Free Download of New Musical Piece from Ukulele Expressions: Ocean Adventure

Today I want to share with you one of my favorite pieces from my new book Ukulele Expressions: Ocean Adventure. Dancing Seaweed is in the alternate tuning of Open F Minor which is fCFG# and a capo is placed on the third fret. You can view an example of the piece on my YouTube channel here.

This Etude is played with just the picking hand on open strings, just like all the pieces in the Ukulele Expressions books. There are many benefits to playing with just the picking hand including giving your fretting hand a much-needed break, focusing on the sound of the open strings, increasing speed, and improving dexterity. It’s also helpful when you just need to get out of a rut.

If you would like the free PDF download of Dancing Seaweed, you can join Susan’s SideNotes, my monthly email newsletter. This is where I share exclusive updates on new releases, share recommendations, and share interesting odds and ends about my life as an author, artist, and musician.

Join Susan’s Side Notes here and you will receive Dancing Seaweed via email.

You can find Ukulele Expressions: Ocean Adventure on Amazon here.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me anytime at

Enjoy your playing!

Ukulele Expressions: Ocean Adventure is Available Now!

Instrumental ukulele music that is played with one hand…

Dancing seaweed, beautiful jellyfish…

Would you like to experience these ocean wonders and sounds?

The second book in the Ukulele Expressions series takes you to the ocean where you will have a rich playing experience. The ten musical pieces (Etudes) are designed to increase your fingerpicking skills while exploring standard and alternate tuning and using a capo. You will just be using one hand, on open strings. You will be amazed at the sounds that are possible! Special information is included on mindfulness and ocean conservation as well.

Dive into this ocean adventure today….the water is waiting for you…

ebook and Paperback are available.

Invisible Disability Poetry with Ukulele

Last year, I started a project but never quite followed through on it. My poem “Death to Noisy Eyeballs” was made into a video as I spoke the words and played the ukulele. Now, I am finally starting a collection.

I think anyone who shares the pain, frustration, sadness, and anger over something like chronic illness and invisible disabilities, could use a good laugh, so I will continue to share the videos as I create them.

Humor can be found in the darkest of situations, which is the theme of my book Ink Sketches for Wellness: Poems on My Life with Invisible Disabilities. A new cover was recently designed for the book as I’m always learning new ideas and techniques for my books.

You can check out the videos here, on YouTube. This link will take you to the Invisible Disability Poetry playlist I have started. I look forward to creating more!

You can find the book on Amazon here.

Do you write poetry or play the ukulele? Have you ever thought about combining them? I would love to hear about it! Send me an email or comment!

To follow me on Facebook, Like this page, Susan Montgomery.

Free PDF Sample of New Book! Perfect for Musicians of All Levels

I am offering a free PDF download of sample content from I Am a Gifted Musician: Affirmations for New Players of Music when you sign up for my monthly newsletter. This will give you a nice feel for the entire book. You will be downloading five illustrations with the corresponding affirmations and journal prompts. I am also including the Foreword and Introduction. This information is also available on the “Look Inside” feature on the Amazon listing. To purchase the entire paperback or eBook, visit the Amazon listing here.

New Book Available (Great for New Musicians!)

My latest book is now available. “I Am a Gifted Musician: Affirmations for New Players of Music” is full of color illustrations of various musicians with their instruments, affirmations (positive self-talk statements), and journal prompts for self-discovery. Have you ever felt really down and discouraged as a new musician? Let this book be a motivating tool. Work your way through the journal prompts and affirmations and see that you really are a gifted musician!

This is a fun book for any new musician or even a seasoned pro. Linda MacFarlane also provides a very valuable perspective in the Foreword. You can order your copy at the link in the blue “Buy on Amazon” button below. Feel free to contact me with any questions!

Bonus Instrumental Ukulele Piece

I have composed a special Ukulele Expressions Holiday Etude in celebration and adoration of the winter sunshine we savor so much this time of year. This piece is in standard GCEA tuning and is played on the open strings with only your picking hand, just like the pieces that are in Ukulele Expressions – Illustrated Ukulele Fingerstyle Etudes for the Picking Hand.

