Title: Learn to Play Ukulele
Label: The Rock House Method
Instructional DVDs are important tools for people that do not have access to a live instructor when they are trying to learn the basics of an instrument. I didn’t buy this particular DVD. It came as a freebie with the ukulele that I purchased. But since it is available on Amazon and other stores, I wanted to do a quick review.
Parts of the Ukulele (1:10) – The instructor goes over the basics of the instrument as far as explaining what the neck is, frets, sound hole etc.
Background of the Ukulele (:58) – Talks about the origin of the word Ukuele “jumping flea” and mentions the sizes of ukes.
Tuning (1:35) – He plays each string on his Mahalo uke so that you can tune your instrument to his.
Holding the Ukulele (2:01) – Shows how to hold and strum the instrument.
Two Basic Chords (2:05) – Demonstrates how to play the C and G7 chords.
Your First Song (1:35) – Guides you through playing He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands using the two chords (C and G7).
More Chords (3:58) – Teaches six more chords: F maj, C7, F min, G maj, D7 and G dim.
Complete Song Progression (3:34) – Shows how to play When the Saints Go Marching In with 3 chords.
Finger Picking Progression (2:29) – Demonstrates a very simple 3 finger picking pattern with 1 finger chords.
The Fingernail Rake ( 1:57) – Demonstrations of three strumming methods. One that just uses the index finger or a felt pick and one that uses all your finger raked over the strings.
Single Note Melodies (3:32) – He shows how to play some simple songs by just picking the melodies one note at a time. Songs include Happy Birthday and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
Complete Song Examples (2:22) – Finally a good song to learn! House of the Rising Sun. Adds new chords (D and E maj).
The 1-4-5 Progression (1:26) – A lame introduction to some musical theory. Basically he just tells you to play the following chords A maj, D, E and then strums them a couple of different ways.
Total running time is 30:05.
The actual video is clear and the audio is decent. It also has a split screen view while the instructor is playing a song, that shows the fingering in the main screen and strumming in a smaller window. That said, the Learn to Play Ukulele DVD did not impress me. There were really only two things that I enjoyed about it; Learning House of the Rising Sun and the 1-4-5 progression of chords. The latter was just because these three chords allow you to easily play Wild Thing. 😉 I’m not saying that this DVD is horrible, but it just doesn’t offer enough information or a selection of good song samples in my opinion. I guess you can’t expect a whole lot for around $20 though.
One thing it does offer is a key to get into the Rock House website. From there, you can see sheet music and tablature for the songs shown on the DVD.
If you would like to buy this DVD or learn more about it, please visit the Learn to Play Ukulele product page on Amazon.com