Ukulele — the early Years.
In the Beginning
Start learning easy songs, including:
Go Down, Moses
Home on the Range
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
The Sloop John B.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
This Land Is Your Land
You Are My Sunshine
and many others.
Includes a chord chart
and a how-to-play section.
Some pals have been recommending I get a ukulele (a beginner soprano model).
Then Day Zero arrived and a Friend of a Friend gave his ukulele to me.
Tuning For The Tone-Deaf
Tuning an instrument is the hardest part for someone that is tone deaf ...
and particularly for all without perfect pitch.
So for ease, get one of the wonderful widgets where all you have to do is read a meter.
A great option is a little
back-lit electronic gizmo
that you clip on the
then in a minute you can have it tuned:
- You play an open string and the gizmo shows the LETTER closest to the note you play.
For the C string it should show C.
But first time around for me, my
strings were so relaxed that it showed not C and not B but B-flat.
- The meter shows a dial with a needle whose position you can read, showing you in which direction you are off.
- To move to a higher tone, slowly tighten the string, while the needle moves to the right;
when the needle reaches the far right, the letter notches up and the needle jumps back to the far left.
- All the strings were similarly low and in similar need of tuning.
- But the extra blessing is that this
brilliant tuning meter
allows me to make the strings consistent in a way they were not previously.
So you don't need any ear at all:
you turn a string's peg and pluck the string and watch the display till it has the letter you want and the needle is centered.
It is as smooth as
I used Hawaii tuning for the soprano ukulele:
Month by Month
- Tune the ukulele by ear.
This means learning:
- The strings are numbered "1" for the string at the bottom (when you hold the
in playing position across your font)
increasing through "2" and "3"
to "4" for the string at the top.
- The basic convention of
- On the open strings, began to learn The Common Stroke with the Right Hand:
- Glide the first finger down and up, crossing each string near the upper edge of the sound hole.
- Make stroke with the wrist, keeping the wrist high and the hand relaxed.
- Down stroke on the finger nail.
- Up stroke on the ball (fleshy part).
- Learn how the left-hand fingers alter a string's pitch:
- Place a finger BETWEEN frets (not upon them).
- Use a different finger, depending on what fret you are behind.
For the first four frets, use the first finger for the first fret, the
second finger for the second fret and so on.
- Practice the above: this does a lot to reduce the Fat Finger Feeling of initial playing on the
- Learn one-finger chords:
- C Major: All strings open except for String 1 which has the 3rd finger behind the 3rd fret.
- A Minor: All strings open except for String 4 which has the 2nd finger behind the 2nd fret.