Jake Shimabukuro

LukuleleStrings

Active member
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Messages
428
Points
43
I think I’ll pick it up soon. I’d love to hear him explain his flamenco-tinged sections.
 

Nickie

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
10,218
Points
113
I might have to check this out when I finish the Uketropolis Course.
 

Jerryc41

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
8,832
Points
113
I just recently saw that Jake Shimabukuro has an approx 3 hour Master Class series of instruction offered via the ‘Master Class’ web site. I’m curious if anyone, here, has started the series yet; if so, would love your feedback on what you think! Here is the trailer for his course:

www.masterclass.com/classes/jake-shimabukuro-teaches-ukulele

Thanks for posting that. It's only $15 for a month, and it runs for about three hours. I prefer that type of billing to paying a large fee for the entire course. If you don't like it, you're stuck with the payment.
 

Jerryc41

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
8,832
Points
113
Thanks for posting that. It's only $15 for a month, and it runs for about three hours. I prefer that type of billing to paying a large fee for the entire course. If you don't like it, you're stuck with the payment.

HOLD ON! I thought this was $15/month. It is, but I was charged for an entire year - $180. I don't see a way to contact them or cancel.
 

BigJackBrass

Charlatan, Humbug & Imitation Humorist
UU VIP
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
336
Points
43
HOLD ON! I thought this was $15/month. It is, but I was charged for an entire year - $180. I don't see a way to contact them or cancel.

There's a drop down menu with details of the 30 day money-back guarantee and how to cancel at the bottom of the page. The email address is
support@masterclass.com
 

Arcy

Active member
Joined
Apr 19, 2018
Messages
921
Points
43
I'm about halfway through and it's beginner-never-picked-up-a-ukulele lessons: how to hold the ukulele, what notes are where, basic strumming, intro to chords.

It's what I expect from MasterClass: impeccable and very glossy production values and an engaging presenter providing a good survey of the topic. I'm watching it for entertainment purposes more than because I expect to learn much: even for the exciting bits (vibrato, tremolo, etc.) he's not going to have time to go into much detail, and there's no feedback loop. I am looking forward to his arranging and writing sections. Jake is great to listen to - his passion comes through very well.

Uketropolis is James Hill's site with several courses. The main one for non-teachers is The Ukulele Way which covers solo / chord-melody playing. I highly recommend it if you like that sort of thing. If you prefer singing then it may not be for you.

IMHO, Masterclass doesn't overlap with the Ukulele Way at all:


  • Masterclass aims to give a subject survey. When you finish the Masterclass you'll have an idea of what can be done and some pointers to things you may want to learn.
  • The Ukulele Way walks you through chord melody playing and arranging from beginner to (I hope - not there yet!) expert. It'll take much longer to go through, and it uses that time to build skills.

The Ukulele Way is exercise-driven and counts (in my head at least) as practice time. It's almost all active playing with most of my time spent following up on each video lesson. Masterclass I can watch without a uke in hand -- I'm listening more than watching while going for my walk around the block.
 

Arcy

Active member
Joined
Apr 19, 2018
Messages
921
Points
43
Ok. Just went on my lunch walk and finished off the chords, and I'm updating my opinion - Jake's approach to beginner chords is different from most and very very good: instead of going through all the first position chords he hits a few of the shapes and then emphasizes moving the three finger triangles (G-shape) and stairs (Em-shape) up and down the fretboard, leaving the fourth string open. He's much more free-flowing and less prescriptive than most beginner sessions I've seen, and he's very into substituting simpler chords rather than staying strictly on major triads and listening (and enthusiastically blissing out - it's so cute!) for what sounds good. I will grab my uke and play around with this when I have a break later on

His demo's are fun but much less beginnerish - he loops the short progression he taught and then Jakes out on the melody. Fun, but not something normal people will be able to do :)
 

LukuleleStrings

Active member
Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Messages
428
Points
43
I’m going to buy it to see what I can learn but mostly for the production value and entertainment of watching/listening to Jake. I feel like I’ve watched his PBS documentary a hundred times so far so this will be nice for something new.
 

