View Full Version : Teaching Ukulele?!

04-01-2009, 08:32 AM
I'm still a beginner myself, but I've been evangelizing so much that a couple of my friends have asked me to teach them how to play. I think they would like to be able to bash out some songs on the front porch in the summertime, nothing too Jakey.

I've been teaching myself, so I probably have all kinds of bad habits to pass along. I just started picking songs I wanted to play and looking up the chords, but I don't think that would work well for teaching others.

Any recommendations where to start? C F G7? Up Down Up Down Chunk?:anyone:

04-01-2009, 09:20 AM
I'm pretty much a beginner myself. If it helps, this is what I've been doing the past two months... learning chords and how to construct them, practice strumming, watching the videos on UU. Right now my goal is to sing comfortably while strumming (not too easy for me but I'm able to do a couple of songs now). In the future, maybe do some picking. Just my cents. Good luck!

04-01-2009, 03:09 PM
I found that beginners sometimes find it easier to do notes first just to get the coordination going, so I use a method book (either Hal Leonard Method book 1 or the other one HL publishes if I don't want tabs in the book and this one also includes all scale patterns which is useful) as the basis and supplement that with finger picking exercises (arpeggios) and songs.

Song wise I start out with C-F-G7 and C-Am-F-G7 songs (many of which are down, down, up, up, down strums or just 1, 2, 3, 4 to begin with).

And, I start with the one thing I missed out on when I learnt my first instrument, scales. They are great finger picking exercises as well as useful things to know. Check out Daniel Ho's Exploring the ukulele book for inspiration.

Then I show how these scales apply to a certain song.

04-02-2009, 01:42 AM
Thanks, both of you. I don't have that book, Gaby, that sounds super helpful.

I'm off to grow me some new uke players!

04-02-2009, 04:54 AM

I have been teaching some students at my school how to play for the last three months. I have no formal training and I know nothing of theory. I have tried to teach myself through books but I find out that the book can be both too simple and too difficult for me because of my skill level. I have been teaching the chords and after we learn three chords we practice transitioning with those chords and so far we have learned three songs. If you can teach the people basic chords and then show them how easy it is to play some songs they should be ok. Don't even worry about strumming yet. THat'll come later. I still can't chunk (but i can mute strum and slap strum and tremolo) It just depends on playing style. No matter what you do you are doing something good for the ukulele community.