Group Leader Ken Cockburn
Ukulele Stage 1 (Beginners)
If you’ve never played an instrument in your life, you can play a ukulele! It’s relatively cheap and easy to play, and is a much more versatile instrument than many people realise. It will add a new dimension to your life.
Our 8 week Ukulele Stage 1 course is for anyone wanting to learn, and is run on consecutive Tuesday afternoons starting in October, repeated in January. You don’t need to read music, or even have a uke; you can start from absolute zero. We will show you how to choose a uke, how to hold and tune it, and then a few (very few) easy basic chords, and how to strum along. We have a WU3A music book to buy with 170+ songs of all types, and you will quickly be playing them. We will help you develop the required speed and variety of chords to play a wide selection of music, and develop rhythm and colour in your playing. With practice, you will soon be able to play well enough to join our Thursday group or a club and become a musician!
If you have a uke, bring it along. If you haven’t got one yet, leave it until our first session when we will show you the various types of instrument, and give guidance on cost and sources. The only thing we can’t teach you is how to sing!
Ukulele Stage 2
When you have been playing for a while, and have mastered the basic chord set (Major, minor, sevens, etc) and can change them with speed and accuracy, you may wish to join our 6-week Stage 2 course. It runs on consecutive Tuesday afternoons starting in March to tackle some of those ‘difficult’ chords (e.g. barred chords like D7 and B♭), and introduce more variation into your performance.
Various strumming styles will be covered, as well as changing key, playing in different keys and ornamentation, as well as different types of chord notation in songs (diagrams, tabs and number/fret notation). We will tackle barred chords and show how these moveable chords can extend your range. We will demonstrate different uke sizes and types and their purposes, and what to look for in an up-graded instrument. Finally, an introduction to finger-picking rolls for ballads and country-style playing will be included. There will also be opportunity to deal with any problem areas and broaden your knowledge.
The starting dates are shown in the Dates for your Diary section below.
These courses are not practice sessions but will show the way forward, so that individuals can develop their skills at their own pace.
For more information, or to let me know you want to join a course, contact me via this page or visit the Ukulele Desk, as for practical reasons, numbers are limited.