Participate in the May 2021 Challenge – WIN Kanile’a Baritone Ukulele!

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    Hi Rock Class 101 Community!

    We are back with a VERY SPECIAL site member challenge #50 and this month we have a DOUBLE PRIZE! We’re teaming up with Kanile’a ‘Ukulele and Uke Republic to give away an AMAZING Kanile’a Baritone Ukulele! This model has been revamped for 2021 and retails at $1,400 USD. As an added bonus, we’re also giving away a CUSTOM Painted Concert Ukulele!

    I am beyond humbled to say that there has now been over 2,400+ members participating in our challenges! AMAZING! 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 Rock Class 101 Lessons:

    1) “Come As You Are” by Nirvana * – Hone your strumming skills by learning this classic grunge song. * Taught in its Entirety for FREE!

    2) “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple * – Learn one of the most iconic riffs in classic rock, as well as, a fun fingerstyle take on the rest of the song! * Taught in its Entirety for FREE!

    3) “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” by Van Halen – This arrangement is an advanced lesson that features many guitar techniques that defined Eddie’s playing. Hammer-ons, pull-offs, and legato licks are all incorporated in this arrangement.

    4) “Jump” by Van Halen – A perfect blend of classic rock and pop! This fingerstyle arrangement is presented with a full band backing track, but can also be played as a solo ukulele piece.

    * NOTE: The guitar solo is OPTIONAL. If you don’t want to play it, skip it and go straight into the synth solo. You can perform this song with or without the backing track.

    ** 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: “Come As You Are” OR “Smoke on the Water”

    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: “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” OR “Jump”

    3. Participation Goal: 75 Rock Class 101 Member Participant Videos/MP3 posted.



    1. Post your Youtube, Vimeo, or Soundcloud links of you playing 1 of the 4 RC101 pieces anytime between Saturday, May 1st till Monday, May 31st, 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 (as this ukulele is very expensive, shipping costs may exceed this amount. It will be shipped insured). This fee will be collected by Uke Republic. You are also responsible for any custom fees or duties.


    Giveaway Rules:

    There will be 3 chances for you to win this ukulele:

    First Chance: Participate in our April Challenge: Heartwarming Songs.

    Second Chance: Participate in our May Challenge: Classic Rock Songs.

    Third Chance: Participate in our June Challenge.

    Basic (free) members will receive 1 entry for each month they participate in, while Premium members will receive 2 entries. On July 4th at 12pm EST, I will be live streaming on our YouTube channel, picking 1 member by random drawing that will WIN this AMAZING Kanile’a Ukulele! To qualify to win, you must submit your audio and/or video links of your playing by the deadline listed above.

    Basic members can earn up to 3 entries for the prize.

    Premium members can earn up to 6 entries for the prize. You must have an “active” premium membership at the time you submit your performance. Active membership means that your membership HAS NOT expired. This does not mean that you cannot cancel auto re-bills. If you sign up for monthly membership (valid for 30 days) on the 15th of May and cancel your membership the same day, then submit your performance on the 16th (the next day), you are still considered an “active” premium member. The same concept applies for annual membership or gift card membership (3 or 6 month membership).

    YOU MUST WRITE “I AM A PREMIUM MEMBER” ON YOUR PERFORMANCE SUBMITTAL POST. Please write this phrase in its own line. For example:


    I will only award 2 entries to premium members that write this line. It would be too time consuming to check if everyone who submits is a premium member. If you do not write this, you WILL NOT receive 2 entries.

    Grand Prize:

    1) $1,400 Grand Prize! Includes:

    A) Kanile’a Oha Series Baritone Ukulele w/ L.R. Baggs 5.0 Pickup & Padded Case










    Baritone Scale
    Select Solid Koa Top
    Solid South American Mahogany Back and Sides
    Rosewood Finger-Board and Bridge
    Pin Bridge
    Pearl Position Dots
    Pearl Kanile’a Logo Inlay on Headstock
    Kanile’a Geared Tuners w/ Blk Buttons
    UV Natural Finish
    Aquila Strings
    Geared Tuners
    Made in Hawaii

    Other Features: Includes a black hard foam case & L.R. Baggs FIVE.0 pickup

    BONUS Prize:

    1) Hand Painted Concert Size Ukulele!



