After a long, busy life, in which you may have frequently wished for more time, it can be difficult to adjust to a lifestyle where you have more time than you are filling. One new hobby that can offer amazing side benefits is learning to play the ukulele.
Why the ukulele? Because they’re fun to play. Well, so are other musical instruments, but ukuleles are less expensive than most instruments, they’re easy to learn to play, and they’re small, which makes them easy to hold and carry along. You don’t really want to lug a tuba around, do you?
So let’s take a look at those benefits I was telling you about.
1. Learning Music Will Help Prevent ‘Senior Moments’
Learning anything will engage your mind, and doing so will sharpen your mind automatically. Like any muscle or skill, the more that you use it, the better it becomes, and your mind is not an exception.
There have been many studies on the mental advantages of musical skills, and the results are clear: learning music activates sections of the brain associated with memory. Musicians spot mistakes more quickly than non-musicians, and they are quicker to correct them. In age- or illness-related loss of mental function, learning an instrument can halt and even reverse the loss.
I can’t promise that you’ll never again walk into a room and not remember why, but it will happen less often. Memory in general is also improved by learning to make music.
2. Beat The Boredom Blues
Boredom has been defined by one researcher as “the unfulfilled desire for satisfying activity,” characterized by an “unengaged mind.” In large doses, it can cause serious problems. Boredom is merely a few hours of tedium for a child on a rainy afternoon, but it can cause serious mental health problems when it happens frequently to someone. Extended boredom can lead to mental disorders such as:
Depression Boredom and depression are two very different mental states, but researchers noted a connection between the two a long time ago. Long-term boredom often leads to clinical depression.
Compulsive Behavior If an activity such as gambling offers relief from boredom, it has potential to become compulsive. This has happened, and we don’t want it to happen to you.
Eating Disorders Some people relieve their boredom by eating, because it’s a pleasant activity. Doing this frequently leads to doing it habitually or compulsively, and putting on weight can lead to physical problems.
Substance Abuse There’s nothing wrong with the occasional drink or puff, but leaning on chemical mood enhancers on a regular basis to relieve boredom can lead to addiction, and the health and legal problems that it may cause.
Simply listening to music is a well-known mood enhancer. Is there anyone whose spirits aren’t lifted when they hear Queen sing “Is this the real life, is this just fantasy”?
Music grips everyone’s heart, and that’s why we love it. For a much stronger effect, don’t merely listen to the music – make the music. It’s powerful to listen to good music, and much more powerful to play it.
4. Improve Your Eyesight, Hearing, And Coordination
These are all bodily functions that improve with use. Reading lessons and music exercises our eyes, listening to yourself play exercises your ears, and practicing shifting chords and strumming develops our hand strength and coordination.
Age tries to steal these attributes from us, so it’s worth our while to build them up to resist this.
5. Widen Your Social Circle
Learning to play music widens your opportunities to meet new people and make new friends. It’s remarkably rewarding to play music, but playing ukulele along with others is a whole new ballgame. It’s like a great conversation, but without words.
Most of the great musicians really enjoy playing with other musicians, and you’ll never experience the joy of playing with someone else if you don’t learn how to play.
The bottom line is that learning to play a ukulele can do a number of wonderful things for your emotional health, give you a new skill that you can be proud of, and provide you with an interesting activity to fill what may otherwise be a boring, unremarkable day.
Somewhere out there, there’s a ukulele that’s just waiting for you to find it, name it George, and take it home. Why don’t you go out and look for it?
So many people happen to know a thing or two about ukulele. However, a whole lot of people find it extremely difficult to do ukulele fingerpicking. The truth is that there is really nothing complicated about it. All you need is a little time and devotion. As long as you’ve learned the basics, you’ll be able to build your skills accordingly.
I decided to take some time and round up a few easy tips that can help you master the art of ukulele fingerpicking songs. It all starts with understanding what is required.
This is your complete guide to understanding and mastering the art of fingerpicking ukulele.
