Jenny is on the News!

Jenny is on the News!

Recently, our local news ran a segment on the ukulele keeping people happy during this Pandemic time. One of Jenny’s lessons was a part of the clip. Check it out!

Ukulele online groups, lessons and festivals are keeping the ukulele community alive.

The ukulele is the happiest instrument in the world. And, the people who play it are kind and decent. Hanging out with ukulele players is a great way to take your mind off of the troubles in our world right now. 

Ukulele works great for people from ages 3-103. Young children can sing and strum and feel the beat. Grandparents can learn simple folk songs to play with their young grandchildren. Ukulele can build community within groups and within families. 

The ukulele is not very expensive, nor is it hard to play. You don’t have to make a big commitment to discover the  joy of learning music. Play for a little while and you will get the hang of it!

Matt owns the store, “Aloha City Ukes”

Matt and Daphne Cantlon are a father-daughter duo who play together all the time.  He shares his passion for music with his daughter, which has been a wonderful father-daughter bonding experience. 

Recently, Matt was the subject of a documentary on Channel 11 TV in Chicago. Because I teach at his store and I teach online lessons, one of my clips was in the segment. 

 

Can you teach yourself the ukulele?

Can you learn an instrument online? Well, with our books and courses it is possible.

We are The Ukulele Sisters and we start simply. Our first songs use only one chord. You get the coordination of singing and strumming without having to change chords. Then, you move to two-chord songs and then three-chord songs. You develop the ability to play and sing in rhythm without pauses between chord changes.

We start with simple material

We help you master simple material before moving on to more complex music. At the two-chord song level, we keep you on the easiest chord change on the ukulele, F to C7. We offer 12 songs with those changes. Then we move to the C to G7 chord change where you get to do many of the same songs with the new chord change.  You can concentrate on the technique of changing chords, rather than learning new songs. Because there are 12 two-chord songs, you can pick and choose the songs you know and only learn those songs. Whatever song you choose to practice you’ll be learning the techniques you need with it. 

With our first book, you learn only 5 chords, but with 21 songs, you’ll know these 5 chords well by the time you’re done. Then you are able to move on to more complicated chords and strumming patterns.  Ready to read tab and learn basic music notation, you are excited about your progress. Soon you will be ready to progress to a simple chord melody. With a solid foundation that will help you to progress into the world of ukulele playing, you are ready to enjoy the ukulele wherever you go.

Go to www.ukulele.io/shop to find out more!

Jenny is a Guest on “Ukulele is the New Black” Podcast

Jenny is a Guest on “Ukulele is the New Black” Podcast

“Ukulele is the New Black” is a fun podcast hosted by Meredith Harper

You can listen to Meredith interviewing Jenny on “Ukulele is the New Black” podcast here.  Don’t forget to download your free gift after you listen to the podcast!

Meredith lives in Australia. She has traveled the world playing ukulele and interviewing ukulele players. Having the violin when she was younger, she wanted to find an instrument that was more forgiving. So, she picked up the ukulele in 2016. 

Her theme song is fun and all the facts in it are true!

Meredith states that she is not a great ukulele player, but she sings pretty well, so no-one seems to mind. She is interested in how playing ukulele has changed your life. It is cool how ukulele brings happiness and goodness to the world.

Listen to her podcast and your cares will melt away. I am sure you will be glad that you did. Here are the lyrics to her theme song.

Ukulele is the New Black

Song by Meredith Harper

I wanted to play an instrument
Cos musicians are so cool and I wanted to be cool
But I found that playing an instrument is kinda hard
I tried the harmonica but I really sucked
I tried the guitar but my fingers couldn’t do it
I was ready to give up…
Then I saw a little instrument in the shop
It didn’t cost too much so I gave it a shot
Now I play all the time and my friends do too
And who knew? Ukulele is the new black
Yeah it’s the new black
Everybody’s playing it……..cos it’s the new black

What is the best instrument to learn first?

What is the best instrument to learn first? People often ask, “What is the best instrument to learn first?” While this is a good question to consider if you’re new to music, it is a little bit like asking, "What is the best food to eat?" The Ukulele Sisters play...

Which  Musical Instrument Should I Choose?

Which Musical Instrument Should I Choose?

  "I love music and I’ve always wanted to play a musical instrument. There are so many choices. Which musical instrument is best for me? How do I choose one?" "As a kid, my family moved a lot, so I never was in one place long enough to do the whole “band” or...

I Don’t Read Notes. Can I Learn a Musical Instrument?

I Don’t Read Notes. Can I Learn a Musical Instrument?

