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Thread: Singing with ukulele

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Tampa Bay, FL

    Default Singing with ukulele

    I never gave a rip about singing.....
    until I started playing ukulele, and going to jam sessions.
    Then one day I decided to rip into imitating Hank Williams (yep).
    I was so surprised I could strum and sing simultaneously, I jumped up and danced a little.
    I never did like my singing (I dislike my voice).
    Then last month I got out the book Irish Songs for Ukulele that had been sitting around for over a year. I watched You Tube videos, practicing singing along, then adding the strum patterns I thought sounded nice. I really enjoy singing them, well the ones that don't sound a dirge.
    By golly.....I've decided to sing 2 or 3 of them in Open Mic later on this month. I hope I sing in the right key.
    I hope it don't start a food fight.....
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Los Angeles


    I love Irish folk songs! I usually play them on mandolin or tenor banjo, they're great to sing though! I'm not a fan of my singing voice either but Irish folk music is gets me practicing... I did just arrange an instrumental version of The Parting Glass on ukulele which I really like the sound of - no singing involved though ;-)
    Which ones are you doing for open mic?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Staffs UK


    Glad you never gave up and it came together in the end, same happened with me, one day I printed some Bob Dylan songs and found I could sing and play at the same time, it's nice when it works out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2018


    I've been noodling around on uke for a couple years and have yet to get over this hurdle haha, I totally sympathize!! Some advice I was given was to practice strumming patterns while doing other things like watching Netflix so you can get used to multitasking. Obviously it goes without saying that you should master multitasking while doing very simple strumming rhythm (up down up down up down) before agonizing over real strumming patterns

    I also at one point was practicing strumming patterns while singing random silly nonsense, I don't know if it helped but was amusing :P

    Also try and get to know one song REALLY well and play it with just a simple up down strumming pattern just to get a feel for singing and strumming, that's been successful for me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Paradise, California


    If you're looking for a great "intro to singing with your ukulele" session and you're ever at a uke festival, take the workshop from Jessica Agg. She's given it at Palm Springs Uke Fest, at Reno Uke Fest and now is living in England--perhaps she can be invited to offer it at GNUF next year... It's a great workshop and just what an ukulele player needs to gain the info, skills and confidence to play and sing at the same time.

    Lucky owner of two MooreBettah tenors and a Dominator tenor; don't ask about the ukuleles that burned in the Paradise fire, 2018--it'll just make me sad.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    SE Connecticut, USA


    I was commenting in another forum about how I found it so much easier to sing while playing ukuleles than I did while playing guitars. I don't know why...but it seems the uke demands less of my concentration...maybe because many of the chords are easier to form (?)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Ames, Iowa


    From the very beginning my reason for playing the ukulele was to accompany myself and my friends while we sang songs around our weekend bon fires in the summer. So one spring I got myself a ukulele, I learned three chords, found a bunch of songs with those three chords, practiced them for a week, then went over to my neighbor's house to drink beer and sing the songs. So that is what I thought ukuleles were for. I was a bit surprised when in the following weeks I found out that there are a lot of people who say they can't, or say they won't, sing songs and play their ukuleles. I wondered what the heck was the point? Anyway, each person is on their own journey, so they can do whatever makes them feel good, but I never thought about whether singing and playing might somehow not go together.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

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