Daily Archives: April 19, 2009

So you wanna play the ukulele

I’m still working on my ukulele skills when I’ve got the time. AndrĂ© and I went to see the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain in concert last night, and that motivated me to try some new chords today. (Nebenbei, deutschsprechenden Fans des UOGB empfehle ich UOGB Fans. The site also has an English version.)

I have found that two things are hindering my progress: one, I used to play the guitar as a teenager and remember the guitar chords from then, confusing them with the uke chords, and two, soprano ukuleles come in two tunings, either g c e a or a d f# b. The first seems to be a bit more widespread, but the latter is used in the beginner’s book I’ve got. I know I should just stick to one of the tunings and memorize the chords in that tuning, but which one to pick?

In any case, I’ve found two websites that come in very handy if you’re a beginner on the uke:

The Ukulele Boogaloo Chord Charts show how to play all the chords, including which finger to put on which string, and they’re available for both tunings of the soprano uke and the baritone uke as well.

Sheep Entertainment’s Ukulele Chordfinder does not only offer different versions of each chord (for soprano, tenor, baritone uke), but also has a play-along feature. Pick one of the many songs available, listen to it, read the text and the chords and play along! The chords are also shown on a ukulele so you know how to play them. (Of course, you can pick which tuning to use.) Excellent!

Previous uke postings on Serendipita: one, two, three.