If you’re thinking of buying a ukulele, you’re probably doing it to learn how to play it. Maybe you already have this instrument at home and want to improve your beginner skills. We got you covered in both cases with the best free and paid ukulele lessons online. Beginners will learn the basics from professionals and advanced users will hone their skills.
What Is a Ukulele
Before we introduce you to your first lesson, you need to know what a ukulele actually is all about. This instrument comes from the same family as the lute. It uses 4 courses of strings or 4 gut strings. Hawaii is the place where it first appeared in the 19th century. Back then, the locals used it as a Portuguese machete. Nowadays, cities like Honolulu and Oahu have a tradition of ukulele playing.
The 20th century saw its popularity rise in other countries, too. People over in London, Toronto, Vancouver, and Melbourne adopted this new instrument right away. The US fell in love with it next. So much so, that many festivals appeared all over the region. Cincinnati, Orange County, Seattle, and Chicago are only some examples.
Now that you know a little bit of ukulele history and popularity facts, time to look at ukulele lessons. They’re aimed at different types of users.
Jake comes from a long line of ukulele players. His music mixes the old with the new and the result is one of a kind. He grew up in Hawaii and gained popularity thanks to YouTube. His cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps gained over 13 million views from all over the world. If you’re in Houston, Austin, or San Diego, don’t miss his performances.
Until you get to see him live, Jake has a website where he offers free ukulele lessons. Beginners will learn everything there is to know about the instrument. There are 4 videos, for now, that you can watch anytime you want. Advanced players have 6 clips at their disposal. Each video has Jake explain things in a friendly tone. You’ll feel as if your closest buddy teaches you all about the ukulele. If you have kids who like the instrument, gather them round to watch the lessons.
One of the most popular teachers you’ll find online is Michael Lynch. Everyone knows him better as ukulele Mike and his YouTube videos are watched by millions of old and new fans. He offers ukulele lessons for all playing levels.
If you go to his official website, you can order his newest DVD and eBook combo pack. That way you’ll have all his lessons in one place to enjoy them at home.
This online resource for ukulele lessons isn’t free. It has hundreds of videos if you are a member. To sign up and watch their tutorials, you need to choose a membership type. For $30, you get 1-month access to their UU+ content. This means that you can watch and download the library to your iPad.
A monthly subscription is $19.95. You get a 2-week free trial and access to the same UU+ content. Other benefits: access to the UU University, jam tracks, and a sorted song library. There’s also a yearly subscription at $149.95. It offers extra resources besides the ones included in the other packages.
Sarah has just recently started giving private ukulele lessons via Skype. In her own words, she loves “teaching beginning ukulele as well as intermediate.” If you live in San Jose, NYC, San Francisco, or the Denver area, there’s a high chance she might come to your town on a tour.
You can also catch her at various international festivals. There, she teaches and performs ukulele sessions with Craig from Ukulele Underground.
If you live in Vancouver, Ronin has a ukulele lessons program just for you. You can choose from elementary, intermediate, and late intermediate (or advanced) levels. Each course comes with its own fee. Make sure you check his website for more information before you plan to enroll.
Ronin Wong likes to adapt his playing to different music styles. He mixes traditional ukulele with jazz, blues, rock, and so on. His lessons include playing basic chords, tuning the ukulele, and strumming. You’ll then continue with finger picking, lead playing, and chord soloing.
We have more online resources if the above aren’t enough. Get ready to improve your ukulele skills with these helpful tips.
If you don’t want to learn the instrument via YouTube, you can try with books. One of the best ones we found is Brett McQueen’s Ukulele Exercises for Dummies. He has many tips and tricks up his sleeve to make you a better ukulele player. As soon as you’re done with a lesson, you can test your knowledge with one of his exercises.
Brett has a site where he teaches baritone ukulele players how to become better. You’ll learn how to figure chords on your new instrument and how to use a ukulele capo. He promises more extensive lessons soon, so bookmark his website until then.
Looking for free but professional ukulele lessons? This site has 90 online courses for anyone who’s interested in this instrument. You’ll know how to read a tablature and discover all about the 4 kinds of U-Bass. The team behind the ukulele tabs offers easier ways to play D and E chords, as well as how to change chords.
The website’s been online since 2007, which means a generous database of ukulele lessons. Besides text resources, they also have eBooks for different playing levels. Beginners, intermediate and expert users will find a little bit of everything here. How to Play Blues Ukulele and How to Play Classical Ukulele are only two of their most popular posts.
If you’re an anime fan, you can learn how to play your favorite songs. One of them is Everything Stays, from Adventure Time. Fingerpicking and blues are also covered, as are chords and tabs. Visit their website to discover all this and so much more.
Workshops are always a great way to learn something new. Julie Austin is always glad to lend a helping hand to first-time ukulele players. She’s part of the Uke Revolution that takes place in Decatur, GA 30033. The entry fee is $15.00 if you want to take part in only one workshop. If you want to come to both of them, you’ll need to pay $20.
Canada prides itself on its top ukulele players. One of them is Manitoba Hal. He enjoys being part of workshops and you’ll find him on the road more than once a year. He’s the guest of honor at the Ukulele Ceilidh in Liverpool. Don’t miss out if you live in the area.
Remember the Somewhere Over the Rainbow cover of a famous ukulele singer? He’s a major source of inspirations for everyone who wants to learn this instrument. If you’re one of them, we have the best online ukulele lessons for you. They’re easy and a lot of fun. No matter if you’re a beginner or an intermediate user, living near Los Angeles or Sydney. There’s a tutorial for everyone!