New Video: Basic fingerstyle uke

Here’s a video tutorial on getting started with fingerstyle playinging on the uke. It’s all about how to do a simple two-finger pattern that can be applied in a variety of settings…

Come Jam with Us!

It’s that time again! Weekly uke jams are back on the calendar… we meet every Monday night at 7:00 in the St Ignatius School/Community Library. There are usually 15 to 20 (or more) people in attendance, so don’t be shy! Get in touch with us for more information about how you can be a part of this fun group of people.

We are using a mix of songs that we pass out at each session, as well as Jim Beloff’s wonderful Daily Ukulele book… we usually have loaner ukes on hand as well. It’s a ton of pint-sized fun!

Special Thanks to Ohana!

We’d like to thank Ohana for their generous donation of three ukes to our new Meet the Ukulele program! Louis Wu, Ohana’s owner, was happy to help out with our goal of putting together a set of ukuleles we can take with us to workshops at senior centers, schools, and other venues.

Movin’ on up!

We’re starting the middle school group this week, with about a dozen students in grades 6-8 who are super-excited to learn to play the ukulele.  More to follow…

Unpacking Ukuleles… Ohana goodies!

sk-20sOkay, so the first shipment of Ohana ukuleles arrived yesterday.  Wow.

First up, let’s look at the SK-20s. This is a soprano with a solid mahogany top and laminated back and sides. It’s solidly built and well appointed for the price range.  I went through six of them and found them all set up well and easily playable right out of the box. They are very traditional looking ukes, if that makes sense. Nicely finished, smooth fret-ends. The great thing about these ukes though, is the sound. They are head and shoulders in tone above the other ukes they are joining in the school’s elementary program. Surprisingly, they are strung with GHS strings… and they still sound fantastic. I’m guessing that swapping out the strings for Aquilas or Worths would really make them sing. Here’s hoping Ohana decides to start shipping them with Aquilas… they really bring out the tone of lower-priced ukuleles. With a suggested retail of $129, the SK-20s is a real deal… a great sounding instrument at a great price.

ck25The other instrument that came in this shipment is a CK-25. This is a concert model (for those new to ukes, a little bit bigger than the standard soprano).  It is, at first glance, a very simple uke… no body binding, very simple sound hole rosette, with a matte finish.  Beneath this plain-Jane exterior though, lurks an absolute monster of a concert uke. With solid mahogany top, back and sides the CK-25 is all about the sound. It has a bone nut and saddle, Aquila strings and like the sopranos, came set up pretty darn well right out of the box.  The intonation is absolutely flawless all the way up the neck. Strumming sounds great and played fingerstyle it is crisp and clear. It’s just solid. This one is staying right here… when I’m teaching I need a uke I can rely on and after only one day, the CK-25 seems like an old friend.

Adult Class Update…

We’re firming up the dates for our Adult Beginning Ukulele Class… it looks like we’ll begin January 19th at 7:00 PM at St Ignatius HS… stay tuned for the exact room we’ll be using. Interest in the class has been very high… contact either Christine or myself soon to confirm your place.  We’ll be ordering ukes for people who need them in early January, so get your name on the list and get ready to strum!

Giving Thanks…


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving here at the Outpost, with friends and family and food galore. I brought all of the school’s Kalas home to keep them warm and safe over the holidays and they became the hit of the party. Christine and the boys and I played, my sister-in-law (a professional cellist) played, and even my 80 year old father-in-law, who hadn’t touched a uke for many years picked one up and played us a collection of fun old songs.  Our son Ian’s wonderful fiance, Caitlin took the pictures… I only wish I would have had the Zoom recorder running.  Our younger son Alasdair treated us to a great version of Paul Simon’s “The Only Living Boy in New York”… which worked great on the uke. As someone once said, if it works well on the ukulele, you know it’s a good song!


“Meet the Ukulele” Workshop

Meet the Ukulele: Getting Started on the Best Little Instrument on the Planet.

Ever wanted to play a musical instrument? Already play a bit and looking to grow as a musician? The ukulele is for you! It’s not just for Hawaiian music anymore… you can play just about any style of music you can think of. There’s been a huge growth in interest in the instrument over the last few years… now’s your chance to join in the fun!

The ukulele is the easiest string instrument to learn, has a mellow sound, is easy to carry with you and is affordable. We’ll learn chords and melody playing, and along the way learn a bit about music theory and basic note reading. By the end of the class, you’ll be able to make music on your own!

No previous experience is necessary. We’ll have ukuleles you can borrow for the class sessions, and a variety of instruments available for purchase if you decide you just can’t live without a uke of your very own.

Brought to you by
Instructors: Matt Lyon & Christine Dickinson

Six sessions, Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:00 at the St Ignatius HS

Welcome to the Ukulele Outpost Blog…

Hello and Aloha, uke lovers! We’re in the process of getting the outpost up and going, and will be adding lots of great ukuleles from Ohana (plus a few surprises!) in a little bit. Stay tuned for more coming soon…


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