John Clark Music Tuition

Ukulele

Trudi - Nailsea

I have been going for Ukulele lessons with John for about a year. His relaxed manner and teaching has been very good. The targets he sets are simply explained and lets me do them at my own pace, that I feel more confident in the theory and playing of the instrument. What I can say is that he is such a fabulous teacher that I even sent my Father for Lessons.

See also Mandolin, Mandola & Bouzouki

The ukulele is a small instrument of Hawaiian origin, superficially similar in size to a mandolin, but with four gut or nylon strings. There are several sizes of instrument: the small soprano, the slightly larger concert, and the increasingly larger tenor and baritone. Most beginners start on the soprano or concert models.

Unlike the guitar and mandolin, there is no single standard tuning for the ukulele, however the most common tuning for the soprano, concert and tenor versions of the instrument is G C E A. It is also usual for the G string to be tuned higher than C string, in what is known as re-entrant tuning.

The instrument is extremely useful for playing chords and rhythms, but can also be used for melodic playing, too. Unlike the mandolin, which is usually played with a plectrum, the ukulele can also be strummed with the fingers.

Teaching Approach

Teaching will normally be based on G C E A tuning, and starts with learning how to tune the instrument and the correct way to hold it. Early teaching concentrates on learning chords and simple strumming patterns. As the student progresses, more complex tunes, chords and rhythms will be added, but the precise approach will vary from player to player, and the teaching order can be changed if appropriate.

Grades

Presently, the Registry of Guitar Tutors together with the London College of Music offers exams in Initial and Preliminary grades, and grades 1-3 for ukulele.

What To Buy

Ukuleles are relatively inexpensive and most music shops will offer a range of instruments. I recommend choosing a instrument made of wood and costing around £80 for a soprano model. Concert and Tenor versions will be more expensive.

Instrument montage