Lots of people ask "I don't read notes. Can I learn a musical instrument?" We’re here to reassure you. You definitely can learn a musical instrument without reading notes. That's because knowing how to play music does not mean you need to read music notes.  In fact,...

California, Here I Come!

California, Here I Come!

As a public school teacher, I have the wonderful benefit of a Spring Break. I am traveling to California to visit Rebecca and other family members. While we are together, we are going to have fun and finish up 21 Easy Ukulele Hymns.

We are planning a photoshoot in San Francisco. We are also visiting a local ukulele club to present some of our new music. Finally, we will visit our new great-nephew who was born in December!

Northern California is pretty and green in the Spring, so I am looking forward to that. It will probably be a bit warmer than Chicago, but not beach weather. I love being outside in nature, so that will be a lot of fun for me!

If you live in California and would like us to come to visit with your ukulele club, please comment below. I will also be heading to Los Angeles for part of my time in the Golden State. 

 

 

Red River Valley is one of the songs in our classic book, 21 Songs in 6 Days!

Click the button link below if you don't have this beginner ukulele book yet.

What is the best instrument to learn first?

What is the best instrument to learn first? People often ask, “What is the best instrument to learn first?” While this is a good question to consider if you’re new to music, it is a little bit like asking, "What is the best food to eat?" The Ukulele Sisters play...

Which  Musical Instrument Should I Choose?

Which Musical Instrument Should I Choose?

  "I love music and I’ve always wanted to play a musical instrument. There are so many choices. Which musical instrument is best for me? How do I choose one?" "As a kid, my family moved a lot, so I never was in one place long enough to do the whole “band” or...

I Don’t Read Notes. Can I Learn a Musical Instrument?

I Don’t Read Notes. Can I Learn a Musical Instrument?

Lots of people ask "I don't read notes. Can I learn a musical instrument?" We’re here to reassure you. You definitely can learn a musical instrument without reading notes. That's because knowing how to play music does not mean you need to read music notes.  In fact,...

What is the best instrument to learn first?

What is the best instrument to learn first? People often ask, “What is the best instrument to learn first?” While this is a good question to consider if you’re new to music, it is a little bit like asking, "What is the best food to eat?" The Ukulele Sisters play...

Which  Musical Instrument Should I Choose?

Which Musical Instrument Should I Choose?

  "I love music and I’ve always wanted to play a musical instrument. There are so many choices. Which musical instrument is best for me? How do I choose one?" "As a kid, my family moved a lot, so I never was in one place long enough to do the whole “band” or...

I Don’t Read Notes. Can I Learn a Musical Instrument?

I Don’t Read Notes. Can I Learn a Musical Instrument?

Lots of people ask "I don't read notes. Can I learn a musical instrument?" We’re here to reassure you. You definitely can learn a musical instrument without reading notes. That's because knowing how to play music does not mean you need to read music notes.  In fact,...

Writing More Readable Ukulele Tab: Evolution of Sakura Chord Melody

Writing More Readable Ukulele Tab: Evolution of Sakura Chord Melody

I really enjoy (and so do many of our fans) playing both the melody and the chords of a song on the ukulele AT THE SAME TIME. This process is called “chord melody.”

When you first start learning chord melody, it seems almost impossible. And, when you go looking for ukulele chord melody arrangements, many of them are difficult. As a ukulele teacher, I enjoy both playing and teaching chord melody arrangements that are accessible.

By accessible, I mean arrangements that use lots of open strings, stay fairly low on the fretboard, and don’t use many barre chords. I love creating such arrangements, because they sound so cool!

The challenge comes in notating the arrangements.

Recently I posted my arrangement of “Sakura” on FaceBook. One eagle-eyed reader pointed out:

“The tab doesn’t match the staff notation and doesn’t have the rhythm.”

I was thrilled to get a response from someone who could challenge me to create something even better. He and I went back and forth about the best way to write out my arrangement of “Sakura”. He went so far as to even create an arrangement with his own software that used the notes I had written, but made everything easier to read.

Let me show you this evolution.

Here’s my first version:

Jenny Peters during RAGBRAI 2019

As you can see, there is no rhythm indicated with the tab notation.

Here is Version 2, inspired by the person who commented on my Facebook post. By researching my music notation software, I was able to add rhythmic notation to the tab staff. The top staff of music remains as a sing-and-strum version of the song.

Version 3 has both musical staves with the same notes, but there are no more lyrics. It is an instrumental version only. The notes shown on the music staff are the same as the notes shown in the tab. 

Jenny Peters making music on RAGRBRAI 2019

Version 4 has the lyrics, but the top line is not a sing and strum line. The notes on the staff are the same as the notes in the tab. 

