Participate in the July 2024 Member Challenge – Original Music!

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    Hi Rock Class 101 Community!

    We are back with site member challenge #88! WOW, there has now been over 4,500 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 4 choices:

    1) Travis Picking Etude – ML023 * – Learn a beginner-friendly etude that’s fingerpicked entirely using the Travis picking technique.

    * Taught in its entirety for FREE!

    Note: The lesson teaches you how to play this song with a swung rhythmic feel. If you find this challenging, you are more than welcome to perform it with a straight feel. Check out this lesson if you need a recap on the difference between playing with a straight versus a swung feel.

    2) Melody to Harmony – ML026 * – Learn a catchy fingerstyle song that shows you how a single-note melody becomes a chord melody!

    * Taught in its entirety for FREE!

    3) Aloha Dreaming – ML027 * – Learn a beautiful fingerstyle piece inspired by the spirit of aloha.

    * Taught in its entirety for FREE!

    4) Compose Your Own Song! – Submit an instrumental or vocal composition. Your song must contain the three elements of music: Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm.

    ** 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 to Intermediate 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: ML023

    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: ML026, ML027, OR Compose Your Own Song!

    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 3 RC101 pieces, or your original song, anytime between Monday, July 1st till Wednesday, July 31st, 11:59pm ET.

    The upload feature on the site only supports photos. 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 August 5th, 2024. To qualify to win, you must submit your audio and/or video links of your playing by the deadline listed above.

    Grand Prize:

    1) $250 Grand Prize! Includes:

    A) YOU CHOOSE! Any Ukulele Valued at $250 USD or under.


    * You must choose a ukulele within this price range. Store credit will not be an alternative prize.



    Uke Republic:

    AND A SPECIAL THANKS TO YOU! Let’s crush this challenge!


    Shazam!! I had this whole post and video locked and loaded for as soon as this challenge started! 😂

    …Hello friends! 😊😅

    I was so excited for this original songs challenge that I immediately started working on this – as soon as I knew what the theme was. 😅 I tried to explain a bit of my reasoning for what I created so far in the video.

    But now, listening to it back, I realize it needs to be refined *a lot* more. I just like the idea of having huge slides in this, but I need to work on making them sound smoother, softer, and subtler. Even since I filmed this, I have changed aspects of the melody and also decided I may use the right hand fretting more sparingly, but it was fun to try, lol. I may still include it. Also, it might turn into clawhammer because I haven’t made an original clawhammer arrangement yet, somehow. 😅

    So, please consider this a very overly eager first draft. 😂 It might be interesting to see how much it changes over the course of a month-ish. I’m part of a wedding this month, so we’ll see how things time out with that. Thank you so much for listening and for all the fun of these challenges! 😊💕

    P.S. I’m literally cry-laughing about how insanely quickly I replied to this new challenge. 😂😅😂😭😂


    What an spicy way to start July!

    We’re expecting a hurricane this week, but I’ll use the time at my house to practice for sure.

    , the long slide sounds amazing! Are you tapping some notes too? I really like how the melody flows. Do you have a name for your song yet?

    Hey @Andrew, I have a question about the original song challenge. Would an arranged cover of a song be a valid entry? I love video game music, and some of my favorite covers here are the Zelda songs. You have one with Steven (Fairy fountain theme) and another you did (Zelda’s Lullaby). I’ve been working on one Zelda song to for hihg G ukulele call Song of Healing, if I finish it and upload it will this count for the challenge?


    Hi Emiliano, unfortunately no. This month is all about writing original music. Maybe you can write a song “in-the-style-of”? That would be cool! Stay safe!


    @emiliano, thank you so much! I don’t know why, but when the challenges here include some option for writing originals, I get overly hyper about it. 😂 I’m so glad you like the mega slides! I think it’s really fun to have ridiculously big slides in uke songs because they can sound kinda goofy, but they were suppose to sound pretty and flowy in this one, so I’m glad you thought they were! 😊

    Well, I thought about doing the kind of harmonics that I think are called artificial harmonics (the kind you do with just your right hand) to get the higher up melody notes with the lower F chord, but I couldn’t get the a10 note to make any sound. Then I thought I would try right-hand fretting the same notes and it kind of worked. 😅 Is that called tapping? I’ve wanted to be able to do that for a while because some songs I’ve tried to arrange could use that technique, having low chords and a very high up melody, but I don’t know if that’s uncouth to play that way (right-hand fretting for a right-hand player)…

    And I don’t have a name for it yet. That’s really the last thing I do is figure out a title. 😅 Thank you again!

