View Full Version : Mehhh...

02-13-2009, 08:46 PM
I am in a slump.
Okay, it'll be one year in April since I first picked up the ukulele, so I guess you could say I'm a beginner, but I have learned a lot in this first year. I really, really, REALLY enjoy the uke and I don't plan on giving it up.

But like I said, I am in a slump. I need an instructor, someone who can drill me and physically be there to watch my techniques and critique them. It's been a year, so I am beginning to pass through the beginner stage to intermediate I guess. I feel like I am pretty good at the ukulele, and I know a lot of things. But I want more personal instruction. I mean, Ukulele Underground is like one of the best things that has happened to me (You guys are great, keep it up! :) ), but I need someone to be here and teach me.

The problem is I live in Oklahoma. There is nothing here uke-related. NOTHING. I have no idea what to do. The closest thing here would be guitar instructors, but they don't take the uke seriously, so they're no help. Online learning is okay, but I need an actual person to work with.

Does anyone know anyway to help solve my problem? I'm desperate...


02-13-2009, 08:54 PM
The only thing I can think of is Craigslist. Maybe someone will respond if you post and repost ads there for a teacher. Maybe, just maybe, you'll get lucky and someone will respond. Otherwise, UU is always a great place to keep learning until you do find an instructor. Cheers!

02-13-2009, 10:49 PM
we are, oh yes we r, in the same boat. ALTHOUGH!!

honestly, if u r dedicated, there is enough on the internet to reach a good level... Dom got through to me :D

but people always mention online lessons with Aldrine... so maybe, in time, if he has enough time, , , , , , , , , , that might come through.

02-13-2009, 11:00 PM
i was like that too man.
im in melbourne australia. theres no ukers here. NONE
i learned off the internet.
i guess best way that i learn through was just keep on practising and start posting some videos out!
get some general feedback from the ppl online and progress from there. im more than happy to help. although im not that good compared to the guys on here. just let us know... were all family here.

Im sure everyone would LOVE to have a private instructor for the uke. Going to lessons 3 times a week, having someone to monitor our mistakes and what to build on. Someone to see our growth from start to finish.... But like you, me and some of us here, that luxury isn't available and we have to learn it ourselves or online. Im pretty sure that most of the people here online are self taught(correct me if im wrong obviously) Trust me its hard! but learning that riff or solo piece yourself by ear is an AMAZING feeling!!

you can do it buddy!

dont put that uke down! keep strummin

02-14-2009, 12:45 AM
Wannabe... You are following a path taken by many before you. When you play a musical instrument, you will reach certain plateaus along the way and you might hang there for a little while, then you have some break-through moment and progress to the next plateau and continue in that manner all the way to the peak.

You have already been told that there is a lot of information online. Yep, there is.

What I would do is imagine yourself playing the way you would like to play (like Jake, for example). Then visualize yourself playing that way and start working on your playing with that goal in mind. Keep visualizing your playing and establish little interim goals and climb that ladder to success one rung at a time. You can reach the top, but it is one rung at a time that you will climb.

I wrote about this visualization and accomplishing ones goals in my book, "Get Happy Write Away" and it really does work.

In simplified form, the concept is great... anyone can walk a mile, but you walk it one step at a time. You climb that ladder one rung at a time. Your goal is the top of your ladder.

Right now, it sounds like you are well on your way to the top, so picture yourself at the top of your ladder and keep on climbing.

02-14-2009, 12:55 AM
somebody self taught is the best taught.

02-14-2009, 04:37 AM
Another thing you can do is to go out and jam with folks. Jamming lets you know quite quickly what you need to work on .

Ukulele JJ
02-14-2009, 05:54 AM
You could also get you an advanced-level uke book. Like the John King or Lyle Ritz ones. They'll certainly keep you busy for a good long while. :D

Also, check out Flea Market Music's player directory (http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/directory/state.asp?ID=37).


02-14-2009, 07:42 AM
Thank you so much guys! Just hearing from you guys makes me feel better already! Glad to know I'm not alone...

02-14-2009, 08:10 AM
I empathize. I live in a small town of <20,000 and uke players are more rare than feathered dinosaur fossils here. The music stores and all the musicians I know (quite a few, actually) treat ukes like toys or kids' instruments. And cheap toys at that (a cheap uke - the only kind sold here - sells for less than a typical PS2 game!).

I'm fortunate that 1) I played guitar for 40+ years, so the learning curve wasn't as steep as a newbie, and 2) I'm a crusty old curmudgeon and I'm used to playing by myself.

