Curt Sheller - Bio

All about Curt Sheller, the mad scientist behind this site.

Curt Sheller - Bio

Curt Sheller Publications was created by Curt Sheller (me) in 1995 and has been on the web since.

I began playing guitar at age 9. I always say that a valuable trait is to be persistent and never give up. "Stick with anything long enough, and you tend to get good at it. Hook up with the right teacher and mentors and get really good at it.";

As a serious student of jazz with guitar as my main instrument since 1978, I have been researching jazz and contemporary guitar, studying with the amazing and talented Chuck Anderson for over 30 years. My studies included arranging, private teaching, 20th-century harmony, and performing and working successfully with other musicians. Some years back, I started bringing a ukulele to the lessons, since I'd become, by then, totally turned on by the 'ukulele, and tuned-in to all its possibilities.

My journey exploring the ukulele began in 2003 on a CampFire USA trip to South Dakota planned by my wife, Bernadette. I'd searched the Internet® for a small travel guitar to bring with us, and rediscovered the ukulele instead — an instrument I'd toyed with twenty years earlier. But now I felt I finally had some skills and knowledge to “figure it out,” and thus began my love affair with the 'ukulele.

Finding little material organized at a level that works for intermediate to advanced players, I decided I could fill that gap and help the 'ukulele community as well. I've gone on to develop an international reputation as a ukulele expert, having written over 30 books and over 600 lessons for the ukulele and as several books for guitar, bass and general music.

I believe that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, as simply as doing quality exploration over and over. And hooking up with the right teachers and mentors. And I thank and credit all who have helped round out his experiences and learning – especial Chuck Anderson.

For Performance and Workshop Bookings

For booking Curt for a performance — solo or the trio — and/or workshops visit the Booking Info page.

Ukulele Books by Curt

  • A Guide to Ukulele Chords
  • A Guide to Advanced Ukulele Chords - Volume I
  • A Guide to Blues Chord Progressions for Ukulele A to Z
  • A Guide to Ukulele Chords for Lefties
  • A Guide to Ukulele Chords, 2nd Edition
  • A Guide to Ukulele Strums
  • Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele
  • Fingerpicking for Ukulele - Alternating Thumb Style
  • Daily Practice Material for the Contemporary Ukulele
  • QuickStart Arpeggio Fingerings for Ukulele - Triads C Tuning
  • QuickStart Arpeggio Fingerings for Ukulele - Triads G Tuning
  • QuickStart Arpeggio Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Major Triad
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Aeolian Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Blues Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Diminished Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Dorian Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Ionian Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Mixolydian Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Pentatonic Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - WholeTone Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, Volume I, C Tuning
  • QuickStartScale Fingerings for Tenor and Baritone Ukulele, Volume I, G Tuning
  • Six Secrets of Ukulele Fingering
  • The Advanced Guide to Chord Progressions for Ukulele - Volume I
  • Ukulele Chords
  • Ukulele for Guitar Players
  • Ukulele- Reading Music Series - Primer
  • Learning the Ukulele Fingerboard - C Tuning
  • Learning the Ukulele Fingerboard - D Tuning
  • Learning the Ukulele Fingerboard - G Tuning

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. - Calvin Coolidge

My Main Gigging Gear

This is my main and preferred gigging gear.

Current Musical Gear - 2018-2019

The following are my main instruments and related gear:

Main Ukuleles

I have two Ko'olau CS (Contemporary Series) Model Tenor Ukuleles, amazing instruments with a cedar top and rosewood sides and backs. One delivered November 2009 and one from February 2017. These are my main performance ukuleles for everything. Both with a low G. Basically a number one and a backup being groomed and in-training and live broken string scenarios.

For a details and nitty gritty regarding the strings I use checkout this Ask Curt page response: What Ukulele Strings Do You Use?

  • Ko'olau CS Model Tenor Ukulele ( strings: Savarez Alliance Red Card classical guitar strings and/or Ko'olau Alohi'. • ( low-G, C Tuning ), I have two of theses. Main one throughly broken in for performance and one in-training.

The Rest of the `Ukulele Gang

  • Lanakia All Koa Tenor - This is made in the USA ( Hawai`i ) ukulele. • ( high-G, C Tuning ) SOLD
  • Pono Pro Classic Thinline solid-body tenor and baritone ukulele. Pretty much any Pono and Pono Pro Classic instrument is better then most mass produced ukuleles. • ( low-G, C Tuning )
  • Magic Fluke Koa Tenor . • ( high-G, C Tuning )

A Few Past Favorites and some that are currently for sale.

  • Martin IZ Mahogany Tenor. • ( high-G, C Tuning ) - SOLD

    This was and is an amazing instrument. Probably have to get another one at some time - shouldn't have let it go. Or the 2K tenor that I also had and let go.

