News and Announcements for LearningUkulele.com

All the news, announcements and posts that's fit to print around here at LearningUkulele.com. For the latest on Curt Sheller or Funky Frets checkout their respective sites. There is a lot planned for the end of 2016 and for 2017.

The Seven Modes - Ukulele Examples

Published: Jul 2, 2020

Scale and Mode History

Pythagoras (569BC- 475BC) - discovered the numerical ratios which determine the intervals of the musical scale. Theses are the seven tones of the C Ionian or C Major scale. Pythagoras noticed that vibrating strings produce harmonious tones when the ratios of the lengths of the strings are whole numbers, and that these ratios could be extended to other instruments. In fact Pythagoras made remarkable contributions to the mathematical theory of music. He was a fine musician, playing the lyre, and he used music as a means to help those who were ill.


Site Searching

Published: Jun 23, 2020

A blazingly fast, fuzzy search using Algolia ->. Searches names, titles and descriptions Don't even have to spell correctly.

We Are Back At Our Family Store - Funky Frets

Published: Jun 8, 2020

Here in Southeastern Pennslyvania, USA we have been in lockdown for all most three months, with LearningUkulele.com and our family "small" music store - Funky Frets operating from our home.

As of June 8, 2020 we are back at the store and starting to do in-store lessons and with the retail part now open for regular business hours.

You can checkout what is going on with the store on our weekly Funky Frets TV Show live stream at 7PM (1900) Wednesday nights.

And, LearningUkulele.com and my daughter are presenting two wprkshops every Sundat at 2Pm and 4PM (1400 and 1600) EST.

LearningUkulele.com and Funky Frets Live Streaming Workshops - May 24, 2020

Published: May 19, 2020

Two new workshop series starting May 24, 2020 at @ 2M and 4PM (EDT, USA)

Building Left Hand Technique

INTERMEDIATE - ADVANCED

Building Left Hand Technique explores what it takes to build killer left hand chops on the ukulele.

Single string left hand technique, open string, repeated notes, variations, intervals, double stops, triple stops, chord switching, rhythmic variations, skipping strings, legato and staccato technique.

You'll never be better than you what you can actually pull off what you want with your hands. And, luckily our left hand - ALL of our fingers can be trained to a pretty high level allowing you to pull off what you would like to do.

Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele

BEGINNER - INTERMEDIATE

Exploring contemporary 4-part, a.k.a. "Jazz" chord on ukulele all start with the Big Six, Core Chords. You most likely know the open position chords they're based on.

From the Six core chords that are the Big Six and the principles of chord construction along with learning the notes of the ukulele fingerboard, you WILL be able to create ANY chord you come across just from the name.

These jazz chords are simply 4-part contemporary chords that find their way in a lot of music - not just jazz.

The Big Six Core Chords are: Seventh, Minor Seventh, Major Seventh, Diminished Seventh, Half-Diminished Seventh, Augmented Seventh

From these six chords you'll never be at a loss looking for that individual chord you need.

Posting My Music to Bandcamp

Published: May 1, 2020

Was checking out Abe Deshotel's music on Bandcamp and thought. "I should finally get my stuff up there." Bandcamp is doing right by musicians and not taking any cut during the first Friday of each month. And, in general the take a lot less then the other streaming services.

Back to Abe's music. Really nice stuff. You should check it out. https://ukuleleabe.com/releases

Abe also host a podcast" Abe's Ukulele Podcast. Check that out.

And, while you on Bandcamp checkout my music. curtsheller.bandcamp.com

Thanks, Curt

No More Monthly Subscription(s)

Published: Apr 23, 2020

If you're like me and not a be fan of monthly subscriptions. You've some to the right place. LearningUkulele.com has Two Premium Access Options. An annual plan with three months free and a pay one time and never again Forever plan.

The LearningUkulele.com web site has more than enough, probably too much available for FREE. That you can make and informed decision as to whether it's a good fit.

New List and Grid Views for Lessons Books Songs, Videos...