Ukulele Fingerpicking Songs for Beginners
The art ukulele fingerpicking is the technique of playing the ukulele which involves plucking the strings with your fingernails, or even picks attached to fingers, as in opposed to flat picking which involves plucking individual notes with a single plectrum. The term “finger is more of a misnomer because it is present in various genres and styles of music.
Music for fingerpicking include; chords, arpeggios, and some other elements.
As a fingerpicking expert, I infuse percussive tapping along with the melody, baseline and the chords. This enables me to provide all of the essential song elements and also accompany myself.
Some of the advantages of ukulele fingerpicking songs
● You don’t have to carry a plectrum. Your fingernails would be maintained at the perfect length and would be in good condition.
● You can comfortably play multiple nonadjacent strings simultaneously. This enables you to adapt to playing a very low bass note as well as a high treble note all at once.
● Fingerpicking is suitable for playing double stops such as; a fifth, a sixth, an octave, or any other interval that suits the harmony.
● Fingerpicking is an excellent option for playing polyphonically with independent musical lines, bass parts, and separate harmony. This makes it suitable for unaccompanied solo playing and even very small ensembles such as duos when you decide to accompany a singer.
● You have the privilege of having four or even five surfaces striking your ukulele strings or any other part independently.
● Arpeggios playing becomes very easy and even more fun. However, the methods for tremolo and melody are more complex than plectrum.
● You can play chords properly without any repagination as up to five strings can be plucked concurrently.
● You have less need for fretting hand damping when playing chords because only the strings require plucking.
● A vast variation of strokes is possible with finger picking, allowing greater expressiveness in dynamics and timbre.
● You can expose yourself to a variety of strums and even rasgueados without limit.
● You need less energy to fingerpick than you do to flat-pick.
There are typically two ways you can fingerpick on the ukulele.
The first way has to do with using your index thumb and middle finger. While your thumbs pluck any of the top two strings, the index finger plucks the second to bottom string, and your middle finger should pluck the lower string.
The second way is to use your thumb, middle finger, index, and even your ring finger. As the thumb plucks the top line, your index finger should pluck the second to the top string, while your middle finger should pluck the second to bottom line, and the ring finger should pluck out the bottom string.
Keep in mind that one technique is not in any way better than the other. It all really depends on which you want to use. For instance, I honestly like to utilize the very first method when I am playing patterns that usually have a rotating bass feel. For any other pattern, I prefer to use the second technique because each of the fingers are assigned to a string.
My opinion is that you can do much more when you are using four of your fingers versus three of your fingers. Notwithstanding, I’ll say you try and practice it both ways.
How you can learn to fingerpicking on your uke
I’m going to try as much as possible to keep this simple. It’s important that you start by sticking with just one pattern; using your middle finger, index finger, and your thumb. Let’s consider no chord fingerpicking;
Practice No chord, fingerpicking
First of all, we are not going to make use of our fretting hand so try and get it to relax; I want you to remove all your focus from that finger. Assuming you are to play the sequence of G E A repeatedly, your thumb will play G, while your index finger will play the E. Your middle finger, on the other hand, plays the A major role.
Don’t worry; it’s nothing tricky. If you have your ukulele with you, please pick it up and try and teach yourself practically as you read.
To secure your hand into the best position, place your fingers and your thumb onto those strings that you would play. After that, lift them off a bit. This will give you a perfect starting position. Now play slowly for a start. As I you play, aim for a steady tempo that would keep the spacing you leave between notes equal. You should only increase your speed as soon as you feel comfortable with it.
Don’t worry if you don’t get it right at once. Try again from the start until you get it. Remember that giving up will not make you learn automatically.
How to introduce chords in ukulele fingerpicking songs
As soon as you’ll are comfortable with the pattern, and you notice that your hand is doing what it is expected to do you can move to the next level and introduce a few ukulele chords.
I’ll say we should start with the most promising- C chord (the third finger of the third fret on the first string) practicing the same pattern. This should not be difficult for you, but repeat the process for absolute consistency.
