In the last couple of months, most people around the world have found themselves with a lot of time on their hands. This new Coronavirus—COVID-19—has disrupted nearly every aspect of people’s lives. We are all looking for positivity and ways to take our minds off of this crisis. Enter, the ukulele.
If you are privileged enough to stay at and work from home, you probably have extra free time in your day. Why not learn a new skill? Ukuleles are easy to learn and inexpensive, its time to learn how to play.
Why should you learn to play the ukulele
Ukuleles have a bit of a bad reputation. They are seen as a silly old fashioned instrument. You probably associate them with Hawaiian music. But, the ukulele has a rich history in American culture. It has even reappeared in indie and even popular music. Take, for example, the band Lola Rising, whose music is ukulele-driven.
There are many reasons you should consider learning the ukulele. It is a lot easier to learn than the guitar. There are only four strings on the ukulele, not six or more like you find in a guitar. Additionally, ukulele chords can be one or two notes. That makes picking up new songs a lot easier for most people.
The ukulele is also a light instrument. It is much smaller than the guitar or any other stringed instruments. Even children can hold the ukulele with ease. The small size ensures that the ukulele is fairly quiet. If you are learning to play in an apartment, you will not disturb your neighbors.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, ukuleles are extremely affordable. They do not cost an arm and a leg. During these financially-insecure times, investing in an inexpensive instrument is the smarter choice for many people.
Tips for learning the ukulele
Before you get started with the ukulele, here are four important tips for getting the most out of your new instrument.
The instrument is crucial.
Ukuleles are not that expensive, but finding a great instrument is still crucial. The ukuleles you find under $100 will not sound as good as more expensive instruments. They may also be harder to keep in tune.
With that said, very inexpensive ukuleles may be ideal for someone just starting. If you want to get your feet wet playing the ukulele, go for a cheap instrument. Just know that if you want to progress in the instrument or play more seriously, you will probably have to upgrade to a better instrument at some point.
You don’t have to practice hours every day to get good at the ukulele. However, consistent practice is key. As with any new skill, the more you practice, the better you will be.
It is estimated that it takes about 10,000 hours to master a skill. That hypothesis has been debunked, as the amount of time required depends on the skill and person involved. Still, the main point you should take away is that practicing regularly will make you more likely to master the ukulele quicker.
You may even want to invest in online ukulele lessons to take your playing to the next level.
Pick the songs you enjoy.
There is a lot of music to choose from when you pick the ukulele. A major pro of the ukulele is how readily songs can be transcribed for the instrument. There are so many songs available for the ukulele, that you should never try to learn one you don’t like.
You are learning the ukulele to have fun. Make sure to pick songs that make you smile and enjoy your new skill. You can go to do Google searches for many lists about the top songs for ukuleles.
Set a goal.
Setting a goal for yourself is important. It gives you something to work towards. Typically when learning a new instrument, people set a date for a recital. Recitals can be hard, but not impossible during the quarantine. You could set a date for a Zoom concert for family and friends.
Perhaps you have convinced a friend or family member to learn the ukulele with you. In that case, you could set a weekly meeting where you both play together. A simple and easily achievable goal could even be just learning a new song by a specific date. Try to set a realistic and fun goal that doesn’t cause too much stress.
Learning the ukulele is a fun process. This little instrument has a lot to offer. It is not hard to learn, inexpensive to own, and it has an awesome timbre. If you are looking for a distraction or a new instrument to learn, now is the time to learn the ukulele.