Tips to Enhance Your Ukulele Lessons (Part 1 of 2)
Ukulele players really make playing the ukulele look so easy and effortless. Yet looks could be deceiving, right? Learning to play any musical instrument requires dedicated and passionate effort. Hence, ukulele lessons are not an exception.
It is a fact. The ukulele has got a fun and easy-going vibe about it. It is often seen and played on beaches, bonfires, summer camps. It is rarely associated with more ‘serious’ venues like concert halls or theaters. With this, the ukulele has not been taken seriously by musicians…until now. The ukulele has made a sweeping comeback, so to speak. As of late, it has been getting applauses, standing ovations, and gaining its rightful place on the onstage.
So now you’re serious about learning to play the ukulele? Here are some pointers while getting started:
- Get yourself / Buy / Own a Ukulele. Generally, ukuleles are not expensive. They are easy to find as most music stores carry them. Shop around. Find what you think is best and easy on your budget as well.
- Learn the proper way of holding a ukulele. The ukulele is such a portable instrument. Hence, it does not require straps that would hold it in place. If you’re sitting down, just let the body rest on your leg, while your arm rests on it while strumming. If you are going to play it standing up, the body should rest against your chest, while your strumming arm would keep it fastened. Of course, it takes practice to be able to do these. Find a comfortable position. Keep it steady. Do not push it against your body too tightly for it will block sound vibrations.
- Learn the chords. You won’t be able to play a song on your ukulele unless you know the chords. Your sessions with ukulele teachers would consist mainly of learning the chords. Start with the basic and master them. You have to be able to finger them with your eyes closed. It takes a lot of brain and muscle memory and coordination to do so. The keyword: Practice.
- Learn how to strum. Indeed, the up-down-up-down motion is a start. There are no shortcuts. It’s a matter of getting the hang of it. But once you do, improvisation, skill, creativity, sense of rhythm and timing would take over. Your strumming patterns should be in accordance to the rhythm and beat of the song.
- The joy of learning is best felt when you are relaxed. Learning is best when there is no fear or tension, especially in young children. Your body also responds well when muscles are relaxed. Chord fingering requires pressure in order to produce sound. Yet, a song always has moments of silence or ‘rest’. Your body should be in synch and respond to these ‘rest’ periods.
With the phenomenal comeback of the ukulele in mainstream music, people took notice. And they love it! That is why ukulele lessons are now on the rise. Yes, it looks easy but it don’t come easy. Practice is what makes a happy, carefree, and fun-loving ukulele player!