Uke happenings in May

As mentioned last month, May kicks off with the 5th Grand Northern Ukulele Festival on the 5th -7th, but you’ll also find The New Forest Ukulele Festival in New Milton, Hampshire on the 20th and Uke Power at Drax Social Club, Selby, North Yorkshire on the 26th-28th.


Uke happenings around the world

In Europe


The Paris Ukulele Festival takes place on the 11th -13th, and features Rita and Martin, Uff & Zaza and The Hot Potato Syncopators.

On the 27th-29th The Freiburg Ukulele Festival takes place down in South West Germany.

On the 12th to the 14th there’s the first  Austrian Ukulele Festival in Graz, featuring UK acts Dead Man’s Uke and The League of Ukulele Gentlemen as well as acts from Hawaii and all over Europe.

In the US

The Denver Uke Fest is on the 11th-13th with Jake Shimabukuro, Aldrine GuerreroThe Quiet American.

Mighty Uke Day is in Lansing, Michigan on 12th-14th ( with Heidi Swedberg and Daniel Ward.

Spring Into Uke is on the 13th in Voorheesville, New York with Jim and Liz Beloff.

Las Cruces Ukulele Festival takes place on the 19th-23rd and features Jim and Liz Beloff, Daniel Ward, Heidi Swedberg and Danielle Ate The Sandwich.

Ashokan Uke Fest runs from the 26th to the 29th in Olivebridge, New York, with James Hill & Anne Janelle, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, Gerald Ross and Jim D’Ville.

In Australia

Dandenong Ranges Ukulele Festival takes place on the 20th and 21st.

Reporting back from Sore Fingers Bluegrass Week

In last month’s blog I mentioned that I would be teaching uke, alongside Percy Copley, at Sore Fingers Bluegrass camp. I’m happy to report that I had a wonderful time, teaching alongside some of the top names in bluegrass and old-time music, and the students were all amazing (especially the uke students!)

I’m happy to report that I’ve been asked to return as uke teacher for the October weekend (dates to be announced soon), and even if you think bluegrass isn’t your thing, I’m positive you’d have an amazing time. Come and join me!


Uke Class at Sore Fingers

Who’s around?

Right now, Manitoba Hal and Victoria Vox are to be found wandering the UK, popping up at various venues (Hal has just visited SUS!), so keep an eye on their gig lists to see if they are anywhere near you.

Quite soon, they’ll be joined by Del Rey who’s making her way through Europe in May before hitting our shores in early June, where she’ll not only be playing in my home town, with me and Ian Emmerson supporting, grab your tickets here.

She’ll also be at Southern Ukulele Store on June 10th  from 2-4pm, leading a workshop and performing with Adam Franklin.


Del Rey

Cool stuff

Despite being an old-school kind of guy with a pretty simple stage setup (point a mic at it and go) I do like to keep an eye out for any cool gadgets, instrument innovation and new toys to try out.

This month, the D’Addario Cinch Fit strap attachment caught my eye. For years I performed on plugged in electric ukes with straps, and end pin jacks were always a bit of a nuisance. Straps had to be stretched over them or even cut to make the hole bigger, ruining them for use on regular strap buttons. This is a really neat solution!


D’Addario Cinch Fit

May’s playing tip

Step out of your comfort zone! It’s really easy, in the confines of your home or when surrounded by your fellow uke club members, to play music that you’ve played many times before.

The best way to move on as a player is to put yourself in situations where you feel a little out of your depth. Try hanging around with players that are better than you, players of other instruments, or players of a style of music that you don’t normally play.

Try attending a folk session or a blues jam. If you’ve never performed in public before, find a safe, friendly place and set yourself a deadline. It’s amazing how knowing you’re going to play in front of people in a week’s time can focus the mind!

Chord of the month

Another favourite of mine, this is a nice inversion of an F9 chord (or you could call it a Cm6). Try is on bluesy songs with a regular C chord, and last months G7 alternative. Notice how when you put those those three chords together, the G string remains open all the time.

