The decade-long surge of the ukulele’s popularity seems to be as lively as ever!
Besides being a real cutie of an instrument, the uke is very easy to get started and thus keeps new players very engaged. Well, initially, at least.
As with any other endeavor, reaching excellence or continuing on a steady upward trajectory can be a real challenge.
We have used all of our uke-playing wisdom to provide you with this handy article that will hopefully shine a light on what you can expect on this journey!
3 reasons why ukulele is easy to learn and play
1. Instant results with minimal effort
In the current day and age of the almost non-existent attention spans, the beginner-friendly nature of the uke is a key factor in keeping new players interested and engaged.
In just a minute or two, you can learn your first ukulele chord! Just place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the first string and voila! That’s your C chord!
The same can be applied for all the fundamentals in both terms of technique and learning chords.
Once you get down three or four basic chords, you can start playing literally hundreds of songs!
2. Ridiculously easy handling
Whether we are talking about portability, the sheer size of the instrument, or the effort needed to set it up properly – all of the aforementioned is ridiculously easy!
If you are traveling, you can literally stick it in your backpack and off you go! The size makes it really comfortable for anyone over four years of age, making it incredibly child-friendly!
As far as setup goes, you just change your strings from time to time and that is literally it!
3. Reasonable pricing
Getting a good uke can be as cheap as 50 dollars. Of course, when you get serious, you can go out a treat yourself to a more expensive ukulele.
However, for beginners, you can find a ukulele really cheap which is a huge benefit on the off chance that you give up on playing it (since you know you haven’t spent a fortune on it).
3 reasons why ukulele is hard to learn and play
1. Wanting it all and wanting it now
Not just a bad pun-like joke referring to one of Farrokh Bulsara’s hit songs, but a real issue when learning anything new.
Psychologists refer to the concept of biting just a tad bit more than you can easily chew – being in the zone of proximal development.
It is of the utmost importance to take this seriously and to challenge yourself sensibly.
If you take on too much you’re likely to develop some bad habits or give up altogether.
Don’t rush the tempos and try to play the song as fast as it is on the recording if you are struggling.
Follow your own tempo and increase it incrementally. You must learn to walk before you learn to run!
2. Bad habits
Whether due to the lack of proper tutoring or your perfectionistic tendencies to learn everything that there is to learn all at once, it is really easy to develop bad playing habits.
Bad habits can be hard to shake off. It’s also much more time consuming to re-learn good habits rather than if you started properly from the start.
The good thing is, the ukulele is really easy to learn (at least the fundamentals). The truth is there aren’t too many crucial mistakes that would sidetrack your progress.
However, attending to your developing playing habits can be crucial for your proper development.
3. Sub-optimal fingering
If you finger your chords in a sub-optimal way, you are most likely to end up spending way too much time and energy on practicing changing chords.
Not only that but relearning the chords in a proper way can be a real drag and may turn you off.
The fluidity of your playing and your general development can be really affected by the way in which you finger your chords.
Is the ukulele the easiest instrument to learn?
Well, that’s a hot potato. Let’s say that it is probably the easiest string instrument to learn how to play.
Having said that, it is probably among the easiest instruments to master in general.
How long does it take to learn the ukulele?
The basics can be learned in just one sitting. However, the mastery of this fine instrument takes time and effort, as with anything in life.
Can you learn the ukulele in a week?
If you are consistent during that week, you can learn a substantial amount of the fundamentals.
Is it hard to learn the ukulele by yourself (without a tutor)?
In the modern day and age of widely available internet, it is really easy actually.
Find some credible YouTube tutorials or good articles (wink wink) and off you go!
Is the ukulele easier than the guitar?
Well, it really depends what it is that you play on both of these instruments. Let’s say that ukulele is easier due to its size and string count.
Is it better to learn the guitar or ukulele first?
There is no real “better way” of doing things here. These are both similar in some ways and different in others.
It would take some time to adjust in either scenario.
Is the ukulele a good first instrument?
Yeah, a great one. Especially if you really like it or if you are very young.
What age is the ukulele for? At what age can you start?
It is for everyone over the age of four! And yes, you can start at four years of age.
How long should you practice the ukulele a day (to see results)?
It depends on where you are on your journey. But even 15 minutes a day can produce a compound effect if you are consistent, thus making you a way better player.
Playing music or pursuing any artistic endeavor for that matter can be a tremendous thing for our lives and the well-being of our souls.
The uke allows for a truly minimal stress learning experience since it is so beginner-friendly and so irresistibly cute.
It allows extremely busy people, very small children, and literally everyone else to enter the magical world of music without being too overwhelming and therefore resulting in disappointment, frustration or even worse – giving up.
So, pick up that uke and start strumming away! Aloha!