Jake Shimabukuro Masterclass Review

This article (Jake Shimabukuro Masterclass Review) will provide you with the opportunity to read an in-depth evaluation of Jake Shimabukuro’s Masterclass, including information on how the lessons are presented, and who the course is best suited for, the cost, and what I enjoyed about it, etc.

Just a few hours with Jake Shimabukuro will have you playing the ukulele in no time. Then step it up a notch and try something new. You’ll be astounded by what you can accomplish with his guidance.

When you listen to his lesson, you’ll hear that this wonderful instrument’s tone is anything but little. Isn’t it amazing how quickly you can learn how to play the ‘ukulele?

You can learn to play this instrument if you have “A few spare fingers and you know how to count,” according to the Jake Shimabukuro MasterClass.

  • In any case, you may be wondering: why are you here?
  • Is this MasterClass really that good?
  • Exactly what am I going to learn?

There are a lot of things to consider. This review of Jake Shimabukuro’s masterclass will help you answer all of those questions and more, so read on!

Who Is Jake Shimabukuro?

Who Is Jake Shimabukuro

Jake Shimabukuro is an American ukulele virtuoso and composer known for his fast and complex fingerwork. His music combines elements of jazz, blues, funk, rock, bluegrass, classical, folk, and flamenco.

If you are already a fan of the ukulele, there is no question in my mind that you are already familiar with the name Jake Shimabukuro. This Japanese-American ukulele virtuoso plays in a manner that can only be described as totally original.

He plays traditional songs on the ukulele, but he has also altered his playing technique to encompass a wide variety of other genres of music. Not limited to, but also including jazz, bluegrass, flamenco, and classical music.

Jake has shown everyone how much potential this seemingly simple instrument actually possesses, despite its size. His songs have achieved legendary status, and he has worked with a lengthy list of renowned musicians, including Yo-Yo Ma, Ziggy Marley, Jimmy Buffett, and many others.

Despite this, he is a firm believer that anyone can learn to play the ukulele and is intent on ensuring that as many people as possible succeed in doing so.

His masterclass is undeniably successful. Everything is presented in a way that is crystal clear, succinct, and simple to understand, and it covers the fundamentals in addition to more advanced approaches.

“This is an instrument that can be learned if you already know how to count and have a couple of spare fingers on your hand” – Jake Shimabukuro – Ukulele MasterClass

What Is MasterClass?

What Is MasterClass

MasterClass is an American online education subscription platform on which students can access tutorials and lectures pre-recorded by experts in various fields. The concept for MasterClass was conceived by David Rogier and developed with Aaron Rasmussen.

The concept that everyone should have access to genius was the driving force behind the development of the online educational platform known as MasterClass.

All of the instructors are world-renowned superstars who have attained A-list status thanks to their outstanding performance in their respective fields of expertise.

It has cutting-edge films, workbooks, fascinating tasks, and a vibrant online community of other students, all of which bring A-list celebrities right into your living room in an enthralling manner.

There are over 85 different sessions to choose from, ranging from dog training with Brandon McMillan to fashion with Tan France. Some of the instructors are Gordon Ramsay, who teaches food, and Tan France, who teaches fashion.

Course Overview – Jake Shimabukuro Masterclass Review

The Jake Shimabukuro MasterClass is comprised of a total of 20 classes, each of which ranges in duration from approximately 4 to 20 minutes. On its whole, it lasts for a little under three hours.

It provides access to an active community of other students, as well as a companion guide consisting of 29 pages and links to resources that are supportive.

The MasterClass itself is broken up into the following 6 parts, but Lesson 1 is all about your instructor Jake Shimabukuro, which we have already discussed above; therefore, let’s begin with the other 4 valuable lessons from Jake Shimabukuro’s MasterClass.

Lesson 1 is all about your instructor Jake Shimabukuro; therefore, let’s begin with the other 5 valuable lessons from Jake Shimabukuro.

1: Getting To Know (and Play) Your Uke

OO-Koo-LEY-ley Basics and Holding your Ukulele

You are making an investment in something that is going to offer you a great deal of happiness.

Jake reveals the history of the name “ukulele,” as well as the development of the musical instrument itself.

The discussion then moves on to the fundamentals:

  • The correct way to say “ukulele” – There’s a good chance you’re going about it all wrong (I certainly was)
  • Understanding different ‘ukulele kinds
  • How to Determine Which Uke Is the Best for You
  • Adjusting the sound of your instrument
  • Figuring out how to play the ukulele in a manner that is most comfortable for you

Navigating the Fretboard

To assist you in better comprehending the fretboard, Jake provides a very insightful example. It will serve as the foundation for how he will communicate with you on where you place your fingertips.

I am fascinated by analogies. In addition, this one is doing an incredible job. The counting that Jake mentions in his introduction is a part of this, and it is straightforward to understand.

He then proceeds to establish that:

  • How to fret chords to achieve the most beautiful sound possible
  • How to maximize the impact of each and every note

Strumming Techniques

Jake builds wonderfully on how to make each note count and then shows how to strum in order to get the most sound out of the guitar.

You will get the knowledge to:

  • Adjust your strumming position.
  • Strumming the instrument with your thumb and index finger
  • Make use of numerous approaches to produce a variety of sounds and colors.

Demystifying Chords

Jake begins his explanation of chord groupings by swearing to keep everything as easy to understand as is humanly possible.

This practice will focus on playing:

  • One finger
  • The middle finger
  • To the third finger
  • And chords for the stairs

2. Playing Advanced Chords

“Changing the order of those pitches may almost make it feel like it’s a whole other chord.”

Playing Advanced Chords and the Melodic and Rhythmic Dimension

So that’s settled, right from the bat. The transition from the previous part to this one is not exactly smooth.

Before attempting these more advanced strategies, it is strongly suggested that you put into practice what you have already learned and finished the applicable exercises in the workbook.

However, a good MasterClass ought to be challenging and should force students to grow. If you want to be good at something, you need to put in the effort to become proficient at it.

In addition, if you already had a solid grasp of the fundamentals before beginning this MasterClass, the information in this section will take your expertise to the next level.

You’ll learn:

  • Hints and techniques for playing barre chords clearly
  • Fretting the instrument and performing scales while using barre chords
  • Methods to improve the strength of fingers that are weaker
  • How to approach, advance, and properly voice the “dreaded” E-major chord
  • The way in which Jake harmonizes the chords with the melodic notes and uses rhythm to create a groove
  • The dynamic range of the ukulele and the different ways that it can be played to create different atmospheres

Finding Your Sound

Jake gives some advice on how to create your own distinctive sound in the last lesson of this part of the course.

These are the things that he wishes someone had informed him when he was first beginning to play:

  • You will need an excellent direct box in addition to quality strings.
  • The sound produced by strings shifts as they get older.
  • Even the wires you use might have an effect on the sound that you produce.
  • Your playing can be improved with the use of pedals, particularly the looper.
  • This creates a wonderful transition into the following lesson, which is all about infusing your sound with emotion, flavor, and personality.

3: Creating Distinct Sounds

“It’s possible to convey a wide range of feelings with just one note.”

Mastering Vibrato and the Magic of the Tremolo

When you use the vibrato, you can sweeten and spice up your notes in several ways. As well as explaining how he knows when it’s time to use it.

Tremolo picking is Jake’s next method of achieving a long-lasting sound. Fast decaying notes on the ukulele are made up for by using the tremolo technique, which he demonstrates in detail.

To compete with other instruments in an ensemble, the ‘uke’s sound floats above and lingers over them.

Different techniques to play with your thumb and fingers can help you achieve a wide range of tones and effects. It also motivates you to do new things with the tremolo to spice up your sound.

The lesson concludes with a demonstration of how to construct an arpeggiated harmonic movement utilizing the three-finger roll pattern and the tremolo!

Breaking Down the Classics: Hallelujah

Jake is going to go down his process for learning a new song in this lesson. If you have a favorite song that you’d like to be able to perform on your own, this will be of great assistance to you.

However, choosing the key that you wish to sing the song in is the first step, followed by locating the chords that are appropriate for that key.

This is simple to accomplish if you are a musician, but there is no description of the steps involved.

Jake recommends obtaining a chord chart for the band.

It would have been fantastic if the workbook had come with at least one of these. Instead, the workbook features chord forms but does not identify the individual chords.

