PDA

View Full Version : Free ukulele lessons at ALL Guitar Centers in October...



ricdoug
09-26-2012, 07:57 PM
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Saturday-Ukulele-Class-g26598t0.gc?source=4TP2JPG

Gmoney
09-27-2012, 03:46 AM
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Saturday-Ukulele-Class-g26598t0.gc?source=4TP2JPG

Thanks for the heads up! Wonder who & how they will be teaching these lessons?? Sounds like a need for local UU'ers to show up in support & help make sure that attendees get good advice - w/o taking over or making GC staff uncomfortable. Could be a whole new "crop" of players from this focus.

Mahalo

Newportlocal
09-27-2012, 04:16 AM
Yep, got the email yesterday. I was actually surprised to see that at guitar center. I think it might be fun to see who runs it and who shows up.

bnolsen
09-27-2012, 04:47 AM
Bring your own uke I gather? I just signed up for this weekend. Will see how it goes!

pootsie
09-27-2012, 05:06 AM
Hmmm, I wonder if the display ukes will be tuned when I show up.

Poked around there not long ago, and all of them were so far off it was not worth picking them up. I don't expect them all to be perfectly tuned all the time, but a little effort would be nice.

thanks for he heads-up ricdoug

Gmoney
09-27-2012, 05:10 AM
Hmmm, I wonder if the display ukes will be tuned when I show up....

Better bring a tuner w/you! That's been my experience as well - we finally got a GC in N. Alabama & sadly, the few ukes they are stocking are all underwhelming & overpriced. AND out of tune.

OldePhart
09-27-2012, 06:46 AM
I happened to be at a local GC about a week ago - couldn't find any ukes at all then finally spotted them hanging behind the mandolins way up the wall above the door to the acoustic guitar room. You'd have to get a ladder to reach any of them but it's just as well because they didn't have any that I would care to play, anyway.

John

pootsie
09-27-2012, 07:28 AM
Perhaps GC is catching on to the idea that they might sell some if they put a little effort into it. Obviously these lessons are to draw in new customers ...

But I have already vowed that my next uke purchase will be from a particular UU member anyway.

greyghost
09-27-2012, 08:58 AM
Curiosity got the better of me--I'm signed up for this Saturday in Manchester, CT. Will report back...

Lideruke
09-27-2012, 09:51 AM
I happened to be at a local GC about a week ago - couldn't find any ukes at all then finally spotted them hanging behind the mandolins way up the wall above the door to the acoustic guitar room. You'd have to get a ladder to reach any of them but it's just as well because they didn't have any that I would care to play, anyway.

John

It's similiar at my local GC. There is a display for Luna and Lanikai, but most ukuleles are above a doorway.

Freeda
09-27-2012, 11:01 AM
Our GC has a surfboard themed stand right by the door to the humidified room. Easily accessible, but nothing really fantastic.

I will go, however, and hand out cards for my uke group. :)

pootsie
09-27-2012, 11:03 AM
I will go, however, and hand out cards for my uke group. :)

Now there's a thought ...

Gmoney
09-27-2012, 11:15 AM
Our GC has a surfboard themed stand right by the door to the humidified room. Easily accessible, but nothing really fantastic.

I will go, however, and hand out cards for my uke group. :)

Good idea & - same "display" at my local GC. What I thought was funny is the display is a Lanakai marketing stand & the GC it was loaded w/non-Lanakai ukes, though they were of the same relative price/quality & all seriously out of tune. They also had the more expensive ukes (new Martins & new Gretsch) over the door in the Acoustic room.

OldePhart
09-27-2012, 11:44 AM
Our GC has a surfboard themed stand right by the door to the humidified room. Easily accessible, but nothing really fantastic.

I will go, however, and hand out cards for my uke group. :)

Yeah, ours had one of those lanikai rotating stands in front of the acoustic room, too, but there were only two ukes on it. All the "good stuff" :rolleyes: was up above the door safely out of reach, and sight... LOL

greyghost
09-27-2012, 11:51 AM
they were of the same relative price/quality & all seriously out of tune.
I've gotten in the habit of occasionally going in to my local store and tuning all the display ukes while I look them over. I figure it might help make a few converts if they try one in the store and it actually sounds good!

