Play Better Ukulele TODAY! Roadie’s tips for learning uke

by Alec Plowman, Jun 25, 2019 . 3 min read

Play Better Ukulele TODAY! Roadie’s tips for learning uke

Teaching yourself to play ukulele is great!  Whether you’re learning to play ukulele online or with a book, it’s an awesome skill.

But, there are some pitfalls for beginners to watch out for. These are easy mistakes, but making them can kill your motivation.

Don’t worry though. We’re here to help. Follow these simple tips and you’ll start playing better ukulele right away!

Tune BEFORE Playing 

As Ukulele Tricks notes, playing an out-of-tune uke is a frustrating experience that’ll kill your motivation before you’ve started:

“Playing a ukulele that is out of tune may frustrate your experience when attempting to learn new songs. You’ll find the notes you strum don’t quite match what you are listening to. Learning the chords to a song while your ukulele is out of tune will get you stuck. You may know where to place your fingers on the fretboard but the actual notes you are playing are not the intended notes from a tuned ukulele.”

Tuning your uke is a must at any level. And, if you’re looking for an incredibly accurate, quick, and easy way to tune your instrument, you don’t get much better than Roadie 2. Alternatively, you can also check out the free Roadie Tuner app available for both Android & iOS.  

Pay attention to your posture

It’s easy to ignore, but having good posture makes a huge difference to the level of enjoyment you get out of your instrument. 

How do you know if you’re holding your ukulele right? Well, there’s a few golden rules. As Live Ukulele notes, these are the dos and don’ts when it comes to holding your uke:

Do:

• Hold the ukulele in a relaxed manner.

• Keep your thumb behind the neck.

• Keep the ukulele upright and against your chest/belly.

• Keep your fingers relatively parallel to the frets – unless you are playing a chord that requires you to turn your wrist.

Don’t:

• Let the ukulele slide flat onto your lap. This makes things much, much harder for your wrist.

• Squeeze the ukulele to death. Find the happy medium that supports the instrument but also lets you relax.

• Hold your elbow way out.

• Hold your elbow tucked all the way in or in front of you.

Further Reading – Why Should You Learn Ukulele? Roadie’s Guide to all things Uke

Little and often

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice!

I’m sorry, bad joke I know. But, the universal truth of learning any instrument is that you’ve got to put the hours in. 

The question, though, is how exactly you go about doing that?

Practice slow and steady, rather than in fits and starts. A 20 minute session every day will pay off in dividends compared to a strumming marathon once a week. Why?

  1. Regular repetition is a proven technique for committing concepts to memory.
  2. Playing in short bursts, especially when you’re starting out, builds up stamina and reduces the risk of cramps and other injury.

Regarding point #2, we refer you to this passage from Alistair Wood’s Ukulele for Dummies:

You may be tempted to push through the pain in your hands. But if the pain is internal (for example, sore muscles or cramps), you can do permanent damage. If your hand is feeling sore, let it rest. It’ll have more strength and stamina the next time you play.”

What’s your favorite song to play on the ukulele? And are you guilty of any of these beginner mistakes? Let us know in the comments. 



Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!
Submit
Get Roadie Tuner

Check out some other similar articles

If you’re learning ukulele, you need three things: Drive, a good beginner ukulele and inspiration! 

Alec Plowman
Jun 17, 2019 . 4 min read

So you want to learn to play ukuleleAwesome. But, what’s the best ukulele for beginners? Which cheap ukuleles won’t leave you buyer’s remorse?

Alec Plowman
Jun 6, 2019 . 4 min read

Band Industries, the makers of the Roadie automatic guitar tuners, are excited to announce the launch of their new free tuner app.

Karine Janho
May 27, 2019 . 2 min read

Want to learn ukulele, but don’t know where to start? Fortunately, there are tons of easy ukulele songs out there that even complete beginners can master in minutes.

Alec Plowman
May 24, 2019 . 3 min read

You’ve probably recorded a song or two — or a hundred. You might even have built your own home studio. But if you’re just starting out, you should know how to record electric guitar at home.

Frederik Nielsen
May 21, 2019 . 3 min read

Should you start learning Ukulele? The answer is a definitive yes! Ukuleles are soaring in popularity at the moment,

Alec Plowman
May 14, 2019 . 4 min read

Whether you are a beginner or have some experience with guitars, you still may be wondering how to tune a guitar perfectly.

Alain Abou Atmeh
May 2, 2019 . 4 min read

Alternate tunings make life as a guitarist a bit more interesting, as it’s easy to get tired of just being famous all the time. That’s why we cover alternate tuning

Frederik Nielsen
May 1, 2019 . 5 min read

Drummers are loud people — let’s talk about it. I have to deal with a drummer who never calls in sick for rehearsals. He always shows up,

Federik Nielsen
Apr 29, 2019 . 3 min read

Ukuleles are fun. If you haven’t discovered the magical world of ukes, then check out our comprehensive guide to ukuleles first.

Frederik Nielsen
Apr 10, 2019 . 3 min read

It’s a well-established fact: having a routine makes your more productive. Chances are you already put this into practice when it comes to

Alec Plowman
Apr 5, 2019 . 3 min read

What’s the best acoustic guitar for a beginner? If you’ve ever worked in a guitar store, you’ve probably been asked that question. A LOT.

Alec Plowman
Mar 31, 2019 . 3 min read

Developed in Hawaii during the 19th century, the ukulele has been riding a big wave of popularity since the 1990s.

Abir H. Farha
Feb 15, 2019 . 4 min read

We’ve talked before in this blog about how jamming with other musicians is an amazing way to fast-track learning the guitar.

Alec Plowman
Oct 11, 2018 . 3 min read

When it comes to learning guitar, everybody has a goal piece. It’s that one song they’ve wanted to master since they first picked

Alec Plowman
Aug 23, 2018 . 3 min read

What sets apart a great lead guitar solo from a mediocre one? Is it technique? Finger dexterity? Scale mastery?

Alec Plowman
Jul 23, 2018 . 4 min read

Beginner guitarists and tuning stability have a turbulent relationship. In this day and age, getting your guitar

Alec Plowman
Jul 9, 2018 . 4 min read

So you’ve decided you want to play electric guitar. Awesome. You’ve just taken your first step into a wider world

Alec Plowman
Jun 28, 2018 . 4 min read

You are all in for treat! One can never be awesome enough with the axe, so take a look below for the tricks

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 13, 2018 . 4 min read

Embedded in every guitar player’s DNA is an incredibly huge ego (not my opinion, Google it) that needs to be fed on a regular basis.

Frederik Nielsen
May 28, 2018 . 4 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!