Opinions on UU+ Private Lessons BETA

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    Hello Everyone,

    I just had my first private lesson with Aldrine and I thought it would be great if we left some feedback for the team. I’ve never done the Weekly Live coaching because the time just hasn’t worked for me this summer. However, after this past session I really want to try to make the weekly coaching.

    I really enjoyed my first private session. I had prepared most of my questions beforehand because I knew the time was really tight. I am most interested in improving my technique/sound/improvising. Aldrine was very succinct and gave practical advice that I can reasonably work on and hopefully show off next week! Aldrine was very positive and pointed me towards other songs and lessons that I can use to help me improve.

    On my end I wish I had a better mic/camera/speakers/lighting. My camera, lights, and mic are crap so I’m sure it was hard to judge my technique and sound. Unfortunately, I was also having trouble with my external speaker so it was hard to hear Aldrine at times. I was so focused on having my questions ready that I forgot to properly set up my equipment. I hope this is helpful for anyone thinking of trying a coaching session!




    Thanks for the feedback Marc!


    I had my first private lesson with Aldrine last night which was fantastic.
    I have been following many of the free Ukulele Underground videos along with others for a few years and learned basic chords and how to play lots of songs, but my main problem has been that transposing songs into a key I can play also often throws them into a key I can’t sing.

    I joined Ukulele Underground a few weeks ago as I have hit the limit of what I can learn by myself.
    I am progressing back through the basics and trying to relearn things and overcome the bad habits I have picked up that are preventing me from progressing.

    Aldrine immediately spotted that I was holding chords incorrectly with my wrist twisted and left hand squeezing the neck too tightly between thumb on back of neck and figures on strings. He explained and demonstrated to me the position my wrist should be in and how to get pressure by supporting my uke correctly under right arm and across chest rather than supporting it too much by the hand which is supposed to be doing the chords.

    This simple realisation will make an immense difference to the freedom of movement I have in my left hand to make the chord shapes and will also relieve the strain I have been putting on my thumb pressing against the back of the neck.

    Many thanks


    Hi Paul,

    This is exactly the result we hoped for when we launched private lessons and live-coaching. We’ve been running UU and UU+ for over 10 years now and while we’ve seen a lot of people make incredible progress with just the video library, we’ve also seen a lot of people still get stuck, frustrated and give up. For the vast majority of these people, their issues don’t lie with their determination, or lack of any “inherit musical talent”. For the vast vast majority of these people, they just ran into a technique that they couldn’t figure out on their own, and said “whelp I guess that’s the end of the road for me”. These kinds of issues almost ALWAYS can easily be corrected with a teacher (especially a teacher as experienced and skilled as Aldrine) in a very short time and instantly remove any frustration from the learner and get them back on the path of self-learning and improving.

    We’re hoping more and more people take advantage of the live coaching on Thursdays and if they can’t make it to that, book private lessons whenever they feel stuck. Whatever is making you feel stuck in your progress is never as big a problem as it may seem with the proper guidance.


    Some feedback from me too…

    Like others, I found this to be a very valuable experience and easy to book online, too. Aldrine was good to get the lesson started quickly – it’s all to easy, when nervous, to keep chatting and lose track of time. Speaking of which, those 15 minutes just flew by so quickly! Even so, he gave me several tips and ideas to work with.

    I think it really helped to have specific things I wanted help with. Therefore the biggest advice I’d give to others booking a lesson is to definitely prepare a few songs or problems to ask about, for example “I’m using this strumming pattern for this song but is there a better one I could try?” or “I’m having trouble with this chord change – please help”.

    On a side note, the latest issue of Ukulele magazine has a good article by James Hill about workshops and teaching, including this quote which I think is relevant for the UU private lessons and 1-1 coaching:

    Years ago, I attended a workshop by my friend and mentor Kimo Hussey. To para-phrase something he said, “Don’t pay a teacher for information, pay a teacher for insight.” In other words, questions like “Which fret? Which string? How many beats?” can usually be answered (for free) with a quick Google or YouTube search. If you’re spending a lot of money getting information like this, you’re probably not getting good value. Save your money and spend it on a teacher who will show you what isn’t printed on the page! Because the good stuff is the stuff you can’t write down.


    I have had a couple of sessions so far. I think they were very useful. I have only learnt on my own watching videos (here, Yousician, YouTube, books) and this was my first real 1×1 session with a teacher.
    Going forward I think I need to come up with a training plan around the content on UU+ to help prioritize which videos and practice I focus on. It is great to have a convinient option to reach out to a teacher when I run into a wall.

    One tip, have a huge reminder on the sign up page (if the time slots cannot be adjusted based on time zone in profile) that the time slots are Hawaii standard time.. I messed up one slot as I made a wrong mental memory.. the google calendar add capability does help but that kicks in after signing up.


    Another suggestion, using Xoom might be better cause it would be possible to get a recording to keep for later reference.


    Aldrine can actually do the lessons in zoom, if you want you can request it and we can figure out how to get you the recording. thanks for the good idea!


    15 minutes with Aldrine is worth 4 hours of videos. It amazes me how much he sees even with my iPad /. FaceTime connection. I’m a beginner and doesn’t really know what he doesn’t know. It absolutely justifies the monthly fee of UU. Please keep it up! Thanks!

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