As soon as you’ve mastered the C chord, you should try the F chord. Now let us try to add an F chord in. I still don’t believe this should be difficult for you if you are comfortable with their pattern. As soon as you’ve got this part rock solid, try and continuously alternate between C and F.
Make sure you play through the pattern for C and then instantly switch to the F and play the F pattern. Continue to alternate between the two. You will most likely find that at first, you stumble a little at the very point of your chord change. To fight this, try and slow down. Revert to the speed you know you can comfortably play. Keys that don’t slow you down when you change. After that gradually increase your speed.
Now that you have got an uncomplicated ukulele fingerpicking pattern, it’s time to try and apply it to songs. Go for songs you know work well for this chords. Don’t try to be smart, start fingerpicking some easy songs that use between 3-4 chords for a start. Pluck them rather than just strum them. You can fingerpick properly with the patterns you have just read.
Nursery rhythms are perfect for practicing fingerpicking. With time, you can advance to more complex songs.
Three songs you can practice ukulele fingerpicking with
In my opinion, I’ll say the songs below are fantastic to learn especially if you have just started building your fingerpicking skills, or maybe you have been fingerpicking, but you want to add more songs to your music arsenal.
1. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
This first song and my personal favorite, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star ukulele fingerpicking, may most likely be the easiest song for you to play out of all three in the bunch efficiently. This is because it uses an uncomplicated quarter note rhythm and also uses a whole lot of open strings.
2. MacDonald Had a Farm
This one is pretty familiar. The fact that you may know this song very well makes it a great song for your fingerpicking lessons. It is a bit more challenging because there are a few faster eighth note passages. You will have to make sure that you practice counting out loud and gradually slowing it down, so you would be able to get those hard parts perfectly.
Give your fingers time to get really comfortable when you pluck the strings. If it does not come quickly, do not be too hard on yourself.
As you practice with time and with your full devotion, you’ll become a professional.
It’s imperative to count out loud and also tap your foot. It is possible that you may need to break down the rhythm into parts of the songs. Counting out loud would allow you to do this with greater ease. At first, you might need to slow some of these songs down to play them. Speed will come with time so just be patient.
You might even have to split the song into four-bar sections and focus on learning and playing each of those sections separately.
3. Diddle the Cat & the Fiddle
If you ask me, this song is one of the coolest out of the bunch of three. I feel it is important to note that unlike the first two songs, the third song is to be counted in three and not four. Some amazing quick eighth notes are excellent when played with an alternating fingerpicking method.
Final point about ukulele fingerpicking
You may have wondered, “Why can’t I use my ring finger as well? If I were to do this; place each finger (index, thumb, middle, and ring finger) all on a string?”
Although it’s a good question and it shows that you reason logically. The truth is that assigning all of your four playing fingers to pluck one of the four strings each on the ukulele is not really an absolutely bad way to go for certain songs.
Notwithstanding, fingerpicking in this manner can feel weird certain players. This method doesn’t necessarily require that you use your thumb to pluck the lowest strand. This is because you’re dealing with a standard re-entrant tuning which means that the lowest string on your ukulele is, in reality, the second to top string. I find that it is more intuitive and even more natural to assign my thumb to pluck the lowest string.
That’s your guide to mastering ukulele fingerpicking. One thing I always tell myself and others close to me is that nothing is impossible. Nothing is top involved. As long as you open your mind to it, you can learn whatever you want. It’s never too late to learn more so don’t allow the fear of failing to keep you from trying.
When you already know how to play ukulele then learning how to fingerpick is just a bonus. Start practice today and never be afraid to ask others. Seeking some help from professionals would be very helpful.
One of the most fun instruments you’ll find in the music world is the ukulele. It is that cute smaller-sized guitar-like instrument that people love pulling out at parties and get-togethers. What makes it so popular is that on top of its convenience, it is relatively easy to learn how to play the ukulele.
