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Festival Workshops

Saturday has a full slate of workshops for all levels of players. From beginners who have never even held a ukulele to more advanced players. There is surely a workshop for you.

October 7-8-9, 2022

NOTE: If you have a 2020 or 2021 (live, not the 2020 virtual ticket) festival ticket, it is good for 2022 Funky Frets Uke Fest without the price increase that is required for 2022. You can request a refund until the end of June 2022.


Bill Wynne

Chord Melody for Dummies • All Levels

Bill will present an introduction to chord melody ukulele playing which he calls “Chord Melody for Dummies” in which he will teach you one of his unique chord melody arrangements for the ever-popular jazz standard “That’s All,” a song made popular over the last 70 years by vocalists from Nat King Cole to Bobby Darin to Michael Buble. Minimal experience with chord melody playing is required, and you do not need to read music as the entire workshop will be taught both pictorially and in tablature. The course will be taught in GCEA tuning (high G and low G welcome!), but the techniques and arrangement can be applied to any ukulele in any tuning.

Elements of Chord Melody – A Starter Kit • Beginner to Advanced

Bill will share basic approaches and tips for developing your own chord melody arrangements – including such concepts as chord inversions, identifying the right key for your arrangement, using dissonance for effect, playing two-note harmonies constructed from common chords, and approaching the fretboard as if it were an orchestra. Snippets of various pop and jazz standards will be used as examples. Minimal experience with chord melody playing is required, and you do not need to read music as the entire workshop will be taught both pictorially and in tablature. The course will be taught in GCEA tuning (high G and low G welcome!), but the techniques can be applied to any ukulele in any tuning.


Christopher Davis-Shannon

Clawhammer • Beginner to Advanced

Learn how to adapt an old time banjo technique to ukulele (High G recommended). We'll break down the basics of the clawhammer style and learn a simple arrangement of 'Cornbread and butterbeans'. If you can play a G major chord then you're all set for this workshop!

Intro to Swing • Confident Beginner to Intermediate

Let’s strum some fun old tunes together! In this workshop we will break down basic right hand patterns to find that classic swing strum and then take those concepts and apply them to three different songs. Confidence in basic strumming and open position chords is all you need to get started.


Curt Sheller

St. James Infirmary • Intermediate-Beginner to Advanced

A classic 8-bar blues in Em. Only 4 chords. Em B7 C7 and F#m7b5 for the more adventurous. If you know D7 we'll having playing F#m7b5 in not time.

This workshop will have you playing the melody, the chords, the melody and chords and taking a solo.

Six Secrets of Ukulele Fingering • All Levels

Learn the Six Fingering Principles for navigating the ukulele fingerboard.

Fingering is one of the most universal topics. Whether your style is Rock, Blues, Country, Jazz or Classical, these principles will improve your technique, your solos, even your sight reading. Think of fingering as a series of pathways. When you learn to connect these pathways, there are benefits not only to technique but also to creativity. All fingering on the ukulele can be reduced to 6 principles of motion. Each principle has physical and musical characteristics that you can use to improve your playing.

The workshop will explore the fingering principles using the C Major Scale (C D E F G A B C'). You'll be flying up and down the fingerboard at in no time.


Debi Velasco

Hula Class

Come and learn the folk dance from our 50th state, the hula! Simple steps and lovely hand motions combine to tell a story. Comfortable clothes and no shoes suggested.

And, if would kike you get to perform at the evening concert with the backing of the Amazing Aloha Boys. Can't get any more authentic Hawai'ian than that.

Lei Making

Come and make the perfect accessory to wear while playing your uke! We will make a wristlet with fresh flowers using the Wili method (winding).


Glen Hirabayashi

Relearn the Ukulele • Beginner to Intermediate

Learn to play the Ukulele again. This time, fill in the blanks, learn what you skipped.

Ukulele Player's Intro/Guide To Hawai'ian Music • All Levels

Learn Hawai'ian vamps (turnarounds), Hawai'ian strums (traditional and contemporary). Learn about pronunciation of common Hawai'ian words (traditional, slang, & Pidgin), hidden meanings of Hawai'ian language lyrics, construction of traditional Hawai'ian songs, and favorite ukulele players from Hawai'i.

