Ukulele Instruction

In the early 90's I was given an old beat up ukulele by a fan, and with each passing year, I’ve became more and more enamored with the instrument. To this day, my work largely revolves around teaching, performing, writing and recording ukulele themed projects.  

On this page, I humbly present to you an assortment of ukulele instruction resources you can use to learn via whatever method suits you best:

 

Webinar Recordings - Group Workshops - Private Lessons - MUSIC INSTRUCTION BOOKS

Revinars

Tailored for individual students, “Revinars” are recordings of live music courses that teach tunes, techniques and or styles on ukulele. Each course is uniquely created to offer a wide variety of concepts, with history, demos and Q & A. Click a webinar below to learn more about each one. Each purchase comes with a downloadable PDF that contains a weblink to the video recording that you can view online, or download, as well as the supplemental sheet music and class notes.

Also, if you want to join in on future live Revinars, sign up for my newsletter or connect on social media.

12 Essential Strums
  • 12 Essential Strums
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$25.00

(92 minutes)

Learn the 12 most common strums that every ukulele player should know. First you’ll learn the mechanics of each strum, taught slowly and methodically, then I'll show you how to integrate these strums into a sample song for each genre based strum. I've been perfecting this class over 20 years and I have really honed my teaching approach so much, that I’ll give you your money back if you don’t learn these 12 strums. We’ll explore: The Blues Comp Strum, The Rock Strum, The Reggae Strum, Country Strum, Waltz Strum, Irish Strum, Doo-Wop Strum, Motown Strum, Punk Rock Strum, Bluegrass Strum, Boogie Note Strum, Calypso Strum and much more. This is one of the most useful and practical classes you can take! Get yourself out of the down-up, down-up, down-up, doldrums.

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Super Cool Strum Hand Techniques
  • Super Cool Strum Hand Techniques
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$25.00

(62 minutes)

The art of great uke strumming is rooted in timeless techniques and traditional strums. I am highly regarded as one of the foremost teachers of strum hand techniques. I break each strum down to its most basic ingredients; slowly and methodically you’ll learn both the mechanics and how to integrate the Roll Stroke, Triplet Stroke, Tremolo Techniques, Zig- Zag Stroke and much more along with some fun songs to try out these super cool techniques.

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Triplet Roll Stroke
  • Triplet Roll Stroke
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$25.00

(81 minutes)

The Triplet Roll Stroke combines the art of playing a triplet and combining it with a roll stroke. To accomplish this, we’ll learn each of the two strokes separately, then go on to combine them together in a very methodical way. I will show you how to integrate each of these two techniques as you move towards combining them into one fascinating stroke. Open to anyone who knows their basic chords.

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Boom Chuck Strum
  • Boom Chuck Strum
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$25.00

(78 minutes)

The boom chuck strum is the single most practical stroke you can learn to play on the ukulele. Typically, its used when playing folk, bluegrass and country music; however the boom chuck can be a great substitute when you might normally be inclined to do the usual down-up, down-up strumming that we’re all notoriously guilty of. I show two effective ways to play the boom chuck strum and then how to integrate the strum into a wide variety of country, folk and bluegrass standards. When you finish this course, you’ll be thoroughly confident to add this fantastic strum to your regular bag of strumming tricks.

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Intro to Clawhammer
  • Intro to Clawhammer
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$25.00

(78 minutes)

Clawhammer is a banjo-inspired stroke and style that can easily be applied to the ukulele’s unique re-entrant tuning that utilizes the high G string as a drone. I break this style down to its basic elements demonstrating the Bum-Ditty stroke, the clawhammer hand shape, how to play single notes, brush stroke, and demos drop-thumb and double thumb. Together we’ll explore how to play simple fiddle tunes with and without drone. All is all this is a great primer taught with "Fiddle Tunes For Ukulele" co-author John Nicholson.

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Fingerpicking 101
  • Fingerpicking 101
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$25.00

(113 minutes)

Join me for a fun, introductory fingerstyle workshop that will help launch your ability to utilize fingerpicking patterns in the most practical way possible. We’ll explore a variety of patterns that can be used for self-accompaniment, solos and backing others. We’ll look at inside/outside, alternate thumb, arpeggio playing, pinch techniques, and much more. This class is geared towards beginning and intermediate fingerstyle players.

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Arpeggiating the Blues
  • Arpeggiating the Blues
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$25.00

(118 minutes)

Arpeggios are broken chords, played one note at a time, allowing each string to sustain (versus a single strum across a chord). Using fingerstyle techniques and a variety of blues-based chord progressions, This Revinar gives the budding ukulele finger-stylist an opportunity to improve their playing with a series of graduated exercises and songs. I'll teach you inside/outside patterns, alternating thumb, 4-3-2-1 arpeggio patterns, the pinch, claw and scoop technique; all geared towards integrating your arpeggio playing into songs, solos, and accompaniment. This class is ultimately designed to improve dexterity, agility and stamina. It will help you learn how to integrate arpeggios into a wide variety of styles including the blues.

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Blues Scale 101
  • Blues Scale 101
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$25.00

(118 minutes)

Blues is the foundation of rock 'n' roll, pop, country and more. This 90-minute class is an excellent primer on how to get started playing the blues on the ukulele. The substantial PDF includes: riffs, turnaround licks, my 2-String Blues Pattern, solos, how to make the blues scale, using the Blues Bump with the flat 3rd , mixing up box patterns and much more along with a set of cool blues tunes to practice with.

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Intro to Improv
  • Intro to Improv
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$25.00

(110 minutes)

Intro to Improv is a hands-on series of exercises and skill building drills using three chord songs, pentatonic scales, blues scales, riffs, moveable riffs, learning to use the flatted 3rd, pattern playing, Chuck Berry riffs, recycling boogie-woogie patterns, pentatonic runs, doo-wop cycle and permutations and arpeggios. Anyone who’s ever yearned to take a solo or arrange a melodic variation will love this class. It’ll open up new avenues of exploration for you become an improviser.

