After starting his musical journey, every ukulele player worries about “how long does it take to learn ukulele.” Learning the ukulele is like designing a picture that you try multiple times to master the skill. So, it depends on how much time a player gives to it daily.
To learn the ukulele in the best possible way, you need to learn the basics. Once you learn the basics, it’ll take at least 3 months to call yourself a beginner. After consistent practice, you will be an expert within 6 months.
Remember that practice makes perfect, and you need to practice and practice to learn swiftly and effectively. Very few guitar players gain expertise in less than 3 months when they practice daily.
Before starting to learn the ukulele, there are a few things you should learn. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Basics of Ukulele
You can learn the basics of the ukulele in just five minutes, but it would take longer for you to play it well. We believe this is what makes the ukulele unique. Once you play it, you can tell if you want to learn more or put it away forever.
You should refrain from spending an excessive amount of money on your first uke, however. In the future, you will be able to upgrade. For those just starting, one can get a starter ukulele for an affordable price. But you have to make sure to get a perfect one for yourself.
Below are the points you should know to become proficient at playing the ukulele. It would be great for you if you learned the basics first.
Hence, the A, B, C, D, E, F, and G adhere to the basic chords translating into LA, TI, DO, RE, MI, FA, and SOL. These are the basic chords; however, you should not concentrate on the B chord because it is rarely used and tricky to play.
While E is the hardest to play of the six chords that remain, the rest are easy. Take it slow and concentrate on two chords at a time if you want to master every chord. If you’re going to memorize each chord, a chord chart would be best for you to take guidance from it.
Constant practice will help you make your hands stay on the fretboard while going back and forth from chord to chord. It would be commendable if you tried to make small and deliberate movements.
If you do not know about the basics, you do not need to strum fancy chords. Make sure you use your right index finger with the fingernail pointing down to the strum.
Therefore, when you are strumming up, you should use the tip of your finger. During this drill, use more of your wrist going up and down rather than your complete hand or arm.
Many players like to keep their fingers steady by writing them against their thumbs. You will need to practice until your hand is steady.
Among the most common ukulele patterns for beginners are two. The first strumming pattern is down, down, down, down. While the second pattern is down up, down up, down up, down up. Consequently, your strumming rhythm must be consistent, and also you should count the beats aloud.
You can easily master the rest of the strumming patterns after learning these two.
Pro Tip: Practice slower to learn faster.
Once you have mastered chord formation and strumming, you have to learn the following proven ukulele techniques.
Hold The Ukulele Correctly
You may think this is absurd, but the way you hold the instrument is crucial to your success. It is essential to develop the habit of playing ukulele early on in a player’s career.
It would be fine if you chose a sitting or standing position to be most at ease in holding the instrument. As far as sitting goes, rest your ukulele on one leg and place your strumming arm on top of it. If you decide to play standing up, we recommend you must hold the ukulele against the chest while using your strumming arm.
When you walk, you can play the ukulele better by using these positions. Make sure not to hold it too tight, as this will affect the vibration of the sound.
Fingering / Chord Changing Speed
In the case of chord switching, the process will be instant. The goal is not to master it overnight but to continue doing it over time to become second nature.
If you play a stringed instrument, you’re likely to hear experienced players say that chords can be played in countless ways, though there is a standard method. Your fingers will build calluses as you do the fingering exercises, reducing the pain you will feel as you use your fingers.
Tuning The Uke
Out-of-tune instruments are easily noticeable, but they are easy to fix. Online apps are available for download that can help you to tune or set your device with ease. Do not play untuned ukuleles because it might impair your ability to hear the right tunes instead of improving your skills.
Pro Tip: It would be better if you make it your habit to tune the ukulele every time you play it.
Learn different chords
To learn to play any musical instrument, you have to learn a few chords or songs of it. The same is the case with the ukulele.
Some basic chords of the uke songs include C, G, D, F, and A. You will find only a few songs that do not have any of these. One of the strumming techniques that most uke players follow when they start playing songs is that they use a metronome. It is very helpful when you are a beginner.
Start learning simple chords with a metronome at a slow pace and then make progress to play chords at a faster speed.
Sing While Playing
Beginners will find it difficult to play the ukulele while singing a song with it. However, it is a very good technique to make you play chords with more precision and on time.
Here the metronome will be your best assistant. Start playing the song at a slow tempo with the metronome and then gradually increase the tempo until you get the desired one.
In this section, we will answer a few FAQs to clear your mind further.
How quickly can I learn the ukulele?
Although playing an instrument does not require a degree, most experts agree a person could learn to play in three to six months. So many people are God-gifted who can pick up the ukulele quickly; however, the person must also be dedicated to learning it.
Is it easy to learn the ukulele?
Ukuleles are less challenging to learn than guitars and other stringed instruments such as mandolins. Strings made of nylon will feel softer on your fingers and won’t cause finger pain like guitar strings. It also has only four strings, making it easier to learn chord shapes and scales.
However, you need regular practice to master the uke. Taking it too easy can result in something different.
How long should you practice ukulele a day?
When a student is just starting, they might need only 15 to 20 minutes each day. If you are a student in elementary school or around middle school or above, 30 to 45 minutes per day is usually sufficient. Teenagers or adults, especially the more advanced ones should spend an hour a day.
Can I learn the ukulele in a week?
It usually takes months of arduous work to learn the chords of a simple ukulele song on the guitar, but only a few weeks of practice can give you access. Additionally, for all the chords, you need to play hundreds of songs on the ukulele.
How can I learn Ukulele with a metronome?
Learning to play the ukulele with a metronome is very simple. Select the tempo you feel comfortable with. Now start strumming the instrument at that pace and gradually increase the tempo. Keep increasing the tempo until you get the desired speed.
Final Thoughts: How Long Does It Take To Learn Ukulele
After reading this article, you can answer this question “how long does it take to learn the ukulele?” But it depends on your definition of playing the instrument and your dedication to learning. And we are sure that when you implement all the above techniques, you will be the next Eric Clapton.
Also, you have gotten the answer to the question “How to learn the ukulele?” Now, you may play the instrument more effectively.
Therefore, strumming a few songs doesn’t take much time. If you want to become Eric Clapton, for that, you’ll need a lot of practice and time! It’s important to remember, playing the ukulele is not a competition. Play at your own pace and have fun!
If you have some suggestions or thoughts to share, you are welcome in the comment section.