  • Hawai'ian vamps (turnarounds)
  • Hawai'ian strums. traditional, contemporary
  • Pronounciation of common Hawai'ian words, traditional, slang, Pidgin
  • Hawai'ian language lyrics hidden meanings
  • Construction of traditional Hawai'ian songs
  • Favorite ukulele players from Hawai'i

Glen-Hawaiian-Intro-Guide.pdf


Gwendolyn Fitz

Vocal Workshop • All Levels

Learn vocal techniques and exercises on the ukulele to properly warm-up the voice for singing! In this workshop you’ll learn how to shape notes to stay on pitch without straining the voice. Whether you plan on performing or just singing for the joy of it, this workshop will help you coordinate both singing and playing the ukulele-beginners to both instruments are welcome!

Learn how to use more than the basic chords for songwriting to add dimension to your musical stories! In this workshop will explore the different tensions and tones that are created when choosing maj 7th chords, 6 chords, etc over simple major and minor chords. This is a great workshop for those interested in songwriting!

Using Chords to Create Musical Stories • All Levels

Learn how to use more than the basic chords for songwriting to add dimension to your musical stories! In this workshop will explore the different tensions and tones that are created when choosing maj 7th chords, 6 chords, etc over simple major and minor chords. This is a great workshop for those interested in songwriting!


Jim D'Ville

The Emotional Value of Chords • Advanced Beginner to Intermediate

There is a chord associated with each of the seven notes of a major scale. When played in context, each chord evokes a certain emotional response from the listener. Learning these chordal relationships will open your ears to the chord progressions to millions of songs. This is the first step to playing by ear. Knowledge of finger positions for C, dm, em, F, G, am, bdim helpful.

The Crickets & The Beatles • All Levels

Where do you think The Beatles got the idea for their band name? That’s right. The Crickets! With that first entomological connection John, Paul, George and Ringo took the musical ideas of Buddy Holly & The Crickets to Fab Four infamy. The Beatles recorded no less than seven Buddy Holly songs and played as many as thirteen of his songs in concert in their early years. In this fun and engaging workshop you’ll play and learn the exciting chord progressions and musical hooks The Beatles borrowed from Buddy Holly to create the most exciting rock and roll music of the early 1960’s. The Beatles loved Buddy, learn why.


Petey Mack

F.U.N—damentals for Playing Ukulele • Beginner to Superstar

Petey's workshop is suitable for GCEA Tuning (high G or Log G and Baritone. Learn how to get off to a good start and have a blast. Holding the Ukulele, The K.I.S.S. Theory for the Ukulele- “Keep It Simple and Strum”, Your First Chords,


Michael August

Harmonica • Beginner

Michael will be presenting a beginner harmonic workshop on the 10-Hole Diatonic harmonica commonly referred to as the Blues Harp. All that you will need is your own 10-hole Diatonic Harmonica in C.

Lee Oskar 910-C

Harmonica II • Beginner to Intermediate

Description coming soon.

Harmonicas Available @ the Festival

Funky Frets will have Hohner Bluesband ($9.95), Hohner Hoodoo Blues – 3 Harps in C, D, & G ($19.95) , Hohner Special 20 ($54.99), Lee Oskar ($47) and if you really want to go high end a Seydel 1847 ($95.99), Curt's favorite is available.

C harmonics will be available for purchase at the festival. Or, you can order one from use and bring it to the festival.

Seydel 1847

Seydel 1847

For a bit of an overview and head-start on your venture into the harmonica, its tunings, musicians, history, and more checkout the Harmonica on LearningUkulele.com .


William Ernestburg

Learn the Hawai'ian Songs in the Daily Uke Yellow Book • All Levels

Join me on the beach under the palm trees and learn or strum along with all the songs of Hawaii contained in the Daily Ukulele yellow book. How many of them do you know? Learn how to play Hawaiian vamps to start your songs.

Learn the Hawai'ian Songs in the Daily Uke Blue Book • All Levels

Come back and learn all the Hawaiian songs from the Daily Ukulele blue book and more. We will be going over Hawaiian vamps to start and end your songs.

Funky Frets will have the Daily Ukulele — Yellow Book ($39.95) and Daily Ukulele — Blue Book ($39.95) books available for purchase.


In a help to determine what the workshop the levels might be, here is a page to help you determine
what level of ukulele player your are .

You will be able to select your workshops when you purchase your festival tickets …

Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the bestGlen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys

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