The 'Ukulele (pronounced oo-koo-lele) comes in four standard sizes: Soprano (sometimes called Standard), Concert, Tenor and Baritone. The Baritone is tuned just like the four thin strings of a standard tuned guitar and called "G" tuning (D G B E). The Soprano, Concert and Tenor is typically tuning in a "C" Tuning (G C E A) or "D" tuning (A D F# B). The Tenor can also be tuned like the Baritone ukulele with a high or low string four.
A `Ukulele is:
- Light Weight and Portable
- Easy on the Fingers with Four Strings and Four Fingers - a perfect match
- Less Need for Strumming Accuracy
- There isn't a lot expected from a ukulele player
The music you play can be as simple or complex as you want. The Ukulele is a powerful musical instrument for communication in its own right.
And, did I mention it’s a lot of fun to play and explore.
And a side note - the ukulele community is one the most welcoming and helpful communities among musicians. Open to helping and sharing with any level of player.
Step One - Get A Ukulele
I would actually recommend to NOT get your ukulele without trying it out. There is a lot a variety in the number of manufactures making instruments, types of wood, solid tops vs. laminated tops, different string material, high "G", low "G", which tuning to use, the various sizes and shapes, etc... You need to get your hands on one and - more importantly find a reputable shop that, just doesn't have a few ukuleles and actually has a wide selection of instruments and knows what they are talking about. A lot of "guitar" stores think they are little guitars - they're ukuleles not guitars - same string family but a different personality and their own why of doing thinks. Only the chord shapes look the same, albeit different names. More importantly I've found the ukulele community to be very generous, accepting and open to new players.
So that leaves out the Amazons, WalMarts, Guitar Centers and Sam Ashes of the World. With more and more stores popping up that cater to the ukulele crowd and ukulele festivals with vendors as well as Meetup `Ukulele Groups ( here are the groups within 50 miles from Funky Frets in Boyertown, PA USA ) you can find a good source of ukuleles and somewhat knowledgeable people.
What to Learn
What you'll typically do the most as a beginner ukulele play is strum and play chords. The blow books and chord chart are a great place to start.
Here are a couple of lessons series for chords and getting started with strums:
- Basic Ukulele Chords Charts
- Movable Ukulele Chords Charts
- Ukulele Strums - Getting Started
- Building Your Core Strums for Ukulele
End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!
Related Lessons for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time.
From tuning by ear to using an electronic tuner. The below lesson goes over the various tuning methods for tuning your ukulele. You ALWAYS need to play in tune.
The banjolele (brand name; sometimes banjo ukulele or banjo uke) is a four-stringed musical instrument with a small banjo-type body and a fretted ukulele neck. 'Banjolele', sometimes also spelled 'banjelele' or 'banjulele' is a generic nickname given to the instrument, which was derived from the 'banjulele-banjo' introduced by Alvin D. Keech in 1917.
The Baritone ukulele is the largest of the standard, most common sized ukuleles. It is tuned just like the thin, higher four strings of a standard tuned guitar (D G B A). This makes it a great starting instrument for little tikes wanting to play guitar but can't handle the steel strings and larger body size of the most acoustic guitars.
Four sizes of ukuleles are common: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. There's also the less common sopranino and the bass ukulele at the extreme ends of the size spectrum.
The Concert ukulele sized in between the smaller Soprano ukulele and the tenor ukulele.
Most acoustic ukuleles can be plugged in with the addition of a internal pickup or stick-on pickup. This page focuses on purely Electric Ukuleles. These are typically solid body instruments with pickups. Either magnetic pickups in the same vein as solid body guitar electric pickups or a piezo under the saddle pickups.
The **guitarele, **guilele is a tenor body sized ukulele with additional stow strings, five and size. Tuned A D G C E A. This is the same tuning as the top four strings of C tuning with a low G with an added A and D.. Also the same tuning as a standard tuned guitar an a capo at the fifth fret (A D G C E A).
Ukuleles can come all manner of shapes and sizes. From smaller than soprano ukuleles, triangle shaped, plastic, etc. They will most likely be a standard sized soprano, concert, tenor or baritone ukulele - just a crazy shape.
A resonator ukulele or resophonic ukulele is a ukulele whose sound is produced by one or more spun aluminum cones (resonators) instead of the wooden soundboard (ukulele top/face). These instruments are sometimes referred to as Dobro ukuleles, however the term Dobro is currently trademarked by the Gibson Guitar Corporation.
The Soprano ukulele is the smallest ukulele. This is the size ukulele that most people associate as being a ukulele. It is the size that most people will remember Tiny Tim playing. A soprano ukulele typically has 12 to 14 frets.
Related Lesson Files, Resources and Assets
Related Assets for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time.
Basic Ukulele Chord Chart
A chart of the most common ukulele chords in the most common keys of C, G, D, A, and E.
Related Lesson Books
Related Books for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time.
Related Lesson Series
Related Lessons Series for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time.
Related Songs for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time.
Related Videos for Selecting a `Ukulele.
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Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books! — Peter Rhee
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LearningUkulele.com has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. I’ve been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!
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