Ukulele Launch Pad

Discovering the sweet tones of the uke | taught by Richard Durrant

Interested in this course? Email us at support@richarddurrantacademy.com

Course description

Unlock the Harmonies

This course is your ideal launch pad if you're a new uke player, have recently converted from the guitar or have been strumming for a while but want to improve your technique and develop your musicianship.

I will help you unlock the potential in your uke as, together, we explore some of the rhythmic and harmonious characteristics of this portable, low cost, easy to learn musical instrument.

Despite being closely related to the guitar, the ukulele has its own, very characterful tuning. You will learn how to tune, hold, strum, pick and move your fingers around the whole length of the fingerboard, including the 'dusty end'. You will also learn a good number of chords which will be grouped in keys.

Each lesson is around 10 minutes but - you will need to practise at least double this amount of time each day to get the most from the course.

You will be able to move onto the next lesson between 5 and 7 days after completing the last one. This will ensure you will have plenty of time to practise between lessons.


Unlimited Access with an Academy Passport

Instead of paying for this course in one lump sum; for less than the monthly price of some gym memberships, the Academy Passport helps you flex your musical muscles while staying in control of your budget. Plus, if you have a Hobgoblin or other coupon, this is where you'll need to use it.
Academy Passport

With the Richard Durrant Academy Passport you will have full, unlimited access to every one of our public courses, for many types of guitar or ukulele and to every other resource designed to assist you in your musical journey.

This means you will be free to learn at your own pace, repeating lessons as many times as you like, reaching new levels of ability as you tackle more challenging techniques.

There's no long term tie-in or commitment and you can stop your subscription at any time, just paying for one month at a time. Click on Subscribe Now below and let your journey begin.

To keep prices clear and equal for our members wherever they are in the world, transactions are processed in UK Pounds Sterling £. If you are outside the UK, your card provider (e.g. Visa, MasterCard and AMEX) will convert the transaction into your country's currency and that is what you will see on your card statement.

Richard Durrant
Richard Durrant
DipRCM ARCM FLCM

Richard studied guitar, cello, composition and piano at the Royal College of Music. He is an Associate of the Royal College of Music, a Fellow of the London College of Music and a proud ambassador for the Brighton Youth Orchestra.

This guitarist and composer is instantly recognisable as he is the only virtuoso soloist who performs standing up - and usually in bare feet! His playing is richly romantic, truly virtuosic and crosses all musical boundaries.

He performs on concert guitar, tenor guitar, ukulele and a variety of other instruments.

Richard was born in Brighton, England. By the time he entered the Royal College of Music, aged 18, he had already begun to explore classical, folk and contemporary music and had a growing reputation as a concert guitarist.

Following his official debut recital at the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, London in July 1986, Richard turned sharply left and pursued his diverse interests in electro/acoustic music, improvisation, composition and multi-media. He has remained, by choice, outside of the classical music establishment ever since, in fact he recommends a total abandonment of what he calls “the C word”.


Course Curriculum

Lesson 1 - Getting started
10:53
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Lesson 2
09:57
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Lesson 3
12:14
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Lesson 4
14:21
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Lesson 5
10:33
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Lesson 6
12:19
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Lesson 7
13:22
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Lesson 8
13:33
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Lesson 9
10:20
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Lesson 10
12:49
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Reviews (6)

Beyond the Fourth Fret

by Derek Budd
Having hit the wall after six years of basic 'monotone' strum, strum, strum, Richard's course has given me the inspiration I desperately needed to progress Instrumentally. He imparts his many years of professional knowledge in these superb instructional videos and downloads. It gives a new meaning to the term of the "Mighty Uke".

Excellent Intro & Revision of Technique - Not Just For Beginners

by J C Muff
I signed up for the Academy Passport after attending both of Richard's Ukulele Circuit Training Workshops (I & II) at the Ukulele Festival of Scotland. I've been playing for about seven years, so am somewhere in the intermediate level, & am always looking at ways to improve my skills. I hadn't attended the Ground Level Workshop & anticipated this course might cover that more basic material, plus a smattering of what was on the other workshops. A few initial items were naturally repeated but most of the material was different & more detailed. I felt this Launch Pad was well worth studying, as it made a good follow-up to the ideas Richard had introduced in person, consolidating the practice notes from those & it has given me several more useful exercises to incorporate into my daily routine. Although useful to beginners, as it would give them an excellent introduction to the instrument & advance their playing with focused practice, it's also ideal for more advanced players, as it explains good technique, giving the chance to break out of any bad habits & really hone skills by using the practice ideas (& adapting, where necessary). The course is taught in Richard's relaxed & informative style, imparting a great deal of technical information without ever being dry, boring or overwhelming, all with his gentle twinkling humour & great enthusiasm for the instrument. The videos are shot clearly, with good sound quality & the information from the handouts displayed on screen wherever you are playing along with an exercise (instead of having to scrabble around to find the right document & open it separately). The content is well-structured and gives one or two ideas to take away & practice after each session. As with his workshop teaching, he spends time at the outset explaining how vital it is to cultivate a good neutral posture with relaxed & efficient hand positions. Instead of then just teaching a couple of basic chords & simple strumming pattern to get you playing easy songs, he leaps in at a far more useful & interesting level, with a two-finger strumming pattern ('strumming with one finger is like being a drummer with only one stick') for a chord sequence; arpeggio fingerpicking patterns; shows you useful chord groupings that will commonly appear together in tunes; gets you moving up & down the fretboard & modifying chord shapes; introduces you to hammer-ons & pull-offs & demonstrates other strengthening & dexterity exercises. Throughout, Richard explains how these techniques are designed to improve your playing & help advance you as a musician by guiding you towards effective ways of personal practicing. You are encouraged to go away & play songs, join a ukulele group, noodle along at home with the chords he's given you etc in addition to just practicing each lesson. The lessons fly by & are very enjoyable. The exercises morph into little tunes to play along; these build nicely &, by the end, you are bringing together elements of several previous lessons to cover more challenging tasks. I would have loved to taken this as a beginner, as I would definitely have progressed much faster! You are left feeling energised & confident that you can continue to use these practical skills to enhance your playing. One clear advantage over many other courses I've seen is that it's taught by somebody with a proper formal musical background, so you are given clear, accurate & helpful information, for example, by being shown musical notation without a big fuss being made of it & introduced to different ways of altering the sounds you can get from the instrument to make your playing more expressive (eg by playing softly, loudly, dampening the chords, emphasising certain beats etc). It's refreshing to have somebody explain the possibilities of this tiny instrument & show it's capable of much more than basic strumming. We often get enquiries to our ukulele group about lessons, especially for beginners, & I will have no hesitation in recommending this course to anyone that wishes to try some online learning. Thanks very much for an enjoyable module! Jeanette People of Lewisham's Ukulele Club (PLUC)

