Essential Strums for the Ukulele


In this, his second DVD in the “Complete Ukulele Course” Series, Ralph Shaw demonstrates 12 different and distinct playing styles including; Blues, Bossa Nova, Bo Diddley, Clawhammer, Waltz, Samba, March, Swing, George Formby Split Stroke, Rolls, Triplets and more…

People think strumming is easy but it’s the most underrated skill in all ukulele playing. Being able to strum in exciting and interesting ways takes learning and practice.

Note – prices are in US dollars




This DVD will get you out of the rut of using the same strum all the time. Learn new ways to play and get into the habit of using them regularly.

After teaching each strum Ralph then shows you how to play a song using that rhythm. This 90 minute DVD will supercharge your strumming like nothing else out there! (includes chord chart and song booklet)


I just wanted to say how much I love ‘Essential Strums for the Ukulele’. Am sitting here alone in my room (in Nara, Japan) at this moment playing along with it.
Just learning how to play along with the Brudda Iz “Over the Rainbow” melody, that alone was more than worth the price of the DVD. Everything else is a bonus.
J. B. Japan

I enjoyed the new DVD very much, and found it both entertaining and educational. It is a natural progression to move on to it from your first volume. I particularly liked, and found very useful, the section relating to the George Formby technique – hope to master it one of these days!!  D. Jessop. UK

Essential Strums is a wonderful example of first class teaching, and the compliment comes from someone who spent  40 years teaching (gross anatomy) at a medical school.  K. McCuaig
Thank you for your reply. I own your ESSENTIAL STRUMS and have just started looking at it. It is the best instructional DVD that I have seen. The part I really like is when you give learning time. In the past I have given up too quickly. Thank you for your great DVD.
Sincerely,  S. Chapman, U.K.

I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying your new DVD! I happened to get your first one and felt you had just the right approach for explaining, demonstrating, and then (best of all) giving us a complete song to incorporate what you taught.

Now I see that the new DVD (Essential Strums) displays the same technique, except honed to perfection, and with GREAT songs. I’m so pleased with all of them, and–as a newbie, having been playing since Feb–plan to learn them all by heart over the next few months.

I’m active in a local “uke group” –mostly septegenarians–and take lessons from a Hawaiian instructor, but nobody (even the really good players) can verbalize how they strum. I’ll ask, “what did you just do?” and get a blank look most of the time. These strum basics are so helpful for someone brand new to string instruments, and you make it so clear I could teach it even if I can’t yet do it reliably.

One of the greatest qualities for an outstanding instructor is the ability to create hope in the student that, despite being a raw beginner, they might, one day, be able to play at a level far higher than they can now imagine. Your material is the best I’ve ever seen for creating that sense of optimism.

You can be sure that I’ll be at the head of the queue for all of your future DVD offerings!  Best regards,  Ray Albrektson

P.S. I forgot to mention how revolutionary it was to explain that you could vary chords and that one could just experiment to find “unofficial” chords that work with a given song and where to look for likely candidates (e.g., “C” and first-position “C” gives a whole range of possibilities for varying the basic “C”).

Yesterday I had a chance to run through the Essential Strums DVD to get a feel for it. I thought that it’s terrific! I would recommend it to any of my friends who play uke.   J. Gottlob, NJ

The new DVD (Essential Strums) is excellent! The little booklet is very helpful. It is good to be able to refer to it as I am trying to learn a new strum, and a new song at the same time.
Thanks to you, I have finally figured out that the Samba [stroke]. Furthermore, I’m frailing up a storm! It’s still a rather messy storm, with hammer ons and pull offs all sliding into one another, but I expect to get better fairly soon. I really appreciate the way you break the strums down into their components, and demonstrate them at different speeds. Thank you again for all your hard work.
Thanks,  J. Bishop, Plainfield, MA.