If you’ve picked up a new ukulele recently, you may be looking for some lessons. It’s not as popular as drums, piano, or guitar. So, it may be difficult finding a private teacher who specializes in ukulele playing.
One of the best places to look for ukulele lessons is online. There are several sites that have expert teachers waiting for you to join up to their programs. I’m going to help you browse through all the popular options so that you can decide which platform will be best suited for you.
Top 3 - Ukulele Lesson Platforms
Best overall uke lessons platform
Well structured for beginners
Video exchange feedback sharing
Best Online Ukulele Lessons - Top 5 Platforms
Most of these top platforms that we’ll go through have top-quality lesson content that is taught by professional musicians. So, you’ll be in good hands with your ukulele playing.
These platforms have risen in popularity along with the ukulele in recent years. They’re constantly adding new content, so they’re highly worth joining. Let’s dive in to see a few more of the specifics of each one.
Table of Contents
- Best Online Ukulele Lessons - Top 5 Platforms
- Points to Consider
Uke Like The Pros is my top pick as the best online ukulele lesson platform. It’s arguably the most comprehensive online ukulele lesson platform for learning everything about ukulele playing. It’s run by a guitarist and uke player named Terry Carter.
Terry is a highly accomplished musician who has incredibly high qualifications in performance and teaching. He’s also performed with some well-known artists such as Josh Groban and Weezer. I love how he’s a fantastic teacher, but he also has a very good playing career to back up his teaching. You’re getting strongly structured lesson courses that are backed by world-class experience.
The platform primarily focuses on lesson courses. Terry has provided dozens of courses that cover a wide range of topics related to ukulele playing. The ones that most people would gravitate towards are the beginner, intermediate, and advanced ukulele courses.
However, there are so many more valuable courses. My personal favorite is the popular songs course. Terry teaches you to play songs that are incredibly famous on the ukulele. I think going through that course would be a great change of pace for anyone learning and practicing through the difficult fundamentals.
He also has courses teaching you to play the baritone ukulele and the guitarlele.
It’s often quite daunting joining a platform like this as there’s so much content to go through. If you’re not sure where to start, Terry helps you out by providing a roadmap.
I think this is one of the best roadmaps I’ve seen on a lesson platform as it will clearly take you from a beginner ukulele player to a pro player by the end of it. The whole layout will most probably take you a while to get through, but it’s fantastic to have something clear to follow.
Every course also has backing tracks to download. It’s important to play with music when you’re learning an instrument, so these tracks are perfect for testing the new ukulele skills that you’ve learned.
The final thing that I think is worth mentioning about the platform is the forum section. One of the best things about online lesson websites is that you get to connect and grow with other students through chatrooms.
You can post videos of yourself playing here so Terry and other members can watch and encourage you. It’s a sweet feature!
If I had to fault one thing about the platform, it would be that there are no live lessons. However, that isn’t a bad thing in many student’s eyes. Live lessons are something that many online lesson platforms do, and some people love them. If you don’t see the need for that, this is the perfect platform for you!
If you’re still on the fence, you can sign up for the free trial to test it out. You’ll soon find yourself loving the platform and wanting to carry on with a subscription. I know I would.
Ukelele Buddy is my second favorite lesson option when it comes to online ukulele education platforms. The difference between this platform and Uke Like The Pros is that it has a large library of free content that you can go through.
The paid content is a course that the creator, JP Allen, takes you through. JP is a highly accomplished ukulele player. After watching a few videos, I found that I loved how relatable and friendly he is. You can pick up on that tone while reading the lesson posts on the site, but it comes through even stronger when you’re watching him teach.
Getting back to the content on the platform, you can learn a fair bit without paying anything. There’s a cleverly designed interface that allows you to choose different topics to learn about. These include chords, scales, arpeggios, and tuning.
When you click on these options, you’ll see high-quality graphics that demonstrate everything clearly. I think they’re a fantastic way of learning ukulele concepts without having to watch videos.
While those sections are quite useful, I think the real value in the platform comes from JP Allen’s paid course. You pay a small amount to have access to a highly elaborate ukulele beginner’s course.
It’s structured in small videos that are planned to be watched 3 times a week. The whole selling point is that you can practice along with the videos without needing to sit and practice on your own. I think it’s quite a unique teaching style, but it works fairly well!
With all the free chord charts, graphic demonstrations, and the elaborate course, I can see myself coming back to this platform very regularly. That means you probably will as well.
Artistworks.com is a platform where educators can upload courses for you to learn from. You select a lesson plan payment option to get granted access to a library of lessons from a teacher. Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel have teamed up to provide one of the most comprehensive ukulele courses I’ve seen.
