Do I have to buy a ukulele before I can come to one of your lessons?
No, you don't have to, you can borrow one to use during the session, though you will need to buy one to practise on if you decide to do a course.
I can't read music - will I be able to join in?
You don't need to be able to read music to strum along to songs. We use songsheets with chord diagrams showing where you need to place your fingers. For fingerpicking we use either music notation or tablature, which also shows you which strings you play and where your fingers go. Please contact Rosemary beforehand, if you think you'd like to learn fingerpicking.
Do I have to sign up for a whole course?
If you are completely new to the ukulele and have never played before, you might like to come along to the first session to give it a try and see how you like it. You can pay individually for each session, though if you are a complete beginner, I would recommend starting with the first session. The singalong sessions are stand-alone, so you can dip in and out if you can already play but can only make some of the sessions.
I'm thinking of buying a ukulele. Can you give me any tips?
There are several local music shops which sell ukuleles. The local one offering the widest range is probably the Music Postbox in West End. Hazel, the owner, can advise you on how to choose one to suit you. There are also some tips on buying on the SUJ website
What happens in a singalong session?
We play and sing songs from songsheets, which are displayed using a projector. We look at the chords and whether there are easier ways to play them, we look at introductions and endings for the songs, we also try some fingerpicking but most importantly, we sing and play the songs together. It's great fun to sing and play in a group and once you can play there are a number of performing groups in the local area which you can join, if you want to.
What is fingerpicking?
Fingerpicking, also known as fingerstyle ukulele playing, is holding down and plucking individual strings or combinations of strings, to play a melody, rather than strumming all the strings at once to accompany singing. It's a bit like classical guitar but quite a lot easier because the ukulele only has 4 strings, rather than 6. If you would like to try fingerpicking but haven't done it before, please contact Rosemary beforehand.
I can't sing - can I still join in with a singalong?
You don't have to sing, although it is more fun if you do!
I have arthritis - will I be able to play?
If your fingers are still reasonably flexible, you may be able to play but probably the only way to find out is to give it a try.
Can I bring my son/daughter/grandchild to lessons?
The group sessions are aimed at adults and take place during school time. You may be able to bring a child with you by arrangement, provided they are at least 8 years old and remain under your supervision at all times. I have enhanced DBS clearance and can offer private lessons for children.
Can I take grade exams on the ukulele?
Several exam boards offer grade exams for the ukulele. Ring Rosemary on 023 8026 2083 if you would like to discuss this.