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Grant H.

Ukulele for Beginners: Basic Ukulele Chords, Strumming Patterns, & More!

Online ukulele group class with Grant H.
  • Overview
  • Reviews
  • What You’ll Learn

    • How to play basic, major and minor chords
    • Fingerpicking, strumming, and rhythmic patterns
    • The importance of music theory
    • Chord progressions and songwriting
    • How to start playing your favorite songs


    Weekly Curriculum

    Tuesday August 8th: Introduction to Basic Chords: C Am F G C7: In this course we will explore five of the most important chords to master on the ukulele. These chords are used in almost every genre of music including rock, jazz, blues, reggae, country, pop and even hip-hop! It’s not only important to know how to form the chord on the instrument: it’s important to know how not to form the chord. If we start out early in our musical career paying attention to common misconceptions about forming chords then we can save ourselves a lot of time and grief in the future. Your improvement will increase exponentially! I will also show you some exercise to help with the switching in-between chords while still staying in a musical groove. Once you can move in-between each chord we will learn our first songs on the ukulele tailored specifically to each class’s preference. How exciting!

    Tuesday August 15th: Introduction to Strumming - Learning how to stay consistent with your up and down strokes: In this course we will cover all there is to know about learning our first strumming patterns. While the chords we choose to play in a song determine the emotion of the song, the strum pattern determines the flavor of that emotion. Most songs would sound pretty boring without an interesting strum pattern behind it! We will discuss the mechanics of reading the rhythms on paper, hearing them in songs, and translating them to the feeling in our right hand (or left for our left handed friends out there!). Most people find it difficult at first to make the upstroke, the upward movement of our hand across the strings, and I have some great exercise to help us overcome that difficulty. I will also introduce my concept of the “motor in the right hand” which will bring more fluidity into our strumming. With the motor in place I can show you some of the most popular strumming patterns to our favorite songs and how to break them down so you can learn them on your own in the future.

    Tuesday August 22nd: Fingerpicking Basics On The Ukulele: Fingerpicking on a ukulele is one of the most soothing sounds we can make with our two hands. Like chimes in the wind it can bring us to a place of pure joy! At first the practice can seem daunting because of all of the notes flying in every direction but by breaking it down we will see that there is not that much to it. We will discuss how to figure out which finger goes with which string, I call it ‘marrying each finger to each string’, and how that can help simplify the process. To further simplify we start to compartmentalize the hands into separate categories, essentially putting the picking hand on autopilot. There are also a handful of fingerpicking patterns that everyone uses that I will teach you so you can implement them into your playing. From there we can explore and make up some fingerpicking patterns of our own, the possibilities are endless!


    Requirements

    • A reliable internet connection
    • A laptop or desktop computer if you’re joining from home

      • The Google Chrome web browser is recommended for computer users
    • A tablet or smartphone if you’re on-the-go

      • The TakeLessons app (for Android or iPhone) is required for smartphone users
    • A built-in or external webcam


    Description

    If you want to quickly pick up some essential skills for beginners, this online ukulele class is an excellent starting point. An expert instructor will teach you some of the most common chords and strumming patterns, as well as how to fingerpick!

    You’ll also learn about scales, chord progressions, and more. Here are a few of the topics we’ll cover in this fun and interactive, group class. Join for free today and you’ll be on your way to playing some of your favorite songs on the ukulele in no time!

    Understanding Your Instrument

    When learning the ukulele for beginners, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of the instrument itself. Did you know that there are several different types of ukuleles? Ukuleles come in a few different sizes and understanding the strengths of each will help you decide which one is right for you.

    For example, a tenor ukulele is a better choice for adults because it’s a little bigger in size, while a soprano is more suitable for children with its inexpensive cost and smaller size - making it easier for little hands to hold.

    Once you have your ideal ukulele picked out, you’ll have to make sure it’s in tune before coming to class! In this online ukulele class, you’ll be playing in standard tuning, which is G – C – E – A. Your teacher will go over how to tune the ukulele if you need some assistance, and he’ll also recommend some of the best apps for tuning.

    In addition, you’ll learn a little bit about music theory including scales, chord progressions, and rhythmic patterns - which will come in handy when you begin to practice ukulele strumming patterns and fingerpicking.

    Basic Ukulele Chords

    Ready to start playing some songs on the ukulele? Your instructor will dive right into the fun stuff, teaching you a set of the most common ukulele chords that will enable you to play hundreds of your favorite songs. Get ready to master C, Am, F, G, and C7 - five popular and essential chords on the ukulele.

    These chords are used in almost every genre of music, including rock, jazz, blues, reggae, country, pop, and even hip-hop. But make sure that you’re playing them correctly! In this class, you’ll learn the dos and don’ts of forming chords on your instrument to ensure that you’re using proper technique.

