View Full Version : Hello from a newbe

Kristi f
12-16-2009, 11:27 PM
My ukulele arrived today! I bought a Lanikai LU-21, for my starter. When I was probably around ten years old I wanted a uke, but never got one. I've tried other instruments, but never fully committed to them, mostly because I was young and wanted to goof off instead of practice. The other day a friend had a post of a kid playing the uke, and it got me thinking. Then I found this site and that was it, I ordered my first ukulele!

Now that I've tuned it and played and tuned again (love new strings) I remember I don't have the natural "EAR" for music. It takes me forever to tune, and I need to hum to figure if it's high or low, lol. The more familiar I become I'm sure it will become more natural (I hope).

After playing a bit my fingers are tender as well as my cuticle on my strumming hand. I know that the skin toughens up but I guess I'm wondering about my strumming. Is it normal to use that much of your finger tip that the cuticle of the nail rubs on the strings? If so they can callus up too:D

12-17-2009, 01:34 AM
Hi welcome to the forums.
I found the strumming section on this website helpful for making sure that my hand was positioned correctly for strumming.
Also Ukulele Underground has some useful videos if you haven't seen them yet. Here's one on the basic strum:
You want it so the back of the nail is more or less parallel to the floor so mainly the tip of your finger/nail goes across the strings not the whole back of the nail but it's something that you'll get better at over the next few days as you get a feel for it.

As for tuning I use a clip on tuner. This (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/UKULELE-TUNER-KALA-KC02_W0QQitemZ360205028237QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Mu sical_Instruments_Sting_Instruments?hash=item53dde 48b8d) is the one that I use.

12-17-2009, 01:38 AM
Welcome to UU! Check out uke minutes.:)

12-17-2009, 01:40 AM

Not a bad uke to start with

12-17-2009, 09:52 AM
Hello, hello! Welcome from a newbie (about a year.) I too started with the LU-21. It's a nice little uke, but I'm about to change it out for Aquilla strings in hopes that the action will be better.

Get yourself a chromatic clip on tuner at your local music store. Your tuning life will become a pleasant one and not a guessing game. As long as you are not color blind and can read red from green :)(mine turns green when the string is in tune.)

Figure two weeks as your finger tips get calloused. Power through, the more you play, the quicker that process will be. Mine are nice and tough and I have no more issues with tenderness.

Strumming is a real experimenting game. Search the net, watch, read, and see what sounds good. I'm still workin' on it. But with all the great resources out there, we have the help we need!


12-17-2009, 12:27 PM
Aloha, welcome to UU.

I started off that way as well with my first ukulele, a Lanikai. That was 5 years ago. Changed out the strings with Aquilas and it works fine for my use. It's now been 5 years and its been sitting in my closet. I should give it away maybe as a prize.

Now I own a Kala, Kanilea, and a Kamaka, in that order. Yes, that dreaded syndrome. I can't help myself.

Happy journey

12-17-2009, 12:56 PM
Welcome to the forum, and don't worry, your hands will toughen up. :)

I also second the suggestion for an electronic tuner.

12-17-2009, 01:05 PM
Welcome to UU! :shaka:

12-17-2009, 03:42 PM
An electronic tuner is definitely the way to go.
Start with the string in question tuned flat (too low) and gradually bring it up. For some reason, this is easier than starting sharp (too high) and bringing it down.

Kristi f
12-17-2009, 04:34 PM
Great suggestions. I did order a few things from UU the other day, one was a tuner, I also got Aldrine's instructional DVD. My house mate whom plays guitar has been helping me with a few things, including tuning.

12-18-2009, 08:01 AM
Kristi, I missed your location the first time through this thread! I lived in good ol' Darien, Illinois from when I was 6 until when I was 13.

I would have went to Downers Grove South if I'd stayed there!

Ahnko Honu
12-18-2009, 12:43 PM
Aloha Kristi, e komo mai. You're gonna have so much fun with your new friend. :)

12-18-2009, 01:58 PM

Papa Dave
12-18-2009, 04:31 PM
Welcome to UU! I see that you have already met alot of new friends.

Kristi f
12-18-2009, 06:01 PM
Kristi, I missed your location the first time through this thread! I lived in good ol' Darien, Illinois from when I was 6 until when I was 13.

I would have went to Downers Grove South if I'd stayed there!

That is where I went, class of 1997.

12-19-2009, 12:46 AM
Welcome to UU! Definitely a friendly place!