I have presented these and other workshops at various ukulele festivals across the country over the past several years, since 2004. These workshops are also presented several times a year at Funky Frets music store in Funky Frets • Boyertown, PA USA 19512 • 484-415-9677.

As you might guess from the massive number and wide range of topics and lessons covered on my site, I (Curt Sheller) can pretty much put together a great workshop for you from a wide range of topics. Any workshop can be customized to your particular needs.

All workshops include professional prepared material and handouts.

Getting Started - A Recipe for Success


Where Do I Start?

Where Do I Start? - This is a common question and this workshop addresses that very question.

Getting Started - A Recipe for Success covers ukulele tunings, learning the ukulele fingerboard, basic chords and strums. This workshop gets you rolling on having some fun playing the ukulele and we throw in a bit of ukulele history and fun facts as we explore the ukulele.

This FREE workshop is presented every third Sunday of the month at Funky Frets in Boyertown, PA. Followed by the Funky Frets Meetup Jam

This is actually a good workshop for any level player to gain some insight in organizing and even presenting their own workshops.

Check the Funky Frets Meetup site for details and most up-to-date schedule on this workshop presented at Funky Frets Music Store, Boyertown, PA USA.

Visit LearningUkulele.com and SIGN-IN to Download the Workshop Handout: FFW-U41a-Recipe-For-Success.pdf

Just What Do I study When Going It Alone?

All Levels

Where Do I Start?

With all the possibilities it's like trying to see the forest with all the darn tress that are in the way.

We'll start with the Study of Music Today and The Elements of a Successful Study Program and learn how to graft your own program.

Technique, Chords, Chords Progressions, Melody, Rhythm, Theory, Ear Training, Reading, Repertoire, Improvisation, Musical Idioms, Songwriting, Arranging, Composition, Orchestration, Interpretation.

Playing by Ear


Want to jam without sheet music or songbooks?

Common Chord Progressions and Remembering Songs

This workshop goes over common chord progressions and chord sequences that show up a lot in popular music played at jams and festivals.

We'll cover:

  • Three Chord Progressions
  • Four Chord Pop Progressions
  • Fifties (1950s) Chord Progressions
  • The Andalusian Chord Progression
  • Blues Chord Progressions
  • Backdoor Chord Progressions

Remembering a song is lot like remembering the directions for a road trip. There are the turn-by-turn directions, road maps, signs and landmarks that will get you to where you are going. Turn here, turn there, remember this and remember that landmark. With a songs it's the chords, the melody, style, the harmonic cells, the form, etc that are part of the song that you want to remember.

With a few music tools and an understanding of the basic principles of how chords and chord progressions - the songs work. You can start unraveling what's going on in any song.

The Principles of Music



Theory? - Not really theory, it's pretty much how music works. So it more of the Principles of Music.

Understanding the fundamentals of how music works. How Harmony, Melody and Rhythm work goes a long way in increasing your enjoyment of music and learning the `Ukulele. It's NOT magic i it's how it all goes together. It's just the study of the practices and possibilities of music.

This workshops gets you off to a good start in building a foundation of how it all ties together.

The Fundamentals of Music include: Pitch, Scales and Modes, Consonance and Dissonance, Rhythm, Melody, Chords, Harmony, Dynamics, Articulation, Form, Notation, Analysis, ...

In this workshop we'll pick and choose what is most beneficial when learning to make music with ukulele.

  • Notes, Pitch, Tempo and Direction in Music
  • Scales, Intervals, Arpeggios, Sequences
  • Chords - Names, building and where do they actually come from.
  • Rhythm - And how it relates to strums

Essential Strums for Ukulele - A Guide to Ukulele Strums



Don't know what to play or tired of playing the same old down-up-down-up strums?

One of the first skills a ukulele player learns is the art and craft of strumming, playing rhythm. This refers to an accompaniment technique suitable for the singer - songwriter or someone who plays a support role for another instrument.

Strumming requires a specific set of skills. They are: 1) Memorization of chords 2) The ability to switch chords smoothly and 3) The ability to choose and execute a suitable rhythmic strum. It is this 3rd skill that is our focus in A Guide to Ukulele Strums.

