CaseyCasey MacGill My Three Strums
Intermediate – Advanced
The three strums I use regularly are The Swing Strum, The Shuffle Strum and The Rumba Strum.

We will spend the most time learning the swing strum technique to create a danceable rhythm feel with the ukulele. We will learn the damping technique that is essential to creating the swing rhythm.

Damping the strings is also important in the shuffle strum, which comes from the rhythm feel of the classic rhythm n’ blues records of Louis Jordan, Wynonie Harris, up to and including Elvis Presley.

Last but not least, the rumba strum is a bit more complex, but we break it down to three bite-sized morsels, and learn to count and play it together. It comes in handy with 1950’s anthems like Save the Last Dance for Me, Three Cool Cats, Lonely Teardrops, and Under the Boardwalk.

Shuffle Strum/I’m Walkin’
Intermediate – Advanced
We will learn my shuffle strum to the Fats Domino song I’m Walkin’. The shuffle strum is to the ukulele what the backstroke is to swimming. We will also play my arrangement of it with vocal parts, and learn uke turn-arounds.

And we’ll review other songs that use the strum: All Shook Up, Elvis; Choo Choo Ch’ Boogie, Louis Jordan; Chop Chop (The Hatchet Man), Coasters.

Gerald RossGerald Ross
You Don’t Need To Learn All Those Chords!
Confident beginner to intermediate level
One look at the number of chords typically found in a ukulele chord dictionary is enough to make anyone want to throw in the towel and quit. It looks like thousands! Do you really need to learn all those chords? The answer is a definite no! But if you don’t learn all the chords how will you play in all the keys? How will you quickly play an A flat chord, a C sharp minor or a B minor? And what if the singer decides to sing in the key of E flat?

Closed position chords to the rescue. These easily fingered ‘chord shapes’ are the chameleon chords of the ukulele. One movable ‘chord shape’ is twelve different chords. We will use simple songs to explore this concept. After the workshop you’ll ask yourself, “Why didn’t somebody show me this years ago? It’s so easy.”

Swing Sampler
Confident beginner to intermediate level
The 1930s and 40s were a magical time in the history of popular music. Swing was mainstream. The ukulele was made for swing music! Any uke song can swing and sound jazzy. It’s easy to make your instrumental accompaniment more interesting through chord substitutions and strumming patterns. The material covered in this class is not exclusive to the jazz/swing world — it can be used for all styles of music. No music theory needed. No music reading required. No knuckle-busting chord shapes to learn. Just fun! A concert or tenor sized uke tuned GCEA is recommended.

Neal Chin

Photo credit: Craig Chee

Connecting Chords at the Hip!
Intermediate – Advanced
Chord progressions are an essential element to developing and expanding your chord vocabulary. Join us as we take a few progressions to the next level! We will learn a few tools to tie progressions together such as basic voice leading and pedal tones. Basic knowledge of chord inversions and/or positions will help you get the most out of this class.

Single Note Chords
Intermediate – Advanced
Chords are not just great for rhythm, but for soloing as well. We will break chords down to single notes to give you another road map for soloing. Join us as we create small melodies, bolster up your arpeggios, and get you soloing at the next swing jam! Basic picking technique required.

Victor and PennyVictor and Penny Ukulele As A Rhythm Instrument
Intrepid Beginner – Intermediate  
Get out of your rut and into the groove. Erin McGrane and Jeff Freling of Victor & Penny show you the difference between just strumming along and driving the rhythm. Learn simple but effective strumming techniques and delve into the styles of Swing and Gypsy Jazz. Swing is the thing!

Performance I
All levels
Learn valuable tools on how to present your songs confidently in a live performance. Together, we’ll tackle how to connect with the audience, manage stage fright, and focus on singing, playing and remembering your lyrics all at the same time (gah!). We’ll break it all down for you as we discover what makes a great performance great, and how you can have great performances too.

Performance II
All levels
We’ll take it to the next level in this hands-on open-mic style class.  In a safe, encouraging environment we’ll try out the things we learned in Performance I. A limited number of attendees will present a song and work on it one-on-one with V&P while the balance of attendees observe and learn by listening to the interaction and instruction. Our students tell us this is one the most fun and rewarding experiences they’ve had! 

Keith Blackwell & Brook Adams

A Strum, A Lick, and A Trick, Part 1
Advanced beginners and up
Brook and Keith have been stuck on 70s songs since, well, the 70s. Come learn one of our favorites!  All the stums, licks, and tricks to play by yourself, or with a friend.

A Strum, A Lick, and A Trick, Part 2
Advanced beginners and up
Brook and Keith like to try unusual music arranged for uke. How about a little Cake? Weird strums, licks and tricks to amaze your friends!

Debi and KerriDebi Noel & Kerri Sage
Ukulele 101
New to Uke
Ukulele with a “Swing”: From basic strums to basic chords to fun songs to play and sing! Learn in a supportive and upbeat environment.

Ukulele 102
It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing: Review the basics from Ukulele 101, add more strums and chords then put it all together with fun swing tunes to sing and play.

BuckBuck Mueller How Music Works
All levels
Do you avoid music theory like the plague?

Do chord names seem like a foreign language? Would you rather have a root canal than do a key change? You are not stupid! The system we have for describing music is just really awkward.

In this class we will start with the most basic basics — how notes combine and create feelings — and then see how scales and chords are the natural outgrowth of this. Understand music on a whole ‘nother level. Go home with your very own bubble chart and magic decoder strips.

Mitch Hider Mitch Hider Vaudeville Swing
All levels
The ukulele was vaudeville’s most popular instrument. In Mitch Hider’s class, you will learn his unique rhythm style, with a few chords and a lot of variety.

Maggie Matoba Hawaiian Uke Techniques
Intermediate – Advanced
Students will learn: Various Hawaiian turnarounds, intros and outros commonly found in Hawaiian mele (songs) with provided corresponding tablature; master rhythmic strum patterns for hula, and playing in “Kiho’alu” or “slack key” alternate tuning (GCEG) techniques that distinguish this style over other forms and genre.

Low G string would be best for optimum sound for certain techniques. Participants should be comfortable with reading tablature, picking, playing up the neck, and rapid strumming in rhythmic patterns.

Suzannah Doyle Transposing: Become a “Keys Whiz”
Beginner – Intermediate
What the heck is a “key?” Why change the key of a song? And how does understanding chord families and keys make songs easier to play and better for your voice? Suz will answer these questions and more in her workshop. Participants will learn how to quickly understand what key a song is in, what the main chords in that key are, and how to easily change a given song into a different key. We will also identify your vocal range, and what key(s) work best for your voice. You will also learn Suz’s top secret tip for how to simplify a song on the fly so you can easily jam with people or play something in a new key right away. Includes a detailed transposing how-to packet for major and minor keys.