Octopus Academy

Meet Andy Eastwood, your new ukulele tutor

Andy Eastwood is a world-renowned entertainer and ukulele player. He read music at Oxford University where he graduated as their first musician ever to give a degree recital on the ukulele. Andy is a multi-instrumentalist who has performed all around the world, including appearances on BBC television. As part of his quest to demonstrate the ukulele’s worth as a ‘serious’ instrument Andy has released many CDs and DVDs including a suite of classical pieces arranged as challenging instrumental solos.

Octopus are delighted to be working in partnership with Andy on an ever-expanding series of videos, which we like to call the Octopus Ukulele Academy

In his first series of tuition videos Andy gets you started by covering topics such as tuning your ukulele, how to develop a good strumming technique, and understanding chord diagrams.

Video 5: Six essential chords to get you started

  • Accompanies chords printed on Octopus Rosette ukulele box
  • Guidance on good hand position
  • Moving efficiently from one chord to the next

Video 4: Introducing major chords

  • Introducing triads
  • Ear training
  • The 12 major chords

Video 3: How To read ukulele chord diagrams

  • Analysing chord construction
  • Understanding finger position
  • The importance of ear training

Video 2: Basic strumming

  • Six important things to consider when strumming
  • Bad habits to avoid
  • Wrist position and finger attack

Video 1: How to hold the ukulele

  • Correct left & right hand placement
  • Holding the instrument in different performance situations
  • Optimum strumming position

In our new Skill Builders series, Andy imparts his expertise in a series of structured lessons designed to hone your ukulele playing. Whether you are new to the uke or a more experienced player, everyone can get involved as Andy guides us step by step through each lesson, can you get to the end?

Video 1: Left hand workout

  • Common chords in the key of C
  • Moving between chord shapes
  • Timing and consistency

Video 2: Left hand workout

  • Common chords in the key of F
  • Moving between chord shapes
  • Timing and consistency

Ask Andy is a series where you send in questions about all things ukulele, and ukulele expert, Andy Eastwood, answers them!

Should children use ukulele picks?

Should I use a Hawaiian D7 chord?

How can I improve tricky chord placements in a fast song?

How can I take care of my ukulele?

Why do ukulele players use different tunings?

What's the difference between a soprano concert and tenor ukulele?

How to approach chords with lots of extensions?

How does material affect the sound of the ukulele?

How do I keep my practice effective?