Neil_O

Active member
Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
360
Points
43
For most of the first hour I felt like he had covered all these things in his videos I saw on youtube. The more advanced things got advanced pretty quickly. My son was watching it today and I kept wanting to point him to instructional videos on youtube.
Wife bought the whole shebang, so no cost for me.
 

Jerryc41

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
8,832
Points
113
For most of the first hour I felt like he had covered all these things in his videos I saw on youtube. The more advanced things got advanced pretty quickly. My son was watching it today and I kept wanting to point him to instructional videos on youtube.
Wife bought the whole shebang, so no cost for me.

I acted too quickly and saw $180 being charged to my CC. I know it's the same as $15/mo, but will I want to keep using it for a year? I like programs that let me pay monthly. Fortunately, I was able to cancel and get a refund. From what you said, I'm glad I canceled.
 

experimentjon

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
2,262
Points
48
This had been on my playlist for a while--seems relatively beginner level to start--but we'll see where it goes. The one super valuable thing I've learned already though is how to hold the uke--I always thought my thumb above the neck was bad form but had been slipping into it whenever my hand got tired. Turns out Jake prefers this method b/c it keeps your wrist aligned.

Capture.jpg
 

Hochapeafarm

Active member
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
1,284
Points
36
Interesting what Jake notes re: the placement of the thumb above the neck. I always thought it was frowned upon to do that, but I can see the logic in Jake’s perspective. Thanks for sharing, experimentjon!
 

man0a

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Messages
847
Points
63
Interesting what Jake notes re: the placement of the thumb above the neck. I always thought it was frowned upon to do that, but I can see the logic in Jakes perspective. Thanks for sharing, experimentjon!

That's the same technique that Ukulele Underground teaches:
 

Brad Bordessa

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
1,960
Points
63
Turns out Jake prefers this method b/c it keeps your wrist aligned.

Ok... So this appears to be a big case of do as I say, not as I do. And it's very misleading and I'm extremely disappointed that this is how Jake/Masterclass chose to present this.

Have a gander at this:


Now this (so much delay - jeez):


I don't know about you guys, but I see a masterful player with impeccable technique who isn't putting his thumb over the neck nearly as much as I'd expect from someone who made a big deal about it on his Masterclass. Both videos are from the last year, about when I'd expect him to be implementing this new version of holding the neck.

Does he put his thumb over? Yes. We all do. But he doesn't do it very often. Because from a technique standpoint, thumb behind the neck facilitates much more complexity in fingering.

If you're only playing three chord songs, you could probably get away with playing only with your thumb over. Lots of people do. It's fine - not a "bad" thing. But as soon as you move on to more complex chords or any kind of picking, the mobility penalty that thumb-over imposes will get you into lots of trouble, really fast.

Everyone I've ever taught alongside has always touted the behind-the-neck thumb position as a good starting point. Maybe it's not easy, but it's an ideal to work towards because it gives you options as you progress.

To put all his eggs (and his students eggs) in the thumb-over basket in the most visible uke lesson in the history of the world is a damn shame, in my opinion. I love Jake, but this is going to make for a lot of undoing as uke teachers like me try to set their students up for long-term success.

There. I said it. Let the games begin.
 

experimentjon

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
2,262
Points
48
To put all his eggs (and his students eggs) in the thumb-over basket in the most visible uke lesson in the history of the world is a damn shame, in my opinion.

Thanks for sharing this counterpoint, Brad. Very interesting. Guess I'll definitely be discounting that thumb over the neck thing a bit. Perhaps the takeaway is--don't feel bad if you do it once in a while, but try to follow best practices whenever you can.

It is kind of crazy that this is probably going to be the most visible ukulele lesson in the history of ever...but who knows, a $120 paywall is a steep barrier compared to learning with Aldrine for free(mium) -- really how I learned what little I know about this instrument.