Very helpful

by Liz de Pauley
I wish I’d done this course when I started playing the Uke. It’s changed my approach and given me a structure for improving. Thank you Richard!
Read more

Beyond the Fourth Fret

by Derek Budd
Having hit the wall after six years of basic 'monotone' strum, strum, strum, Richard's course has given me the inspiration I desperately needed to progress Instrumentally. He imparts his many years of professional knowledge in these superb instructional videos and downloads. It gives a new meaning to the term of the "Mighty Uke".

Excellent Intro & Revision of Technique - Not Just For Beginners

by J C Muff
I signed up for the Academy Passport after attending both of Richard's Ukulele Circuit Training Workshops (I & II) at the Ukulele Festival of Scotland. I've been playing for about seven years, so am somewhere in the intermediate level, & am always looking at ways to improve my skills. I hadn't attended the Ground Level Workshop & anticipated this course might cover that more basic material, plus a smattering of what was on the other workshops. A few initial items were naturally repeated but most of the material was different & more detailed. I felt this Launch Pad was well worth studying, as it made a good follow-up to the ideas Richard had introduced in person, consolidating the practice notes from those & it has given me several more useful exercises to incorporate into my daily routine. Although useful to beginners, as it would give them an excellent introduction to the instrument & advance their playing with focused practice, it's also ideal for more advanced players, as it explains good technique, giving the chance to break out of any bad habits & really hone skills by using the practice ideas (& adapting, where necessary). The course is taught in Richard's relaxed & informative style, imparting a great deal of technical information without ever being dry, boring or overwhelming, all with his gentle twinkling humour & great enthusiasm for the instrument. The videos are shot clearly, with good sound quality & the information from the handouts displayed on screen wherever you are playing along with an exercise (instead of having to scrabble around to find the right document & open it separately). The content is well-structured and gives one or two ideas to take away & practice after each session. As with his workshop teaching, he spends time at the outset explaining how vital it is to cultivate a good neutral posture with relaxed & efficient hand positions. Instead of then just teaching a couple of basic chords & simple strumming pattern to get you playing easy songs, he leaps in at a far more useful & interesting level, with a two-finger strumming pattern ('strumming with one finger is like being a drummer with only one stick') for a chord sequence; arpeggio fingerpicking patterns; shows you useful chord groupings that will commonly appear together in tunes; gets you moving up & down the fretboard & modifying chord shapes; introduces you to hammer-ons & pull-offs & demonstrates other strengthening & dexterity exercises. Throughout, Richard explains how these techniques are designed to improve your playing & help advance you as a musician by guiding you towards effective ways of personal practicing. You are encouraged to go away & play songs, join a ukulele group, noodle along at home with the chords he's given you etc in addition to just practicing each lesson. The lessons fly by & are very enjoyable. The exercises morph into little tunes to play along; these build nicely &, by the end, you are bringing together elements of several previous lessons to cover more challenging tasks. I would have loved to taken this as a beginner, as I would definitely have progressed much faster! You are left feeling energised & confident that you can continue to use these practical skills to enhance your playing. One clear advantage over many other courses I've seen is that it's taught by somebody with a proper formal musical background, so you are given clear, accurate & helpful information, for example, by being shown musical notation without a big fuss being made of it & introduced to different ways of altering the sounds you can get from the instrument to make your playing more expressive (eg by playing softly, loudly, dampening the chords, emphasising certain beats etc). It's refreshing to have somebody explain the possibilities of this tiny instrument & show it's capable of much more than basic strumming. We often get enquiries to our ukulele group about lessons, especially for beginners, & I will have no hesitation in recommending this course to anyone that wishes to try some online learning. Thanks very much for an enjoyable module! Jeanette People of Lewisham's Ukulele Club (PLUC)

Very helpful

by Liz de Pauley
I wish I’d done this course when I started playing the Uke. It’s changed my approach and given me a structure for improving. Thank you Richard!

Grass may actually be greener on the other side

by martin new
I thought I already knew the basics of playing the Ukulele but I now realise I was only fooling myself. Richard's course showed me that my technique was full of holes and going back to basics and filling those gaps is leading me into pastures new.

Great idea!

by Gail Whitney
Very clear, concise and slow enough to keep up with. Again, brilliant idea.

UKULELE FEEDBACK

by Simon Popek
Again excellent insight into the Ukulele well done.

Interested in this course? Email us at support@richarddurrantacademy.com