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Learning Bass Ukulele

Learning to Play the Ukulele


Some people learn to play the ukulele by taking lessons from a qualified teacher, but probably most teach themselves to play, usually with a mixture of YouTube tutorials and joining a local ukulele group. Some of them even progress to taking exams. On this page there is a complete (free) YouTube-based ukulele course consisting of 26 3-minute lessons covering just about everything you need to know together with some other resources you will find useful.

If you find some of the topics difficult at first, don't worry. You'll find that with a bit of practice it soon starts to come naturally. And at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. Very few of us are looking to become world famous virtuosos. The purpose of playing the ukulele is to have fun. Anything more is a bonus.

Finding a Local Ukulele Group to Join

Joining a local group is one of the best ways to help you along with your ukulele playing. There are groups in most parts of the country and they are normally very welcoming of new members, even those who are only just starting out. Some groups even offer beginner lessons. You can check for ukulele groups in any area in the UK on Ukulele Social at https://ukulele.social/LocalGroups .

Ukulele Songsheets

Ukulele songsheets provide the lyrics of a song, and tell you which chord to play, and when. Songsheets for just about any song you ever heard can be found on the internet in .pdf format, or you can download the USGB Song Book by Jim Carey - all 1640 pages of it! Find it in the Resources section of this web site, here.

Popular songsheet sites on the internet that are worth looking at are:-

If you are looking for a particular song, you can go on Google and enter the song title you are looking for followed by the word "ukulele" - hence, search for something like "Bring Me Sunshine ukulele".

USGB Recognised Ukulele Exams

When you've worked through the resources on this page, you could look at taking an exam! We have recently partnered with the Victoria College of Music who have exams for very early stage players. You could download the syllabus and look at what is involved with those early exams and see what books are suggested for the working for the exams. Find the details at https://usgb.co.uk/Exams.

Video Tutorials

Rather than re-invent the wheel, we are providing links here to a set of 26 free 3-minute videos by Jim D'Ville of PlayUkuleleByEar.com and sponsored by major ukulele manufacturer, Kala .

These video tutorials start with the very basics for people who have never played an instrument of any type and if you follow them through, playing along with the video where appropriate, you will quickly be able to start playing the ukulele.

Note: These tutorials from Jim D'Ville are American and use some American terminology. For instance, he talks about "measures" which in the UK we would call "bars". Sorry about that. Our excuse is that apart from things like that, the tutorials are good.

Other Beginners' Resources

USGB Ukulele Chord Chart - There is a chart of fingering diagrams for 120 chords available as a pdf file that you can download and print out. It's in the "Downloadable Resources" section of this site, here.

USGB Mobile Chord Finder - The Chord Finder is designed to be a simple-to-use resource that you can access from your mobile phone when you don't have a full chord chart to hand. As well as standard tuned ukes, the Chord Finder has options for baritone ukes, ADF#B tuned ukes and for left handed players. Just load your internet browser on your phone and point it to https://usgb.co.uk/Chords.

Ukulele Handbook - If you're ready to learn more about your ukulele, this might be the time to download John A Timney's excellent Ukulele Handbook. There's around 70 pages stuffed with useful information, packed into a .pdf file. You can download it from our "Downloadable Resources" section on this site, here.