Cynthia Lin

Q: can i send you a donation via paypal or check?

A: thank you for wanting to donate! please visit the support page for options. i'd rather not accept checks - instead, send your check to your favorite music charity. the best way to support me is via Patreon, with a monthly subscription.

Q: do you teach private lessons?

A: no, i believe ukulele is best learned in a group environment, and i'd encourage you to join a group class. playing along with the rhythm of a group makes it easier to learn strum patterns, and it's much more fun to sing and play with a group.

Q: who do you recommend for private lessons?

A: my friend, bandmate, and co-leader of SF Uke Jam Ukulenny teaches private lessons in the Bay Area and via Skype. he also teaches classes in the East Bay. check him out!

Q: how can i find out about future classes?

A: you can read the latest class newsletter here and subscribe here.

Q: what kind of uke do you play?

A: i currently have about 6 ukes. i perform with Pono tenor ukulele with a cedar top, and at home i rotate among a vintage Dixie banjolele, a concert-size Islander made of acacia, and a Makai spalted maple concert with a cutaway. my favorite for recording at home is a Hula mahogany tenor ukulele, my first uke, bought on craigslist for just $100.

Q: what kind of strings do you use?

A: i have different strings on my different ukes. i suggest trying different strings out to see how they sound on your uke. my favorites are for D'Addario Pro-Arte Rectified strings. i like the warmth of the black nylon strings, and on the tenor, the wound metal on the C string gives the uke a little more bass. i also like Worth strings for really high tension (for more advanced players).

Q: can you create a chord chart for *** song for me? pretty pretty please???

A: please understand that each chord chart and tutorial takes me several hours to create. i offer a limited number of custom request rewards on Patreon at the $50 level. snag one of those!

Q: i'm a beginner - can you recommend a good beginner ukulele?

A: i have found that a concert (medium) size is suitable for most adults. if you're taller/larger or have played guitar before, you might prefer a tenor. sopranos (the smallest size) can be harder to learn on, and most people find they want to upgrade soon anyway.

the best way to know is to visit an uke shop and try holding and strumming a variety of ukes. i recommend visiting a dedicated ukulele shop vs buying online or from a big box music store.

if you don't have an uke shop near you, here are some ukuleles that i like:
BUDGET STARTER UKES under $100: Makai concert, Luna concert, Makai tenor
NICER STARTER UKES over $100: Islander concert, Islander tenor, Makai tenor

everyone should have a clip-on tuner - they work by vibration so they're more accurate than phone apps. I like this one: Snark SN-2

if you're looking for a book of songs, the Daily Ukulele is a great resource for classic and traditional songs, including Beatles and jazz standards. Daily Ukulele
(these are affiliate links, i receive a referral fee if you buy using these links - thank you!)

Q: where can i get an ukulele in San Francisco?

A: in San Francisco, i recommend visiting Aloha Warehouse in Japantown. the owners are nice folks from the islands who will help you find the right fit for you, and they have a lovely selection of fancy handmade ukuleles as well as beginner level ukes. it's always nicer to hold and strum an uke before you buy one.

Q: my strum doesn't sound right - what can i do?

A: check out this How to Strum video