The Complete Ukulele Course taught by Ralph Shaw
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This DVD is perfect for anyone who wants to improve their ukulele playing technique. Even if you have never played a ukulele before you will discover that Ralph Shaw (the King of the Ukulele!) will lead you through the basics and beyond so that you will learn tips, tricks and techniques that will have you sounding like a ukulele maestro! Just some of the things you will learn in this 1 hour lesson include:
Beginners uke - including tuning, strumming & basic chords
How to use 'ornament'; notes
Play chords up the neck
How to play 4/4, 3/4 and jig time and develop right-hand techniques such as the syncopated 'split stroke' as used by George Formby
How to play Rolls and Triplets
The basics of melody chording In short this one DVD will set you up for a lifetime of fun and music with the world's greatest little instrument... The Ukulele!
Never was an instructional video so well named, and such good value. Shaw has cleverly bridged that gap we find in so many uke instructionals between those aimed at the novice beginner and the advanced in this common-sense approach to ukulele instruction. Starting with the basics of tuning and holding your uke, advancing through various tempos, regular strumming, and easy variations (including tremolo and accent notes), we keep going up to more complex split-strokes, triples, bar chords, and melody chording. With a friendly approach, which is extremely thorough and well-paced, Shaw describes a variety of techniques of growing complexity, then illustrates them through song. The chords for the three songs he plays all the way through are included in the accompanying booklet, though he takes us through the fingering before he plays on the tape. It's a little like having Shaw in your living room, chatting away, advising and encouraging you as you go, and watching the video is a both pleasant and educational experience. His affection for this diminutive but big-hearted instrument is evident throughout, as he offers useful tips along the way regarding pegs, the type of uke you play, and how to get the right sound out of the various techniques described.
I would strongly recommend this video for both the beginner and those who are ready to progress beyond their basic strum. My only warning is one which illustrates the sheer density of material here. Don't try and follow the whole thing through at once, but break it into a series of lessons, and wait until you have familiarized yourself with each section before moving on to the next. The video is not marked by such sections, but you will find it naturally falls into such an approach. --Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum
Hi Ralph, I`ve recently bought both adult and kids complete ukulele course on dvd, me and the kids love them.....P.S keep up the good work, the dvd course`s are superb. --P. Evans, United Kingdom
I have purchased various ukulele courses and I have found yours to be the most complete and informative course, and yours is the only one on CD-Rom which is really convenient. I just recently became interested in playing the ukulele and most of the teaching material that I researched on the web is limited to raw beginners. The more advanced courses were long on being a showcase of how well they could play and short on actual instructions. I really enjoy your ukulele style as well as your relaxed, lighthearted teaching methods. --Russ Bernard. California
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Ralph Shaw is a great teacher, although I vacillate between finding him charming and finding him a tad "nerdy." I really didn't start playing the ukulele to learn how to play "Froggy Went A Courtin'" or "Hello My Baby," but to each his own. He explains things very clearly and then demonstrates how it actually sounds. He is a very accomplished player.
I had been playing the uke for about 2 months before getting this DVD, and it has made playing the uke about 10 times more fun. Using Shaw's techniques can turn your plunking and plinking into real, joyful sounding music.
I recommend this for anyone beginning to learn the ukulele.
I really enjoyed learning the split strum. Unfortunately, although the section on right-hand strums covers the basic split strum slowly and in detail, all of the variations and embellishments are explained outside the context of the basic strum, then shown in context only at full speed. This made it very difficult to figure EXACTLY out how to incorporate embellishments such as the initial double strum, the thumb roll, etc. into the context of the basic technique. It would have helped tremendously if each new element was shown slowly and in close-up (in useful context).
The DVD format has tons of data capacity and potential for a great instruction disc. Why not at least have a section where each technique is shown in slo-mo?
I learned some good stuff about steady down-up chung chukka chukka chung etc rhythms that helped me nail down several new songs. Considering movies are $10/two hours, this DVD (and an ukulele) is good return on the entertainment dollar.
Complete?, Ha, barely an introduction.