How to play the ukulele

How to play the ukulele

Before learning how to play the ukulele, you need to choose the right instrument. A distinctive feature of its varieties is its size. There are such ukuleles:

  1. Soprano – have the smallest body, reaching 53 cm in length, with 12-14 frets .
  2. Concert – different sound, louder than the previous type.
  3. Tenor – has a large body, so it produces a low sound.
  4. Baritone – differs in the largest dimensions among all ukuleles: the length of the body is 76 cm.

Preparation for training

When choosing an instrument, you should pay attention to the material: cheap models are made of plywood or pressed wood, so they produce a sound of poor quality. Because of this, a beginner may lose motivation and interest in classes.

A good ukulele is made from real wood: its frets do not deteriorate from playing, and the strings are located at a distance of strictly 5 mm from the neck .

GCEAUkuleles are tuned as standard – GCEA, that is, “sol” – “do” – “mi” – “la”. At the 4th string, the sound belongs to the same octave as the previous three – this seems unusual to guitarists. The ukulele is tuned from the 1st string; all the rest should sound without going beyond the octave.

The correct setting of the ukulele is important – it is pressed against the chest with the help of the right forearm. The tool body rests against the elbow bend. To check the correct position, it is worth moving your left hand away from the neck a: the ukulele will keep the position unchanged. The left hand should wrap around the bar with the thumb and 4 fingers.

You need to hit the ukulele strings closer to the fretboard and a little higher than the socket. When the brush moves down, the nails should touch the strings; up – the fingertips slide along the strings.

How to learn to play the ukulele – instructions for beginners

Basic chords

When the fingers are calmly clamping the strings, it is worth starting to study the chords . They are major and minor . To get your fingers accustomed to the ukulele, you should play them in a different order.

How to play the ukulele


There are two types of ukulele tuning:

  • standard – with it, the strings line up in this way: “salt” – “do” – “mi” – “la”. Thanks to this, you can play the same songs that are played on a conventional guitar. The difference in sound between the instruments lies in the bottom note – unlike a guitar, the thickest ukulele string does not produce the lowest sound;
  • guitar – suggests the following order: “mi” – “si” – “sol” – “re”. The ukulele sounds just like a regular guitar.

How to play the ukulele


Simple scales are played with the fingernails or pads of the thumb and forefinger. Gradually, playing the ukulele will switch to playing with a pinch, folded with two fingers.


It happens major and minor . To play it on the ukulele from scratch, use the middle, index and thumb. The pentatonic scale resembles the plucking of the strings on a classical guitar in the manner of execution: the thumb is busy on the lower strings, and the middle and index fingers pluck the upper ones.

The ability to play the pentatonic scale is useful when you need to perform a composition where two sounds fall on one string.

fighting game

It is carried out with a pinch or index finger. They strike down with the nail of the index finger, up with its pad. The effort should be calm, but moderately strong. Fight on the ukulele is practiced on the chord ah. Additionally, one learns to play independently with the left and right hand.

Busting game

These ukulele lessons help your fingers to pluck the strings independently. You need to remember the arrangement:

  • the thumb plays on the fourth string;
  • index – on the third;
  • nameless – on the second ;
  • little finger – on the first.

All strings should sound evenly, smoothly and clearly.

Beginner Tips

Before learning how to play the ukulele on your own from scratch, you need to pay attention to fit, especially posture. A straight back, the correct position of the instrument, the position of the hands are the necessary conditions for the game to evoke positive emotions and give results. And this plays an important role in maintaining the motivation of an aspiring musician.

It is good to use the ukulele tutorial , including video tutorials. Here they teach how to choose the right instrument, demonstrate playing technique, offer tabs and chords .

It is important to choose the right tool. Most often, a soprano is selected as a ukulele for beginners – such a guitar is also called a children’s guitar. It is small, light and easy to carry. It is necessary to choose an instrument on which the strings are clamped without difficulty and produce a beautiful sound.

Hawaiian guitars are developed by Lag, Hora, Korala. When buying a ukulele, it is worth buying a case for comfortable carrying.

Common mistakes

Among the typical mistakes that ukulele performers make, we note:

  1. Wrong holding. In addition, the beginner stoops, so he quickly gets tired, and due to the illiterate position of the guitar, the game turns out to be unsatisfactory. The main criterion for the correct setting of the instrument is the ability not to hold it with your left hand.
  2. Definition of rhythm. A metronome will help with this. You should not chase the pace : you need to start playing slowly, gradually increasing the pace .
  3. Moderation. Some beginners are in a hurry to learn songs. To perform compositions, you must definitely play chords on the ukulele – the more the better.
  4. Discipline. Success comes to those who practice daily. It takes patience to develop the right playing skills.
  5. Using a guitar pick a. This leads to damage to the ukulele strings. This instrument requires a felt pick designed specifically for the ukulele.

Answers on questions

Do I need to take ukulele lessons from a professional?Lessons with a teacher are required if a musician plans to play the instrument professionally. If the task is to play for yourself, you can do without a teacher.
Is the ukulele difficult for beginners?No, the tool is not complicated.
What are the parts of a ukulele?Body, neck , frets , head, pegs , four strings.
How to tune a ukulele?You can use special Internet services or purchase a ukulele tuner – a sample of the sound of each string. Sometimes a piano or a synthesizer is taken as a reference .
Do I need to check my ukulele tuning before playing?Definitely, because the strings can weaken, and the sound will be different.

Summing up

The ukulele, or ukulele, is a four-stringed instrument that looks like a guitar. He has several varieties from soprano to baritone, which differ in size and sound. Before playing the ukulele, a novice musician needs to choose the right instrument for himself and understand its design and structure. The main thing in learning is patience and discipline: over time, the musician will be able to perform any melody.

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