My guidelines for those first moments when you explore the world of ukulele.
(I feel helpy today. Lucky you.)
1. Spelling. Ukulele is not the same as ukelele. You won’t find much help when your Googling “basic ukelele chords.” I understand it is tricky with the common abbreviation “uke,” but just don’t do it.
2. Strumming. When you learn those first few chords in those first few hours, if you’re like me at all, you’re going to sound bad, and if you’re learning a song, you’re going to blame the fact that you don’t have the strumming pattern down. I’ve learned recently that when you strum, you can just make shit up a lot of the time. Don’t worry about strumming, you’ll get better. Just practice mindlessly while you talk to people and watch TV.
3. Tone. To make yourself sound all pretty, you need to be strumming in the right spot. This is where the neck (long part) mets the body (sexy lady with curves part.) Don’t strum over the blowhole (yep, I’m using that word) because it will not sound nearly as good. One of the many mysteries of ukulele that I’m sure science can simply explain.
4. Tuning. Please please please keep your ukulele in tune. Check to make sure it is in tune constantly, eventually it will settle and stay in tune more than it would initially. I used to have to tune mine every 40 minutes of play, but now I only need to tune once a day. But really, learning what your instrument is meant to sound like is key for developing an ear. I used to think I was tone deaf, but even I’m getting better. Bookmark this and download this to help.
5. Storage. Don’t you dare put that thing in its case. For best results your ukulele should be out as much as possible. This way it is always staring you in the face reminding you to play it. This is why I sucked at violin. It was so fancy that it always needed to be put away, so I always forgot I had it.