Ukulele Lessons for Beginners: Basic Chords + 5 Easy Songs!

Ultimate Ukulele Lessons for Beginners


The historical past of the Ukulele might be traced to the 1880s when the instrument was first invented and utilized in Hawaii. It’s a stringed musical instrument with comparable options to the guitar however it’s smaller.

The ukulele is often used by bands in Hawaii when performing their traditional music; nevertheless, it has been launched in different parts of the world as the USA, Canada, the UK, and many parts of Asia. The Ukulele has been accepted in these locations because it may be used to play songs from many music genres.

The ukulele, when it’s performed, sounds serene and exquisite; it’s straightforward to develop an interest in this instrument after watching different musicians play it while singing songs. To play ukulele you will need to have a soulful spirit and be a relaxed person.

Online, there are respected programs created by ukulele specialists. These programs are largely for newbies who need to discover ways to play the ukulele. So we will try to share some basic ukulele lessons for beginners that every ukulele player can benefit from it.

Ukulele Lessons for Beginners

Shopping for a Ukulele

The ukulele to get started on is a ‘soprano‘ ukulele, most likely the commonest size of the ukulele. There are numerous good ukuleles on the market, however, we would advise you to get one with geared tuning pegs (that stick out of the side of the uke) quite than friction pegs (that come out of the back of the uke).

The reason is that the geared tuning pegs are usually better at maintaining the strings in tune. A ukulele we might advocate for beginners can be one of Kala’s cheaper Makala models.

The main objective should be to play the ukulele and be on the right course to mastering it. The instrument and upscale as you learn to play better.

Ukulele Store

Elements of the Ukulele

Headstock or head: Connected to the neck, it holds the tuning pegs or tuning machines.

Tuning pegs: Additionally known as tuning heads, tuning machines, tuning keys, or just, tuners. They’ve geared mechanisms that maintain the strings and are turned to regulate strings pressure when tuning the ukulele.

Nut: Works along with the saddle to maintain the strings in appropriate alignment.

Neck: It extends from the headstock to the body and helps the fretboard.

Fretboard: Additionally known as a fingerboard, it holds the frets and sometimes has place marker dots or different images to orient the player. The primary fret is nearest to the headstock.

Body: Consists of the top (generally known as the soundboard), back, and sides. The top is primarily liable for transmitting the strings’ vibrations. Its sound gap helps to undertake the ukulele’s output. Some sound holes have an ornamental rosette.

Bridge: Mounts on the ukelele’s top and maintains the saddle. The strings are secured by knotting them on the tail finish of the bridge.

Parts of Ukulele

Ukulele String Names

Now that you’ve got your ukulele held in the correct place and learned some basic strum methods, let’s check out the names of the strings. With the neck of your ukulele on the left point of your body, look down. You must see 4 strings.

The string closest to the top is known as “string 4.” This string is often known as the G-string. The fourth string is tuned to a G note. 

The following string down is “string 3.” The third string is called the C-String. This string is tuned to a C note. 

The following string down is “string 2.” The second string is called the E-String. The second string is tuned to the E note. 

The bottom string is known as “string 1.” This string is called the A-string. The one string is tuned to A note. 

It is very important to be aware that when looking down at your strings, while in the correct position, the variety of the strings is in reverse order. G is on top, A is on the bottom.

This shall be useful so that you can know when you begin studying tabs. Music theory should be one course you should practice to master your instrument.

Tips on how to Tune Your Ukulele to Alternate Tunings

What Is Standard Ukulele Tuning? The open strings on a ukulele are mostly tuned to the notes G, C, E, and A. This is named standard tuning. To create an extra rounded even sound, some folks want to string their ukulele with a low G string fairly than a high G.

You can find an easy ukulele lesson on how to tune your ukulele on our website and learn this course from the article. Listed below are other ukulele tunings utilized by different ukulele players.

Ukulele Tuning GCEA

Baritone Ukulele Tuning (D, G, B, E)

Baritone tuning is used on baritone ukuleles and typically even on tenor ukuleles. This ukulele tuning is equal to the tuning of the last 4 strings on a guitar. Typically this tuning is referred to as “G tuning.

Baritone Tuning DGBE

Slack-key Tuning (G, C, E, G)

Common in Hawaiian music, in slack-key tuning, if you simply strum the strings as open strings, you’re strumming a C major chord, which makes this a really open tuning.

The top g-string will be tuned both in reentrant or linear tuning, meaning you may both tune it to the “G” note above center C on the piano or down the octave.

GCEG Tuning

English Tuning (A, D, F#, B)

English tuning, additionally considered a “D tuning”, this tuning has the identical quantity of intervals (the number of notes between every string) as standard ukulele tuning however each string is tuned up an entire step higher.

You’ll need to use an English tuning string set in case you want to tune on this method. This tuning is in style for soprano ukuleles or banjoleles. Some discover this tuning to be a bit sweeter in tone.

