Currently, I am learning how to play the Ukulele and I am loving it. As I don’t have any proper music education and I am just learning off youtube tutorials and Tab charts the tips I am giving are to be taken with a grain of salt. 🙂
However, in the past six months, by changing the way I practice and trying new things I have learned and improved a lot. In addition, this past week I feel like I have passed a threshold. Playing seems easier, more fun and, I felt like sharing what helped me reach that point.
Learn the Scales (or Just Some)
I put this one as my first tip because I wish someone had told me about scales before. Without basic knowledge of music, it can be a little bit hard to wrap your head around it. However, even understanding just the bare minimum will help you understanding how notes and keys work.
In addition, if you know a few scales it will help you with learning how to solo on top of songs. For example, even though I don’t even know all the scales by heart just being more familiar with them helped me tab out a small part of the song “City of Stars” from La La Land. This made me so proud haha. Ukutabs, is a great website to learn how to play the ukulele and it provides a very large database for ukulele scales. So if you are interested in finding out more about these I suggest you go have a look at this page –> https://ukuscales.com/
Allowing Yourself to Solo
You might not yet master scales perfectly, but you are getting a feel for them (as am I) and what better way to reach greatness than to practice? Thus, even though you might not feel ready yet, allow yourself to try and solo, find a little personal riff. It is so much fun to integrate riffs in chord progressions, and in my opinion, it accelerates progress!
Don’t Keep it All to Yourself, Play with Someone Else!
So that’s a hard one, at least for me. I always yearned to play with other people whether it was guitar or ukulele but since I never used to play outside of my room, I was both shy and unable to spontaneously adapt myself to others. However, since I have slowly started to get accustomed to some scales it has become easier to play with others. Playing with someone teaches you so much more as you can share knowledge and experiment with new things that you wouldn’t have tried alone.
It is so much fun to play with another person especially when you get to the point where you feel like you are both on the same level. Music just flows.
Try to practice songs with chords you don’t know, try and experiment with different chord shapes even if it hurts or you have to be slow for awhile. I find that it is great practice for your fingers and it will increase your repertoire. In addition, if you are the type to write songs, it will give you more possibilities!
Play in The Sunshine by The Water (Outdoor in General)
Do I need to explain?
Stop judging yourself because you think you are not as good as other people out there. You are learning! It’s ok. Don’t let that idea stop you from playing. How did these people you admire get better at the instrument they master? By playing it over and over again!
Sometimes you are going to hit a plateau and it’s okay, chill. Like I said in point 6. no need for pressure. Make-up chord progressions maybe add silly words to it, sing about your love for milk and your disgust for anything fishy haha (I hate fish). Have a laugh.
These are my tips, it helped me, I hope it can help you 🙂
Also, check Cynthia Lin’s tutorials out, they’re great!