How Should A Beginner Learn The Ukulele?
Yes, ukulele is for everyone, no matter how old or young you are, and even if you’ve never played music before in your life, you can learn how to play ukulele… today! But how should a beginner learn the ukulele? We are here to provide helpful tips to learn the ukulele.
For some of you, this will be the first time you make music in your entire life.
Learning to play ukulele starts with the right foundation which is exactly what you do starting in this lesson right now.
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So How Should A Beginner Learn The Ukulele?
Below, we have provided 10 quick tips on learning how to start to play the ukulele as a beginner.
1. Buy a Ukulele Right For You
The first and most important step to playing ukulele is to get a ukulele.
It doesn’t matter if you borrow a friends, go to the music store, or buy a ukulele online. Don’t overthink it. Just get a ukulele!
If you’re not sure what ukulele to buy, feel free to research different ukulele’s or go to your music store and ask for reference.
2. Get in the Right Mindset to Play
If you’ve never made music before, put aside your fears and doubts about playing.
You can do this!
A lot of beginner ukulele players fail before they even pick up the instrument.
You say to yourself:
“I wasn’t born with natural musical talent.”
“I’ve failed at playing an instrument before and I’m probably going to fail again.”
Whenever you tackle a new challenge like learning ukulele, it’s a big deal! It’s normal to face your own self doubt or fear. Don’t be hard on yourself and go into it with an open mind.
Remember playing ukulele is about having fun!
At first, the ukulele might feel like a holding a foreign alien object. How is this little instrument capable of making such a beautiful sound? In fact, a beautiful sound you create!
Take a quick minute to familiarize yourself with your new instrument by reading about the parts of the ukulele and the different ukulele sizes.
Now that we’ve gotten introductions out of the way let’s get your ukulele tuned and ready to play.
3. Tune Your Ukulele
Tune your ukulele to standard reentrant tuning where the strings are tuned to g-C-E-A from top to bottom.
This tuning method works for almost any ukulele including soprano, concert and tenor ukuleles.
One of the most underestimated secrets to making your ukulele sound amazing is to tune it!
You don’t want to skip this step.
When it comes to stringed instruments like the ukulele, it’s important to check the tuning every 10 to 15 minutes of playing. Small errors in tuning can create quite a dreadful sound for you and your listeners. You always set yourself up for success with an in-tune ukulele.
Fortunately, it’s easy to keep the ukulele in tune. For the fastest tuning, I always recommend using a chromatic tuner like the Snark SN-6 ukulele tuner.
4. Hold Your Ukulele
To hold the ukulele, cradle the body of the ukulele in your right arm, while the part of your forearm, closest to the elbow, applies a little pressure to the top of the ukulele, so it is held snug against your body. Then, support the neck of the ukulele in the crevice of your left hand where your thumb meets your index finger.
You’ll soon see how holding the ukulele in a comfortable position allows you to change chords smoothly and to keep the strumming going steadily.
5. Play Your First Ukulele Chord
Learn to play a C chord where you place the ring finger of your fretting hand on the 3rd fret of the bottom A-string and let the top three strings ring open.
The first most important chord you must know on the ukulele is the C chord. This is where it all begins!
To play a C chord, place the ring finger of your fretting hand on the 3rd fret of the bottom A-string. Let the top three strings ring open.
Once your fingers are in position, go ahead and strum down across the strings. Don’t worry about the exact strumming technique for now.
Keep in mind you might experience some soreness of the fingertips in the first weeks of playing ukulele. To remedy this, give yourself adequate breaks for your fingers to heal up between practice sessions. Eventually the tips of your fingers will build calluses making chords easier to fret.
6. Strum Your Ukulele With This Important Strumming Pattern
To play this essential and important strumming pattern, strum down strums while counting out loud to a count of four.
If there is one strumming pattern to rule them all, it’s this one.
Although simple, it’s a very effective pattern, especially whenever you’re learning a new song for the first time.
Repeat this strumming pattern as you count out loud. Keep the strumming and counting as consistent and even as possible.
Give that some practice and then believe it or not, you’re now ready to play your first song on the ukulele.
7. Play Your First Easy One-Chord Song on Ukulele
There are songs that can be played just by playing the C chord in a certain rhythm and melody.
Research one of these songs (e.g. Are You Sleeping) and practice playing it consistently.
Once you have done that and believe you have got the hang of it, you can move onto other easy to learn songs.
8. Take Your Skills and Learn More Easy Ukulele Songs
You did it. You’re now playing ukulele. Now, take your knowledge and learn more easy ukulele songs. You have built a solid foundation for learning ukulele, so now it’s time to step it up even further. There are still further things to learn such as;
How to learn more ukulele chords
How to change chords smoothly
How to vary a strumming pattern
These are all important steps to learn.
9. Listen To Ukulele Players And Play Along
Now that you have learnt more ukulele skills, it is best to listen to other ukulele players and play along with them. You can google performances or other videos and try to play along with them for practice.
10. Start Ukulele Lessons
Finally, if you haven’t already, taking music lessons is the ultimate form of learning any instrument as a teacher can really help make sure you do everything correctly and teach you new skills.
Music Lessons Australia has many fantastic and motivated teachers who want to help you learn the ukulele or any other instrument.
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