Elegant Tweaks HomeHome ThemesThemes LearnLearn Request a tweakRequest a tweak

Ukulele

Instructor:  Don Gowan

Ukulele

Instructor:   Don Gowan

Course Description:

Level: 1 – 2  (see Playing Experience Level descriptions at the bottom of the page)

We will introduce a variety of strumming patterns from various styles including Pop, Rock, Blues, and R&B. We’ll explore basic ear training and basic transposing to put songs in a good key to sing. Some melody playing with learning TAB will be introduced. Participants will form duos and trios to explore singing and playing basic melody and harmony lines. We are very serious about having fun with a fun instrument.

Don Gowan

Don GowanDon Gowan (ukulele) has toured much of Canada playing festivals and clubs in the duo “Cahoots”. He has appeared with performers such as Connie Kaldor, Valdy, Gary Fjellgaard, Spirit of the West, Amos Garrett, Bill Bourne, Schooner Fare, Ken Bloom, Kate Wolf, and others. He has made numerous television and radio appearances on CBC and CKUA. He gained broadly varied experience as a music instructor and educator by teaching groups and individuals - adults, teens, and children on ukulele, mandolin, and guitar. He quickly assesses a student’s playing level, ability, and goals and designs a wide variety of materials to meet specific learning needs of students.

Don is experienced teaching beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Classes are relaxed and nurtured, and fun.

He’s currently performing and recording with Poor Boy, and numerous other local musicians.

Website:  Poor Boy

Playing Experience Levels

These guidelines aim to ensure that all camp participants have an enjoyable experience. They represent what your playing capability should be before you take the class (prerequisites).

Classes are generally designed to pace themselves to match the participants' abilities. Level 1 classes aim to proceed at the pace of the slower students in the class. Level 2 and 3 classes aim to move at the pace of the majority of students in the class. Level 4 classes are designed to push the capabilities of all students and will target the pace of the more capable students  Class descriptions that show a range (Levels 2-3) means the material presented is broadly applicable across that range.

LEVEL 1: You are new or relatively new to your instrument. You may be able to play basic chords or scales slowly. You want to learn the basics of the instrument. You have very little experience playing with others.

LEVEL 2: You are competent with basic chords and/or basic scales. You can keep rhythm and/or play basic melodies and/or sing and play at the same time if the song is familiar. You generally need the chords or melody to be written out in order to play along. You have some experience playing with others.

LEVEL 3: You are reasonably comfortable with most chords, basic major and minor scales, and can play at an appropriate tempo for songs. You are aware of time signatures, song keys, and know that there are chords called 6th, 7th, 11th, etc even if you can’t play them all. You are comfortable maintaining good rhythm and are willing to taking breaks while jamming with others, even if the breaks don't always turn out the way you planned. You may be hoping to take your playing up to the next level of performing with a group or band (beyond jamming) and you want to further improve your technique and speed.

LEVEL 4: You are skilled on your instrument and have a good understanding of musical concepts including scales, arrangements, harmonies and some improvisation. You play lead and back-up with a steady rhythm and can play skillfully with others. You know there is life further up the neck on your instrument and have some capability in that world. You have performing experience, can hold a tune, and can harmonize.