3 ways to help you learn the ukulele:
1) Uke University
We do a quicky beginners class at each monthly meeting at 10:00 (jam starts at 10:30) You can expect to learn 7-8 chords and a general strum at the class. Last month we had 65 people show up for the jam, and 6-7 for the beginners class. The beginners then stay for the jam, and play what they can.
Just being around that many ukesters is an encouraging experience. Plus, everyone helps each other out. The whole attitude of the uke is to have fun and help people on their musical journey...(By the way, you can use a Strum Shop uke for the first class, so you don't even have to have your own uke for that)
2) Group lessons: This is a 4 week course that runs on Tuesday nights at 7:00 in the evening, a new class starts each month. The cost is $50 and you do need your own uke for this. I cover everything from strumming to fingerpicking, and we play everything from Beethoven to the Beatles. This is a great way to get started.
Our next class starts the first Tuesday night on
Aug 7th, 2012 @ 7:00 p.m.
We don't do a class in December due to the Christmas season (too many family things going on, people can't always make the class each week)
3) Private lessons. These are available on Mondays through Fridays. The cost is $90.00 per month for a 1/2 hour lesson each week. This is the best overall method, as I can tailor a lesson plan that exactly fits your needs, BUT, it is more money...(sorry!)
Which brand should I buy?
(Click on logo's to go to their website's)
As far as buying a decent uke, Kala, Lanakai, and Riptide are some of the most cost effective. You can get a good solid uke starting at $129. The better ones run from the $200-$300 range. I would stay away from the $60-
$100 ukes, they don't always play in tune as well . Kala does make a lower end model (Makala) for about $70, it plays in tune pretty well, but that would be my
only suggestion for something under $100.
My absolute favorite is the Nalu brand. I play one myself. They are not the cheapest, but are worth every penny. They run from $399 up to $899. If only want to buy one time,THIS IS THE ONE TO BUY!
Which size uke should I buy?
There are four different sizes: Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone. The first three are tuned the same (GCEA), the baritone is tuned like the first 4 strings of a guitar (DGBE)
I personally recommend a Tenor, unless your hands are too small, then a soprano or concert size may be a better fit for you. (Tenors are a little easier to play, more room for your fingers. They also have a better tone, generally)
Where should I buy?
is our "Store of Choice". Completely dedicated to ukuleles and guitars, they have by far, the best selection of ukulele's in the entire Northern California are: between 125 and 150 ukes at any one time!
We are selling the Nalu and Anuenue brand ukulele's on eBay, in case you are too far away from our store
Just For Your Information, Guitar Center has a poor selection of ukes. I would stay away from online orders, you really need to play the uke and see how it feels to you. Besides, The Strum Shop has virtually the same pricing as online retailers.
I hope this info is helpful. We look forward to seeing you at our next monthly meeting!
(unofficial "Dean" of Uke University)