The Beauty of Harmonics

At the end of this part, Jake will instruct you on how to generate a thin, ethereal chime by using a light touch and arranging your fingers correctly.

4: Show Time

The songs that are sung here have been selected with great consideration in order to demonstrate the skills that you’ve acquired during this MasterClass.

The usage of tremolo is demonstrated during the performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

To illustrate different chord voicings, play “Hallelujah.” A demonstration of harmonics, pedal looping, and trick strumming, Dragon is the name of this track.

A jigsaw of musical approaches, including chime harmonics, forceful strumming, and chord voicings, Bohemian Rhapsody is a masterpiece.

5: Composing and Re-Imagining Songs

Arranging Bohemian Rhapsody and Creating an Original Song

After the jaw-dropping performance of Bohemian Rhapsody, Jake guides you through the arrangement he created for the song.

He exhibits the value of and explains why it is important to:

  • Finding the correct key for the song was a challenge.
  • Being picky about what you take away from the song is important because you can only play on four strings.
  • Also, exercise discretion in what you choose to omit because it is up to the audience to fill in the blanks.
  • Drawing ideas and inspiration from the first presentation
  • Utilizing a wide variety of the more sophisticated tactics discussed to get inside the headspace of the song

After that, he will compose an original song based on your preferences and dedicate it to you. He describes every step of his procedure in great detail. And walks us through each step of the process that led to his composition.

Okage Sama De

“Which means that you are the reason I am the way I am.”

In this portion that serves as a farewell, Jake shows his appreciation to all of the people who have assisted him on his personal journey with the ukulele.

He wishes you well and wishes for you to share what you have learned with others. He also wishes the following for you

PROS & CONS – Jake Shimabukuro Masterclass Review

Effective and motivating Basics Section

The portion on ukulele fundamentals is meticulously planned out, and it takes up the most time in the MasterClass. It is simple to understand, yet at the same time, it offers stretching and challenging opportunities.

You develop your skills gradually, but with consistent practice, you can make rapid advancements.

In addition, even if you already have some level of playing ability, I believe that there is a significant amount to be gained from gaining knowledge of how Jake approaches these fundamentals.

Delivers a Sense of Achievement

In continuation of what was stated above, the portion of ‘Ukulele Basics’ toward the end of the course in which you play along with Jake is very exciting. In addition, it instills a desire within you to attempt more complicated strategies.

Engaging and motivating teaching

There are a lot of different qualities that go into making a good educator. One quality you should have is unbridled excitement for your topic. Additionally, Jake’s enthusiasm is palpable and contagious.

The speed of Jake’s MasterClass is pretty quick, and if your commitment equals his enthusiasm, you will be able to play this instrument by the end of the course.

Helpful activities and resources

I strongly suggest participating in the various activities and assignments that are contained in the Workbook.

Additionally, it is recommended that you follow the links in the Workbook that take you to extra resources wherever you find them:

The gaps that exist between parts might be rather substantial, but the assignments and extra resources might be able to help bridge the gap.

High production values

As is customary for any and all MasterClasses, the quality of the production is exceptional.

This session is equipped with all of the necessary components in terms of sound, lighting, and stagecraft to make it an engaging and exciting experience.


Too much of a jump between the Basics and Advanced sections

It’s a good idea to be aware of the considerable distance that separates these two areas. I believe this to be the case.

Having made so much progress in the phase of the fundamental, I felt a little disoriented afterward.

This is made easier with the help of the workbook and related materials. However, they aren’t quite as enjoyable as the class.

I believe a few lessons on the fundamentals of ukulele theory (scales and chords) would be beneficial before moving on to more difficult material.

However, it could just be me. It fascinates me to understand how things work.

Some inconsistencies in the teaching method

Chord shapings are introduced as a simple approach to get started playing chords in this class.

When you get to the advanced section, though, you’re typically requested to play chords by name – with no indication of where they should be placed.

No Chord Chart with the WorkBook

I believe that including a basic chord chart would have been the single most helpful thing for me in terms of reducing the steepness of the learning curve.

My opinion is that this was quite a significant omission, and I’m not the only person who has pointed this out:

“It would be wonderful to know exactly which chord we’re playing rather than simply the finger location on the frets,” she said.