If you have no musical background whatsoever the ukulele is the perfect instrument to start with. You’ll get the education on music you are looking for and have pretty quick results if you put time into practice. With a good guide (like this one), you’ll also be able to work at your own level.
How to Play Ukulele Basics
Holding Your Ukulele
Let’s start at the beginning of your ukulele journey. Here is where you learn the proper hold for the instrument. If you are a fan of the musical instrument (and you likely are if you want to learn how to play it), then you probably have seen Tiny Tim. He’s a musician from the 60s who made the instrument famous. Now his musical style may be in question, but if you look at a picture of him playing, he has the perfect hold for it. Note that he plays left-handed style so if you’re a righty, hold it the same way but reverse.
For a right-handed hold, the ukulele should be cradled by the right arm and held between your body and your forearm. On your right hand, your index finger is extended and used for strumming. You should be strumming at the neck of the ukulele, where it meets the body. If you play the guitar, you might be tempted to strum near the hole of the ukulele but this isn’t right. You should focus on strumming much higher; this is how the vibration works uniquely to the instrument.
Hold your instrument high to your body as you are playing. Again- a guitar is held much lower, but the ukulele has to be higher to get the proper sound. The crook of your elbow is where it should rest. If you are holding it properly you should be able to move either one of your hands away and the instrument should stay in place. Take a look at this video tutorial showing how to hold a uke:
Ukulele Chords Structure and Tuning
If you hold your ukulele up facing you, the strings are outlined as follows:
• The top left is the C
• The top right is the E
• The bottom right is the A
• The bottom left is the G
Inevitably at some point you’ll have to tune your uke. There are 4 notes you should concern yourself with: A, C, E and G. You may be wondering why this is an important step of your ukulele training. The truth is that it is important because properly tuning it will give you the right sound. Sometimes when people first start with a new instrument, they think their playing is bad or they are just “not getting it”, when in reality their instrument just isn’t tuned properly. That’s why it is important to take a few moments to make sure you’re getting the right basic notes.
The first time you purchase your ukulele you should ask someone at the store to tune it for you. You can get a tuner for reference, but once you get the hang of it, you won’t likely need it. That’s why it is not always a good idea to invest in a tuner. The good news is that you can go online for an example of an A, C, E and G note. Play each one and match your ukulele to it. Strum each of the strings individually and tighten or loosen them until you get the appropriate sound. Start with the G-note and then move on to the C-note, the E-note and finally the A-note. When you’re done, remember to go back and make sure that the earlier tuned notes are still calibrated.
Learning How to Strum your Uke
When you strum all four of your strings at the same time you are creating a “chord”. This is where the real music starts. The first chord you should work with is the C-chord, also referred to as the C-major chord. To create it, you press your ring finger down on the A-string. You want to hold it down hard enough so that it’s pressed against the ukulele’s fret. Next, take your fingernail of your right index finger and glide it down across all four of the strings. When you do, you have created your first chord! Be sure that you’re strumming and using your down-stroke where the neck joins with the body of your instrument.
It will take some practice to learn how to hold the instrument properly and then remember which string is which. Here’s where practice will come into play. One good tip to use when you’re getting used to your ukulele is to count. Saying “One, and two, and three” as you strum your uke chords can help you with timing. This isn’t long-term—you’ll stop soon enough. It is just a method of getting used to the timing needed for a cohesive song delivery. It helps your brain to synchronize and that’s why counting is a part of formal musical education. Use it – it may make your ukulele training easier!
While you’re playing your ukulele you may hear some people tell you that you get a “better” sound with a pick. This isn’t necessarily true, but you do get a slightly different sound. It basically comes down to preference. Some people love using picks on their ukulele and others don’t. Try each option and see which ones is easiest for you and which one produces the sound you want.
Be sure when you are strumming that your right index finger stays extended and your nail is facing downward. Focus on giving yourself enough time to learn each chord you work with. It may be tempting to rush ahead and start playing more chords, but resist the temptation. You want the chord play to become automatic. When you need to create a C-chord you want your fingers to automatically know where to go and what to do. To get this automatic response, it takes practice.