    Keep trying to get Martin to let us, Funky Frets be a ukulele only dealer.

  • Mya-Moe Classic Tenor. • ( low-G, C Tuning ) - SOLD ( $2700 )

Guitars

Strings

Here are the strings that I typically use on my guitars and ukulele.

Ukuleles

Both the Ko'olau, Pono and MyaMoe ukuleles have a radius fingerboard which does make a big difference in ease of playing. The Ko'olau, Pono and MyaMoe are all strung with a low G. For high G, C tuning I grab an American made all Koa Lanakia. Other than Pono I've only found the Godin Multiuke to have a radius fingerboard in a mass produced ukulele.

And with our own music store, ( Funky Frets, Boyertown, PA USA ) – that is naturally, heavy into ukuleles and over 100 ukuleles in stock at all times. I'm in a position to play pretty much what I want — but it's the Ko'olau CS Tenor that gets the most action. That and a Pono solid-body are the only performance ukuleles I perform with in concert.

Amplifiers

For amplifiers I use an AER Compact 60 as my main amp for any acoustic instruments (guitar and ukulele) and it works great with the Tele and bass. Backups or if I need a PA include Fishman SA220 PA or one of the Fishman Loudbox series of amplifiers. Typically no effects and for a DI I only use Fire-Eye , L.R. Baggs , Radial Engineering or Fishman .

I really like to keep the gear simple. No endorsements or artist models for me. I like to make my own choices and not be locked in to or be put in a position to recommend a specific brand of gear. The same gear as I have will never make you sound like me and I'll never sound like me by using your gear.

Pedals

Checkout the Ukulele Gear pages for recommendations based on what I use.

Computer and Software

Pretty much been a Apple / Mac person since 1984.

Checkout the Credits Page for more info on the software I use the most.

Books by Curt Sheller

All books and charts by Curt are available right here on the LearningUkulele.com site.

Ukulele Books

  • A Guide to Ukulele Chords
  • A Guide to Advanced Ukulele Chords - Volume I
  • A Guide to Blues Chord Progressions for Ukulele A to Z
  • A Guide to Ukulele Chords for Lefties
  • A Guide to Ukulele Chords, 2nd Edition
  • A Guide to Ukulele Strums
  • Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele
  • Fingerpicking for Ukulele - Alternating Thumb Style
  • Daily Practice Material for the Contemporary Ukulele
  • QuickStart Arpeggio Fingerings for Ukulele - Triads C Tuning
  • QuickStart Arpeggio Fingerings for Ukulele - Triads G Tuning
  • QuickStart Arpeggio Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Major Triad
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Aeolian Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Blues Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Diminished Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Dorian Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Ionian Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Mixolydian Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - Pentatonic Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, C Tuning - WholeTone Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Ukulele, Volume I, C Tuning
  • QuickStartScale Fingerings for Tenor and Baritone Ukulele, Volume I, G Tuning
  • Six Secrets of Ukulele Fingering
  • The Advanced Guide to Chord Progressions for Ukulele - Volume I
  • Ukulele Chords
  • Ukulele for Guitar Players
  • Ukulele- Reading Music Series - Primer
  • Learning the Ukulele Fingerboard - C Tuning
  • Learning the Ukulele Fingerboard - D Tuning
  • Learning the Ukulele Fingerboard - G Tuning

Guitar Books

  • A Guide to Guitar Chords
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Lead Guitar - Blues Scale
  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Lead Guitar - Volume I
  • QuickStart - Chord Progressions for Lead Guitar - Vol I Book and CD
  • Daily Practice Material for the Contemporary Guitarist
  • The Advanced Guide to Blues Chord Progressions for Guitar - Volume I
  • The Advanced Guide to Blues Chord Progressions for Guitar - Volume II
  • The Advanced Guide to Chord Progressions for Guitar - Volume I
  • The Advanced Guide to Guitar Chords - Volume I
  • The Advanced Guide to Guitar Chords - Volume II
  • Ukulele for Guitar Players

Music Books

  • Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution
  • Daily Practice Material for the Contemporary Musician

Bass Books

  • QuickStart Scale Fingerings for Bass Guitar - Blues Scale
  • Learning the 4 String Bass Guitar Fingerboard

Learning the Fingerboard Books

  • Learning the Ukulele Fingerboard - C Tuning
  • Learning the Ukulele Fingerboard - D Tuning
  • Learning the Ukulele Fingerboard - G Tuning
  • Learning the 4 String Bass Guitar Fingerboard
  • Learning the Lap Steel Guitar Fingerboard, C6 Tuning
  • Learning the Mandolin Fingerboard

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 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 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 from of the que for 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!

curtieAnim.gif

Original Curtie Animation - 1987 for my first web site
32 years ago.

LearningUkulele.com 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.