Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ukulele Hunt

Today's post is about a great resource for folks who play, or want to start playing the ukulele! (If you're not one of those folks, please come back next week when I'll write about video games. Thanks!)

A couple of years ago, I got it into my head to try to learn the ukulele. I have had very little luck sticking with musical instruments, but it seemed like it might be too fun to fail. At first, I felt lost in a sea of shady lyric/guitar tab sites with pop-up ads, and the kind of sprawling, spartan sites which look put together by well-meaning but tech-illiterate music teachers. Then one day, my husband found and I was saved.

They have lots of background material from uke history to buying guides. I had already purchased my first instrument. But if I hadn't, I may have invested in something a tiny bit nicer. Still, my bottom-shelf uke is pretty enough to make up for what it lacks in sound:

My favorite part of the site is right here:

I already knew how to read chord charts from previous attempts at learning the guitar, so I skipped the instructional sections. But it looks like they've got some good stuff. If you'd rather learn tabs, they've got you covered too! 

I love, love, love that they divide their songs by difficulty. The beginner chords section includes lots of choices; everything from Disney to Amy Winehouse. They add new songs all the time. Entries often include strumming pattern ideas, and a link to a YouTube video of the song by the original (or most famous) performer.

If you'd like more in-depth help, or just prefer physical paper materials, they also sell a number of instructional books at what look like reasonable prices. (I have never tried one myself.) Also, they have free lessons. By pure happenstance, some of the songs they recommend for first attempts were my first songs!

Now if you'll excuse me, I just found a new song (Needing/Getting by OkGo) and can't wait to get home to practice!
Update: Inspiration:

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