    Your teacher will also provide a few exercises to help you transition from chord to chord, while staying in a musical groove. Once you can move smoothly between each chord, you’ll be able to play entire songs on the ukulele!

    After learning a set of essential ukulele chords, you’ll learn how to move them around in a few different ways to create your own music. Understanding chord progressions will be key to writing your own songs, and you’ll learn about this concept in class as well.

    Ukulele Strumming Patterns

    Without a unique strumming pattern, a majority of the most popular songs wouldn’t be very popular! While the chords you choose to play determine the emotion of a song, the strumming pattern adds flavor to that emotion.

    Up and down strokes are the building blocks of strumming patterns. Combining them in different ways adds a unique spin on any set of chords. Some beginners find it difficult initially to make the upstroke, which is the upward movement of your hand across the strings, but there is an effective exercise that will make this movement feel more natural.

    You’ll learn that exercise and more in this online ukulele class. When it comes to strumming patterns, consistency in your strokes is key. Your instructor will show you how to maintain fluidity in your strumming by understanding the concept of the “motor in the right hand.”

    This little trick will help you break down the strumming patterns in your favorite songs so you can easily learn any of them on your own in the future. Once you feel comfortable with strumming, you can move on to fingerpicking!

    Fingerpicking for Beginners

    Fingerpicking on the ukulele adds a soothing and melodic sound to any song. In addition to strumming, it’s a great way to add a unique flair when writing your own music or doing a cover of a hit song.

    Learning which finger goes with which string will greatly simplify the process of fingerpicking for beginners. In this class, you’ll discover how to “marry” each finger to each string, and compartmentalize your hands into separate categories.

    Essentially, you’ll learn how to put your fingerpicking hand on autopilot. At first, fingerpicking can seem daunting because of all the different notes that are involved, but by breaking it down into smaller pieces it will get easier with practice.

    Your instructor will teach you a variety of popular fingerpicking patterns that you can implement into your playing. You’ll start with “The House of the Rising Sun” and have a chance to create some of your own fingerpicking patterns as well.

    In each class, the songs you’ll learn will be determined by the students’ overall musical preferences, so come prepared to share a little bit about your style - the possibilities are endless!

    About the Teacher

    Grant H. became a music instructor in 2008, and teaching ukulele for beginners is one of his specialties. He enjoys tailoring lesson plans to meet each of his student’s unique needs. Grant has over 12 years of experience playing the ukulele, but he also plays the clarinet, guitar, bass, and drums.

    In addition, Grant is part of a funk, R&B band called Water Seed! One of the top things he recommends to ukulele beginners? Learn to play music that you truly enjoy first. Kicking off your learning by playing songs that you like is key to your overall success!

  • 9 Reviews

    Nicole and Chad Feb. 7, 2016
    Grant is a great teacher. He is wonderful with my 9 year old son. We love him!
    leslie Mar. 11, 2016
    Grant continues to be an excellent teacher for this beginner ukulele player. It's been years since I have practices music, and he is so patient as I try to re-learn how to read and play music. I highly recommend him as a teacher, and I look forward to learning more discipl
    ines from him (including meditation and astrology!)
    ...
    Trudy Mar. 24, 2016
    Grant was so patient and so encouraging. I am crazy excited and looking forward to our next session!
    alyssa Mar. 29, 2016
    My first lesson was wonderful! Grant was able to aptly identify how to help me progress with my study, and challenged me in the right ways to move forward. I'm looking forward to my next lesson!
    Brandie Sep. 23, 2016
    Grant is an amazing teacher. Veeeeery patient, encouraging and really flexible with scheduling lessons. He lives up to the hype in the reviews. I will definitely be continuing my lessons with Grant.
    Stephanie Nov. 30, 2016
    I feel Grant can be whatever you need! After the first lesson, I was confused with music theory and he made it clear by the second lesson. He is very concise with his words and I really appreciate it as some teachers can talk your whole session away. I also asked to work
    on strumming techniques and he was quick to come up with new ones for me as well as explaining how I can create my own. He's fantastic!
    ...
    Jennifer Dec. 27, 2016
    Excellent Instructor, Took his time with me and was very patience. Looking forward to more classes with him.
    Jennifer Jan. 3, 2017
    Great Class today. Grant is so patient with me.
    Marti Feb. 3, 2017
    Grant was able to feel out my interest and musical level surprisingly quickly and get me going toward MY goal. I felt more comfortable than expected and came away encouraged in my goals. Looking forward to more.
Class Length
45 Minutes
Max. Class Size
8 Students
Level
Beginner
Ages
10+

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