So you wanna play the ukulele

I’m still working on my ukulele skills when I’ve got the time. André 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.

3 thoughts on “So you wanna play the ukulele

  1. Herr Rau

    You see me tinted green with envy. The next they’re getting to me is Stuttgart. Two hours by train. Just a tad too much for me.

    (Still, I ought to have got the tickets. Grr.)

  2. Andrea Post author

    Das Konzert in Neu-Isenburg gestern war wirklich klasse, und eine Autostunde war für uns noch okay. Eigentlich wollte ich schon letztes Jahr mal in ein Konzert, aber da gab es keins in unserer Nähe. Dieses Jahr kommen sie noch zwei Mal in unsere Nachbarschaft: am 28. Juni spielen sie bei Bingen swingt und am 24. Juli in Koblenz auf der Burg Ehrenbreitstein beim Horizonte-Festival. Mein Vorschlag: Mach doch mal ein Wochenende Urlaub im Mittelrheintal (Weltkulturerbe!) und geh’ in eins der Konzerte. Ein kleines Lehrer-Weblogger-Treffen wäre sicher auch noch drin. :-)

  3. how to play the ukulele

    I’d stick with the GCEA tuning. Most of the online tabs and stuff reference that tuning. I like it because I can think of it as the same configuration as the bottom 4 guitar strings on a normal guitar. Anyway, whatever you choose, good luck! Oh yeah, and the UOGB rules!!

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