Recent Posts

  • Happy Spring
  • 40th Alaska Folk Festival, 2014
  • Sun 11-13-13 Jam: New Location
  • 7-21-13 Sunday Uke Jam 11:00 – 1:00 at Rockwell
  • 7/14/13 Jam 11 – 1 at Marine Park

Happy Spring

In anticipation of our local jam spot, TK Maguire’s, being full of Easter brunch revelers, we are taking a break from the weekly Sunday ukulele jam. Next week, it’s back to the usual shenanigans.

If you gather with friends and family this weekend, bring out your ukulele, look up a one or two chord sing-along song from Dr. Uke’s beginner page and entertain the troops. Or you can practice the C-F-G-F pattern  for “Five Year’s Time” by Noah and the Whale. Ukulele Hunt has chords and lyrics to download and a link to the video, in case you don’t know the tune.  At the Folk Fest ukulele workshop we taught this song and used it to work our way through a  medley of “La Bamba”, “Twist and Shout”, “Wild Thing”, allowing you to just keep practicing the chord changes over, and over, and over….

Happy strumming!

40th Alaska Folk Festival, 2014

AFF 40, artwork by Ray Troll


Another Folk Fest has almost come and gone with much great music, jamming and ukuleles. Our Ukulele for Beginners workshop yesterday at the festival brought us together with a few old friends and many new ones. It promises to be a good year of jamming and all are welcome on Sundays, from 12 – 2 at T.K. Maguire’s, downtown at the Prospector Hotel (behind KTOO and the State Museum construction site.)

As promised, below are the links we mentioned at the workshop. If you find other links you want to share, please add them in the comments or let me know and we’ll get them posted. Safe trip home to everyone visiting from out of town and we look forward to seeing some more of you locals at a jam some Sunday soon!


You can find basic chord charts by doing and image search for “ukulele chord chart” and finding the one you like best.

Basic Strum Patterns

AFF #40 Codfiysh Joe – Selma & Reed.                    Photo by Skip Gray


Ukulele Mike’s 12-Bar Blues lesson

Uke Boutique’s 12-Bar Blues in G (scroll down to May 21, 2012 post)


General Resource sites 


Greyscale – Amy & (one) John
Photo by Skip Gray

Song Chord Index Links

(in addition so several listed above)


Free Songbook Downloads

(When I traveled to England this past winter I came across two ukulele sing/play along gatherings that both had songbooks online to download and bring to their weekly events. We have aspirations to do the same, but for now these are great resources to have.)


Tutorial videos

Aldrine Guerrero at Ukulele Underground

Brett McQueen at Ukulele Tricks

“Ukulele Mike” (Mike Lynch) has a YouTube Channel


Buying an Ukulele

Elderly Instruments has its own Ukulele Department

Roswick Giles Music store out near the airport also carries a variety of ukuleles and ukulele supplies, if you just need one RIGHT NOW or want to support your local music store.

Strum on!

Sun 11-13-13 Jam: New Location

While the Rockwell undergoes renovations, the weekly Sunday ukulele jam will meet at TK Maguire’s in the Prospector Hotel, downtown. From Egan Drive, turn onto Whittier St. (near KTOO, AK State Museum and the JACC). Parking should be very easy, since it is Sunday and the KTOO, museum and Centennial Hall lots should all be pretty empty and available.

Technically, we meet from 11-1, but in true Alaskan/Hawaiian-time fashion, everyone trickles in, orders food and starts playing “wheneva’s”, so come late if you don’t plan on eating and are watching your minutes.

7-21-13 Sunday Uke Jam 11:00 – 1:00 at Rockwell

Fine Arts Camp alumni showing his mom a couple chords.

Fine Arts Camp alumni showing his mom a couple chords.

It was lovely out on the docks again last Sunday, but the temps have dropped again and the clouds reestablished themselves over our rain forest town, so  we’ll be back jamming at Rockwell tomorrow.

Maybe the Re(i)eds won’t go hungry this time!

Future's so bright...

Future’s so bright…

Work that finger pickin'

Work that finger pickin’



7/14/13 Jam 11 – 1 at Marine Park

Forecast is for sun. We’ll be at Marine Park on the grass if is sunny. Bring your ukuleles and your shades!



