How to Play the Ukulele for Kids: Great 8 First Lessons!

How to Play the Ukulele for Kids


The ukulele is an unbelievable first instrument for kids. Its measurement alone makes it kids-friendly, plus with only 4 strings to consider, youngsters discover it very straightforward and fun to play. It is not very hard to learn how to play the ukulele for kids if you are enthusiastic about the instrument.

After all, we have a tendency to consider ukulele-playing kids like these in the 6-12 age range. How about a lot younger children, say, 3- to 5-year-old? Is it doable to show the wee ones the best way to play the uke?

Since the kids learn fast, the ukulele is a perfect instrument for them. There is no right age to start because if the kids show interest in the instrument, is best to provide it to them.

Many lecturers suppose so, however, there can be some limitations. Very young kids would be capable of holding the ukulele simply fine, however, they might not have the attention span wanted to be taught a couple of chords. It will nonetheless depend upon the kid in fact.

Ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro, one of many first individuals to popularize the instrument prior to now decade, began studying to play at the young age of 4. There are a lot of ukulele lessons online that can help your kids play simple chords, for all sizes (soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone).

However, no matter how young a toddler could seem, there’s completely nothing unsuitable with introducing the ukulele to them. Listed below are some nice concepts for helping preschoolers learn.

1. First, make sure the kid has a ukulele

To get started, the kid needs a ukulele. Bring the kid to any music retailer and have him go searching and see if there’s any spark of curiosity with the different musical instruments.

Who knows she or he would possibly choose a different instrument to be taught instead of a ukulele whereas roaming inside the music store. The music store is the right place to take the kids if they are interested in music. Besides the professional ukes, there is also a kids’ ukulele that can take their attention.

You could possibly also let the kids watch a couple of YouTube videos of any younger ukulele players. Ask the kid if she or he has a favorite color or particular design that he/she likes.

Also, via videos, they can have their starting ukulele lessons and the video can teach them basic chord progressions, strumming, and the actual playing.

Make sure you don’t purchase a costly ukulele for a newbie youngster. However, don’t get a ukulele from the toy store as well. A toy shouldn’t be an instrument. In case their eye catches interest in some cheap uke, take some beginner strings and start learning with them.

You can too make that clear to your youngster so she or he would deal with the instrument completely different than the toys. Try to teach them an easy-to-learn tune, or show them a quality ukulele concert. This will help them learn the ukulele and sing alongside.

how to play the ukulele for kids

2. The Ukulele is Nice for Children!

Congratulations on selecting the ukulele to get your youngster making music. It’s the right instrument for a younger music scholar; simple to be taught and enjoyable to play.

Making music needs to be a pleasant experience, not stuffed with frustration because the sound that comes out is painful to listen to. Try to slowly introduce more and more to them, since they are kids and beginners.

Start with basic stuff like the fret placements, some strum patterns, or how to use a tuner. Showing musical video lessons should intrigue every beginner and they would like to learn more and more.

In contrast to conventional instruments similar to violin or trumpet that take years of practice to sound nice, ukulele students could be taking part in their favorite tunes by artists like Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and Grace VanderWaal in their first lesson or two.

3. Encourage Practicing the Ukulele

We encourage every parent and the students to have strict learning times and stick to them. Also, do not practice over that time, to let them rest and consume their new knowledge.

A good example of the practice is to do it daily, but not for long time periods. This should be enough for them to learn to play any song in a week or to teach them more lessons on how to play ukulele tunes.

Have your children practice for not more than an hour. If that appears to be lengthy for them as well, shorten it for the span of their attention. Children often want playful lessons, so start with kids’ music or find interesting ways to teach them about string names or chord progressions.

One solution to encourage younger learners to practice is to point out the examples of different youngsters their age playing a ukulele. There are a variety of YouTube channels and Instagram accounts of younger individuals playing the ukulele. Make a shared YouTube playlist and watch it together with your children.

Kids with ukuleles

Additionally, ask around your circles to see if anybody is aware of other youngsters who’re taking ukulele classes or playing the uke. There’s positively motivational energy in collaborating with associates who’re studying the ukulele at the same time!

4. Turn Classes Into Games

The youthful kids are – the shorter their attention span. 3-year-olds will not sit still and listen to a detailed ukulele lesson so long as 8-year-olds can. The lesson should be brief but to the point. As we said, interesting video lessons will help them learn the uke, and besides the basics, they will be able to hear a little bit of the song.

