7 Best Online Ukulele Lessons in 2019 for Uke Enthusiasts
As with any string instrument, learning to play the ukulele takes time. It may take even more time if you have no previous experience with a guitar or another relevant string instrument.
If you’re struggling to learn this instrument, you don’t have to look any further than this post featuring the best online ukulele lessons.
Top 3 - Online Ukulele Lessons
Friendly learning atmosphere
$9.99 / month
Extensive songs library
$105 / quarter
Access to live broadcasts and unlimited video submissions
If you're an absolute beginner and want to start learning right away, I recommend getting started with Ukulele Buddy for its beginner-friendly curriculum, one-time cost, and a lenient 60 days money-back guarantee.
Ukulele, the iconic Hawaiian four-string instrument has always been somewhat of a fascination to music enthusiasts and musicians alike. The fact that such a little “guitar” can accomplish so much is almost unfathomable for some people.
But that’s just the beauty of music. There’s so much left to do, even though nothing truly new has been added to music theory in decades.
The ukulele is a complex instrument that can take you by surprise with its warm and fun tone. Although it may be one of the smallest instruments in a band, it’s most certainly not one that fades into the background.
7 Best Online Ukulele Lessons - Reviews
Tune in to find out why learning online is the new trend. It explains the phenomenon of more and more waves of interesting musicians coming out as if out of nowhere.
Table of Contents
- 7 Best Online Ukulele Lessons - Reviews
- Advantages of Learning Ukulele Online
- Why You Should Opt for Paid Online Ukulele Lessons
1. Ukulele Buddy - $67 (Lifetime)
Ukulele Buddy is the brainchild of JP Allen and Mitch Chang. Two accomplished musicians that have a flair for teaching the musically challenged. The website is simple and easy to navigate, and the same simplicity carries on to the actual curriculum.
The lessons are as beginner-friendly as they come, ideal if you’re picking up a Ukulele for the first time and have no previous musical experience. Some of the lessons may be up to 15 minutes long. However, even the longest videos still stay on point and offer comprehensive explanations of chords, notes, strumming patterns, fingering techniques, etc.
The guides are presented in a fun way. Both instructors are charismatic and have no problem explaining even the simplest of concepts. The first few lessons are very basic but presented in a way that makes the information easy and quick to grasp.
Keeping students interested is a major point of emphasis for Ukulele Buddy, which is why it has so many positive reviews from satisfied customers. The lessons library is probably not as extensive as on other websites, but the atmosphere and high-end production quality more than make up for it.
It’s also nice to see that the instructors offer suggestions on how to practice so that the students and see progress and avoid discouragement.
Keep in mind that, as with any other long-running website of its kind, Ukulele Buddy gets constant updates with fresh content.
2. Fender Play - $9.99/mo
Fender Play is a teaching app. It caters to string instruments like the guitars, bass guitar, and ukulele. The ukulele section of the app focuses more on helping you learn popular Ukulele songs than teaching music theory. Fender Play is available on the App Store and Google Play. Head over there and you’ll see that it’s one of the most popular of its kind.
Why? – Because it caters to a large audience, mainly people that don’t have the time to delve into the specifics of the instrument or complex music theory. People that just need to learn some fundamentals and get a few pointers and tutorials on how to play some fun songs.
The videos have amazing production value. Of course, you can watch, pause, replay for as much as you want. But what makes them even better is having access to multiple camera angles. This will allow you to see exactly how to hold cords, how to strum, how hard to pluck the strings, and how to do everything in multiple ways.
On Fender Play, the content is put together by multiple instructors. Each one with his or her own teaching style and area of expertise. This means that you get to pick the brains of more teachers while also having access to a vast library of lessons and tracks. Plus, Fender Play is available on a monthly subscription plan, which means that you can cancel the moment you’re not satisfied anymore without an unreasonably high investment.
The lessons are structured differently than the ones normally found on other websites. Although a lot of the content is beginner-friendly, you get to customize your lesson plans. Suggestions are offered based on your skill level and other factors, but you can do what you want and when you want for the most part.
3. ArtistWorks - $105/quarter
ArtistWorks is a great website for learning a good number of instruments. But if you’re only interested in the ukulele section, you’ll get access to an extensive library of online content. As well as the attention of two expert teachers.
One of the cool things about starting with ArtistWorks is that after your introduction to the instrument, you get to make your own video and explain why you want to learn it or what you want to learn better. This helps you find the perfect starting point for your skill level and knowledge.
The lessons are broken down into three categories: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Each section has its own combination of basic techniques, songs, and time allocated for music theory. On ArtistWorks, you can also track your progress by uploading videos of your performances or practice sessions.
