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Now you know how to hold a ukulele now it’s time for the how to strum the ukulele for beginners lesson! By the end of this lesson you’ll be able to play a song on the ukulele using just one chord!
First of all make sure you’re holding the ukulele correctly – see my previous post on how to hold a ukulele
Practice strumming down, down-up, up-down. Practice clapping this before you even start (the video is better to describe this)
To start with, use your pointer finger using the nail strumming down and the tip of the finger (or the meat of the finger) strumming up. Make sure to strum all the strings so you hear the beautfil sounds of the ukulele. Treat all strings when you’re strumming the same, don’t strum one harder than the other. Keep a nice consistent strum across all strings, up and down.
Once you get strumming down pat, try and incorporate a chord to the mix. The C chord is a a very easy chord to play, you only need to use the one finger!
Make sure you point your fingernail(s) to the ground while strumming. The back of the nails strum down (facing and going in the direction of the ground) and the tips of your fingers strumming up.
Once you get a hand of this technique, try practicing the rhythm while playing the C, G and F chords from the previous lesson with the rhythm shown in the video.
Make sure you’re comfortable, relaxed and can hear all strings being strummed and if you’re up to playing the chords, make sure they all sound correct. If you can do this you’re well on your way to starting to learn songs and starting to learn some more chords so you can master even more songs.
Well done, you’re really getting along playing the ukulele! Oh, the song I mentioned you’ll be able to play. Well, now you can hold a ukulele , strum the ukulele and play basic chords on the ukulele here’s a song I found that you can play just using the C chord: Row, Row, Row Your Boat!
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Today on Ukulele for Beginners I’m going to teach you how to hold a ukulele, so don’t just sit there go grab your ukulele!
You can be sitting down or standing up it doesn’t really matter. Whatever is comfortable for you.
Next step – hold the ukulele against your chest with your forearm almost gripping the ukulele at the top edge. Make sure your strumming hand is able to reach the 12th fret from the top.
Cradle the ukulele (meaning to give it support) and use your index finger to strum (the finger next to the thumb!)
With your left hand hold the ukulele in a pistol like form (vice versa if you’re left handed)
Don’t strum near the hole of the ukulele. As I mentioned before you want your strumming hand to be able to reach the 12th fret of the ukulele as this is where you will be strumming from. I know it seems odd but strumming from there makes the best sound and also makes holding and playing the ukulele much easier.
Go beatles style and hold the ukulele right up high on your body, this helps with the cradle position and to hear the ukulele better as you play along.
To see if you’re holding the uke correctly you should be able to remove one of your hands and the uke should stay exactly where it is.
Practice holding with just one hand (for right handers your right hand, put your left hand behind your back and just practice holding the uke without the ukulele slipping) remember to cradle the ukulele (keeping support at the bottom).
When you’re actually playing you’ll have your other hand as support too when playing the chords.
Try and find a style that suits you and that you’re comfortable with. This is just a guide to get started if you’re unsure of how to start holidng the uke.
If you are sitting you can rest the bottom of the ukulele on your leg.
Here are a couple of youtube videos showing how others are holding the ukulele while standing and while sitting.
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So you’ve got your first ukulele for beginners and the you want to play some songs! The first 3 chords you should learn are the C F and G chords. You master these 3 simple chords and you’ll be playing a variety of songs in no time!
Before we get started lets look at the ukulele itself. It has 4 strings. Hold the ukulele and starting from the bottom string (closest to the floor) we have the A chord, then moving up next is the E chord, then C, then G. The G string/chord being closest to your face if you’re holding the ukulele correctly.
Now you may be thinking that you can just strum the one string to create the chord sound however you don’t get the same beautiful sound as you could playing just one string, which is why you learn to play chords with all strings holding your hand/fingers in the correct positions for different the different chords.
Follow this chord chart on where to place your fingers on the ukulele then strum! Easy – you’ve played the chord!
Ukulele Chord Chart for Beginners - C, F and G
The C Chord - Place your ring finger on the A string on the third fret and strum. The A string being the string closest to the floor and the third fret being the third section from the top which is seperated by grooves on your ukulele.
The F Chord – Use your pointer/index finger (the one next to your thumb!) and place it on the E string (2nd from the floor) on the first fret. Place your middle finger on the G string (closest to your face!) on the second fret. Stum and you’ve mastered the F chord!
The G Chord – Use your middle finger placed down on the A string (closest to floor) second fret. Place your pointer/index finger on the C chord (second from the top of the ukulele) second fret. Finally place your middle finger on the E chord (second from the floor) third fret.
You may need to go through each of these over and over again until you’ve learnt them all. Once you know them off by heart try switching between each chord.
Here’s a little exercise I like to try:
play C F G
then C G F
then FCG.. and so forth
Play this strumming up and down more than twice for each, as you get better strum just once in a nice steady 4 beat pattern tlil you can strum seamlessly between each chord moving fingers and making beautiful ukulele sounds.
Once you’ve mastered moving between the C, F and G chords seamlessly you’ll be able to tackle many real songs EASILY!
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By picking up a Ukulele For Beginners you will open yourself to a whole new unique world of music
Every man and their dog owns a guitar but how many people do you know own a Ukulele?
Ukuleles are extremely affordable, much easier to play than other instruments and create a lot more smiles when played well because the instrument is so unique compared to other instruments such as the guitar.
Ukuleles for beginners typically only have 4 strings and are small which means carrying and playing chords are much easier than say playing the guitar. The small nature of Ukuleles means that carrying and transporting Ukuleles is simple and effortless. They’re not heavy by any means but are also built quite well so they won’t get damaged easily.
Chords can be played with 1 finger as opposed to several fingers on a guitar. For example the C chord on a Ukulele can be played with just 1 finger. Simple!
Don’t be fooled into thinking Ukulele’s are just for those who live in Hawaii or wear Hawaiian shirts. You can play anything from rock to classical music on the Ukulele.
So if you want to start playing a musical instrument that is fun, unique, affordable and easy to play. Buy a Ukulele! They’re fantastic and you’ll be impressing others in no time.
Check out this small boy playing I’m Yours by Jason Mraz on the Ukulele. If that’s no inspiration enough I don’t know what is!