Practicing Your Ukulele
When you start formally practicing your ukulele, pick a few easy ukulele songs. Play them and get used to the sounds you find. You want to pick songs that have only a few chords and are relatively short. These are the best to start with because they let you really train your brain and hands to replicate the sounds you hear.
After you are comfortable with the C-chord, move on to the F-chord. This is going to be played by pressing down on two strings (rather than one for the C-chord). You’ll be using your index finger on the third string (from the top) and your middle finger on the first string (top string). When you have both secured to the fret, try strumming to hear the F-chord. Again, play this chord a few times to get used to the finger position and movement needed. This one may take a little getting used to because you need to use your fingers on two different strings. Keep with it though—once you train your fingers it will be much easier!
You can use the “one, two, three” count here too. It should go like this: “one” with a strum, “two” with a strum, “three” with a strum. This is an exercise that will teach you tempo and rhythm. Though you’re new to creating music now, once you get to playing songs these both will be very important.
The Ukulele Chord Exchange
When you’re comfortable with the C- and the F-chord, you next are going to start changing chords. It may be clumsy at first; most likely it will take some time to get used to it, but don’t fear! Start by saying out loud “C-chord” and play the C. Then, say “F-chord” and play the F. The strategy here is to train your fingers to go where you want them to go automatically. At firs the chords (in particular the F) may seem difficult to master. It isn’t! It’s just not what your hands are used to…yet!
While you continue to practice transitioning from C to F and back, be sure that you give yourself adequate time to learn. Automating your brain to play takes time. Saying the name of the chord is a helpful tool that will expedite your learning, so be sure to use it!
Other Uke Chords
Once you start getting used to the C- and the F-chord, you can start working with other chords the same way. The most popular chords you’ll work with are the C-, the F, and the G7-chord. The good news is that learning these three chords is going to take you far in the world of ukulele songs. You already know the C and the F. The G7 involves holding three strings down- the second, third and fourth with your middle finger on second string, the index finger on the third string and the ring finger on the fourth string. This is another chord that you should practice on its own. Because you have to get used to holding down three strings while you strum, this may take some time.
Next, you should start doing more exchanges, only this time using all three chords you know. Say “F-chord” and play it. Say “C-chord” and play it. Say “G7-chord” and play that one. Do this exercise a few times a week to train your mind to handle transitions easily. Vary your transitions from the C to the F, and then the F to the G7 and then the G7 to the C, and reverse. The purpose here is to get your fingers used to transitions and the chord delivery. You want to be able to create sounds as smoothly as possible and that takes practice!
Easy Ukulele Songs
You likely have been looking forward to playing easy songs on your ukulele. Though it’s tempting, give yourself enough time to feel comfortable with chords before trying to tackle one. Once you are good, try easy songs. One great starting point is to learn happy birthday ukulele chords. Another one is “Twinkle, Twinkle”. What makes them so helpful is that they use the three chords you already worked on. They are great tools in helping you to learn your transitions and movements without just strumming one chord after another, which can admittedly get boring.
You will know when you have perfected these songs. You’ll feel comfortable with them and be able to play them without concentrating. Your fingers will know where to move and what to do.
By far the most important thing to do with learning to play the ukulele is to practice. Set aside a half-hour every day where you practice holding it, tuning it, strumming it and eventually playing songs. As you grow as a musician, you’ll find that things get easier. The good news about ukuleles is that they are relatively easy to learn how to play and with some practice, you should be producing the music that everyone loves!
Be sure to enjoy and have fun with this little instrument from Hawaii. If you enjoyed this article from Ukulele-Lessons, please share it with your friends!
If you’re brand new the ukulele scene, you’ve probably carefully picked out the perfect one that was recommended or that you’ve done research on. Additionally, you’ll want to know what strings you should be purchasing that will result in the best sound, especially since this is something you’re new to.
Tips and Advice on Ukulele Strings
If there’s one thing to remember, is that there’s not one single type of string that’s considered the best one.
