Because I have been enjoying learning ukulele this much, i think i should share what i’ve learned so far on my blog.
1. Learn how to tune your ukulele.
Tuning your ukelele is important. Trust me, you won’t want to touch your ukulele if it emits scary sounds like that you don’t like to hear.
Buying a tuner is pretty easy. Just go to any instrument store and ask for a tuner. In Singapore, I would recommend you go to Peninsula Plaza where the heaven of all the string instruments is. I bought mine (pictured aside) at $18 and it comes with 2 extra batteries. Super cheap right? 😐
After you’ve got your tuner, this lady will tell you how to use that little magical device.
2. Learn about chords.
For a list of chords, you can easily find one from Google. Unlike those for keyboard, there’re no variations of chords on ukulele. What I mean is if you want to play C-chord on keyboard, you can either press C-E-G or G-C-E; however, with ukulele you have only one option of pressing the 4th string on the 3rd fret. This means you just need to learn by heart the positions and stay with them. On the flip side, you need to train your fingers to be flexible and quick.
Anyway, I find this sheet the cleanest one to look at.
3. Learn how to strum.
No shortcut but practice, practice and keep practicing.
Everyone starts with strumming from the 1st string down to the last one. Do it until you can close your eyes or talk to someone but still be able to strum steadily.
Moving on, for different songs, there will be different strumming patterns to go with and it’s often represented by Downs (strumming down) and Ups (strumming ups). Once you’ve become used to the strumming pattern, you should find yourself quite comfortable letting your fingers automatically do their job by muscle memory (I suppose that’s what it’s scientifically called :D).
This guy has the best instruction for strumming for beginners.
Or go here for instructions for not only strumming but also shuffling and ‘chnks’.
4. Play songs.
So now you have settled both (1) and (2), it’s time to do some real exciting shit: Songs!! YEAHHH!!
You can start with some really easy ones like: Somewhere over the rainbow, Happy Birthday, Row row row a boat etc.
However, as I started with I’m yours, I progress pretty quickly (that’s what I think :P) so my next songs are Price Tag & Call me maybe.
Anyone wanna jam? C’mon, or sing along! 😛