Published: Apr 17, 2020

New grid view added to the Lessons →, Songs →, Books →, Lessons Series → and Videos → index pages.

Grid View

Bossa Nova

Published: Apr 15, 2020

A new series of lessons on various styles of music, starting with Bossa Nova and how to interpet the styles.

Bossa Nova is a style of Brazilian music, which was developed and popularized in the 1950s and 1960s and is today one of the best-known Brazilian music styles abroad. The phrase bossa nova means literally "new trend" or "new wave". A lyrical fusion of samba and jazz, bossa nova acquired a large following in the 1960s, initially among young musicians and college students.

Alternating Thumb Fingerpicking for Ukulele - Videos • UPDATE: April 10, 2020

Published: Apr 8, 2020

Videos for the First Several Chapter-Lessons Available

Checkout the Lesson Series →

This is the common alternating thumb and two finger strumming style utilizing the thumb, index and middle fingers. Commonly called “Travis” picking in the guitar world. This series of lessons explores and adapts this style to ukulele. Travis Picking is a finger-style made famous by Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. This style is commonly played on steel string acoustic guitars. You'll find this series of lessons to be the most complete, comprenhesive and organized series of lessons offered anywhere - GUARANTEED.

All the current videos on one page and FREE for viewing for April and May. Checkout the Lesson Series - Videos →

Videos Now Have Links to Related Assets

Published: Apr 5, 2020

As I'm adding more and more videos. I've started to show the videos related Lessons, Books, Songs, and other Videos when they have somethings in common or revelant information. With the site growing to over 670 lessons, 130 SOngs, and over 70 books. There is bound to be a lot in common.

Head on over to the Videos section and check it out →. This is just the start and I'll be link more and more over time.

New Series, Lessons and Videos

Published: Apr 2, 2020

Working from home has it's advantages. You can do a lot more. And here is the results.

View ALL Curt's Books for FREE

Published: Mar 29, 2020

You can view all my books, books by Curt Sheller for FREE on-line.

Here are some of the navigation options.

There is also a link to view the pages larger. Here is a PDF page only link for the Fingerpicking for Ukulele - Alternating Thumb Style ➜

Just like an old brick and mortar book store when you could see all of what you would be getting. You can do the same on-line.

Playing by Ear - The Ultimate Goal

Published: Mar 27, 2020

Playing by Ear IS the ultimate goal for any musician when playing a musical instrument. It's true whether you're singing, banging a drum, strumming a guitar, or our favorite instrument, the ukulele.

If your fingers can already interpret and follow what your inner ear commands, you’ve obtained your goal and are playing by ear. However, the fact is that it's actually very uncommon for individuals to be able to "play by ear" with no apparent effort.

If you are like most people new or relatively new to learning to play an instrument, you need a plan to train your fingers to follow your ear melodically, harmonically, and rhythmically. This comes from an understanding of the music principles that drive music and lead the ear to direct the fingers so that then, and only then, can you start on the road to Playing by Ear.

Whether performing or practicing, music involves three elements: your mind, your hands, and your ear. When performing music, your ear directs your hands. And if all goes well, your mind is not involved and only gets involved when things don’t go as planned. Getting to this performance goal, whether it’s simply performing for your own enjoyment or on stage takes work and an organized approach to developing an "ear-hand-mind" connection so all will work together.

Common wisdom states that it takes 10,000 hours to master any skill. This is essentially true - it does take hours and hours of dedicated, quality practice and exploration. I've found this to be especially true when learning any musical instrument, even the ukulele, despite its reputation as an easy to learn instrument. Getting really good and getting comfortable in performance and learning to play by ear takes not mindless hours and hours, but an organized, dedicated, systematic approach with distant goals and building blocks to ensure that you reach that ultimate goal.

