At the Los Angeles International ‘Ukulele Festival, once you're in the door, you can take as many workshops as you like at no additional costs! Get started with the basics and build from there throughout the day. If you've already been playing for some time, workshops on technique, song writing and more will help get you of a rut and take your playing to the next level. Bring your music stand, tuner, and a friend! Check back for downloadable workshop materials.

Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival

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Beginner Workshops

Level Definitions


Welcome newbies! This level includes those who may have learned a handful of chords but still needs some time to rearrange fingers between chord changes.

Get a headstart with these basic chords: C, F, G, G7

Beginner 2

A student at this level knows the 3 chords above and most/many of the chords below and is able to move from one chord to another without breaking the rhythm. Perhaps you've nailed down a couple of strumming and fingerpicking patterns, as well. Add these chords to your library: A, Am, A7, Bb, B7, C, C7, Cm, D, Dm, D7, E, Em, E7


Students at this level are familiar with the chords above and can strum a steady rhythm while singing at the same time. An intermediate student is able to catch on and follow along on simple tunes fairly quickly.


A student at this level can hear basic chord progressions, has mastered some chord inversions, barre/4-fingered closed chords and is able to keep a steady strumming rhythm while changing chords.

FREE beginner lessons throughout the day in the Entry Plaza, see Khim at the Academy of the Blind booth

Ukulenny & Cynthia - Ukulele for total beginners

Come one, come all! Ukulenny & Cynthia will cover all the basics to get you started: from how to hold the instrument to strumming chords to your very first songs. From here, you'll want to join in on some group strum-alongs and check out more workshops throughout the day.

Mark Kohls - Ukulele for total beginners Click for handout

Fulare_Pad - Beginner ukulele

(Taught in Japanese language)

Click for handout

Learn to hula!

Learn the basics of hula choreography and how it works in conjuction with Hawaiian storytelling through song. Perfect for the spouse you dragged along with you to the festival or simply as a fun diversion that's educational as well. After Farrah's 12:00 class you'll all get up on stage and show everyone what you learned!

Click for Krista's handout

Mitch Chang - Fingerpicking

Tired of just strumming all the time? "Arpeggios" lend a nice lullaby-classical touch to any given piece and you don't even have to learn new chord shapes. May as well learn fingerpicking from someone who's been classically trained! Suitable for any level, really.

Beginner 2 Workshops

"The Ukulele Teacher" - Learn to play your favorite pop songs (2 sessions) Click for handout

Ukulenny - Intro to Reggae Strumming Click for handout

Learn the basics of reggae strumming in this step-by-step workshop - Lenny will take you through the process of adding chucks and mutes to your strum to get some reggae into your life. We'll start with basic chords of C, F, G7, and Dm, and cover reggae strumming with barre chords as well.

Cynthia Lin - Singing 101 for Uke players

Do you struggle with singing and playing at the same time?  Wish you had more confidence in your voice?  Join ukulele teacher and vocal coach Cynthia Lin for this sing-and-play workshop. Learn fun voice exercises to improve your sound and practice techniques for combining uke rhythms with vocal melody.

Mitch Chang - Understanding   chord progressions & strumming patterns

Gonna squeeze in two major topics in one workshop! Do you want to be able to figure out both the chords and strumming partterns to songs in minutes, not days? Tired of noodling around with 100 chords trying to guess that one part? Have you ever wondered how some people are able to effortlessly jump in on any jam, even if they’ve never heard the song before? Then you need this class!

Click here for handout

Intermediate Workshops

Li'l Rev - Intros & Endings

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Study the lost art of adding intros and endings to your repertoire. We'll explore time honored chestnuts from Tin Pan Alley, Ragtime, Blues, Country, Hawaiian, and Rock traditions.

Kalei - Knowing your scales and the fretboard

Learn the importance of scales; this class will cover the major scale and chromatic scale formulas and patterns

Fred Sokolow: Blues for ukulele

Everybody gets the blues sometimes (to quote Merle Haggard) and the best way to lose the blues is to play the blues. Besides teaching you some classic blues tunes, Fred will show you how to strum moveable chords to a 12-bar blues in any key, and give you some classic licks and scales for jamming with other people. Bring a slide or bottleneck, because you'll also learn a slide blues tune. Tab will be handed out so you can practice in the days and weeks to come after the session, and students are welcome to record video of the songs and licks he'll present.

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Advanced Workshops

Li'l Rev - 6 Triplet Strokes for Ukulele Click for handout

Survey a broad range of approaches for learning the ukulele's most revered stroke, the triplet! We'll look at a variety of different ways to use the triplet meter as both a stroke and a strum. Also, we'll learn how to integrate triplets into the St. Louis Blues Song.

Victoria - Introduction to left hand movement (chord melody)

Learn an instrumental song, in C (Ship Goes Down), with chords and melody, while using passing notes with the technique of hammer-ons and pull-offs. Chords: C, F, G, Am. If you are a beginner, you can come and play these chords along with us! Click here for handout

Jody Kamisato - Get Your Right Hand Grooving Click for handout #1  Click for handout #2

Time to get your right hand grooving with your guide, Jody Kamisato. For starters, we’ll chart a course teaching a wide variety of fun strum patterns including Da Four Finger Sweep, Da Scratch, and Da Crazy Triple Strum. If all goes well, you could end up learning how to add a drum beat with Fred Astaire’s Tap Dance. In this workshop, students will also learn to play the island contemporary hit song called “Surf” by the Ka’au Crater Boys. We will be using alternate chord variations and learn some fun picking patterns to accompany the rhythm. A workshop full of fun, musical insights served with aloha.

*Workshop topics/schedule subject to change **Baritone ukulele players may wish to bring a capo to get the most out of the workshops

Only $45 for everything all-day! Click here for tickets or call 800-595-4849

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