You can download the PDF of Winter Sunshine below. I sincerely hope you enjoy your holiday season and enjoy every moment of sunshine and warmth this winter. (This piece is not in the book; it’s a holiday bonus!) View a special photo video montage, full of beautiful winter scenes, on the Ukulele Expressions YouTube channel here. Subscribe to stay up to date with new releases!

Sharing my Kalimba Song with You

21 Key Kalimba

I have been loving learning about the kalimba lately. While I have been practicing some songs and played a few all the way through, my real passion lies in creating my own music for it, much like I create my instrumental ukulele music for the picking hand. I started learning where the notes and chords were located and just played as much as I could. I have to take breaks often because my hand, but that’s when I work on writing down whatever it is that I just played.

If you’ve always wanted to play a musical instrument, the kalimba would be a great place to start. Creating melodies is very relaxing and therapeutic. It’s good for mindfulness practice and being present as well. I imagined clouds drifting apart here.

I am sharing my kalimba tab sheet from the song I created. I am new to creating kalimba tabs, so bear with me if there’s anything that needs adjusted (and let me know!). The octaves have all been marked correctly, I believe. This is for a 21 Key kalimba in the key of C.

I would love to know what you think of the piece. You may adjust anything that you wish or change around notes as you see fit. You can watch a video of it here on my personal channel where I post my practice, covers, and original songs for guitar, ukulele, piano, and now kalimba.

Drifting Clouds is available for a free download below.

Ukulele Expressions Has a New Look!

Sometimes, you just need to make some adjustments. And my cover was in need of a bit of makeover. I am so happy with this new cover I designed, highlighting the artistic nature of the book. The personality of the music and art shines through. The book with its new cover is now available on Amazon in Kindle eBook and Paperback at this link.

Launching Susan’s SideNotes Newsletter Soon

I would love to keep you up to date on future book releases, available song sheets, playing tips, and fun art content via Susan’s Side Notes, my monthly newsletter I will be launching soon.

Sign up today using the button below. I also have a separate page where you can sign up anytime as well. I look forward to connecting with you! By signing up, you will also receive Etude No. 6 – Spiderweb Lane, from Ukulele Expressions – Illustrated Ukulele Fingerstyle Etudes for the Picking Hand. This is in an alternate tuning of FCEA.

Enjoying Acrylic Painting…Finally!

This fall I have really embraced acrylic painting. While I have worked with inks before, acrylic paint is much different. I worked with oils in college and have just never felt very comfortable using acrylics. It’s interesting when you revisit a subject months or years later only to find out that your skills have changed because you’ve grown in other areas. I believe that’s what happened here. I’ve also found some great instructors online who share their talents and knowledge about working with acrylics.

I am a fast painter when working with acrylics as I paint using a “wet on wet” technique meaning I am applying wet paint on top of wet paint, allowing the layers to blend together. Acrylics dry extremely fast though so I have to be quick. I don’t use any extender or medium that prolongs the drying time as I feel that just confuses me and the canvas. I feel it’s better just to work quickly yet carefully. And on paintings that take a few hours to complete, I will occasionally spray a few drops of water onto my palette paper of paints. That helps it from drying out too much.

Currently I love painting landscapes and animals. I have always wanted to be able to capture an animal’s likeness. It’s not very easy to do and I find the biggest challenge is not putting too much of your own creative flair into the painting to the point that you don’t have that likeness anymore. It can be tempting though and it’s easy to get carried away when painting fur or feathers. You can get lost in it like a daydream. Instead I just try to stick to the reference photo while still painting in a very “painterly” style. I also love sunrises and sunsets as well as painting waves.

I have a Profile set up on Fine Art America. Here you can order prints, greeting cards, gifts, and more with my original artwork. I’m happy people can appreciate and enjoy my artwork from all over.

I’m also starting to paint pet portraits, something I have always wanted to do. Soon I hope to be accepting pet portrait commissions. You can see examples of my work here.

I look forward to seeing where this interest leads to. I have quite the decorated wall at home – it’s like my own personal gallery. It makes me happy to see my paintings hanging up. It reminds me of what’s possible when you really work toward something. It reminds me that it’s never to late to learn something new, and it allows me to enjoy beautiful scenes from the comfort of my home (which is helpful since it’s difficult to get out due to medical issues).