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Tillerman
04-29-2008, 12:08 PM
Hey there,

My first post on UU and I thought I'd dive right in - What is, in your opinion the best DIY method to learning how to play Ukulele?

I'm asking because I bought my very first Uke today. Its a Brueko No.6 Soprano, made in Germany. I learned a few chords and I've been noodling around on it but I'm not really sure where to go from here.

Other than learning from websites such as this one, are there any books, DVDs etc. considered must-have for newbies?

Thanks!

berylbite
04-29-2008, 12:19 PM
Look for an easy song that you enjoy and learn how to play it! that's the next big step.

russ_buss
04-29-2008, 12:24 PM
congrats on your purchase. i just "bite" as many of my favorite songs as possible. some sound great on uke, some not so much. since there are so many free internet resources, it's hard to say whether or not a book or DVD will be of any additional help. i guess it can't hurt to get inspired by some of the greats.

have fun!

NukeDOC
04-29-2008, 12:29 PM
for DIY quick learning without the musical theory backing you...

search for an ukulele chord chart. i found one on a google image search.

find a song on www.ultimate-guitar.com that you know and like. click on one of them that says "chords" on the right.

following the chord chart, and memorizing the finger positions, slowly work your way through the song until you memorize it. keep in mind, that chords are for accompaniment with either singing or another instrument doing the melody. once youve got the whole song down, and it sounds right to you, find another song on there that you like, and learn that one the same way (preferably this next song will have some new chords that you didnt play on the other song). eventually, you will memorize the finger placement for all the chords that you can use, and you will be able to search for almost any song on that site that has the chords laid out, and play it on the spot.

NotoriousMOK
04-29-2008, 12:39 PM
Well, you've already taken the most useful step by coming here -- welcome aboard!! Be sure to check out the videos on the main page, those will keep you busy for quite a while.

If you're touchy-feelie and need would like some book/dvd type material, you can also check out these two threads;

http://ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=921

http://ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1922



Have fun!

Ame
04-29-2008, 12:41 PM
Well, the way I started out is how I did with guitar. Find a song you like and learn it. Once you learn one you'll get the hang of it and start to learn more songs as you go along. I find it easier to learn the basic chords and work your way up. You can look up chord charts like these:
http://www.kunisan.jp/ukulele/eindex.html
http://chordlist.brian-amberg.de/en/ukulele/standard/C7%2B9/

and find sites that have songs with chords like these:
(Mostly easy 3 - 4 chord songs) http://letsplayukulele.com/ukulele/tabs/?a=12
(A bunch of songs with chords, tabs, and videos) http://ukulelehunt.com/category/chords/

After learning chords you'll get used to the fingering and eventually move on to tabbed songs.

Well, at least it was this was the case for me. :)

Good luck! and welcome to the UU family! :D

UkeNinja
04-29-2008, 01:33 PM
Besides the valuable tips above, I think there is a very important other aspect to learning to play and keeping it interesting: find like-minded people to practice with on a regular basis. It really helps to set goals for your playing, and you can get a lot of info and tips off of different people.
Strumming to songs is a good way to start out, but if you are not a Mozartian genius, getting some live input can be very stimulating.

So google yourself some new friends and go out to meet them!

Plainsong
04-29-2008, 02:10 PM
There's also a chord chart and some tips over at ukulele.de. :)

studentaccount1
04-29-2008, 02:45 PM
no shame in taking a few music lessons either.

Plainsong
04-29-2008, 03:23 PM
I'd love to take some uke lessons, and there are a few pro-level uke players in these parts that I'm sure would like to make a little extra money if they have time for lessons. However, the popular style here is overwhelmingly George Formby, which isn't really my bag.

That's the frustration here. There is a uke club, and they meet once a month, and there are some pros in the club. However, it's sort of a Finnish ethic that you don't join a club unless you seemingly have 20+ years of experience, and they all generally play the kind of stuff I specifically don't play. They're nice guys, but, and they are welcoming, but it's tough to really fit in.

I also don't think this is intentional, but there is a vibe of " we want you to join but we don't really want you to join" when they announce meetings the day before the meeting, when it's too late.

