Participate in the February 2020 Member Challenge – Technique Toolbox Courses!

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    Hi Rock Class 101 Community!

    We are back with site member challenge #35! WOW, there has now been over 1,450+ members participating in our challenges! If you’ve sat on the sidelines, please join us for this month’s challenge! Challenges are a fun way to stay motivated and a great way to meet fellow ukulele players who are passionate about learning and becoming better players 🙂 And I offer feedback on ALL submissions!

    Please watch the video above and read instructions below carefully for details/instructions on this month’s challenge.

    Pick 1 from the following 6 Technique Toolbox Lessons:

    These songs are performance pieces from our 2 new courses: Harmonics and Clawhammer, which are part of our new technique series called: Technique Toolbox. 

It’s highly recommended that you go through the course before attempting the piece, as it will set you up for success with playing them! Each course teaches the mechanics behind performing the technique for FREE!

    1) “Amazing Grace” (Harmonics Version) * – Learn to play a unique version of “Amazing Grace” that’s performed entirely with harmonics! * Taught in its entirety for FREE!

    2) Clawhammer Etude – This etude presents the clawhammer technique in a fun to play 12 bar blues format.

    3) “Cornbread and Butterbeans” (Easy Version) * – Learn a standard American folk tune that goes hand-in-hand with clawhammer technique! * Taught in its entirety for FREE! (Stand alone lesson will be released on Friday the 7th.)

    4) “Cornbread and Butterbeans” (Advanced Version) – Up the ante with this version of “Cornbread and Butterbeans” by throwing in new chord voicings and hammer-ons!

    5) “Shortnin’ Bread” (Easy Version) – This tune dates back to the 1890’s and builds the clawhammer technique from the bottom up; meaning that it starts with the first step, adds the second, before finally combining all 3 steps to create a lush and authentic sounding vintage vibe!

    6) “Shortnin’ Bread” (Advanced Version) * – This is the most challenging piece from our clawhammer course! You’ll be throwing in hammer-ons and pull-offs to create a more melodic embellishment that really makes this piece POP! * Taught in its entirety for FREE! (Stand alone lesson will be released on Friday the 7th.)

    ** If you need assistance with how to record yourself check out our FREE course on recording audio/video and/or private message me and I will be happy to help you out. **



    1. Beginner Level: Be able to play one of the lessons as shown by Andrew smoothly and in time. Do not worry about trying to play fast; slow and steady wins the race 🙂

    Recommended Piece: Clawhammer Etude, Cornbread and Butterbeans” (Easy Version), OR “Shortnin’ Bread” (Easy Version)

    2. Intermediate to Advanced Level: Be able to play the lesson as shown by Andrew smoothly, in time, and at or close to the original piece’s tempo.

    Recommended Piece (from easier to harder): “Amazing Grace” (Harmonics Version), “Cornbread and Butterbeans” (Advanced Version), OR “Shortnin’ Bread” (Advanced Version)

    3. Participation Goal: 35 Rock Class 101 Member Participant Videos/MP3 posted.



    1. Post your Youtube, Vimeo, or Soundcloud links of you playing 1 of the 6 Technique Toolbox pieces anytime between Saturday, February 1st till Saturday, February 29th, 11:59pm EST.

    The upload feature on the site only supports file sizes up to 5 MB. Members must host their own files. Creating an account is easy and free 🙂 Here are the links to create an account:

    YouTube (For Video) –

    SoundCloud (For Audio) –

    2. Submit individually, as a reply, IN THIS POST.

    3. Feel free to submit more than one video for the challenge, but additional videos will not count as extra entries into the raffle for the prize.

    4. Have fun and don’t be intimidated by this challenge!!! Use this challenge to help you set goals and complete them by a deadline. You can also use this as an opportunity to chat with your fellow Rock Class 101 members and share tips or tricks on this challenge that you think are useful.

    5. You must perform the entire piece to receive an entry into the prize raffle. Performance must be submitted by the deadline listed (in #1) above to gain an entry in the raffle, as well as, to receive feedback.

    * Note: In my opinion, it is better to show progress versus perfection with these challenges. So if you are a beginner and can only play the first couple of measures. That is completely ok. If you play two more measures of the next challenge piece than you did the previous one, you are on track to getting better. This is what these challenges are about… you learning ukulele and getting better. Remember we are all here to support you no matter what your current playing level is.