    That’s really scary, I hope you stay safe!!

    Just want to say that I knew this challenge would also include some of @Andrew’s lovely originals, which are always very beautiful and inspiring to me, but I still have to choose the more creative option in this challenge because I love to do that.


    Way to go @the_bumble_bard woohoo! Those slides are fantastic. I’m so excited about this challenge. I think your song is beautiful. Can’t wait to hear the final take.

    Please be safe.


    @gi_gi_ thank you so much, my friend!! 😁💕 I know, obviously you know I’m excited, too!! 😂😳😉 It would be really cool if you did try to write a tune of your own, that would be amazing. 😊


    @the_bumble_bard I totally am thanks to your noodling thread and @Andrew’s video on how to write a song. I’m working on it. This is so much fun. Thanks for the encouragement.


    @gi_gi_, I’m so happy about that! Matt actually explained to me what noodling was; I didn’t even know that was a thing until he explained it. 😅 But at the same time, I was noodling since I started playing uke without even realizing it. 😂 It makes me so happy that knowing that opened up your playing even more. To me that’s so exciting, when you have more and more freedom to create, to play freely. I learned so much from learning Rock Class songs and talking to @Andrew, too. That video of his about songwriting was perfect. I hope a lot of people here try that. 😁 Also, I already know your song will be beautiful. 😅😊


    Ah I see @Andrew, will do an original song then, first time trying that so I will have to rewatch the lesson on tips to how to write a song haha tho maybe will upload it till the end of the month.

    and yas is call tapping, you now I am a 4 string fan haha I also like a lot bass guitar and they use this technique too try searching in youtube overjoyed wooten, then song is originally from Stevie Wonder so is a really nice song! (Not sure if its okay to put other links aside the challenges videos so thats is why I did not include the link for ya 😅)

    for sure I will not go out at all starting Thursday and my palce is really well build so I will be safe, thank you everyone for your comments!


    @the_bumble_bard this challenge is right up your alley!…….and I’m loving what you have shared so far and looking forward to watching your progress. I agree with @gi_gi_ your noodling thread has been inspiring… a result, I have tried a little noodling and can see that it is a really cool way to explore musical parameters and embrace the creative process. Fun (and maybe a litte intimidating)….Thanks for the challenge @Andrew!

    Stay safe @emiliano


    Two from me this month. Cowboy Dreaming is an original piece that owes it’s existence to RC101 lessons. I ‘noodled’ with hammer-ons and slides; found inspiration in an old David Crosby/Graham Nash song called ‘Cowboy of Dreams’; I arranged it using the Melody to Harmony of Andrew’s Mini Lesson. And the title is a combo of Crosby/Nash and Hardel!

    And here’s my version of Aloha Dreaming which is an awesome song. Many thanks Andrew and crew!

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by Andrew. Reason: Original Post Added

    @deadbuggy That is amazing. Wow! Loved it. You play so well.


    @deadbuggy…..Wow! Great job… you have tabs written out?


    @emiliano, well, that’s kind of awkward. 😅 I didn’t realize that’s what tapping was. I’ve seen Matt play that technique when he plays Jake Shimabakuro’s “Dragon” but I didn’t realize that’s what he was doing, right-hand fretting. I’ll have to look those songs up and maybe look into tapping more because that’s definitely a technique I’d find useful. Thank you for pointing that out! 😂😊

    Also, I thought I might call my tune “The Light of Hidden Flowers,” which is a line from a Pablo Neruda poem that I thought about today, because the song so far is about the hidden beauty of things, the often mysterious process of creation, and also love that you have to keep within yourself for whatever reason and you can’t speak about it. Not that the song will maybe live up to such a beautiful line of poetry but we’ll see. 😉😂

    Or it might be called Ol’ Farmer Jessop’s Crusty Peanut Butter Jar if it turns into clawhammer. 😅😅😂😂

    , thank you so much!! 😊💕 I’m so happy that you also found that concept of noodling inspiring and it caused you to try it too! I’m so happy that @Andrew created this community so that we can share things like that. For me, the spontaneous kind of playing is very exciting because it’s a process of creating new music. Do you think you’ll try to write your own tune this month? Thank you for the kind words again!! 😅😊💕

    , agreed with @gi_gi_ that was perfect! Really, really lovely tune! 😊💕

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