Online learning resources, be it courses, videos, written content, one-on-one coaching, apps, et cetera, provide fantastic opportunities to learn (and teach) how to play the ukulele and understand music more generally. Though nothing truly beats dedicated in-person uke lessons, there are plenty of excellent alternatives online.
Note that by “resources,” I'm not only referring to video tutoring and full-length courses (though these are arguably the best options). I'm also considering masterclasses, applications, videos and articles, and other online resources for learning how to play the ukulele.
Though obviously subjective and prone to biases, I’ve done my best to list out these resources based on the following metrics (in no particular order):
- Reputation of the ukulele learning resource
- Quality of education in technique, theory, and learning real songs
- Organization and depth of learning
- Adaptability of teaching to individual students (one-on-one lessons are best here)
- The resource must be currently available
With all that being said, let’s list out the learning resources.
The top 11 best online resources to learn how to play the ukulele are:
- Peghead Nation
- Fender Play
- Uke Like The Pros
- Ukulele Buddy
- Live Ukulele
- Ukulele Go
- Andy Guitar
In this article, we'll go through each of the above-mentioned resources to get a stronger idea of what makes them great for learning the ukulele. Whether you're a complete beginner or a successful professional, there is always something to learn! I'll include links to check out each of the options for yourself to learn more about ukes. We'll also consider a few “honourable mentions” worth considering.
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ArtistWorks is a well-known and reputable online resource where students get to learn from world-class instructors and musicians. They offer a one-of-a-kind learning experience that allows students to interact and get advice directly from their teachers through their Video Exchange Learning. With each course, along with step-by-step videos and worksheets, students will get to record themselves and submit the video to their instructor for feedback. The instructor will then send a personalized video response back to you. This interaction is uploaded to the Video Exchange Library, where other students worldwide can watch and learn from this interaction. You will also get full access to the library to learn from your peer's exchanges.
The Ukulele lessons offered at ArtistWorks are taught by Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel. The courses range from beginner to intermediate and advanced, making it suitable for all level musicians. They also feature duet lessons, 30-day challenges and special guest teachers.
TrueFire is a superb online resource for musicians with a primary focus on online guitar lessons. They offer thousands of interactive video lessons taught by acclaimed teachers and Grammy award-winning musicians.
The courses range in musical styles, skill levels, instrument types and topics, making it easy for students to find lessons that suit their style and skills. The lessons feature step-by-step instructions with options to slo-mo or loop, so you can break down sections and learn at your own pace. TrueFire also includes goal tracking, tuners, metronomes and popular song tutorials.
Peghead Nation is a great resource for students looking to learn root music for stringed instruments. Their String School focuses on guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass, fiddle, dobro and, of course, the ukulele.
They offer a beginners ukulele course taught by Marcy Marxer, who is a musician, songwriter and producer. In this course, you will learn the basics of strumming, chords and 30 songs with play-along tracks.
Individual courses can be purchased on a monthly subscription, or, members can upgrade to an “All-Access Plan,” which gives you access to every instrument course available. Subscribers get unlimited access to on-demands that they can watch and learn from wherever, whenever.
While Fender Play is one of the best online resources for learning the guitar, they also offer ukulele lessons. They provide step-by-step classes to teach you how to play the ukulele and sing while playing.
Fender Play can be accessed either online or through their app. They offer a 7-day free trial so students can explore the learning style before committing to a membership. A membership gives you access to all classes, play-along tracks, song tutorials, and chord challenges.
One of the notable features of the Fender Play app is that it is customizable. First, you select which instrument you want to learn between the acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass and ukulele (this can be changed later). Then, choose your designed genres; rock, folk, pop, country and blues. Lastly, practice and pick courses based on your skill level, songs you want to learn and play along tracks to jam to.
At Ukulele Tricks, instructor Brett McQueen offers free online lessons on how to play the ukulele for beginners. The lessons are step-by-step videos and range from introductory to chords and strumming, fingerpicking, music theory, scales and play-along.
Additional notable features are an online tuner, ukulele and baritone chord libraries and song tutorials that vary in difficulty level. This is a great resource for students on a budget and beginners looking for straightforward and easy-to-follow tutorials. As an added bonus, when you join Ukulele Tricks, you will receive a free digital ukulele lesson book.
