Multi instrumentalist, arranger and recording artist A.J. Leonard is one of Australia's pioneer ukulele players and is highly regarded to be among the best in the world. “I strongly identify with the music of Hawaii where the ukulele has never been a novelty.” Such inspiration sowed the seeds for AJ’s debut album Tales From the Tropics. “My number one hobby is listening to music and (through that) I’ve gained a greater appreciation of the past …..its influence on me as a writer and arranger and of course the ukulele draws it all together.” AJ’s unique stamp on Nostalgia and has become a benchmark for devotees.

I call the right hand “the engine room”, it’s what drives and controls the rhythm and dynamics. Right hand technique is either strumming or picking or a combination of the two. I also incorporate tapping and scraping. I call my main strumming patterns: continuous (a variation on the triplet strum with flamenco overtones); syncopated (full of accents); Honey’s strum (a combination of strumming, tapping and scraping); whirr (flesh of the thumb only) and “Bernie’s tremolo” (index and little finger only) My finger picking style moves between classical and claw hammer. I also use a single string tremolo played with the thumb.

I call the left hand, to use modern lingo, “the GPS”, it is the map that tells me where to go. It creates the voicing, position, inversions, the framework. It can also produce expression, for example note bending, tremolo, hammering, flick-off and it can help with dynamics, for example sustain and damping.

Click on thumbnail links below for details.

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Click here for one page PDF
Strumming Workshop PDF HERE
Barefoot With My Baby chart HERE