Pukulele Pete
09-28-2012, 01:22 AM
After a terrible experience of trying to buy my wife a piano at GC I swore I will never buy anything there. A new one opened near me , you need to bring a ladder to look at the ukuleles. Most stringed instruments I tried were out of tune. Poor selection of ukuleles. I was very disappointed. Maybe with the free uke lessons they will have a better selection of ukes than they had when I last went. I really dont want to bring a ladder with me , but I will go to see if they have more ukes.

Faricelli
09-28-2012, 02:32 AM
It will be funny to see my GC have to do this. Their staff is pretty much anti uke.

pootsie
09-28-2012, 03:22 AM
You know, I might just print this thread out and hand it to a manager there.

ukeeku
09-28-2012, 03:27 AM
I am going to go and recruit people for my Normal IL Ukulele Fun Jam

CoLmes
09-28-2012, 03:41 AM
It will be funny to see my GC have to do this. Their staff is pretty much anti uke.

Same with mine.. I don't see this really happening lol

itsme
09-28-2012, 09:04 AM
Wonder who & how they will be teaching these lessons??


It will be funny to see my GC have to do this. Their staff is pretty much anti uke.
Makes you wonder if the staff draw straws over who has to teach and the "winner" is told to take home a uke and learn a few chords to teach.


Miss one? Want a refresher? No problem. The same lesson will be presented week after week, allowing players to continually hone their newly found ukulele chops.
The bolded part rather disturbs me. Sounds more like it will be a sales pitch to sell ukes than any real lessons.

I hope some UUers do go and report here about their experiences.

pootsie
09-28-2012, 09:19 AM
Sounds more like it will be a sales pitch to sell ukes than any real lessons.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VR_nkuQ-EfU/UESruY1dE5I/AAAAAAAABQs/PCxhD4x-Uhc/s1600/rains.jpg
Shocked.

SailingUke
09-28-2012, 12:22 PM
While I probably won't go, I think it is cool.
I am sure they won't be teaching anything to tough.
Maybe a few simple chords and a song.
This should be a way to get more people involved in ukulele.
I am not a GC fan, but I am glad they are doing this.

pootsie
09-29-2012, 07:49 AM
I arrived at UC at ten, right as they were opening. I went in to get some thumb picks (cuz I wanna give it a try) and the guy helping me turned out to be the instructor. Nice fellow. He had a little Martin soprano that was quite nice. Drum and bass player who picked up the uke a couple years ago.

I spent a few minutes poking at the ukes and was pleased to find that none of them were more than half an octave out of tune, and many of them only slightly out.

About half a dozen showed up for the class. Various grades of beginner.

No surprise, the class was very basic: sizes; holding; tuning; basic strumming; CGAmF--hey now you can play I'm Yours and Soul Sister! About 35-40 minutes. Nothing I haven't learned from self-teaching so far, but an enjoyable time in a group of people strumming ukes.

After the class--SHOCK--a promotional deal. A free $24 clip on tuner (I don't remember the brand) if you buy a Mitchell uke. Class participants only.

I had not heard of Mitchell as a uke brand before. They had a few there, of course, and I found them quite nice.

As I was checking them out, I strummed out a riff I have been working on: the opening bars to Ziggy Stardust. Now I don't play it well yet, but I play it well enough that you can tell what it is and that riff is very recognizable. I got big grins from a couple of the staff and one guy said he never heard Bowie on the uke before. (You can tell he is not on UU!)

I did not get an anti-uke vibe at all. GC, at least this one, is catching on that a market is there. But it will never be Ukulele Center.

pootsie
09-29-2012, 08:25 AM
Forgot to give the bottom line:
Don't go expecting to learn much unless you just got your first ukulele this week and lost the two-page beginner's instruction booklet that came with it.

ricdoug
09-29-2012, 09:08 AM
Sounds like a good meetup, Pootsie. Did the participants share information for future get togethers? My Saturday morning schedule is too busy to make these. What would you guess as the average age of the participants? The two songs they picked to teach are targeted to younger generations. Any ukulele meetup is a good one in my opinion. With Saturday gigs and the San Diego Ukulele Festival in October, I still plan on making one of these meetup/classes. Ric