This is really effective in blues and old-time music, as the drone is reminiscent of either the thumping bottom string of a blues  guitar (especially if you have a low G), or the ringing high 5th string on a 5 string banjo.

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All the best,

Ukulelia – April: Festival season and other goings on

Welcome to the Southern Ukelele Store blog! I’m Phil Doleman, and I’ll be bringing you news from all over the ukelele world as well as hints and tips to help your playing.

Grand Northern Ukulele Festival


Very soon we’ll be getting into the festival season. Grand Northern Ukulele festival, now in it’s 5th year, takes place in Huddersfield on the 5th-7th May, and it’s always a great event, busy with performances, workshops and opportunities to play.

This year sees international performers Victoria Vox, Elof & Wamberg, and Ryo Montgomery join a host of home-grown acts. I’ll be there with Ian Emmerson, performing and leading workshops.

Cardiff Ukulele Festival

On Saturday 8th April, the 4th annual Cardiff Ukulele Festival takes place at St David’s Hall from 1-5pm. It’s free, and groups from South Wales and South West England will be performing. Bring your uke and join in!

Sore Fingers Bluegrass Week

The 17th-21st April is the 22nd Sore Fingers Bluegrass week. Why am I mentioning this on a ukulele blog, you may ask? Well, Percy Copley  is not only a great uke player, he also plays a mean banjo, mandolin and guitar, and is a regular tutor at Sore Fingers.

Recently he introduced the ukulele to them with great success, so much so that I’ve been recruited to help! I’m always enthused by what the ukulele can do with other instruments and in unexpected genres, and after all playing music with others is one of the most satisfying and fun things to do!

James Hill Ukulele Initiative


Ukulele virtuoso James Hill has launched his Ukulele Initiative, which includes a teacher certification program. Uke teachers can study under James to develop their teaching skills based on James’ thorough method and gain a qualification. On April 8th and 9th James will be running the programme in Northampton, UK.

The Ukulele Society Of Great Britain

Many people may not know that this society even exists, but it has in fact been around since 1970 and for a long time was the only ukulele society in the UK. Despite the many hundreds of ukulele clubs that have sprung up more recently, it is still going strong, and it’s next meeting is on Sunday 7th April in Digswell, Hertfordshire. Find out more and join at

Lyle Ritz

Sadly, we recently lost ukulele jazz pioneer Lyle Ritz. His albums ‘How About Uke’ and ’50th State Jazz’, released in 1957 and 1959 respectively, set the standard and influenced many players over the years.


Lyle was also a member of the famed Wrecking Crew (as a bassist), the LA studio musicians who played on countless classic albums by The Beach Boys, Phil Spector, Sonny and Cher, The Byrds and lots more.

Like his work with the Wrecking Crew, possibly his most most frequently heard performance on the uke was also anonymous; he actually playing the uke on ‘Tonight, You Belong To Me’ in the film ‘The Jerk’, which Steve Martin mimes to as he sings with Bernadette Peters

If you’re at all interested in jazz ukulele, you owe it to yourself to check out not only his recordings, but also the three books released through Flea Market Music; Jumpin’ Jim’s Ukulele Masters: Lyle Lite, Lyle Ritz Solos, and Lyle Ritz Jazz.

Around the world

April sees the international festival season kick off too, with The Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival in Queensland, Australia on the 20th-23rd April, with Kalei Gamiao, Craig Chee & Sarah Maisel and the UK’s own Peter Moss.

On Sunday April 30th, the 23rd Ukulele Festival of North California takes place, with guest appearances from Bryan Tolentino, Asa Young, Del Beazley, Chris Kamaka and Herb Ohta, Jr.

April’s playing tip

This is one that I really need to do more myself! Set yourself a target of learning a new song every week/ fortnight/ month. Building your repertoire is a great way to learn new chords, rhythms, and musical patterns, and it gives you a pool of songs you can draw on whenever you need them.

