So you just bought a new ukulele and don’t know where to start. Maybe it’s your first production instrument, or maybe you’ve been playing guitar for quite some time before you decided to investigate its smaller cousin. Either way, there are several things you’ll want to understand about ukuleles until you’re able to learn how to play your favorite tunes. You can go to soundsandcolours.com for more music tutorials.
Holding the Ukulele
The first thing you need to know is how to best hold your new instrument. Next, you can position the ukulele so that it is in contrast to your body. You can hold it in the chest area, but if it is uncomfortable, try moving it up or down until you find a comfortable position. However, do not hold the ukulele too tightly. Your palms should be positioned so that you can press down on the strings of the first four frets. This is called the “first layer.” Your knee should be held slightly away from your body and try to keep your wrist steady.
Tuning the Ukulele
Nowadays, many people prefer to use a minimum G string, rather than the traditional recessed tuning, to give the instrument a fuller sound and more variety. The easiest way to tune your ukulele is to use a digital tuner. Digital tuners are devices that can be placed on the headstock of the ukulele to obey the instrument. If your tuner has different settings, set it to “C” or “Ukulele” mode, depending on the settings. It moves each string individually and resolves the tuning along with the pegs on the headstock. There are also tuning programs for a smartphone that works as a digital recorder. You can use a piano to help you cut the strings on your ukulele.
If you don’t have a tuner or piano handy, you can also sing by ear once you have more experience. For this introductory article, I will assume that you have a tape recorder or recorder available. It is important to remember that you will need to retune your ukulele often when it is new and as soon as you change strings. Nylon strings stretch a bit and take time to “break-in”. As you continue to play the ukulele, the strings will begin to tune. To speed up this process, you can lengthen the strings.
Mastering the First Three Chords
Once you have learned the notes of the C major scale, you can start playing in the key of C with a series of simple, easily recognizable melodies. The first three chords you should learn might be C, C, Am, and F. When you know these three masters, there are many different melodies you can strum. When you get started, you can use the basic “down, down” pattern for simple songs in 4/4. Once you have had some instruction, you can experiment with more intriguing strumming patterns, such as “up, down strums.”