Intermediate Ukulele Lessons

The improver section will have set you up with some serious chops. Now it’s time to start digging into tab and really showing off.

Step 1: Learn to Read Tab

Frets and Strings
– First ukulele tabs. A few short and simple but highly effective bits of tab:

WIUO – It’s A Heartache Introduction
Postcards from Italy Introduction
Kings of Leon/WIUO – The Bucket
Black Sabbath – Iron Man

Extra Credit: Follow the fingerpickinng lessons.

Step 2: Useful Licks

Hawaiian turnaround
Essential snippets to amuse your friends.

Extra Credit: Play a bunch of blues licks, riffs and solos in the How to Play Blues Ukulele ebook.

Step 3: Thumb-Only Tunes

Tabs for tunes that combine melody and chords but can all be played with just your thumb on the picking hand. So you can concentrate on the fretting hand without having to worry about complicated picking.

Patsy Cline/Willie Nelson – Crazy
Pua Lililehua
Waltzing Matilda
Christmas Time is Here
Whiskey in the Jar

Extra Credit: Get more tab arrangements for more popular instrumentals in the ebooks How to Play Christmas Ukulele, Christmas Ukulele 2 and

Step 4: Theory

– Learn some scales:

Minor scales
Major scale
Minor pentatonic scale
Blues scale

How I work out chords
Playing slash chords on the ukulele

Extra Credit: Harmonizing a melody

Step 5: Get a Solid Ukulele

Once you’ve reaching this stage in your ukulele playing, you’ll have put in many hours of practice. Before you get much further it’s time to get yourself a really nice, solid-top ukulele. Ohana and Kala both have solid ukuleles at affordable prices. If you budget stretches a bit further, take a look at KoAloha and Pono.

Now head to the advanced section and prepare to blow people’s mind with your mad-skills.

If you think there’s a post that deserves a link here or have a topic you’d like me to cover in this section, leave a comment.

View Comments


  1. Keith Metcalf February 24th, 2010 4:44 pm

    Thanks Woodshed, this is going to be useful, especially the scales. Looking forward to seeing you at Ukelear Meltdown,

  2. Woodshed February 25th, 2010 6:51 pm

    Keith: Glad you found it useful. See you there.

  3. Jimmy July 7th, 2010 2:29 am

    should i ficish the blues and fingerpicking sections before this one?

  4. Danny February 23rd, 2011 2:03 am

    Riptide. solid uke?

  5. Woodshed February 23rd, 2011 3:51 pm

    Danny: Only the spruce and rosewood that I know of.

  6. Joe June 28th, 2012 8:02 am

    I’m lovin’ all the progress I’m making on my new uke. It kinda bothers me that I can’t stop the stings from making noise whenever I lift my fretting finger off to change chords or change notes. Any advice?

    Thanks for all your e-help

  7. Woodshed July 2nd, 2012 4:32 pm

    Joe: Try lifting taking off the pressure but leaving your finger on the string very briefly. So it stops the string ringing. Hope that helps.

  8. Ken Dorland March 16th, 2014 3:37 am

    I downloaded your Blues ukulele course several months ago on an older computer (which is now toast) I have a printout of the course, but don’t have the audio. How can I download the course on this new computer?

  9. Woodshed March 16th, 2014 8:19 am

    Ken: I’ve sent you an email with a download. Let me know if there are any problems.

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