Here's a suggestion: get some of those "play along" or "jam along" music CDs, usually sold at music stores. They have rock, jazz, blues and so on. Play your uke along with the tracks. They're kind of fun and will teach you to follow the beat. You can also download instrumental tracks of various sorts online to do the same.

Another idea: download and save some Youtube uke videos that you like to watch and play them back while you play along.

Howlin Hobbit
02-14-2009, 08:32 AM
What's interesting to me about this kind of thread is almost every time I see someone complaining about NO ukulele players in their area I've already seen other people, from the same area, making the same complaint.

For instance...

im in melbourne australia. theres no ukers here. NONE

Really? Has the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective (http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/m-u-k/) gone under? 25 or 30 of them in the last pic I saw. (And the yahoo group linked above has a membership of over 300.) Even if the group itself has perished, I'm sure there are still remaining players.

Yes, I realize that some folk may really be in a small town and/or in an area that doesn't boast a lot of ukers. But unless it's a dinky little place, there's going to be someone else.


Or roll your own. Get another inexpensive uke and turn someone onto the goodness.

02-14-2009, 08:49 AM

Or roll your own. Get another inexpensive uke and turn someone onto the goodness.

Mr. Hobbit has great advice as do the others. Find someother folks to jam with.

Start a uke club, advertise in the local free papers, somtimes news stations have a community BBs online. Make it a strumming club and invite guitarist and uke players, then you start letting them play the uke, hold it, strum it, touch it. Tell them to play something they alredy know on guitar. "Hey you can use the same chords just a different key like capoing onthe 5th fret." Next thing you know they are tossing and turning in bed. With visions of ukes dancing in their heads." I've gotten three people started that way in the last 11 months. I have a old Grizzly kit that is set up properly I loan out. Works great.

Advertise a strumming party at a local public park. Go to fleamarketmusic.com they have a players and club directory there.

But you know, I've met more uke players and wannabe uke players by sitting around in parks and public benches playing. Good luck!

02-15-2009, 06:23 AM
I don't know where in OK you are but here is a little google return....
A luither and a school in Norman.



And the list from Flea Market

Uke Republic
02-17-2009, 08:02 AM
Another great resource is the Roy Sakuma dvd. It is very good in teaching the basics and your getting instruction from a man who has ukulele schools. Check em out @ roysakuma.com

02-17-2009, 08:20 AM
I live in Norman, OK too! But the OP and I already established that in the regional meet forum.

I've heard very, very good things about the luthier named Mayes. Never gotten to play any of his ukes though.

I've also heard good things about the spot freedive linked for lessons. Once again, not uke specific, but I've heard their guitar teacher is good. I've been thinking of taking vocal lessons there. Maybe I can get better at the uke too and get a package deal.

Local folks always are a little biased. But there are a couple of local luthiers who have solid reputations. Always guitar people talking them up though.

edit:I've actually met John Mayes. Took me a little bit of time to put 2 and 2 together. Really nice guy too.

02-17-2009, 09:09 AM
Look harder,I saw a uke player from Oklahoma on Youtube today. And Grappler,you live in the same town as wicked slide uke master,The Dirty Johnson.

02-17-2009, 11:56 AM
Well, I can't help you with finding a teacher necessarily, but I have one idea for you from my own line of work. I am a professor, and one thing I've learned is that a lot of skills that I've been able to utilize in my own writing and thinking have come from helping students who are much younger and less experienced than me. They might not be able to tell me anything I don't know, but teaching does force me to be more critical about my own work and to work on things that I wouldn't really be motivated to do otherwise.

SO... if you absolutely can't find a teacher, why don't you start offering uke lessons yourself? At least it will force you to clarify things you don't know and seek out techniques that you want to be able to teach. There's got to be some troubled youth or old folks homes that would love to have you drop by once a week! I think you'd learn a TON about the uke, just out of necessity, if you did that. Also, if you notice your students making a mistake all the time, you'll be more aware of it yourself.

02-17-2009, 12:04 PM
Really? Has the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective (http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/m-u-k/) gone under? 25 or 30 of them in the last pic I saw. (And the yahoo group linked above has a membership of over 300.) Even if the group itself has perished, I'm sure there are still remaining players.

Yah, I've played at there open mic night before and blew em away. will be meeting up with tHeDirTyJoHnSon there soon and hopefully we both can rip it up there. What i was sayin is that there wasn't any tutors or teachers here in melbourne. :(