Ukulele for Beginners

The Easiest Way to Learn the Ukulele for Beginners

If you’ve always wanted to play the ukulele like your favorite singer, this article is for you! Ukuleles are fairly cheap instruments and they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They also have a really nice sound that can be heard across the room. The best part about playing an instrument like the ukulele is that it doesn’t require much more than just an interest. You don’t need to know how to read music or even own a guitar before picking up one of these instruments because there isn’t any reading involved with most songs. This guide will teach you how to find your perfect sized uke, hold the ukulele properly, and play your first song!

What is a Ukulele for Beginners

The ukulele is a small, four-stringed instrument that originated in Hawaii. It’s popularity has grown in recent years and you can now find them in all shapes and sizes. While the ukulele does share some similarities with the guitar, it is much easier to learn how to play. In fact, most songs don’t require any reading skills at all!

The most common type of ukulele is made from wood, typically koa. However, there are also plastic and metal ukuleles available. While the choice of materials may affect the sound of the instrument, it doesn’t have a significant impact on how it is played.

How to Choose the Right Ukulele for Beginners

There are a few things you need to consider when choosing a ukulele. The first thing you need to ask yourself is what type of music do you want to play? Different instruments are better for different styles of music. If you’re not sure yet, check out this list of popular ukulele songs to help you make your decision. You will also need to consider how much money you are able to spend on the instrument. Ukuleles range in price from around $50 all the way up to several hundred, with most falling somewhere in between – anywhere from $100-$300.

The standard size ukulele is played with a strap that joins the two uppermost strings together about half-way down the neck. Most players find it easiest to play while standing up because this position allows for ease of movement across the fretboard, but many people who are just learning can manage fine sitting down or even lying on their backs! The best thing ukes is that they are fairly small instruments. If you decide to learn an alternative way to hold the ukulele, make sure you practice with it before purchasing.

Parts of a Ukulele for Beginners

The body of an ukulele is fairly simple. It usually has four strings that are joined into two pairs at either end by the bridge and headstock respectively. There are usually 12-15 frets along the neck. At the top of the neck is where you will find any controls for adjusting volume or tone settings on electric instruments or microphones if your uke comes equipped with one. The soundhole sits in the middle of the body projecting soundwards while also acting as a decoration. The top of the body is often decorated with either wood or mother-of-pearl. It’s also where you will usually find the brand name of the ukulele and other information about it.

How to Hold a Ukulele for Beginners

As mentioned above, there are many different ways to hold a ukulele depending on your personal preference. Most beginners find it easiest to play sitting down, holding their instrument between their knees. This way they can press their index fingers against the fretboard easily while resting their chins on the front edge of the instrument for balance – because who hasn’t seen someone playing an uke like this?

If you choose to sit down, make sure that you are comfortable and your legs are holding the instrument securely. Make sure that you can reach all of the strings easily while playing. If you struggle to play while sitting down, try standing up instead – some people find it easier to move around when they aren’t limited by their seating arrangements!

Strumming Techniques for Beginners

There are two basic styles of ukulele strumming: finger-style and plectrum/flat-pick style. Most songs will either use finger-style or a combination of both, depending on the preference of the songwriter.

Finger strumming is done with a downward motion where one finger lightly taps each string in turn going from left to right across them all simultaneously, or alternating between strings. This kind of strum is great for quick, upbeat songs and is usually the most popular style of strumming amongst beginners.

Plectrum/flat-pick strumming uses a plectrum (also called a pick) to strike all the strings at once from right to left across them with a downward motion. This tends to have a stronger emphasis on beats two and four compared to finger-style styles which tend towards emphasizing beat one more often. In order to keep time while playing, hold your ukulele as you would if you were about to play an open chord – place the neck across your body so it slants away from your chin downwards slightly. The headstock should also be pointing upwards to give your picking hand a good angle.

Picking chords is where you play a closed chord and pluck each string individually, usually with the index finger of either hand. Pick strumming can be done at any speed depending on what sound or mood you’re going for, but this style should not be attempted by beginner ukulele players as it requires much longer fingers than those found on beginner instruments!

Tuning Ukuleles

Like most other stringed instruments, ukuleles have several different ways that they can be tuned – typically G-C-E-A which is also known as “soprano” tuning. Different places may call these pitches slightly different names – just ask your ukulele instructor what pitches they prefer to use so you can tune correctly!

A baritone ukulele also has four strings, but the strings are tuned to tuned to D-G-B-E, which is the same as the top 4 strings on a guitar. This makes baritone ukuleles a great choice for guitar players looking to make the switch to ukuleles or for those who want the deeper sound that a baritone can provide.

Playing your first song on Ukulele for Beginners

Download this PDF and play your first song, Itsy Bitsy Spider

Some Easy Ukulele Songs for Beginners

Some easy ukulele songs for beginners include “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Happy Birthday”, and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. These songs are a great way to get started with the basics of strumming and chord progressions.


It’s never too late to learn a new instrument! Ukuleles are easy to pick up and play, with only four strings. Our ukulele guide will teach you the basics so that you can start strumming along to your favorite tunes in no time! Ukuleles are a lot of fun to learn because they are small, portable, and relatively easy to play. They also have a really sweet sound that is perfect for strumming along to your favorite tunes!

Learn More

Join a ukulele group in Portland Oregon Ukulele Group Listing for Portland OR – Mahalo Music Mag – Free jazz guitar lessons and eBooks online

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