Getting started with the ukulele

_MG_5065You’ve purchased this cool little instrument, now what? In this post I’ll show you how to hold it plus a simple strum and a few chords.

The tuning for most ukuleles is GCEA. Here’s a tuner you can use.

If you’re not using a strap, hold the uke against you like I’m doing in the photo. I’m using the inside of my right arm to press the ukulele against me. In my left hand rests the neck. (Reverse all of that if you’re playing left-handed.)

If you want a strap, here’s an example of one that fits on the sound hole and around your neck:

ukulele strap around neck

Or you can get one that fits on each end, like a guitar strap:

ukulele strap like guitar

This video will give you more details:

Now it’s time to learn some chords! Look at each of these diagrams that represent the top of the ukulele. The dots are your fingers.

Here’s a C:

c chord ukulele

Here’s a G7:

G7 ukulele

The numbers refer to your fingers. The C chord is played with your third finger (or ring finger). The G7, with your first finger, second and third finger.

Here’s how you play “Jambalaya.” In this video I’ll review the chords above and show you a strum pattern: Down down up down down up (or DDU DDU)


In this video I cover the same strum but with “Leaving on a Jet Plane”:


Want to know more? I teach via Skype. Contact me here.

Happy playing!


About jamiebobamie

Musician - teacher - writer - gets bored easily. I write an almost-weekly blog that includes true stories gathered from 20-plus years of touring, how-to articles for musicians and profiles of performers. Also, I love dark chocolate, I can play "Brown Eyed Girl" behind my head, and I twirl the baton badly.
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