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Thread: Does learning the ukulele first help in learning of the guitar easier in the future?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Raleigh, NC


    I’d add that if you want to learn the guitar, play a guitar. If you want to learn a stringed instrument, pick up the one that’s most comfortable for you. You may fall in love with one, or take up many, depending on your aptitudes and interests.
    Last edited by hendulele; 10-20-2018 at 02:59 PM.
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  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota


    I’m not sure many of us are qualified to answer this question—myself included. I picked up the ukulele to start teaching it, and I’ve played (in a sense) guitar for many years. I never connected with the guitar, even though I’ve taught it in class at the high school level.

    When I introduced ukulele to my middle school students, the potential of ukulele as a transition to guitar seemed logical. I also know schools that teach GCEA ukulele in grades 6 & 7, DGBE ukulele in grade 8, and offer guitar in high school.

    When I went through college as a music educator, ukulele wasn’t considered an instrument for schools. We were taught guitar, recorder, and African drumming. This was the mid 1990s, and the ukulele didn’t begin its next Renaissance until 2005 or 2006. Knowing what I know now, I might introduce ukulele instead of guitar—and I’d certainly be requiring all elementary educators to learn it as well (in my thoughts, music should be a part of elementary education throughout the can be used as transitions, etc.).

    Simply put, I’m not sure many people on the mainland US played ukulele between 1964 (Beatles first Ed Sullivan appearance) and 2006. On the other hand, MANY people are learning the ukulele today, and it will be interesting to see if they stick with the ukulele and add guitar, or transition to guitar, or leave music altogether.

    Playing ukulele would certainly help as you learn barre chords (partial and full), and would be somewhat of a logical transition to classical guitar. However, metal strings on an acoustic or electric are still going to hurt more than a ukulele’s ever will.
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2017



    (Seems my message above was too short to post )

  4. #14


    I feel like it hasn't translated for me. But that being said I threw myself in the fire and started with Travis picking arrangements. WOW it's hard so I set the guitar a side and I just play Uke. Maybe I should do baby steps into the guitar world because for me guitar is daunting and uncomfortable. Holding a big dreadnought versus a nice concert ukulele... I much prefer the ukulele. However, I hope one day to learn a few nice songs on the guitar.

  5. #15


    I've gone the other way. After years of playing guitar, I'm finding the small body and neck of a ukulele a bit of a challenge to hold comfortably. I also think I need to shave the bottom of the nut a bit, as I can't seem to consistently get a clean sound from barre chords on the first fret. I also can't seem to get the volume from my tenor uke that I hear in online videos. It may just be my newness to the uke, or the fact that I just finished construction of my uke on OCT 10, but I get a lot better volume playing with a lightweight pick.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Buffalo, NY


    Definitely for me. I tried guitar about 7 years ago and I could not fret to save my life. After 5 or so years on the uke, I went back to guitar and it was so much easier. Especially the rhythm I gained from playing the uke so much. Using a pick definitely has it's own difficulties though that I do not like just feels unnatural to me.
    Just Feel The Groooooove

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2018


    Yes it does. I have been passionately playing ukulele for nine months and recently picked up the guitar and my ukulele practice was very helpful (especially as I switched to dGBE tuning on my uke at the same time). Having said that, probably not as helpful as nine months of guitar playing would have been.

    FWIW i think I love ukulele and only kinda like guitar so will shortly be returning to a mongamous relationship once my experimentation phase is over.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2017


    Think uke will be my instrument for life now, but glad I took a guitar course in the 1980's. They are both string instruments with frets, must have an impact. Not really very interested in the complicated and big guitar. I may learn to play the uke though, it must somehow be the basic instrument
    Last edited by player; 11-26-2018 at 09:56 AM.
    Sole uke: Soprano Flight NUS310, nut end and fret ends a little set up (I sanded) for comfort
    Chromatic tuner Korg CA-40, surprised I needed one

  9. #19


    Quite simply yes.

    I started with uke, then played guitar. Today I play both equally well

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