Stringed instruments rely on the actual construction of its sound chamber to successfully create a desired tone and to sustain that tone. If you’re using a laminated top ukulele, you’ll want to invest in aquila strings, which help give a sound boost to these types of ukulele. When it comes to solid wood ukuleles, there are a variety of strings that will suit this build best, such as nylons and flourocarbons. Brands that provide these types of strings include Worth and Martin.
Comparing Various Ukulele Strings
Some of the ukulele strings available for purchase are manufactured with precious metals in their build. And even though strings can be inexpensive doesn’t necessarily mean that you should cheat yourself by purchasing some of poor quality.
Both the playability of your ukulele and the sound of your instruments can be compromised if you manage to purchase the inappropriate set of strings. The difference in sound between the variants strings is very noticeable, regardless of what your preference in sound may be. This is discussed directly below:
It’s also to remember that when it comes to the “best” ukulele strings, a lot of it has to do with the performer’s preference in sound in addition to the strings’ compatibility with the instrument itself. If the strings are too thin, they will become the consistency of spaghetti strings at any lower tunings. This means, however, that you’re free to experiment with different types of strings with various thicknesses. This is the best way for a beginner to get started and it will help him or her become more familiar with the workings of their new instrument.
Additional ukulele and String Pairings
Mahalo ukulele (cheap ukuleles you’ll find in most hobby catalogs): Aquila strings
Mainland Mahogany (Concert) ukulele: Martin strings (flourocarbons)
Pono (Concert) MHC Mahogany ukulele: Martin Flourocarbons
Want to play the Ukulele, but you haven’t mastered the skill quite yet and you’re still a beginner? There is more than one type of ukulele and if you are looking to buy one then you will need to choose the best one for you. Ukulele’s come in soprano, concert, tenor, baritone, or hybrids. I would steer clear of baritones and hybrids for a newbie. Here are the top 5 ukuleles that are recommended for beginners.
Best Christmas Ukulele Picks
Makala Dolphin Soprano Ukulele
Priced under $50 this ukulele comes in 9 different colors. They are made out of plastic but have a great tone and they are easy to play. It is suggested that you upgrade the strings but this one is easy to through in your backpack and get playing.
Lanikai LU-21 Soprano Ukulele
The Lanikai is priced approximately $100 it’s easy to play and has 12 frets (the string you play). If you are looking for a ukulele with the look of a “real” ukulele then this one is for you. The Lanikai has laminate wood; the only drawback is that you may have to tune the strings often depending on how hard you play.
Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele
Just a side note; soprano ukulele’s are the closest to the real thing fashioned in Hawaii in the 1800’s and they are most recommended for youth because of their size. If you have bigger hands moving up to a concert ukulele maybe a better option. However, the Cordoba also comes in soprano and tenor sizes. The finish is mahogany.
Kala KA-T Mahogany Tenor Ukulele
This is another easy to play ukulele for people with bigger hands. The Kala is easy easier to hold with bigger hands and the Kala brand is well known. This is another one that is available in soprano and concert sizes.
Lanikai S-T Solid Spruce Tenor Ukulele
This Ukulele is solid wood with spruce on top and a mahogany back and sides. A solid wood ukulele will sound better than the laminate versions especially when they age. The Lankai is approximately $260, but shop around for this one you can catch some pretty good deals and pick one up for under $200.
Final thoughts on buying a ukulele for Christmas
One thing’s for sure, if you are new to purchasing a ukulele and you are taking learning to play seriously you do not want to purchase a model that is too cheap. Also be conservative about spending one of the worst things that can happen is you find out you hate playing the ukulele and you spent tons of money on it. Sound and quality are most important when you are learning to play. Another thing to steer clear of is anything to weird or heavily decorated.
The ukulele is a small guitar-like instrument from Hawaii that originated in the 19th century. It generally employs 4 strings to provide a unique sound. It’s played with the fingertips, thumb, or a pick. There are 4 basic ukulele sizes. Each one has its one sound and tone which can be changed with tuning and string size.