    TO QUALIFY FOR THIS PRIZE: You must choose one of the two Van Halen songs. I’ll make a separate list of entries for this prize and will randomly select the winner on July 4th (alongside the Kanile’a giveaway).


Note: Submitting a VH song will gain you an entry for both prizes!




    Uke Republic:

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


    Hi Andrew 🙂 So I already have a question for this one. I’m planning on doing Smoke on the Water. I have a solid body electric uke that I’d like to use (for at least part of it….I might do two ukes..but the idea for what I’m thinking is very much still in my head) and it is strung with a Low G. For the first riff, would you recommend playing it on the low G string as written or keeping it in the higher octave and playing that riff down on the E and A strings?

    Thanks in advance. Love the song selections for this month. As much as I’d love to do some Van Halen I don’t think I’m there yet 🙂


    I’d say it’s up to your preference, Bethany. Either would work just fine 🙂


    Andrew, I apologize. This is [email protected] and I did not post I AM A PREMIUM MEMBER on my April entry, although I was and am. I will put it on my May entry but wanted to know if I could get my extra entry in for April. If no, I understand. Either way, thanks for the great challenges and looking for to the Classic Rock.


    @terryfallon3 – No worries, I added the extra one!


    I love this challenge, and the EVH Frankenuke is amazing-so well done!!


    Hi Andrew,
    before I record my video for Nirvana – would you have a hint for the very last note? It sounds so great that Matt brings it to an abrupt ending without having the notes further ringing. I tried different approaches but I don’t get it nicely done as with the last strum being upwards I am too slow to mute the strings with my right hand. How would you do it? When I try to mute with my left hand fingers (with slightly barring all strings with my index fingers I get an additional sound instead of muting it). I hope you know what I mean.
    Thanks in advance,

    P.S.: As known I am a huge fan of Evan – the Van Halen arrangement is great!


    Andrea, Matt used his left hand to mute since the right hand is strumming. Try to lightly, and evenly, touch across all 4 strings to mute. I’d practice this way: take any strum pattern and insert muted strums into it. That way you can get used to going from ringing out to muted.


    Thank you for that super quick answer and the perfect hint. I just barred with a little bit too much pressure which made the strings ring a little bit. If I keep the Dm chord and touch very slightly all strings with the ring finger and pinky it mutes like intended.

    As Steven would say “just push ever so slightly” – as Matt would say “press smarter not harder”.
    It is so great that we have those various teachers. I also just experienced recently at work that it is much more useful to have a “board of mentors” than just a single dedicated one.



    @Andrew thanks so much for the quick reply on my earlier question! I have really been enjoying playing Smoke On the Water – you are right that arrangement is a ton of fun! I am getting close to wanting to record, but the run of notes at the end in bars 27 and 28 is giving me some mild heartache haha. I can technically play the notes but it doesn’t sound great – it sounds clunky, stiff, and uncoordinated and nowhere near what it is supposed to sound like. Any tips for nailing that section other than using the tab player and looping it over and over? I really don’t want to turn in something that is sub par for this amazing arrangement!


    @bethany_guardiani – Can you post a video playing it? I’ll be better able to help if I can see/hear what’s happening.


    @Andrew Here you go 🙂


    Sounds good to me! I dig the electric tone too 🙂


    @Andrew Oh really? Well thanks haha…perhaps I’ve been a little too hard on myself 🙂


    I am a premium member.

    Hi forum!
    It has been a while since i joined the monthly challange but since i „used“ Nirvana as chunking pracrice i thought i might as well work some more on it and post it here.
    Once the camera goes on i feel nervous so one shot had to be enough 🙂

    Still working on internelizing „look good, feel good, play good“.

    Any specific feedback on the slide from 5 to 7 with the upward strum? It seldom sounds good.

    @bethany looking forward to that electric smoke on the water!

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by smokealot.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by smokealot.
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