“I’ve got a ukulele!” Is one of the things that people come up to me and say the most when when we’re gigging. It is usually followed by “I can’t play it though!” To which I reply, that’s a real shame because with a few basic tips- anyone can get a huge amount of enjoyment and satisfaction out of a playing a ukulele. Here are a few important things I tell my beginners….
- Remember to tune your ukulele before practicing, you will get very little pleasure trying to strum a tune out of an untuned ukulele. The four open strings are: G, C, E, A. You can tune to a piano or find an online electronic tuner.
- The first three most important chords to learn are C, F and G. You can learn hundreds of simple songs with these three chords alone. There are many great ukulele tuition books and websites out there, find one that suits you and follow the chord boxes and shapes to learn your chords.
- Each finger on your hand has a number 1, 2, 3, 4. To help make the chord shapes easier to play, you need to make sure you put the correctly numbered finger on the right string. Again, any good instruction book will tell you how to do this.
- Each song you learn will have it’s own rhythm and strumming pattern. It is advisable to keep it simple to start with so you can stay in time. Perhaps try doing one downward strum per beat?
- If you are following a lyric and chord sheet, the chord to play is written above the words as a capital letter – you must remember to change chord shape when the letter changes!
- Finally, have fun with it. No one ever learned the ukulele wearing a frown 🙂
Tomorrow’s advent surprise may contain a festive song chord sheet for you try out your C, F and G chords…