Most ukuleles are made of wood. The cheapest ukes are made of ply or laminate wood, with a soundboard of a higher quality better sounding wood like spruce. More expensive ukuleles may be made of mahogany, but the highest priced ones are from a Hawaiian wood, koa.
Four basic types of ukulele sizes
The soprano uke is the standard Hawaiian instrument. It’s approximately 21 inches long, with 12 frets. It will be tuned to G C E A but can be tuned to A D F# B, which is sometimes called Vaudeville tuning. The frets will be close together, so if you have large hands, you may want to start with another size. This is what most people learn on.
This ukulele is 23 inches long, which provides more tension on the strings. It can have 15-20 frets and is sometimes considered an alto. It’s usually tuned like a soprano ukulele, G C E A, but the G may be tuned an octave lower. Its larger size may provide a fuller sound than the soprano.
The tenor is an even longer ukulele, at 26 inches long. This length gives it even more sound fullness. It will have 15 or more frets, and you’ll be able to reach more high notes with more frets. It is generally tuned as a concert ukulele, but can also be tuned to D G B E, like a baritone.
At 30 inches or even longer, the baritone will generally have 20 frets. . It is typically tuned to D G B E, similar to the bottom 4 strings on a guitar. Baritones are good for fingerpicking and blues players, who want a deep, rich sound. Strings are available for other tunings.
There are additionally 2 not-so-common ukuleles. The sopranino or piccolo, which is only 11 inches. It will generally be tuned to a D G B E or C F A D tuning. It will have a higher pitch than the standard uke. The bass ukulele has the deepest sound, and it will be tuned to E A D G.
More Ukulele Basics
When buying strings for your ukulele, make sure you get the strings for your instrument. Changing the strings may change the way your ukulele plays. What type of string you get will be your preference. A harder string will sound brighter, but may be rough on your fingers when you start playing. Softer strings produce warmer sounds, but tend to stretch faster.
Maybe you’ve thought about learning how to play the ukulele. There is literally nothing stopping you from picking up this great instrument and learning how to play today. Here are ten reasons why everyone should be playing the ukulele.
10 Reasons to Play Ukulele
1. It’s Inexpensive
As opposed to a costly guitar or piano, the ukulele is one of the most cost effective instruments to pick up and play. Bargain hunters should be able to find a quality ukulele for less than 100 dollars. If you’d like to make the investment, there are always more expensive, fancier ukuleles on the market, but they are typically a cheaper instrument.
2. Easy To Learn
While some people are simply naturally gifted when it comes to playing instruments, even the less inclined among us should find it easy to pick up the ukulele and learn. When compared to other stringed instruments, the ukulele rates out as one of the easiest to learn. All you need to do is tune your uke and strum away to happyville.
3. Ease Of Transport
No, the ukulele will not fit in your back pocket like a harmonica, but a backpack or a case does the trick quite nicely. Maybe you’ll be able to start a new career as a sidewalk performing artist, who knows?
4. It’s A Lot Of Fun
Learning a new instrument may not always be fun, but mastering one sure is. A ukulele is not just a fun instrument to play, but it is great fun to listen to, as well. Combining the right amounts of soul and playfulness, the ukulele provides a unique musical experience. To see what I mean, take a look at this article that covers easy ukulele songs by the Beatles.
5. More Popular Than You May Think
Popular music is littered with examples of those who learned how to play the ukulele and incorporated it into their music. Bands ranging from Train to Pearl Jam have used the ukulele in their music, as has pop vocalist Jason Mraz. Not the mention, the awesome classics that have truly catapulted the ukulele such as Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
6. They Are A Great Icebreaker
Thanks to their portability, ukuleles can be brought to parties and are often a big hit. They are known as a happy instrument, so their presence is typically welcome in most social settings.