ADF#B Tuning

Canadian Tuning (low A, D, F#, B)

Canadian tuning is almost equivalent to English tuning besides you tune the top a-string down an octave. This tuning is in style for live performance and tenor ukuleles.

Ukulele Lessons for Beginners ADF#B

Strumming the Ukulele

You use your dominant arm (that’s, the right arm in the event you’re right-handed) to strum your ukulele. It is easy to learn how to play the ukulele and strumming ukulele chords is the fun part of it!

The fretting hand could get all of the glory and do all the flamboyant work, however, the strumming hand is most vital: You possibly can finger every hard note or flawed chord without anybody actually recognizing them, however, everybody is certain to notice when your strumming speeds up and slows down. If you find difficulties you can watch some video lessons or courses.

Strumming is such a basic part of a song that strumming patterns fluctuate between genres rather than chord patterns do. The ukulele chords are easy to transition and this is a skill level that even beginners have.

You can find a lesson for each strumming pattern on this instrument. Depending on what the song will require. Most of the time ukulele players share their secrets online.

To find a strumming position, put down your ukulele for a second — you may pick it up once more in a minute. Put your strumming hand (right hand for right-handers, left hand for left-handers) in the entrance of the center of your body where your abdomen meets your chest.

Make your hand into a lightweight fist so your fingertips are touching your palm however not pressing into it. You get the idea.

Strumming a Ukulele

Strumming your ukulele in the correct spot

Pick up your uke and place it in order that your index finger is simply above the g-string, the place where the neck of your uke meets the body. This location is called the sweet spot.

Every ukulele has its personal sweet spot where the strumming sounds finest. For soprano ukes, this spot is round where the neck meets the body. For a bigger uke, the sweet spot is between the soundhole and the tip of the body.

Experiment along with your uke and see what feels and sounds proper to you. We believe that these steps will be enough for you to develop new strum patterns.

Strumming your ukulele the right method

One of the best recommendations for strumming — and life generally — is to remain loose. Tightening up is a surefire option to sound robotic and tire yourself out rapidly. Just relax yourself and your fingers and play the music.

The second-best piece of recommendation is to strum with your wrist moderately than with your arm — shifting your arm up and down will get tiring in a short time.

So that you wish to move your wrist and do no more than rotate your forearm. Nothing is worse than a tired arm or fingers.

Ukulele Lessons for Beginners 4

4 Primary Ukulele Chords

G Major Chord

When we try to play the G major, we first place the index finger on the second fret of the C string. Next, the center finger is positioned on the second fret of the A string, and at last, the ring finger goes on the third fret of the E string.

To maintain the fingers from touching the wrong strings, maintain the top joints as perpendicular as potential. The index may have a slight bend to accommodate the others. Play every string of the G Major chord individually at first to verify none are being muted.

Ukulele G major

D Major Chord

The D major is usually a doozy for newbies! First, the index is positioned on the second fret of the C string, however, we put it about midway in the direction of the fret. Next, the center finger is on the second fret of the G string, almost perpendicular however with a slight bend.

Lastly, the ring finger is positioned on the second fret, this one is kept straight up. The trick to this chord is using simply enough finger flesh to get a transparent sound without muting different strings.

Ukulele d major

C Major Chord

The best ukulele chord that reveals to each newbie how accessible and exquisite the instrument actually is! The C Major scale is one of the easiest chord shapes. That’s why we love the C Chord.

You merely take the top part of your ring finger and place it right before the third fret on the A string. Make sure that your finger presses the string down, however without touching the E string above it.

Ukulele c major

E Major Chord

For the dreaded E major, we might want to use our pinky, and for a lot of that is merely not simple to do! Take your index finger and place it on the first fret of the G string, after which put your center finger on the second fret of the A string. This is one of the chords that you will need more than beginners’ ukulele skills to perform.

Then we have to stretch our pinky as much as the fourth fret of the C string. The hand shall be in a claw form at the end and the stretch will really feel slightly awkward. Right here muting strings isn’t as a lot of an issue as the gap of the stretch. This would require loads of persistence and practice. Make sure to check some ukulele lessons or courses to master this one.

Ukulele e major

5 Simple Ukulele Songs!

1. “I Won’t Back Down” – Tom Petty

“I Won’t Back Down” is in 4/4 time. This implies you’ll count: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. 4 beats in every measure. The bpm is 115. This is a very easy song to learn how to play on this instrument.

The verse of “I Won’t Back Down” is really simple. The pattern is listed under. The Em and D chords every get 2 beats. The G and C chords each get 4 beats. The author of this song made sure that you can play it with a child’s skills as well.

The chorus is enjoyable but kinda tough at first. Play a fast C-G-C because the chorus begins. Next play G-D after which G-C. Each of those chord adjustments is half of a beat. This implies the C-G-C is complete of 1 and a half beats. You’ll have to hear a couple of instances to listen to timing accurately.

