What’s the single most important part of ukulele playing?

What’s the most important part of ukulele playing?

Most ukulele how-to books start you off with—

CHORDS.

Page after page (after page after page) of CHORDS.

Nothing wrong with chords. But you can play an awful lot of songs with just three of ‘em. (And plenty more songs with just two, or even one!)

Chords are important, but by no means the most important.

Melody is more important than chords.

You can sing a melody with NO chords.

Seriously—every time you whistle or hum, you are creating the song, and it’s all melody.

The chords, if you play them, are there to back up your melody.

So, what is the most important part about ukulele playing?

Well, under it all, is the beat.

That thing you tap your foot to.

The thing that makes the dancers dance.

Even if you’re just humming, the beat is there, holding it all together.

But BEAT, on its own, is a little nebulous.

How do we EXPRESS the beat?

The answer for us ukulele players is simple.

We express the beat through strumming.

The strum patterns you choose make can make the same song sound like a rhumba or a country western number.

STRUMMING is the most important part of ukulele playing.

Master strumming, and you don’t need 1000 chords—you can make three (or two or one) sound great!

your pal,
Danno

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