Ukulele For Beginners: DIY Ukulele Hanger

I have had my new ukulele for about a month now, and to be honest, I haven’t really played it that much. It’s not that I don’t want to play, it’s just that I keep it in the bag. When it’s in the bag, I am not really thinking about playing it as often as I would like.

The new ukulele I got my wife however, is always sitting around and I play it all the time. So here is a tip from ukulele for beginners. If you want to play your ukulele as much as possible, keep it in a location that is easy to get to and a place where you can see it all the time. The more it’s in front of your eyes, the more you will pick it up.

The problem, is that my ukulele came with a bag and not a stand. It’s a nice bag, but it is still a bag. Great for travelling (I carried my ukulele from the US to Japan), but not so great for keeping it where I can play it.

So here is a better option. How about making a rack that will hang your ukulele(s) and will barely cost any money at all. It’s really simple and only takes a few supplies. You might even be able to come up with something very similar and more creative.

Here is a video on how to make your very own DIY ukulele rack:

Ukulele For Beginners: Ukulele Buyer’s Guide

I have talked a lot about the things you want to avoid in buying your first ukulele. There are a lot of questions on the web from beginner ukulele players about what is the best ukulele for beginners. Well, it really depends on what kind of instrument you are looking for. Is this your first instrument? Are you really serious about playing or are you just looking to play every once and a while? Do you want to spend as little as possible or get something really nice.

The answers to all of these questions will decide which is the best ukulele for you to buy. You don’t want to get a cheap ukulele because it will sound like crap, but decent ukuleles can be had for around $40.

While the criteria to find the perfect ukulele changes for each person. There are certain things that everyone should do when finding their ukulele. This includes getting it from a store that knows what they are doing, playing it before you buy it (when possible), and really thinking about how much you are going to use it.

The below video discusses some of the important things you want to consider when making your first ukulele purchase. You’ll notice that he talks about a twingy A string. I also had this problem with my first ukulele. It is quite annoying. This can be avoided by choosing a good ukulele and having it setup properly.

Some stores may charge a little more, but if they include a proper setup with the ukulele, then an extra $20-$40 is worth it. This is especially true when purchasing ukuleles in the sub $100 range, which are more likely to have slight imperfections. However, with a proper setup, I can say that the Makala MKS I purchased for my brother was darn near as good as the Hamano I purchased for myself. I was actually more impressed with it because it sounded so good for so little.

So here is the video. It’s a little erratic, but has some good points.

Learn the Ukulele: It Will Rain by Bruno Mars

For all of you who are looking to learn a new song on the ukulele, here is a video tutorial on how to play “It Will Rain” by Bruno Mars on the Ukulele.

This isn’t the easiest of songs, I would say maybe intermediate, but the tutorial is pretty good and if you practice enough, even beginner ukulele players should be able to get it. If this is the first song that you are trying to learn on the ukulele, then I would recommend going with something a little easier. Try this beginner ukulele song.

For all of the ukulele beginners out there, just remember that everything is practice. I can still remember when I first started learning the ukulele, I felt like it was gonna be impossible. I kept going however, and got better and better. What seemed like impossible chords to hit, got easier and easier. Don’t give up.

Here’s the video!

Not For Ukulele For Beginners: The Orchestra of Great Britain

When most people think of the ukulele we think of a happy island type song in the traditional Hawaiian style. Well the ukulele can also be used for just about any other kind of music as well.

While the below video definitely isn’t a beginner ukulele song, it is still a lot of fun. “Smells like teen spirit” played by The Orchestra of Great Britain.

Enjoy!

 

Learn Ukulele: Chords for ukulele beginners

You just got your first ukulele (if you haven’t, then check here: ukulele for beginners). Now you want to learn some basic chords to get you playing. Here is a great video that shows you basic ukulele chords.

Once you have mastered these chords you will be able to play most modern songs. You will be surprised at how many songs use the same popular chords.

Here are some other popular posts:

2 Ukuleles For Beginners

I have talked quite a bit about the Makala Dolphin and the Makala MK-S. They were the top two in the best ukulele for beginners under $60 and even ranked very high above that price as well. If you are trying to choose the best between the two then here is a helpful video.

They both sound great, but are made of different materials. The Makala Dolphin is made of plastic and the MK-S is made of wood. I’ll let you decide which one sounds best.

