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47

The ukulele has a reputation as an easy instrument because it is an excellent entry level instrument, especially for children. It's small, which makes it easier to hold. It's small, which makes jumps and stretches on the fretboard easier The short, nylon strings make it easy to hold down a string without pain It only has four strings, which makes chords ...


40

No need. An awful lot of players - of just about any instrument - get by or become excellent players with no special theory knowledge. I believe that the theory side comes later, after you've been able to play for some time. Let's say you spent a year learning theory, then picked up an instrument. You'd be able to play it straight away? Doubtful... You ...


27

I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to vehemently disagree with some of the answers so far that want to make spurious claims that "left-handed people have an advantage when playing right-handed guitar/ukelele." Such claims are usually promoted by right-handers who have little experience with left-handed musicians. If you think about it just a bit, ...


25

Some 'left-handed' modifications are worth fighting for. This one isn't. You won before you started! EVERYONE plays uke 'left-handed'. The left hand does the clever stuff, the right hand just has to strum. We will doubtless now hear some attempts to justify the political stance that left-handers MUST be separately catered for at all times :-)


15

Self-Answer: The ukulele has this rap as being inferior mostly because almost all people who "learn to play ukulele" never get much more advanced than learning how to strum a few basic chords, then sing using that minimal playing as accompaniment. Other instruments have this problem (the guitar arguably still does to a lesser degree), but the ...


14

A D7 chord consists of: D - the root note - if you leave it out the chord is ambiguous, but you might fix that by having another instrument, your voice, or the listener's imagination, fill it in. When you're the only accompaniment, however, you typically want the tonic as one of the lowest notes in your chord, as an anchor (this is why bass guitars often ...


13

I agree with the other two answers, knocking that corner down a bit with either sandpaper or a fine file will help but I would like to also offer two tips on your technique. There isn’t a reason for your hand to make contact with the neck in that spot. It looks like your thumb is in a pretty good spot but try placing it just a hair lower, more towards the ...


12

It's often the nature of the beast for stringed instruments. The strings need to settle in, sometimes there are too many turns of string around the tuning peg, which makes bedding in take an age. Nylon or metal strings will do this. Try pulling the string, along its length,for a few minutes. Then re-tune. It will settle in eventually, unless there's a ...


12

You could try lots of things. Changing the rhythm pattern is one, but you could also try things that work with tone (timbre) and dynamics too. Here are some ideas that come from guitar, but I think should work on ukulele too: Palm mute. Creates a softened, quieter sound. You can increase/decrease the amount suddenly or gradually. Change the position where ...


11

The D7 chord is D (root), F♯ (major 3rd), A (perfect 5th), C (minor 7th). Any voicing that includes all four of those is correct. For example, the barre fingering is A–D–F♯–C, which is correct. Furthermore, the chord is in root position on a soprano or concert ukulele – meaning that the root is the lowest-pitched note – which is ideal for playing ...


11

Many musicians choose to learn to play their instrument without studying music theory. I compare it to learning to drive a car without studying auto mechanics. you step on the accelerator to go, step on the brake to stop, turn the wheels to change direction. It will take you where you want to go, but you won't understand how it works. That's fine for many ...


10

Yes, very normal. And it's not only with a new ukulele, but anytime you change the strings. The knot at the bridge end of the nylon strings needs to tighten up. You'll get it in tune, but the knot will slip and the tuning will go out. Just keep tuning/tightening the string. A week from now it will keep its tune much better. If you have friction tuning ...


10

You must have a vintage Martin 1T because the newer ones have a tie bar bridge and don't use bridge pins at all. From your question: I tried seeing if it actually was small enough to even fit into space between the side of the hole and the side of the pin. It couldn't - it seemed to hang up on the bottom edge of the hole. That is what it is supposed ...


