At age 43 after ten years of trying to memorize banjo tab and then play it back, my wife’s grandmother gave me a 70 year old Columbia Hawaiian soprano ukulele that had been in her closet for more than 50 years. To please grandma, I took the uke and bought an instruction book. But I was tired of memorizing music out of books!
That approach did not turn me into a musician on the banjo and I doubted that I would have a different outcome on the ukulele. So I just practiced chord progressions and inversions and listening to the sounds I was making. I found I was developing an emotional relationship with the chords I was playing and realized why songwriters choose specific chords to garner a certain emotional response from the listener. My mission then was to teach other adult beginners the fundamentals of music from an ear-based approach, Play Ukulele By Ear.
Jim D'Ville is a music educator and facilitator who is on a mission to get ukulele players off the paper and playing music by ear. Over the last seven years he has taught his Play Ukulele By Ear workshops to thousands of players in the United States, Australia, Canada and the Caribbean. Jim is the author of the Play Ukulele By Ear DVD series and hosts he popular Play Ukulele By Ear website (www.PlayUkuleleByEar.com. Jim is sponsored by Kala Brand Music.