Inspiration for Beginning Ukulele
The ukulele has many features that cause it to be such an attractive beginning instrument. Aside from being very portable, Lessonface ukulele teachers agree it is a very approachable instrument. To make your transition to beginning the ukulele even smoother, we asked our teachers to outline what students need to know in order to begin their lessons.
What Students Need For Their First Lesson
One reason why the ukulele is such an approachable instrument is because there aren't too many items for the student to buy prior to beginning lessons. Music therapist and instructor Robert Krout suggested, "A decent beginner ukulele that can stay in tune, be fretted fingered fairly easily to produce clear pitches, and sounds pleasant."
The only items added to the list were a tuner and a printer for music. Pretty simple!
Attaining a Quality Ukulele
Multi-instrumentalist Elizabeth Leidel recommends, "The student should be prepared to spend about $50 for a quality instrument. You don't want to buy a cheap ukulele because as with other stringed instruments it won't stay in tune. When you constantly have to tune an instrument it's frustrating, sounds terrible, and it will deter you from playing. The Makala Uke model: MK-S is a quality student instrument that has excellent intonation and stays in tune."
Finally an instrument that won't break the bank!
Professional ukulele instructor Lisa McCormick advises, "Best case scenario, I recommend starting with a concert-size or tenor ukulele, if possible. A soprano can also be just fine, but may be a bit more challenging for some adult beginners due to its petite size, especially if you have large hands. A baritone ukulele is tuned differently than these other 3 sizes, and so 'standard ukulele' resources (books, most online resources, etc) won't translate directly to a baritone."
Where Students Can Buy One
Leidel and Krout suggested looking at your local music store or on Amazon.
McCormick adds, "A local music store is ideal, if available, because it gives you the opportunity to try a variety of sizes and models. Even if you don't know how to play at all yet, it is still helpful to pick them up and hold them, give a few strums, compare the feel of them with your own body shape and size. If you do not yet know how to play, have a staff member demonstrate for you so you can hear the differences between the various instruments." McCormic specifies, "Luna makes a great collection of really nice ukuleles for a very reasonable price, easily available online. If you are really trying to keep to a small budget, Caramel out of China makes a surprisingly good instrument for the price - the only caveat is that the shipping takes a couple of weeks or more as it comes directly from China."
Ukulele Background Knowledge
All of our teachers agree, there is no background knowledge needed to begin playing the ukulele. There are, however, several ways you can go about beginning the instrument. One way Leidel suggests is, "listen to different styles of ukulele music. You could watch videos of players on youtube. It's important to understand what the instrument sounds like."
McCormick also recommends trying out her Ukulele for Beginners course, happening via Lessonface next month.
Inspiring Ukulele Songs
Check out the songs below, suggested by Lessonface's ukulele instructors.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Isreal Kamakawiwoʻole
Bohemian Rhapsody by Jake Shimabukuro
Something by The Beatles
More about the Ukulele Teachers Featured in This Article
|Robert E. Krout is a board certified Music Therapist as well as a highly educated music instructor. Robert has been teaching for over 35 years and also specializes in songwriting. Learn more from Robert.|
|Elizabeth Leidel has been a performer and teacher for over 20 years. Elizabeth has expertise in a diverse range of genres, such as jazz guitar, theory, and arranging. Learn more from Elizabeth.|
|Lisa McCormick is a professional ukulele player and instructor. Lisa has been teaching for over 25 years, and specializes in adult education. Be sure to check out her Ukulele for Beginners course on Lessonface. Learn more from Lisa.|