Learning `Ukulele with Curt
The home for Learning Ukulele and All Things Ukulele with Curt Sheller
Ukulele Player, Musician, Author, Publisher, Educator, Graphic Artist, Programmer, Website Designers, Shipping Clerk, Janitor, Roadie, Chauffeur, Short-Order Cook, Carpenter, Electrician, Plumber, Sound Engineer, MC. Kumu a'o...
Curt Sheller - Bio
Curt Sheller Publications was created by
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.";
A serious student of jazz guitar 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 ten plus books for guitar.
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.
My Main Gigging Gear
This is my main and preferred gigging gear.
Musical Gear - 2017
The following are my main instruments and related gear:
Ko'olau CS (Contemporary Series) Model Tenor Ukuleles
I have two of these 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 trained.
- Ko'olau CS Model Tenor Ukulele ( strings: Savarez Alliance Red Card classical guitar strings and/or Ko'olau Alohi'. • ( low-G, C Tuning )
The Rest of the Gang
- Martin IZ Mahogany Tenor. • ( high-G, C Tuning ) - SOLD
- Mya-Moe Classic Tenor. • ( low-G, C Tuning ) - For SALE ( $2700 )
- Pono Pro Classic Thinline solid-body tenor and baritone ukulele. Pretty much any Pono and Pono Pro Classic instruments is better then most mass produced ukuleles. • ( low-G, C Tuning )
- Magic Fluke Koa Tenor. • ( high-G, C Tuning )
- American Archtop Legend 7 String Archtop guitar by Dale Unger strung with Thomastik Enfield Bebop .014s - For SALE ( $70000 )
- Fender American Elite Telacaster® with Thomastik Enfield Infeld .010s & 011s
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 the Magic Fluke Koa Tenor (I have one with a high G and one with a low G), an American made Lanakia. Other than Pono I've only found the Godin Multiuke to have a radius fingerboard.
And with our own music store, Funky Frets 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.
For amplifiers I use an AER Compact 60 and Fishman SA220 PA or one of the Fishman Loundbox series of amplifiers. 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.
For guitars I haver an American Archtop Legand 7 String ( - For SALE ( $7000 ) ) that is my main jazz guitar and a Takamine acoustic and classical guitar. For solid-body guitars I use DiPinto guitars and basses as at Funky Frets we are a DiPinto dealer. And, my new (2016) Fender American Elite Telacaster®
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 best — Glen 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
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