3 Ways to Learn to Play Ukulele

You have a ukulele. You were given one as a birthday gift, or found one at a thrift store. Maybe you inherited one from a relative or just plain bought one for yourself online or at your neighborhood music store. Awesome! Welcome to the world of the ukulele!

But now what?!

You stare at your ukulele in the corner not knowing what to do. Better yet, where do I even start. Here we are at an ukulele stand off. This could last minutes... hours... days... and even years!

That feeling of learning an instrument for the first time is pure excitement. There’s nothing quite like it. However, that excitement can be met with the sinking feeling of being overwhelmed.

“Where do I even begin?“

First, pick up your ukulele. Take a deep breath in... hold... and let it out. Good! You just completed the first step...hehe! Next tune it up. To find out about the new tuning methods check them out here. This may take a little while but when your ukulele is tuned up your ready to learn. Now here are 3 ways to learn to play ukulele.

Method #1: Being Self Taught

John Mayer (the self taught guitar master), courtesy of Mathieu Bitton/REX/Shutterstock

So you‘ve heard it a million times before. People who tell you that they were self taught.

“Wow you can really play the piano, did you take lessons?”

“Nope, I‘m self taught!”

”Your voice is amazing, did you have a vocal coach growing up?”

”No, just a natural!”

If they can do it, could you teach yourself the ukulele? Of course you can!

Taking the self-learning route consists primarily of reading books and searching online for free lessons. Google and YouTube searches are a great place to start. Even checking out ukulele blogs. Like this one where you can learn the 10 ukulele chords everyone should know (shameless plug).

The biggest benefit to the self-teaching method is that you set the pace and best of all it’s FREE! This takes off the pressure of instructors and saves you money as classes can be expensive. But being self taught comes with an investment of time and the added energy of sifting and sorting through the information yourself. Also the lack of accountability can cause you to lax in the practice department. Keeping yourself motivated to learn is critical in being self taught.

Being self taught will encourage the development of your own playing style. You will have complete control of what and how you are learning. This is so liberating!

Though if this is too intimidating and you don’t have the free time to teach yourself, method #2 may be right for you.

Method #2 Classes and Private Lessons