JustinGuitar is a super resource that the entire family can enjoy. They offer online ukulele and guitar courses through on-demand video learning.
While JustinGuitar primarily focuses on guitar, there is a good range of ukulele courses, including a beginner course that will help teach you the foundations, how to strum and chords. There is also a song course that teaches you ten popular ukulele songs and a mom and dad course full of song lessons to play with your kids.
Along with lessons and song tutorials, JustinGuitar also offers downloadable material, lesson requests, progress tracking and access to a private assistant, all free of charge. To get started, you just have to register and create a free account, and then you get unlimited access to all the courses and extra tools. All materials can be accessed either through the website or the JustinGuitar app on ios and android, making it so you can take your lessons with you wherever you go.
Uke Like The Pros
Uke Like The Pros is the ultimate ukulele online learning resource featuring over 20 courses and 3,000 + lessons. Founded by Terry Carter, a professional songwriter and ukulelist, he crafted these programs to help anyone at any skill level master the ukulele like a pro.
They offer a wide range of courses from beginner to intermediate and advanced, popular song and Christmas song tutorials, ukulele for kids, baritone ukulele, guitarlele, and guitar lessons. Courses can be accessed via monthly or yearly memberships and include video lessons, backing tracks, downloadable sheet music, etc. If you choose to upgrade to a premium membership, you will get more bonuses such as full access to all courses, video Q & A calls with Terry and a t-shirt.
A notable feature that separates Uku Like The Pros from its competitors is that they host live and virtual workshops, boot camps and concert events such as their popular Uke-Con Summer Festival.
Ukulele Buddy is a quick and easy learning resource for beginners to learn to play the ukulele. They offer fun yet straightforward video lessons to help you learn faster and get you playing songs in no time.
At Ukulele Buddy, they are committed to helping you learn your first song within one week and bring the fun back into learning. All you have to do is dedicate seven minutes of practice time three times a week!
Along with video lessons, you will also get four digital books that will teach your chord techniques and how to play songs and strumming patterns by ear, plus five digital song booklets.
Live Ukulele is an online resource that offers an extensive library of free content for students to learn the ukulele. Brad Bordessa created Live Ukulele to share his expertise freely to help others along their musical journeys.
No matter your skill level, there is something for everyone as the lessons range from beginner to intermediate and advanced. Along with video tutorials, you will also get access to article lessons, song sheets, chord and scale charts, live streams and the Live Ukulele podcast, which takes a deep dive into everything ukulele.
While the free content provides enough knowledge to learn and start playing the ukulele, for a fee, you can purchase premium material to enhance your techniques further. This includes four ebooks and a video course that goes into great detail about sixth sense ukulele chords.
Ukulele Go is a straightforward and efficient online resource that features hundreds of articles, diagrams and video lessons to teach you to play the ukulele. They also have a great selection of beginner content that includes a ukulele buyer's guide, warm-ups, how to tune a ukulele and more. If you are looking for something, in particular, that is not featured on Ukulele Go, you can reach out to Dave directly, and he will try to put together a tutorial for you!
In addition to free online lessons, you can also purchase ebooks to further your learning. A few notable ebooks are How To Play Blues Ukulele, How To Play Ukulele Strums and Classic Guitar For Ukulele.
Andy Guitar is a superb resource for musicians looking to learn the ukulele, electric or acoustic guitar. They offer courses at a range of levels for both children and adults. Each lesson has easy-to-follow step-by-step video instructions. You will learn everything from chords, scales, and strumming to popular songs.
There are two different membership options available at Andy Guitar: free or paid. The free membership will give you access to some video lessons and over 600+ songs to learn. The paid membership includes 500+ video lessons, interactive tabs, and everything in the free version. Andy Guitar offers a 10-day free trial, so you can explore the courses and see if it is a good fit for you.
- eMedia Music Ukulele Lessons
- Masterclass (ShareASale – PENDING): Jake Shimabukuro Teaches Ukulele
- Learning Ukulele
- Ukulele Underground
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