Ukuleles are becoming increasingly well-known and more young people are drawn to learning how to play this small but great instrument. If you decided to give ukes a chance, then there are a few things you need to know before taking your first strum. Here are a few smart tips for ukulele rookies that will help you out with a good start.
1. Pay attention to the strings. There are different types of strings on the market, but you should always look for higher quality strings such as Worth or Aquila. You could consider changing the strings you have on your ukes, but before spending your money, wait for week or two. If by then the strings do not stretch out and settle in for staying in tune, you can replace them with new ones.
2. Learn how to read ukulele tab even if your friends advise you to play by the ear. It's true that many people can play ukes great without knowing how to read tabs, but you should always remember that knowledge means power and that you will have a major advantage over the others.
3. Play slow, very slow. Imagine you're a snail and the strings are the road and play it as slow as you can. You will get the correct rhythm, you will not make mistakes that later on would be very difficult to address and try to increase the speed gradually over time, even if for now it does not sound very good.
4. Be careful how you hold your ukes. The ukulele is a small instrument and if you hold it too tightly, you will lose a lot of volume and tone. Watching how true artists hold the uke would be very helpful.
5. Record yourself playing. If you're a ukulele rookie, then you must have trouble playing and listening to yourself at the same time. That's why you should record yourself, as you will notice quickly what you're doing wrong and you'll know how to fix it. Beside, you will get used to playing in front of the microphone, which will be very helpful if you ever intend to play in front of a larger audience.
6. Buy yourself a good uke. Do some studies first, find a ukulele that you really like, that has good tone and analyze its neck and the height of the strings. If the neck feels comfortable, if the height of the strings is not too high or too low (they make a buzz) and if the price is not the cheapest (lower price reflect on quality, which can hinder progress), than you should become the owner of that ukulele.
7. Last but not least, do not forget to have fun! Playing ukulele is so much more fun than playing any other music instrument, but only if you know how. When you make a mistake, laugh about it instead of criticizing yourself and you'll find out that with time. You'll make a few mistakes mistakes and you'll be happier.