My stepmother-in-law knows one of the founders, and through him she got the idea of getting a uke for my brother-in-law. And then she was surprised to see I play as well, and he now has my tenor surf Fluke, which he totally shreds on because string instruments are his thing. He uses a pick and puts it to good use, but I wonder what the traditionalists would say in that club to see him playing a tenor Fluke (not a "proper uke") and using a pick. And the thing is, he would run circles around them.

Keep in mind that many of those hang out on a forum where Jake and James are not considered proper uke players, so it's stuff like that that makes me not exactly rush to meetings.

We need a uke club not-so-much for younger people, but for people who are young at heart, and open minded, and just want to learn, improve, and make some good stuff. Uke size and brand be damned, if it sounds good, it is good. To me, that's what real music is, pushing, bending, breaking rules, just going for what sounds good.

NotoriousMOK
04-29-2008, 04:30 PM
We need a uke club not-so-much for younger people, but for people who are young at heart, and open minded, and just want to learn, improve, and make some good stuff. Uke size and brand be damned, if it sounds good, it is good. To me, that's what real music is, pushing, bending, breaking rules, just going for what sounds good.

Sounds to me like you're about to start a new uke club in your area . . . . . oh, sorry, did you not realize you were about too ??? :p


While not quite as drastic, I have a similar situation where I'm at, though it's a bit milder. There is a reasonably local location that actually hosts two clubs, one is the tin-pan style and the other is traditional hawaiian (this is my interest). Practice for both clubs is hosted by the same generous shopowner (Island Bazaar, Huntington Beach, CA). The participants are super nice and welcoming, but for me the drive thru SoCal traffic at the worst hour makes it a 90minute trip one-way.

This leaves me starving for some interaction with like-minded folks, and with a little legwork and some net-time, I'll find them and set up a new group. I've a friend that works for the city who may be able to find a low cost if not free location or I can probably reserve the clubhouse in my local neighborhood. All I need now is a 'roundtoit' and somebody to lead the group. I suppose that could be me for the time being until a more suitable volunteer comes into the light.

Anyways, the reason I'm rambling on about this is that I'd like to encourage you to do exactly this, and it serves to remind myself how important this is. At the time I first considered starting a local group, I had not yet discovered this site, but the energy from this forum alone is really inspiring me to take action in this direction.

Okay Plainsong, it looks like it's up to you and it's up to me to fix this -- what's next??? :rolleyes:

FrankNoCal
04-29-2008, 05:34 PM
I got my uke for xmas and immediately bought a book and got on the internet. I expected to be playing like Jake YESTERDAY. I taught myself the C , F, and G7 chords, but felt like I wasn't really learning anything. I wanted to be able to play whole songs and just "get it" right away. So I called around and started taking lessons. I now realize that I was expecting huge results way too soon. I've now had about 8 lessons, and I know 5 or 6 songs, but nothing that I feel comfortable with. I've only played in front of my instructor, who says I'm totally ready to jam, and my family.

My advice is to go at your own speed. Do what you feel comfortable with and HAVE FUN. That's what it's all about. When it starts to feel like a chore and you're getting frustrated, put it down and take a break. Take advantage of ALL the videos, info, lessons and everything on the internet. Listen to all these folks on these boards, cause they know what they're talking about. I've been way too shy to go to any clubs or group lessons, jam sessions, but I've heard that's the ebst way to learn. I eavesdropped on a conversation between two expert uke players at the Festival and they were saying the best way to learn is kanikapila. Well, two of my nephews bought ukes at the Festival, so I have some other rookies to play with. We talked about getting together on Friday nights, drinking a few beers and playing music. We'll see how it works.

Damn, that was long!

salukulady
04-29-2008, 06:54 PM
Sounds to me like you're about to start a new uke club in your area . . . . . oh, sorry, did you not realize you were about too ??? :p


While not quite as drastic, I have a similar situation where I'm at, though it's a bit milder. There is a reasonably local location that actually hosts two clubs, one is the tin-pan style and the other is traditional hawaiian (this is my interest). Practice for both clubs is hosted by the same generous shopowner (Island Bazaar, Huntington Beach, CA). The participants are super nice and welcoming, but for me the drive thru SoCal traffic at the worst hour makes it a 90minute trip one-way.

This leaves me starving for some interaction with like-minded folks, and with a little legwork and some net-time, I'll find them and set up a new group. I've a friend that works for the city who may be able to find a low cost if not free location or I can probably reserve the clubhouse in my local neighborhood. All I need now is a 'roundtoit' and somebody to lead the group. I suppose that could be me for the time being until a more suitable volunteer comes into the light.