bariukish
09-29-2012, 11:38 AM
Report # 2.... My wife and I showed up at a nearby GC a little after 10 this morning for the "free Uke Lesson". Two people showed up; that would be my wife and I. I tracked down a young guy with a soprano in his hand that he appeared to be trying to tune. Interestingly enough he was a left handed guitar player that was playing the uke upside down. I asked him if I was in the right place and his eyes rolled back in his head and he uttered something that I couldn't quite understand but I don't think I would want my grand daughter to translate for me. He told me that he was the lucky one chosen by his manager because he occasionally gave beginning guitar lessons. We told him that we were low intermediate skill level and he replied that he had figured out three chords to demonstrate if anyone else showed up and we certainly couldn't learn anything from him. He probably had little to fear since these "lessons" were never advertised in the local media and I would not have known about them if I didn't browse this forum. After we further "bonded" he said that they had been selling a lot more ukes in the past several months and there is definitely a growing interest in this instrument. I mentioned that we were looking for an enthusiast group to get together periodically, enjoy a few malted beverages and make some noise. This seemed to get his attention and he requested that he be included. He helped me put a notice on the GC bulletin board and suggested that I visit another music store that has a recording studio and someone that really knows how to play a Ukulele. I'll check out this lead when I get a chance. The guy turned out to be a nice fellow that had been put in a tight spot by his management.

ricdoug
09-29-2012, 11:58 AM
Ouch! Guess that GC gets an "E" for effort and an "F" for execution. If they really want to get into tbe ukelele market, they'll need to learn more about the ukulele and it's culture and evolution. Ric

greyghost
09-29-2012, 12:31 PM
I'm rather lucky, in that my local GC has a salesman who's a fairly serious ukulele enthusiast, so I was pleased to see that he was in charge of the lesson. I was even more pleased that he actually remembered my name (I've talked shop with him on several occasions, and he sold me the guitarlele). 6 people showed up: 3 retired fellows, all armed with Luna ukes that this salesman had sold them in recent weeks, a couple of teenagers (one of whom was an absolute beginner, the other of whom looked bored out of his mind), and me (48, and armed with my new Lanikai zebrawood tenor). The lesson was extremely basic, which suited the gathered players well, and I wasn't really expecting anything more advanced. It was a nice opportunity to chat with some other players and actually play a couple of songs as part of a group (my playing is usually a very solitary pursuit), and I quite enjoyed it. This GC had a better selection of ukes than they've had in the past--they're now carrying the Riptides, which I'd never seen in person before. They look much better now that the logo is no longer under the strings on the top, but I was really bothered by the placement of the electronics in one tenor I tried out--If you look straight-on at the ukulele, you have a clear view of wires and a battery box taking up about 1/3 of the soundhole...

addicted2myuke
09-30-2012, 05:14 AM
I took the class last Saturday. The teacher was proficient on the guitar but had very little uke knowledge. Tried to teach the E chord to extreme beginners. YIKES! I am an intermediate player (2 years) and thought I could get something out of it, as it is advertised as a class for beginers to advanced. That is blatent false advertising. Call the GC and ask if the teacher is a uke player. Good luck, and let us know what your experience was.

efiscella
09-30-2012, 05:27 AM
While I probably won't go, I think it is cool.
I am sure they won't be teaching anything to tough.
Maybe a few simple chords and a song.
This should be a way to get more people involved in ukulele.
I am not a GC fan, but I am glad they are doing this.
In the past year, I have purchased/and sold close to 20 ukulele's and I play several every day. I subscribe to UU and Fleamaketmusic.com. I have hosted Jake Shimabukuro and will host Daniel Ho at my theatre in November where Daniel will be teaching an ukulele master class. All of this started for me with a FREE lesson that I took in Waikiki at PuaPua Ukulele. I wouldn't knock guitar center for this effort, even if it is to bring more people into their store. I give them credit for finally catching on and who knows, maybe even GC can learn from a few knowledgeable ukulele aficionados and change their attitude and offerings for the ukulele. And maybe, others like me at PuaPua will be inspired to learn more and to seek out new friends who share a common bond - a love for the ukulele.

SailQwest
09-30-2012, 12:30 PM
Last week, we went to GC in Tucson. We headed straight to the acoustic room, where most GC's seem to keep their ukes. None there, but...not terribly far away we found a nice display and couple of stands with ukes in several brands and sizes.

Even cooler, the "nicer" ones were all in tune, with the exception of a baritone that my husband wanted to mess around with.

I spoke with one of the the salespeople there, and she said that they have their own "uke whisperer" who keeps everything tuned up.

