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This is a review of the Jake Shimabukuro Teaches ‘Ukulele class from MasterClass!
The MasterClass Instructor – Jake Shimabukuro
This class opens with an impressive and inspiring sequence of clips from Jake Shimabukuro’s career to highlight his talent and wide variety of styles. In his first lesson, he talks about why he loves the ‘ukulele and what viewers will learn in this class. For those who are not familiar with Jake Shimabukuro, he is a world-renowned virtuoso ‘ukulele player and composer.
Jake has done more than anyone else this century to prove that the ‘ukulele is as richly musical an instrument as they come. With dozens of albums to his name (including some available only in Japan), he has consistently shown that there can be power, precision, finesse, intimacy, and dynamic range on the ‘ukulele. His musical breadth comes naturally to him, but it was also a conscious decision, made long before he came to prominence.
Jake Shimabukuro has created a class that really speaks to all levels of experience and to the importance of connecting with your instrument. He not only talks about understanding the basics like how to hold your ‘ukulele, how to navigate the fretboard, and how to master the chords, but he really places an emphasis on understanding the history behind the instrument. The class also takes on a wide variety of music styles, including everything from classic rock to classical music.
‘Ukulele – Who is it for?
This class is for anyone who is interested in learning how to play the ‘ukulele! Jake really does an amazing job of teaching everything from the most basic skills to more advanced skills like how to create distinct sounds and create dynamics into your playing style. He says if you can count and have a few fingers to spare you can learn to play the ‘ukulele! For those who are more experienced, Jake encourages viewers to take the time to play even the most basic melodies with beauty and emotion like every note is the most important note of the song.
MasterClass Jake Shimabukuro – Main Themes
- Have fun!
- Play with emotion and love
- Practice, practice, practice
- Okage Sama De
MasterClass Workbook – Jake Shimabukuro
The workbook will be you guide to practicing all of the important chords and techniques from the video lessons! The workbook is very well organized and includes lots of easy to follow diagrams and descriptions to help you with the assignments. Jake has also included a great introduction to the parts of the ‘ukulele and the history of the instrument.
MasterClass ‘Ukulele Key Takeaways
Jake has created an excellent class that really connects the fundamental techniques, like strumming and learning chords, with the importance of creating a connection with your instrument to really bring out the emotion every time you play. The class covers the basics in a way that is so easy to follow and does not require any previous musical knowledge. At the same time, the class really guides viewers into the more advanced chords, how to understand melody, rhythm, and dynamics in ‘ukulele playing.
Itʻs incredible how changing up the order of those pitches can almost make it feel like itʻʻs a completely different chord.
Not only do viewers get great guided instruction on the more technical aspects of playing the ‘ukulele, but Jake has included some amazing performances of a wide variety of music styles including, a classic performance of “Hallelujah” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Viewers really get to see how rhythm and the changing dynamics of each chord can create a wide variety of sounds even from an instrument with only four strings. Lastly, the class focuses on how to begin letting your creative juices flow to compose your own songs, along with a lesson on how to re-imagine songs based on your own style of play.
Final Thoughts Jake Shimabukuro’s MasterClass
I loved this class from the very beginning! Jake Shimabukuro has created an inspiring and detailed class that is really meant for anyone who is interested in picking up this amazing instrument. If you are interested in learning the ‘ukulele or are looking to really unlock your ‘ukulele’s full potential, this is the class for you!
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