Are you a Ukulele enthusiast? Do you want to learn it for career purposes or simply want to enjoy it? If you are considering to start your Ukulele journey, you can look into these 10 tips we have for you.
1. Get a good quality Ukulele
If you are serious about planning to start your Ukulele journey, the first thing that you should consider is the instrument itself. If you have the means and capability to take advantage of Ukulele brands such as Kala, Mahalo, and Lanikai, then do so. But I must say that a Ukulele doesn’t have to be very expensive, it’s true that playing Ukulele is not about the brand but one thing you have to look after before buying Ukulele is the quality. Brands like Kala offers a very good quality Ukulele but there are also Ukulele from local stores that are of good quality. If you are unsure, you can search online and check the reviews to compare them.
2. Holding technique
How you hold the Ukulele impacts how it sounds. Observe people on how they hold their Ukulele may help you, but mind you that it is not a “one size fits all” thing, you have to try it yourself and see what works best for you. You can try holding your Ukulele while sitting and standing. When you are sitting, just leave the Ukulele resting on your legs and let your strumming arm placed on its top to make its neck floating in the air. On the other hand, if you are standing, just place it on your chest while strumming it. With practice, either (or both) of these methods should work for you. Though a Ukulele is very tiny and light, some people may find it heavy so a strap may help them regarding that concern. Tip: Do not hold it too tight because its vibration through the body also plays an important role.
3. You must have F-U-N
I must say that the goal of your Ukulele journey is to have fun. It’s going to be a long roller coaster ride, but that’s how it is, besides, all things are hard at first but if love what you’re doing and it brings joy to your life, things become easier, eventually. A Ukulele may look small but there is something about it – there’s not much you can do with it that doesn’t sound happy.
4. Learn the basics
Watching someone playing the Ukulele might look easy not until you do it yourself (especially if you’re a beginner). It’s amazing how Ukulele players seem to play it effortlessly and that’s also possible for you. But in order for you to learn the art of Ukulele, you have to master the basics. Learning the basics is the basic thing in Ukulele – if you can’t do the basics, how can you do the complex ones? You can ask someone to teach you the basics or you can also watch video tutorials on Youtube.
5. The art of strumming
In line with the basics is the strumming technique. Up and down is the basic of strumming and as you go further with your Ukulele journey, you’ll slowly learn how to combine strumming with some slapping and palm muting. Being able to combine those techniques will be of great help in making that funky, chunky, and groovy sensation of Ukulele music. Focus on the song, feel it, and you’ll soon notice that your hands are working on its own like magic.
6. Learn music theory
Music theory is the language of music. If you are indeed serious about Ukulele, especially if you want to venture it as your career, you might want to consider learning the music theory. Having the understanding of it will be your edge compared to those who just know its basic and they just do it for fun. Also, it will open more doors for learning and opportunities at the same time.
7. Slowly but surely
Learning how to play the Ukulele is not like a race – where the fastest is the best and the slowest is the worst. Just by learning the basics will take a lot of time, you need to exert so much effort, you’ll have to face many challenges as you go through this Ukulele journey but it will be surely worth it. Always see to it that there is always a room for improvement within you, do not be afraid to make mistakes because that is how you learn. Keep in mind that one of the most important things in this Ukulele journey is to be “accurate” rather than “quick”. Don’t rush things, make it slowly but surely and you will notice how things will fall into their right places.
8. Play along with friends, family, and Ukulele players
It is a very good idea to have your friends and family with you through this Ukulele journey. They are the frankest people who will be honest enough to give you their constructive criticisms for you to check and improve yourself. Don’t close your doors and feel free to accept these feedbacks, look into it and fix it. Aside from that, you can also ask advice from people you know who are good at playing Ukulele that is a very efficient way to learn from different stories of different people.
9. Record yourself then watch it. How do you feel?
Oftentimes, we feel like what we are doing is already the best that we can do but not until we listen or watch ourselves through a voice or video recording. If it still feels very awkward to watch or listen to yourself playing Ukulele, then, there might be something that needs to be corrected. That is why it is very wise to record yourself while you are playing Ukulele for you to have a self-evaluation and ask yourself “Is this the path I have envisioned for myself?” If the answer is “NO”, then you still have a long way to go. The main point of doing this is to pinpoint what area needs improvement.
10. Practice…Practice… and Practice!
Nothing works best other than “practice”. If you are really into Ukulele you need to practice regularly. Playing the Ukulele is a never-ending practice – practice the chords, practice the strumming, practice everything. That’s what Ukulele is, but you have to see its positive side, the practice may be tiring but when you see the results you’ll realize how it’s all worth it.
I hope that you’ve learned something about these tips we have provided. Just always remember that there is nothing like a “one size fits all” in learning how to play Ukulele – you have to see what works best for you. Nonetheless, the most important thing about Ukulele is knowing its real essence – it is to have fun.