Preview! “What Ukulele Players REALLY want to know” eBook by Barry Maz @bazmaz

What Ukulele Players REALLY want to know

A guide, written FOR beginners..


Barry Maz

Published by Barry Maz at Smashwords

Copyright 2011 Barry Maz

To new ukulele players everywhere….

Cover photo – Mainland Mahogany Concert Ukulele – photo copyright Barry Maz 2010


I’m Barry, and I’m a ukulele player. Well, actually, I am not just a player. In fact, I have found myself rather obsessed by the ukulele. You see, the little instrument can do that to you, it kind of gets under your skin. Before you know it, it has taken hold and you are stuck. It’s fun though!

I’m actually a guitar player by trade and have been playing for over twenty years, until a few years ago I was re-watching a documentary about a hero of mine, George Harrison. George liked the uke. In fact, that is an understatement, George LOVED the uke. In fact many of his friends are on record pointing out that he actually put the uke higher than the guitar in his affections. He would always travel with two ukuleles, so that if he was playing with friends, he could also pass one to somebody else to join in. I love that story. George had the ukulele bug bad, just like me. In fact, most people I meet who have started playing the ukulele have the same bug…

When I first bought a ukulele, totally contrary to all of my knowledge and good practice with guitars, I assumed the uke was a toy instrument, that it wasn’t very serious. I therefore spent as little money as I could get away with in the hope of having some fun. How wrong I was. You see it turns out that the world is flooded with cheap ukuleles that frankly, don’t play very well. Nor is the ukulele a toy or anything that shouldn’t be taken seriously. It’s an instrument and it needs the same thought and attention any other instrument receives. This frustrated me, but I carried on, and bought a slightly better ukulele.

continue reading next 20 pages of preview at
  • Well worth checking out! Written from a UK-uke perspective for beginners. This preview gives a good insight into the content if you are not sure whether it is for you. Bargain price for the full book – Much less than the cost of a pint! If you like his website Baz, invites you to buy him a beer :-)

Top 10 Ukulele Lessons & Articles of 2010 at UkuleleTricks – some great Beginners Tips and Songsheets

Written on December 23rd, 2010 by UkuleleTricks

Top 10 Posts of 2010

Ukulele Tricks is only a few months old, but I’ve been so blown away by the welcome we’ve received from you all and the ukulele community. I’ve started to make some friends with other ukulele bloggers like Brad from Live Ukulele, Woodshed from Ukulele Hunt, Tim from Ukeeku, and other folks from the Ukulele Underground forums. All these guys have GREAT ukulele websites and have been nice enough to share the word about some of the great resources here on Ukulele Tricks.

I thought it would be fun to look back on the year at some of the best posts here on Ukulele Tricks. Many of these posts became great because you all asked questions and made comments. This is what this blog is about… YOU. I want this to be a community of ukulele players that help each other out. So thank you for your contributions, emails, questions, and comments. It’s awesome!

With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the best articles on Ukulele Tricks for 2010!

Go to UkuleleTricks to see the Top 10 Ukulele Lessons & Articles of 2010


Durham Beginners Ukulele Group – Facebook Page

Facebook Page Info:

A new ukulele class in Durham City kicking off in January 2011 led by an experienced uke teacher and community musician.

So why play the ukulele? Well, as more and more people are finding out, it’s fun, you can pick up new tunes quickly and it’s one of the easiest musical instruments to learn!

Absolute beginners welcome :)

To book your place email Ian at ukuleledurham AT (replace AT with @)

Course starts Tuesday 11th January 2011

We meet every Tuesday from 7.30pm-9pm
at Antioch House, 66 Crossgate, Durham City, DH1 4PR

10 week course- £48.00
Or 2 installments of £24 in week 1 and week 5.

You’ll need to bring a uke, but don’t worry as among the many delights of the ukulele is the fact that they are the cheapest musical instruments out there!

Check out for a great range of good quality and affordable ukes!

Inspirational videos for uke-beginners! John Simmance, 82, shows his progress and gives tips as he learns to play the George Formby strum on banjolele over 4 months – and sing at the same time!

Please note: If you want to contact John Simmance or leave a comment on his videos, you need to visit John’s channel on YouTube:

First Efforts at Learning the George Formby Banjolele Strum – after 3 weeks practice

John Simmance played the banjolele his father gave him in 1947, always wanted to learn the Formby style of playing, but didn’t know how! Now, thanks to the Internet, and several excellent players who have made instructional videos, he knows HOW! So now, at nearly 82, after many years of being out of practice, he bought a Gold Tone banjolele and now he is practicing until his fingers are sore! After three weeks, he is beginning to get the basic Formby “Split Stroke” and struggles with the “Triple”.

But to encourage other old men to try something new, and to show that an old CAN learn new tricks – or at least begin to – he offers this video!

Next Efforts at Learning the George Formby strums – after 6 weeks practice

This is a continuation of my video “My First Efforts at Learning the George Formby strums” showing the progress I made in three more weeks of practice on my banjolele! Old men! Don’t stop trying to do something new!

My Final George Formby strum efforts! – after 9 weeks practice

This is the third and last video recording my efforts at learning the difficult George Formby strumming techniques on the banjolele! The first was made after I had been practicing for three weeks, the second followed after six weeks, and this last one covers my progress after a total of nine weeks.
The message behind them all is directed at old ment like me: the fairy tale that old dogs can’t learn new tricks is just NOT TRUE! So: old men, if you wan’t to try something new, don’t listen to the opposition of others (or your own doubts) and just DO IT! You’ll be glad you tried.

My banjolele progress after four months practice!

A short record of my progress learning the George Formby strumming techniques on the banjolele, four months after I started.