Try to learn to play them from memory, not from a song sheet, and even if you only manage one each month, by this time next year you’ll have a dozen songs. Manage one a week and it’ll be fifty two! You’ll never be stuck for something to play when someone asks for a song.

Chord of the month

This month’s chord is one I use an awful lot. It’s an alternative to the regular G7, but as it is lacking the note that determines whether it is major or minor, it’s also an alternative Gm7! Try playing it when others in your group are playing a regular G7 or Gm7 or, if you’re on your own, alternate between them.


All the best,

The Ukulele world at SUS in March

Kala Elite UK Price Drop

After our initial order for these Californian made ukes arrived at Cheltenham in 2015 we didn’t see any new models in the UK until the tail end of last year. To help promote the Elite brand, KALA UK have recently agreed to a temporary price drop of 30%! So now, for a short time these great Ukuleles are much more affordable.

The Kala Elites are a well made and well specced solid Koa equivalent to the big Hawaiian brands like KoAloha, Kamaka and Kanile’a. The most obvious difference being the Kala has a larger and wider neck profile which will be something that appeals to a great many different players. 


Zachary Taylor Special Offer

We can’t help but love the Zachary Taylor Ukuleles. Players have been walking through the door keen to look at them since Zachary premiered this modern/vintage hybrid range of eccentric spruce instruments at the Ukulele Festival of Great Britain last year. We are very excited to see what will happen with ZT Ukuleles in 2017 and in preparation, we have decided to reduce the price on the remaining 2016 models to make way. As I write this, we still have one Electro Tenor model available and as professional quality Electro Acoustic Ukuleles are incredibly sparse, could this be the Uke you have been looking for this whole time?


KoAloha Opio Spruce top Tenor review

Baz Maz over at Gotaukulele wrote a lovely review about the KoAloha Opio Spruce top Tenor. We already knew they were great but such an in-depth review is must-read stuff. For those of you thinking seriously about your next Ukulele purchase, this should answer a lot of your questions about these fabulous instruments without relying on just our enthusiastic opinions!


Tiny Ukuleles in a BIG way – Ohana

Lots of new Ohana models have arrived this week and have found their way on to the website. The highlight of which must be the all solid Eucalyptus CK-550QEL (the name needs work). A sound with the best bits of Mahogany and Cedar mashed up and one of the best headstock designs we have ever seen.


We also have padded Sopranissimo gigbags for the O’Nino and O’Nina models and finally an Ohana Sopranino hard case for the SK21 series. Luthier built tiny Ukuleles will *probably* fit (please check measurements carefully first – some padding might be required) so credit to Ohana for coming to the rescue before your John Daniels Pixie Ukulele or suchlike comes to any harm.

Something a bit different – Eiichi Sumi

After all the positive feedback I received for mentioning ‘Ohta San’ in our last mailout – I thought I would share with you what I’ve been brushing up on this month. At NAMM I discovered a stall shared by several different Ukulele luthiers from all around the world. Having just spent the previous four hours at the Kamaka and Kanile’a stands I really thought I would be burnt out and that nothing could blow me away but I couldn’t have been more wrong.



Firstly, an honorable mention should go out to Mike Da Silva who aside from creating and building the James Hill signature Ukulele, had built a Mango Concert I loved enough to order for SUS and threatened to steal it when his back was turned. What really surprised and humbled me was a collection of three Ukuleles made by a Japanese luthier called Eiichi Sumi.

The first two Ukuleles were a pair of Concert and Tenor Gibson Hummingbirds scaled down from 6 string guitar shape and size to four string Ukulele scale complete with hand painted pickguards and tulip buttoned machine heads. My interest in Ohta San probably makes me a sucker for the rounder dreadnought shape on the Ukulele but these Ukes sounded like nothing else. I wanted them but alas it wasn’t meant to be due to reasons beyond my control (another retailer purchased it and it was taken literally out of my hands as I stood in shock).

The third Ukulele was something else altogether… I couldn’t let that one go and it’s a solid Eucalyptus slice of Ukulele heaven.  You can see it on the website right now.

