Learn to Play Ukulele for Beginners

Ready to learn to play ukulele? Here's a quick round-up to guide you through "ukulele for beginners" -- everything "the beginner" needs to get started on the uke -- the "king of tiny four stringed instruments." 

 Words of Wisdumb 

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When you learn to play ukulele, the world is always sunny, everyone's nice, and things like poison, ray-guns, and flesh-eating bacteria simply don't exist.

Yep, when you're playing the ukulele, all is right with the world. 🙂  

If you want to learn to play ukulele, this page will point you to info to help you get started.

I have a new video course on ukulele for beginners!

If you want to skip ahead, jump to my beginner ukulele video course here.

Learn to play ukulele — it's one of funnest things you can do!

Seriously. There are huge benefits to learning any type of musical instrument, but ukulele in particular has some real advantages:

  1. Ukes are easy to get started on. Think about it: the uke has four strings; you have four fingers–it's a match made in heaven!
  2. Ukes can be surprisingly cheap (also shockingly expensive!).
  3. Ukes are tiny and portable — you can take one just about anywhere (including an airplane).
  4. Hate to say it, but ukes are cute. They are the puppy of musical instruments. Like a puppy, you get a lot of attention when you bring out the uke.
  5. Ukes are social. Uke clubs are springing up everywhere — there's always a crowd to make music with.
  6. Most important, ukes are fun. There's nothing quite like the feeling of knowing you can make music (real music), anywhere, anytime, any style, any genre. Hear a song on the radio–learn it on your uke! Join a band. Woo a sweetheart. A few minutes of learning is a lifetime of fun.

The FIRST thing you need if you're a beginner learning to play the ukulele…

Is a ukulele. ‘Natch.

If you don't have one yet, then just follow the links below for advice. The good news is, you don't need to spend much to get started. And if you're anxious to get started, most local music shops nowadays will have some ukes in stock. Or you can order one from Amazon overnight! (Don't we live in wonderful times?)

Buying a ukulele for beginners, or, “How much should I spend on a ukulele?”

Resources:

  • My take on why a cheap ukulele is probably the best ukulele for beginners: here.
  • A nice video overview of good cheap ukuleles under $200 is here.
  • My top three choices for VERY cheap ukes (much less than $200) that are great to get started on, here.
  • “I NEED A UKE RIGHT NOW! What should I buy?” — Ok, skip the reviews. Just go buy this from Amazon (and get overnight delivery!).

You also really need…

Ukes are notorious for going out of tune, and for a beginner just learning, tuning can be a real pain. These little devices are a fantastic bargain and will ensure that you'll always be in tune.

Ready to learn to play ukulele?

For ukulele beginners, there's one more thing…

Once you've got the gear, there's one more essential for learning to play ukulele:

  • A good teacher!

Now, that could mean a ukulele instruction book, a video, an online teacher, a real-world teacher. However you get it, good guidance will make your journey go much faster.

My video course on ukulele for beginners!

If you want to skip ahead, jump to my beginner ukulele video course here.

We live in a golden age of ukulele learning. Just a few years ago, there was virtually nothing available for beginners trying to learn the uke.

  • Nowadays there are scores of books and methods. Even mainstream bookstores will carry something like Ukulele for Dummies (which is pretty good actually — if you don't mind being called a dummy!).
  • I teach an 8-week “real world” ukulele for beginners course several times throughout the year, and most cities will have something similar. (Often, continuing education programs through a local college, or adult ed through a community program).
  • Private lessons are available at many music stores. Often you'll get a guitar teacher who's moonlighting on ukulele–but that's usually fine, especially at the beginner level.
  • YouTube has, I believe, 10 billion ukulele videos. The trouble with YouTube for learning uke is that it can be a real time suck finding the good ones. (And there are many extremely good ones! Just an awful lot of awful ones, too…)

Danno’s Online Ukulele Courses

Danno Sullivan plays a ukuleleFor the past few years, I've been doing more and more online ukulele instruction.My flagship product has been a daily (yes, daily!) video course, The Daily Ukulele Workout.

The name says it all.

It's a big commitment, like going to gym for you fingers. And it's not for beginners. But the people going through the course seemed to be getting so much out of it, I realized a few things:

  • For a lot of people, an online course is the perfect way to learn, and
  • I needed something similar for ukulele beginners

The difference between an online course and “a bunch of videos”

The most frequent question I get about my video ukulele courses is, “Couldn't I just find a bunch of videos on YouTube for free?

And the answer is: Yes.

Of course you can.

