The Best Online Ukulele Lessons in 2020: reviewed and rated!
We have taken the time to review 5 of the best online ukulele lesson providers in 2020 and compare what they are offering in the hope of breaking down and simplifying the whole online ukulele lesson process for you. Each ukulele lesson website has been analyzed according to what we consider to be important features and then rated accordingly. So without further ado, let’s get stuck in and find out what we learnt:
Ukulele Buddy advertises itself as “The Easy Way to Learn Ukulele.” It approaches its lessons based on a simple 3-fold premise. Ukulele Buddy says that its customers should expect: 1. To have FUN. 2. To easily learn songs they love, and 3. Learn skills that will enable them to play with other musicians. Ukulele Buddy states that it is the only 100% video-based lesson suite, promising that students can learn to play their favorite songs by following along with three 7-minute step-by-step video lessons per week. That’s a total time investment of only 21 minutes a week, which is pretty amazing in itself, and it puts learning the ukulele in reach of just about anyone.
READ the Ukulele Buddy FULL review here.
Lessons are beginner friendly, with the non-musician in mind. However, they also incorporate material for intermediate and advanced players. Currently, the basic content includes over 80, 7-minute instructional videos, approximately 10-hours’ worth. Lessons feature everything from traditional Hawaiian flavor to pop, rock, blues and folk music. So, you’re sure to find something you’ll want to learn to play. Purchase of the Ukulele Buddy membership offers bonus items in the form of digital books and booklets aimed at honing specific skills and techniques in addition to their standard lesson content. Lessons can be purchased in two formats: DVD or online. Online lessons are compatible with all iOS and Android mobile devices and they offer very good video quality depending on your computer/device and the speed of your WiFi connection.
When it comes to cost, Ukulele Buddy compared to the price point of other courses is mid-range at $97 for physical DVDs and the completely online version going for $67, a $30 discount over the DVD version. The average traditional 1-hour ukulele lesson can cost in the neighborhood of $60 making Ukulele Buddy a bargain. Not sure you’ll like Ukulele Buddy? Fear not, unlike any other online ukulele lesson site, Ukulele Buddy offers a 1-year money back 100% satisfaction guarantee.
If learning to play the ukulele is your thing, you’ve got about 20 minutes a week and your budget can stretch to about $100, then Ukulele Buddy can get you playing in no time. Ukulele Buddy offers some of the best online ukulele lessons on the market at the moment, so you wouldn’t go amiss by checking this one out.
- 100% Video based lessons
- Fun, engaging, and self-paced
- Promise of rapid progress
- Bonus materials included
- 1-year money back guarantee
- Numbers of lessons (approx. 80) is fewer than other courses
- No apparent access to a blog or user community
2. Rocket Ukulele Online Ukulele Lessons
Intuitive… Revolutionary… Fail proof. These are some of the adjectives used to describe the next contender for cyber-based ukulele instruction… Rocket Ukulele.
Rocket Ukulele boasts that you can become a ukulele superstar in just 30 days using their online program. When they say superstar, they aren’t kidding. Unlike other ukulele courses, once a student has the basics, the advanced lessons boldly shift focus beyond learning to strum a few basic chords or pluck out a couple simple songs. Students are encouraged to develop into true ukulele artists, with enough skill and proficiency to embark on a career as a musician upon completion of the program.
READ the Rocket Ukulele FULL review here.
Rocket Ukulele advertises the use of specialized instructional techniques it claims reduces the learning curve by approximately 10%. The Rocket Ukulele approach includes teaching students to read and write musical notation and tap into basic musical instincts while developing the skill of playing by ear.
Don’t have the time to commit to working through a series of structured lessons? Is there a song that you just have to really want to learn? No problem, Rocket Ukulele can help. With a substantial list of popular song tutorials, you can jump right in to learning your favorite tunes. What could be cooler than that, right? Other bonus materials include: ukulele learning forums, tools, software, and resources from sheet music, to tablature, and audio files.
Similar to other ukulele lesson sites, students using Rocket Ukulele will have access to learning a variety of musical styles ranging from classical Hawaiian to jazz, R&B, rock, pop, country, and gospel.
The Rocket Ukulele system offers students the ability to: work at their own pace without feeling rushed, ability to avoid the embarrassment of making mistakes, and does away with boring, repetitive practice. Subscribers to Rocket Ukulele can also participate in a thriving online community dedicated to ukulele aficionados where they can learn and share their experiences to broaden their knowledge base.
When it comes to the bottom line, Rocket Ukulele is moderately priced at $79.97. Once on board, subscribers are awarded a lifetime membership that never expires. This also entitles them to access additional content as resources become available. This gives Rocket Ukulele an advantage over other lesson providers whose content is more or less static or is updated less frequently.
If the flexibility of learning the ukulele from top to bottom with a full range of tools, resources, and community support is what you are looking for, then you can’t go wrong with Rocket Ukulele. It enables you to learn your favorite popular songs quickly, through step-by-step focused tutorials that are suited you as a learner. With its comprehensive resources, lifetime membership, and reasonable price, we think Rocket Ukulele has some of the best online ukulele lessons and tutorials of any of the providers on our list and comes highly recommended – definitely worth checking out.
- Specialized instructional techniques; self-paced lessons
- Emphasis on developing professional level skill
- Frequently Updated Content
- 100%, 60-day money back guarantee
- Total number of lessons unclear
- Some may view 30-day claim as gimmicky
3. Artistworks Online Ukulele Lessons
Artistworks is another option among purveyors of online ukulele instruction. While incorporating some of the technology and features available through other providers, the Artist Works lesson format seems more traditional. Also, it relies heavily on what could be termed the cult of personality, for those that prefer to “connect” with a real person instead of simply cueing up a random video or accessing an app. In this way, and quite possibly for this exact reason, Artist Works’ ukulele instructors Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel are prominently featured with a three and a half minute video delivering personal background about their ukulele journey, while highlighting notable features of the Artist Works method.
Two factors set Artist Works apart from its competitors. First, in addition to the ukulele, Artist Works offers lessons for a variety of other instruments. Second, Artist Works’ most distinctive feature is the ability for students to upload videos of themselves playing the ukulele through the Video Exchange Learning® service. Student videos are viewed, critiqued, and a video response with targeted feedback on the student’s progress is returned to the student.
Ukulele lessons are divided up into four categories: beginner, intermediate, advanced, and several duets by Chee and Maisel. In total there are 189 lessons: 58 beginner, 88 Intermediate, 30 Advanced, and 13 duets. Lesson content appears to focus on basic techniques and musical theory as it applies to specific songs. In that way, Artist Works is somewhat limited compared to other courses that offer song specific tutorials across multiple genres and allow students to quickly learn the songs they want.
Each level includes the same basic package: Unlimited lesson access, Video Exchange access, video submissions, and a Music Theory Workshop. Successive levels permit expanded access to the video library. The 6 and 12 month plans go even further by granting access to backing tracks, a live monthly broadcast, and other bonus content.
Artist Works, has three price points: three months for $105, six months for $179, or twelve month access for $279. Artist Works does not offer a free trial period, neither does it have a money back guarantee, which may discourage some potential subscribers. Cost ranks highest of the reviewed ukulele lesson websites, but considering all that is included with the subscription, plus personal interactions via video with the instructors, many may feel that the cost is justified.
Artist Works offers numerous self-paced lessons to build solid musical background along more traditional lines, the versatility of lessons for other instruments, plus the ability to connect with your teacher via video. However, it is the most expensive site of the sites we have reviewed, not to mention the fact that it does not offer any free content. That said, Artist Works ukulele course comes highly recommended for the serious learner with time to put in to learning the ukulele thoroughly.
- Self-paced lessons; more traditional instructional model
- Variable pricing plans (3)
- Personal connection with instructors via video exchange capability.
- Offers courses for multiple instruments
- Most expensive of online sites reviewed
- No money back guarantee or free trial period
4. Ukulele Underground Online Ukulele Lessons
In the search of the best online ukulele lessons, Ukulele Underground has to be on the list….
At first glance, the Ukulele Underground main page features three simple tabs, “Songs,” “Courses” and “Testimonials.” After only a few clicks, however, it’s plain to see that Ukulele Underground contains a phenomenal number of ukulele lessons and resources. Content is broken down by level: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
The SONGS tab features 400 videos; 403 to be exact. Students can learn specific songs, techniques, and style. SONGS are aimed toward students with some background on the ukulele, but is laid out well and is easy to navigate, so potentially anyone can benefit from the content. SONG videos typically start off with a presentation of the song as played by the instructor. Beneath the video window is a description of the song: skill level, genre, musical key. Below that are chord diagrams along with a step-by-step breakdown of the song: notes, and strumming patterns with close-up images of the finger placements. There are also additional links to other resources to assist student players in learning the song.
The COURSES tab follows the same format as the SONGS one, offering content by skill level totaling another 363 lesson videos. COURSES are well-suited for the absolute beginner starting with Ukulele 100, the most basic jumping off point for anyone wanting to learn the ukulele, but COURSES also include a wealth of content for the intermediate and advanced player.
Together the SONGS and COURSES sections offer a whopping 765 video lessons. Videos range from two or three minutes to some edging up to one-hour in length. The truly amazing part is that there is quite a lot that can be accessed for FREE by anyone visiting the site – even without a subscription! For those that like hunting for freebies or who don’t want to make a financial commitment, Ukulele Underground has you covered. The amount of free material is vast, in fact, it begs the question, what more could you possibly get by purchasing a subscription?
