Ask Curt?

Fire away, I‘m game for any questions.

Ask Curt

In this section, you can ask many questions that you would like, and I'll give you an answer, perform research or make something up ( just kidding ).

With over 30 years of serious studying jazz guitar and music with one of the best teacher on the planet, I know quite a lot. Pretty much anything musical is OK.

Use this handy dandy contact form!

Plans for 2019

Finally, getting to shooting some videos to add to selected lessons for people wanting a visual presentation of some lessons.

For now checkout the Curt Sheller Jazz Trio Performance Videos from the Berks Jazz Fest.

What Do You Work On When Practicing?

I mainly focus on new material that I'm adding to my repertoire. I also make sure I write out everything. Writing it out reveals new voicings or a different approach to an arrangement. A Recording is not enough, with a recording only you'll have to transcribe yourself. A recording and written documentation combined are a better solution.

If I have a performance coming up or a recording I focus on that material only. I work on individual sections, even smaller phrases over and over and over. Rarely playing through the whole piece until I have all the parts mastered. Then I perfect the overall performance of the arrangement or song. If it's a section that I have a high level of confidence that I'll never screw up in performance I'll never practice it. But, never say never!

I do advocate writing out all your arrangements using whatever method you can. Whether it's standard music notation, chord grids, TAB, chicken scratch and any combination, just get it down somewhere. So even when it gets to the point that you think you can't forget it. You have something to check with for reference. Your arrangement might change from the original that you didn't expect, but still sound good. I've even gone back and incorporated mistakes that I like into the arrangement.

I even write stuff out without the instrument at hand. Then you know it. If you know it intellectually, you own it, and then you can start "playing" around with it, adding variations, phrasing the melody different, trying different styles, etc.

After several down-sizings, I went full-time music, teaching, writing books, the websites and performing. My playing went up a notch. My income went down several notches. So the "Quit your day job!" if you can, gives you a lot of time to work on music and probably less money to spend initially.

I kept a guitar under my desk when I was a full-time computer programmer and pulling late hours, I would pull out the guitar and get five or so minutes in when the programs I was working on were compiling. Now, I always have a ukulele with me. You can get in a lot of little practices every day if you have an instrument with you. When you only have a few minutes to "practice," you sometimes actually practice.

Before you pick up your instrument. Have a goal, a plan of what you want to get accomplished. A lot of short-term goals are better than one or two long-term goals. And, short-term goals always add up to completing long-term goals.

Practicing and performing are different. My Dad had to hear me play in public before he ever heard me finish a song. If you are an intermediate or advanced player, your practicing, to someone listening should never actually sound like a full song. If your practicing sounds good you probably not practicing.

Site Membership Plans

FREE Bronze Plan - A limited selection of basic lessons ( currently over 140 ) and 100+ songs for ukulele as well as basic general music reference material — Completely FREE — Simply Register/Signup to access associated lessons, books, songs and their related assets.

Premium Gold Plan - The Premium Plan gives you Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources and related assets. As well as ALL books by Curt Sheller as FREE downloads.

Forever Premium Gold Plan - The Forever/Gold Premium Plan gives you Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources and related assets. As well as ALL books by Curt Sheller as FREE downloads. Pretty much everything on the site and NEVER worry about a subscription or surprise payment due. And jump the que for my responding to any questions.

NOTE: Each higher membership level includes ALL the benefits of the lower membership levels.

The Private Lesson Plans include all the benefits of a Premium Access Plans as long as you remain a student on on the schedule.

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

Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too.Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg

I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent.fatveg — Portland

Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!


Original Curtie Animation - 1987 for my first web site
32 years ago. has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. I’ve been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!

Content is added and updated almost daily - so check back often.