- desire is enough.

As Rllink wisely opined, learn to play the uke directly (now you have 4 cents)

There are lots of teachers who offer lessons via Skype. Skype is easy and cheap to set-up these days, and it's the next best thing to being there (Skype is basically two-way live video and audio over the internet). Google "ukulele lessons Skype" and you'll find tons of listings. Ask here for recommendations as well (maybe over on Uketalk, part of this forum).

Welcome to the forum!

Not sure about a uke club just yet, but will consider it down the road. I will definitely look into the skype lessons.

johnny_ukulele
07-11-2015, 12:28 PM
I am the same way - no uke clubs or teachers. In fact, I was asked by one shop that after I learned on my own, to teach what I learned for them so they could have a ukulele instructor. I am not going to do that, but I thought that was interesting.

So many videos are out there that once you learn the basics you could certainly pick up the style of Ohta etc..

But, the boring stuff of learning chords, strumming patterns, and fingerpicking comes first. I like the Uncle Rod"s Boot Camp to get started on learning the chords.

Pick ten songs that you know well - not that you can play well, but that you know how they sound. Make sure that you like them, as you are going to live with them for a while. (For me, it was some classical. some 1940's, and some classic rock.) I used Dr. Uke and Scorpex to find most of them.

When you can play those songs you chose without looking, try to transition to fingerpicking and do ten more - learn them until you can play without looking at the music or your hands. Many of the Links and tabs here on the forum are very good such as Putter's tabs.

(For me, fingerpicking didn't seem to connect between my brain and my fingers until I got 20 Easy Fingerstyle Studies by Rob MacKillop, but YMMV.)

Once you get those 20 songs internalized, you likely will have several tempos, genres, chords, and approaches to music that are now basic to you.

Good luck!

Good advice on picking 10 songs and learn them well. Thanks!

Dearman
07-12-2015, 02:57 PM
Youtube was my teacher when I started. If you have guitar playing friends they can help with strum patterns and practice staying together with another player.

igorthebarbarian
07-12-2015, 06:05 PM
Welcome - hola from Arizona.

Please also try out Uncle Rod's Bootcamp:
http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com/
It's a really good learning/practice resource and if you just mastered those chords, you'd know probably 90% of what you'll see in most songs.

Erwin Dink
07-14-2015, 09:56 AM
I take lessons from a guitarist. When I approached him he had never taught uke before so we started with a Baritone strung DGBE. But after a year of working with me he has gotten just as comfortable helping me with my tenor using standard tuning. He's been really fantastic. I also work on my own with books from Rob Mackillop and others (just look for the most highly rated fingerstyle books on Amazon and you'll find some great books to start with.