Comprehensive Ukulele Method for intermediate?

ukuleletodd

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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.

Thanks.
 

Futurethink

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Uke Don

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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!
 

rubykey

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music theory

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?

http://powerup.ukuleleplay.com/core-basics/intro/
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.
 

Ziret

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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.
 

Rllink

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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.
 
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clear

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It depends on want you want to do with the ukulele. Do you want to play covers? Compose original music?
Then, look into the specific area(s) that you are interested.

Frankly, I think you're fighting an uphill battle when moving beyond beginner and into intermediate with a ukulele. There are so much more resources for the guitar. So, here's my thinking... (it's just me thinking out loud here; just a possible suggestion) Get a guitar and learn/advance on that; then come back to the ukulele.
 

clear

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Whatever happens, dont let people scare you away from wearing a strap. The main issue they have with straps, but wont admit, is that they look fat in straps and like nothing more than disparaging those that do not by introducing the illusion of the strap as a mark of inadequacy. None of that is real. They just look fat in straps and are sad.
They say belts make you look thinner... so a strap looks like a belt, so... maybe it's the fat people who want to look thin use a strap? Hahaha. Anyway, why bring fat/skinny into the mix. If you want to use a strap, then use one. If you don't want to use a strap, then save some money and don't use one. I just don't see why we need to force others into one way of holding the uke. Imagine, at the uke club... "ok strap people vs no-strap people. Fight!" No, no, that'd not be good at all. Unite; embrace the differences and strum happily.
 

rafter

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Whatever happens, dont let people scare you away from wearing a strap. The main issue they have with straps, but wont admit, is that they look fat in straps and like nothing more than disparaging those that do not by introducing the illusion of the strap as a mark of inadequacy. None of that is real. They just look fat in straps and are sad.

I can't tell if this is a joke.

I don't use straps. But I've heard very few people tell others not to use them. I've definitely heard way more people get defensive about using straps than actual naysayers disparaging them.
 

robinboyd

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Rockclass 101 might be what you are looking for. It's worth checking it out, anyway.
 

chris667

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The single biggest thing you can do is train your ear, to do that you have to play with people who are better than you and listen to as much music as you can.

For years, I thought you "became good" then started playing with others - actually the opposite is true. Sometimes, you see players with a lot of technical skills who can't play with others. Such people are not very interesting to watch, usually.

Why don't you try doing the invitationals? I can't produce a song a week, but I like to have a go when I can. It can be a really interesting challenge to play something you haven't listened to before.
 

donboody

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Ended up deleting my strap comment. Thought it was funny when I posted it but nobody else seems to, which is fine. Have a nice day.
 

chris667

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First work out what you want to do in the next five years of ukulele lifestyle. These are rhetorical questions, I don' expect a post with the answers. But when you work out the answers, you will be closer to finding a mentor or teacher or pathway to the next part of your ukulele life, it may even be as obvious as a sore thumb.
This is what I was trying to get at with my advice on listening and trying new music, only much better expressed. Thank you @Bill1 .

@donboody it's OK, these things don't always carry over in written form. Personally, I look fat and I never use a strap. :)
 

Mattyukaholic

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I’m just finishing off my free Intermediate Ukulele course - 30 sequential lessons. Some of the lessons are nearly an hour long and represent how I would teach if you were a student with me in the room. You can find it here:


There’s also a course titled ‘Playing Up The Dusty End’ about exploring the fretboard for chords and melody. That’s a 25 part sequential course:


And if you’re interested - a 30 part Uke Theory course which is music theory specifically for Uke players:


They’re all free and feel free to share.

Cheers,