Learn How to Play the Ukulele
Why Take Ukulele Lessons?
For the same reasons you need proper instruction to learn any instrument. All of the reasons outlined for why lessons are needed to learn how to play the guitar, are the same for a ukulele. Some people think the ukulele would be an easy instrument to play and lessons are not needed. This is not true. It plays notes, chords, and can also play chord-melody style. Because it has only four strings it may be a bit easier to learn than some other instruments, but no instrument is really “easy” to play. All instruments require lessons and practice, including the ukulele. A teacher will show you how to play with a plan.
What Type of Ukulele Should I Get?
The standard ukulele comes in three sizes: soprano, concert and tenor. The soprano is the smallest and tenor is the largest, but all are relatively small. Do not buy a plastic ukulele as it really is a toy, not a real musical instrument which is made from wood. It’s best to hold a ukulele to see what size you like and how it feels before purchasing it. You are usually safe to buy in the middle range of prices. Ukuleles are acoustic, but some can be amplified. You can just hold the ukulele or use it with a strap. Cases are also available.
How do you Teach the Ukulele at the Mequon Music Academy?
The ukulele can be taught with traditional music notes (where you learn to read music) or with tablature (known as tab). Tab is a chart type method of lines and numbers, where you can see where to play notes without learning how to read notes. This method is good for anyone who does not wish to learn how to read music notes. Both methods will be discussed with you when lessons start. We teach different genres of music. We start out with the fundamentals and technique to get your fingers and coordination working. We teach how to play rhythm and lead (chords and melodies).
Lessons are 30 minutes, once a week, and students must practice if they expect to play well. Daily practice is recommended. Our goal is to learn songs and have fun with your lessons. Lessons are individualized to your needs, skill level and desires. Longer lessons are available for an additional cost, if desired. We emphasize playing songs, not just doing scales and exercises. We also teach music theory, improvising and chord-melody arrangements.
Why Select a Ukulele as Your Instrument to Play?
The ukulele started off as a Hawaiian instrument playing Hawaiian music. It still is very popular for Hawaiian music, but it has grown quite a bit since its origins. There was a big ukulele craze in the 1920’s and 1930’s. In the 1990’s a Hawaiian singer and ukulele player named Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (known as “IZ”) recorded “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World”. The ukulele craze again took off. Artists such as Jake Shimabukuro and Meghan Trainor have increased the ukulele’s popularity. It is a small, lightweight and relatively inexpensive instrument and plays many genres. It also can be a lead or rhythm instrument. Some may find it a good instrument for an introduction to music. Like other instruments, it’s fun and can help you relax and unwind. It has four nylon strings. If you do not already have a ukulele, you should call us to discuss what type may work best for you. We can help you find an instrument.