The Internet is full of debate and examples of people who seem to be able to cheat at this without putting in the time. I regret to inform you that there is NO shortcut, and simply putting in the time alone is also not always enough. A lot of people put in the time. So what makes someone more successful when learning a musical instrument than another? Or, more importantly, how can you set yourself up for success? Tips for Success

Here you go - my tips for success:

Get a coach, advisor or teacher - and not just any coach. Whether you have a coach, advisor, teacher, guide, guru or whatever you call them, they must be successful with a proven track record of helping others obtain their goals - not simply good players. Finding the right coach can take work, trial, and error. Some look to performers of their chosen instrument to become their teachers. This can be good place to start, but not all performers make good teachers. However, they probably had a good teacher. It's sort of like getting past the Academy award-winning actor and finding their most significant teacher - the behind-the-scenes person who played an invaluable role in the actor's success. Early in my development, I found Chuck Anderson. So hopefully you're be as lucky as I was to find a great teacher, coach, or mentor early in your development.

Practice Deliberately - have distinct goals and a plan for each session. Monitor your success, practice specific skills and problem areas, and constantly strive for improvement. If your practice sounds good, you're probably not really practicing but may simply be repeating something you can already do. Work instead on what you really need to improve: work on what you can’t do, or want to do better.

Teach Others - we learn by doing, and learn more and learn better when we teach others what we know. There is nothing like presenting what you know to others to truly understand it yourself. In all my years of teaching, I've found this to be extremely beneficial in my own musical development.

The Mind, the Ear, and the Hand - each one of these needs training, with specific steps to obtain the playing by ear goal. The ear needs to recognize the intervals, chords and rhythm that make up the melody, harmony, and rhythm of a song. But for all of the training needed for the mind and ear, it's largely up to the hands when playing an instrument, that is, they need the most training to successfully execute what the ear wants. So, make a plan, set your goals, find a good teacher, and practice, practice practice!

Ukulele Chord a Day Series - Last Week of Chord Videos

Published: Mar 25, 2020

The series is winding dowm.

If yu have visited the series in previous years, since 2013, the series has been runnning. You might already know that I did not intend to take it past March. There are just way too many chord "shapes" to memorize.

For 2020 I added videos for wach lesson / chord for January, February, and March.

There is now a summary for each months chords on one page for each month.

New Lesson Series - A Guide to Ukulele Strums

Published: Mar 21, 2020

Learn a variety of strums and rhythmic patterns in wide range of musical styles.

Video For Each Lesson:

A strum refers to an accompaniment technique suitable for the singer, singer - songwriter or someone who plays a support role for another instrument.

Strumming requires a specific set of skills: Memorization of chords, The ability to switch chords smoothly, The ability to choose and execute a suitable rhythmic strum

It's this 3rd skill that is our focus in A Guide to Ukulele Strums and Rhythmic Patterns.

One of the first skills a ukulele player learns is the art and craft of strumming, playing rhythm. This refers to an accompaniment technique suitable for the singer, singer - songwriter or someone who plays a support role for another instrument.

FREE Private Lesson for NEW and CURRENT Forever Members

Published: Mar 20, 2020

I said I wouldn't offer a sale but – with this virus and everyone practicing social distancing and having to work at home here is a deal: Forever Site Access Memberhip for $149 Get It Today! ➜ • Normally $179.

BONUS for Supporing LearningUkulele.com and Curt • All FOREVER members will receive a FREE one-hour private lesson. @ Email Curt to schedule your FREE lesson.

March 19th Updates

Published: Mar 19, 2020

With our family Funky Frets Music Store ➜ closed due to a Pennslyvania State Mandate that all non-essential businesses remain closed because of the COVID-19 Virus. I have a lot of time to dedicate to this LearningUkulele.com website. Even more than the normal massive amout of time I spend on it. The drawback is I've had to cancel most of my 40+ student's private one-on-one in-store lessons. And, only a handful few have been able to do Skype or Facetime lessons.

So I'm available for more Skype / Facetime Private Lessons ➜. Book a single lesson for one hour, and I can guarantee you'll get several months of material to work on and a real plan for self-learning.

I've been a full-time private music teacher focusing on ukulele and guitar students from beginner to advanced students for the last 20 years or so. I'm not big on tooting my own horn, but people have said some good things about my playing and teaching. And, yes, I can, in-detail if needed, explain on many different levels exactly everything I play or have written.

