If you’re a total newbie to the ukulele I’ve compiled a list of my posts below in an order that should help you on your way to becoming a ukulele master. I’ll keep adding to this list over time as I make more and more content. This should get you started though!
Before you buy
If you’re thinking of buying a ukulele but haven’t yet then have a look at the posts below. I look at some things to think about before buying a ukulele and then cover my recommended ukuleles for beginners.
The ukulele buyers guide
The ukulele buyers guide covers everything you need to know before you make a purchase – from sizes and strings to ukulele brands and materials. Get some knowledge before you buy!
Best ukuleles for beginners
Now that you know enough to know you want to buy a ukulele take a look at my list of the best ukuleles for beginners. All of the ukuleles covered are inexpensive but give a great sound.
I get to play quite a few ukuleles (lucky me) and I post my thoughts and pics of every single one. If you haven’t quite found the perfect ukulele yet, head on over and read my ukulele reviews.
Getting to know your ukulele
So you’ve bought a ukulele? Great, now you should spend a little time getting to know it. Find out which part is which, what the string names are and more.
Get to know the parts of your ukulele
Don’t know the nut from the bridge? Take a look at my ukulele parts diagram to get to grips with all of the different parts of a ukulele.
Ukulele string order
Do you know the names of the strings on your ukulele? It’s a good idea to this memorised as soon as possible.
How to tune a ukulele
Ukuleles are pretty notorious for going out of tune. The sooner you learn how to tune a ukulele the better. Here’s 3 ways to get your ukulele in tune.
Understanding ukulele chord boxes
When it comes to playing songs on a ukulele you’re going to encounter a lot of chord boxes. Chord boxes show you how to play chords – here’s how ukulele chord boxes work.
Why does my ukulele always go out of tune?
Is your ukulele constantly going out of tune? Fear not, help is here – find out why and what you can do about your ukulele constantly going out of tune.
Starting to play
You know which string is which and now you just want to get on and play the thing. Let’s do this!
Getting started with ukulele
For anyone looking for a quick all in one post to get you up and playing quickly check out my getting started with ukulele page.
Ukulele strumming patterns for beginners
Here’s a few strumming patterns to get you up and running and mix up your playing a bit.
The most important strumming pattern you’ll ever learn
If you could only play one strumming pattern for every song it would have to be this one. Get to grips wth the most versatile strumming pattern of them all. It works on almost any song.
Stand By Me – A brilliant song for beginners to learn
Stand By Me was the first song I ever learned on ukulele and I’d highly recommend it as a first song to learn. There are 4 chords in it and it sounds great. Here’s how to play Stand By Me.
Play hundred of songs with just 4 chords
If you’re the kind of person that like to get value for money then you might appreciate the fact that learning just 4 chords can get you playing hundreds of songs. Find out what those 4 chords, why it works and some of the songs that you can play.
Learn to read ukulele tab
In this post I take a look at the basics of getting to grips with learning and understanding ukulele tab.
Ukulele fingerpicking for beginners
It won’t be long after you get to grips with a few chords and strumming patterns before you start to get
One chord songs on ukulele
The lazy way to play a song – find one that only has a single chord. Actually it takes quite a bit of work to make a one chord song sound interesting. Here’s a few suggestions for one chord songs and tips on playing.
Learn how to chuck/chunk strum
The chuck/chunk strum is heavily used in ukulele songs and really adds an extra dimension to your playing. Find out how to play a chuck/chunk strum right here.
32 strumming patterns (PDF download)
Need some new strumming ideas? Head this way to grab my PDF download showing you 32 different ukulele strumming patterns to keep your strumming sounding fresh
A beginners fingerpicking song
Now you’ve learned the basics of fingerpicking we need a song to try it out on. The First Cut is The Deepest by Cat Stevens is a great song get started with. Get some tips on how to fingerpick along.
20 minute beginners practice schedule
Not sure what you should be doing in your practice time? I made a 20 minute schedule to help you get the best out of your practice sessions.
Ukulele finger warm up
It’s a great idea to warm your fingers up before you start playing. It helps to get you in the right frame of mind and to get your fingers ready to play their next masterpiece. Here’s my ukulele warm up routine.
How to sing and play ukulele at the same time
It can be pretty tough to sing and play at the same time, I struggled for years with this. Here’s how I eventually conquered singing and playing at the same time.
Ukulele soloing for beginners (part 1)
Just because you’ve chosen the ukulele over a Fender Stratocaster doesn’t mean that you can’t rock a solo ever once in a while. Here’s some tips to get you on the path to becoming a solo master.
Chord whats? Chord inversions are just different ways to play the same chord. You did know that you can play the same chord more than one way right? Find out how and why that’s useful right here.
A little music theory goes a very long way. Theory is such an unappealing word though isn’t it?
The circle of fifths
Did you know there’s a formula for playing and finding chords that sound great together? Well there is, and don’t worry it’s not cheating. Get to grips with the circle of fifths and you’ll never struggle to find the next chord again.
A bunch of other random posts, resources and articles that should help you your way to ukulele greatness.
- 32 ukulele strumming patterns
- Blank ukulele tab sheets
- Blank ukulele song sheets
- Ukulele practice routine worksheet
- Memorising your ukulele fretboard
- Recording ukulele videos for Youtube
3 thoughts on “Ukulele Beginners”
Hi, thanks for all the information for newbies to the uke, I’ve learnt quite a lot here.
May I ask a question? I’m a total novice to any kind of stringed instrument and I’m finding the left hand fingering almost impossible with some chords like the B, Bb and E for example.
I thought I’d be happier with a slightly larger Uke so got the polycarbonate Korala Concert. It gave me more room in the frets but meant I had to stretch my fingers further and that was just as bad as trying to ram them into the smaller frets of the soprano.
Also the Stagg US60 Soprano seems to have strings that are easier to press down compared with the Koralo which has really hard stiff strings and trying to barre them is virtually impossible. My fingers are red raw after only twenty minutes practice on that Uke. Is there such thing as hard or soft strings in the uke world?
Where am I going wrong, I’ve seen little girls and blokes with massive sausage fingers play the uke with no problems yet I’m struggling with even the basics?
Any ideas please, it’s so disheartening.
I don’t know if this will help, but I’m always checking my hand position near the nut, it’s easy to slip into bad habits, I must admit I thought about buying a concert size uke but thought well if those guys can play a soprano then I can too. Some hand exercises may help, I got a cheap plastic ball and use it every other day to try and strengthen my fretting hand. Luck.
Hi all, I got my ukulele in mid February and I practice every day for at least 10 minutes often more. But I was wondering, how long does it take to develop callouses on my fingertips? There are signs that they may be ‘on their way’ but I expected them to be a bit quicker than this. How long, on average should this take? Is there a way to speed up the process?