Selecting a `Ukulele
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 player is strummin and play chords. The below books and chord charts are a great place to start.
Here are a couple of Lesson 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!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. - What does this mean?
Related Lessons for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time.
Banjo `Ukuleles • Updated: Apr 12, 2019
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.
Baritone `Ukuleles • Updated: Apr 12, 2019
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.
Solidbody Electric `Ukuleles • Updated: Apr 12, 2019
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.
Guitar `Ukuleles (Guitarele, Guilele) • Updated: Apr 12, 2019
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).
Resonator `Ukuleles • Updated: Oct 19, 2014
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.
Here is a page of manufactures and builders for resonator ukuleles.
The resonator ukulele is a descendant of the resonator guitar. The resonator guitar was originally designed to be louder than conventional acoustic guitars, which were overwhelmed by horns and percussion instruments in dance orchestras. A resonator ukulele is generally somewhat louder than a standard wooden ukulele, and has a different tone quality and distinctive appearance.
Though resonator guitars are often played flat in the lap steel guitar style, resonator ukuleles are almost exclusively played in the conventional manner.
Related Books for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time.
Related Songs for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time.
Related Lesson Files, Resources and Assets
Related Assets for Selecting a `Ukulele at this time.
Site Access Plans for LearningUkulele.com
Forever Access - With Forever Premium Access, you get Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources, related assets, and ALL books by Curt as FREE downloads. Pretty much everything on the site and NEVER worry about a subscription or surprise payment again. And jump the queue for responding to any questions.
If your anything like me (Curt) and getting Subscription overload with everything on-line wanting money from you once a month — I'm with you. For like-minded individuals, this forever plan is a pay once and your done.
The price for Unlimited Forever access is right around the cost of a few months of private lessons. I can guarantee that is more material on-line to keep you busy for a long, long time. And, you get all of my books for FREE. That along is more than the cost of this plan.
Basic Access - A limited selection of basic lessons — ( currently over 140 ) and 100+ songs for ukulele as well as basic general music reference material — Completely FREE — Simply Register/Signup. HOWEVER - I've been doing ukulele and LearningUkulele.com since 2003 and probably have given too much away already - as reflected in my income from the site in relationship to the time spent on the site. So help support this site and its continued development by signing up for one of the below Premium Access Plans or buy a few of my books. - Thanks, Curt
NOTE: Each higher access level includes ALL the benefits of the lower levels. Private Lessons include all the benefits of a Premium Access Plans as long as you remain a student on the schedule.
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
Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the best — Glen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys
Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too. — Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg
I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent. — fatveg — Portland
Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!
Original Curtie Animation from 1987 for my first web site on a Macintosh II.
33 years ago.
“Built for myself (Curt), and sharing with the `Ukulele community!”
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!!!
Content is added and updated almost daily - so check back often.