Circle of Fifths

circle_of_fifthsIn my long guitar history, for the most part, I wasn’t that worried about music theory. I figured… if Angus Young didn’t need it… neither did I. But, as always, the cute little, unassuming uke has led me down this new and exciting path. I think the uke is so foundational and such a simple tool that it gets out of the way and allows you to focus more on complex concepts.  (more…)


Three Little Birds – Bob Marley and the Wailers – Chords

I was never a huge reggae guy but, of course, the uke hath showed me the light. This song works great on the uke (with a little key change) and I’m a sucker for any song with a hippy dippy message especially when it’s so well balanced and heartfelt.

As is my way lately, this version is kind of quick and bluegrassy but with slight tweaking of the strum, back to reggae, it would be a great song for new ukers to work on their chuck (hmm… I should probably write a chuck post, more to come). It’s a nice simple song but it’s reggae roots provide enough residual timing funkiness to keep it a bit challenging and fun. (more…)

Tuning – Down, Up, Normal And More – With Video

Tuning is huge. When out of tune, even a little, it’s noticeable and it sounds bad. I’ve seen uke players/singers, that were actually very talented, look way more amateur than they should just because their uke was just a little out of tune.

The topic of tuning may seem a bit basic for a post but.. 1 – New people pick up the uke every day and they might need a little help getting it all figured out, and 2 – tuning relates to a lot of things and it can be more complex than you might think. (more…)

Singing… The Necessary Evil – Encouragement and Tips

I’ve never fancied myself a good singer and I’ve never really cared. For years I thought of myself as guitar player in a band that would hopefully include somebody who would sing and be at least decent at it and that was just fine with me. In fact, I didn’t really even care if they were decent as long as I wasn’t singing.

I’ve been playing the uke for a while now and it often seems to be a more solitary situation which is really cool in a lot of ways. You don’t have to coordinate with others to practice, you can take it anywhere, you have complete creative control but… you are the singer. (more…)

San Diego Ukulele Club

When I first decided to buy a uke it didn’t take long for me to realize I was alone in a big world. I’ve played guitar forever and I’ve always had lots of guitar playing friends and there have always been lots of local resources (guitar stores) for guitar players. I researched and bought my first uke without any mentorship or local test facilities. I was pretty careful, a little lucky and it worked out pretty well but… at the time I vowed to seek out and find like minded others in my area for face to face real time interaction. (more…)