Easy Steps for Learning Ukulele

Looking to teach yourself ukulele? A peaceful day, pouring rain and your favorite PJ’s, if you’re a music enthusiast, all you need is a Ukulele to turn this into a perfect day. The trouble begins when you’re having a hard time to begin playing it. There is so much that goes into choosing the perfect Ukulele for yourself. After spending hours of research and getting the right fit, the wait to play a song feels like a thousand years. If you’re a beginner and can’t hold your excitement to create magic with your tones, here is how you can teach yourself ukulele. 

Here we present you with a few guidelines that will help you learn Ukulele on your own. It demands a lot of patience and efforts, but there is nothing that equals the satisfaction and joy.

Teaching yourself to play a Ukulele is not as strenuous as it comes off, if you have passion for it. It does require a huge amount of time and energy to shift and sort through all the information. But it doesn’t come without its rewards. The biggest benefit, if you go for a self-teaching method, is that you get to set your own pace and select which chord works best for you. 

Before diving into the lessons, here’s a precautionary tip that needs to be followed. You’re prepared to work your fingers to play Ukulele, but have you ever wondered that your fingernails could play role too? The fingernails on your fretting hand are to be cut very, very short. Since you need to press the strings with the very tips of your fingers, this is a requirement for a clean sound. 

Now that we are all caught up with the necessities, let’s proceed with the steps to teach yourself ukulele.

Get the right fit:

First things first, select the right size of Ukulele for you and the find the one that matches your tone. It is recommended to try on a couple of different kinds of ukuleles and see which tone works best for you and fits your style. Learn how to tune your ukulele. If the instrument is out of tune, it’s gonna sound bad even if you play it the right way.

Decide your hands:

Chord diagrams are usually drawn in the standard right-handed fashion, hence the right hand is often referred to be the strumming hand. The left hand is therefore referred as the chording hand. But if you are a lefty, you can flip all diagrams and instructions and make them left-centric. 

How to hold your ukulele:

To start your musical journey on a solid footing, you need to learn how to hold your ukulele. It is highly important to fix a good technique from the very beginning. A little mindfulness can help you to save you from straining your tendons. It does not matter if you are standing or sitting, the ukulele should be held close against your body.

A strap can be used to maintain an optimum position, but most people usually prefer not to. The right forearm can secure the instrument against your chest if you don’t use a strap. In the beginning, the left hand should hold the neck loosely where it reaches the headstock. It is better to choose a chair without arm if you intend to play the ukulele while sitting. It is recommended to sit straight up at the edge of the seat. You can cross your right leg over your left so that it can rest gently against your thigh and relax your shoulders. 

How to place your fingers on chords:

You have to place your fingers between the frets, making a gentle arch to each finger. Your thumb should be on the back of the neck, being opposite your index finger.

The strings of the ukulele are numbered 4-3-2-1 from top to bottom. Lightly stroke the strings with the pad of your thumb, one at a time. For easier understanding, you can sing along with the numbers of the strings (4-3-2-1) and the pitches (G C E A). If you wish to go for C tuning, play all the open strings together. Thus the notes will make C6 chord which is comprised of the notes G C E A. Learn the chords. Look up the chord charts, that will help you know how you play each chord and where to put your finger. For example, if you put your finger on the bottom string, Third Fret which makes the C chord.

How to play the C7 chord:

To play play the C7 chord, it is important to learn how your left hand should be aligned on the instrument. To master that position, here’s a fun tip that you can do. You can pretend to have a sock puppet on your hand that you are making talk. Keep your wrist straight, so that your four fingers will be in a line and tap on your thumb. When you make that pippet looak at you, you will observe how your left hand is aligned on the instrument.

After you are done mastering that, you have to bring your hand around under the headstock, then put the neck of your instrument in the puppet’s mouth. This will help you to locate the first string (i.e. the A string). Now, placing the tips of your fingers in between the frets, put your index finger on fret 1, middle finger on fret 2, ring finger on fret 3 and little finger on fret 4. Your fingers should be able to curve gently.

Make sure that your thumb is lined up with the index finger on the back of the neck, and your wrist remains straightened. After that you should remove all but your index finger. It’s important to ensure that your index is on the first string, first fret. When you strum the strings after that, you would be forming a C7 chord. 


All these steps to teach yourself ukulele gushing into your mind at once may seem a little overwhelming at the very outset, but it gets easier with practice. You should practice every day for at least 10-15 mins so that you could build up those calluses. Start slowly, spend quality time with your instrument and be accurate. Without waiting anymore, get yourself onboard to a musical ride.

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