“It would be nice to know exactly which chord we’re playing.” In addition to that, having a full chord diagram would be quite helpful. — Contributions from members of the MasterClass community

Who Should Take This Class?

This MasterClass, in my opinion, is appropriate for anyone who:

  • A novice who is eager to get started right away and is willing to put in the effort necessary to advance to more complex strategies.
  • A more seasoned player who is looking to substantially raise their performance by gaining an understanding of the thought process and path taken by an internationally regarded virtuoso
  • able to play one instrument and interested in learning another one as soon as possible
  • In search of a comprehensive program that engages students by teaching them a wide variety of skills in a manner that is both interesting and inspiring

And, of course, every individual who is a follower of Jake Shimabukuro.

3 Things That I Loved The Most About This Class

  • Evokes a wonderful feeling of success and accomplishment
  • Incredible standards for the making of videos.
  • The audience will be greatly inspired by the teaching sessions.

Course Pricing – Jake Shimabukuro Masterclass Review

Course Pricing - Jake Shimabukuro Masterclass Review

It is not uncommon for MasterClass to alter its prices; therefore, if you are looking for the most recent information regarding purchases, please check back here.

At this time, a subscription package to MasterClass costs $180 a year, which breaks down to $15 per month. Having said that, the subscription does provide a very favorable return on investment:

For instance, if you are able to locate at least four to six classes that you are interested in taking, this indicates that your average cost per class is between thirty and forty-five dollars. ($180 / 6 lessons = $30).

In addition, there are over 85 different classes to select from. In light of the fact that these lectures are delivered by renowned industry professionals, I believe that the price is really reasonable.

Jake Shimabukuro Masterclass Review – Is It Worth It?

In my opinion, the answer is yes.

The ukulele can be played in a variety of ways, approaches, and techniques. You’ll discover how to put all of this together to create your own unique sound. This course will also teach you more advanced techniques such as tremolo and vibrato.

If you’re interested in learning how to play the ukulele, this is the course for you. This will help you no matter how far you wish to go with your instrument. Everything from the most fundamental to the most advanced topics is covered in this comprehensive guide. Because of this, we highly suggest Jake Shimabukuro Masterclass in our review of this course.

The LA Times dubbed this man “the master of the ukulele” and he delivers a comprehensive, high-quality course here to prove it. Moreover, this is Jake’s most thorough work to date.

As a result of this:

It all depends on what you’re trying to get out of it, your previous experience, and how much time you have to devote to it.

If you’re just starting out, the basics section will guide you step-by-step through the process of learning and mastering the material.

You’ll be motivated to keep going, but you’ll need to practice and finish the tasks first before moving on to the more difficult skills. And that’s what I’ve observed, at least.

Those with prior expertise or who are proficient in another instrument will get the most out of the course right away, especially in the fundamental section, which incorporates a distinct Shimabukuro style into even the most basic methods.

It’s well worth the money, given how much you’ll learn and how much fun you’ll have doing it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the Jake Shimabukuro MasterClass?

Twenty-two-and-a-half-hour-long lessons are included in the package. Due to your lack of experience, though, it may take a long time to finish. This book has so much content that you’ll certainly return to it when you’re ready to learn something new.

How much does the Jake Shimabukuro MasterClass cost?

You can enroll in this course by purchasing an all-access pass for price of $180. You will have access to all 85+ classes for a whole year with this purchase.

Can I get the Jake Shimabukuro MasterClass for free?

It is not possible for you to obtain the Jake Shimabukuro MasterClass for free at this time. However, MasterClass provides a variety of purchase alternatives, and if you aren’t satisfied with the service, you may get your money back.

Can I get a refund if I don’t like the Jake Shimabukuro MasterClass?

There is a 30-day money-back guarantee available through MasterClass. If you buy from a different vendor, on the other hand, you might want to look into their refund and return policies.

Is Jake Shimabukuro a Hawaiian?

Shimabukuro was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. His mother gave him a ukulele at age four and he quickly took an interest in the instrument, playing it many hours a day.

Jake Shimabukuro covers

Across the Universe (March 18, 2009), A Day in the Life (November 12, 2021), Akaka Falls (2012)

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