View Full Version : Best Learning Order

06-06-2014, 08:24 AM
Hey everybody, I'm brand new to both the ukulele and this site, and am very excited to get started.

What's the recommended approach/order for beginning? I'm a bit confused as to whether I should go through the Essential Chord course, the month-long UU practice sessions, the Beginner videos in the Video Library, the Ukulele 101 course, or something else entirely (e.g. Uncle Rod's UBC, 26 Basic Ukulele Lessons). Any suggestions?


06-06-2014, 08:47 AM
I'm pretty new to it as well. I started playing in April. I started out with Uncle Rod's Ukulele boot camp. That got me going. I then started the Ukulele Aerobics and that has really been fun. I think that some people who do the Ukulele Aerobics jump ahead and do several lessons a day, trying to get through the book as fast as they can, but for me, I just take each day's lesson and let is soak in so that I own it before I move on to the next one. Just a little bite every day adds up quickly. That is working well for me at this point. But again, I'm just a few months ahead of you. so I'm not an expert in any way. I also find old songs on ultimateguitar.com that I remember from the sixties and seventies and learn the chords for them as well. That is fun.

Inksplosive AL
06-06-2014, 09:30 AM
If you have no experience with stringed instruments or havent picked one up in a time. You will benefit from just playing the first open string then the first fret, second fret, third fret, fourth fret keeping all fingers down on the string. Ahhhh This:


That is a very simple exercise that takes no thought and gets you used to not looking at your fingers quickly. I used this and uncle rods to get me to a place where I can noodle and figure out a few songs on my own.

Mike has a lot of videos he put up to help us all.

I myself dabbled with guitar and bass years ago and picked up the ukulele and lost everything I had known. I was quite frustrated and that video of Mikes awoke an old lesson I was given for guitar and the ukulele is the first stringed instrument I can play (a little) and not look at my fingers.

Good Luck

Inksplosive AL
06-06-2014, 09:46 AM
Can't find the video but if you are pressing down on the fretboard using your thumb of your left hand (and getting tired from this) you're not holding the ukulele optimally.

Putting pressure on the ukulele body with your right arm (pulling it towards you) not only gets the back of the instrument off your body (louder) but pushes the fretboard into your fingers on your left hand.

Yeah the videos are always better than my explanations.

06-06-2014, 09:47 AM
Hi and welcome to UU! In truth there is no right or wrong way to learn, everybody is different. I've been playing for just over a year and have a learnt a great deal already (still a long way to go yet though :D). I found what worked for me was finding some songs that i like, looking the chords up on the interweb or in books and just sitting down and playing. As a beginner it's easy to get caught up in the technical aspects of the instrument and techniques...like strum patterns and scales and sometimes this can detract from the fun of playing the instrument. Lets face it, learning and playing the uke should above all be FUN, otherwise why bother? Some people need more structure, I can appreciate that, and if you're one of those people - good for you - but it feels far to much like school for me. There are countless resources available for learning this amazing little instrument, UU is just one of many sites. Which ever direction you choose...GOOD LUCK! and remember...HAVE FUN!! :music::rock:

06-06-2014, 10:41 AM
I am about three months into playing the uke. I had "sort of played" a little acoustic guitar in the past, as another said those skills were long gone. But I had an idea of chords and rhythm and timing so it helped alot.

Start out learning this like any other skill, easy stuff first then work your way up gradually. We must know some chords to play music, learn the easy ones first, C, Am, F, G, you could play hundreds of song with those. Make a chord sheet, those chords written down in different orders and practice moving from one chord to another. It is OK to go really slow and look at your fingers in the beginning, this is how we learn and develop muscle memory. As far as strumming goes start with down strums only, easiest first. Now find a real easy song : two or three chords that DO NOT change frequently, something you know and can hum. Boom you are now a ukulele player.

06-06-2014, 10:54 AM
Pick a couple of songs you like and learn to play them - most popular music only uses three or four chords and you can usually find lyric/chord sheets on line in uke-friendly keys. You'll pick up a "library" of chords as you go and, since you're playing songs you're familiar with you'll know when it sounds right. It's really important to get a couple of real songs down before you start "wood shedding" - otherwise the "wood shedding" can get boring and discouraging.

Later, after you've realized that it really is "doable" - then is the time to begin looking at instructional aids to learn more advanced techniques and so on. Prove to yourself that you can make music, even simple music, first.


06-06-2014, 06:31 PM
Ditto what oldephart and downupdave said...find a few songs you know that are not too fast, have infrequent chord changes, and use easy chords. That will get you rolling and having fun. The rest can come later.

06-06-2014, 09:56 PM
There is no general rule for learning an instrument...

If you're looking at UU+, you might want to start with UUU 101. It really covers the basics of ukulele and Aldrine teaches a couple of songs if memory serves.
Then it's really up to you... I would suggest Essential Chord after that, as well as Uncle Rod's Boot Camp, learning a few simple song to not only see your progress, but also have fun (otherwise, why bother; it has to be fun).
You can then check out the Practice Sessions and / or Ukulele Aerobics book whilst continuing to learn fun songs you like...
Then dive into UUU 102 & 103...
Just my 2 cents... The most important thing, is you have to find what works for you.

Good luck & have fun!

06-07-2014, 01:16 AM
Greetings and welcome. Glad you joined us. Whichever you choose, don't make a common beginner's mistake of trying to master too many skills at once. Many have expressed frustration while trying to learn to hold the uke, correctly finger chords, learn the chords, master strumming, and the lyrics to a new song all at the same time. Too much for most of us to learn at once. They are all individual skills and some must be more or less "mastered" individually. Good luck

06-07-2014, 05:00 AM
Playing with other players who are more experienced will accelerate your learning faster than anything else. If there is group that gets together near you and plays uke - find them and jump right in. You'll be lost at first, but you'll quickly start to pick it up.

06-08-2014, 09:47 AM
Welcome Verourik,
As everyone has written before pick your favourite song and play it note by note. If you don't have a song then go with "Three Blind Mice"
Note by note until it is perfect. Good luck. Jim.

06-08-2014, 09:55 AM
Playing with other players who are more experienced will accelerate your learning faster than anything else. If there is group that gets together near you and plays uke - find them and jump right in. You'll be lost at first, but you'll quickly start to pick it up.
Yup. Exactly.

04-10-2015, 09:58 AM
I'm just starting as well and am using Uncle Rod's. I'm also trying some fingerpicking and running scales. I'm not trying to put any songs together, just trying to do smooth chord changes. For me, breaking it down seems to help