The advantages of real course with me though are:

  • Videos are made by an actual experienced teacher — I make it my goal to give you solid information to help you learn uke the fastest way possible. And I try to keep it fun.
  • A real course is organized for efficiency so you can track your progress and not waste time searching for “the next” video.
  • A real course keeps you focussed on the topic. It's very easy go down the rabbit holes of the internet!
  • Most important, with all my courses, you have access to ME. I want you to learn and improve on uke, so can contact me by email, Facebook, or a special help forum whenever you have questions or problems (ukulele-related only, please).

Words of Wisdumb

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Because I want to help you learn to play ukulele. And as long as you want to work at it, I'm here to help you.

My Video Course to Help You Learn to Play Ukulele (for brand new beginners)–

Learn to play ukulele for beginners. Online video course, Ukulele 3x3x3.

I am deee-lighted to have this beginner uke course finally available.

Here's what makes “Ukulele 3x3x3” special:

My “real world” beginner ukulele classes are eight weeks, 90 minutes per class. For the recent live-online workshops, I reduced that to four weeks, 30 minutes per class, and still squeezed in most of the crucial uke knowledge without rushing things. 

(Yes, I was impressed, too.)

Now, for Ukulele 3x3x3, I've managed to reduce it again. This is really, truly, the fastest way to get the absolute basics of learning ukulele.

The key is structure

Like a factory trained librarian, I've organized the the basic ukulele skills into logical steps and series.

It's called “3x3x3” because you get 3 lessons each in 3 main topics. If you're a brand new beginner, the three main modules give you everything you need to get started on ukulele really, really fast.

  • 3 essential chords (so you can make music)
  • 3 knock-out strums (so you can keep 'em dancing on the dance floor)
  • 3 actual songs (because that's the fun part)

Oh and:

  • 3 surprise bonuses
  • 3 ways to contact me when you need help

To get started, that's honestly all you need!

"I try to make these videos as fast and efficient as possible, so you can learn the basics of playing ukulele as quickly as possible. -- I try to make them fun, too."

Who this course is (AND IS NOT) for:

This quick course is NOT for everyone.

It really is the absolute basics, to get you started learning ukulele as quickly as possible.

That means it IS for you, if you're just starting and need help learning and mastering the basics. You'll quickly get a handful of vital chords, essential powerful strum patterns, and the guidance and knowledge you need to turn those into actual songs.

If this sound like a good match for you, check out the course over here.

This is NOT for you, if you already know that stuff. 🙂 That may sound obvious, but I'm just stressing, this really is "ground zero" material.

My Simple Goal:

"More ukulele players playing more ukulele."

I keep making these courses and teaching my classes because I know how life-changing making music is. I know how simple it can be to start making music on the uke. And I think every single person who's ever thought, "Maaaaybe I should try the ukulele..." really should try the ukulele.

And I hope this is good first step.

your pal,

More Articles for Ukulele Beginners

I looove teaching newbies to play the uke -- I know how much fun it is and how much zip and zest it can add to your existence.I'm always adding content here for beginners.

And before long, you won't be a beginner any more, so read on while it's still appropriate!

Learn to Play Ukulele for Beginners
Want to learn to play ukulele? Here's my loooong overview of this skills and gear you need to learn ukulele for beginners.
What's better–a cheap ukulele or an expensive ukulele?
Do you need to spend a lot of money to get a great ukulele? Let's compare super cheap ukes to the super expensive ones.
EZ Uke Tuning – How to tune a ukulele (4 ways!)
Learn how to tune a ukulele -- by ear, with an electronic tuner, or by sneaky tricks. You can't play your uke if your uke's not in tune, so let's get tuned up!
Improving on ukulele: you're thinking about it all wrong!
Do THIS to get better on ukulele. Most people go about it all wrong--but here's what you should focus to get better on your uke!
You are NOT an awesome ukulele player
This comes down to having your basic skills mastered so you have the freedom and the confidence to fool around a little bit.
Why I still buy beginner ukulele books
Me? A seasoned old grizzled veteran of the trenches with know-how, chops, deep understanding, and even an extra finger on my chording hand? Why would I be buying beginner ukulele books?
Learn to Play 10 Easy Songs on the Ukulele
Ukulele is supposed to fun, and there's not reason it has to be hard! You can play some great songs with just a basic mastery of a few chords, so you just need some easy songs on the ukulele.
A good cheap ukulele for beginners
I think you will practice more (the point of his article) if you’ve got a little knock-about uke that you take with you everywhere, and you don’t care if it’s out in the sun or the sand or the rain.
Learning Ukulele (or, the School for Naked Exercise…)
You don't have to be a naked Greek to get started on ukulele...
Top Tenor Ukuleles Under $200
Which ukulele should you buy? If you're on budget, here's a quick rundown you find the best tenor ukuleles under $200 to help you make a good choice.