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I Bought a Ukulele… Now What?

Yesterday, I went downtown and bought a Ukulele. I don’t even remember the store I was in, because I was just casually strolling through. Something about this Ukulele drew me to it; maybe it was the fact that the brand name is the same name as my cat, but who knows? Nevertheless, I bought it, and I have no idea how to play.

I have a friend who can play, but keeping up with her can be difficult, and learning from your friends is not always the best way to go. There are tons of apps to help you learn, but most you have to pay for, or they present themselves as free, and you have to pay for the premium plan just to get a decent amount of lesson time in.

I don’t know how to learn an instrument on my own. I was in band all through middle and high school, but learning there was easy. There were tons of others around me learning for the first time and learning all the same things. I had teachers to help me when I didn’t understand something or if I just needed extra attention when learning a certain skill. As a broke college student, I can’t afford private lessons, so it looks like I’m on my own.

Thankfully, I have the internet.

First, I googled Ukulele chords and found the 4 most basic chords that are in most songs: C, A minor, G, and F. The format of most chord pictures makes it pretty easy to figure out where to place the fingers and in which fret (I also had some previous knowledge of guitar vocabulary, which made it a little easier on me). Once I learned these chords, I found songs that had only these chords in them, and practiced changing my fingers for each chord. I’m still not very good, but practice makes perfect, and I’ve only had it for one day.

Here’s a sample of one of those songs:

Next, I looked up YouTube videos for strum patterns. This is the most important part of learning the Ukulele since it sets the beat for the songs. This is probably the most difficult part of learning the Ukulele, and takes lots and lots of practice. I can strum pretty well if I am going slow, and not also singing the song. I still have a long way to go before I have mastered the Ukulele, but I’m learning!

I am a third year English major hoping to become a book editor. I have been writing for HerCampus for one year, and am excited to work as a Co-Editor this year. I love reading and staying home with my cat, Luna.
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