The site has 600+ lessons, 100+ videos, ALL my, over 40 books, over 100 songs, and a lot of ukulele information. I don't just teach you how to play a song - I show you how to learn songs.

At times I had up to 70 students a week. So, there is a lot of experience here. I took private lessons for 30 years with one of the best teachers around - Chuck Anderson. We covered everything, even how to teach private lessons - he had 100 students a week at times and stated when he was 16. Chuck studied with Dennis Sandole. Look Dennis Sandole up, and you'll see quite a few people you have heard about studied with Dennis. I'm not just now jumping on the bandwagon - this is my career and dedication to helping people learn the ukulele and have a lifetime of joy.

See my Teaching Philosophy ➜ page and the links below for how I approach lessons and students.

Lil' Rev wrote an article about me for the 2019 Summer Issue of Ukulele Magazine.

March 18th Updates

Published: Mar 18, 2020

Adding new videos daily to lessons.

Here are the lessons that I added videos to over the last several days.

March 17th Update and More Videos

Published: Mar 17, 2020

Here in the USA were are only a few weeks behind what Italy and now Europe are going throught with COVID-19. Our Sta: Pennslyvana has request that all retail (I own Funky Frets Music Store with my wife and daughter) to close for 2 weeks. Nor retail and not lessons (that's a hit). However beats the alternative and hopefully we can, as they say "Flatten the Curve" and not overwhelm the hospitals and medical community.

With that in mind I'm taking the time to add a lot of videos to the lessons on LearningUkulele.com. I'm starting with the short lessons and we expand from there. We have two weeks but I have a feeling that it will be longer based on the idiots around here that are not taking the guidlines for dealing with this heart for the sake of the wider community.

Most videos will be for paid members as it is a lot of work.

March 2020 - Updates and News

Published: Mar 2, 2020

60 Chord a Day Videos Down and 30+ To Go

Into March and have recorded 60 plus views for the Learn A New Chord A Day series of lessons. After March done wil be recording lessons for the Alternating Thumb Fingerpicking book, the Second Edition. This will be a masses series of lessons for members with Premium Site Access.

Checkout the Chord A Day Series and learn more than you need to know for each chord n the series.

Site Access Plans for LearningUkulele.com

Basic Access - A limited selection of basic lessons — ( currently over 140 ) and 100+ songs for ukulele as well as basic general music reference material — Completely FREE — Simply Register/Signup. HOWEVER - I've been doing ukulele and LearningUkulele.com since 2003 and probably have given too much away already - as reflected in my income from the site in relationship to the time spent on the site. So help support this site and its continued development by signing up for one of the below Premium Access Plans or buy a few of my books. - Thanks, Curt

Premium Access - This premium gives you Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources and related assets. As well as ALL books by Curt Sheller as FREE downloads.

Forever Access - With Forever Premium Access you get Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources and related assets. As well as ALL books by Curt as FREE downloads. Pretty much everything on the site and NEVER worry about a subscription or surprise payment again. And jump the queue for my responding to any questions.

If your anything like me (Curt) and getting Subscription overload with everything on-line wanting money from you once a month — I'm with you. For like minded individuals this forever plan is a pay once and never be bugged again.

The price for Unlimited Forever access is right around the cost of a few months of private lessons. I can guarantee that is more material on-line to keep you bust for a long, long time. And, you get all of my books for FREE. That along is more than the cost of this plan.

NOTE: Each higher access level includes ALL the benefits of the lower levels. Private Lessons include all the benefits of a Premium Access Plans as long as you remain a student on on the schedule.

Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the bestGlen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys

Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too.Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg

I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent.fatveg — Portland

Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!

curtieAnim.gif

Original Curtie Animation from 1987 for my first web site on a Macintosh II.
33 years ago.

“Built for myself (Curt), and sharing with the `Ukulele community!”

LearningUkulele.com has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. I’ve been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!

Content is added and updated almost daily - so check back often.