A dexterous Grammy-winning guitarist fluent in swing and traditional folk lead and accompaniment flatpicking styles, Marcy Marxer has played the ukulele almost as long as she has the guitar, having studied with legendary uke master Roy Smeck in the 1980s. Lately Marxer has been letting her love for the uke come to the fore. Her latest recording with longtime partner Cathy Fink, Rockin’ the Uke, displays her talents on tenor uke, banjo uke, cello banjo, six- and 12-string guitar, washboard, and rubber chicken; she has founded the Ukulele Orchestra for Greater Washington, the Riderwood Ukulele Club for seniors, and the online uke community Ukulele Social Club; and her uke instruction materials include Ukulele for Kids, Vols. 1 and 2 (Homespun) and a Ukulele for Guitarists course for online instruction site TrueFire. We recently sat down with Marxer to talk about how she got started on ukulele, her studies with Smeck, and what guitarists need to think about when taking up the uke.

Examples 1-3


Examples 2-7

Examples 8 & 9

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