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itsscottwilder
02-04-2012, 02:19 PM
let's say you're teaching someone who knows nothing about music or uke.

What's the first things you teach them?

A few notes? A few chords? An easy song?

If so, which song?

SailingUke
02-04-2012, 03:24 PM
let's say you're teaching someone who knows nothing about music or uke.

What's the first things you teach them?

A few notes? A few chords? An easy song?

If so, which song?

On the DVD "The Mighty Uke" there is a trailor where James Hill gives your first ukulele lesson.
I have found it to be the first lesson I give.
1. How to tune and play notes.
2. F & C chords.
3. Play & sing "Everybody Loves Saturday Night"

I do many beginner workshops, everyone walks out able to play and sing a song.

patico
02-04-2012, 05:12 PM
i show a few examples of 2-3 chord songs, then ask what kind of music would the begginer like to learn.
it is very important to catch the students atention, let him emjoy his firsts steps, this is a bit easier if the song is already recorded in the brain n is liked.

AllenIsbell
02-04-2012, 05:48 PM
I, personally, think the most important things to know as a beginner are the parts of the intrument, how it works, and how to properly hold and play it. With this foundation, I feel that it's easier to comprehend what you're supposed to be doing. Creating "bad" playing habits may make things more difficult in the long run.

Tuning. I am very picky when it comes to tuning. I believe that every musician should know how to properly tune their instrument by ear. I can not stand hearing someone play even slightly out of tune. To me, it makes your skill level look...less than perfect, to be nice. Knowing when you're out of tune is a great, simple skill. Knowing how to quickly get in tune quickly is priceless to me.

After that, how to read and play basic chords and have smooth chord transitions (for stringed instruments). Since I can't read music 100%, I would then move on to reading tabulature.

I have taught a handful of people guitar, and have had great results. Most importantly, have fun with it.

paeataa
02-04-2012, 06:57 PM
i show a few examples of 2-3 chord songs, then ask what kind of music would the begginer like to learn.
it is very important to catch the students atention, let him emjoy his firsts steps, this is a bit easier if the song is already recorded in the brain n is liked.

I second this approach too. If you get their attention, everything seems to be much easier to teach them :)

hapauke
02-05-2012, 01:19 AM
I showed my daughter the progression of C Am F G7. She struggled a little until I pointed out she could play Baby by Justin Bieber. Then it was like a light turned on for her. Every person would have a different song that could be the spark, but finding that spark can start the fire.

TCK
02-05-2012, 05:44 AM
I used these, because they were available (I had the bigger ones so I used a hole punch and made them small) 33209.
I stuck them on a Dolphin and handed to an interested kid, and had them look at the fingerings by simply saying the colors.
They were placed at G,C, Am and F, which gave me about a million songs they could play. Ran through a few of the possibilities and sent the kiddo home with the uke.
I think it was 2 days later she came back and asked "OK- I have these...can I get some stickers on Em?"
Might be cheating a little, but every kid I show learns those ones pretty fast, and it is easy to hook them (little Somewhere Over The Rainbow" or "Hey SOul SIster" and they eventually want to learn more).

ahreeka
02-05-2012, 07:36 AM
The ukulele being popular in Hawaii, and living in San Diego where island music is not so foreign, I start off by teaching simple chords with a simple strum similar to an "island style". The first few chords I teach are C, G, Am, and F. The finger transitions are a good start and the strum I usually start with a D DU UD. The first song I taught was "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" with the C G Am F and then a bit of "Butterfly Nets" by Bishop Allen which is C E7 Am F. I try to find songs with the same chords except one or two and allow them to practice using their fingers and strumming.

I prefer 4 chord songs because counting each beat to 4 (like 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4 etc I forgot what it's called) is probably the most basic thing in music and is something they're usually comfortable with.

I'm not a big fan of playing children songs like "Mary Had A Little Lamb" or "Old McDonald" etc. it's just boring to me and reminds me of learning piano as a kid when I really wanted to play much "cooler" music. Thus I try to look for more modern and/or iconic songs such as brutha Iz's SOTR or indie songs like Butterfly Nets.

Drew Bear
02-05-2012, 07:58 AM
...how to properly hold and play it. With this foundation, I feel that it's easier to comprehend what you're supposed to be doing. Creating "bad" playing habits may make things more difficult in the long run...I believe that every musician should know how to properly tune their instrument by ear.
I attended my first ever music lesson last week. It was a beginner's ukulele group class led by luthier Mike DaSilva. He began with tuning, both with & without the help of clip-on tuners. Next was how to hold the uke, including general guidance on relaxed posture.

The bulk of the 2.5 hr. class was spent on two broad basics: fretting hand and strumming/picking hand. He covered "only" a few basic chords and strum patterns, but focused a lot on the basic techniques: finger position, wrist angle, fretting pressure, counting out rhythm, etc.

He ended the class by having us play 3 songs that incorporated the fundamentals we'd learned and practiced. I'm fairly certain that we would not have been able to play nearly as well if we had started by trying to learn the songs.

There are many teaching philosophies, so YMMV.

Kayak Jim
02-05-2012, 09:17 AM
Well I'm a beginner (or I was three weeks ago :rolleyes:) and in a group lesson once a week. I wish they would give us more drills to improve chord transitions rather than just playing simple songs. The songs only require changing chords every few bars and everyone eventually makes the transition. Something like Uncle Rod's drills to practice at home.

Jim B

Harold O.
02-05-2012, 10:41 AM
My group is for beginner/intermediate level players. When we start out, we play songs that usually have pretty simple structure and only two or three chords.

What I hear as feedback from those who've been around to other groups is that by the time they get one song sort of figured out, they move on to something else. So in our group, we play a song several times in a sitting to make sure we got a groove going. In another couple of weeks, that same song will reappear again. This way we get to know the song and build confidence.

Papa Tom
02-05-2012, 11:18 AM
I teach "C" first because, with High-G tuning, it's a very easy chord (one finger) to play, and it's the foundation of a lot of easy three-chord songs. It also helps the newbie gain confidence to learn something so quickly.