Ukulele lowdown with Lynda logoIs there anything that Lynda can’t do? She is one talented lady. She already starting teaching me how to take better photographs, and do some computer coding.  So for New Zealand Music Month I thought I would find out what hidden musical talents had, and oh boy is there anything she can’t do! She can play and teach:

  • Guitar (Rock, blues, acoustic)
  • Electric Bass
  • Ukulele
  • Banjo
  • Mandolin
  • Drums
  • Piano

Although I have always fancied myself as playing electric bass (like Kim Gordon, or Kim Deal), I actually have a ukulele so I that is what I am learning today. I have convinced my darling daughters to learn with me but I think that is because they want to be like Grace VanderWaal.

So we get started and our teacher knows how to play, they refer to some notes which I quickly found right under the video. Then we were away strumming. Our rendition of When the saints go marching in wasn’t quite as musical sounding as the teacher, but with a bit of practice I think we could start our own ukulele trio.

For more help learning to play the ukulele:


There are NZ Music Month performances with ukuleles, including a workshop for beginners.

The time for ukulele is upon us

There's a uke to suit everyone
There’s a uke to suit everyone

If cupcakes are the hot trend in culinary circles then surely the ukulele is its musical equivalent. A diminutive version of the standard item and somehow cuter and more gleeful.  If you can listen to the upbeat tinkle of a jauntily strummed ukulele and not feel happier, or possibly even slightly warmer at the prospect of warm island summers then you may well be made of stone or something similarly cold and unfeeling.

Christchurch City Council’s Matariki programme which has been ongoing throughout June saw me attending a two day ukulele workshop at Ngā Hau e Wha Marae last week.  Led by local legend Pos Mavaega of Pacific Underground we newbies (several of whom had bought their ukes the day before) miraculously found some chords and strums and managed to cobble them together into some songs.

We did so well that somehow Pos has managed to talk our small band of uke-wannabes into performing during Pacific Underground’s set at Matariki at the Marae on Thursday night.  There will be other exciting things on offer at the marae as well including star-gazing with telescopes (I saw Saturn last night!), star-weaving, guest speakers and possibly the best pumpkin soup ever (do take them up on having a squirt of sour cream in it, it’s really good).

If you really can’t bear to leave the cosy warmth of your living room on Thursday to see our triumphant ukelele debut you can still get yourself uked-up.  Perhaps you prefer to go to a performance where the musicians have been playing their instruments for more than a week?  If so you might be interested to know that the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra will be performing as part of the Christchurch Arts Festival in August (but be quick, one of three performances is already sold out!).  And of course the library has a ton of ukulele inspiration to get you strumming –