You know my motto: “Learn to play songs on your uke by actually playing songs on your uke.”
The logic is simple.
If you’re just playing scales and learning chord shapes, it won’t be long till you’re bored out of your gourd. (Dibs on that for a song title).
Of course there’s a time and a place for scales and chord shapes, but you can learn an awful lot of that stuff while playing actual songs–songs that you enjoy.
Probably the VERY BEST way to learn new ukulele songs and get better is by playing with other musicians.
By joining a uke club, you’ll be in the company of fellow uke lovers, bringing in their own influences, knowledge, techniques, and style. And YOU get to soak it all in, and try it all out in safe environment–with a bunch of people playing at the same time, you can mess up and no one will notice…
Every uke club I’ve been to has been lovely and welcoming, so don’t be shy, and don’t say you’re not good enough “yet.” To get better, you gotta play!
How to find a uke club or event
- A great rundown of ukulele clubs around the world from good ol’ Ukester Brown, here:
- Worldwide club lists: from the ever-helpful Got A Ukulele site, here.
- Ukulele Magazine has a comprehensive listing of ukulele clubs around the world, though it seems to be mostly North America-centric right now. Includes a calendar of events that you can subscribe to.
- My ukulele hero, Jumpin’ Jim, has a list of ukulele festivals and uke events here.
No uke club near you? This little book is chockfull of advice on how to start one up yourself. (I did it — my Boston, Massachusetts uke group is now 1700 members strong!)