ExpiredBeginner Uke Part 1

Strummin’ Hummin’ Singin’ n’ Pluckin’

Learn to strum, hum, sing and pluck the ukulele right from scratch. This introductory level class welcomes completely new players as well as those who want to spend time on the fundamentals. We always start each new session right at the beginning and build up skill by skill.

In this group, we’re principally focused on aquiring the ‘accompaniment’ skills, i.e. strumming chords and singing (or humming) the tune. This is what most of us imagine ‘playing the ukulele’ means, so we’ll start there. We’ll get comfortable with a small set of the most used chords. We’ll introduce you to the essential ‘All Purpose’ strums as well. All the while, learning popular songs and starting to build you a repertoire.

On the side, you’ll also be introduced to plucking simple melodies on the uke. You’ll get an overview of notation systems but we’ll focus on getting comfortable with tablature notation. This part is easy and enjoyable, and many see it as a bit of a break from the ongoing challenge of strumming, singing and chording at the same time.

The group setting is actually a great way to learn these skills. The group acts as a sort of ‘training wheels’ on this new bicycle that you’re learning to ride. It’s much easier to put all the elements of a song together with others playing beside you as well, of course, as a strong example at the front of the room. Also, I’ve found over the years that people who do uke classes are just great people to meet.

Skills you’ll aquire in Beginner Uke Part 1:
  • You’ll learn the best strategies for holding, fingering chords and notes, and strumming the ukulele.
  • You’ll learn the 8 to 12 most used chords and be able to move between them comfortably.
  • You’ll learn the essential ‘all purpose’ strums that will allow you to play any song you want.
  • You’ll be able to have your questions answered along the way.
  • You’ll learn 6-8 popular songs from across 100 years of popular music, including current hits.
  • Quality printed resources such as lyric sheets, chord diagrams, melodies in tablature notation and online resources to help you remember everything we do together and help you absorb the material more deeply in between lessons.
  • You’ll learn from an enthusiastic music teacher with years of experience teaching the ukulele and a never ending enthusiasm for exploring every kind of popular music with you.

You will need to bring your own ukulele to the class. | An entry level ukulele can be made available for short term loan (1-2 weeks) while you acquire your own instrument. | Quality course materials will be supplied.


What’s the next step after the 4 week class?

At the end of the 4 week class, you’ll have the option of moving on to Beginner Part 2, which extends your skills and adds new ones into the mix, or, many people enjoy staying in the Beginner Part 1 group. I’ve found that many people enjoy and benefit from spending more time with the core skills introduced in Part 1. They really are the core skills of playing this instrument. To make this experience better for those who want to stay in the Part 1 environment, I’ve got alternate selections for many of the songs and melodies we play.  You can do the course twice and learn mostly new music, though the core skills we’re developing will remain the same.

It’s really entirely up to you. If you want to keep being challenged with new things each week, then go on to Part 2. If you’d prefer to review and deepen your core skills of strumming and singing, then hang out with us some more in Part 1.

How many lessons should I do before going to a jam?

You could probably have an enjoyable experience at a jam even if you only knew your first 2 chords. I’m not saying you’ll be able to keep up with what’s going on, but I bet you can play something. Your objective at a jam is to gain some valuable ‘experience points’ on your uke and to have an enjoyable experience. That’s it.

How do beginner’s participate? You could strategically choose 2 chords to play in each new song and only try to play those. You could practice strumming while muting your strings. Some songs, perhaps you just sing along. In all cases, you’re welcome at the jams, no matter what your ability level is. You won’t be bothering anyone, I promise. Remember, your main objective is to have a good time and gain some ‘experience points’ on your uke.

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Venue Phone: 613-323-1689

87 Eccles Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1R 6S5


Joel invites you to his home studio centrally located in the Chinatown/Little Italy neighbourhood of Ottawa.

  • IMPORTANT: Please read signs carefully as there is a ‘No Parking’ zone on our stretch of Eccles Street.
  • 3 hour street parking on Eccles, Anderson and other neighbouring side streets parallel to Eccles.
  • 1 hour parking until 7pm on Rochester. Great for evening classes.
  • OC Transpo’s #11 (old #2) bus route. Get off at the Somerset/Booth stop.
  • OC Transpo #85 bus route. Stops at Preston and Anderson, 1 block away from studio.

The Bridgehead Roastery is only 1 block away for coffee before or after lessons. There is very good and affordable Pho, Ramen, Dim Sum and more just a stones throw away. Take advantage of your time in the neighbourhood to take it all in!

  • Mondays 6-7 | Sept 10, 17, 24, Oct 1
    September 10, 2018
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • Tuesdays 6-7 | Oct 9, 16, 23, 30
    October 9, 2018
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • Mondays 6-7 | Nov 12, 19, 26, Dec 3
    November 12, 2018
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • Tuesdays 6-7 | Dec 4, 11, 18 (3wk)
    December 4, 2018
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • Mondays 6-7 | Jan 7, 14, 21, 28
    January 7, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • Tuesdays 6-7 | Feb 12, 19, 26, March 5
    February 12, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • March Beg Pt 1 Rescheduled
    March 11, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • Tuesdays 6-7 | April 16, 23, 30, May 7
    April 16, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • Mondays 6-7 | May 27, June 3, 10, 17
    May 27, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • Tuesdays 6-7 | June 18, 25, July 2, 9 (UPDATED)
    June 11, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • Tuesdays 6-7 | July 16, 23, 30, Aug 6
    July 16, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm