Ukulele for Beginners6 min read
What is a Ukulele?
Many of you might have heard about Ukulele before. But for the ones who don’t know but Ukulele is, worry not! Actually, Ukulele is a musical instrument that belongs to the string family. It was designed in Hawaii in the 1880s. It is known to be based on several other instruments such as the Rajão, timple, cavaquinho, and the machete. All of these are actually Portuguese instruments.
History of Ukulele
The very first individuals who are known to be the original creators of this four-string instrument were Augusto Dias, Jose do Espirito Santo, and Manuel Nunes. All four of them worked as cabinetmakers that arrived in Hawaii in 1879. The royal opening got laid by King Kalakaua who incorporated this new instrument into the royal gatherings. This even helped to increase its popularity.
Structure of the device
Commonly Ukulele looks like a figure-eight shape and is quite similar to an acoustic guitar. However, some Ukuleles are non-standard as well. These non-standard ukuleles are oval in shape and are regarded as the ‘pineapple’ ukuleles.
Ukuleles are believed to be four strings long but some Ukuleles are paired. This is the reason why you’ll find eight string long instruments too in the market. You must always remember that the tuning of a four-string ukulele is to the notes G, C, E, A respectively.
Why Play Ukulele?
If you are someone who’s looking for a good way to enhance your music musically? Hold on! Because we have answers to all your queries. You need to look no further.
Many artists love to play Ukulele. And there’s a reason behind that. Some famous Ukulele players range from George Harrison to Elvis to Taylor Swift. There are ample techniques and songs that you can play on the ukulele!
To help you out, we have enlisted some important reasons to learn to play ukulele:
Ukulele is quite fun and easy to learn.
Think of the ukulele as a portable size which makes it easier for beginners as well as for the people who have smaller hands to learn to play. Apart from this, this instrument comes in multiple sizes, ranging from tiny to ones that are slightly larger in size. Because of this feature, players get even more options to find the right fit.
You might think that Ukuleles are quite expensive. But this isn’t true. You can buy this instrument for just $100 or even less!
Ukulele skills translate to guitar
Technically speaking, the strings of the Ukulele are structured differently. But there are many chords and skills that you once learn on the ukulele that can later be applied to the guitar.
You may end up being in a good company
You’ll find yourself among many other good players when you begin to learn Ukulele. There are a number of musicians who are skilled to play ukulele, ranging from Billie Ellish to Grace VanderWaal. Other famous players who have been known to pick up this instrument and strum a few chords are Taylor Swift and the Guitar Wizard Pete Townshend.
How to start?
Usually, it is believed that Ukulele is only played by kids in the 6-12 age range. But this is not true! Even kids belonging to the age group, say, 3- to 5-year-olds can also play Ukulele. Now you might be wondering if it’s possible to teach such kids to play the ukulele. The answer is Yes. Why not!
However, there are some limitations to this process of learning. The actual problem lies in the concept of managing time and concentrating. It isn’t tough for young children to be able to hold the ukulele just fine. But when it comes to dealing with the attention span needed to learn more than one or two chords, it becomes quite tough to deal with them! But it all depends upon the child of course. Some children are great learners and they tend to learn the concepts very quickly. To boost up your confidence, we have an amazing example to depict. Jake Shimabukuro, who is known to be one of the first people to popularize the Ukulele, started learning to play this instrument at the tender age of four. Can you believe it!
Hence, it is a fact that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with introducing the ukulele to the kids no matter how young they seem to be.
The Introductory Phase
It is very important that children learn to become comfortable with this instrument during the introductory phase. In the starting, you must focus on learning the chords rather than on the ways to hold this instrument. Therefore, children are allowed to hold it in whichever way they find comfort. Don’t worry, you’ll find enough time to learn how to hold and play the ukulele properly. For the time being, focus on the lessons first. Eventually, you can ask your kids which song they’ll prefer to play. There are many nursery rhymes that you can learn, for instance, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star ” or any other song that your child finds easy to play. As soon as they tell you their preferences, that’s your cue to proceed with the teaching part!
Choosing a Ukulele That’s Right for You
You might feel a little overwhelmed while choosing a ukulele. There are endless sizes as well as styles to choose from. Not to forget that each one has its own tone and varying features. In order to help you out to narrow the field of your search, we have enlisted a few tips to keep in mind while choosing a ukulele.
There are many options that you might find while buying a Ukulele. So make sure to check up on your personal preferences. Every ukulele comes in its own distinctive tone:
- Soprano: Soprano is one the smallest sized Ukulele that you’ll find in the market. It has a higher tone compared to the other larger ones. Due to their smaller size and frets that are spaced closer together, it becomes ideal for young learners as well as for players with small hands.
- Concert: Concert Ukulele is comparatively larger than the Sopranos. They are considered to be compact in size. Concert-size ukuleles consist of much more frets along with a warmer, deeper tone than others.
- Tenor: Tenor is one of the largest sizes that you’ll find all around. They have a rich tone and therefore they are suited for players with larger hands. In terms of the length and the neck region, their neck is a little wider as well as heavier than both the Soprano and Concert ukuleles. This gives them a more efficient bass-laden tone.
The Ukulele is a great instrument for beginners to pick up and deepen their love of music. This instrument is quite small, portable, relatively inexpensive, and fun to play. There’s certainly no time like the present if you’re thinking of learning to play the ukulele!
We hope that the points mentioned above will help you to choose the right type of ukulele, tips for tuning and strumming the instrument as well as some easy chords and songs to get you started.