The SIGN-UP page answers that question. The $30-30 day subscription grants access to all Ukulele Underground content. If you choose a monthly subscription, you’ll pay $21.95, which includes a free two-week trial, all Ukulele Underground content, access to the Improvement System lessons, Ukulele Underground University, a sorted song library as well as jam tracks to play along with. The monthly plan can be canceled at any time without obligation. The annual membership goes for $159.95 and includes everything offered by the two lower-cost plans, plus it includes what it vaguely terms as “additional resources,” as well as a 30-day money back guarantee.
So, if you’re looking for a competent ukulele lesson site that offers a staggering amount of online content and resources, then Ukulele Underground has you covered. On top of this, it has the option of variable price points, a money back guarantee with a flexible cancellation policy. Ukulele Underground is a great option for most ukulele levels.
- Extensive Lesson Content
- Free Lessons
- Variable pricing plans (3)
- 2-week free trial
- Money back guarantee/no obligation cancellation option
- Bonus content description is very vague
5. Ukulele Tricks Online Ukulele Lessons
The final candidate for online ukulele instruction comes from Ukulele Tricks. Ukulele Tricks, like other sites, proclaims that by using their patented lesson program just about anybody can learn to successfully play music with the ukulele. Like other sites, Ukulele Tricks relies heavily on a video interface, but they also encourage users to search out other resources such as books on learning the ukulele available through their Amazon.com link.
The LESSONS tab on the main page is a great resource that caters to beginning players. It covers the rudiments of ukulele playing under the heading “How to Play the Ukulele.” Featured along with this is a link to nearly 50 FREE lessons covering a variety of beginner topics. Also featured in the LESSONS section are useful book titles that a novice player can take advantage of to broaden their ukulele knowledge. Free lessons include an explanation about each lesson topic and at least one instructional video as well as chord diagrams. The content is organized and easy to follow.
The PRODUCTS tab, puts students in touch with seven different course topics that take the beginning ukulele player to the next level by focusing on different playing techniques. For each of the course subjects, there are short videos showcasing each lesson or technique. One neat feature is that Ukulele Tricks builds in a lot of flexibility allowing students to pick and choose from among their product offerings to find the lessons that they want to enroll in. You can sign up for one or more courses, which is good for learning at your own pace. Ukulele Tricks’ straightforward approach tends to focus more on basic techniques and theory than specific musical styles. However, the PRODUCTS section does offer technique based lessons on bluegrass and jazz.
The SONGS section lets students select from 34 different songs divided up by level of difficulty (beginner and intermediate) as well as across genres and by specific ukulele techniques such as fingerpicking for example. The lessons for these songs are free. They provide a video of the song being played, tunings, and lyrics (when applicable), as well as the chord structure. However, they do not provide a chord diagram which can be found elsewhere on the site in the chord library.
That said, the TOOLS tab connects students with necessary items such as a tuner and the aforementioned chord library. The BLOG section keeps users connected with the most up-to-date ukulele news, tips and tricks, as their name suggests, regarding all manner of ukulele related information.
The Ukulele Tricks method is all about flexibility. Variable pricing allows subscribers to pay for the courses they want. Fees range from $19, the lowest cost of the 5 sites reviewed, up to $97, which is in line with other moderately priced online ukulele lesson providers.
Ukulele Tricks offers the aspiring ukulele player a wide range of good resources, flexibility and affordability. It is a good place to start your ukulele journey.
After an extensive investigation of these 5 online ukulele lesson sites, a few things are clear.
Each ukulele website aims to target a wide range of ukulele students, from the absolute beginner to the experienced player and every level in between. All five web portals present well-organized information that is easy to navigate. Some offer a good variety of free items, whereas others require a subscription to unlock access to their content.
Although there are marked differences between the sites that make them unique, there are many similarities. All five providers make the universal claim that learning the ukulele is an easy, fun and interesting hobby that anyone can do and enjoy, regardless of musical background. Another important similarity is that all five sites are generally affordable, especially in comparison to the cost of traditional ukulele instruction with a live teacher that averages nearly $60 an hour. So whether you’re satisfied to sample the freebies available on some sites, or you want the flexibility to choose specific lesson topics with an inexpensive course, or if purchasing an entire lesson suite best meets your goals, then any of the featured ukulele lesson sites is a good place to start.
Whichever of the reviewed ukulele lesson sites you choose, you can expect to find a large collection of professionally produced lesson content and resources in the form of videos, tutorials, books, song and chord libraries, tools, and ukulele community blogs and news. Prospective students can be confident that the ukulele lessons presented on each site will cover all aspects of learning the ukulele, and that each site offers a good value depending on what you are looking for.
In the end, the five reviewed ukulele lesson websites each have their own flavor and vibe. They each have their pros and cons, but all appear to be as advertised, leaving it up to the individual student to decide which method and materials are best suited to helping them take their first, or next step in their ukulele journey and finding the best online ukulele lessons for them.