Ukulele Workshop
June 1  – June 3, 2015


2014 Ukulele Workshop

Photo by Susie Parrent



(By clicking the link above, you will be transported to the KFF ticketing page. Make sure to scroll down to the Schools & Workshops section of the Ticketing Page to find the 2015 UkuleleWorkshop.)



Del Rey - Director

Jim D'Ville


General Information:

During this 3-day course, small group sessions will cover the basics to the fine points and will allow students time with each faculty member.  The workshop will be held in the Threadgill Theater (in the Quiet Valley Ranch campgrounds) Monday, June 1st thru Wednesday June 3rd, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.


Players of all levels are welcome. Please bring your Ukelele/accessories, a notebook and a portable recording device (if you have one).


Pre-paid reservations are required.  If you pay prior to May 10, the price is just $180. Admission goes up to $215 after May 10. Your registration fee includes the class, a special Kerrville Ukelele Workshop t-shirt, tent camping, lunches, and admission to the Sundown Concerts for class days.


Enrollment is limited.  You may register on-line by visiting the Ticket Page, or by calling the festival office at (830) 257-3600.  Make checks payable to "Kerrville Folk Festival" and send to:

Kerrville Folk Festival Workshops
PO Box 291466
Kerrville, TX 78029








Detailed Information from Del Rey:

10-10:15am Everybody Announcements

10:15-10:45am Everybody

Play Ukulele By Ear Vol. 1 All levels.
Get the most out of your ukulele experience by learning to Play Ukulele By Ear. This entertaining, informative and interactive workshop will give you the tools you need to tap into your innate musical abilities. Playing by ear is easy, fun, and it will propel your understanding of how music works to a new level. This workshop will make you a better listener and student! All skill levels welcome, however, knowledge of basic chord shapes (C F G7) is helpful.

TUESDAY: JAMES HILL Hooked On Uke? We Can Help.
All levels. Want to go beyond three chords and a double strum? Add a little razzle-dazzle to your arrangements and spice up your ukulele playing with new strums, songs, chords, fills, and more. You'll find lots to keep you busy in this fun, hands-on workshop.

WEDNESDAY: DEL REY Ukulele Party Jugless JugBand. All levels. Early jug bands played a mixture of Memphis blues, ragtime, and popular music. The history of jug bands is related to the development of the blues. This informal and energetic music also contributed to the development of rock and roll. There will be arrangements, singing and parts for many skill levels (basic level-you know first position chords are be able to change chords without stopping). We'll work on listening and playing with one another as a group.


JAMES HILL: Ukulele Symphony Orchestra  (Intermediate/Advanced)
What do Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi and Mendelssohn have in common? Their music sounds beautiful on ukulele, of course! This is your chance to experience the music of the masters on the instrument of the angels. To make the most of this workshop you should be comfortable reading music notation or TAB (both will be provided). Get ready for Ukulele Symphony
Orchestra: the beauty, the drama and the fun of classical music brought to life!

DEL REY: Fingerpicking the Blues Intermediate After an introduction to right hand fingerpicking, what makes a melody "blue", we'll earn a different Blues song each day, chosen from 1920s and '30s repertoire that suits the ukulele. Songs from 1920s guitar greats as well as from little known blues ukesters like Rabbit Muse of Virginia.

11-12 MONDAY
Jim D'Ville: Surf Ukulele By Ear Advanced Beginner/Intermediate
Grab your boards and your ukes as we learn three classic surf
instrumentals Wipe Out, Penetration and Baja. You'll not only learn to
pick out the melodies to these great tunes you'll learn to use the
Nashville Number System and solfege syllables.

Hank & Buck By Ear (All levels)
Hank Williams' and Buck Owens were masters of the three chord form.
Jim will lead you through four country standards from each artist
including Jambalaya, Your Cheatin' Heart, Hey, Good Lookin', I'm So
Lonesome I Could Cry, I've Got A Tiger By The Tail, My Heart Skips A
Beat, Together Again, and Foolin' Round. You'll not only learn the
chord progressions to these classics by ear, you'll learn a bout the
hooks that made these songs famous. This workshop will also teach you about basic song structure and the Nashville Number System.