Just keep in mind that the more expensive the subscription plan, the more stuff you’re able to do. The lessons don’t change based on what you play, just the level of interaction with the instructors.
The video quality is great and the media player also lets you loop and slow down lessons to help you pick things up at a comfortable pace.
4. Rocket Ukulele - $27 (Lifetime)
Rocket Ukulele, the program that claims that you can learn the ukulele in 30 days, has quite a few good things going for it. No, you probably won’t master the instrument in 30 days, but it’s not like you could by using other tools or programs anyway.
However, given how the lessons are categorized by genres, you’re more likely to find what interests you faster. On top of that, the song tutorials are beginner-friendly and easy to follow. But the one thing that perhaps makes Rocket Ukulele even better doesn’t come in the form of online tools, flashcards lessons, and song tutorials.
It’s probably the community. You can pick the brains of other players, those on the same level as you or a couple of years ahead of you in skill. The instructors may also pitch in from time to time but for the most part, Rocket Ukulele focuses on empowering the student to learn on his own with the extensive material provided.
Songs are available in audio files, music sheets, or transposed in tabs, including in formats compatible with Guitar Pro.
5. Uke Like the Pros - Varied Pricing
“Uke Like the Pros” has been around for a few years now. It promotes a fresh, open style of teaching and targeted courses. Unlike other similar websites, “Uke Like the Pros” offers students the opportunity to become premium members or just pay for the courses they’re interested in.
This adds significant value to the website as there’s enough content to also satisfy intermediate and advanced players. You can find dedicated courses on chord progressions, beginner basics, music reading, and many more.
There’s also the occasional Q&A session which helps to shed some light on various techniques yet to be covered or further dissected. The pricing is very interesting. In a way, it favors every kind of student.
Advanced ukulele players can pay for just specific courses. At the same time, someone that wants to take things slow and from the very beginning can pay a membership and gain access to courses for all levels, including upcoming content.
The video quality of the lessons is very good. Which is surprising since this seems like a much smaller operation compared to other websites. What’s also nice is that there’s some good information to take in on how to pick a ukulele and what to look for.
6. Ukulele Tricks - Free & Paid
What makes Ukulele Tricks a great starting point for beginners is the fact that the website offers 14 free courses. The theory is simple, the text is easy to follow, and the pictures also help you understand exactly what to do.
Ukulele Tricks may not have a trial membership but the free lessons may offer more value than many trial memberships. When it’s time to can make a decision on whether you’re ready to take things to the next level, you’ll have had enough time to practice and get the fundamentals down.
The video lessons are longer and more in-depth but just as clearly explained as the introductory lessons. There are five courses available: strumming tricks, fingerpicking tricks, country bluegrass strumming, jazzy strumming, and minor arpeggio studies.
Each course listed, with the exception of the last one, has its own beginner, intermediate, and advanced segments. Note that there are also two songbooks ready for download. The songs are available in sheet music format and are accompanied by tracks.
Many instructional websites try to sell people on fancy online learning tools. Truth be told – a reliable tuner and some well-done charts or chord tabs is all you need as guidance, as long as you also have a good instructor. This is just what’s available in the Ukulele Tricks tool section. Simple but effective.
7. Ukulele Underground - $21.95/mo
As a Ukulele Underground member, the first thing you get is access to a vast library of video content. More precisely, over 500 hours of replayable video content which includes lessons, guides, song tutorials, and all things related.
You can access the lessons at any time, including via the app. The lessons are structured in traditional fashion. You start with the basics and move your way up the ladder by learning new fingerpicking and strumming techniques, a bit of music theory, etc.
The level of difficulty is just about average. Total beginners are welcomed on Ukulele Underground. That being said, it doesn’t mean that advanced players can’t also get something out of the program. The song library has plenty of complex and fun tutorials for skilled ukulele players.
Almost all resources are downloadable, which is good if you don’t have a stable internet connection. However, what makes this website truly special is the option to participate in individual coaching sessions.
Ukulele Underground also offers multiple subscription plans. You can get the monthly or the yearly subscription. You could also opt for a 30-day access pass with a one-time billing. However, keep in mind that the 30-day pass comes with limited features, with the most notable absent features being the backing tracks and the song library.
Advantages of Learning Ukulele Online
Ditching your local Ukulele teacher to go learn from an online instructor is often a good idea. On a website dedicated to teaching students of all ages, the lessons tend to be just as personal. The concepts explained to you at home or at the teacher’s studio are the same ones discussed in online lessons.
