When you go to learn how to play the ukulele all you want to do is strum out your first song. While you really can play your first simple song in your first session and learn to really play this great instrument faster than most others, it is important to take the time to learn how to do things correctly now so you don’t start things off with bad habits for later down the road.
That first song that you can figure out how to play on your first day is certainly going to sound a lot prettier a few days, a week, or a month from now when you’ve been making some progress playing the chords correctly. To this end it’s good to take your time to get to know this great instrument.
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To get yourself started, you can start working on playing your three basic chords: C, F, and G7. There are a lot of songs out there that you’ll be able to play just using these three chords (like the Happy Birthday song, for instance) and you’ll be hard pressed to find songs where you won’t be using any of these chords in the future.
Learning how to play the ukulele is all about getting your fingers used to playing the strings, getting your chords down, strumming, and getting a good sound. These three chords are a great place to start getting used to strumming, get your fingers used to holding down the strings and switching between chords, and get a good sound going.
How long this will take you really depends on how long you spend practicing, how often you do it, and how your fingers adjust to playing. Expect that if you haven’t played a string instrument before your fingers will be sore and take a while to get used to playing.
If you practice for a twenty to thirty minutes a day, you should have these three chords down, and your fingers adjusting, within a week. That may sound like a long time, but is really pretty fast compared to most instruments, and once these chords sound good coming out, you can start working on putting them together to play some songs, and work on learning how to play other ukulele chords.