This course has 100s of videos, covering beginner, intermediate, and advanced topics. You get to learn all the ins and outs of ukulele playing from two of the best uke players I’ve seen in recent times.
A fantastic addition to the course which I love is the duets section. Craig and Sarah teach you how to play ukulele duets. They also give tips on jamming with other players. It’s something I haven’t seen on the other ukulele lesson platforms, making it a unique feature.
Apart from the affordable pricing structure, the best part about taking these lessons through Artistworks is that you can submit videos for Craig and Sarah to see. They record a video themselves reacting to your video and giving constructive criticism and encouragement.
There’s a full library of other student’s videos to watch, so you can learn from those as well. Even though this is a once-off course, you get ongoing feedback. I think that aspect is well worth the money you pay for the course.
On top of all the lessons, you get a large number of music sheets and backing tracks to work with.
The downside of this lesson platform is that there is an endpoint. Once you’ve reached the monthly limit that you paid for, the feedback will stop. There’s also no new content that gets added to the platform. So, I can see myself jumping onto another one after finishing with these lessons. Preferably one that gets updated regularly with content.
Ukulele Underground is very similar to Uke Like The Pros. There’s a large library of lessons that get unlocked with a monthly membership payment. The lessons are taught by Aldrine Guerrero, who’s a top-quality ukulele player and teacher.
The difference with this platform is that you have the option of getting 1-on-1 lessons with Aldrine. The theory behind this is that some of the courses are difficult, and you may struggle with particular techniques. Having a private lesson with the creator of the course will help you with those techniques.
You can get lessons with him without paying for the membership, but his online private lessons come at a cheaper price if you’re signed up already. I’ve seen quite a few music educators use this pricing model, and I think it works quite well.
One thing that I noticed about this platform is that many of the lesson videos had low image quality. It was a bit distracting, but I got used to it after a while. I think the reason is that many of the courses were filmed quite a while ago, and the quality has increased over time as Aldrine got better at making videos. So, it’s only the older lesson courses that are like this.
Ukulele Tricks is a platform that has an excellent variety of free and paid lesson content. The free content is mostly aimed at beginners, while the paid courses have specific topics that intermediate and advanced players will gravitate toward.
My favorite thing about the platform is the blog section. As a blog writer myself, I relate heavily to the blogs on the platform and learn very easily through them. They’re all completely free to go through, and they mostly include lesson videos as well.
The paid courses include topics such as strumming tricks, fingerpicking tricks, and song learning. These are way more elaborate than the free lessons and are highly worth going through. If you want to take your ukulele playing to the next level, I’d suggest checking those out.
Overall, it’s a great platform run by Brett McQueen. He’s a fun and easy-going guy who writes fantastic educational blogs and teaches thoroughly in his lesson videos.
Points to Consider
Pulling the trigger on music lessons is never an easy thing to do. This is especially true with ukulele lessons, as most people typically pick up the uke and learn quite quickly. So, there are a few things to consider and a few questions you should ask yourself before signing up for online ukulele lessons.
Once you answer these questions, you’ll have a better understanding of how and why lessons are a good idea.
Free vs Paid Lessons – Is the Difference Worth the Money?
This is the great debate in the current online space. There are so many free lessons out there that one would assume you could learn everything you need to without paying a cent. The problem with that is that you’re never going to get the accountability that you may need.
While free lessons are fantastic, they will never keep you on your toes unless you have the best self-control and time-management skills in the world. You’re often paying for the accountability when you pay for ukulele lessons.
I like to think of it the same way I think of a gym contract. I go to the gym regularly because I want to get my money’s worth of the subscription. It’s the same with the ukulele. Because I’m paying for lessons, I’ll practice and work much harder than I would if I wasn’t paying for them.
The other thing to think about is that free lessons will never give you feedback. Part of the payment model is that you get feedback and interaction with teachers that know more than you. So, the feedback they give will help you learn better and faster.
Free lessons are often offered so that the ukulele teacher gets exposure. After that, they offer paid lessons that involve the real meat and veggies behind the instrument. The paid lessons will always be more elaborate, and they’ll help you more on the instrument.
So, the difference between free and paid lessons is highly worth the money you pay. Paid lessons will always provide more value, and they’ll help you improve faster than free lessons will.
Online vs Physical (In-Person) Lessons – What’s Better for You?
Another thing to think about when it comes to paying for lessons is whether you should get them in-person or online. If this were 10 years ago, I’d tell you that there’s absolutely no debate here, and in-person lessons are obviously the better option.
