My favorite ukulele site of all is Jim’s Ukulele Songbook. The site has tons of searchable chord charts and supports many different ways to tune instruments in addition to standard and baritone tunings. And even more, the site provides tools that greatly simplify creating a unique arrangement, a feature I use quite often when preparing chord charts for our use. My friend, Jim Carey, created the site and maintains it continuously. Jim offered much valuable advice to me when I built this site for our club.
Another very interesting ukulele song library link is here, for Richard G’s Ukulele Songbook site.
Our friends in the South Central Iowa Strummers ukulele group have a website. Click here for the South Central Iowa Strummers. They meet twice a month, once in Osceola and once in New Virginia (when it’s safe to be in one place and online at other times). Their site also has some interesting information tidbits and some nice links to more about the ukuleles we love so much.
I’ve discovered an organization of ukulele enthusiasts in Great Britain that refuses to call itself a “club.” Yet in many ways, they set the bar for all the great things a successful club might become. Not a club or a band, they refer to their meetings as sessions. Please find time to explore the content of the Ukes4Fun site and search for Ukes4Fun on YouTube for session examples.
The Madison Area Ukulele Initiative or Maui, is in a class by themselves. Their site is rich with content for learning and performing. Their chord chart format includes an excellent method for understanding beats and strumming highlights. Many thanks to them for their positive influence on our library.
Interesting ukulele books for download
Strummer and facilitator Vicki discovered a source for an excellent technical book on the ukulele. There are actually three books put together by a fellow named John Timney available from the site Ukulele Adapted. I found all three to be worth checking out; however, there is little else currently on the Ukulele Adapted site.
- The GCEA-tuned Ukulele Handbook (technical information about ukuleles)
- Ukulele Rarity Value (collection of 50 songs)
- 100 Great Songs to Help You Endure a British Summer 2018 (collection of 100 songs)
Tie-dye Ukulele T-shirts
Strummer and facilitator Vicki helped a few of us purchase and check out T-shirts with a tie-dye ukulele pattern from Dye Works II. Recently, we have asked members to wear tie-dye or brightly colored T-shirts for Sing Along events and it has been fun! If you would like to purchase one of the special ukulele theme shirts, you will need to communicate with the staff at Dye Works II to make certain that they understand that you want the special order ukulele pattern. The cost is about $20 for the shirt plus another $4 for shipping and handling. The product quality seems to be above average. So click on the Dye Works II link if you are ready to place an order.
New strings for your ukulele?
If you have questions or comments about this article, send an email to me at myDMUS@gmail.com.
Old strings are bad. If you have had the same strings on your ukulele for more than six months, you should be able to hear significant improvement when you replace them. If you play your instrument every day, you should consider changing strings after three months. (Otherwise, bad ukulele strings are about as common as bad pizza. But, depending on your taste, some pizza is better and so are some ukulele strings.)
For me, better strings are Worth Brand fluorocarbon strings. The way my ears work, they sound a little brighter and slightly less mellow than others I’ve tried and I like that. If I wanted a more mellow sound, I would choose different strings. And mellow sound is one thing we love about ukuleles, right? If you experiment with different string options, you and your ukulele will discover your own favorites.
Sources for Worth strings:
- StringsByMail.com and JustStrings.com as well as Amazon.com sell Worth strings. The price will look more expensive that it actually is because each package contains double-length strings that you can use for two string changes. But they are still a little expensive so shop around for the best current deal. Also, I only recommend these sets for high-G standard tuning. They have 100% fluorocarbon strings for other tunings but I prefer to mix in some wound strings for a low-G tuning and for the D and G strings on a baritone ukulele. I like the clear Worth strings (CT63) for tenor and baritone ukuleles and the brown ones (BM46) that are ever so slightly mellower (for my ears) for soprano and concert ukuleles. Here are some sample shopping links:
- Mya-Moe puts Worth strings on their custom built ukuleles unless you order something else. And they sell hybrid sets of worth fluorocarbon strings and D’Addario wound strings for low-G and baritone sets.
Video links on how to change ukulele strings:
Especially for beginners:
First I would like to recommend our host, Rieman Music. They offer excellent individual ukulele lessons.
There are also many ukulele lessons available online. Search for anything that interests you in Google or Youtube and be amazed at the results; also be prepared to sift through what you find to locate resources that work for you. Two that I particularly enjoy are the Ukulele Underground, offering both free instruction and more details by paid subscription.
Many of us also enjoy training provided by Cynthia Lin; the best way to find her contributions is to start by searching on Youtube and Google. Here is a sample of her arrangements in her beginner holiday jam book.
Google likes ukuleles!
Almost all of the links recommended here were discovered using Google to search for whatever makes us curious. For example, when chords and lyrics for a song are difficult to find, we might search for this:
“song name lyrics chords ukulele”
As another example, these results were discovered when searching for ukulele songs for children:
- I found this https://www.ukulele-tabs.com/
uke-songs/Children+Songs-uke- tabs.html on Google looking for “children’s ukulele tunes.”
- Here is another, https://www.
gotaukulele.com/2011/02/ ukulele-nursery-rhymes-chords- for.html, for small children.
- And if you want to teach them to play a bit, https://takelessons.com/
blog/3-easy-ukulele-songs-2- chords-z10, has three kids songs with just the C and G7 chords (except G7 is not a great first chord to try).