Noticing that I’ve been getting significant traffic from individuals seeking information concerning my new instrument, I’d like to share some of the good offerings I’ve come across on my journey towards Hawaiian enlightenment (and not just ironically adorable engrish sites). If you’re not interested in the ukulele just skip the rest.
Though I found a bunch of sites claiming to offer an educational ukulele experience the best place to start is definitely Pineapple Pete’s Uke School. Pineapple Pete is professional and fun and has a really intuitive flash/html system that helps like crazy getting you on your feet with the instrument (disclaimer: I’m probably biased ’cause I got an A+ on the Information Design final paper I wrote about UkeSchool.com). Only the first few lessons are free (intermediate and advanced require a donation) but they’re more than worth your time. There’s also a really great uke tuner on every page.
Other decent places for learning are EZFolk.com who’s tutorials are adequate but not really all that useful, and TheUke.com which is mostly just another site you can look at if you have too much time on your hands.
I had a rough time finding anything other than random Hawaiian songs when I was going through uke tabs and chord sheets. Luckily a few good options presented themselves.
By far the best was Alligator Boogaloo‘s page of songs with chords and tabs. Hits spanning from Blue Moon and YMCA to Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots and No Surprises. You will find something you know there.
Another site offers less popular songs but high quality and detailed instructions, including picking. Ode to joy is particularly good and has an accompanying mp3 to practice with (It seems like one of the biggest problems with the uke is that there’s nothing to compare the noises you’re making with).
EZFolk.com also has a decent set of tabs some of which have midi or mp3 tracks of them being played. They also have the best chord dictionary I’ve found thus far with more coverage and accuracy than the others I’ve been using.
Also this crazy Dutch site has a neat flash interface that can either play any chord for you to see what it sounds like or play songs programmed into it while displaying which chord is being played (i.e. it’s like a live tab reader… if that doesn’t make sense just go see it).
From what I can tell, it’s just not a buyer’s market for ukulele cases right now. They are all just plain black nylon affairs, no fun.
Luckily, I have friends with skills, and Miss Sarah Tracy was generous enough to construct a funkier more awesome case for me as a birthday gift (brown cuorduroy, wacky zippers, Mountain Goats quote sewn onto the pocket). I assure you, as always, that you are quite jealous.
The case section isn’t so relevant as the others, I just wanted to brag.