Learning how to play soprano ukulele for beginners? Although the Soprano ukulele maybe lacking in size in comparison to its counterparts, perfecting the instrument isn’t the easiest task in the musical world. Turning a string into pleasant melodies and music can seem like a daunting task. It appears so effortless when someone experienced is playing it.
We understand the pain when the tiny bubble you live in where you excel at everything pops, leaving you disheartened with your progress in your lessons. However, there’s no need to fret, because learning the ukulele needs a few things – consistency, practice, and persistence.
As a ukulele has fewer strings and is also smaller in size than a guitar, it’s much easier to learn.
Deciding you will learn ukulele starts with one step – selecting the perfect ukulele. There is a variation is sizes but some of them are more suited to a beginner. There are four ukulele sizes:
- Soprano ukulele: Popular for its small stature and classic tune, the soprano ukulele is the cheapest kind of ukulele you can find. This makes it the perfect choice for beginners.
- Concert ukulele: A concert ukulele wins over soprano ukulele in the size department. Many comparisons suggest that the primary difference between a soprano and a concert is the size which makes people of different hand sizes feel comfortable playing different instruments. People with larger hands would feel more natural playing on a concert uke and vice versa.
- Tenor ukulele: Larger than a concert ukulele, a tenor ukulele rules over the other two variations in richness of sound. It’s the ideal pick for many professionals and celebrity ukulelist.
- Baritone ukulele: The largest of the ukulele, the baritone uke is tuned similar to a guitar, which makes both the instruments, you guessed it – sound very similar. Unfortunately, the size strikes off the “classical ukulele sound” from the checklist, but it’s a good choice if you wish to play rich music.
For today, we will take the beginner route and provide easy to follow guides on how to learn and play the soprano ukulele. It’s a common variation so if you’re a newbie, it’s highly recommended you buy a soprano uke.
How to Play a Soprano Ukulele Successfully
1. Know your ukulele
Knowing the parts is super important. Mostly, guides that start from the basics instruct on where you need to put your hands when asked, so carefully follow those and have the positions memorized – it will turn into muscle memory soon.
The head is where you can find the tuners located at the bottom of the strings.
The frets are positioned at the neck. These frets are basically those partitions where the fingers must be placed on the strings to make a chord.
Last but not the least, you strum or pick on the body – the bridge, saddle, and hole is here.
2. Tune your ukulele:
Tuning is incredibly crucial to produce pleasant sounds that don’t make people want to hold down their ears. Remember to tune your stringed instrument before playing. The basic mechanism behind tuning is that the tighter you make the string, the higher the note will reach, and vice versa.
You can also refer to a digital tuning device to notify you when your soprano ukulele has been tuned to perfection. Or, you can watch some tutorials on YouTube.
3. Get in the zone
We’re not in the mental zone part yet, so for this part, you need to prep yourself physically – by which we mean prepping your fingernails. For an efficient and comfortable learning session, keep them reasonably short.
4. Hold the ukulele correctly
For righties, keep the right hand on the soprano ukulele’s body whereas the left should be situated at the neck.
Simply do it the other way around if you are a leftie.
While you are standing, you will either need to hold the instrument under your forearm, or you will need a strap to keep it in place.
5. Learn to read chords and play them
The chords tell you where you have to place your fingers or press down. So understanding chords is an important step. It seems almost impossible at first, but once you get the hang of it, it should be smooth sailing going forward.
Refer to diagrams telling you what to do.
To play any sort of melody on the ukulele, you need to know the chords. Before trying anything, learn and practice chords as your first lesson.
6. Learn to strum
The up and down motion that is done on the strings of the ukulele is called strumming. Different melodies and chords need different combinations of these movements.
As a newbie, you will find it difficult to get accustomed to brand new strumming patterns. Thus, practice slower and more to get the hands ready.
7. Keep in rhythm
Learn to stay in rhythm. Why? Any chord played is meaningless without timing every strum perfectly.
Maybe try using a metronome or even counting loud to stay in rhythm.
8. Sing a song
Endless, monotonous chord practice can do your more damage than good. Maybe you will start thinking there is no end to this chord practice and give up on your ukulele journey.
How about learning to play a song on the ukulele and sing it to remind yourself the training is leading you somewhere?
9. Let loose
Don’t force or stress music. It doesn’t work like that.
When things seem too stressful, do something that relaxes you. Refrain from pushing yourself too hard, but know when extra effort needs to be given. Just take it slow.
Like every other skill on the planet – practice makes perfect.
Not everyone is born with gifted fingers meant to play up magic on the strings. So, the more you practice, the quicker you will learn, eventually climbing the ladder of progress.
Hopefully, this beginner-level guide gave you an idea of how to go ahead with your soprano ukulele practice plans. Keep some of the basics engrained in your mind and you will see how learning the ukulele gets much faster.