Though strumming looks natural to the casual observer, it is anything but natural to the beginning ukulele player. Even experienced players have difficulty in identifying and executing certain strums. Though this is one of those topics that is typically taken for granted, there is much to learn about rhythmic feels, accents, dynamics, strum direction, feel, percussive accents, idiomatic styles and tempo variation.

Learn These Essential Strums and a lot more:

  • Quarter Note Strum
  • Sustain Strum
  • Rock Strum
  • Light Rock Strum 1
  • 12/8 Strum
  • Shuffle Strum
  • Power Shuffle Strum
  • Double Time Strum
  • Gallop Strum
  • Flowing 3/4 Strum
  • Ska Strum
  • Bass Note Strum Patterns
  • 3/4 Strum
  • Reggae Strum
  • Broken Patterns

Visit LearningUkulele.com and SIGN-IN to Download the Workshop Handout: UL126-Essential-Strums.pdf

Exploring Fingerstyle on Ukulele



Exploring Basic Fingerstyle on Ukulele. Classical and Alternating Thumb style fingerstyle technique applied to ukulele.

This is now an entire series of lessons and books dedicated to exploring fingerpicking on ukulele. The first book in the series is for Alternating Thumb Fingerpicking style. A systematic approach covering ALL aspects of this style.

This workshops starts with the fundamental alternating thumb part and builds from there.

Visit LearningUkulele.com and SIGN-IN to Download the Workshop Handout: UL126-Essential-Strums.pdf

Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele



Exploring contemporary 4-part, a.k.a. "Jazz" chord on ukulele all start with the Big Six, Core Chords. You most likely know the open position chords they're based on.

From the Six core chords that are the Big Six and the principles of chord construction along with learning the notes of the ukulele fingerboard, you WILL be able to create ANY chord you come across just from the name.

These jazz chords are simply 4-part contemporary chords that find their way in a lot of music - not just jazz.

The Big Six Core Chords are: Seventh, Minor Seventh, Major Seventh, Diminished Seventh, Half-Diminished Seventh, Augmented Seventh

From these six chords you'll never be at a loss looking for that individual chord you need.

Visit LearningUkulele.com and SIGN-IN to Download the Workshop Handout: Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele

Triads - You Already Know More Than You Think


At the heart of just about every chord is a triad. This workshop explores these powerful harmonic and melodic music gems.

We'll explore traditional and contemporary triads, starting with the triads you already know but don't know you already know. Finally learning what a sus2, sus4, add 2, add9 chord is. And, how to use them.

Triads can be used for everything from creating melodies and improvisation with single notes and chords all the way to creating contemporary songs.

You actually all ready know a few if you know the open position chords, such as C, F, G, Am, Em, Dm, etc...

Visit LearningUkulele.com and SIGN-IN to Download the Workshop Handout: Triads - You Already Know More Than You Think

Introduction to Scales and Soloing on Ukulele



Don't know what to play or Tired of playing the same old songs and licks?

Here is a workshop for any level ukulele player on creating fun stuff to play. Making you own music, taking what you already know and creating music.

From a few SIMPLE chords and a few single notes you can create music and entertain yourself for hours.

You actually know more than you think!!!

This is my road to “Hours of Ukulele Fun” workshop.

Visit LearningUkulele.com and SIGN-IN to Download the Workshop Handout: UW05-Intro-To-Soloing.pdf

Building Left Hand Technique



Building Left Hand Technique explores what it takes to build killer left hand chops on the ukulele.

Single string left hand technique, open string, repeated notes, variations, intervals, double stops, triple stops, chord switching, rhythmic variations, skipping strings, legato and staccato technique.

You'll never be better than you what you can actually pull off what you want with your hands. And, luckily our left hand - ALL of our fingers can be trained to a pretty high level allowing you to pull off what you would like to do.

Visit LearningUkulele.com and SIGN-IN to Download the Workshop Handout: Building Left Hand Technique

Right Hand Ukulele Technique



With this workshop will cover and explore the many possible ways to get the strings moving with the Right Hand. From using the thumb for a mellow picking and strumming style to using felt and plastic picks and we'll explore traditional and alternating thumb fingerpicking.

