Getting Started with Ukulele?

First thing is to get a ukulele. 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

You can take you ukulele playing to any level. From a few simple basic chords to complicated solo ukulele arrangements like I have available right here.

For selecting a ukulele take a look at over 100 ukulele manufactures and builders I've collected. And, a page of dealers to get you started.

Selected Lessons

Here are a few ukulele lessons to get you started. Lessons on the common tunings for ukulele, the various ukulele sizes, basic chords, strums and much more..

With over 580+ lessons and counting for ukulele. I'm sure there's a lesson or two that fits what your looking for. If not contact me and I'll create a custom lesson for whatever you would like to work on.


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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, Affordable and Portable
  • Easy on the Fingers with Four Strings and Four Fingers - a perfect match
  • Less Need for Strumming Accuracy - initially simply strum all four strings
  • and a low expectation for what is 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, friendly and helpful communities among musicians. Alway open to helping and sharing with any level of player.

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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.

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Reading Ukulele TAB - Alternate Notation

TAB or Tablature Tablature is a 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.

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Standard Music Notation

Rather than do a complete lesson on standard music notation. Why reinvent the wheel. There are lot of great resources on-line and books in music stores that already exsist. Here is my take on several of the offerings.

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Key Signatures

A key signature is a series of sharp or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating the notes that are to be consistently played higher or lower than the equivalent natural notes. Key signatures are generally written immediately after the clef at the beginning of a line of musical notation. Each major and minor key has an associated key signature that sharpens or flattens the notes which are used in its scale.

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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.

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Natural, Sharp and Flat Notes of the Ukulele Fingerboard - C Tuning

Standard music notation, the natural, sharp and flat notes of the ukulele fingerboard for C tuned ukuleles. Covers both high C and low G tuning variations.

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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.

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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.

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Fingerstyle Basics for Ukulele - t i m r, ( p i m a )

Exploring fingerstyle on ukulele. This lesson covers the common terms used for identifing the fingers used. And, presents a series of single string exercises for exploring and developing the techniques needed for this style.

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The Major Scale

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)”.

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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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One of the largest collections of lessons, songs and TABS, archtop luthiers, ukulele builders, festival information, ukulele links on the web. I’ve been on the web since the early 90's and growing everyday. This site just never stops growing!!!