So my research took me to the far east where I learned what a big deal Eiichi Sumi and his Ukuleles actually are.

Eiichi Sumi began making folk instruments in Nagano, Japan in 1977. He spent his early years as a builder working in the now famous Japanese factories that produced high end copies of American instruments (Tokai/Ibanez/Kimbara etc). It is well documented that the Japanese instruments from this era are now more sought after by collectors than the USA made counterparts due to an unmistakable high quality and attention to detail.

In 1986, with a reputation of his own already established he broke out and set up his own workshop with a team of 3-4 employees that has been producing some of Japans most highly respected bespoke instruments ever since. I left NAMM obsessed with his Ukuleles but not much can be found online about Sumi Ukuleles. His Mandolins and Archtop guitars however, are world famous and he has a client list any builder would be envious of. His display at NAMM was apparently done by an enthusiastic supplier that places their orders with him once a year in person! I find it romantic that a lack of website and contact information is a deliberate choice made by a team of builders that have enough of a waiting list and word of mouth desire for instruments that they can pick and choose what they do.


Ukulelia – February: Ukulele Clubs & Tuning by Ear

Welcome back to Ukulelia, ukeheads! We hope you’re feeling loved up this Valentine’s, whether that’s with your beau, your hobbies, your work, yourself or even your favourite instrument: the uke!

To help keep your passion for the instrument ablaze, we’ve searched high and low for our favourite ukulele related blogs from all over the internet.

This month, get to know the charming Red Bluff Ukulele Club, find out what makes the ukulele a great starter instrument for aspiring young guitarists and learn how to impress your friends by tuning your ukulele by ear like a total pro…

Big Love for the Red Bluff Ukulele Club

We absolutely love seeing ukulele players of all abilities getting out there and having fun with their favourite four stringed instruments. The Red Bluff Northern Valley Ukulele Club appear to be doing exactly that in their latest January update! They’ve even shot a video of their session, sharing snippets of some of the songs they’ve been practising. Can you name every tune?

How to Tune Your Ukulele By Ear


It’s not often that you’re more than a finger’s swipe away from technology, these days. But for those rare moments when you’re out in the wild without an online ukulele tuner handy, learning how to tune your ukulele by ear will ensure you’re hitting all the right notes. It’s a fun trick to learn to do, either way, and Native Ground have created a very handy guide which will show you exactly how it’s done, from twiddling your tuning pegs, to finding a middle C by ear. Helpful stuff, thanks guys!


The Uke is a Great Starter Instruments for Wannabe Guitarists

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Processed with VSCO with 4 preset

If you’ve raised something of a rock star, your child may already be asking you for their first instrument, but investing in a guitar can be problematic for kids. While affordable options are out there, children grow fast, which means soon their instrument will no longer fit them. However, if you buy a larger version, the heavier weight and bigger size will make it very tough for your young Frank Zappa to play.

Cue: the ukulele! It may not be as cool as a guitar, but ukes are pleasingly cheap, easy to play and a great starter instrument for aspiring guitar heroes, teaching them the basics of chords, plucking, frets and strumming until they’re ready for an upgrade. She’s Savvy blogger Stacey Marmolejo has written an informative post on this very subject!

Does your youngster play the ukulele? What has been their experience? Share your stories and tips with us via Twitter @SUS_UKES.

Ukulelia – January: Young Ukers & Beatles Chords

A very very Happy New Year ukulele fiends! Whether you received your first uke for Christmas and can’t wait to start strumming or an old hand with a New Year’s resolution to improve your ukulele game in 2017, the Southern Ukulele Store has you covered!

But we don’t just stock amazing instruments, accessories and music, we also love to inspire you with the very best ukulele content from the world wide web every month. From resources and opinion pieces, to videos, tutorials and how-tos, our monthly Ukulelia roundup shares the very best stuff from the web-o-sphere from our very favourite musically-minded bloggers.

