|I got a ukulele for father's day in 2002. I'd been thinking of it for a while since Stuart McLean declared it to be the official instrument of the Vinyl Café. I play trumpet in the East York Concert Band and a little harmonica (only by ear) but I've alway's been afraid of 'things with strings'. However if Stuart said it was to be done then there was nothing for it but to join the growing movement. I'm really enjoying it. I kind of remember other kids having ukuleles around when I was a child but nobody seemed to know how to make them behave like musical instruments so I was pleasantly surprised when I could get nice sounds out of the little one my girls gave to me.|
My daughter, Adelaide, studied music at UoT and as part of their music education class they were fortunate to have the incredible Melanie Doane come and teach them the Doane Method of ukulele instruction. Addy was allowed to invite a guest and had me along. It was a wonderful time. Go buy Melanie's music!
Another great composer and musician (and a ukulele master) is James Hill. I suggest you listen to as much of his music as you can and investigate his teaching material.
Here's the website for the Corktown Ukulele Jam. It's a great site, especially for those of us in Toronto.
I bought myself a banjo ukulele on eBay a couple years ago. It was missing its bridge and the old tuning pegs kept slipping so I couldn't keep it in tune. I thought Id take a crack at fixing it up so I made a bridge but it's not too good. I've since bought and installed a regular banjo bridge and it works fine and has fixed a tuning problem. I also replaced the tuning pegs with new Grover machine heads.
Here're a few photos as sort of a how-to instruction on installing them. In hindsight, I didn't do a very tidy job so don't pay very much attention to that.
I was able to find a few resources on the internet. Some folks have posted chord charts and some had put up images of book pages. I've scavanged some of those and assembled slightly more useful versions of them here. You may care to download .pdf files of them.
|This is a book called "A Practical Method for Self Instruction on The Ukulele and Banjo Ukulele" by N.B. Bailey. It was originally published by Sherman Clay & Co., San Francisco. This appears to be most of the forty third edition. It looks like it's from the turn of the century before last or maybe as late as the 1920s. A gentleman named Tom Wyma found the book in a used book store, scanned the pages and posted them to his web site. I've put all the seperate scans into one .pdf file. It's a great uke primer. I suggest giving it a read.||Download The Book.|
|This is a direct knock-off copy of one Megs (my incredible spouse) has for guitar chords called "Nick Manoloff's Modern Accompaniment Guide for Spanish Guitar" copyrighted in 1935. I've included the original copyright information on the file and will be more than happy to cease and desist from distributing it and surrender it to the copyright holders if requested. In the meantime, download it and enjoy. It's written for ukes tuned to GCEA. Print the file, cut out the three circles and the windows in the upper cover and then use a paper split-pin to connect their centres. I've just posted a new "in time for Christmas" updated version with redrawn chord tabs that will print more clearly and with additional chords on the back. Assembly instructions are included. No batteries required.||Download The Wheel.|
|Here's a handy chart of 156 ukulele chords for ukes tuned to GCEA. It's handy to have stuck up on the wall next to where you practice so you don't have to keep looking them up in a reference book or running to your computer to get them from Marcel's Chord Finder (see below). It's formatted to print on 11x17 (that's tabloid) size paper so you may not be equipped to simply just print it off but may have to tile it onto a couple of letter size sheets.|
I've also made an alternate version for those of you who've adopted the ADF#B tuning as propounded by the Doane method.
|Download the GCEA chord chart or the ADF#B chord chart.|
Here's an on-line tuner for your uke. There are also alternate tunings.
Here's handy on-line chord generator by Jim Cranwell.
Also check out Uke Buddy. It's a great site too.
Finally, the most wonderful computer-based uke tool is Sheep Entertainment's Ukulele Chord Finder by Marcel van der Zwet. I've used Internet Explorer to save the page as a web archive so I can use it off-line. They also have a downloadable version that runs outside a browser. I used it as reference for all the tabs in the accompaniment wheel and chord chart. Thanks Marcel! Marcel has also posted a "play along with Elvis" page you may enjoy too.
Last Updated on Thu, Jan 5, 2017.
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