More Reason to Play Ukulele
7. Variety Of Styles
Most instruments limit the user’s choices of color and style, limiting their ability to express their individuality. No such worries with the ukulele, as you can pick from a dazzling array of shapes, size and color schemes. The only limit is your imagination.
8. Low Maintenance
Since there are a mere four strings to tune, the ukulele does not require very much maintenance. Ukulele strings are quite durable, as opposed to the guitar, so you won’t be shopping for new ones on a regular basis.
9. Joining A Community
No matter where you go, chances are, you will find a fellow ukulele enthusiast or two to jam with. What could be more fun than that? Purchasing this instrument means becoming a member of a musician community. Don’t forget to like my easy ukulele songs facebook page.
No matter how much musical expertise you have, there are melodies to be learned on the ukulele. Whether you are an advanced musician seeking to learn complex techniques or a beginner just looking to strum out a simple melody, the ukulele is right for you.
So, you’re interested in learning to play the ukulele, but not sure whats the best ukulele brand you should buy or what to look for? Instead of purchasing one that will end up under your bed, here are a few tips.
Remember, you get what you pay for. If you buy an inexpensive brand of instrument it is very possible you will have problems and it will discourage you from playing. However, this doesn’t mean to say you have to go out and spend hundreds of dollars. Figure on budgeting approximately $50.00 to $60.00 for a decent beginners ukulele.
The first thing you need to consider is the size. There are four standard sizes of ukuleles. Soprano is the smallest size and the most recommended for beginners. It is easier to reach for the notes and is usually cheaper than the other sizes. Concert and tenor sizes are fairly similar, the tenor is slightly larger. Most professionals today opt for the tenor as it gives them more room to operate the fret board. Both can work well for the novice ukulele player though. Since you are just beginning, it is suggested to stay away from the baritone. It’s much more difficult to find tutorials, tabs, etc. and they are tuned differently than the others described.
Best Ukulele Brands for Beginners
Now that you’ve chosen the size, it’s time to decide on a brand. These days there are several really good selections to pick from for your first ukulele. Beware, there are still a few duds, but these days there are several really good selections to pick from for your first ukulele. When you have your ukulele, be sure to practice Somewhere Over the Rainbow ukulele chords. Here are a few you will want to check out.
Makala Dolphin Soprano ukulele is the only one that you will be able to purchase under $50.00. The users of this instrument rave about it. Though it is made out of plastic and you will definitely have to purchase better strings, the playability and tone are great. This is the perfect ukulele for parents on a budget whose child wants to learn how to play. It’s sturdy and durable so you won’t have to worry about them just throwing it into their backpack.
For the beginner the Lanikai LU-21 Soprano is a favorite amongst people just starting out. It has the look of the real deal but is a laminated wood ukulele. You can’t go wrong with this instrument; it receives exceptional reviews and is a great purchase. The only issue any owner has had is the intonation in not perfect the higher you go up on the fret board and you may have to tune the strings more often, depending if you tend to play hard.
Next is the Cordoba 15CM Concert Ukulele is a sporty mahogany with a satin finish and is available in the smaller soprano size and the larger tenor. This instrument deserves a mention due to the amazing reviews it receives on a regular basis.
Final thoughts on Ukulele Brands
Finally, we’ll discuss the Kala KA-T Mahogany Tenor Ukulele. This is worth a mention even though a tenor is not usually recommended to beginners. However, if you have larger hands and bigger fingers, this might be easier for you to play since the sopranos are smaller. Kala is a worldwide known maker of ukuleles. It is a good choice and is also available in the soprano and concert size.
Nothing inspires me more than seeing other people playing the ukulele. I mean, I absolutely love it! When I see new beginners take on the ukulele and learn their favorite songs, and most importantly have fun, it’s really fulfilling for me. So I curated these 17 ukulele videos on Youtube that I wanted to share with you for your enjoyment.
Observe the the playing styles and strumming patterns so you can get ideas for your own covers. These are good practice points. Check them out and have a great time appreciating other uke players. Continue reading 17 Epic Ukulele YouTube Videos