View Full Version : Comprehensive Ukulele Method for intermediate?

04-09-2018, 07:30 AM
Hi all,

I've been noodling on the guitar/ukulele for decades. I'd say I'm an intermediate player, but definitely not advanced.

Can you think of a method book or comprehensive online lessons that would be good for me?

I want to be a more advanced player.

I can play all basic major and minor chords and some barre chords. I can strum pretty well...lots of different patterns. I can fingerpick with repetitive patterns.

I don't know scales or the notes on the fretboard or any kind of jazz theory (complicated chords).

I figured this would be the place to ask.

I've been messing around on Youtube, but I need something that will advance me step by step, not just short videos on different topics/techniques.


04-09-2018, 07:37 AM
The Ukulele Toolbox by Bob Brozman

This is a link for the first DVD. There is a second one I purchased and haven't gotten to yet. Still working through the first one.

Lots of good stuff here. I watch each video multiple times.

Uke Don
04-09-2018, 08:12 AM
Take a look at The Ukulele Way from James Hill. You can join for free and check out some lessons to see if it is the right level for you. He concentrates on chord-melody style and actually teaches something about music rather than just showing you how to play a song. James co-wrote an entire ukulele curriculum for Canada public schools.

Oh, and welcome to the forum!

04-09-2018, 09:28 AM
I think learning some music theory is essential if you want to advance as a musician. It gives you a container and framework to apply tools that you acquire along the way. It can illuminate many "aha" moments.

Only you can define for yourself which direction you want to go. I grapple with that all the time. For me I'm a singer, and the ukulele accompanies my voice. Do I want to learn more songs, or do I want to advance my playing skills? What exactly does that mean? Finger-picking? Chord Melody Arrangements? Improvising solos? Varying strumming techniques? Being fluent on the fretboard to transpose songs and play by ear?

This website "power up ukulele" does a great job of defining different components to advance your skills. I like it because it doesn't say you have to do any of it. It just breaks down levels and concepts, and ways to achieve that goal. Honestly I haven't joined and I haven't done the exercises but I've appreciated that the author has visited many of the "go to" sites and has compiled his knowledge. It a great coaching tool.

James Hill is a fantastic teacher from what I've observed. He doesn't dumb things down. He expect you to learn and master, yet he can break things down in bite-size digestible form.

When I first saw the Bob Brozman DVD light bulbs went off in my head. There is a lot in there and a review on Amazon lists all the elements. There is a presumption that you understand certain concepts about music. He says he offers a toolbox. It's not a systematic approach. I found myself intrigued and baffled by some of the content. But like the previous post, there is so much content to revisit and revisit again.

Finally, I think Ukulele Aerobics offer some great material as well. I borrowed it for a while and thought it would be a brilliant companion to a college course on how to play ukulele. I only got through the first 20 - 25 weeks. I heard it gets more difficult and esoteric as you go on.

And of course there is no substitute for a great teacher. But finding a great ukulele teacher.... That's a subject for another post.

04-09-2018, 11:42 AM
Thanks for the resources. You got farther on Ukulele Aerobics than I did, RubyKey, and it was my new year's resolution. But I haven't officially given up yet.

04-10-2018, 01:49 AM
Thanks all. I'll look into each of those...

04-10-2018, 04:14 AM
Most of us start out just learning to play the ukulele in general sense. I think that if someone wants to wear the label intermediate it is time they start specializing in something and getting really good at it, rather than just continuing to work on more of the same thing. I've been concentrating on the blues. Pretty much work on it every day. It is something specific that I want to explore beyond the beginner level. To my way of thinking, that is what separates one from the beginners.