    1) The prize and the challenge is open to the entire world!

    2) Premium membership is NOT required to participate, but will make participation easier as it gains you complete access to the full video lessons, tabs, and the on-screen tab viewer.

    3) Basic membership (free) is required to submit a reply on this forum post. You can sign up for Basic Membership HERE.

    4) To post YouTube video links (in which they appear embedded on the forum), simply copy and past the video URL in its own line. For example:

    YouTube URL

    5) If you live in the Continental U.S., we will ship the giveaway ukulele to you for FREE! If you live outside of the Continental U.S., there will be a shipping fee ranging between $40 USD to $80 USD. This fee will be collected by Uke Republic. You are also responsible for any custom fees or duties.


    Giveaway Rules:

    There will be 1 winner, selected by random drawing on March 5th, 2020. To qualify to win, you must submit your audio and/or video links of your playing by the deadline listed above.

    Grand Prize:

    1) $149 Grand Prize! Includes:

    A) Gold Tone “Little Gem” Concert Banjolele (includes gig bag)





    Uke Republic:

    Let’s crush this challenge!


    This is an unexpected twist, but I’m in. It’s a fabulous course and all new stuff. I’ll do the easy version of Shortnin Bread I think? Or Cornbread? The challenge will be to loosen up. I’m always so tight and this requires loosey goosey.

    A message from my boyfriend: For the love of god, please teach some AC/DC. 🙂


    This claw hammer course is so cool!
    To me being European it sounds very ethnic,
    And I really like it! I’m totally in this month!
    Thanks RC101. 🙂


    That’s a surprise! Amazing challenge ahead for everyone. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t in it for the Banjolele *nervous smile*

    I wish there was an active WhatsApp or some other group where all of us RC101 classmates could converse and share ideas/opinions etc.


    Question, although it’s unlikely I can do the clawhammer stuff for the challenge, I really wanted to learn this technique.

    Chris says we can use the first finger or middle to hit the A string, and demos the claw position to knock on the uke. I can use my middle finger okay.

    My first finger, finger joint doesn’t really bend into the knocking position anymore without pain unless I un-anchor my thumb. Do we need to use the first finger at all? Can I just ditch using it playing clawhammer and leave it relaxed and sticking out? Or should I claw up my hand less?


    Becky, I don’t see why you couldn’t adapt it to work for you. As long as you get a similar sound, I’m sure it’ll be great. Try the course and see how it goes!


    Becky, you can use the nail of your middle finger, but you will need to keep the claw-shape intact for the technique.


    I haven’t been playing ukulele for very long and don’t know anything about banjoleles and now I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole looking at Little Gems.. very cool. Well start the clawhammer course today.


    Thank you Andrew and Lisa. I’ll keep at it. I’m determined. ( @lisadmh bet you’re going to be awesome at clawhammer btw, you seem to have a natural knack for percussive techniques)

    On the flip side the harmonics coarse for the challenge is fun btw, and thank you! 🙂 The plucking distance for them, is also exactly where I need to fret the strings to get notes off the fretboard. The spots seem to be the same so I can work two techniques this month in one shot.

    Can’t wait to start hearing everyones entries. It’s really cool to see how everyone progresses month to month


    I’ve brought a uke on tour with me (I’m doing a week-long tour-guiding job), but I actually don’t feel like owning a banjolele. I can see many people do want one, though, so I think I’ll sit out this challenge and practice other stuff for a while. I have plenty to keep me busy. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone else’s entries, though.


    It’s only day 2 and I’m already working on the advanced version of Cornbread and Butter Beans. I’m terrible, but I think I’ll get it.

    I love you, RockClass 101, for always introducing me to new things I would never think to go looking for and pushing me to learn… And laugh. Yet another fun one!


    I played my first harmonic! It feels like i am just learning to walk and finally made my first steps.

    Im really glad i stumbled across this page.

    Happy learning to everybody for this months challenge.


    Loving the course – a very happy technique, it’s just making me smile. Quick question – does the thumb need to anchor all the time on the G string (when not striking) – I seem to be hovering above it, but that maybe me sliding into more fingerpicking – it sounds OK. Should I work on making sure it’s more anchored?


    Hi Lisa, Chris says:

    “Hovering is all good. I’ve seen both done by players much more adept at the style to myself and either can work just fine.”


    That’s fabulous – thank you and thank Chris.

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