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The Beginning

by Terry

Welcome to the Uke Like The Pros BLOG. This is the story of Uke Like The Pros.

My name is Terry Carter and I am a Los Angeles (most recently San Diego) based ukuleleist, guitarist, songwriter, and the creator of Uke Like The Pros and Rock Like The Pros. I first began playing ukulele back in the early 1990’s (full disclosure, 1992) when he took a music education class at Grossmont College in San Diego. The teacher had us buy a ukulele because we were told that it’s a great instrument to play while teaching music classes. I learned some chords and the basics, but didn’t really play it that often once the class ended.

I got inspired to play ukulele again by two of my close friends, Tony Gamble and Alex Cepeda. Tony is an incredible guitar player that began playing shred ukulele. It is some of the most incredible uke playing you will see; sweep picking, fast arpeggios, blazing scales, the works. Alex Cepeda is one of my surf buddies and has shaped several surfboards for me under his A/C Surfboards brand. It became a tradition that after we surf (we mainly surf at Huntington Beach and Bolsa Chica), we pull out our guitars and jam. We play everything from Blues to Pop and Rock classics and people seemed to enjoy it. I even got to surf and hang with Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day this summer, but that’s another story One day Alex brought his ukulele instead of his guitar and we started to jam. The people loved it. There is something about the ukulele that puts a smile on your face when you hear it. That inspired me to dust off the old ukulele I had and start re-teaching myself. It didn’t take long before Alex and I converted from guitar playing surfers to ukulele playing surfers.

The idea of Uke Like The Pros came into existence in the summer of 2015. I already had a trip scheduled to Kentucky to film more lessons for my Rock Like The Pros app ( Seeing how popular ukulele is, I decided that it would be great to film some ukulele lessons. I became developing a curriculum of what I was going to teach and within a few days I had close to 30 lessons ready to go. I called up my buddy Tony, asked him if I could borrow one of his KoAloha ukuleles, since they have a pickup in them and it will be easier to record. He agreed, let me use his slim line tenor KoAloha uke and away I went.

The first set of lessons I tried to make them assessable to everyone from the absolute beginner to someone that has been playing a while. There are introductory lessons that introduce the ukulele and teach how to read and play simple music rhythms. Then we jump into lessons teaching the most important chords used on the ukulele and many classic chord progressions. Next your off to learning songs such as ‘Let It Be’ by The Bealtes, ‘Over The Rainbow’ by IZ, ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz, ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’ by Bob Dylan, ‘3 Little Birds’ by Bob Marley, ‘La Bamba’ by Ritchie Valens, and more. I love the Blues and realized that the ukulele works really well for Blues so I included several Blues in the style of Chuck Berry, The Allman Brother, T-Bone Walker, and Wes Montgomery. Finally I sprinkled in some fingerpicking songs and some scales for those that are interested in soloing. All and all you have a diverse curriculum that will teach you ukulele no matter what level you are.

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