Port Townsend Ukefest – Class Descriptions

Changes by Charles Bradley – Dani Joy
Blues is one of the most commonly loved and understood forms of music for a reason; it helps us express some of the deepest feeling in our hearts. Join Dani Joy for this simple workshop where we’ll break down Charles Bradley’s version of Black Sabbaths song “Changes”. You’ll learn some simple chords up the neck, a little fundamental chordal walk down and leave with a deeper understanding of how to express yourself through one of America’s oldest musical languages; the blues baby! Three day class, level 3-4.

Build your own Strum – Dani Joy
How many times have you asked this question, “What strum should I use?” It’s time to stop “memorizing” strums and start analyzing the beat to come up with your own strum! From the time we are born we learn to mimic what we see and what we hear. It’s how we learned to speak, walk, hold a spoon and play our first chords. In this class we will learn to listen to a song, decide on a few key points (swing or straight? Waltz or common time? Is there a backbeat? How strong is the emphasis? Are we mimicing the guitar, the drums, or both?) You will leave this class with a set of very simple tools so you can listen to your favorite song and do a decent facsimile on the ukulele all by yourself. Drop-in class, level 2/3.

All About Intervals – Gracie Terzian
Would you like to finally master intervals once and for all AND learn how they are helpful when it comes to playing the ukulele? In this in-depth 2-part workshop, you will learn how to correctly name and identify ascending and descending intervals (NOT just using the whole step and half step method, which almost always causes confusion), practice singing and recognizing different intervals by ear, learn how to identify intervals in music notation, and learn how to apply intervals to playing the ukulele. The workshop will culminate in a fun open string pedal tone exploration on the ukulele, which can really spice up your arrangements and playing! Two day class, all levels.

Writing Cool Riffs – Gracie Terzian
In this workshop students will learn the secret ingredients to great riffs, analyze famous instrumental riffs, and practice writing their own! One day drop-in, all levels.

Ear Training and The Magic of the Circle of 4ths/5ths – Gracie Terzian
First you will learn an easy way to always be able to create the Circle of 4ths/5ths by memory and you will explore the numerous helpful and magical patterns within it. As we explore everything the Circle of 4ths/5ths can do, we will also dive into many other topics in music theory such as diatonic chords, transposing, learning your major and minor scales, and playing by ear. If you wish you were better at recognizing chord progressions by ear, then this is the workshop for you! We will practice recognizing the 4 main different types of triad chords (major, minor, augmented, diminished) by ear, and then we will learn about diatonic chords (as triads and 7th chords) while analyzing the way different chord progressions sound. If time allows, we will even practice some melody dictation. Three day class, all levels.

Hapa-Haole Songs – Robyn Kneubuhl
In this class weʻll be learning 2 songs from this genre which became popular from the 1920ʻs to the 1950ʻs. Beautiful melodies that evoke island images and romance but using English lyrics. Sophisticated chords and arrangements will also be employed. This will be a cumulative 3 day class and charts will be provided. Think of balmy trade winds, moonlit nights and palm trees. Letʻs take a musical journey to the islands… Level 3/4. This class will be offered twice a day, with different repertoire each session.

Life of the Party! – Nikki Dee
Learn to play sing-along favorites for any gathering, from disco to pop to classic rock. This class is perfect for anyone who wants to be able to pick up their ukulele and confidently lead a group of singers or a solo singer – including yourself! We will work on 2-3 songs per class in the same style, focusing on strumming techniques, song form (intros, endings, verse, bridge, chorus), and call-and-response techniques that will get everyone at your party to join in.  Drop-in class, level 2/3.

Singing Techniques for Uke Players – Nikki Dee
An introduction to vocal technique for singing with (or even without) your ukulele! We will cover simple breathing exercises to strengthen your breathing muscles; modified yoga poses and stretches to prepare the body for singing; and basic vocal exercises to quickly expand your vocal range and power. As an added bonus, we will also cover important arm, shoulder, and hand/finger stretches crucial for ukulele players, as well as proper body posture tips for singing and playing at the same time. Drop-in class, level 2/3.

Yacht Rock On Ukes – Brook Adams
A class for people who like to sing. ‘Smooth’ pop music of the 70s and 80s by artists such as Doobies, Bee Gees, Elton John, and more. I’ll demonstrate chords, licks, and tricks to make the songs come alive, and of course we’ll work out fun parts and sing a lot. I have charts. Drop-in, all levels.

I Wanna Play That! – Brook Adams
How do you learn a song from ‘scratch’? Figuring out the chords, the timing, the intros and hooks can be difficult. What if you need to transpose from the original key? Each day we’ll explore a different area. Day-1: Chords, Day-2: Licks, Day-3: Transposing. Level 2/3, Three day class but each day is self contained.

