BASIC UKELELE COURSE - Chords, Rhythms and Easy Songs


Very good Kunde family!

In this post we are going to explain the first steps to start playing the ukulele! As well as some tips and tricks that we always explain to our students to make it even easier to start playing the first songs with this very grateful instrument.

Go for it!

 

Tuning

It is essential to tune our ukulele well before starting to play. For this reason, we always recommend checking that the 4 strings are correctly tuned to the following notes:


It is important to know the correspondence between the 7 musical notes and the Anglo-Saxon cipher, since you will find it in most songs with chords, tuners, etc.

Note ladder

This staircase corresponds to the main staircase. But you have to know that there is also the minor ladder. This is symbolized exactly the same, but adding an 'm' next to the letter. For example: A minor will be symbolized as Am.

We can also find sharp and flat chords, both for the major and minor scales. This means that the chord has been raised or lowered by half a pitch. It is symbolized by putting a # next to the letter (in the case of being sharp), and a 'b' next to the letter (in the case of being flat). For example the F sharp minor will be symbolized as F # m. Besides, there are other variations of chords, called sevenths (7), ninths (9), etc.

But we do not want to overwhelm you with music theory, we only want to indicate the basic nomenclatures so that you know how each chord is named. At the moment you don't need more than this to start playing your ukulele, so KEEP ON!

Methods for tuning

We recommend these two methods for tuning your ukulele:


In the case of having a Kunde electroacoustic ukulele (EQ) model, you will already have the built-in tuner and it will be much more practical. We have this option for both the Kunde Sun and Kunde Moon models. You just have to select the box "Equalized with tuner.

 

The Right Posture

Get into a comfortable and relaxed position. Remember that the ukulele is an instrument from Hawaii, so every time you pick up your Kunde ukulele, we want you to mentally move to a paradisiacal beach, in front of the sea and with a relaxed atmosphere.

So relax your neck, your shoulders, your arms and finally your hands before picking up your ukulele. Don't try to squeeze your fingers or take a forced position at any time. It is key that you work your posture and do not adopt "bad vices" when picking up your ukulele. Your hands are always free and with smooth movements, as if you were stroking the strings of your instrument.

Support the back of the ukulele body to your belly, grasping the neck with your left hand and playing the strings with your right hand. Don't try to turn the ukulele up to get a better view of the strings. You must get used to holding the ukulele well parallel to your body.

Left hand

With the left hand we will take the mast. We will support the thumb on the lower part of it, but with some mobility as we change chords. Remember that the hand has to be relaxed. The knuckles of the fingers should face upward at an angle between the phalanx of the finger and the fingertip. Avoid pinching your finger when plucking the string.

Right hand


We will support the right forearm on the body of the ukulele. With the right hand we will play the strings, strumming softly and making the four strings sound equally. We have to stroke the ukulele, going down from top to bottom with our index finger (1), and going up from bottom to top with our thumb.

In the case of being left-handed you have three options. Get used to playing with the indicated posture, or reverse the order of the strings and flip the ukulele so that you play the strings with your left hand and strike the chords with your right hand. If you don't want to change the strings, you can flip the ukulele as well, but then the direction of the strum will be reversed.

 

Initial Chords

Now we can start playing our ukulele. The first chords that we like to teach are the C (C), the G (G), the A minor (Am) and the F (F). The most difficult chord to learn can be the G (G), but once you have mastered these 4 chords, you will be able to play endless known songs!



With our learning methodology, we wanted to associate each chord with a color, in order to make the chords more didactic and easy to visualize while we play. We are also going to number the fingers to know which finger will go to each string.

Basic Rhythm or Calypso

This is the basic rhythm scheme with the ukulele. It is used to play practically all the songs, so we advise you to spend some time internalizing this rhythm and you will see how quickly it will come out automatically.


Remember to go down with your index finger (1) and go up with your thumb. Always gently and caressing the strings of your ukulele. Repeat this sequence going from slower to higher speed. Do not try to run, concentrate on your fingers going in the correct direction and then you will be increasing the speed, once the movement is mechanized.

 

Chord Library

Here are the most important chords to play practically all the songs with your Kunde ukulele!

 

Major Chords

Minor chords

Major flats and sharps chords

Minor sharps and flats chords

Major seventh chords

Minor seventh chords


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