Learning how to play ukulele shouldn’t be too hard, but we’re here to offer some ukulele advice in hopes of making the process even easier. Let’s see what you can do to improve your ukulele playing technique.
Tune your instrument frequently
As you play your ukulele, you might notice that sometimes certain things feel just slightly off. It might not necessarily mean that your uke went out of tune, but why leave the situation to chance?
There’s plenty of things that might frustrate you as a beginner ukulele player, and an instrument that’s out of tune just happens to be one of the most annoying ones.
You can tune your instrument by ear, but we strongly suggest that you start using a tuner. A tuner is a relatively simple contraption that will make the tuning process a whole lot easier, and one of the good things about it is that most models of average quality don’t cost much at all.
Improve your posture
You might wonder how posture can actually affect your technique, but it certainly does. Namely, the way you sit (or stand) while playing your instrument dictates how your hands and fingers are going to respond – how mobile they’re going to be.
For those of you who are sitting while playing ukulele, make sure that your back is straight whenever possible. Leaning forwards a bit might help you play a little easier, but it will warp your spine and may even lead to injury, in a sense.
As for those players that prefer playing their instrument in a standing position, having a straight back is even more important. In a nutshell – avoiding ‘fatigue’ with proper posture will undoubtedly help you play for longer, to say the very least.
Make sure to take breaks every once in a while
Diligence and hard effort almost always pay off, but if you’ve been doing nothing but rushing through the walls of obstacles you’ve faced, your technique will reach a certain point of standstill.
Taking a breath to reflect on what you’re trying to do and think of ways by which you can do it more easily is equally important as doing the actual playing.
Play with a metronome
A metronome is one of the most widely used guitar & ukulele accessories, although beginners might feel a little intimidated by it. It does a simple job – you set the tempo, and it emits precise ‘clicking’ sounds with pinpoint accuracy.
So, how will using a metronome improve your technique? At first it will appear as the most important thing is to nail down the notes of a song you’re interested in. The metronome will dictate the tempo you program it to, meaning that if you play anything differently, you’ll notice.
Often times people forgo the ‘songs’ part and simply start strumming down the fingerboard, and even in that case a metronome can be a good thing. This ‘tempo’ device will help you correct certain bad habits that are all too easy to develop in the beginning.
Take it slow
Regardless of whether you want ukulele playing to be your hobby or if it’s something you want to pursue with more ambition, so to speak, there’s no need to rush things.
The basics and fundamentals of every instrument are almost always rather dull and boring, but remember – if you decide to skip them, you’ll just have to return to them at another point in time when they’ll appear even more tiresome.
The key to mastery is repetition, and by doing your exercises and putting our ukulele advice to action slowly, you’ll be sure that you’re doing the things properly. Once anything start to feel natural, you can slowly pick up the pace, but it’s imperative that you don’t force things into being – take it slow.
Work on your strumming technique
As much as playing full songs and strumming chords seem fun, the strumming technique is the core of playing any stringed instrument, ukulele included. There are several easy ways to improve it.
Most beginners only strum downward, and that’s perfectly fine. Stick with this type of strumming until you no longer need to put any focus in it. After you’ve nailed it down, try strumming upwards a bit. Repeat the process until you’ve developed another good habit, and then it will be time to try combining them.
Alternating between upward and downward strokes (upstrokes and downstrokes) is a relatively advanced exercise, but with some time and effort, it’s just as easy as any other – fingering, tapping, chords, and such.