Anyways, the reason I'm rambling on about this is that I'd like to encourage you to do exactly this, and it serves to remind myself how important this is. At the time I first considered starting a local group, I had not yet discovered this site, but the energy from this forum alone is really inspiring me to take action in this direction.

Okay Plainsong, it looks like it's up to you and it's up to me to fix this -- what's next??? :rolleyes:Hey, I live in H.B. and play at Island Bazaar Tuesdays and Thursday.....one group a little closer to you is the Oasis group that meets in Corona Del Mar on Mondays at 1:30 at 800 Margarite.

UkuLeLesReggAe
04-29-2008, 08:07 PM
i say start ffrom www.iamhawaii.com ... thats how i learnt to start playing etc..

bof
04-29-2008, 11:57 PM
with the bruko 6 you got a very good ukulele, I have no 6 as well. So what do you need to learn fast and effectively?
-much practice - it's the key to learning anything. It might be frustrating at start, but you will soon get better and the fun will increase rapidly
- self reflection - ask yourself whether you do anything wrong while watching tutorial videos or youtube videos
- try not to learn from tabs only, try to understand how - coming from the music theoratical point - the ukulele works. It will help you much if you want to learn to play by ear or if you want to improvise
- look in the internet for tutorials, hints, etc. there are many good sites like this, that you already found
- a strong will - you will certainly have these times when you feel that you don't make any progress and you are frustrated, there you have to prove that you won't put the uke aside and it will be rewarded

and now have fun with the uke

nikolo727
04-30-2008, 05:01 AM
get some books on learning how to play. they are easy to use and a lot of fun when you first try it out.

Ukulele Method by Hal Leonard

Im not really sure if this is the correct name but type those in google and check it out

This is a really good book to buy. I used it when i was first starting out and it worked perfectly.

it shows you chords, how to tune the ukulele, strumming techniques, picking exercises, and more.

Plainsong
04-30-2008, 02:52 PM
I've thought of doing this not just on the uke. B.U. (Before Uke), I had this idea for starting an amateur wind ensemble, amateur SATB choir (so MANY of the choirs here aren't mixed voice! Everything very gender-divided because of "tradition"), getting a drum corps started.. lots of big ideas. But I saw what it was like when a friend of mine started a wind ensemble, and I don't think I'd be too good at it... especially since I suck as a conductor, although that's such a tiny part of it.

I have an idea of how I could start the uke club, basically by inviting like-minded people together to just play, and see where it goes from there. But I don't want to start some kind of turf war with the other club. Out of all the ideas though, it's the most possible. I think I'm gonna go hide now. ;)


Sounds to me like you're about to start a new uke club in your area . . . . . oh, sorry, did you not realize you were about too ??? :p


While not quite as drastic, I have a similar situation where I'm at, though it's a bit milder. There is a reasonably local location that actually hosts two clubs, one is the tin-pan style and the other is traditional hawaiian (this is my interest). Practice for both clubs is hosted by the same generous shopowner (Island Bazaar, Huntington Beach, CA). The participants are super nice and welcoming, but for me the drive thru SoCal traffic at the worst hour makes it a 90minute trip one-way.

This leaves me starving for some interaction with like-minded folks, and with a little legwork and some net-time, I'll find them and set up a new group. I've a friend that works for the city who may be able to find a low cost if not free location or I can probably reserve the clubhouse in my local neighborhood. All I need now is a 'roundtoit' and somebody to lead the group. I suppose that could be me for the time being until a more suitable volunteer comes into the light.

Anyways, the reason I'm rambling on about this is that I'd like to encourage you to do exactly this, and it serves to remind myself how important this is. At the time I first considered starting a local group, I had not yet discovered this site, but the energy from this forum alone is really inspiring me to take action in this direction.

Okay Plainsong, it looks like it's up to you and it's up to me to fix this -- what's next??? :rolleyes:

NotoriousMOK
04-30-2008, 03:00 PM
if the turf war ensues, I'd arm your infantry with the tourist-trap ukes (those can really take a hit!). Your second string should be swinging the laminate variety or plastic body ukes, and don't forget that a wound low-g string makes an excellent garrote in a pinch.

Point me towards danger, I'm ready! :mad: