View Full Version : Educational Resources: Ukulele Play Along Videos

06-26-2017, 05:10 PM
Nearly two years ago, a collegiate music educator in New York realized that there was a great benefit to having students play along with "real" recordings of songs, following the correct chords on a video. That educator is Dr. Jill Reese, and she now has over 70 videos on her website.

I'm not going to get into a debate about the approach, the need to sing, or so on...but I do want to say that the method WORKS, and it leads kids to other levels of playing for personal enjoyment.

Since that time, a number of other educators have been creating those videos (we all get better at it over time), and I have been spending a bit of time this summer putting more videos together.

My personal approach is to provide videos from the "traditional" folk perspective that I see at ukulele jams, with the intent of preparing young players to be ready for the "existing" ukulele culture. The majority of ukulele jams do not serve the interests of younger players...so I think it is good for them to learn music that is "their own" as well as to bridge to music that "isn't theirs."

I was also given a copy of the TBUS Beginner Ukulele Packet, and right now I am trying to make sure that every song listed in that book also has a representative video, although some are not available in the same key.

The approach is heavily chord based...but let's be honest...so are most jams.

Last week, I sat down and cataloged the existing "library" of these songs, and wanted to provide that to you (I'll just link to my blog post about it).

I do not include ukulele-based play along videos, such as Ukulele Underground's, in this list, as the overall intent is to have students playing along with the original songs. I have nothing against these other videos...they just don't fit the overall focus. Choose any one of the videos on this list, and you will see what I mean.

If you know of other existing videos that should be on this list, please let me know. Also, if you know of other songs that SHOULD be on the list, let me know. The goal is to provide an extensive library of songs that are appealing to students and/or have a deeper connection with the ukulele world. With over 170 current songs, we're on our way.

The final document (at the end of the attached blog post) is a PDF with SMALL text. Simply magnify, and all of the songs have clickable links to a YouTube video.

All videos appear with Copyright clearance...as we do not monetize videos, the copyright owners can display ads and earn revenue. Most of the songs have existing second-hand lyric videos. As of the last month, I have been creating my own lyrics files.

Incidentally, I am pretty proud of my work on "Perfect Pitch" by the Bacon Brothers.


Jim Hanks
06-26-2017, 06:06 PM
Wow, what an incredible resource! You rock! :rock: :shaka:

06-26-2017, 11:36 PM
This is excellent resource. Lots of work put into it.
Thank you !

06-27-2017, 03:57 AM
I agree with the others. Thanks for sharing.

06-27-2017, 04:42 AM
I started playing in 2014, and at the start of this year had worked my way up to an intermediate player focusing on fingerstyle using a lot of tabs from Tony Mizen, Wilfred Welti, and the many people here on UU such as Camsukes & Pabrizzer and their wonderful tabs.

A local church started a ukulele choir in January and they do their songs the way Choirboy described. (We started with Cynthia Lin and moved on to Dr. Jill Reese.)

I get a lot out of these weekly practices - exposure to genres/songs that I am not familiar with, playing in time with everyone else (metronomes are important!),singing and playing at the same time, and explanations of strum patterns.

I love my individual fingerstyle practices with the pieces that mean a lot to me, but these ukulele choir songs have greatly increased my ability to play something at a moments request that others will actually recognize. And, not a bad way to work on my social skills, too.