The internet is a great place to learn the ukulele. If you can’t/don’t want to go to an in-person class or an individual teacher, there’s loads of free and paid resources on the internet catering to a whole range of experience.
There are some advantages and disadvantages to learning online, particularly at the beginning of your ukulele journey:
|It's free, or cheaper than in-person lessons.||You can pick up bad habits, and there's no-one to notice and correct them.|
|You can learn at your own pace.||You have to be self-motivated to practice without the accountability of a teacher or group.|
|You can watch a lesson whenever you want.||There's no-one to help you troubleshoot (unless you take an online course where the teacher will answer individual questions, but they may not be able to watch you to give advice).|
|If you're shy, no-one is watching.|
|There's a range of teachers you can try out so you can find one (or more) you like.|
With so many online resources available, this is going to be a multi-part post.
In this first post, let me introduce you to Cynthia Lin, who has a fantastic YouTube channel. She describes herself as a “modern day jazz ukulele diva” and currently has more than 30 tutorial videos on YouTube. Her tutorials range for those designed for absolute beginners up through intermediate players.
She has a lovely, warm way of teaching (and evidently teaches in-person classes also – lucky students!) There’s a six-lesson series for ukulele beginners which starts off very simply with Three Little Birds, then moves through several different ways to strum as you learn popular ukulele songs including I’m Yours by Jason Mraz and Somewhere Over The Rainbow in the style of the famous Hawaiian ukulele musician Iz.
You can also download the chords for each of Cynthia’s tutorials (check the descriptions under the videos, or see all of her available chart downloads here) for free, with the option to make a donation of your choice.
Once you’ve built some basic skills and confidence, she has some great fun songs to learn like Ho Hey by the Lumineers, Riptide by Vance Joy (more of an intermediate level song, this one is fast!), and Lava from the very sweet Disney short film.
Alongside her song tutorials, Cynthia also has videos to help you practice chord changes, learn to play the ukulele and sing at the same time, and if you’ve had a read of my tuner recommendations and bought yourself a tuner, Cynthia has a video here to help you figure out how to use it.
Because of her clear, gentle style, Cynthia Lin would be my first recommendation for new ukulele players who want to get started learning online. Enjoy!