If well-executed, I think the free uke lessons are an excellent marketing strategy for GC. As well as spreading more uke love. :love: But I think that the execution may be hit-or-miss, depending on each store's personnel.

ricdoug
09-30-2012, 06:29 PM
In the past year, I have purchased/and sold close to 20 ukulele's and I play several every day. I subscribe to UU and Fleamaketmusic.com. I have hosted Jake Shimabukuro and will host Daniel Ho at my theatre in November where Daniel will be teaching an ukulele master class. All of this started for me with a FREE lesson that I took in Waikiki at PuaPua Ukulele. I wouldn't knock guitar center for this effort, even if it is to bring more people into their store. I give them credit for finally catching on and who knows, maybe even GC can learn from a few knowledgeable ukulele aficionados and change their attitude and offerings for the ukulele. And maybe, others like me at PuaPua will be inspired to learn more and to seek out new friends who share a common bond - a love for the ukulele.

Same here. Ric

~dave~~wave~
10-01-2012, 02:03 PM
....advertised as a class for beginers to advanced. That is blatent false advertising.

That's a little harsh.
They advertised it as teaching you to hold and tune a uke, what did you expect?
They did mention experienced players coming, but I assume that was for them to get the chance to play in a group, or mentor, not to learn anything new in a crowd of beginners.


Thanks for the reports, all.
I'm a good customer of my GC, the staff are real musicians and always helpful.

I couldn't make it to my local event, but had I gone I would have been the know-it-all old fart, so maybe was best I didn't.
I know our instructor is a young female classical guitarist, so her skills would translate well to the uke.

OldePhart
10-01-2012, 02:13 PM
If well-executed, I think the free uke lessons are an excellent marketing strategy for GC. As well as spreading more uke love. :love: But I think that the execution may be hit-or-miss, depending on each store's personnel.

Yes...I think we'll know that GC is really taking it seriously when they hire a traveling promoter/instructor who really knows his craft to tour the GC stores doing workshops like they sometimes do for other instruments. Of course, they'll probably judge whether there is enough demand for that sort of thing by the response to this promotion...

uke42
10-01-2012, 02:36 PM
I worked at a company that paid users of our product to demo it at stores. GC should partner with UU and pay UU members to teach beginner uke classes.

strummin'&hummin'
10-02-2012, 04:16 PM
I'm a beginner and I went and it was well worth it. The Guitar Center employee they had teaching the lessons was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. There were about 7 of us in the group ranging from 6 to mid-50s. For the people who came and did not bring their own uke, the Guitar Center supplied Lanakai. He had a tuner with him and tuned each of our instruments prior to starting the lesson. I asked how many weeks the lesson would last (because my E-mail said until the end of October) and he said as long as we keep coming, he'll keep teaching. They were not even pushy about purchasing products there (books, ukes, etc.) but generally seemed like they were doing it because the uke happens to be very popular right now.

I'm sorry that I see a lot of seem to have some bad past dealings with your local Guitar Center. For me, a beginner and a person who is interested in learning more, it was well worth it. I'll continue to go as long as they continue to teach.

Edited to add: I already knew a lot of chords prior to attending the class and I was not bored. I felt I learned a lot about strum technique, rhythm, breaking down a harder song and switching chords smoothly.

OldePhart
10-02-2012, 04:28 PM
@strummin&hummin - sounds like you've got a better GC then most I've been in. The one in Arlington (TX) isn't terrible and the associates have actually improved the last couple of times I've been in there but it's still pretty desolate for ukulele interests.

John

poppy
10-02-2012, 08:29 PM
I really wanted to go just to meet some locals, but alas grandsons soccer is saturday at 11 am.
I think its great to have an intro session like this, good for GC and the uke.

PedalFreak
10-03-2012, 11:05 AM
0 people showed up at our local GC. Made me feel good. I've been offering free lessons at our shop for about 3-4 months now. Had 8 people the first day, and at most we've had 12. I thought that was low. When I first announced it I sold around 40 ukes, all people saying they were buying to come to the classes. Yeah, I wanted to sell ukes, but I also wanted to teach. Our city doesn't support much though, so I wasn't real surprised.




I had not heard of Mitchell as a uke brand before. They had a few there, of course, and I found them quite nice.

Mitchell is a brand that Guitar Center has built for there stores. It's a house brand. They make a ton of money on those, so they tend to push the Mitchell brand a lot.

OldePhart
10-03-2012, 12:01 PM
Yeah @pedalfreak - GC wields a pretty big stick. Most people don't realize that often the "Special Edition" Fender or Ibanez or what have you that they buy at GC may not be the same model they'd be getting from another store. GC & Musician's Friend (same company) often buy huge quantities of "special GC edition" models from these companies and usually the specs are not as good - cheaper parts, poorer finish and set up, etc.