 

 

 

Beginner Ukulele Song: “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”

This last Christmas I bought my wife a new ukulele. Her first ukulele was a really cheap ukulele she got out of a catalogue, so this is her first real ukulele. She loves it and it is a really beautiful ukulele. However, the thing I want to talk about is the little instruction manual that came with it.

It is just a fold out, but it had finger positions and a couple of Ukulele songs for beginners. The one that she started learning was “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”. I was very impressed, because after just a few minutes she was able to start playing and start singing. The other great thing about this song is that it is a lot of fun to sing.

So here is a video on how to learn “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” on the ukulele.

If you still haven’t purchased yourself an ukulele please check out these links:

 

 

Makala MK-S: Great Ukulele For Beginners

This Christmas I purchased three ukuleles. One for myself, one for my wife, and one for my brother. We are all beginner ukulele players, but I wanted to get something decent for everyone. I purchased a Hamano Concert in solid mohagony, an Ohana Willowood, and a Makala MK-S.  All three of them are great, but the one I am the most impressed with is the Makala MK-S.

It sounds basically as good as the other two (which are much more expensive), but at a fraction of the price. In one of the previous posts I did about the best Ukulele under $60 the Makala Dolphin and MK-S were the two top ukuleles. After playing on it for a while, it really is easy to see why.

It is well made, inexpensive, and sounds great. I got it from MusicGuyMic (he unfortunately no longer sells lower end ukuleles) in Hawaii and it came with a full setup and Aquila strings. I think part of what makes it sound so good are the strings.

So if you are looking for a good ukulele for beginners and don’t want to spend a lot of money. This is a great choice.

 

Ukulele For Beginners: Ukulele Tutorials

You’ve bought your ukulele (if you haven’t go here: buy ukulele), been practicing your strumming and chords and now you are ready to try and play some songs. Good For you! So now where do you find some good tutorials.

Like many “how to” videos, You Tube is the place of choice. If you type in the song name along with “ukulele tutorial” you will find a ton of different videos for just about any song. Give it a try.

However, there are two Ukulele You Tube Channels that I would like to recommend for ukulele beginners.

The first is Musicteacher2010. His videos are top notch and very well taught. He also puts the chords right up on the screen so you can play along with him and sing the song. He also goes at just the right speed and his voice is very easy to listen to. A great teacher. (I think the below video was made before he changed his You Tube name).

The second is Krankthat22. As I write this he currently has a total of 94 videos. He focuses mostly on hit songs. His songs are also pretty simple and he puts tabs in the description so you know exactly what to play.

So check the out and find a song you like. If this is your first song then I recommend that you choose something simple.

Ukulele For Beginners: Practice Time

Since I started to learn the ukulele, one of the most common things I hear is “I would love to learn the ukulele, but I am not talented at music” or “I don’t have any natural ability”. As if those who can play are born with some kind of gift. People always tend to ignore the countless hours that people put in to learn. It’s true that some people learn quicker than others, but the bottom line is that everyone has to put in the work.

I think this is especially true when playing the ukulele for beginners. There is a lot for your hands, mind, and mouth have to coordinate. If just one of them is out of sync the song won’t quite work.

When you first start learning the ukulele there are two things to consider about your practice schedule; length and frequency. They are both important. If you don’t put in enough hours each week, then you won’t gain the muscle skills and flexibility that you need to play well. However, if you only practice once a week, even for several hours, your body will forget a lot of what you have learned by the next time you play. It’s always kind of like two steps forward, one step back.

I am still pretty new at the ukulele (this is ukulele for beginners), but I think at least 30 minutes to hour is necessary. I find that it usually takes me that long to start feeling comfortable with my ukulele and to get my fingers start working well. So, an hour or more everyday.

Having said that however, if you can’t spare an hour, it is always best to pick up the ukulele for even five minutes and play.

When I am learning a new song on the ukulele, I will learn the chords and then I can practice anywhere. When I am talking to someone on the phone, when I am watching TV, etc. The more I practice the less I have to think about it.

One trick I have found is to leave my ukulele out in the open. If I leave it in it’s bag or put it out of the way, I am much less likely to think about it. If you leave your ukulele out in the open, it’s much easier to pick up and play at any time.

Just remember that learning comes down to hard (but fun) work and not just natural talent.

Ukulele For Beginners