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Thread: Are paid classes worth it?

  1. #1
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    Question Are paid classes worth it?

    hello. i was wondering if paid classes are worth it. i'd want to do it over zoom for obvious reasons and i have no clue where to start when it comes to a uke. i have played an instrument before in school but it was a clarinet. i did much better with a teacher since i could ask questions. would it be worth it to pay for an online class that teaches you how to play the uke? if you think it's a good idea it'd be cool if you gave recommendations and if you think it's not such a good idea it'd also be cool if you could give some alternatives. thanks!

  2. #2
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    When I first learned to play guitar in 1975, I took lessons that provided a good foundation. In 2013 I joined a ukulele group and soon after decided to play bass uke, but when I tried to learn on my own, I stumbled along, so I took about 10 lessons. Definitely worth it for me. The leader of my group, Cali Rose, does Zoom lessons, both individual and group, info@calirose.com. She's very good.


    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
    8 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 38)

    Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    Member The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

  3. #3
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    I think structured lessons that give you a path for learning the skills you want to learn are definitely helpful. One-on-one lessons (in person or via Zoom) can be pricey, but probably will help you learn the quickest. Group lessons are difficult over Zoom since the teacher can't easily watch what everyone is doing (like they can in a classroom). An inexpensive alternative is pre-recorded lessons (like Ukulele Underground or Artist Works) where you watch and practice to their video lessons then periodically have personal one-on-one chats with the teacher to get personal feedback either via Zoom or video exchanges.

  4. #4
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    Like everything, it totally depends. Good lessons are worth it. Bad lessons are not.

    Folks who I believe will give you a good lesson experience: Kevin Carroll, Matt Dahlberg, Aaron Crowell, to name a few.

  5. #5
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    If you have an uke in hand, then I would first begin with free online sessions. These will get you started and allow you to sample different instructors and courses. Do you want to strum and sing? Do you want to play chord/melody without singing? Do you want to ultimately perform or just play for enjoyment?

    There are then courses whereby they have structured progression based on your direction. Some offer a monthly video feedback session specific to your questions and progress. Annual cost may be less than the cost of one or two personal lessons.

    Once you get started, you can decide if a lesson will help. Or maybe by then, you can do it in person with restrictions lifted.

    Added: Courses to look into should include James Hill's "The Ukulele Way", Andrew Hardel's "Rock Class 101", and Chee and Maisel's "Artist Works" course. You should be able to find sample free sections on the Hill and the Hardel sites.
    Last edited by rainbow21; 01-15-2021 at 03:12 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bordessa View Post
    Like everything, it totally depends. Good lessons are worth it. Bad lessons are not.

    Folks who I believe will give you a good lesson experience: Kevin Carroll, Matt Dahlberg, Aaron Crowell, to name a few.
    I took lessons for 2 plus years after purchasing my first high end tenor. I had strummed casually for a few years and wanted to learn finger style. I came to the uke after years as a working trumpeter and a degree in music ed. I already had the theory thing down. Once I got relatively proficient we worked on on a variety of things. Some was material I was interested in and the guy I was studying would suggest something. Overall it was money well spent.

  7. #7
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    Having a good teacher has been huge for me.I have regular teacher https://www.thetinman.co/ that I have been working with for about five months. My playing has taken off. Recently, I signed up for four lessons from Aaron Crowell, and my first lesson was great. I wanted to get a new perspective on intense strumming and shake up what Chris and i have been doing. I get that not everyone can afford to do this, but if you can, I highly suggest it. Nothing like a good teacher (says a college professor)...
    Brad Donaldson mahogany Martin 0 style soprano
    Pohaku Concert 10 (small concert), Bearclaw spruce top/maple body and neck
    Weymann 1920 Model 10 soprano
    Japanese no name soprano, 1950s Burch sunburst
    Japanese no name soprano, 1940s mahogany Laminate
    Japanese no name soprano, 1950s mahogany


    Ukes living in the house
    Harmony 1950s Hog soprano (my SO's 8-year-old's uke)
    Ohana CK 50G cedar/rosewood (the SO's uke)
    Kimise freaky cat concert (Toby the cat's uke)

  8. #8
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    Jan 2018
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    for sure it will help but you still have to put in the work offline! goodluck.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by swagtheswaginator View Post
    hello. i was wondering if paid classes are worth it. i'd want to do it over zoom for obvious reasons and i have no clue where to start when it comes to a uke. i have played an instrument before in school but it was a clarinet. i did much better with a teacher since i could ask questions. would it be worth it to pay for an online class that teaches you how to play the uke? if you think it's a good idea it'd be cool if you gave recommendations and if you think it's not such a good idea it'd also be cool if you could give some alternatives. thanks!
    There are so many variables here that alter the initial balance of is it worth it or not, and then there’s the dynamic part of the balance too. How affordable might lessons be to you, what are your targets, who might be available to teach, do you do better in group or in one to one lessons, is the particular teacher right for you, is either face to face or on-line either best or not practical, and at what rate can you sustain learning are all questions that form part of the decision making process - I’m sure that a lot more questions could be added to that list too.

    I had a Uke for sometime before I started to play it. Eventually I found some affordable beginner group lessons and that got me started playing, within weeks I then joined a Uke Club and have never looked back - an ongoing mix of ‘club’ playing and progressive/structured group lessons. For me that interactive and affordable mix has been near enough perfect but my route and balance might not be right for someone else. Would I be playing now without having had that first lesson? I doubt it but some other folk would have been able to bridge the initial skills gap without a personal guide and the commitment of regular structured lessons.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 01-16-2021 at 12:18 AM.

  10. #10
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    In-person instruction with a solid plan is probably the best, but online is more practical.

    There are lots of good instructors online, but actually doing the sessions is the challenge. Just Google ukulele instruction, and you'll find plenty: Chee/Maisel, James Hill, Aldrine Guerrero, Stu Fuchs, Curt Sheller, etc. The other half of the equation is a good student.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

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