What is a ukulele then?
It’s a Hawaiian instrument. It looks like a small guitar but it has 4 strings. Ukuleles are VERY easy to play. They can be used as an introductory instrument, to prepare you for larger fretted stringed instruments, but they are very addictive. Once you start playing the ukulele, you won’t want to stop. Also, there is no such thing as owning just one ukulele.
What’s so good about the ukulele?
It’s fun, portable, easy to play, it’s a social instrument, people tend to meet and play jam nights, which you’ll be able to do after your 4-week course.
Why is it so popular at the moment?
People have cottoned on to the fact that it’s easy, fun, social and portable. We do wish they’d stop using them in so many advertisements, though!
What if I can’t make one of the nights of the 4-week course?
If you’re on an absolute beginners course (subject to availability and if there is space) you are welcome to join a different night on the week you can’t attend your usual course. With the courses, it depends on whether there is another course running on a different night. If not, you can either catch up before/after your class, or you’re welcome to try to book a private catch up lesson with your tutor (if they are available – you’ll need to check this!)
Do I need to have my own ukulele then?
If you’re coming to the taster session, we provide them for you. If you’re coming to a 4-week course, you’ll be learning material that you’ll need to practice at home. For this reason, you’ll need your own ukulele and a ukulele tuning device.
Which ukulele should I buy?
If you have time, pop in to play a few in a shop and see which one you feel drawn to. If you are not sure whether you will stick at it, we recommend buying a cheap ukulele, then upgrading later when you are sure that you love it. Here’s some help to show you how to tune your ukulele, that’s important if you want it to sound nice. You can also learn in person how to tune your ukulele in the first class of the course.
What if I’m left-handed?
Some left-handed ukulele players choose to play their ukuleles with the right-handed tuning, as the left hand is the one that forms the chords, and this can give left-handed people an advantage. Other left-handed people prefer to tune their ukulele to a left-handed tuning – to do this quickly and easily, simply swap the two middle strings. Read more about this here.
Where are the classes held?
Our classes are held in private rooms, in pubs (yes, you are allowed to drink, responsibly, this is an adult course, intended to be fun and social.) in different areas in London.
When are the classes?
See here for our upcoming dates.
How many people come to the classes?
In the 4 week course, we will never take more than 14 people in a class. We believe that course class sizes should be small so that you get enough attention from the teacher, but also have fun learning with your fellow classmates. For the taster class, we’ll take up to 30 people, as this is for you to try it out and a larger group gives a sense of camaraderie and fun.
How much do the courses cost? For how many lessons?
It’s £89.99 for a course of 4 two hour lessons.
Can I drop into a class?
For the taster class, yes, absolutely!
The 4-week courses are structured so each lesson follows on from the last one. That’s why we like you to commit to all of the lessons in the course, though you can switch days/times and individual catch up sessions can be arranged if you miss a class and want to catch up.
Do I need to practice? How long for?
Not for the taster class, but for the 4-week course, yes, you definitely need to practice! We show you how to do it in class, but you will need to spend at least 10 minutes each day practising to get the most from this course. Ukulele playing is very much about muscle memory, so it’s really important that you practice at home between lessons, so that your finger muscles learn to move to the right place at the time when you want them to.
What’s so great about your courses?
We’ve been doing this for a while now. We’ve tried and tested and found the perfect formula to make you a proficient ukulele player. Group learning means that you can make friends to strum with as well as learn a new musical skill. Don’t take our word for it, though. Check out our testimonials and our YouTube channel to see for yourself.
How do I know if I should join Beginners 1 or Beginners 2?
If you are comfortable with a range of strumming patterns, along with playing the main major, minor and 7th chords (eg Bb, B, C,G,G7,F,A,Am,A7,E,E7,D,D7 etc) on your ukulele. Also if you are comfortable with songs that have multiple chord changes and feel confident to play songs without over-reliance on chord boxes to remind you which is which chord, then you are probably ready for advanced beginners.
Will you come to my house and teach my child?
At the moment, we don’t teach children privately, only in whole class situations at school. Sadly, we don’t have any vacancies for new private students or the time to travel around London teaching at various people’s houses during the evening. We get lots of requests from lovely people, like you, who contact us for private lessons for their children, but they generally live quite far away from one another. We may consider running half term holiday schools for children in the future if there is sufficient demand for these types of schools, but for now, it’s probably easiest if we just say ‘no’ we don’t teach them at all.
BUT, all is not lost… Please read on:
You should come along to learn how to play the ukulele yourself and teach your child(ren). You’ll play your first song in an hour, even with no prior musical experience. We teach adults, in groups, after work in the evenings. It’s masses of fun, so you’ll get out of the house and meet other adults. You’ll probably make a few friends. You will pick up and play a popular song on the ukulele within an hour, and the knowledge that you gain in that first hour can last for about 4-5 hours of lessons with your child. The time you spend with your child will be well constructive and fun – you’ll be spending quality time together, and you’ll be singing and playing. It’s scientifically proven that you like people when you sing and make music together, so it’s a great way to get together with your family.
When you’ve learned how to play the ukulele, you can grab one of Lorraine’s books, Ukulele Basics and teach your child(ren) using the repertoire and resources in it. There’s a special CD Rom that will help you to pass on your skills, whether you are a parent or a teacher looking to teach ukulele to children at school.
We hope to see you at one of our 4-week ukulele courses very soon, and we hope this will be a valuable investment, 8 hours of your time with us, then the time you spend with your child.