  • Verses: Em, D, G, Em, D, G, Em D, C, Em, D, G
  • Choruses: C, D, C, D, C, D, Em, D, G, Em, D, G

2. “Tougher Than The Rest” – Bruce Springsteen

“Tougher Than the Rest” is in 4/4 time. 4 beats in every measure. The bpm is 99. Uke players can play the chords at their pace as well, but this is the original tempo.

The chord development for the verses and bridge is listed below. This tune is a bit different from the remainder of the songs on this listing. The rhythm sample for every chord is completely different. This means every chord is held for a distinct variety of beats.

You’ll have to listen to the phrases of the tune and listen to when the chords change along with every phrase. “Tougher Than the Rest” will not be a troublesome tune, however, it can require you to listen.

  • Verses: G, C, D, C, G, D
  • Bridge: Em, C, G, C, D, G, Em, C, G, C, G, D, G

3. “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” – Creedence Clearwater Revival

“Have You Ever Seen the Rain” is in 4/4 time. 4 beats in every measure. The bpm is 117. To play ukulele songs like this, you just need to rehearse with the actual song and find some tips online.

The verses are G-G-D-G every chord will get 8 beats. The chorus is C-D-G-Em This repeats twice. Every chord will get 4 beats.  Followed by: C-D-G-G Every chord will get 4 beats. The format of this tune is verse, refrain, verse, refrain, refrain.

  • Verses: G to D (for verses),
  • Choruses: C, D, G, Em, D C, D, G, Em, D-C, D, G, Em, D-C, D, G

4. “Blowin’ In The Wind” – Bob Dylan

Blowin’ In The Wind is in 4/4 time. 4 beats in every measure. The bpm is 87. The chords in this song bounce between each other, making this a bit of a challenge for all the ukulele players.

For the verse: G will get 2 beats. C will get 2 beats. G will get 4 beats. G will get 2 beats. C will get 2 beats. D will get 4 beats. Repeat. For the chorus: Each chord will get 2 beats, besides the final G chords. The final G-Chord will get 4 beats.

  • Verses: G, C, G, G, C, D, G, C, G, G, C, D
  • “The answer my friend” refrains: C, D, G, Em, C, D, G

5. “Brown Eyed Girl” – Van Morrison

Brown Eyed Girl is in 4/4 time. 4 beats in every measure. The bpm is 150. In the following part of this lesson, you will learn how to perform it. Again, all of those songs can be played on all ukulele sizes, no matter if they are baritone, tenor, soprano, or concert ukuleles. And that is a fact!

For the verse: The sample is G-C-G-D. Every chord will get 4 beats. This repeats 4 instances, followed by C-D-G-Em-C-D-G every for 4 beats each. Then, play a D-chord and maintain the chord. For the chorus: Play the D-chords for 8 beats.  Then play G-C-G-D-G-C-G-D every chord for 4 beats. This tune is performed verse, verse, chorus, verse, and chorus.

  • Verses: G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, C, D, G, Em, C, D, G
  • “Do you remember when we used to sing: ”sha-la-la-la-la-la-la” refrains: D, G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, C, D, G, Em, C, D, G

Mindful Ukulele Lesson for Every Ukulele Player!

Life is most of the time serious. Life can be hard. Perhaps you might be having a horrible day at work, maybe burnt out, or stressed about the payments and different stuff you’ve got to handle.

Fear not my buddy. Just take out the ukulele and play “What A Wonderful World”. We believe that you will find yourself in a field of flowers in zen mode!

We assure you that this can change your perspective and shift your focus to the goodness around you. When you’re at it, your stress will run away from you because it’s frightened of the ukulele.

It additionally helps to make funny faces when no person is trying. However in all seriousness. This text by Harvard Medical Faculty exhibits that music alters feelings and reduces stress even in tough circumstances.

Listening to music or making music can result in long-term adjustments in attitudes and habits for the better as printed in this article on Berkeley. This analysis article was written by Summer Allen, a Ph.D. who additionally writes for the US Association of Science. So she is aware of what she’s speaking about!

Kid on a small guitar


Playing the ukulele is simply good old-style fun, and there’s not enough of that on this planet today. In the event you’re in search of a low-pressure, cheap, wholesome, and quick strategy to unwind, then the ukulele is for you.

You can learn to play your favorite songs or strive to write your personal music after spending a brief period of time memorizing chords and getting acquainted with the instrument.

And a ukulele will take up barely any bodily or mental space in your life, in order that they’re excellent for folk embracing a minimalist way of life.

Analysis shows that individuals of all ages and backgrounds enormously benefit from having fun, stress-free actions in their lives, and the uke can present numerous hours of enjoyment whether or not you’re a serious musician or an entire novice.

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