So, now my question for you is: which version do you like best, and why? I’d love it if you let me know in the comments below. 

We are always looking for ways to make our products better, to help you to have fun learning ukulele YOUR way.  The more we know about what you like the better!

Thanks so much!

Our chord melody course will be open for 3 weeks, starting November 24.

This year our chord melody course will be available for three weeks from Nov. 24 to Dec. 15. I know you will want your copy of this music and the video lessons that explain everything. So, click on the link below to find out more. We will also send your three free goodies:

Here’s a quick look at what you’ll get:

 Goodie #1 C Major Scale Study

Goodie #2 C Major Fingerpicking Study

Goodie #3 Jingle Bells Easy Ukulele Chord Melody

 

Learn Easy Ukulele Chord Melody Today

Sakura Easy Ukulele Chord Melody

Sakura Easy Ukulele Chord Melody

 

Vote for the version you like:

I recently posted an easy chord melody version for Sakura. Chord melody on the ukulele means that you play both the melody and the chords at the same time. It sounds really cool, but has often been reserved for ukulele artists with incredible technique and musical background. I am writing out arrangements that newer ukesters can play, because they are easier.

your Opinion counts

Recently, I got a lot of comments on Facebook about how I could make my versions easier to read. Now I want to know which one you like better, the first or the second.  We are trying to create new and better content, so your opinion matters.

I want your opinion on which version is the most accurate. I also want your opinion on which version looks the least intimidating for learning the song.

Please leave your opinion in the comments below.

 

Sakura chord Melody version 1: 

This version has the lyrics and a simple sing and strum version on the top staff of music. The chord melody is written out below and has rhythmic stems added to help the player know what to do.

Sakura chord Melody version 2: 

This version has no lyrics. The upper staff is the same as the lower one with all the notes that you play written out.

Jenny and Sakura easy ukulele tutorial

I have always liked Sakura. It reminds me of how much I enjoyed the cherry blossoms on the University of Washington Quad when I was in college. The trees bloomed every Spring there and all the students enjoyed the blossoms. Some of these trees were a gift from the Japanese to the University. 

Sakura is in our newest book, 21 Easy Ukulele Folk SongsIf you would like like to learn a much easier version of this song, check out our easy ukulele tutorial for Sakura below. You can also get a copy of our book to learn this song and other easy folk songs. 

Get the Sheet Music to Sakura in 21 East Ukulele Folk Songs

 

Play along to carefully selected folk songs on ukulele! Includes favorites such as Happy Birthday, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, and Shenandoah.

 

Buy From Amazon Link

 

Learn Easy Ukulele Chord Melody Today is coming soon!

Our online course devoted to learning chord melody is opening soon!

Act Quickly-The sign-up window is open for 3 weeks!

This year our course will be available for three weeks from Nov. 24 to Dec. 15. I know you will want your copy of this music and the video lessons that explain everything. So, click on the link below to find out more. We will also send your three free goodies:

Here’s a quick look at what you’ll get:

 Goodie #1 C Major Scale Study

Goodie #2 C Major Fingerpicking Study

Goodie #3 Jingle Bells Easy Ukulele Chord Melody

 

Learn Easy Ukulele Chord Melody Today

Writing More Readable Ukulele Tab: Evolution of Sakura Chord Melody

Great Lakes Ukulele Gathering with Little Rev

I just got back from the Great Lakes Ukulele Gathering that was held in Milwaukee, WI yesterday. We were at Anondyne Coffee Roasting Company which was a fun venue for this event.

There were ukulele workshops all day, including an early bird sessions about Ukulele Jug Bands, Ukeing the Beatles, Intro to Fingerpicking, Hawaiian strumming and a great sing-along. At the end was a wonderful concert with MC Petey Mack, The Ukulele Kings, Lanialoha Lee, The Sheboygan Hokum Boys w/Lil Rev and Steven Kanahe Espaniola.

 

Jenny Peters during RAGBRAI 2019
Here’s me with Kevin Mason, a luthier from Illinois.
I had fun with all the workshops. Here’s a short clip of the Ukulele Jug Band mini-session.

 

There were a lot of beautiful ukuleles for sale.
Jenny Peters making music on RAGRBRAI 2019
 

 

Here’s a clip from the concert at the end of the day..

I had fun and learned some new tricks. I also saw old friends and met some new people. It was really fun singing and strumming together. Ukulele Festivals are a great way to do this!
Have you taken your ukulele or other instrument with you on your travels? Have you had fun experiences making music with fellow travelers?  I’d love to hear about it – leave me a comment below!