Ukulele Workshops

Schedule | 2024 


UkeWest Festival Concert via Zoom
May 25, 2024

Pacific Northwest Workshop Tour
Sponsored by Ukulele Magazine

Davis Community Church
Davis, California
May 28, 2024

Jacksonville Oregon Workshop
June 1, 2024

Eugene Oregon Workshop
June 8, 2024

Lake Oswego Oregon Workshop
June 9, 2024

Portland Oregon Art Studio Workshop
June 11, 2024

Artichoke Music Workshop
June 13, 2024 Portland, Oregon

Wooden Cross Lutheran Church
June 15, 2024 Woodinville, Washington

Birdhouse Studio
June 16, 2024 Bellingham, Washington

Ukesta Spokane
June 18, 2024 Spokane, Washington

Kamloops Summer Festival
Sorrento Retreat, British Columbia
June 19-23, 2024

Pentiction Ukulele Group
June 26, 2024 Penticton, BC, Canada

Wandering Ukulele Workshop Tour 2024

Des Moines Ukulele Strummers
Urbandale, Iowa
July 13, 2024

Kansas City Ukesters
Prairie Village, Kansas
July 16, 2024

Normal, Illinois Group
Normal, Illinois
July 20, 2024

Cheezland Ukulele Band
La Crosse, Wisconsin
July 24, 2024

Old Town School of Folk Music
Chicago, Illinois
July 25, 2024

Highland Community Center
Highland, Indiana
July 27, 2024

Elderly Instruments
E. Lansing, Michigan
August 3, 2024

Reno Ukulele Festival
Sparks, Nevada
October 9-12, 2024


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3 Questions Interview: Ralph Shaw

Posted on: November 23rd, 2009 by dville

Unknown-2Ralph Shaw is the King of Canadian Ukulele. Originally from the UK, Ralph is an engaging and entertaining performer, as well as, a wonderful instructor. His DVD’s include his popular Complete Ukulele Course, Essential Strums, and a children’s ukulele course, all of which can be found on his website.

1. What is your advice on getting comfortable playing in front of an audience?

The opening sentence from M. Scott Peck’s classic self-help book The Road Less Traveled begins with the words “Life is difficult…”. The book is all about embracing your reality – warts ‘n all. Playing in front of an audience is not a comfortable experience. It is usually difficult, often terrifying and sometimes embarrassing. To learn to be a good performer you need to get out there and make mistakes while people are watching. It certainly is not for everyone.

However!! I want to add that tremendous personal growth can come to those who are driven to perform for audiences. My advice is go for it!! The art of being a performer is every bit as complex and difficult as the playing of music but it can be so good for you and others. One bit of advice: practice the performing as well as the music. When on stage – What will you say? How will you move? Answer those questions before you perform and don’t expect it to just come ‘naturally’! It does get easier over time but if you are looking for a “comfortable” experience I suggest you stay off the stage and settle into a nice La-Z-boy armchair with a good book!

2. What’s a first step in making the basic down/up strumming pattern more interesting?

I have one word to answer this question: DYNAMICS. This is one of the most neglected yet simple ways to make your playing more exciting. Writing about this on my ownblogI mention that the use of volume changes can make your music so much more effective without having to learn any new strums or chords. See how quiet you can play and then make it LOUD! Then work out where in your songs it is appropriate to make these changes. Paying attention to the ups and downs in volume will almost immediately make your playing more interesting.

3. What’s your advice for learning to sing on pitch?

I have 3 words to answer this question: LISTEN TO YOURSELF. When we hear someone singing off-pitch (same as out of tune) it is usually because: they don’t really know the tune and are grasping for notes they are not sure of, and they are not listening to themselves. Singing is a complex technique. We have to think about the tune, lyrics, phrasing, sound quality, projection, vocal support and pitch all at the same time. If you are not able to listen to yourself while singing then record yourself and notice where you go out of tune. There are usually certain points when this happens. Find out where they are and then correct them. Join a choir or vocal chorus. Maybe take voice lessons and learn to sing without playing an instrument (It just gives you one less thing to think about). I have written more about singing on pitch here orhere.


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One Response

  1. J-Hob says:

    Another interesting interview, the singing on pitch thing is something I am really struggling to learn. It really doesn't come at all naturally to me but I will persevere!

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