Frequently Asked Questions

ukulele shack faq

What will I need to begin ukulele lessons?

You will need your own ukulele and a folder to store your lesson material in. These should be brought to each lesson.

How long are the ukulele lessons?

Ukulele lessons are usually 30 minutes long. If you would like a longer lesson, this can be arranged.

Where are ukulele lessons held?

Ukulele lessons are held in my teaching studio in Waterview, Auckland. Parking is available on the street.

Will I need to buy a book?

In general, lyric sheets, chord charts and transcriptions will be supplied. Sometimes I may recommend buying a particular book. You may find there are books you would like to buy.

How much practice do I need to do?

It is up to you how much you practise, but the more practice you do, the more you will improve. Practising little and often is better than an occasional big practice. At least 15 minutes per day is recommended.

Is there a minimum age to start?

I start teaching children from around 8 years old (year 4 at school). However, don't be shy about inquiring if your child is younger and very keen to play.

How do I pay for my ukulele lessons?

Lessons need to be paid for in advance. Payments are accepted by cash, cheque or electronic transfer.

What if I can't make it to my ukulele lesson?

Sufficient notice is required if you will not be able to attend your ukulele lesson. The lesson may be able to be made up at another time by arrangement. Cancellations on the day will be charged for.

What ukulele should you buy if you don't already have one?

Smaller children (age 7 to 8) are usually comfortable on a soprano ukulele, because their hands are still small. A concert ukulele is a good fit for an older child, as the instrument is a little bit bigger. Adults are usually happiest on a concert ukulele or a tenor ukulele, the tenor being a good fit for bigger hands. Tenor ukes can also have a different stringing arrangement (a low G string). The final size is a baritone ukulele, which is tuned to match the four highest pitched strings of a guitar, so chords are named differently. The larger size ukuleles are more expensive, as you are paying for more wood.

What brands of ukulele do you recommend?

Makala and Mahalo are cheap entry level ukuleles for kids, available in a range of colours. Diamond Head are an affordable. Riptide makes an attractive range of mid-price ukes, with an unusual soundhole configuration,looking similar to Ovation guitars. The Kala range is a good quality range of ukuleles, with laminate mahogany, more tuning stability and usually come with a bag. Kala also make a pricier set of models, many in exotic woods with solid tops. Lanikai is an equivalent to the Kala range, with models from afforable through to more of an investment. Ohana are similar in quality to Kala, and usually come with a bag.