Learn to Play Ukulele in 3 Easy Steps!

Perhaps you’ve never played a musical instrument before or perhaps the uke will be your first instrument with strings. In either case, you might be wondering whether it’s difficult to learn to play the ukulele or not. The short answer is no, but, like most things in life, to get good you’ll need to practise. Go through the steps in this blog and you’ll be playing the ukulele in no time!

Naturally, we’re going to focus on the basics: tuning, playing chords and strumming.

#1. Start with a well-tuned ukulele

Even the best ukulele players would struggle to sound good on a poorly-tuned instrument. That’s why it’s important to tune your ukulele before you play it. Changes in temperature and humidity are just two of the reasons that an instrument with nylon (or steel) strings doesn’t stay in tune forever. Fortunately, tuning a ukulele is very easy, especially if you use a tuner. From the top string to the bottom one, soprano and concert ukuleles are tuned to the notes G – C – E – A. Note that G is higher than C!

Learn to Play Ukulele in 3 Easy Steps!

#2. The open chords on a soprano and concert ukulele

It’s likely that you’ll want to start playing songs on your ukulele as soon as possible. The easiest way to do this is by learning a few basic open chords. The eight open chords listed below are relatively easy to play because you don’t need to press down all the strings. Some of the strings are left ‘open’, hence the name open chords. The first four chords (C, F, G and Am) are extremely common and you’ll find them in lots of popular songs and different styles of music. Learn these chords first and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the number of songs you can play with them. We assume that you’ll also want to learn more chords so that you can play even more songs and maybe even study a little music theory too. If that’s the case, we’ve got a wide selection of ukulele books on offer.

Learn to Play Ukulele in 3 Easy Steps!

Learn to Play Ukulele in 3 Easy Steps!

#3. Strumming

These days, many ukulele players use a plectrum to strum their instruments. This can result in a rather sharp and loud sound on a uke, however, so you might want to consider using a felt plectrum to ensure your ukulele’s pleasant, warm sound is retained. For more information on how to play with a plectrum, check out our Learn how to play with a plectrum! blog.

Play ukulele like a Hawaiiaan!

Perhaps you’d rather play your ukulele the traditional Hawaiiaan way? If so, you’ll be using your fingers instead of a plectrum. Make a loose fist with your hand and place it close to the sound hole. Move your wrist downwards and as you do, you should strike the strings with the nail of your index finger. When you move your wrist upwards again, it’s the fleshy part of your index finger that should strike the strings. Try to keep your arm as relaxed as possible while maintaining a steady rhythm.

Want to learn more about strumming? Go to our Ukulele Strumming blog!

Let us know how you get on trying to play the ukulele with the information you’ve found here.

Also see

» How to Hold Each Size of Ukulele
» Ukulele for guitarists: the 4 most important chords
» 5 tips to improve your tone on the ukulele
» Ukulele Strings that Are Right for You
» Learn how to play with a plectrum!
» Buyer’s Guide: How do I choose the right ukulele?
» All ukuleles & accessories
» Plectrums

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