However, online lessons have come a long way in recent years, and they’re getting even better as time goes by. I think the first thing to mention is that online courses have taken over the role that educational DVDs played. If you’re looking to follow a series of videos to learn the ukulele, online courses make it incredibly easy.
If we’re talking about 1-on-1 lessons, the discussion can get a bit more heated. I’d argue that an in-person lesson will be more valuable most of the time. Many people prefer that in-person interaction. Online 1-on-1 lessons are a lot more practical, though.
You don’t need to travel to your teacher. You can also schedule a lesson to suit your timetable perfectly. Finding lesson times is much harder for in-person lessons.
You need to find the best solution for your personal situation. A young single person with almost no responsibilities will find it very easy to commit to seeing an in-person teacher once a week. An older married person with 3 kids wouldn’t find it as easy.
Instead, he may only be able to watch a few lesson videos when he has some time at the end of the evening. Online lessons would be better in that scenario.
I personally think the best option is to do both. It’s fantastic to have a packed library of lessons to go through. But you should also show everything you’ve learned to a physical teacher every now and then.
Is Ukulele Easier to Learn Online Compared to Other Instruments?
To break that down further, it’s not an instrument that is as popular as things like drums, guitar, or piano. So, chances are that you won’t easily find many dedicated ukulele teachers in your town. I know quite a few guitar teachers who will teach it, but they’re not experienced ukulele teachers.
So, the best place to find dedicate uke teachers is on online educational platforms. Those are the places where I’ve found deep and detailed lesson content relating to ukulele playing specifically.
In terms of learning the instrument, online learning is also easier than learning other instruments. There are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, the ukulele is a fairly easy instrument to learn. The beginner techniques you need to know can be mastered fairly easily, and it’s not difficult to play a few songs once you know the chords. So, you don’t need to have a teacher physically present with you correcting your hand posture and finger technique.
The other reason is that all ukuleles are small instruments. You can fit the whole thing into the camera shot, allowing whoever is teaching you to see the full picture of your playing. Compare that to something like drums where the instrument is too large to see everything unless you have multiple camera angles.
I’ve been teaching online drum lessons for quite a while, and I know that online ukulele lessons would be much easier to teach.
How Long Will It Take to Learn Ukulele through Online Lessons?
The answer to this depends on how much time and commitment you put into it. It also depends on the platform that you learn lessons from. Since learning the ukulele is quite easy at first, you’ll most probably be able to play a few songs after your very first lesson.
If you have a steady practice routine that you rigidly stick to, you’ll be able to play hundreds of songs in no time. If you’re wanting to learn intricate techniques and playing styles, it will take a bit longer to learn than it would playing basic tunes.
The best way to learn quickly is to follow a roadmap. I’ll take the roadmap from Uke Like The Pros for example. If you sign up for those courses and follow the roadmap, you’ll jump from beginner to advanced playing in a much shorter time than you would if you were casually going through lessons on your own.
With that being said, I think it’s important to remember that learning music is never supposed to be a race. If you try to learn things as quickly as possible, you won’t end up solidifying most of it, exposing technique issues that you didn’t work on enough.
I see this very often in younger students. It’s better to pick up your ukulele every day and work on the current content you’re going through. Only move on once you feel like what you’re playing is very easy.
Have fun playing. Don’t just jump to the next thing at every opportunity you get. You’ll thank yourself in the long run!
Is Ukulele the Same as Guitar?
While they’re both stringed instruments, there are a few key differences.
Ukuleles only have 4 strings compared to the 6 on a guitar. That’s one of the big reasons to why the uke is easier to learn. The chord structures also produce different sounds when you play them, so you’re not getting the same chords when you play the same finger structures.
The most obvious differences are in the size and sounds. Since the ukulele is much smaller, the strings produce higher-pitched sounds.
Most guitar players can transition very easily over to the ukulele. It just takes a bit of thinking to get used to the chord structures.
If you learn ukulele first, you may find it a bit more difficult to transition over to the guitar.
If you’re looking to learn to play the ukulele, you can start with one of these best online ukulele lesson platforms.
Sites like Uke Like The Pros and Ukulele Buddy are fantastic platforms to learn from. They cover everything about the uke, so intermediate and advanced players will feel right at home there as well.
The ukulele is one of the easiest instruments to learn online. So, if you’re looking to learn an instrument but you haven’t picked yet, maybe the uke is just right for you.
Remember that you need to stay committed when learning the ukulele online. Develop a solid practice routine and stick to it!