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Uke ’n’ the Blues
  • Uke ’n’ the Blues
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$25.00

(124 minutes)

This series features an in-depth survey of early blues styles including string-band, jug-band, delta, jazz era, hillbilly, and rare blues. The 100-minute class features: Classic Blues licks, intros, endings, solos, country guitar riff, blues turnarounds, backwards rolls, flips, uke-tricks, ragtime ending, blues box with 3rds, roll strokes, upstrokes, boogie-notes, and strum hand technique.

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Gospel of Uke
  • Gospel of Uke
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$25.00

(73 minutes)

The Gospel of Uke is a ukulele celebration of gospel styles for ukulele including hymns, spirituals, shaker tunes, country songs of faith, preaching bluesmen and a slew of cool ideas to bring these songs to life on the ukulele. This webinar teaches Arpeggios, Basic Melodies, The Pinch Technique, Country Endings & Licks, The Swing Stroke and much more. Open to all Levels.

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Fiddle Tunes for Ukulele
  • Fiddle Tunes for Ukulele
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$25.00

(113 minutes)

Join me for an in-depth exploration of how to play fiddle tunes on the ukulele; including back-up styles, boom-chuck strum, clawhammer, single-string picking. Slurring chords and much more. Tunes covered include: Old Molly Hare," "Black Nag," "Angeline the Baker," "Lumberjack Schottische," "Boil Em Cabbage Down," "On the Road to Boston" and "Britches Full of Stitches." Joining me is Fiddle Tunes for Ukulele co-author, John Nicholson.

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Irish Song & Style for Uke
  • Irish Song & Style for Uke
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$25.00

(101 minutes)

I played in a local Irish quartet for over 15 years. My love of Irish music is apparent and I’ll have you thoroughly engaged as you explore a wealth of Celtic ukulele stylings. This class covers: The Two Finger Triplet Stroke, The Irish Strum, Ballads, Drinking Songs, Playing Jigs, Backing Fiddle Tunes, Joining the Irish Jam, Irish Folk Melodies, Who’s Who of Irish Music, and much more!

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The Songs of Tin Pan Alley & Vaudeville
  • The Songs of Tin Pan Alley & Vaudeville
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$25.00

(130 minutes)

A unique and colorful exploration of vaudeville styles for ukulele. Learn tricks, techniques, history, intros, endings, chromatic walkdowns and loads of tin pan alley era tunes; including songs from the sentimental song era, the flapper era and the depression years. Some of the songs we’ll do include public domain classics like: Grandfathers Clock, KATY, Jada, St.Louis Blues, Sheik of Araby, Dark Town Strutters Ball and more. Class is Open to anyone who knows their basic chords and loves the music of the American Song book.

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Jug Band Styles for Ukulele
  • Jug Band Styles for Ukulele
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$25.00

(101 minutes)

Join me for a super fun romp across the 20’s & 30’s as we explore the Jug Band era in song and style for ukulele. A few of the many concepts we'll explore include: The Country Guitar Riff, Vaudeville Tricks, Stop-Time, 1-6-2-5 Progressions, The Jug Band Strum, The Flip, Triplet Stroke, Swing Strum, Deep Ellum 12 Bar Riff and Solo, and much more.

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Workshops

Workshops

Available in-person and on-line

Tailored to groups like music stores, clubs, camps, and festivals with 15 participants or more, these 90-minute workshops are custom-crafted courses showcasing specific areas of study. 

If you see a workshop here that’s up your alley, get in touch to book it for your next event. (Pro tip for the festival organizers: it's best if we discuss your event before you select specific workshops.)

 

Section title

The Muted Ukulele

The Muted Ukulele

OPEN TO ALL LEVELS

Learn how to get the most out of the ukulele without even making a chord. The ukulele is highly percussive and muting the strings can be beneficial in many ways. Learn how to create a train sound, marches, percussive drum techniques, vaudeville tricks, chunking, and much more. Loads of fun!

The Blues and Boogie of Lead Belly for Ukulele

The Blues and Boogie of Lead Belly for Ukulele

OPEN TO ALL LEVELS

Join Lil Rev for a fascinating study of the blues and boogie of Lead Belly arranged for ukulele and as seen in Ukulele Magazine . Together we'll explore: the blues & rock strum, boogie lead patterns, 12 repertoire songs, the train sound, muted techniques, blues licks and history, and Lead Belly legend & lore.

The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie

The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie

OPEN TO ALL LEVELS

This is a repertoire based class that teaches 12 Guthrie classics' alongside some cool new strums and Woody's unique life story,  anecdotes, and famous sayings. Most songs are 3-4 chords. Loads of fun! A real strum & sing-along class!

12 Essential Strums

OPEN TO ALL LEVELS

Learn the 12 most important strum patterns including: calypso, reggae, blues, rock, country, waltz, Irish, do-wop and much more. Each style will include a song example.

Novelty Songs for Ukulele  

Novelty Songs for Ukulele

OPEN TO ALL LEVELS

This popular class is a fun, well-rounded workshop that provides background on the evolution of the novelty number, featuring bawdy, naughty and double-entendre examples in blues, rock, Tin Pan Alley, Borscht Belt, Irish, and sailor songs. You’ll find a good variety of simple two-, three- and four-chord tunes along with some cool circle of 5th stuff and a few Tin Pan Alley numbers for ukulele. Techniques include many cool novelty strokes including the fan stroke, the zig-zag stroke, the figure eight stroke, as well as all of the silly ukulele tricks.