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7 tips for ukulele beginners

I am often asked by beginners for the best tips to get started with playing the ukulele - which is what led me to write down my best tips. When I bought my first uke, I was completely unprepared, although I played guitar for a year when I was 13, otherwise I started out on the "green field". I would like to give you some tips here, for which I would have been very grateful at the time - and which I hope you will a relaxed start to your new hobby will give.

1. Get a good ukulele

This is the most important tip if you are serious about learning to play the ukulele. There are some very good ukuleles in the price range from 50 euros upwards (see also: Buying a ukulele). You can be sure, that anything that is cheaper is not an instrument to be taken seriously. The main problem with a cheap ukulele will be that it will lose your mood very quickly. My first ukulele cost 30 euros and I was only able to keep the E “in tune” for three keystrokes.
We have put together some very good ukuleles for beginners so that you have a good instrument right from the start.

2. Have fun!

Ukuleles are fun instruments Some might say that ukuleles are just toys. Whatever you can leave that way - after all, it's also fun to play with a toy! In reality, of course, the uke is a real instrument that can be used to do wonderful things. Don't make the mistake of thinking that playing the ukulele is easy - it takes a lot of time and energy to really master this instrument. Still, playing the ukulele is fun right from the start, with three or four chords you can play hundreds of songs. If you enjoy playing, you'll get better every day on your own!

3. Master the basics

If you watch YouTube videos or tutorials you will quickly see what you can do with your ukulele. Nevertheless, you should familiarize yourself with the basics at the beginning and not try to play complicated chords directly. First learn the chords C, F, G, Am, E and the transitions between these chords. Once these transitions are your flesh and blood, you won't have any problems playing complicated songs either. But start small is the motto here!

4. Learn how to "strumming" properly

At the beginning you probably hit simple up / down up / down rhythms with your ukulele. Over time you will bring new elements to your game. There are thousands of different strumming patterns (patterns of how to strike). From our point of view, YouTube is particularly suitable for learning because you can play along right away, but you can also pause the video if you can't keep up.

One of the best introductions to strumming is on ukulelehunt.

5. Play as slowly as you can

When you have mastered your basic chords and are able to hum a little, start learning to jump back and forth between the chords. Practice this as much as possible with many different chords so that it is almost impossible to make mistakes (by the way: don't get angry, mistakes happen and help us all get better - see also point 2 :)). Remember, it is more important to play accurately than fast. When you start playing songs, choose songs that have simple chords and few changes. When you have mastered these songs, gradually find yourself looking for more complicated and faster songs.

6. Record yourself

Since we all have smartphones today, it's easier than ever to record ourselves and you should take advantage of this opportunity. It is extremely difficult to play while listening to yourself. Often when you play you don't notice that you made a mistake. If you record yourself and listen to yourself, your learning curve will be very steep!

7. Fingernails

A quick final tip: Make sure your fingernails are as short as possible, as you should only ever touch the strings and bridge with your fingers. If you touch both of them with your nails, the sound will quickly become messy.

I hope you could do something with my tips and have a lot of success and fun getting started with your ukulele!

‘Ukulele’ by 蠹蟲 髒 available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/dirty_bug/13972685090/ under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0.
‘Uke’ by Duncan Hunt available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/dullhunk/5778151642// under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full terms at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0.

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