Skip to main content

How to Play Hawaiian Music on Ukulele

Learn how to play Hawaiian music on ukulele from music teacher Jarret Delos Santos in this Howcast video.


Aloha, my name is Jarret Delos Santos and I was born and raised in a little town called Hana on the east side of Maui. Playing the ukulele and teaching the ukulele gives me a chance to perpetuate our culture. So today, we're going to be talking about the ukulele. Okay, we're going to be learning how to play the vamp or also in Hawaiian known as the kaholo. And the kaholo is played just before a song and if you watch hula, you'll see them both kind of sway to the left and to the right and you hear three notes being played. This is what is called the vamp or the kaholo. And in a C, when you're playing in a chord of C, it starts of with a D7 with two notes, a G7 with two strums, and then your C. It's 1, 2, 3, 4. And when played together it'll sound like 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4. [Plays count] 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4. The kaholo is also used in between verses to tie two verses together. It is also used in ukulele music when you play to have everybody start off so everybody is in sync. It is a great way to make sure that everybody's together when you start the music.

Popular Categories