learn to play songs

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!)

9 Comments

  1. Avatar of Barry Friedman Barry Friedman says:

    I was on a camping trip last weekend and everyone was playing guitar (strumming). I was on Uke (yes, always capitalize something so important) and picking/filling. Everyone loved it and so did I. Thanks for all the confidence I’ve gotten from this group.

    1. Avatar of Danno Sullivan Danno Sullivan says:

      I find these days that the guitar players often get curious/jealous around the ukes. I’m envious of their bass strings, I must admit, but they’re fascinated by the charm and the portability and often astounded by the musicality.

  2. Hi – The Uke Hunt link above seems to have disappeared. Here’s his main club page: http://ukulelehunt.com/2010/03/10/ukulele-clubs-and-groups/ (& UK-specific one is here: http://ukulelehunt.com/2010/03/10/ukulele-clubs-and-groups-in-the-uk-and-ireland-2/).

    Got A Uke is also good for clubs (& worldwide festivals throughout the year): https://www.gotaukulele.com/p/ukulele-clubs-and-societies.html.

    And, for UK only, Mighty Ukulele has detailed listings, split into the North & South, plus London events: http://www.mightyukulele.co.uk/UK-Clubs/uk-clubs.html .

    1. Avatar of Danno Sullivan Danno Sullivan says:

      Thanks, Jeanette! Weird, I just checked the link last night, but I’ll your new, better ones in.

  3. Avatar of FRANK WOLSTENCROFT FRANK WOLSTENCROFT says:

    could you please tell me if there is a ukulele society any where near Rochdale ie oldham bury bolton saY WITHIN 15 MILES OF ROCHDALE THANK YOU

    1. Hi, Frank,

      Some great places to search for ukulele groups are Meetup.com and Craigslist events. I’m seeing more and more public libraries and adult ed places doing uke classes, too.

  4. Looks like it’s working now. Thanks for taking the time to post.

  5. The “Join the club” button leads to a 404 page:
    404
    Ooops!
    The page you are looking for seems to be missing. Perhaps searching can help.

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