Getting Started with Ukulele?
First thing is to get a ukulele.
It is generally true that you get what you pay for when it comes to buying an instrument and a ukulele is no different. Get a few, they come in four sizes and all different shapes, wood, finishes, acoustic, electric, solid body, archtop. There is even a banjo and bass ukulele. Plus they are fun, any size
The above image is a selection of the characters available in a FREE font from www.ffonts.net show the wide variety of ukulele shapes - all of them real.
You can take your ukulele playing to any level. From a few simple basic chords to complicated solo ukulele arrangements like I have available right here on LearningUkulele.com.
Ukulele Study Plans
One of the hardest things about learning a musical instrument is the overwhelming amount of material available. And with the Internet and YouTube this is more more true than ever. Even an instrument deemed to be as simple to learn as the ukulele. However, with the right plan of attack and taking inventory of what you might already know – It can be done.
I've been asked many times to put together a plan of attack for getting started and getting beyond the basics. There is no better recipe for success that a proven plan and organization for development. These lesson pages are intended to provide material for developing your ukulele skills and expanding your music knowledge.
Music..., regardless of your instrument, involves parts or all of these elements: Melody, Harmony and Rhythm. Then putting it all together in Songs, Compositions, Arrangements, Orchestration, etc...
Visit the `Ukulele Study Plans section of the site
A Few Recommended Lessons
Here are a few ukulele lessons to get you stated. Lessons on the possible tunings of ukulele, the various sizes, basic chords, strums and more...
Or check out the Weekly Lesson Series of lessons for getting stated with ukulele.
Common `Ukulele Tunings
Any tuning is possible on a ukulele as long as the ukulele’s construction supports it and a string is available.
There are three somewhat common tunings in popular use today, C, D and G tuning - with C tuning the most popular.
- A dedicated page on Common and not so common ukulele tunings
Reading Ukulele TAB - Alternate Notation
TAB or Tablature Tablature is an alternate form of musical notation, which tells players where to place their fingers on a particular instrument rather than which pitches to play.
TAB is sort of a secret language between guitar players and ukulele players. Although a shortcut to getting started it actually serves to alienate one from the rest of the music world.
With fewer alternate note locations than the guitar, reading music on ukulele is a lot easier than you might believe.
Basic `Ukulele Chord Fingering
The art and science of chord fingering. Learning your basic open position chords in common keys.
We have four fingers and there're all not equal. Some shorter then others and some stronger that others. Everybody's hand is a little different. This does play a role in fingering chords. A example shows up with the first chord we will cover, a C major chord. It is a one finger chord. That one finger can be anyone of your four fingers.
Which Way Is Up? - Up, Down, Ascending, Descending, etc...
Up, Down, Ascending, Descending, Higher, Lower, Top, Bottom!!!
What is up, down, higher, lower, top, bottom, ascending, descending?
Up, down, higher, lower, top, bottom, ascending, descending refers to musical pitch and not to direction as we know it. Up and higher refers to the raising of musical pitch. Down and lower refer to the lowering of musical pitch. Top refers to the upper note of a chord voicing or musical phrase and bottom refers to the lowest note.
Learning the `Ukulele Fingerboard (Finally!!!)
Most players struggle with learning the names of the notes of the ukulele fingerboard. There doesn't seem to a pattern and notes repeat. There is an easy way and it's easier that you think!
Most players know the names of the open strings for their favorite tuning.
In C Tuning the open strings, from ceiling to floor - your nose to toes are named G C E A, no sharps or flats.
The Harmonized Major and Minor Scale Charts
The Major Scale or Ionian scale is a diatonic scale, made up of seven distinct notes, plus an eighth which duplicates the first one octave higher. In solfege these notes correspond to the syllables “Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti/Si, (Do)”, the “Do” in the parenthesis at the end being the octave of the root.
The Trouble with TAB
TAB, short for tablature is a form of musical notation using numbers and letters on a staff that that corresponds to the number of strings of fretted string instrument. Theses number tell a player which fret to place their fingers on the fingerboard.
TAB has a history with lute music from centuries ago and has found wide use in the music publishing industry catering to the guitarist who can?t or doesn?t want to learn to read. TAB doesn?t exist in mainstream music, primarily by some music magazines and on the internet.
Learning to read TAB can be accomplished in minutes. Learning to read standard music notation takes a little longer.
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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
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
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Original Curtie Animation - 1987 for my first web site
31 years ago years ago.
Content is added and updated almost daily - so check back often.
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!!!