Doesn't mean you can't get good stuff there - but you really have to know what you're doing and if you played an instrument off the wall that you really liked don't let them "get you one still in a box from the back room" - chances are about 50/50 that it won't play as nicely and you won't realize it until you get it home.

John

Tigeralum2001
10-03-2012, 06:00 PM
I worked at a company that paid users of our product to demo it at stores. GC should partner with UU and pay UU members to teach beginner uke classes.
That might actually get me in a GC... :)

ricdoug
10-04-2012, 07:58 PM
I plan on making the last session this month at the Guitar Center in San Marcos (North County San Diego) this month. Ric

nix
10-06-2012, 10:11 AM
I went to the uke lesson at the Guitar Center in Avondale, AZ today. There were only 3 of us and the other 2 ladies had been playing less than a week. Stan, the gentleman who taught the class was very patient and clear. He went over uke sizes and tuning, how to hold the uke and how to strum. Then he went over C, F, G7 and Am. We practiced the up, down strum for a long while and worked on switching chords. He also briefly went over the I, IV, V chord progression and how it was the basis of many songs. I think it was a really nice introduction for people who are complete beginners. Wish I could have left flyers for my ukulele club at the local (and competing) Sam Ash :cool:

Nix

SailingUke
10-15-2012, 06:22 AM
I visited the Oxnard, Ca store on Saturday. There was a nice group (12) of mixed ages.
The instructor was a guitar player who did a good job, but it was obvious he was not a teacher.
He gave us a song with B, Bb7 and E. I don't really believe these are beginner chords.
He was running the lesson as more of a class assuming folks would come for all four weeks.
IMHO the lesson should be a few simple chords (C, F, G7) and basic strumming (up/down).

I do applaud Guitar Center corporate for sponsoring the lessons. I believe they would be better off creating a lesson plan & handouts and give it to each store for their employees who are chosen to conduct the lessons.

dhoenisch
10-15-2012, 06:51 AM
I stopped in my local Guitar Center in Bedford Park, IL for some strings. I always make a stop in the acoustic room and I saw their instructor with two students, apparently a husband and wife. I stayed to watch for a bit, and the instructor seemed like a really nice guy and seemed like he knew his ukuleles well. I believe he had an A/E Riptide plugged into and amp. Didn't see what the couple had as I didn't want to make them nervous. Anyhow, if anyone is near Bedford Park, IL and wants to give these lessons a shot, the guy there seemed very knowledgeable and patient.

Dan

OldePhart
10-15-2012, 06:52 AM
...
I do applaud Guitar Center corporate for sponsoring the lessons. I believe they would be better off creating a lesson plan & handouts and give it to each store for their employees who are chosen to conduct the lessons.

That would have been good. Something that probably would have worked as well and might have paid off for them more in terms of sales over the long haul would have been to have the store managers reach out to the local uke community. With the internet it's not that hard to find out if there is a ukulele group in your sales area. I bet many of the stores would have been able to find local clubs happy to provide an instructor for a very nominal charge or even free just for the opportunity to get the publicity out there for the club.

Most store managers probably don't even know things like ukulele clubs exist, though.

ricdoug
10-19-2012, 03:40 PM
My friend Susie sent me this photo of the ukulele class at the Guitar Center in Lake Forrest, California:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/GuitarCenterLakeForrest.jpg

itsme
10-19-2012, 04:06 PM
My friend Susie sent me this photo of the ukulele class at the Guitar Center in Lake Forrest, California:
Wow, was that a club invasion or what?

That instructor must have been intimidated as all get out to see so many people turn up, especially if he/she was drafted into the role and isn't really a uke player to begin with.

Anyway, props to whoever organized it. It sends a strong message to GC that there is a viable community of ukers to be catered to (or from their position, people they can make money off of).

808boy
10-19-2012, 04:56 PM
Wow, props to GC for doing this. Not signed up but may drop by GC Modesto, Ca. to check it out.
Mahalo for the heads up....................................BO.......... .................

OldePhart
10-19-2012, 05:17 PM
My friend Susie sent me this photo of the ukulele class at the Guitar Center in Lake Forrest, California:



Holy cow I bet the manager of that store is still cleanin' the stink out of his drawers! :biglaugh:

Good on that bunch, though!

John