Is Ukulele Easy to Learn?

by Andrew H April 22, 2020

Is the ukulele an easy instrument to learn? YES! The ukulele is a great first instrument because it only has four strings, frets make it easy to play in tune, and it is easy to play lead lines or rhythm parts on any song. Don’t make beginner mistakes! Read on to see what your first steps should be as a new player trying to learn the ukulele FAST!


You don’t need a KLOS ukulele for this guide to be ultra-useful but having a great instrument will make learning easier! Check out our carbon fiber ukuleles, read a review from GotAUkulele.com, or just take a second to follow us on Instagram!


Patience

Follow these easy steps and you’ll be jamming out to your favorite song in no time. That said, don’t be afraid to take breaks and embrace mistakes as learning opportunities.


Pick or Fingerpicking?

If you use a pick or use fingerpicking on ukulele is up to you. There are successful players employing both styles. If you come from the world of guitar and are comfortable with a pick, there’s no reason not to continue using a pick.
Many ukulele players love the organic feel of playing fingerstyle. Strumming is more intuitive and over time you will find more complicated lines simpler to execute.


Tuning

The standard tuning for a ukulele is GCEA. Start every practice session by tuning your ukulele. Training your ear is a major element of learning the ukulele. Download a strobe tuner app to your phone or use YouTube for a tuning reference. Out of tune notes will sound sour and ring out of phase while notes that are in tune ring out clearly.

If you ever turn your tuning knob and the pitch of the string doesn’t change, you are most likely turning the wrong knob. Everyone has made this mistake once, but make sure you catch yourself before the string pops. Once your ukulele is in tune it’s time to start making music.


Basic Chords

Chords are the building blocks of all music. Luckily, chords are made very easy on the ukulele. Although there are hundreds of different ways to play chords, beginners should learn these simple chords first. Once you’ve got these down, you’ll be able to jam at any ukulele meet up. 

C major / C Ukulele Chord

Ukulele C Major Chord

Fret 3: Position Finger 3 on the bottom string (A string).

 

A Minor / Am Ukulele Chord

Ukulele A Minor Chord

Fret 2: Use Finger 2 to fret the G string.

 

F Major / F Ukulele Chord

Ukulele F Major Chord

Fret 1: Use Finger 1 to fret the E string.
Fret 2: Use Finger 2 to fret the G string.

 

G Major / G Ukulele Chord

Ukulele G Major Chord
Fret 2: Place Finger 1 on the C string and use Finger 2 to fret the A string.
Fret 3: Position Finger 3 on the E string.

 

A Major / A Ukulele Chord

Ukulele A Major Chord
Fret 1: Position Finger 1 on the C string.
Fret 2: Use Finger 2 to fret the G string.

 

E Minor / Em Ukulele Chord

Ukulele E Minor Chord

Fret 2: Use Finger 1 to fret the A string.
Fret 3: Place Finger 2 on the E string.
Fret 4: Put Finger 3 on the C string.

 

D Major / D Ukulele Chord

Ukulele D Major Chord

Fret 2: Place Fingers 1, 2 and 3 on the G, C and E strings.

 

D Minor / Dm Ukulele Chord

Ukulele D Minor Chord

Fret 1: Use Finger 1 to fret the E string.
Fret 2: Use Finger 2 to fret the G string while fretting the C string with Finger 3. 

 

E Major / E Ukulele ChordUkulele E Major Chord

Fret 1: Use Finger 1 on the G string.
Fret 2: Put Finger 2 on the A string.
Fret 4: Use Finger 4 to fret the C string.

  

F# / Gb Minor / Gbm Ukulele Chord

Ukulele F#/G Flat Chord

Fret 1: Use Finger 1 to press down on the C string.
Fret 2: Use Finger 2 to fret the G string and Finger 3 to fret the E string.

 

B Minor / Bm Ukulele Chord

Ukulele B Minor Chord

Fret 2: Fret across the C, E, and A strings with Finger 1.
Fret 4: Put Finger 3 on the G string.


Strumming Patterns

Keep it simple stupid! All we’re talking about is down strums and up strums, right?
The strumming hand is what determines if you’re in time or not. Focus on playing right on the beat!

Top Strumming Patterns

Ukulele Strumming Patterns

Practice these strumming patterns slowly at first. Use a metronome. Start by playing a strumming pattern with open strings, then play the pattern with a chord, and then apply the strumming pattern to a chord progression.


YouTube

YouTube is a phenomenal resource for learning. Many amazing teachers post content for free including technique lessons and popular song covers. Join in on live playalongs or troubleshoot that problem with your ukulele. There’s no better time to learn ukulele and YouTube is the perfect tool to accelerate your learning.


Practice Techniques

Perfect practice makes perfect. I bet you’ve heard that one before but it is certainly true when it comes to learning the ukulele. Every mistake you make is subconsciously teaching your brain to make that mistake again. It’s tempting to play along with your favorite songs at full speed, but work up your songs slowly at first. It’s important to walk before you run.

If you’re new to the ukulele or find it hard to sit down and practice, try to practice for just 15 minutes a day. You might think you need to get an hour or more, but 15 minutes daily is proven to be more effective for learning the ukulele! With 15 minutes of practice per day, you’ll be playing along with any song you want in no time.


Get to Learning the Ukulele

The ukulele is a very easy instrument to learn. If you are reading this article then it’s clear that learning the ukulele is something you should pursue! Imagine if you started years ago. The time is now! 

If you found this article useful please check out our carbon fiber ukuleles and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.


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