The important thing to getting younger children is packaging classes and practice periods as games you may play again and again. Repetition is vital to studying an instrument nevertheless it doesn’t need to be boring.

A game-oriented lesson positively goes a good distance in preserving a younger child engaged in any instrument, not simply a ukulele. One of the crucial fundamental games you may play with a toddler is a counting game for working towards strumming.

Do one strum down, one strum up, then two, then three, then again to two, then again to one. It could actually also train a child to count to 10! This is a very important step in learning to play the uke and keep them interested in it.

5. Have Fun!

Hand in the ukulele to the kids and let them do no matter what he/she wished to do without breaking it. When you see that a child is touching, tapping, plucking, or doing something to do with the ukulele, she or he is ready to study.

Maybe the will towards the ukulele has started. As long as the kids don’t bang or throw the ukulele like it’s a bouncing ball, let her or have a curiosity about the instrument. The key to learning to play the ukulele is to primarily have fun with the instrument. The love will only develop from there!

Now that the kid reveals curiosity about the ukulele, let her or him proceed to explore the instrument. All the time remind the children that the ukulele is a pleasant instrument to play that creates a unique sound and a timeless instrument.

With this in thoughts, you’d be heading in the right direction, there are many advantages your little one will get from studying an instrument.

Whereas they are curiously plucking or strumming the string, turning these tuning keys, or calmly tapping the soundboard, you’ll be able to clarify to him/her the parts and capabilities of the ukulele.

Knowing the instrument plays a huge part in learning the ukulele, so introduce it gently to the students. Learning to play kids’ ukulele is easy if they are into the uke.

Kids in field with Ukulele

6. Their first tune: Are You Sleeping? (Frere Jacques)

An effective way to get your child to begin playing songs on the ukulele is just to show them play a nursery rhyme. There are lots of you may choose from, and most definitely your child might be aware of fairly a number of them.

The vast majority of these nursery rhymes are performed with both two or three chords. Nonetheless, “Are You Sleeping?” is a tune that can sound superb simply with C Major.

In a while, after you introduce the following chord, your child can add it to this tune and others.

By learning the chord order of this song, they will love the sound of this music. Once the strings produce the sweet melody of the song, only little will be needed for them to be hooked.

After that simple lessons like which finger presses which fret, or the correct way of tuning the ukulele will only drag them even deeper into learning to play the ukulele.

7. Different Fun Songs to Play

The songs which are probably the most fun for youths to play on the ukulele rely on their age. For youngsters underneath 10 or 11, often any number of easy, widespread songs are a fantastic bet. “You Are My Sunshine,” “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and “Amazing Grace” are a few of my favorites to show to our students.

The chord progression to the song can match more other songs, so by a simple switch of the lyrics and maybe strumming pattern, you can start teaching them brand new music with the same old resources.

For youths 12 and up, it’s good to get them related to the musicians that they are captivated with. Use Google to assist them to discover the chords to songs by their favorite artists. Many pop songs only require 4 or 5 chords.

Kid with ukulele on stage

8. What to show your child first in regards to the ukulele

  • Elements of a ukulele
  • 3 various kinds of strumming
  • Strumming Patterns
  • How you can learn a chord chart
  • Figuring out the distinction between major and minor chords by ear
  • How you can play a chord
  • How you can combine strumming and playing a chord
  • Tuning, Finger placement, and strings order on the neck

What’s next?

Properly at this level, it is likely to be a good suggestion to add, is to teach them new songs they already enjoy listening to.

Take a note of at least 5 songs you want to train and double-check that it has these chords in them. If not, no biggie, studying new chords after these will likely be a new problem that can help your child study and develop.

After they establish the primary view on the instrument, follow their growth. See if they will be interested to learn ukulele lessons and not think of any intermediate or upper-level stuff.

Stick to the kid’s basics and do not push hard stuff on them. Everything else will come organically after that.

Kids having fun with ukulele


For those who had the patience to comply with these steps along with your little darling, we wish to be the first to congratulate you! Good job!

A number of new songs, a couple of new chords, and maybe a few totally different strumming patterns to make things attention-grabbing and your child will likely be on the way to learning this great new instrument!

Check this video on how to play ukulele for kids – it is a great one!
Charles Steinhoff

Charles Steinhoff

Charles is here and I am guitar and ukulele enthusiast. Been playing these instruments for over 10 years now and I decided to share some of my knowledge and expertise with the world in terms of these stringed instruments and it's accessories.

Strings Kings
Strings Kings