Ukulele lesson. Free. Yeah, free.

Often when you pay nothing for something you get what you pay for — advice from “experts” who couldn’t find their hind end with both hands, sites that fill your device with cookies, and well-dressed church ladies who show up with pamphlets about Jesus. Maybe you like all that, but it annoys me. Well folks, here’s something free and I promise not to bug you. I’ve got years of teaching experience and if you want to sign up for Skype lessons later, it’s all on you. Contact me here and we can make it so.

You just bought a ukulele ’cause they’re easy to play, portable, and it matches your outfit. Now what? In the video below I teach you two chords, a strum pattern, and a song that you can play. Cool, eh?

Ignore the fact that in the screen shot, I look like I’m sneezing. I just got this video camera and anything technical is challenging to me. However, I’ve been teaching music for over 15 years and I do know how to teach ukulele.

Want private lessons via Skype? I can teach you more chords, strumming patterns, how to play melodies, finger picking and more. Contact me here.









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More music instruction? Where do I sign up?

guitar teacherAt least, I’m hoping that’s what you’ll say. My blog gets 100 to 200 hits a day, many of them on posts that offer music instruction, from beginner guitar chords to what to wear while playing the ukulele. So far, I’ve offered everything for free (although there’s a donation button should you be inclined). Would you be interested in a higher quality of lessons — video and text you can access anytime? Whether the answer is yes or no, I’d like to hear from you.

Please take a moment to answer this quick survey. I promise you won’t be added to any mailing lists or receive extra spam about Canadian pharmacies. I do happen to live in Canada but I am not in the habit of sending out drugs. The authorities frown on that.

As always, I offer Skype lessons on guitar, ukulele, mandolin, and songwriting from anywhere in the world. If you live in Ottawa, come to my home studio and get a face-to-face lesson. Contact me here for details.

Lots of stories and tips for guitar players here.

weird guitar

I can teach on almost any guitar but this one will cost extra.


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Songs of Pride and Strength


It’s been a tough week, especially for LGBT folks. In times like this, I always turn to music. Continue reading

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Come for the half and half, stay for the music: Virginia Women’s Music Fest 2016

That white powdered stuff may be labeled “cream” but it isn’t something I’d put in my java. I want real dairy and the Virginia Women’s Music Festival understands that, as well as other comforts a woman may need. It’s not just about great music – and you’ll have that too – but it’s about taking care of each other. And hey. Coffee every morning plus real half and half says “I love you” almost as much as “Here’s a million dollars.” Continue reading

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How a writer-musician-teacher-parking lot attendant spends her time

in front of tv

I haven’t written a blog post in a few months. Lest you think I’ve been slumped in front of the TV with a box of bonbons by my side, here’s an update, numbered for convenience. I’m all about convenience, unless it’s a microwave burrito from Seven-Eleven. (Does anyone actually eat those?) Continue reading

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There’s something about the women: women’s music book

Therese Edell photo

Photo by Toni Armstrong Jr.

Back in 1977, I attended a Therese Edell concert. I’d never heard of her but my friend Lois asked if I was going and I couldn’t think of a reason to say no. I knew I was in the right place as I sat in that darkened community college theater surrounded by a couple hundred women, listening to Therese caress each song in that resonant alto voice. I was a newly out young lesbian. She was One of Us, at a time when there were few women in mainstream music, aside from a small number of  singer-songwriters who went on about their men. Around that time, I discovered Lesbian Concentrate, a compilation LP from Olivia that featured Cris Williamson, Meg Christian, and so many more soon to be a part of the soundtrack to my coming out as a lesbian and a feminist. I journeyed days to attend festivals, I stood in line with my well-worn albums to meet my favorite musicians, and I became stronger. So did thousands of you. Continue reading

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Great gifts for your favorite musician

ukulele kid

Whether it’s your six year old who just started the ukulele or your wife who loves to drum, there are lots of great gifts for the musician in your life. (And Mom, if you’re reading this, I don’t want any of these things, unless you can get me a guitar lesson with Bonnie Raitt.)

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