3 Chord Magic (Advanced Beginner & Up)
The 3 Chord song form is probably the most popular in Western music.
In this workshop we'll dissect a number of interesting variations of
the progression beyond the I-IV-V7. We'll also play a lot of very fun and familiar tunes in the rock, pop and blues genres. Knowledge of basic chord
shapes (C F G7 D7 A7 E7 Dm Am Em) is helpful.

12-12:30 LUNCH


Living in Perfect Harmony (All Levels)
A singing class for everyone (even your out-of-tune uncle). Find out why your ukulele is the perfect tool for writing beautiful vocal arrangements in just minutes. We'll sing folk, gospel and jazz favourites and, best of all, you'll learn how to create your own harmonies faster than you can say "My Mom Made Me Mow My Lawn!"

2-3pm Ask The instructors, show and tell, let's get together and play! Led by Jim D'Ville Monday, James Hill Tuesday, Del Rey Wednesday




Del Rey

Del Rey started playing guitar when she was four years old. At thirteen, she was immersed in the world of folk music, especially blues and jazz from the '20s and '30s. She has tried to get a whole band onto her solo instrument from the beginning. This gives her music an interesting complexity, especially when applied to the ukulele.
Rags, blues and tunes of the early 20th century are her specialty, even as she writes new music to add to the tradition. She has taught and played all over the world, and also brings her distinctive fingerstyle approach to guitar and ukulele to people through her teaching DVDs on Homespun "Boogie-Woogie Guitar" and "Blue Uke. Her website is and her albums can be found at

James Hill

Photo By Kevin Kelly

James Hill, who has earned a reputation as Canada’s foremost – indeed one of the world’s foremost – players of the often-underestimated ukulele, stands poised and ready to take his place in the ranks of today's best young songwriters. Barely into his 30s, Hill has already made a career out of knocking worlds against each other. His technical prowess on ukulele is achieved through attacking what is mostly regarded as a lowly folk instrument with the seriousness and nuance of technique usually associated with the highest levels of virtuosity on, say, classical violin or piano. His entertaining and unpredictable solo concerts have a world-wide audience that would be envied by many wannabe rock stars and his inspirational music seminars have made him something of a ukulele-based motivational speaker. Anyone lucky enough to have seen one of Hill’s recent live shows might also be familiar with his hip-hop influenced forays into heavily percussive, beat-driven prepared-ukulele “sound sculptures”: John Cage meets Chalmers Doane via Kid Koala. But just when you may have thought you’d seen all possible surprises from Hill, just when you may have thought, through his powers as an instrumentalist, he had doomed himself to working up ever-faster renditions of “Flight of the Bumblebee,” comes a landmark record:  Man With a Love Song. Ukulele World: shake hands with Songwriter World. It took Hill twenty-odd years to climb to the top of ukulele mountain as an instrumentalist, but here, seemingly in a single blast, Hill’s songwriting has grown to rival his prowess as a musician. A virtuoso instrumentalist, which Hill has been up to now, especially a young virtuoso, especially a young virtuoso on a maligned and under-respected instrument, can make a career out of having something to prove. A songwriter, on the other hand, must have something to say. The James Hill we get to see in the songs of Man With a Love Song has said plenty and said it eloquently. This is an exciting moment for the ukulele. A major songwriter has used the instrument to make an important record. This is also an exciting moment for songwriting in Canada. A powerful new voice has emerged.
"Worlds have collided. Worlds are colliding. Worlds are about to collide."
- Leo MacKay (April, 2011)


Jim D'Ville


Jim D'Ville is a music educator and facilitator who is on a mission to get ukulele players off the paper and playing music by ear. He has taught his Play Ukulele By Ear workshops to thousands of players in the United States, Canada and Australia. Jim is the author of the Play Ukulele By Ear DVD series and hosts the popular Play Ukulele By Ear website