100 episodes

Every week Uketropolis.com founder James Hill answers student questions about playing ukulele and interviews innovative ukulele educators.

Uketropolis: Ukulele Q&A with James Hill James Hill

    • Education
    • 4.9 • 42 Ratings

Every week Uketropolis.com founder James Hill answers student questions about playing ukulele and interviews innovative ukulele educators.

    Play First, Ask Questions Later

    Play First, Ask Questions Later

    Music theory is a form of understanding that comes after you play and experiment. A lot. At least that's my opinion. In this episode I make my case for playing first and asking questions later. Enjoy!
    I'm on tour in Ontario and Quebec! Join me for an in-person ukulele workshop: https://www.jameshillmusic.com/tourUke Heads new single "Hearts On Fire": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hGrTIBBjnYMy online ukulele courses (some free, some paid): https://www.uketropolis.com

    • 17 min
    Travis Picking to the Rescue

    Travis Picking to the Rescue

    Travis picking is named after Merle Travis, the Country-Music Hall-of-Famer who popularized the technique. If you're a bit bored with the same old strumming and picking techniques you've been using, well, it's Travis picking to the rescue! The thumb goes back-and-forth, the fingers dance on the melody. Simple, right? Not exactly. Like any physical skill, Travis picking takes time to acquire but it's well worth the effort!
    --
    Learn ukulele with James: www.uketropolis.com

    • 15 min
    165 Players, 10 Rehearsals, 1 Album: Uke Heads Has Landed!

    165 Players, 10 Rehearsals, 1 Album: Uke Heads Has Landed!

    My new album Uke Heads comes out tomorrow, February 16th, 2024! But it's not just my album, it's a project that has become a global community. How did an idea go from doodles on scrap paper to a full album with over 165 players from 15 countries? In this special episode, taped live at the Uke Heads Gathering in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Chris Parsons and I reflect on the two-year arc of the 10-song recording. You'll hear from a number of people who played and sang on the album and get a preview the finished tracks.
    Learn more about Uke Heads and join the band at www.ukeheads.comWatch our latest video single, "Lucky in Love" on YouTubeShop Uke Heads merch including apparel and CDs at www.ukeheads.com/shop

    • 48 min
    Angeline the Baker

    Angeline the Baker

    "Angeline the Baker" (also known as "Angelina Baker") is one of the most well-known songs in the Old-time repertoire. It's appeal is a bit of a mystery: it only has two chords and its melody is pentatonic, meaning it doesn't even use all the notes of the major scale. And yet it contains multitudes. I continually return to this melody for its simple beauty and flowing rhythms. In this episode we examine a very specific moment in "Angeline the Baker" and I hope it inspires you to learn the rest of the piece. You won't regret it!
    Watch Scott's arrangement of "Angeline the Baker": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t835kgnG3ULearn more about James' Americana Ukulele online course: https://www.uketropolis.com/americana
    --
    Learn ukulele with James: www.uketropolis.com

    • 13 min
    Flatpickers Welcome!

    Flatpickers Welcome!

    Is it legal to use a pick on the ukulele? Yes! Once and for all, YES! In fact, it's a gateway to some really interesting sounds. Specifically, it brings a level of agility to your melodies that is unlike anything else and it opens the door to tremolo flatpicking which can bring a new kind of lyricism to your playing. So, shine up your flatpicks and let's play!
    --
    Learn ukulele with James: www.uketropolis.com

    • 15 min
    Live Long and Posture

    Live Long and Posture

    Can't do the Vulcan salute? No problem! Stretching your fingers apart (think "live long and prosper") isn't the only way to play challenging chords. In this episode, we explore the difference between stretching for the notes in a chord and reaching for the notes in a chord. Although posture is a huge topic that we can't possibly cover in one episode, I'm going to share one simple thing that you can do to improve your chances with challenging chord shapes.
    --
    Learn ukulele with James: www.uketropolis.com

    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

Great for that ,

One of the best podcasts out there!

This is such a great podcast! Inspiring and motivational! I can’t wait to pick up my ukulele and play after listening to these podcasts. Excellent instruction/communication in both detailed how tos and “big picture “ concepts. And I love the way he encourages ukulele players to find their own internal intuitive musician . The “Zen of ukulele strumming “ episode is brilliant (and very relaxing!) A whole meditative series could come from this :-). Thoroughly enjoying these episodes! Thanks so much James and keep up the great work!

pixpusher ,

Great inspiration

This is an essential podcast for any ukulele player looking for inspiration and insight into playing a musical instrument. Anyone who doesn’t play but wants to be inspired by this wonderful instrument would also benefit from listening.

FotoByWes ,

James Hill does a Podcast!

Wow! James makes it so easy to learn new stuff on my ukulele. Makes me want to join Uketropolis and get even more goodness! Thank you, James!

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