You've finally made it; please read this:
I know, reading is boring. You want to be making music, but I hope this'll get you started leveling-up faster.
My name is Gary Jugert and I've been teaching ukulele with a different pedagogical theory for a long time and it works. I think you should do what I do. Here's what you're getting yourself into:
- This site is designed for you to TEACH somebody else how to play ukulele properly. And to do that, you might need to become a little better at playing too.
- I've been playing ukulele for nearly 20 years and watching the way it has been taught for all these years has been (for the most part) sad. You (yes YOU) can fix ukulele education in your community and change lots of people's lives for the better.
- You don't need to be a great player. Beethoven probably wasn't the best trumpeter in his band. You just have to have a good plan. I give you those plans.
Two things you won't find here:
- Throw away those lyrics-n-chords sheets you got on the internet. They don't start you on the piano that way, and nobody should start their ukulele journey that way. Your students will get stuck with that approach.
- Simplified and dumbed-down music. Your job isn't to make things easy by singing pop song with the fewest number of musical skills possible. Your job (for yourself and your students) is to build toolboxes so you can play everything.
Here's what's happening at this site:
- On this site, I focus on ukulele and baritone ukulele, but the same program works for guitar. I keep that stuff on the Denver Guitar Orchestra site.
- Here, we promote sounding terrible and celebrating mistakes until we've mastered the toolbox.
- The songs are only a tool and part of the journey. Truthfully, the songs don't matter, but the skill set does.
- Don't pick and choose the cool songs you want to play. That's how most ukulele students and teachers sidetrack themselves into poor musicianship. Start at the beginning, master the details, and then teach it to somebody else.
- I know this works, so use it.
A word about copyright and song choices:
All of the songs lying around out in the open on this site are public domain in the United States. You're welcome to use them in your teaching and in your personal education and you can make YouTube videos and school concerts with the program. I'm okay with you sharing it with your students and other teachers. But, if you re-package it, and try to make money from this, I will hunt you down, go to lunch with your mother, tell her we're disappointed she raised an unethical kid, and she (of course) will defend you, but in her mind at every holiday meal, there will be a haze of doubt about you and her parenting.
Why pirates? The jolly roger flag is public domain and has a skull on it. That's why. Plus we get to use the word "swashbuckling."
Modern songs still under copyright protection are kept behind a password subscription package so we can make sure you understand how to use newer music without getting hassled by some lawyer somewhere.
In life, it doesn't matter what songs you pick. As a performer and a teacher, all that matters is you're committed to making great music. If you like it, your students will like it. I know a guy who does a five minute killer version of Three Blind Mice. You should be like that guy.