Easy tips on learning the ukulele

Nabila Haq, Staff Writer

When things get monotone in life or you’re looking for a new, fun hobby to try out, learning how to play the ukulele is definitely the right choice for you! If you’re wondering what a ukulele is, don’t worry. It is basically a smaller version of a guitar, but has a different tuning, less chords, and the sound is softer and higher. It’s also pretty easy to learn if you’re new to playing instruments, or if learning music was never really your charm.

Since the ukulele is easy to learn and good for beginners, there’s a lot of easy ways to learn how to practice and play it. But to do so, you have to know the basics and what’s needed first. To have this instrument, you have to have a tuner, a case, and some extra ukulele strings with it. A tuner is an electronic device that finds the right pitches for string instruments. The case you need is just a regular case for an instrument that normally comes with the ukulele. It’s useful to have one for carrying and safety. Having extra strings is also a good idea, in case one or all of the strings break on your ukulele. There are a couple other needs, but those are the three basic ones. So now that you know all the major needs for one, here are some tips and hacks to easily learn the ukulele.

Strings & Chords

The strings and chords for this instrument would be the first part to know about. The trick to learn the chords is to start with the easiest ones, such as C-major, A-major, A-minor, F-major, G-major, and E-minor. These chords are the basic chords to learn first, because they are played by holding down one string, so it’s a good starter. The strings are nice to remember, since it’s just four of them. Going from left to right, the strings would go as G, C, E, then A. These are the ones that need to be tuned right when playing, to make it easier and for the sound to be at the right pitch. After practicing on those, you can start learning more chords and see how they sound and if you like them.

Easiest strumming patterns

The next tip would be to start playing with the simplest strumming patterns. While you’re beginning, it’s better to strum with the easier patterns such as strumming down once and then back up repeatedly. You can also do an all down or up pattern, as it’s also an easier one. Counting by fours while playing songs with the same rhythm is a good way to practice as well. It’s important to start at a slow pace and strum carefully on the strings so they don’t have a chance of breaking and so it’s less overwhelming. As you go on with playing easy patterns at first, you can then slowly start to switch to more complex patterns and go at a faster pace if you prefer.

Songs to play & types of ukuleles

There are lots of songs to play on this instrument, so you don’t have to worry about how many to learn. Slow, medium, and fast songs are all playable when you can master it. But while you’re starting, it’s good to learn how to play easier songs first, like nursery rhymes since they are usually slower and have a simple melody. After learning those, you can then transition to any song you’d like to play. Either from online tutorials or notes from music sheets. As for the kind of ukulele you’d want to play these with, there are a good amount of choices. The most popular types are soprano, baritone, concert, and tenor. Although, each of them are different sizes so they do all sound different. Try to find the one that you think will be the best to play, or the one that appeals most to you.

Lastly, to be best at anything, you’ll have to practice regularly. Practice makes perfect, so the key to mastering anything – especially something new – is through lots of practice, even if it means taking 10-15 minutes out of our day. So do not ever be afraid to try new things, or something you’ve always been interested in doing. For instance, learning how to play a new instrument like the ukulele.