But taking online lessons has definite advantages. For one, you’re not obligated to keep a strict schedule. You can learn at your own pace whenever you have time to spare. Instructional videos are available at any hour of the day, as opposed to music teachers whom you get to see once or a couple of times a week.
Say you have questions about the history of the Ukulele, certain properties of specific modes, and any other instrument-related questions. These are often things that you may forget to ask in real life. But, online instructors make it a point to address even the most basic of questions, especially those that focus on creating beginner-friendly content.
Another clear advantage of choosing to learn online is the possibility of gaining lots of knowledge for free. Hey… not everyone needs a teacher. Some people have an inclination to music and playing instruments. If you’re one of them, you may only need a few pointers and enough patience to study musical theory. You can find everything you need for free whether it’s on YouTube channels, blogs, forums, or personal websites.
Why You Should Opt for Paid Online Ukulele Lessons
A student of any instrument can only thrive under the right tutelage and the right learning environment. If your online tutor is not someone you can have a one-on-one with, then learning a string instrument like the Ukulele is not something that will come easy.
So, what’s the big difference between those that teach for free and those that require a fee? – By human nature, the paid ones are more invested in your development. They’re more incentivized to deliver good content, to take things slow, and to be as comprehensive as possible in their explanations of music theory and technique.
And yes, music theory. Learning to play an instrument off Guitar Pro tabs is great. But, using GP won’t help you understand how music is made. It won’t help you understand why certain chords work best over certain scales and modes.
It won’t teach you music theory. And, very few people actually fall in love with music theory when they pick up an instrument for the first time. It’s an acquired taste. Some exceptional musicians hate music theory. But they still use that knowledge to compose melodies.
So, just like in any other aspect of your life, paying for ukulele lessons is like paying for a service. If someone knows that they can make money from teaching you, they’ll do a good job of it. Why? – Because it takes time to learn the Ukulele and even more time to master. It’s not a one and done deal.
To top things off, teaching students online means that an instructor can reach hundreds or thousands of students. This incentivizes the instructors to diversify their lessons, create engaging content that appeals to everyone, and come up with fresh content to keep students interested and satisfied.
With a dedicated online lesson site comes a vast media library. Paid websites often feature in-depth lessons for students of all levels. Free websites will sometimes give you short lessons in video format which you might have to stop, rewind, and replay multiple times to understand and practice a strumming or fingering technique.
This can be quite tedious and even discouraging for beginners. The advantage of paid websites is that these types of videos will often be broken down into smaller step-by-step tutorials. Songs tend to have intro, rhythm, bridge, chorus, solo, and outro sections.
You can often find features that alter the speed of the video or only play the backing track. Free websites also try to avoid providing tabs. Why? – Because it takes time to put tabs together and no one really wants to work for free. But on paid websites you can not only find video tutorials but also downloadable content such as tabs, mp3 backing tracks, musical sheets, and much more.
There are two main incentives that paid websites offer. The first kind is in the form of additional content that accompanies the online lessons. Those are covered in the previous section (tracks, files, sheets, guides, etc.).
The second type of incentive is one that many people don’t even realize. Ask yourself, how invested you are in learning from a free YouTube channel versus learning from a paid online lessons website?
You’ve got nothing to lose (except maybe your investment in a ukulele) if you quit the instrument after a few weeks or months of following song tutorials on YouTube. There’s also no rush to practice consistently either. But, switching to paid lessons gives you a much-needed push.
Suddenly, not keeping up with lessons and not putting in the effort means that you’re wasting money on lessons. If you’ve paid for 3 months in advance, you’ll be under pressure from the start to learn as much as you can so you don’t let your money go to waste.
This type of deal would be most helpful for those that have a history of starting a new instrument and dropping it quickly. Or those that have confidence issues and can’t handle learning from tough-love music teachers.
Of course, you could ask for your money back if you’re not into it anymore. That being said, you can’t know if you like an instrument or not in under 30 days. It takes longer than that to feel a bit of confidence and understand what you’re doing and why you’re supposed to do it a certain way.
Learning any new musical instrument will take some time. The good news is that taking ukulele lessons online can help you learn at your own pace. Time is money, as some would say, and if you’re picking up the ukulele as a hobby, learning techniques and songs won’t come easy or fast.
Following structured lessons like the ones offered by the websites or platforms listed in this article can make one’s transition from a novice to a capable student a lot smoother and gratifying.
So, which course collection do you think suits you the most? Are you new to ukuleles? Do you have some guitar background? Do you want hundreds of hours of videos or a more diversified course section? – The choice is yours, as you can’t really go wrong with any of the platforms reviewed in this article.