Jam’s on for 7/7/13

If it is sunny we may relocate again to Marine Park. Otherwise, we’ll be at Rockwell’s.


6_30_13 jam

Jammin’ on the docks


Solstice Jam 6/21/13 at Rockwell 11-1


Winter solstice sun over Douglas Island multiple exposure. Photo via Navigation Calculation Forum


Summer Solstice | June 20 2012 10:30pm | Juneau, Alaska. via SunChronicles tumbr

Forecast is for rain, so we’ll probably be at the Rockwell for the jam. Bring your summer sun songs for solstice!

Sunday Jam at Marine Park

Since the weather is so lovely, the Sunday ukulele Jam will be at Marine Park on the grass. 11-1 (ish). Last week we got some of the cruise ship passengers to stop by and join in a song or two.

sunday uke jam

Happy Birthday, Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996)

From treble7notes

A Little History

In light of the recent legislation passed here in Juneau benefiting the oil companies, and in anticipation of the return of the cruise ships to our shores, a little history about the song, Waimanalo Blues seems to be in order.

Waimanalo Blues by Liko Martin and Thor Wold, 1974
Chords & lyrics at Tropical Storm Hawaii
Performed by Henry Kapono, Izrael Kamakawiwo’ole, Cyril Pahinui, and Roland Cazimero at an old Hawaiian homestead on Oahu in 1993.

Gabby Pahinui backyard jam 1970s


“This song was written by Thor Wold and Liko Martin in Hawaii in the 1970′s to protest the increasing development of the islands of Hawaii. Although the song focused on the Windward side, the concern was for all the islands and the rights of the Hawaiian people, as it was in that way a protest song of the folk narrative style.”  – Carol Forsloff




Waimanalo Blues
Wind's gonna blow so I'm gonna go
Down on the road again
Starting where the mountains left me
I'm up where I began

Where I will go the wind only knowsWaikiki hotels and Ala Moana
Good times around the bend
Get in my car, goin' too far
Never comin' back again

Tired and worn I woke up this mornin'
Found that I was confused 
Spun right around and found I had lost 
The things that I couldn't lose 

The beaches they sell to build their hotels 
My fathers and I once knew 
Birds all along sunlight at dawn 
Singing Waimanalo blues 

Down on the road with mountains so oldWaimanalo with Mt. Olomana in background. Photo by David Siu 
Far on the country side 
Birds on the wing forget in a while
So I'm headed for the windward side 

All of your dreams 
Sometimes it just seems 
That I'm just along for the ride 
Some they will cry because they have pride 
For someone who's loved here died 

The beaches they sell to build their hotels 
My fathers and I once knew 
Birds all along sunlight at dawn 
Singing Waimanalo blues 

Cyril Pahiui 12-12 (5)

We had the pleasure of seeing Cyril Pahinui (son of Gabby Pahinui) play when we were home in the islands last Christmas. He was so smooth on slack key, with skillful accompaniment by Jeff Au Hoy on steel and Peter Moon, Jr. on ‘ukulele and guitar. Ironically, they perform at the Kani Ka Pila Grill in the Outrigger Reef in Waikiki at, yes, one of “their hotels”. But the servers were locals and very friendly and the music was full-on Hawaii. Cyril came over in between sets to say hello and pose for a picture with a fan. A class act. If you are on O’ahu and have a free Wednesday evening, I recommend checking the calendar and going to hear them play.

Cyril Pahinui was part of another ensemble performing Waimanalo Blues, this time with Arlo Guthrie. It was for a TV show, “The Byrds of Paradise” back in 1994. Juneau Jazz & Classics is bringing Guthrie to Juneau in a few weeks. I wonder if we could get him to play it. Guthrie now owns the rights to the song.

Speaking of artists to check out when you are in Hawaii, a fellow Jambuster recently returned from visiting Hilo, on Hawaii Island (aka the Big Island) and came across another talented young ukulele artist,  Brittni Paiva. He says if you scroll down the full list of her YouTube Uploads to the 30-40th of the 80+ posted, there are some useful lessons. Thanks  Mark!