Ukulele Classes at The Sage – info found on Ukulele Cosmos Forum

Ukulele Classes at The Sage – info found on Ukulele Cosmos Forum:

What: Beginners Ukulele
When: Wednesdays during term time 6.30-7.30pm
Where: The Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead, NE8 1RT
Price: £5 per week (paid termly i.e. £60 for 12 week term). Half price concession for people over 60, under 19’s, students and those in receipt of benefits.
To book: Contact The Sage Gateshead’s ticket office on 0191 443 4661
For more info: Contact us at or phone 0191 443 4627
(or link to adult learning page )

Info: Everyone has to start somewhere and for those wanting to play ukulele, this is it! In just half a term, everyone will learn the basic chords and techniques enabling the group to play the ukulele with pride. Sessions are relaxed, fun and supportive, preparing those who wish to join our more advanced Uke Troupe.

What: Uke Troupe
When: Wednesdays during term time 7.30-9pm
Where: The Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead, NE8 1RT
Price: £5 per week (paid termly i.e. £60 for 12 week term). Half price concession for people over 60, under 19’s, students and those in receipt of benefits.
To book: Contact The Sage Gateshead’s ticket office on 0191 443 4661
For more info: Contact us at or phone 0191 443 4627
(or link to adult learning page )

Info: A fun, informal and supportive group, which explores a wide and exciting variety of repertoire. In addition, the group has the opportunity to develop skills, technique and musicianship. There will be many opportunities to perform ‘ both at The Sage Gateshead and across the wider community.


Sally Kat
Head of L&P Business Development
The Sage Gateshead

Direct: 0191 443 4623
Switchboard: 0191 443 4666
Box Office: 0191 443 4661
The Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead, NE8 2JR
“The Sage Gateshead has quickly become the most exciting music venue in Britain” – The Times, 1st September 2006
North Music Trust is registered in England as a company limited by guarantee, number 4044936 and as a charity, number 1087445.

Beginner Ukulele Lessons | Ukulele Hunt

You’ve just got your hands on a ukulele (or are just thinking of buying one). Here are a few things to read and songs to play that’ll get you up to speed quickly.

Step One: Learn the basics

So You’ve Just Got Your First Ukulele – a free PDF I put together for beginners including essential links, first chords, tips and links to suggestions for the first songs to learn.
10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Ukuleles (Before I Bought One) – Don’t make the same mistakes I did.
10 Tips for Ukulele Beginners
10 things I wish I’d known about ukuleles before I bought one.
How to read chord charts.

Extra Credit: Ukulele 101 – My ebook covering all the info a beginner needs that is left out of most beginner books.

Step 2: Get Your Strum On

Ukulele Strumming for Dummies
Strumming notation

Extra Credit: – How to Play Ukulele Strums – An ebook I wrote covering all the strumming and rhythm essentials for beginners.

Step 3: Play Some Songs

Check out the Songs with Chords You Know Post

Some popular ones:

Somewhere Over the Rainbow
I Wanna Be Like You
5 Years Time
Sentimental Heart

Extra Credit: Joan Jett – Bad Reputation – Easy chords but you’ll need to have your chord changes down and a strong strumming-hand to play it up to speed.

Step 4: Spend Some Money

A ukulele tuner
– Some good strings like Aquila.

Extra Credit: Keep your ukulele upright with a stand. Get a capo to make playing in other keys easier.

Congratulations! You’re no longer a noob. You can now advance to the improver section.

If you think there’s a post that deserves a link here or have a topic you’d like me to cover in this section, leave a comment.


Essential reading for all new ukers!

This is one of the best (THE best?) uke sites and blogs you could hope to find.

Cheeky name too, careful how you say it, or stick to “Ukulele Hunt”.

The Sage Ukulele Classes – now on Wednesdays!

Great news – The Sage has moved the adult ukulele classes from Thursday to Wednesday, in order that people can attend both The Sage classes and Ukes4Fun!

Dates and times for the Sage classes starting in September are in the clips below, with links to further details. (The “Absolute Beginners Uke” classes on 25 and 26 Sept are sold out already, I am afraid.)

I could not find a page with details of the “Silver Ukuleles” dates and times but it says on The Sage website:
“Silver Ukuleles – there are different groups and workshops available for the varying standards of Ukulele players. Any enquiries or questions please phone (0191) 443 5034 or contact

The “Silver Programme” classes and events are for the “over-50’s” and the adult classes are for all ages.

Sally Kat, Head of Learning and Participation Business Development at The Sage Gateshead, has just taken over managing our Adult learning programme. She has been in touch to say that she’d, “love to find a way of us working together, so that people can play the uke in as many different ways and places as possible. With regard to the focus of our classes, they are very much geared towards “teaching” the uke i.e learning chords (with the proper names) and technique as well as building confidence and repertoire. I think this might be quite different in feel to the sessions you offer and hopefully would complement your sessions rather than competing – which is what I am trying to achieve!”

Sally and Ian McKone, Ukulele Tutor, hope to be able to come along to one of our sessions soon, to meet us and have some uketastic-fun!

Some of you might also know Ian in his capacity as wizard-fiddler and ace-acoustic-guitarist and all-round good chap. Though he has nicked my Uke-Chords Crib-Card, so I think he might find that he owes me a pint of Rapper.

Amplify’d from
Beginner Ukulele

Beginner Ukulele

Wednesday 22 September 6:30 pm
Venue: Music Education Centre

Uke Troupe

Uke Troupe

Wednesday 22 September 7:30 pm
Venue: Music Education Centre


Silver Ukuleles – there are different groups and workshops available for the varying standards of Ukulele players
Any enquiries or questions please phone (0191) 443 5034 or contact silver@thesagegateshead.orgRead more at