Exploring the Blues for Ukulele



Exploring the Chords, Notes, Scales and Feel of the Blues on `Ukulele.

A Guide to Blues Chord Progressions for Ukulele from A to Z explores the “Blues” chord progressions. The Blues are at the heart of all American music. It has influenced Country, Rock, Folk, Jazz, Bluegrass and just about every form of American music we listen to today.

Understanding Blues Chord Progressions for Ukulele takes you through what makes a blues progression a blues progression.

Visit LearningUkulele.com and SIGN-IN to Download the Workshop Handout: UL129_what_is_a_blues_progression.pdf

Reading Music on the Ukulele - Primer



It's lot easier than you think.

Reading Music on the Ukulele - Learning to read standard music notation. It's a lot easier on the ukulele than most other stringed instruments.

Learn the basics of music notation, a song's the road map and reading single notes in open position on ukulele.

Reading music is not hard. It may be new and unfamiliar to you but is not hard when you have a proper plan of attack.



The often neglected and taken for granted subject of Rhythm. Music is Melody, Harmony and Rhythm. We are drawn, initially to music by melody at a very early age, with the instrument of our voice. With ukulele you typically learn chords - the harmony and never really dive into learning rhythm. Unless you're a drummer we take rhythm for granted.

Visit LearningUkulele.com and SIGN-IN to Download the Workshop Handout: Rhythm - Avoid at your own peril.

Learning the Ukulele Fingerboard


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Memorizing The Notes Of The Ukulele Fingerboard Is Not As Hard As One Would Think.

Learning the Ukulele Fingerboard - It is astonishing that on any other instrument it would be silly and not accepted to not know the names of the notes and where they are on your own instrument. But - on the ukulele, guitar and most fretted instruments their players do not know the names intuitively - they can figure them out but that takes way too long. Granted it's not as easy as the piano where higher and lower notes move in one direction only, are color coded and even at different heights. Anyone after the first or second lesson can instantly name any key on the piano.

For a liberating moment in learning the ukulele – this is a BIG one!!!

On ukulele as well as the guitar there are duplicate notes - the same note on different strings and music can mover horizontally along a string as well as vertically across the strings. Make for a lot of flexibility for note choices and there in lies the problem - the choices.

This workshop is guaranteed to take the mystery out of the ukulele fingerboard and have you a lot closer to actually knowing the name of every note on the fingerboard and instantly recall it.

Memorizing the notes of the ukulele fingerboard is not as hard as one would think. Although there doesn't seem to be any pattern and the same letter can be found on every string. There is a systematic approach that can be used to help remember the notes.

You'll get more out of actually knowing the names of the notes of the fingerboard than most things you have to memorize. It will actually cut out the number of shapes you have to memorize.

Visit LearningUkulele.com and SIGN-IN to Download the Workshop Handout: Learning-The-Ukulele-Fingerboard

Bass for Ukulele Players



Really “Bass” for Non-Bass Players

“Bass” - the bottom, the low end. In music this is one essential musician always in demand and in short supply.

Every musicians should be able to play a bit of bass.

This workshop get you started with being a bass player and the minimum requirement musically to start and fulfill the bass player role. It's a low easier than you think.

Visit LearningUkulele.com and SIGN-IN to Download the Workshop Handout: UW50-BassForUkulelePlayers.pdf

Ukulele for Guitar Players



You might already know more than you think!

Ukulele for Guitar Players is a guide to transferring the accumulated experience and knowledge gained as a guitar player to the ukulele.

Covers chords, scales, reading and the three most common ukulele tunings.

Ukulele for Guitar Players is for current and former guitar players discovering the ukulele for the first time or returning to the instrument.

Ukulele for Guitar Players is a guide to transferring the accumulated experience and knowledge gained as a guitar played to the ukulele. Or exploring the possibilities that the ukulele offer. Covers chords, scale and an introduction to reading standard music notation on ukulele.

The ukulele is both a different instrument than the guitar and at the same time a lot like the guitar.

Guitar players that also play the ukulele find that it gives them a different and fresh look at how they also approach the guitar.


Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the bestGlen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys

Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too.Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg

I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent.fatveg — Portland

Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!


Original Animation by Curt Sheller - 1987 for my first web site 37 years ago.