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View Full Version : If you can play ukulele, will you be able to learn guitar?



rayuke
10-24-2011, 08:54 PM
I can play decently on the ukulele and learn songs quite easily with tabs from the internet.

Q:If I can play ukulele will I be able to learn to play the guitar (acoustic) without too many issues?

Ambient Doughnut
10-24-2011, 10:03 PM
Well, it worked for Joni Mitchell and John Lennon!
Sure it's different but they are closely related. I still play both without any problems. (although far more uke these days)

AetherBlue
10-24-2011, 10:13 PM
Of course you can. With time and practice. You may need to toughen up your calluses though.

papplehead
10-25-2011, 11:57 AM
I found the transition fairly easy. You just have to remember to transpose all your chord shapes and add the two bass strings. The muscles movements are all the same, its just a tad bit harder to bar on a guitar.

PoiDog
10-25-2011, 12:03 PM
As one who tried to pick up the guitar after getting used to the uke, I can safely and emphatically say that the answer is yes, you will be able to make the transition. You will need to get used to the extra two strings and the size though. Especially that size. When I first picked up a guitar it felt like I was holding a baby whale. And since I tried a classical, the fretboard felt like it was as wide as the 405 through Santa Monica. Everything about it was huge.

That said, I found that the guitar just didn't call to me the way the 'ukulele does. So, after about a week of mucking about, I decided that I would just stick with the four-string. It just feels more me. Perhaps I'll try guitar again one day (though not a classical to start) and it will be more comfortable and inviting. But not now. Anyway, at least I'm not intimidated by it.

webby
10-25-2011, 12:37 PM
I dunno, every one is different, and unique.

-SRS-45-
10-26-2011, 11:11 AM
If you play the ukulele you can even play trombone... as I found out! :)

Once you learn one or more instruments it generally is a lot easier to learn others.

georgio
11-06-2011, 11:29 AM
Speaking as a 35+ year guitar player & 1 year Uke player... YES you can learn the guitar!
It's gonna be different, don't try to advance too fast. I took to the Uke a lot easier than I thought I would. Someone just put all the chords and notes in different places. :)

Bratset
11-11-2011, 09:30 AM
I started out with the uke, then guitar! Was quite easy to get a general grip of guitar then

PoiDog
11-11-2011, 09:45 AM
Speaking as a 35+ year guitar player & 1 year Uke player... YES you can learn the guitar!
It's gonna be different, don't try to advance too fast. I took to the Uke a lot easier than I thought I would. Someone just put all the chords and notes in different places. :)

I know. Those damn 'ukulele guys always have to be different.

coolkayaker1
11-13-2011, 04:53 AM
My son plays guitar avidly, and I noodled around with it. If I just use the four teensiest strings, I can play my Uke chords without modification (for the most part). Try it--just strum your G and C and D on the small guitar strings and you'll sound like a regular James Taylor. Just with a wicked falsetto way.

GVlog
11-14-2011, 04:13 AM
From my experience and others that I've observed, you can.

It's worth noting however that a transition from guitar to ukulele seems to be much easier than a transition from ukulele to guitar.

flagstaffcharlie
12-07-2011, 11:30 AM
Once you learn one or more instruments it generally is a lot easier to learn others.

I agree. And then as you begin learning more instruments your G.A.S. pains multiply. :D

The guitar is probably a bit more challenging at the beginning, but remember that you don't have to play all six string all the time.

Huna
12-07-2011, 12:18 PM
I switched to frame drum for a while (tambourine basically) but then went to strumstick. Strumstick is like a dulcimer which does not have a chromatic scale but is more like a dulcimer. Some folks hope to transition to guitar from strumstick. It would be easier to transition from ukulele to guitar than from strumstick.

delirium
02-08-2012, 03:33 PM
When I was a kid, I started taking piano lessons. In school I played the saxophone. Once I hit college I started picking up the guitar. I'm still not great at it, but a background on piano really helped me, although I still read music notes better on the piano. The guitar is great by itself, but it makes you want to learn other stringed instruments. I just got a banjo for Christmas and am working hard at it. I'm working on getting myself a uke as well, and I know the experience playing other insturments will help. I find myself practicing the guitar more often since I got the banjo, just so I don't get the chords mixed up between the two.

grandpoobah
02-09-2012, 06:24 AM
I think we're all agreed its not a hard transition. You could capo on the fifth fret of your guitar at first so you don't have to transpose while you're learning the new chords formations. I play a guitarlele which is basically a super wideneck guitar in the same key as a ukulele. I love it. I also find some of the more complex chords on uke are easier on guitar because of the extra strings. You have more to work with. And if you are not sure of what a guitar version of a chord is, you can just play the uke version on the bottom 4 stings.

the.ronin
02-27-2012, 10:13 AM
Yup. I did. And agreed to most points here.

