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Ukulele For Dummies Cheat Sheet

To enable you to translate music on the page into music that you play on your ukulele, chord diagrams and tablature – or ‘tab’ – help to make life easier. This Cheat Sheet explains these handy helpers [more…]

The Three Standard Ukulele Sizes

Unlike most instruments in the guitar family, ukuleles come in a number of different sizes. The three regular sizes of ukulele are soprano, concert, and [more…]

Anatomy of a Ukulele

Ukuleles are usually shaped like small guitars, but other shapes are also common (the pineapple shape is popular). The shape of the ukulele doesn’t usually make a great deal of difference to the sound, [more…]

The Different Ways to Tune a Ukulele

Ukulele tunings have changed over time, and plenty of variety still exists, with different players using different tunings for their ukuleles. The note a string plays [more…]

How to Tune a Ukulele

You can use a number of different ways to tune your ukulele, depending on what you have available and who you’re playing with. When you play alone, you only have to be in tune with yourself. When you play [more…]

How to Fret Your Ukulele

To actually play your ukulele, you need to press down on the strings to produce different notes — a procedure called fretting. When you hold down a string, you make it shorter and therefore higher in pitch [more…]

How to Read a Ukulele Chord Diagram

Luckily, you don’t need to be able to read music to play your ukulele — you can play chords just by looking at the pictures. A chord diagram shows you exactly which finger you need to put where in order [more…]

Playing Your Ukulele Using Strumming Notation

After you master the basics of playing your ukulele, you’re going to want to fancy things up a bit with some strumming. Like chord diagrams, strumming notation [more…]

Tips for Improving Your Ukulele Playing

The number-one tip, and the only sure-fire way, to improve your ukulele playing is to practice. Put in the hours on your ukulele. To get the most from your practice time, keep yourself motivated, and build [more…]

An Explanation of Ukulele Chord Families, Using the C Family

A ukulele chord family is made up of six main chords. Each chord in the family is identified by a Roman numeral so you don’t mix them up with all the other numbers flying around. [more…]

How to Play Moveable Chords on Your Ukulele

Many ukulele chords are open chords, which means that they have at least one string played open. In contrast, in a moveable chord, you fret every string. Moveable chords have a very useful property: they [more…]

Identifying the G-family Chords on Your Ukulele

The G chord family fits very nicely indeed on the ukulele. It has only one tricky chord shape to deal with — Bm — but the good news is that Bm is one of the less-used chords in the family, so it doesn’t [more…]

Identifying the F-family Chords on Your Ukulele

The F chord family only has one tricky chord shape — Bâ™­ — in the very common IV position. So playing your ukulele using chords from the F family is a little trickier than playing from the G family, but [more…]

Identifying the A-family Chords on Your Ukulele

In playing chords in the A family on your ukulele, you use the everyday A, Bm, D, and E7 chords. And, in addition to those chords, you use the slightly trickier C♯m and F♯m chords: [more…]

Identifying the D-family Chords on Your Ukulele

The D chord family isn’t the easiest chord family to play on your ukulele because it contains the moveable Bm chord. Plus, the D chord itself is quite tricky. But lots of songs use this chord family, so [more…]

How to Fingerpick Your Ukulele

To fingerpick your ukulele, instead of strumming your fingers along the strings, you pluck the strings individually. Each of the fingers of your picking hand [more…]

How to Produce Vibrato on Your Ukulele

Vibrato is a warble added to the end of a note and is very reminiscent of vocals. Vibrato gives a note more warmth and vibrancy. With your ukulele, you can create vibrato in two ways: [more…]

Considering an Electric Ukulele

Electric ukuleles are useful for two very different occasions: when you want to play very loud and when you want to play very quietly. Electric ukuleles come in two types: [more…]

Buying a Ukulele

Buying a ukulele in a shop used to be a very dispiriting experience. You’d see walls packed with guitars and a couple of ukuleles collecting dust in the corner. Fortunately, that situation is slowly changing [more…]

Ukulele Brands

Many ukuleles are made by companies that specialize in ukes, although some ukulele manufacturers also produce other string instruments, such as guitars. Some of the most popular makes and manufacturers [more…]

How to Choose the Right Strings for Your Ukulele

Most new ukuleles — particularly cheap ones — come with low-quality strings. Switch them for higher-quality ones and you’ll be amazed at how much the sound improves. A decent set of strings costs [more…]

Accessories for Your Ukulele

The extras you can buy for your ukulele range from the very useful to handy non-essentials to indulgently expensive. Once you get hooked on playing ukulele, you'll find yourself considering these accessories [more…]

How to Maintain Your Ukulele

Playing your ukulele regularly is the best thing you can do to keep it in good shape. Ukuleles are meant to be played, and a good uke opens up (sounds better) the more you play it. That said, to keep your [more…]

How to Fingerpick the Up-and-Down Pattern on Your Ukulele

The up-and-down fingerpicking pattern for ukulele reverses the simple up pattern and goes back down the strings. So you play the g, C, E then A in sequence, then you come back down the strings playing [more…]

Using Your Thumb to Fingerpick Your Ukulele

In alternate picking, you fingerpick your ukulele with your thumb. This method may be confusing grammatically but sounds nice on your uke. Be prepared, though: Your thumb really gets a workout. [more…]


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