Ukulele Workshops

Schedule | 2018
Motown or Bust Tour
Sponsored by

Austin Ukulele Society
Austin, Texas March 16
more info

Dallas Ukulele HQ
Dallas, Texas March 25
more info

Tulsa Ukulele Club
Tulsa, Oklahoma March 31
more info

Nashville Ukulele Group
Nashville, Tennessee April 7
more info

Willis Music
Lexington, Kentucky April 9
more info

Arthur’s Music Store
Indianapolis, Indiana April 14
more info


Allegheny Uke Soriee
Altoona, PA April 20-22
more info

Ukulele Festival of Scotland
Drumfries, Scotland April 27-29
more info

West Coast Uke Retreat
Pacific Grove, CA May 2-6
more info

Kamloops Uke Fest
Sorrento, BC, Canada June 15-17
more info

Midwest Uke & Harmonica Camp
Olivet, Michigan June 22-24
more info

Elderly Instruments
Lansing, Michigan October 6
more info


Ukulele Music Info Logo
Visit Ukulele Music


Play Ukulele By Ear Workshop Review

Posted on: September 27th, 2010 by dville

David Uriguchi, a luthier and uke player from California, attended the Play Ukulele By Ear workshops I conducted recently at the Wine Country Ukulele Festival in St. Helena, California with his father. Below is the review he wrote for his blog The Happy Ukulele.

Jim D’Ville And The Elusive Obvious by David Uriguchi

“In order to learn to play music, you have to first listen to it.”

So said Jim D’Ville as I attended his workshop at the Wine Country Uke Fest. “Well of course, that’s obvious.” I thought to myself, “Geez, even I knew that.” Or so I thought anyway. Turns out I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that at all. I would even go so far as to say that if that was the one and only thing I learned from Jim’s workshop, it would have been completely worth the price of admission. In one hour Jim D’Ville changed the way I practice, and hopefully one day learn to play, my ukulele.

Jim made me think about, and more importantly, listen to, the music I was trying to play. Instead of staring at sheets of cryptic chord diagrams without the slightest idea what they meant and dutifully changing chords wherever those sheets directed me, Jim made me listen to and BE the music. He sounded a little like Yoda actually.

“Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us… and binds us. You must feel the Force (music) around you. Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock… everywhere! – paraphrased from a 900-year old Jedi master.

Anyway, not to get too spacey, Jim breaks down your favorite music into simple numeric sequences, the chord progression. These simple strings of numbers are so much easier to remember than weird strings of letters and numbers and symbols. They are hidden inside all your favorite music and hold the key to the tension, resolution and drama that the music imparts. It makes the DaVinci code look like child’s play.

The bonus is that with Jim’s method you can easily play your music in any key. I used to think that I was a horrendous singer, but I’ve discovered that I was almost always trying to sing in the wrong key. By transposing my music to a better key for my voice, I’ve found I’m just bad, not horrendous. Score!
Anyway, more on this later. Smile when you play that!™

Leave a Reply

Ukulele Tutorials

Playing By Ear

Play Ukulele By Ear 1
Vol. 1 DVD or Download
more info

Play Ukulele By Ear 1.5
Playing By The Numbers
NEW! DVD or Download more info

Play Ukulele By Ear 2
Vol. 2 DVD or Download
more info

Play Ukulele By Ear 3 NEW! Soloing DVD or Download more info


see all products
& descriptions

read reviews

© 2012-2018 Jim d'Ville play ukulele by ear  |  graphics and layout by lindesign  |  built and maintained by Gray's Web Design                   Top