10

Little background: I play the guitar (and uke!) left-handed. left handedness...is connected to the right hemisphere of the brain - which is the location for creativeness and abstract thinking Less so than people say, and is the fretting hand or strumming/picking hand the creative one? I even suggested I will buy or re-string their ukulele to left hand....


10

I'll put my 2 cents in as well. All this discussion is particularly interesting and relevant to me. I am naturally left handed. My introduction to instrumental playing was when I received a guitar for my 14th birthday. Not knowing any better, I swapped the strings around and then proceeded to happily teach myself left handed. For me, learning to read ...


10

Sandpaper. It sounds like a joke, but the nut is there to hold the string, and the sharp edges are not necessary. Round it down for comfort.


9

There are four main sizes of ukulele: Soprano, Concert, Tenor, and Baritone. Soprano, Concert, and Tenor are all tuned the same so it's just a question of fretboard size and resonance. The Baritone is tuned differently and probably not what you want. You should choose among the other 3 based on what size is comfortable--go to a store and try them out. ...


8

A major chord is a triad of three notes: the root note, the major third, and the perfect fifth. For the B major chord, the notes are B, D♯, and F♯. Any combination of those three notes on your strings will form a B major chord. If the lowest note played is a B, the chord is in root position; otherwise, the chord is an inversion, which changes the character ...


8

There can be a difference in tone quality due to the difference in thickness and tension of strings. This is true on guitars, lutes, violins, etc. There can be a subtle difference in tuning also; the nominal pitch may be slightly different. In early times before equal temperament became popular, notes like Ab and G# would have differed a bit and which ...


8

The gauge and material of the strings gives the same note a different timbre on different strings. If you are hearing different pitches, then it may be a product of an untrained ear. The longer you play for, the better your ear becomes and you will be able to better hear pitches and tonality.


8

With all fretted instruments, there are several ways of fingering certain chords. The criteria are where you've come from and where you're going to. The fingering may well vary and you'll maybe have two or three different ways to play the exact same chord shape, considering the criteria. So, any fingering will be o.k., but think about these variables.


8

Any song can be adapted to be played on any musical instrument.* That having been said, some musical instruments have more limited abilities than others, and require more adaptations from the original. And it's a matter of opinion how far you can go adapting your song to a different instrument until it is no longer the same song. As you mentioned, a ...


8

Essentially, because it IS an easy instrument to play, as far as technique goes. The ukulele and recorder can certainly be entry-level instruments (bit unfair to class them with kazoo I think!) They're cheap, and basic technique is easily achieved. But 'rejection of formal music education'? Recorder is taught in schools with the express purpose of ...


7

If you want to get started playing fingerstyle ukulele, there are lots of books you can pick from. The one I used to get started and recommend is called 20 Easy Fingerstyle Studies for Ukulele by Rob MacKillop. The book walks you through a lot of the different techniques used in fingerstyle through exercises and simple instrumental songs. The book comes ...


7

TL;DR: you should probably play it the standard way, not the way you're playing it, because it promotes a poor left hand position. You should never have a higher finger coming in "under" a lower finger. (all this advice would apply to playing a D chord on a guitar too, since they're the same fingering, 0 2 3 2. (on a guitar, x x 0 2 3 2) ) I would say ...


7

I have absolutely no experience with guitar and ukulele at the exact same time, though I have played both at different times. But I have learned multiple instruments at the same time. Just don't have the expectation that doing one will make you better at the other. Even for instruments in the same family the skills are different. And if the tuning is ...


7

As others have already said, theory isn't necessary to play an instrument, including uke. But theory explains the why, and while it's not immediately obvious, theory is incredible useful as you learn to play. For example, theory tells us what chords and notes play well together - knowing this when you're trying to figure out chord voicings or what notes to ...


6

Simply put, it has to do with how ukulele is played in common practice. It's similar to guitar in that you strum chords both up and down in rapid succession, the difference being someone had the bright idea to put a higher string as the 4th string, making it sound as if all the chords were up strums. This hides which strums are up and down and overall gives ...


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