What threw me off is the typically reentrant tuning on the uke (although half my ukes are strung with low g too). You don’t see that on a guitar. Also, when playing the uke (my first instrument aside from piano when I was just a kid), I didn’t pay as much attention to the chords but rather just the shapes. Now I’m find myself paying careful attention to the chords so I can jump back and forth from uke to guitar on the same song.

ichadwick
03-03-2012, 03:20 AM
Yes. The additional two strings will present a bit of coordination challenge at first, but you'll get used to it. You might want to start with a nylon-stringed, shorter scale model, though. Steel strings can be tough until callouses grow. Try a guitarelele.

Or just buy a four-stringed cigar box guitar and pretend the lower two strings don't matter!

hoosierhiver
03-03-2012, 04:31 AM
I'm clearly biased, but when I pick up a guitar it's like puting on a pair of pants that is way to big for me.

ichadwick
03-03-2012, 08:36 AM
I'm clearly biased, but when I pick up a guitar it's like puting on a pair of pants that is way to big for me.
That's how I feel about standard guitars. But I like 4-string CBGs. Scale is a bit longer than I'd like, but they're fun. Like really long-necked baritone ukes.

I tried a friend's guitarulele recently. Didn't really like it - I've been away from guitar so long that I found the extra stings confusing. Even annoying. Why do I need to use those extra strings anyway?

Funny thing: I sold my six-string electric bass recently because I found I wasn't really using the extra strings that much. I guess I'm firmly in the four-string camp these days.

Jnobianchi
03-03-2012, 11:39 AM
I'm clearly biased, but when I pick up a guitar it's like puting on a pair of pants that is way to big for me.

Agreed. When I pick up my small concert sized guitar, it feels like I'm trying to steer the Queen Mary. :)

As for uke to guitar; I made up my mind to learn the chords on the baritone uke and then transition up to a guitar. It was incredibly smooth and easy, and I never bothered learning the bass strings' place in chords because I fingerpick with alternating bass. So I just find which bass notes sound right for the tune I'm working on and I pick them with my thumb. I found that to be much more enjoyable than trying to barre six strings on every chord and I rarely if ever find myself doing monster six-string chords. I like picking out what sounds right and leaving the rest off.

I owe my guitar style to the uke. But - then again - lately I play a lot more uke than guitar.

chloechords
03-04-2012, 12:10 AM
I picked up my mums old guitar about 2 years ago and just couldn't get the hang of it so I shut it back up in the cupboard. Once I started to play the ukulele, about 6 months later came back to the guitar and found it a lot easier and now I play both (along with a collection of other instruments) I didn't really use YouTube to learn how to play it (like I did with the uke) but http://www.ultimate-guitar.com is awesome and every thing I know (which is quite little) I got off there. Give it a go :)

Dmarcin
05-24-2012, 10:11 AM
Having a foundation in ukulele will definitely help with learning guitar, I started on ukulele as well (though I generally play guitar a lot more than it now). I think that a lot of people in this thread are under-estimating how much of a jump it really is, though. Sure you'll be able to pick up easy chord shape without too much trouble, but it's a lot different.

It's gonna hurt your fingers a lot more, the closer string-spacing will cause a lot of mistakes early on, and barre chords on ukulele are nothing compared to what it'll be when you start on guitar. You'll have a better start than a brand new player, definitely, but it'll take a lot of practice to get going. Not trying to discourage you, just letting you know in advance it won't be a total breeze so you're not disappointed when you can't play it as well as your ukulele

PoiDog
05-24-2012, 10:40 AM
As one who tried to pick up the guitar after getting used to the uke, I can safely and emphatically say that the answer is yes, you will be able to make the transition. You will need to get used to the extra two strings and the size though. Especially that size. When I first picked up a guitar it felt like I was holding a baby whale. And since I tried a classical, the fretboard felt like it was as wide as the 405 through Santa Monica. Everything about it was huge.

That said, I found that the guitar just didn't call to me the way the 'ukulele does. So, after about a week of mucking about, I decided that I would just stick with the four-string. It just feels more me. Perhaps I'll try guitar again one day (though not a classical to start) and it will be more comfortable and inviting. But not now. Anyway, at least I'm not intimidated by it.

Heh, I just re-read my comment from about 6 months back.

Well, I did try and pick up the guitar again, and while it still doesn't call to me as much as the uke, I am way more comfortable with it than I was back in Oct.

A big part of that is due to how far I've progressed with the uke. I think now (with the clarity of hindsight) that I tried the guitar too early, because I was still in the steep learning curve for the uke.

I've also got a smaller bodied guitar. The 12-fret folks style body is still huge, but much more managable than before. Also, the 1 11/16" nut is a lot easier to maneuver than a 2" on the classical guitar.

In any case, the guitar seems much more approachable this time around.

Zenin
05-24-2012, 02:49 PM
What threw me off is the typically reentrant tuning on the uke (although half my ukes are strung with low g too). You donít see that on a guitar.
Well, I'd say you don't often see that on a guitar. But it is sometimes done.

