Power Up Ukulele Syllabus Completed!

The last major update completes the syllabus for Power Up Ukulele as a guide for step by step ukulele instruction or self-study. Is there more to learn? Yes, definitely, but I believe the material covered here will take players to the point where they can continue on in the learning process self-guided by their particular interests. Do players need to complete everything on this site in order to reach that point? Absolutely not. My goal was to provide well-rounded information that touched on all the aspects of playing the instrument. I imagine some players may only be interested in two or three of the categories. For instance, some people consider themselves ‘singers’ that only want to learn how to accompany themselves on the ukulele, while others are primarily instrumentalists that’d prefer not to sing. Some people are interested in composing or improvising, while others would prefer just to learn some music they love. All these things are great and I hope I’ve provided something of value for each of these groups.

I will be refining material as I use the site with my own students and adding applicable resources, books and videos over time. So stay tuned and be sure to subscribe to the blog for updates (see right-hand column to subscibe).


The information on this site has been gleaned from a great variety of sources as well as my own experiences with over 30 years of studying music (thanks to my parents who were both musicians themselves). I have tried to approach this material from a Kodaly-based developmental perspective. So, I credit Zoltan Kodaly as having the greatest influence on my educational approach, and thank him in whatever realm his spirit resides. I’d also like to thank some of the other teachers whose material has had a big impact on my knowledge of the ukulele:

  • Jake Shimabukuro for convincing me the ukulele is an instrument.
  • James Hill for his well-thought out Ukulele in the Classroom series.
  • Aldrine G. for Uke Minutes on Youtube and the Ukulele Underground Forum.
  • Al Wood for his many contributions to the well of ukulele wisdom.
  • Lil’ Rev for his strumming demonstration videos.
  • Steven Sproat for analysing several strum patterns that I’ve not seen anywhere else in the educational literature.
  • Sarah Maisel for being a wonderful live instructor at our ukulele festival and passing her jazzyness on to the world.
  • Aaron Keim for helping me understand clawhammer technique.
  • Craig Chee for opening my eyes to some of the wonderful percusive possibilities of the ukulele. Golpe anyone?
  • Chad Johnson for his wonderful Ukulele Ensemble Series which has opened up my eyes as to what ukuleles can do together.
  • Fred Sokolow for helping me see the great variety strumming patterns can offer music and for a deeper understanding of jazz substitions.
  • Colin Tribe for wonderful examples of ukulele arranging.
  • Kevin Rones for his wonderful instruction in fingerstyle playing.
  • Michael Lynch for his great tutorials.
  • Paul Hemmings for helping me see the light on chord shape improvisation.
  • Brett McQueen for some great instruction.
  • Greg Horne, Shana Aisenberg & Daniel Ho for nuggets of ukulele wisdom on their Complete Ukulele Method.
  • Ralph Shaw for even more strumming wisdom.
  • Mark Kailana Nelson for his amazing fingerstyle books.

Please look these awesome people up and buy their stuff. This site wouldn’t exist without all I’ve learned from them and others (I’m sure I’ve missed people, but I’ve tried not to). Thank you all!