This page contains what I consider to be top quality resources that can help you further expand your singing and ukulele skills. I only recommend resources that I have personally tried and thoroughly tested.
When I first started playing the ukulele, I made the mistake of ordering one on eBay. It was made of crappy, un-aged wood, the intonation was awful and the frets were sharp and scratchy. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get a good quality ukulele that sounds good, plays in tune and will inspire you to pick it up. This doesn’t mean the ukulele has to be expensive, but you’ll likely have to invest at least $200 for a decent one made of laminate wood. Solid wood will cost more, and is not always desirable if you are not able to keep it in a humidity-controlled environment. I have ordered several ukuleles from the Ukulele Site in Hawaii, both at the lower and higher price ends of the scale, and have always been very pleased with their work. The setup that they do is terrific. They ensure good intonation, they dress the frets and they will set up the bridge and nut so that the action is as you desire. These folks really know ukes. Their customer service is great. Check out their site for awesome videos demoing the instruments played by world class musicians like Kalei Gamiao.
My blog focuses very specifically on the needs of jazz singers. We work on starting to play jazz chords as soon as possible, as well as ear training, vocalizing and jazz harmony. But my blog is not meant to be an A to Z course on all things ukulele. If you want a complete course that will teach you to play lots of different styles, and will start you from the very beginning with scales and strums, and progressing to virtuoso pieces and chord melody, then you cannot find a better online school than Sarah Maisel and Craig Chee’s wonderful, comprehensive online ukulele school at ArtistWorks. I have learned so much from both of them. They are masters of the ukulele, focusing on different styles that complement each other perfectly. The video exchange system allows students to submit videos of exercises and receive personalized feedback from Sarah and Craig.
Noteflight is a web-based music notation software with a free tier that allows users to store up to 10 scores at a time. You can make nice-looking jazz charts and lead sheets, check playback online and transpose scores as needed.
For singers interested in really deepening their skills in vocal improvisation, Judy Niemack has written two terrific books with accompanying CDs in a series called “Hear It and Sing It!” The first is called “Exploring The Blues” and the second is “Exploring Modal Jazz.” What I really like about these resources is that singers who don’t read music can still get a lot out of them, they just need to sing along to the audio examples. That said, it would be a waste not to use the excellent lead sheets and written examples to follow along, since you’ve got access to that too. If you want to start with just one of these, Exploring The Blues is probably the best place to start if you’re just getting into scatting for the first time.
Shure SM-58: At some point in your singing journey, you will need your own mic. The SM-58 is a robust industry-standard dynamic microphone that’s been around for over 50 years. It costs around $100 USD. If you have a chance to go into a music store and try microphones, it is always best to do some A-B testing against other brands. Each voice is unique, and you should find what works for you. I don’t recommend getting a condenser microphone as your first microphone. They are more fragile and require phantom power, which not all amplifiers have.