One of our local great musicians, John Reynolds of The Reynolds Brothers ("http://www.reynoldsbrothers.net/), plays a fantastic plectrum resonator guitar (4 strings, tuned like a plectrum banjo, longer scale length then a tenor) with the two low strings tuned reentrant.

Unusual, but it's got a fantastic sound!

kkmm
06-19-2012, 07:58 AM
What threw me off is the typically reentrant tuning on the uke (although half my ukes are strung with low g too). You donít see that on a guitar
For me, I can't play ukulele with non reentrant tuning (i.e. low G). I am so used to play songs with reentrant tuning and when I tried the same thing with a "simulated low G uke" (guitar using only 4 trebble strings (and capo at 5-th frets), it just does not work.
The same song, played on guitar, I have to arrange it differently than on ukulele.
And of course, for most people, if you can play uke, you can play guitar and vice versa.

engravertom
06-30-2012, 02:47 PM
I tried guitar off and on years ago, and didn' get to far with it. It was a classical, full size, and I couldn't handle the neck width and scale length. After picking up the Uke over 2 years ago, I am finding it easier to try the guitar again. If I had known about fractional size guitars before, i may have never given up, and missed out on the Uke!

I just bought an Ibanez Nylon string acoustic electric. It has a narrower neck, not a huge body, but the full scale length. For now, I have tuned it down a step, and have a capo on the 2nd fret, to shorten the fretboard for me. learning chord shapes on the Uke has helped, and I was beginning to do better with bare chords lately. It seems like this is a good time to try the guitar again.

I'm toying with some re entrant tuning possibilities, maybe a modified Nashville tuning, eAdGBE maybe. I'll probably just keep it standard, and use the Uke for re entrant stuff.

UK Paulie
07-14-2012, 01:18 AM
Of course you can learn the guitar. I think one can learn just about anything depending on how much they want to. Will it be easy? No. Will it be as easy as learning the ukulele was? NO. My opinion. I did it the other way around and the uke was way easier to learn than the guitar.

v30
08-07-2012, 01:25 PM
I'm just trying to learn guitar now. I tried it once before (prior to learning the uke) and got frustrated and gave up. After approx 2 years playing ukulele, I'm now trying to learn guitar again....thinking that since I can play the uke now (well, somewhat anyway), I should be able to pick up the guitar pretty easily. I'm not finding anything easy about it. I actually find it kind of frustrating becuase I know how easy some stuff is to do on the ukulele in comparison. The biggest benefit for me is that thanks to the ukulele, I'm more confident now that I will eventually make some progress so I think I'm less likely to give up this time.

Zee
08-08-2012, 11:46 PM
I'm just trying to learn guitar now. I tried it once before (prior to learning the uke) and got frustrated and gave up. After approx 2 years playing ukulele, I'm now trying to learn guitar again....thinking that since I can play the uke now (well, somewhat anyway), I should be able to pick up the guitar pretty easily. I'm not finding anything easy about it. I actually find it kind of frustrating becuase I know how easy some stuff is to do on the ukulele in comparison. The biggest benefit for me is that thanks to the ukulele, I'm more confident now that I will eventually make some progress so I think I'm less likely to give up this time.

I've been playing ukulele for just over a year now, and I've just been given a guitar by my dad (who's been convinced by my mum that he's got too many!), so I've been trying to pick that up again.
I think the biggest difference between me trying now, and me trying a few years ago (before I learnt how to play uke) is just the confidence that I can do it, and I think that's really made a huge difference.
While playing the ukulele has made playing the guitar a bit easier (especially strumming), we do have to remember that they're still two different instruments and treat them as so. Plus, everytime I get frustrated at how much longer it's taking me on the guitar, I strum my uke for a bit to lift my mood again! :p

ukuhippo
08-09-2012, 12:26 AM
By far the biggest challenge for me is string-spacing, not only does this weird instrument has two extra strings, but also someone decided to put them all really close together to confuse fat fingered people like me.

Coconut Willie
08-10-2012, 09:12 AM
Having a foundation in ukulele will definitely help with learning guitar, I started on ukulele as well (though I generally play guitar a lot more than it now). I think that a lot of people in this thread are under-estimating how much of a jump it really is, though. Sure you'll be able to pick up easy chord shape without too much trouble, but it's a lot different.

It's gonna hurt your fingers a lot more, the closer string-spacing will cause a lot of mistakes early on, and barre chords on ukulele are nothing compared to what it'll be when you start on guitar. You'll have a better start than a brand new player, definitely, but it'll take a lot of practice to get going. Not trying to discourage you, just letting you know in advance it won't be a total breeze so you're not disappointed when you can't play it as well as your ukulele

Oh yes...this is right on the money!!! I started to learn the GIANT guitar and the strings are too close, made of steel (hurt a bit more) and the chord shapes are different. BUT, being able to play the uke is a BIG head start!!! For even more fun, try learning to play slack key!!!!