Stay turned…

This month: discover the five reasons why absolutely everybody needs to learn the ukulele, learn to play Here Comes The Sun and meet 10 amazing young ukulele players.

5 Reasons Everyone Needs a Ukulele


We may love ukuleles. You may be a ukulele convert. But not everyone loves our favourite four-stringed instrument – yet! This blog from Australian multi-instrumentalist Herrin George features a comprehensive list of the five reasons why absolutely everybody needs to own a ukulele – perfect for making converts of even your most sceptical, non-strumming friends.

From the affordability of the instrument, to the portability and “sing-a-long-ability” of the humble ukulele, this post is a great persuader for the unconvinced and a great reminded for lapsed players too!

How to Play: Here Comes The Sun


A cheering ditty about sunshine is just what the doctor ordered to cure those dark and dreary January blues. This chord sheet from the Centre Stage Ukulele Academy will help you feel summery even while you’re wearing your slipper socks. It also dives into the back story behind this sweet classic from George Harrison, who wrote the tune in the gardens of Eric Clapton’s country home while sneakily skipping a meeting with his record label.

10 Amazing Young Ukers


The ukulele may be an old favourite but plenty of youngsters are picking up the instrument and putting many of us old hands to shame. This amazing, inspiring blog from Ukes Up shares videos from ten astonishing young ukers from all over the world. From horrifyingly talented Hawaiian teens Honoka & Azita, to astonishing 15 year old musician Aiden James. Prepare to be very, very impressed!

Have you ever make an instrument out of unusual materials? Have you ever taken your uke abroad? Share your stories with us via Twitter @SUS_UKES.


Ukulelia – December: Ukulele History & Compositional Glory

Season’s Greetings ukulele lovers! A very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of the musical elves at the Southern Ukulele Store. Whether you’re receiving your very first ukulele this Christmas, or searching for a gift for the seasoned strummer in your life, you’ll find ukulele regalia and paraphernalia of all ilks in our online store.

Need a little more inspiration? We have something for that too…

Every month we comb the world wide web for the latest and greatest blogs and posts from ukulele fanatics the world over. This month; take a fascinating plunge into ukulele history, get inspired by a compositional project and enjoy some chilled out ukulele sounds.

Dive into Ukulele History


The ukulele may be a small instrument, but it’s been hugely instrumental (gettit?) in social changes and movements throughout history, ever since its invention in Hawaii. From the four-stringed-wonders travels to Japan, to its role in German history, the ukulele has wormed its way into an awful lot of history. The blogger behind the UKULELE Japan blog is especially intrigued by the uke’s roots – and they’ve been posting regular fascinating journeys into the instrument’s past. If you love ukes and you love history, this blog is for you.

Composing for the Lincoln Ukulele Band

lincoln uke 2

We totally inspired by Making Music‘s “Adopt a Composer” project which pairs talented young music makers with skilled musicians in order to compose a unique piece of work. In this blog you can read all about Angela Slater’s journey towards creating a piece for the 50+ members of the Lincoln Ukulele Band, despite never having played a uke before! It makes fascinating reading and we were thrilled to hear that the piece premièred earlier this month! Lovely stuff.

Zuli Loves “Ukulele & Chill”

With all the 2016 doom and gloom and all this festive chaos and mayhem to contend with, sometimes it’s nice to escape the endless renditions of Slade and East17 and turn on something that totally transports you. Writing on Stereofox, blogger Zuli has shared a little slice of “get away from it all” Nirvana: Ukulele and Chill by Cody G. It does exactly what it says on the tin and we’d strongly recommend it for those moments when it all gets too much.

Have you ever make an instrument out of unusual materials? Have you ever taken your uke abroad? Share your stories with us via Twitter @SUS_UKES.

Ukulelia – November: Ukulele Hangers & Musical Wanderlust

Welcome back to Ukulelia, your monthly spot for the best of ukulele news, ideas, resources and fun from all over the web. Each month the Southern Ukulele Store team keep up with their favourite online sources of ukulele goodness, then round up the very best of the bunch to share especially with you.

This month; get inspired to give your ukulele a proper wall mounting, give yourself a dose of ukulele wanderlust on Ben’s ukulele road trip and discover how smart crafter Amy turned a gourd into a ukulele!

How to Hang a Ukulele


If you’re anything like the Southern Ukulele Store team, your four stringed instrument is one of your pride and joys. While photos of family and friends get pride of place on your wall, your very favourite instrument can all-too-often languish in a corner or rest amidst your clutter. This post from The Ukulele Blog by King Uke will change all that. Covering a variety of interesting ways to store, showcase and hang up your ukulele, this post will help you put your instrument safely in pride of place in an aesthetically appealing way.

Enjoy Wild Heights on Ben’s Ukulele Road Trip

Do you enjoy your ukulele with a side serving of wanderlust? Ben’s Ukulele Road Trip blog is an essential addition to your bookmarks bar. Since 2015 Ben has been roaming the globe with his ukuleles on the cultural adventure of a lifetime. In this edition Ben is in the rural village of Sibiel in Romania, strumming a very uplifting version of Wild Heights. We’ve got itchy feet already…

Make Your Own: Gourd-kelele


Feeling handy? Enjoy a spot of DIY? Love ukuleles? This fantastic blog from Amy Makes Stuff will talk you through Amy’s latest project: making a ukulele out of a gourd. Given to her as a gag gift, Amy set about transforming her gourd into a playable – and actually pretty good lookin’ – ukulele. Amazing stuff from a very clever crafter!

Have you ever make an instrument out of unusual materials? Have you ever taken your uke abroad? Share your stories with us via Twitter @SUS_UKES.

Ukulelia – October: Ukulele Breakfasts & Chord Cheats

With the leaves turning orange and a nip in the air, it’s one of the Southern Ukulele Store’s favourite times of year – perfect for curling up by the fire with your ukulele and a woolly jumper.

Whether you’re an old hand, a newbie or just trying to learn a couple of Christmas songs ahead of December, you’ll find tonnes of inspiration in our store and in our monthly Ukulelia round up. Every month we scour the web for the best ukulele blogs and resources, then share them with our readers right here.

This month; drool over a beautiful piece of wood as it is hand-crafted into a gorgeous ukulele, enjoy a ukulele breakfast in Hawaii and learn a few clever chord shortcuts.

Wooden it Be Nice?


Exceptional luthier, David Ingalls, can trace his ukulele connection back to the 1800s and the life of his Hawaiian, haole seafaring great-great-great-grandparents. Perhaps that’s why he’s able to create bespoke instruments of such remarkable beauty. This blog shows off David’s current work in progress, a 16 inch concert ukulele made from drool-inducingly gorgeous quilted maple. If you have any interest in the craft of making ukuleles, David’s blog – Ono Ukes – is well worth a visit.

Ukulele Breakfasts in Kona, Hawaii


Time for a little dose of ukulele island paradise. Fabulous blogger Ukulele Tonya has been chronicling her adventures in ukulele for years and this instalment shares her experiences of playing ukulele on the islands of the instrument’s birth. In Hawaii, Tonya was able to join in with a morning gathering of keen 40 strummers who love nothing more than a ukulele sing along to start a Thursday the right way Ah, island living, eh?

Cheating with Chords


Who doesn’t love taking a sneaky shortcut every now and again? Jason of the Grande Royale Ükulelists of the Black Swamp (AKA the GRÜBS) certainly does. In this fun and friendly blog, Jason shares a few clever chord cheats which might make fast changes easier for beginners. Instead of swift finger reshuffles to hit D G and C, Jason used a few alternatives to keep everything nice and conveniently on the second fret. A handy read and well written too!

Do you have any ukulele “cheats” you’d like to share with our readers? Drop us a line and share your favourite uke stuff with us via Twitter @SUS_UKES.

