Arts & Entertainment, Music

Finding Your Sound

Jake Shimabukuro

Lesson time 06:55 min

Jake shares tools and techniques for developing your personal sound.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Strings · Pedals


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:41.63] - All right, just a few things I want to share with you about your instrument. Just things that I wish someone told me when I first started playing. [00:00:51.30] First of all, you always need a great DI box. A DI box is like a microphone for your instrument. When you're plugged in, it'll give you a very clean signal. I love DW Fearn's stuff. [00:01:03.39] You also need good strings. You need strings that will give you the dynamics that you want. That'll give you the tone that you want. I've always been a fan of the D'Addario Pro Art strings. They work well for me, but you got to find out what works best for you. [00:01:19.23] Find whatever pedals, whatever things that you need to give you the sound that inspires you. I think that's the most important thing. [00:01:28.53] And people always overlook cables. The cables that you use make a big difference. I use Analysis Plus cables, and it's completely opened up my playing. It's just given me a more natural sound that that I love. [00:01:41.94] So experiment. Try different things. Don't be afraid. And find the sound that speaks to you. [00:01:50.49] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:01:57.22] - So here's just a basic rundown of some of the pedals that I like to use that really make an obvious change to my tone. Of course, having a overdrive. I like having that just because I think it's fun. It changes the characteristic of my 'ukulele, which makes me play different because I feel different. So when I step on that, I get this kind of sound. [00:02:18.85] ['UKULELE PLAYING] [00:02:22.30] - So it gives you like that, just more crunch. More attitude. Also gives you more sustain when you play. [00:02:28.99] ['UKULELE PLAYING] [00:02:34.70] - Sustains your chords a little longer, you know, just gives you more punch. The other thing that I love using is-- I love having a looper, you know, especially because when you're playing solo, you're playing by yourself, sometimes, you know, you want something to interact with, right. So this is a little looper. And what it allows me to do is I can record something in real time and then I can play it back right away and I play over it. So check this out. So I'm just going to loop a little thing. [00:03:01.74] [PLAYING 'UKULELE] [00:03:18.36] - And then I'm going to step on it again, it's going to play back what I just played, and then I'm going to play on top of it like this. [00:03:25.09] [PLAYING 'UKULELE] [00:03:42.38] - So that's my looper. You can also strum a chord progression behind it. You know, it's a great tool for practicing. Like I'll use it all the time, too, like, for example, if I'm just trying to, like, practice playing or over a certain chord, you know, like, maybe something like this. [00:04:01.37] [PLAYING 'UKULELE] [00:04:07.13] - I can get that going. [00:04:18.99] You know. [00:04:22.10] And then I can hear what I'm playing works against, you know, a certain chord or even just a single note, what...

About the Instructor

Called the “Jimi Hendrix of the ʻukulele,” Jake Shimabukuro won worldwide acclaim for his fresh and fearless musical interpretations. Now he’s sharing his approach so anyone can experience the joys of the ʻukulele, from the simple chords that make up hundreds of songs to more complex fingerings and compositions. Learn how to adapt songs you love for ʻukulele or write your own. Stop worrying and start strumming.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Jake Shimabukuro

Jake Shimabukuro teaches you how to take your ʻukulele from the shelf to center stage, with techniques for beginners and seasoned players alike.

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