Are you sitting comfortably? Then, I’ll begin. Let’s start at the very beginning, shall we?
What is a ukulele?
It’s a Hawaiian instrument. It looks like a small guitar but it has 4 strings where a guitar has 6.
Ukuleles are VERY easy to play. They can be used as an gateway (No Stairway!) to instrument, to prepare you for larger fretted stringed instruments, but, be warned. Like most gateway things, they can be addictive. Once you start playing the ukulele, you might not want to stop. Also, there is no such thing as owning just one ukulele.
What’s so different about the ukulele?
It’s fun, portable, easy to play and it’s also a social instrument. People tend to meet and play together at ukulele jam nights. You’ll also be able to during or after your 4-week course.
Why is it so popular at the moment?
It’s been enjoying a renaissance since the 2000’s because people have cottoned on to the fact that it’s easy to learn, fun to play, can lead to many a social event and it’s far more portable than a lot of instruments (piano, double bass). We do wish they’d stop using them in so many adverts, though!
What if I can’t make one of the nights of the 4-week course with live classes?
Life happens! We usually record the zoom classes, so, if you miss one, you’re welcome to watch that catch-up and jump on a bit early if you want to when you re-join the following week.
Do I need to have my own ukulele?
If you’re coming to the taster session, we provide them for you. If you’re coming to a 4-week course, you’ll be learning material that you’ll need to practice at home. For this reason, you’ll need your own ukulele and a ukulele tuning device.
Which ukulele should I buy?
If you have time, pop in to play a few in a shop and see which one you feel drawn to. If you are not sure whether you will stick at it, we recommend buying a cheap ukulele, then upgrading later when you are sure that you love it. Here’s some help to show you how to tune your ukulele, that’s important if you want it to sound nice. You can also learn in person how to tune your ukulele in the first class of the course.
What if I’m left-handed?
Some left-handed ukulele players choose to play their ukuleles with the right-handed tuning, as the left hand is the one that forms the chords, and this can give left-handed people an advantage. Other left-handed people prefer to tune their ukulele to a left-handed tuning – to do this quickly and easily, simply swap the two middle strings. Read more about this here.
Where are the classes held?
Our classes are held in the comfort of your sitting room.
When are the classes?
How many people come to the classes?
In the 4 week course with the live class, I will never take more than 6 people in a class. I believe that course class sizes should be small so that you get enough attention, but also have fun learning with your fellow classmates. For the taster class, I’ll take up to 30 people, as this is for you to try it out and a larger group gives a sense of camaraderie and fun.
How much do the courses cost? For how many lessons?
It’s either £45 for a course of online lessons or £89.99 for the online option with the additional 4 live zoom 90-minute lessons.
Can I drop into a class?
For the taster class, yes, absolutely!
The 4-week courses are structured so each lesson follows on from the last one. That’s why we like you to commit to all of the lessons in the course, though you can switch days/times and individual catch up sessions can be arranged if you miss a class and want to catch up.
Do I need to practice? How long for?
Not for the taster class, but for the 4-week course, yes, you definitely need to practice! We show you how to do the basics online and more tricks in class, but you will need to spend at least 10 minutes each day practicing to get the most from this course. Ukulele playing is very much about muscle memory, so it’s really important that you practice at home between lessons, so that your finger muscles learn to move to the right place at the time when you want them to.
What’s so great about your courses?
We’ve been doing this for a while now. We’ve tried and tested and found the perfect formula to make you a proficient ukulele player. Group learning means that you can make friends to strum with as well as learn a new musical skill. Don’t take our word for it, though. Check out our testimonials and our YouTube channel to see for yourself.
How do I know if I should join Beginners 1 or Improvers 1?
If you are comfortable with a range of strumming patterns, along with playing the main major, minor and 7th chords (eg Bb, B, C,G,G7,F,A,Am,A7,E,E7,D,D7 etc) on your ukulele. Also if you are comfortable with songs that have multiple chord changes and feel confident to play songs without over-reliance on chord boxes to remind you which is which chord, then you are probably ready for advanced beginners.
Will you teach my child?
At the moment, I don’t have any children’s lessons but, I may consider it if there’s sufficient demand. Otherwise, please come along to learn how to play the ukulele yourself and teach your child(ren). You’ll play your first song in an hour, even with no prior musical experience. We teach adults, in groups, after work in the evenings. It’s masses of fun, so you’ll get out of the house and meet other adults. You’ll probably make a few friends. You will pick up and play a popular song on the ukulele within an hour, and the knowledge that you gain in that first hour can last for about 4-5 hours of lessons with your child. The time you spend with your child will be well constructive and fun – you’ll be spending quality time together, and you’ll be singing and playing. It’s scientifically proven that you like people when you sing and make music together, so it’s a great way to get together with your family.
When you’ve learned how to play the ukulele, you can grab Lorraine’s children’s tutorial book, Ukulele Basics, and teach your child(ren) using the repertoire and resources in it. There’s a retro CD Rom to help you to pass on your skills, whether you are a parent or a teacher looking to teach ukulele to children at school.
We hope to see you at one of our 4-week ukulele courses very soon, and we hope this will be a valuable investment, 8 hours of your time with us, then the time you spend with your child.