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Ukulele tools

Technique blog offers tips for learning how to play the ukulele.

Ukulele Clare videos - find the full collection here or subscribe to the Ukulele Clare YouTube channel, for an ever-growing collection of instructional and play-along videos (complete with chords and lyrics).

Chord charts
These charts are by no means comprehensive but I have found that the cover most of what you'll need:


Poach chords from guitars!

Use this handy guitar chord image chart to learn how to recognize a few basic guitar chords so you’ll be able to play at jams and gatherings. Check out this blog that offers helpful suggestions.

Change your strings!

It has to happen someday. A string breaks. Your uke no longer holds its tuning. The tone sounds flat and lifeless. Cheer up! There is  hope! Change them strings! Here's how.


Cool tools and song sources

Tune Transcriber - This free online tool will enable you to slow down songs so you can figure out what beats, rhythms, or genius fingerpicking patterns are going on in your favorite tunes. I haven't used this one but it has gotten trustworthy positive reviews.

Audacity - A free tool with lots of capabilities, including editing and slowing down a tune. I haven't used this one but it has gotten trustworthy positive reviews.

Transcribe! - I use this tool to slow down songs to get into the nitty-gritty details. - This tool helps you figure out what chord you're playing when you can't find it on a chord chart. The site also has a tuner and lots of other goodies.

Musical Glossary - This handy glossary demystifies musical terms. A shout-out to Michele Wilson and her amazing Mini-Maestros for suggesting this link!

Sites for finding chords and lyrics - Because of internet font issues, you often have to go back and coax the chords over the right words once you’ve copied and pasted it into a word processing document.

Ultimate-Guitar – An encyclopedic resource that also enables you to transpose the tune to a new key, if a different one fits your vocal or chord knowledge range better.


Publishers & online sources for song sheets and learning opportunities
Keep in mind that whenever you cut and paste something from the internet, the font they use will likely be slightly different from the one you use, so the chords won’t necessarily end up in the right places. Once you paste them into your word-processing software, i
t’s worth it to take the time to nudge them into the right places either by referring to the original online source or play it on your uke and nudge as you go.

 Flea Market Music Store – Publishers of the internationally popular ukulele songbook tome: The Daily Ukulele and the follow-up The Daily Ukulele: Leapyear Edition. These and other Jumpin’ Jim books are great resources for all genres of music, from bluegrass to Baroque.
– Ken Middleton – Ken makes fabulous fingerpicking arrangements of all kinds of tunes, most of them available free on his website (but go ahead and flip him some green if you end up appreciating his work as much as I do). Wildwood Flower is a favorite of mine. He can sometimes baffle you with filigrees, but if you stick with it, you’ll get it. Not all the tunes are in standard tuning, so beware if you work hard on learning a tune and then go to play it with others, only to find that everyone else knows it in another key.

San Jose Uke Club – These folks have an amazing songbook.

– Ukulele Magazine – Be sure to subscribe!

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