Uke Can Play Christmas Songs

Dec 2017, I  teamed up with the lovely folk at Work-Shop Brisbane to produce a yummy Christmas themed ukulele workshop for those closet players ready to embark on their musical quests. 

It was a great turnout (although I forgot to take pictures with actual people in them) and fabulous to see such a diverse mix of people coming together to learn such a fun and simple instrument. Ukulele really is for everyone, whether it be someone picking up music for the first time, or a seasoned musician ready to have a little fun on a new instrument. 

We did all the favourites such as Feliz Navidad, Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer and Jingle Bells (which I think was the most popular as it only had 3 chords!!). And even had a little girl jumping up to sing 'Jingle Bells' into the microphone as her new backing band played along ;)

The finger picking section of the workshop was one of the most popular activities and one I was very impressed by everyone picking (excuse the pun) up very quickly. 

I'm very excited to announce I'll be doing another 2 workshops with Work-Shop Bris (in a new an exciting location) January (10th) and February. January is going to be focusing on mindfulness and Ukulele, a fun way to switch off from the stress that may arise in the year ahead, and February is going to be themed with Beatles songs! 

If you'd like to attend the next workshop click this link

Till next time!


Winter Ukulele Workshops

I had the pleasure of working with Jodie Yamanda from Jodies Healing Heaven in a joint, collaborative 'mindfulness and ukulele' workshop for teenage and tween girls. 

We created a unique and interactive experience for the young ladies to inspire and empower themselves via meditation and music. They were given powerful tools in way of coping with stress, finding their inner voice and letting go of all the everyday worries delving into basic ukulele and singing techniques.

It was wonderful to see their progress after only 3 hours in the workshop, as they went from shy and timid, to confident and working as a team to create beautiful music (as well as some well known tunes they could impress their family and friends with).

Some photos from the day below

- Erin


How to Choose the Right Ukulele

The age old question; How much should I spend on my instrument?

We all want to get the most value for our dollar as well as a great long lasting instrument that will help us sound amazing right?

Here's a few tips to get started;

A great sound: Checking if the intonation is correct on the upper frets (5 and upwards) will determine if the Ukulele will outlive your skills. See if you can check a few different styles on the ukulele, such as finger picking, strumming, chunking and vibrato (if you're not up to this, get the assistant to help you). If it rings after you have played, this a great 'live' sound. A poor quality instrument will have a 'dead' sound where the resonance stops immediately after you play. 

A good budget: Be prepared to spend a little more if you're wanting a long lasting instrument. Anything between $90 - $200 is a good 'starter' ukulele, however you shouldn't need to spend over $400 unless you're at professional level. 

Trustworthy Brands: Kala, Lanikai, Maton, Anuenue and Makai are all good trustworthy brands. 

The right size: From smallest to biggest we have Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone. Concert is the most popular size for adults as the frets are slightly wider for larger fingers. Baritone is a different tuning to the other 3, and more more guitarists wanting to experiment with Ukulele. Tenor is for those wanting something slightly louder, and wider. Soprano is a great travel size ukulele as it fits in your suitcase!

Solid Top vs Laminate: Anything with a solid top is going to grow with you, and mature its sound the more you play. It's amazing how much my Baritone ukulele (Solid Spruce Top) has evolved it's sound into a beautiful sweet tone. IF it's Laminate top, it doesn't mean it's bad, just that it will remain mostly the same. A great sound from the beginning is a good place to start. 

Pick VS Acoustic: Only something for songwriters and performers. If you are serious about playing an instrument, it's a big help having a pick up already installed (and will save you $200) if you ever want to go to open mic nights, ukulele jams, or record your instrument. If you choose to install the pickup down the track, the Ukulele Five-O pickup is amazing quality, hardy and designed specifically for Ukes. A cheaper pickup will have feedback issues, a buzz so be wary. 

Happy Shopping!