Buying and learning

Lots of us live in areas where there are no ukulele teachers, players or groups (that’s why I was so eager to help start Ukuleles of Paradise here in our community). That means you need to rely upon purchasing ukulele instruction books, CDs, DVDs and being “self-taught.” Fortunately, the internet offers a wealth of resources—many of them free—to help you learn more about ukuleles and become a better player. I especially enjoy participating in many of the ukulele forums and boards. Feel free to visit them and “lurk” quietly in the background for a while without posting a single comment or question. Just searching through the archives on your free time is sure to boost your “ukulele IQ” by several points!

This resource document lists internet resources, including ukulele bulletin boards, ukulele music sites, ukulele instruction and general sites to find the chords/lyrics of songs you’d like to learn to play.

When you attend a meeting of Ukuleles of Paradise, we’ll teach you the basics of playing—and you’ll be playing songs before the hour’s out—really! Please print out the beginner packet here and bring it to the meeting. We’ll work from this packet—and you’ll have your own ukulele songbook.

If you don’t have an ukulele—yet!—here are a few tips about buying a beginner instrument; these were compiled from suggestions offered by folks on the Flea Market Music bulletin board.

Other learning material is available in the Files section—including reading tablature, fingerpicking, a transposing wheel to make for yourself, how to pronounce Hawaiian words, using a metronome and an essay about Hawaiian music. Go look and help yourself—much of this material was compiled from contributions from folks on the various ukulele online boards I frequent.

Attending ukulele festivals and events is another way to quickly gain new ukulele skills (and make new ukulele friends). I’ve attended nine ukulele festivals since August 2003—including ones clear across the country and in Hawaii. I’ll post a list of annual and “occasional” ukulele festivals here soon, as well as a brief description of each. In the meantime, photos of different festivals are here.