If you are anything like us it seems like every time we turn around we find a new Ukulele Tutorial, teacher, or lesson. The increased popularity of the instrument has created a huge need for quality teachers, and a lot of bad tutorials and lessons floating around.
So, how do you know which ones to trust? How do you avoid someone who just started playing a week ago trying to sell you a $50 "beginner" course? How do you know a local ukulele teacher is any good?
Glad you asked! We are going to start with some of our favorite platforms for learning the Ukulele online. Ukulele lessons and tutorials that really deliver quality teaching.
After that, we'll move to finding a good local teacher. One of our favorite places to find quality teachers and jam partners is rarely talked about!
The Best Ukulele Tutorial and Ukulele Lesson Sites
Learning the Ukulele from lessons online sounds really appealing, right? You don't have to leave the house, brush your teeth, or even get dressed. Unfortunately, not all Ukulele lessons are created equally.
To solve this problem we've taken the time to list out five places that you can really find good tutorials and lessons. This way, you don't have to wade through a bunch of junk to learn the Uke online!
Ukulele Underground is one of our favorite Ukulele sites, period. It is also one of the most rounded sites with a forum, blog, and both free and paid content.
Even if you don't want to spend the money on a program, we highly recommend you check out the free content they offer.
Just remember, you can't just read blog posts, browse the forum, or watch videos to get better. You have to actually pick up your Uke!
We first found ArtistWorks while looking for good beginner guitar lessons.
They did such a good job we had to see what else they offered. Turns out they have a great Ukulele course too! Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel team up offer several hundred lessons in a wide variety of styles of play.
One of our favorite things about this program is even the basic offering gives you a chance to submit recordings to the teachers for feedback! With the premium plan you get UNLIMITED submissions! Realistically, that's as much if not more feedback than you'd get if you had a local teacher you were seeing once a week!
JP. Allen has gotten rave reviews for his new course, UkuleleBuddy. This course utilizes 'deliberate practice' to skyrocket results.
The program has you play along with three 7-minute videos each week. That is it! We've seen the technique of 'deliberate practice' applied and championed by people like Josh Waitzkin (Think "The Search for Bobby Fischer"), but to our knowledge this is the first time it's been applied to the Ukulele. We couldn't be more excited!
If your biggest excuse to not learning to play is the time involved then this program is for you!
Play Ukulele by Ear
We consider Jim D'Ville over at PlayUkuleleByEar a friend here at StringVibe. Not only did he do a great interview with us, he's been one of our favorite people to follow and interact with!
His site is a little different than the first three we mentioned in that it doesn't have a huge paid course. Instead, Jim starts out with 26 basic lessons that get you playing (using your ears, not reading chords/tabs!).
After that you can follow his weekly updates and continue to grow as a musician and Ukulele player in a way no one else is teaching!
YouTube is a bit of a double edged sword. Yes, it has an absolute ton of content and much of it is high quality. In fact, Ukulele Underground has a lot of their free content posted here!
Then again, browsing around you can find some very poor tutorials as well.
So, while YouTube is a great source to find information, proceed with caution!
Next, a look at where to find a great teacher near you!
Local Ukulele Teachers
While the convenience of learning Ukulele in the comfort of your own home is hard to beat, if you find a quality teacher near you it can make learning the instrument infinitely easier.
Regardless of how you find them, though, we do recommend you try out a few teachers. Even if the first person you go to is wonderful and you get along great, they may not be a good teacher. If you can go
Go to several local teachers before you choose you'll be able to compare how and what they are teaching, what is resonating with you.
So, where might you find a (or multiple) high quality teacher near you? Just a note, we didn't mention Google, because, well, that's probably how you found StringVibe!
Know any people who are musicians? Guess what, they know other musicians, guaranteed. Ask them if they know anyone, or can get a recommendation from someone in their group.
This is just like job hunting. An employer is much more likely to hire someone who comes recommended from a mutual contact. There is a reason it works in business, and it works just as well in music!
If you are in an urban area Meetup is our favorite (and often overlooked) place to find a great teacher. We've run across many groups that are led by a teacher who just wants to give something back. Or, even better, jam groups that welcome anyone. No other Ukulele players show up? See "Referrals".
You can find anything on Craigslist. This is a good and bad thing. You need to be more careful when answering and ad than you do with our first two options. That being said, there are plenty of musicians who know nothing about advertising, so guess where they go... yup, Craigslist.
Hope you found this helpful! Regardless if you go with a local teacher or a online tutorial, you need to pick up your Ukulele and strum to get better! Why are you still here!? Go strum!