Learn A Song Off Of A Record – Aaron Keim
Every day Aaron will learn a song he hasn’t heard before from a recording, with your help.  He will show how he approaches chord changes, melody, key, lyrics, style and more.  Drop in, all levels.

Clawhammer Level Up – Aaron Keim
Come on. Let’s get serious and conquer some new clawhammer arrangements fresh from Aaron’s pen.  Must have some clawhammer experience. Three-day class, level 3/4.

Blue Uke: Fingerpicking The Blues on the Ukulele – Del Rey
Many of the great 1920-30s guitar and banjo blues tunes sit beautifully on the ukulele. Using characteristic chord inversions and melody picking, we’ll learn a solo finger style arrangement for the uke each day. Our goal is to play syncopated melody while maintaining a 4/4 beat with the thumb. Re-entrant (high G) tuning preferred. By ear, no TAB. Three-day class. Level: be able to keep a 4/4 beat with your thumb while picking a melody with your fingers.

Ukulele Blues Party – Del Rey
Jugband and blues songs orchestrated for the ukulele, with playing and singing parts for several levels of player. We’ll work on getting that old-timey sound on your uke, with the right rhythm, chord positions and where to find the melody. Plus we’ll try and listen to each other and play together.  We’ll add parts for basic chords, strumming, picking and singing. Reentrant (high G) tuning preferred. By ear, no TAB. Drop-in class. Basic level: be comfortable and confident with first position chords and able to keep time while changing between them. More advanced players will be accommodated as well.

Baritone Songbook – Ginger Johnson
Over the years I have compiled a custom songbook featuring tunes that “swing” on the baritone uke. Each arraignment contains grace-notes, walk-downs or turnarounds that can then be applied to other tunes in your expanding repertoire. Drop-ins are welcome and I will work to make each chart accessible to varies skill levels. Level 2/3.

Learn to love your Baritone Neck – Ginger Johnson
Multiply the chords you already know- using movable shapes that will allow you to find chords up and down the fretboard without memorizing specific chord names. Gobs of chords will be in your pocket on day one, day two and three will expand with even more chord shortcuts. Don’t miss day one! Each day there will be a take home tune that employs the concepts we will share in class. Level 3/4.

Old Time Songbook – Jere Canote
Come sing and play your heart out, with songs from the early days of recorded country music, songs of love, humor, and rural living.  From  “Come Out and See Me Sometime” to “You Ain’t Talking’ to Me.”  Song sheets and playing tips provided. Drop-in class, all levels

Clawhammer Uke Workshop – Jere Canote
A complete overview of the clawhammer technique on the ukulele. Requires a Uke with a high g fourth string. Drop-in class, pick your skill level!

Day One—Beginning ( the bum-diddy rhythm, basic skills.)
Day Two—Intermediate (melodic skills, hammer-ons, and pull-offs, simple arrangements.)
Day Three—Advanced (harder arrangements, up the neck chords and melodies, alternate tunings).

Introduction to Melody and Compositional Improvisation – Daniel Ho
The how-to’s and foundation behind playing melodies by ear. We’ll start by doing an analysis on the makings of timeless melodies (e.g., Somewhere Over the Rainbow; Beethoven’s 5th), then apply the use of solfeggio to transfer favorite melodies onto ʻukulele, and end with spontaneous composition in the Key of C going from one to five-note improvising.

Adding Depth and Dimension to a Simple Melody – Daniel Ho
A simple, memorable melody is at the heart of a beautiful composition. But it is just the beginning. Daniel shows us how rhythm, harmony, and counterpoint can uplift a melody with musical depth and soul. He will teach his solo ‘ukulele piece, Pomaika’i (the Blessing), as an illustration of these compositional techniques.

The Beautiful Bossa Nova -Diane Nalini (virtual class)
We’ll dive into the beautiful bossa nova using sections of two iconic Brazilian songs: Manhã de Carnaval (A Day In The Life of a Fool) by Luis Bonfá and Girl From Ipanema by Antônio Carlos Jobim. You’ll learn some of the rhythms and right hand techniques employed by legendary musicians like João Gilberto to achieve that signature bossa sound. We’ll also discuss practice tips for playing and singing at the same time. This workshop will use jazz chords (four note voicings with sevenths) in different inversions. Three-day class, level 3/4.

Soulful Songwriting – Diane Nalini (virtual class)
This class will get your creative juices flowing as we explore different starting points for songwriting. We’ll cover: 1) writing lyrics to an existing melody, 2) writing music for a short poem; 3) using a simple chord progression as a springboard for inspiration. If time permits, we’ll also examine a few classic songs across different genres to see what makes them so great. Drop-in class, all levels.