Ukulelia – August: Ukuambience & Cigar Boxes

With autumn just around the corner, September is a wonderful month for snuggling up with your favourite ukulele and learning some brand new songs and tricks. This season, the Southern Ukulele team have put together a collection of their favourite blogs and resources which will help you do just that, from online lessons and chords, to fun doses of creative inspiration.

This month; welcome to the web your new music teacher: Matt Ukulele, discover a new “ukuambient” genre with Kara Square and take a peek at some very old cigar box ukuleles.

New Online Uke Resource Launched


There are some fabulous ukulele resources and blogs out there, packed with free chords, songs, tips, lessons and resources, but we’re firmly of the opinion that you can never have too much ukulele goodness. That why, this month we’re very pleased to welcome Matt Ukulele to the world wide web, a brand spanking new resource for uke lovers looking to learn some new chords and some fun ways to practice and use them. With a fresh lesson set to be posted each week, we look forward to seeing what veteran uke teacher Matt Dahlberg has to share.

Get Ukuambient with Kara Square

The ukulele’s sheer versatility is one of the things which love so much about our very favourite instrument, which is why devoted strummer Kara Square’s bandcamp single Ukuambient was such a fun listen for the Southern Ukulele team. A creative and experimental ukulele player herself, Kara has been working on a whole new genre for our four stringed friend. We love the results!   

  • What do you think of Kara Square’s unusual ukuambient sound? Have you come across any new ukulele genres you’d like to share? Let us know via Twitter.

Discover the Cigar Box Ukulele


Kara may have the future of the ukulele all sewn up, but we still love the occasional delve into the uke’s rich history. This fascinating post published on Eddy Finn Ukes introduces readers to the charming looking cigar box ukulele which dates back to the 1840s. Lovely stuff, cheers Eddy!

Do you have a favourite historical style or uke or a favourite ukulele genre? Share your sounds and two cents with us via Twitter @SUS_UKES.

Ukulelia – July: Two Chord Songs & the Calypso Strum

Happy July, ukulele strummers! Welcome back to a brand new, shiny update from the Southern Ukulele Store’s monthly fixture: Ukulelia. Every month, rain or shine (and in this case, a bit of both), we take this opportunity to share some of our favourite posts, blogs and resources from our favourite ukulele lovers on the world wide web.

This July: Meet ten young ukulele players who will inspire you to up your ukulele game whether you’re 16 or 85, pick up some two chord songs instantly, plus learn to perform the calypso strum.

10 Young Uke-ers Who Will Inspire You to Practice


Feeling low on motivation lately? That’s about to change. Following the rise to fame of America’s Got Talent’s ukulele playing 12 year old Grace VanderWaal this summer, the excellent Ukes Up blog curated a bumper list of ten of the worlds most inspiring young players.

Aged between 14 and 27, these fresh faces bring plenty of inspiring passion to their music which we guarantee will make you want to pick up your instrument and learn something new. We’ve included this video of 19 year old Sungha Jung playing Goyte’s Somebody That I Used to Know, shared by John of Ukes Up, because it’s just plain great!

Two Chord Songs for “Easy as Pie” Strum-AlongsPie_splet_on_pieIf you’re still struggling to get playing, even after all of that inspiration, this handy post from Wildflower Ukulele is sure to cure what ails ya. After all, who can resist the simplicity of a two chord song? From Deep in the Heart of Texas, to Jambalaya and Iko Iko there’s a whole host of ridiculously easy tunes to strum and sing here, which you can master in seconds. Thanks, Mr Tad Dreis!

How to Master: The Calypso Strum

Ready to inject some ready island vibes into your ukulele playing? It’s time to get the hang of the chilled out island strum. Most widely known as a calypso strum, this technique is relatively simple once you’ve got the hang of the pattern which goes: down down up – up down up. Repeat this pattern and you’ve got yourself some serious island feels. This excellent blog from ArtistWorks will teach you exactly how it’s done in more detail.

What is your favourite strumming pattern? Can you think of a young ukulele player who deserves a mention too? Have your say and share your favourite videos and resources with our team via Twitter @SUS_UKES.