Your Daring Adventure Awaits
If you're new here, you really oughta read this whole (blah blah blah) page!
- swash·buck·le /ˈswôSHˌbəkəl/ verb: swashbuckle; 3rd person present: swashbuckles; past tense: swashbuckled; past participle: swashbuckled; gerund or present participle: swashbuckling
engage in daring and romantic adventures with bravado and flamboyance
Here's what you should do first:
- Sign up for our email newsletter right now. The widget is on the top of the right column if you're on a computer or down below if you're on a phone. I try to keep this site phone-friendly, but it'll be better on your computer.
- Then, you should start with Book 1 and EVEN IF YOU HAVE PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE you need to do Lessons 1-30. There is no need to pay for anything on this site until you've conquered those lessons. They're the foundation for everything else.
- If you are able, take advantage of all the YouTube broadcasts. They're free. The video archive has hundreds of things to help you move forward. And more are on the way.
- The site is ever evolving based on the ways people want to learn, so if you need something or have a good idea, let me know .
The sections on the website are:
- Home Page: Lists the schedule and website updates. Home
- Ukulele & Baritone Lessons: Info
- About: You're on that page now. About
- Book 1: Seriously, you need to do this and nothing else at first. Book 1
- Book 2: Contains 60-ish public domain songs to help you get better. Book 2
- Jumping Flea Arpeggiator: The single best book on ukulele ever written. Jumping Flea
- Jolly Roger for the Holidays: Public domain stuff for various celebrations. Holidays
- Jolly Roger TuffRawk: This leads to membership information. TuffRawk
- Jolly Roger Song of the Day: This page is a mess. It'll be ready for 2024. SOD
- Orchestra: Everything you need to know for Monday nights. Orchestra
- Teaching Ukulele: This page has resources especially built for teachers. Teaching
- Arranging and Composing: Info
- MuseScore: This is the tool you'll probably need to grapple. MuseScore
- Arranging: How to turn your favorite song into an ukulele masterpiece. Arranging
- Composing: How to turn the commotion in your noodle into magic. Composing
- Theory: An ukulele-centric approach to understanding how music works. Theory
- Subscribe: Information on how to join the website as a paying member. Subscribe
- Member Portal: Top secret section for paying members only. This is where the fancy stuff is. Log In
- Video Archive: Find recordings of all the previous YouTube events. If you want to study a specific song, just search for it by title in the list. Video
My name is Gary Jugert and here's what you oughta know about me and this insane website:
- This website was thrown together during the pandemic. It's not meant to be pretty. It's meant to be overflowing with content and yeah, you have to read in order to get the most out of it.
- I started taking music seriously when I was 35 years old and it's never been "easy" for me. I hope to make it easier for you than it was for me, but it'll still be super challenging. Anybody selling you an "easy" program in music is selling you a bill of goods. Music is a long journey and the easy stuff is barely worth doing.
- To become a producer of music instead of a consumer of it, we'll be using everything that's useful and tossing out anything that's silly ... there's plenty of silly nonsense in music that'll divert and confuse you if you let it.
- I spent ten years on piano prior to finding my first ukulele more than 20 years ago. Ukulele was wildly UN-popular back in those days and YouTube didn't exist. I taught myself to play using piano sheet music from the Tin Pan Alley era since many of those had ukulele chords printed on them. I've been watching the way ukulele gets taught now for more than two decades and for the most part it's been sad and shocking and so many people have gotten terrible advice.
- I've been teaching instrumental ukulele for a long time now. I personally don't want to sing, but I will make sure you know all the tools necessary to play, teach, and arrange music for the ukulele -- while singing if you want. My focus is making you capable of playing the ukulele in the non-singing way too. This program teaches you how to play ukulele in all the possible ways. Not just one way. And not necessarily just ukulele.
- The method here is meant for anybody who can read numbers. I've taught ages 7 to 90+ using this system. We follow the ideas presented in the first ever books of instrumental music published in 1507. Fretted instruments still work today exactly the same way they did on lute more than 500 years ago. It does not require any prior knowledge and it does not require any talent. If you want a peek at those books, they're here and here.
- This method is meant for life-long musical learning, and once you're comfy with it, you'll be able to play anything on any fretted instrument and you'll be able to write your own too.
- This method is also meant for you to use in teaching others. If you're already a musician, this will be the fastest and most comprehensive way to add ukulele into your arsenal.
- And finally, I founded and conduct the Rocky Mountain Ukulele Orchestra and the Denver Guitar Orchestra because I am passionate about "ordinary" people making extraordinary music.
- You will become a real musician. It won't be easy, but it will be worth it.
We have a subscriber section for several reasons:
- Some music is copyright protected and can't be left in out in the open.
- The subscriber section serves as a library for all of the arrangements we've done since the beginning.
- The Monday night orchestra are for subscribers only. It's where you master music. You want to hang out with the cool kids, right? They think they're the cool kids on Mondays.
- Your subscription is pretty dang cheap for what you get, supports the ongoing expenses of running this site, and makes you feel like you're doing the right thing for the future of music.
- Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- I am perpetually way behind on email. I will get to you eventually (probably). I promise to read every email. I don't necessarily promise I will write you back. The more time it takes to answer your email, the less likely it is I will have time to respond to you. Keep it simple. 🙂
- You can text and I usually respond, but leaving a voicemail isn't a great idea since I rarely listen to those: 303-984-0777
Websites: They are constantly under revision and mostly a mess.
- Teaching and mastering the ukulele (you're here!): https://jollyrogerukulele.com
- Rocky Mountain Ukulele Orchestra (the one you'll be joining probably): https://ukuleleorchestra.org
- Denver Guitar Orchestra: https://denverguitarorchestra.com
- Info on my music studio and harmonica program: https://mammothgardens.com
- My personal composition site: https://pencilopolis.com/
- My beta-test website where I try to crash things before I turn them over to you along with other odd things I do: https://uncommittee.com/
Wanna Help Out?
The best thing you can do for me is become a member of the website. Check it out here. If you were thinking, yeah, I'd like to pay for his Starbucks you can Venmo me at Gary-Jugert or you can PayPal me at https://PayPal.me/garyjugert
- When we do live sessions, the rooms opens up a minute or two early when I post the link on the website. Hit reload.
- If you've subscribed to my YouTube channel, you can go there directly and hit reload until I go live. You'll be first to know.
- I talk a LOT. Some of the things I say are helpful. Some are not. I'm probably never going to change.
- Most classes end on time or may go over a bit, but you can always sneak out if you have a hot date. (You don't.)
- It's free. Stay home. Rawk.
- Don't sit and listen ... get your instrument out and do what you can.
- Tell people about this program. It's good.
- Please subscribe to my YouTube channel so they'll send me free puppies.
- Perfection is not a goal ... showing up is.
- I want to give you the option to NOT sing by playing instrumentally. Shhh.
- Play at whatever level makes the most sense for you, and then reach for the next level.
- Members have access to more modern music. Consider subscribing.
A Video About Me
The local orchestra nominated me for this award and Channel 7 elected to highlight our program!
How about a Jolly Roger polo?
Big News! You can now "represent" as part of the Jolly Roger Ukulele pirates by doing an Amazon order. I don't get anything out of this, but you'll get a cool shirt. Here's the steps.
The material is the thinner athletic type -- you might need to wear a V-neck underneath. I always get black (because I'm boring). Sizing was what I expected. I've washed them a bunch of time now and they're holding up just fine perhaps because the material is made by science.
* Upload the logo when you "customize it."
* You don't need to fill in anything in the font section. Leave it all blank.