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View Full Version : Uke lessons with a real-life uke teacher



fivetide
03-03-2010, 05:14 AM
I'm starting one-to-one lessons with a real-life music teacher to try and improve my playing through more constructive practice. Until now I've just taught myself using online tutorials, UU, UH and YouTube.

What are your experiences of the benefits (or not) of personal lessons with a good teacher? Any advice?

SweetWaterBlue
03-03-2010, 05:52 AM
I'm starting one-to-one lessons with a real-life music teacher to try and improve my playing through more constructive practice. Until now I've just taught myself using online tutorials, UU, UH and YouTube.

What are your experiences of the benefits (or not) of personal lessons with a good teacher? Any advice?

I took private trumpet lessons when I was in 9th grade, because I wanted to be in the band and had never played before. My private teacher (and 3-4 hours a day practicing) took me from never-having-played before to 2nd chair, 1st trumpet in the school band in about 3 months. I absolutely hated to disappoint my teacher, and he would lay out each weeks practice, and would make me play them at the beginning of the lesson. I didn't go on until I could play them. Would have never known all the things to practice on my own.

A good teacher can work wonders with a motivated student.

grubblybubbly
03-03-2010, 06:11 AM
you will realize how much easier to ask a question to your teacher. rather than looking online. i got really entheusiastic about guitar when i got good enough to actally play songs i knew, and i might have given up early if i didn't have my teacher.

fivetide
03-03-2010, 06:13 AM
Sounds good to me. Sadly I never had music lessons back in school, the uke is my first instrument and I'm no longer a young dog. But, I love my uke and i'll be paying for my own lessons, so I'm certainly motivated :)

Skitzic
03-03-2010, 06:19 AM
I was not happy when I went to a guitar tutor. He focused on trying to get me to read music (I can read music, I just can't read and play. It's weird and difficult to explain) and not trying to learn the instrument. I think he was just a bad teacher, but he really soured me to the whole private lessons thing.

Good luck though. I'm sure with a good teacher you'll go far!

I wish there were ukulele teachers around here. I'd probably give them a shot.

SweetWaterBlue
03-03-2010, 06:24 AM
I wish there were ukulele teachers around here. I'd probably give them a shot.

I don't know how good a teacher he is, but he can play, and does good tutorials, and Marc O does lessons over Skype, and the price ($25/hr) is less than most non-cyber teachers. Aldrine is also now getting into it the same way.

http://www.jazzukes.com/lesson.html

fivetide
03-03-2010, 06:30 AM
Well I went online and read reviews until I got the feel for somebody who sounded like the kind of teacher I'd like who offered choices of learning paths (and good coffee). I'll have to drive a fair way as a result, but we'll see. i'm quite nervous really, for a grown man. i'm a bit embarrassed at my lack of uke skillz.

SweetWaterBlue
03-03-2010, 06:35 AM
Well I went online and read reviews until I got the feel for somebody who sounded like the kind of teacher I'd like who offered choices of learning paths (and good coffee). I'll have to drive a fair way as a result, but we'll see. i'm quite nervous really, for a grown man. i'm a bit embarrassed at my lack of uke skillz.

Perhaps you should PM KenMiddleton and ask his advice, since he is also in the UK, used to a be teacher, knows everyone in the field, and is a great player and good all around guy.

Skitzic
03-03-2010, 06:38 AM
I don't know how good a teacher he is, but he can play, and does good tutorials, and Marc O does lessons over Skype, and the price ($25/hr) is less than most non-cyber teachers. Aldrine is also now getting into it the same way.

http://www.jazzukes.com/lesson.html

I will have to keep him in mind if I decide to go down the Skype path.

As for Aldrine, I would need to have a years worth of lessons under my belt to be ready for his.

SweetWaterBlue
03-03-2010, 06:44 AM
I will have to keep him in mind if I decide to go down the Skype path.

As for Aldrine, I would need to have a years worth of lessons under my belt to be ready for his.

One thing I will say about Marc O is that I know he isn't in the lessons for the money, so it has to be the love of the instrument and its players. He has a PhD in materials engineering, is the VP of a high tech materials firm in Boston. He plays chords like a madman, and performs with guys like Craig Robertson in UkuleleNoir. $25 an hour for that much talent is a great bargain.

Aldrine is on a whole nother plain from us mortals. Unfortunately, none of these guys has enough time to take all of us as students.

Ahnko Honu
03-03-2010, 08:35 AM
When I was a kid I had a crush on my sister's cute piano teacher. I begged dad for piano lessons but he knew me too well. Hope your 'ukulele teacher is as cute as my sis' piano teacher was. 8-)

pulelehua
03-03-2010, 10:39 AM
I teach guitar privately, and am a Music teacher at a Boys Grammar School. My best private student was an adult Frenchman. He came along knowing very little. A few chords. Couldn't barre. I asked him what he wanted to learn. He said, "Well, what I'd really like to learn is Bossa Nova." So, we started Bossa Nova. From nowhere. What he lacked in everything else, he made up for in heaping buckets of enthusiasm. And with an adult sensibility about hard work. In a couple months, we were playing duets, one of us on tune, one on accompaniment. It's the most fun I've had teaching privately. It was like a friend coming over to play who happened to pay me.

So, don't worry about your age. It's about the teacher-student relationship, and it's about enthusiasm.

kiddfixit
03-03-2010, 02:25 PM
For me, everything turned around once I started getting lessons. I had never played an instrument before, couldn't sing my way out of a paper bag, and generally had little to no knowledge of how to make music. I just knew that I wanted to give it a shot. The first few times I met with my teacher, I was really self conscious. I got a little better each time, and before long it wasn't any big deal. I'm still very much a beginner, but I've leared a lot of chords and I'm working on various strumming patterns. We took a bit of a break over the holidays, but I'm ready to get back into my lessons. I've used the down time to look over what Ukulele Mike had to offer to keep me motivated. I'm supposed to have lessons again starting next week and I can't wait. I would (highly) recommend getting a tutor to help you along.

GX9901
03-03-2010, 10:05 PM
I just had my first ukulele lesson after 3 years of playing the ukulele and learning mostly from DVD's, books, Youtube, and Dominator's tabs. I took a lesson on Oahu with Bruce Shimabukuro. He had a reputation of being a great ukulele teacher and I thought the lesson was well worth the time. While I didn't learn anything ground breaking for me, he did point out a few things that I think will have a profound impact on my ukulele learning journey. I wish I could take more lessons on a regular basis, but I'm only at Oahu for a week, so this will have to do.

fivetide
03-03-2010, 11:57 PM
Thanks for the replies, especially the reassuring voice from Kent! I start next week. Better polish those barre chords...

hawaiianmusiclover06
03-04-2010, 02:05 AM
I been learning the 'ukulele and having private lessons for a year now. Having a live teacher can show you what you are doing right and what you are not doing right. I always look forward to my 'ukulele lessons because my teacher tells me that I am enthusiastic to learn. Also, I am learning from one of Hawai'i own 'Ukulele virtursuo, Herb Ohta, Jr. Good luck and keep jammin'!

countrybumpkin
03-08-2010, 09:43 PM
Enthusiasm and encouragement from a live teacher cannot be replaced. When someone knows your goals and knows how to guide you, things become more interesting and progress quicker.