Ukulele Lesson 1 – For Absolute Beginner

Parts-of-the-Ukulele

In this video, we show you everything you need to know to get started playing the Ukulele. We cover everything from choosing a Ukulele, holding, strumming and learning your first song. Great for beginners.

Check out our Free Ukulele Tabs resource

Video text:

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how’s it going guys welcome to this free 10-day starter course for ukulele where we’re going to be learning the easiest chords that you can play on ukulele and get started with some real songs right from day one i’ve got my recommended first song that you should learn on ukulele coming in just a couple of minutes and at the end of this video i’ll show you my top five with chord she’s linked to in the description that you should start to learn as soon as you’ve got a little bit of experience and you’ve learned these three easy chords but first of all let’s talk a little bit about the ukulele itself this is a concert ukulele and most ukuleles that you probably have if you do have one with you now are likely a soprano concert or tenner ukulele which are all absolutely fine for this course it is just a baritone ukulele which is quite noticeably bigger and we have different tuna notes for that one but the tuna notes for your ukulele here are g c e and a and we can check those and i recommend that you do check them by getting

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yourself a tuner that can just clip onto the edge of your ukulele here and this particular ukulele is an aclot ukulele which i’ll link to in the description it comes with a gig bag it comes with a tuner selection of pics and even a little sort of starter guide which is really cool to have all your chords laid out a few easy songs how to read chord diagrams a lot of the stuff we’ll be looking at in this video but you know there’s there’s a great little free booklet in that one and it’s a good affordable option if you already have a ukulele do not upgrade until you realize there’s a reason that you need to upgrade for example you know yours is going out of tune all the time or it’s particularly hard to play or you don’t like the sound of it or look of it those things are good reasons to get yourself a new ukulele if this is something that you wanted to do and you’re wanting a nice portable instrument that’s really easy to play and you can have loads of fun playing some new songs with now other than a tuner there are no other accessories you need at all to be able to play ukulele you can grab it and get

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started right away you have the option of getting a strap if you find it easier to hold when your strap would clip onto here and here the two pegs and then you can put it around your neck and that will support it and can make it easier however the easiest way to do it is to support the ukulele neck with the side of the palm of your hand and then just rest in your thumb almost on top but just around the back like this and then supporting the body of the ukulele with the inside of the forearm here if you’re sitting or standing or if you prefer just rest it on your lap and keep it a little bit lower like this and it can be more secure in that fashion if that’s what you prefer the first chord that we’re going to be learning is a c major chord and it just takes one finger to be able to play i would prefer if we could use the third finger and this would be at the third fret and holding the ukulele in the fashion that i described before that would sound like this when we hold the ukulele in this fashion we want to really curl over our fingers

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like kind of a claw hand like this um that just means that when we’re playing any other cause that we go for we’re not muting any strings and just getting this sort of dead sound keep your fingers right on the tips and curled over and don’t touch any other strings at all and then it should sound really good and ring out exactly how we want the chord diagram that’s on the screen now is written this way round so the top of the chord diagram is actually the end of the ukulele here every line is a fret going horizontally every line vertically is a string and that is what this particular chord would look like this c major chord the second chord we’re going to be going for is the f major chord now any guitarist among you must be thinking oh my word the second chord we’re going for is an f that’s really difficult well on ukulele it isn’t it only actually uses two fingers um and the fingers that we will need are fingers one and two on the first fret of the second string and the

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middle finger on the second fret of the fourth string so counting at one two three four the one nearest to you and there is our much easier f chord than it is on guitar well hey this is a good thing [Music] now it’s with the f chord that you may wish to experiment a little with having the thumb a little bit higher or a little bit lower so we have these two ways which we can support the ukulele with this hand this is tends to be more secure with the outside of the palm of the hand and the thumb just here [Music] though some of you may prefer to have that thumb lower and particularly children may prefer i may get better results and a cleaner sound and a better sound ringing out takes up quite a bit of pressure when you’re not used to it but ukulele strings are much more fingertip friendly for anyone children

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and adults alike so this is a great gateway into learning stringed instruments and perhaps one day getting yourself a six string guitar and being able to rock out but we’re gonna rock out in the ukulele at the moment we want to strum all the strings on the ukulele unless there is a little cross over a certain string in which case you wouldn’t strum that one but it very rarely happens most of the time we’re going to be strumming all four strings just with our first finger and kind of using the nail a little bit so let’s just change between those two chords now for around 10 or 15 seconds just to get some experience of doing it before we look at our first song so the c chord third finger third fret and then the f chord chord number two f major the c major chord number one the f major chord number two

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and the more practice we have the more repetition the easier it is going to get and the faster you will get playing real songs [Music] in fact that is how we can play most of the song that we’re going to be going for today right now and this is you are my sunshine i’m sure everyone watching this video knows how the lyrics go to this one let me give you a quick demo and then i’ll show you how to do it yourself just strumming every time that a chord is written and the chord sheet is linked to in the description below we want to play you are my sunshine my only sunshine you make me happy when skies are gray you’ll never know dear how much i love you and it’s just the final line please don’t take my sunshine away though we

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need a third chord for so there’s so much of this song we can play with two chords let’s do it right away let’s not delay at all so ready with that c chord the changes are nice and slow and we’re just strumming every time a chord is written starting with the c chord on sunshine ready play along with me you are my sunshine my own is sunshine here’s where we need to change to that f chord the second chord that we did do that for me now i’m ready on the word happy we strum again you make me happy we need to get straight back to c now so that first chord with the third finger here and it’s on gray when skies are gray it’s the same as that again so back to the f you’ll never know dear back to c how much i love you so hopefully now you see how important

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is to get those changes down you need to be comfortable changing not super quick but quick enough to be able to do it at that sort of speed so i invite you one more time you can skip along if you’ve got it but just change between the c and f and try and figure out can you hold the ukulele like this or are you going to go for this method which is perhaps a little bit more advanced and i’d encourage you to try it if you haven’t yet where we’re using the thumb at the back of the neck and just the tips of the fingers to support the ukulele or you have this the third and final chord we’re going to go for here is the g major chord but we actually make the shape with our fingers of a d major chord if you’re familiar with that on the uh on the guitar [Music] and uh that is played if you’re not familiar with it with the first finger

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at the third string second fret middle finger second fret on the lowest string on the bottom string and third finger third fret making a little triangle now it’s this chord that is really handy uh to get used to the method of gripping the guitar between the side of your palm and the thumb because that puts your fingers on this angle which can be really handy and just really helps us support [Music] going between the three chords that we have the c the g and the f but that g major chord uses the shape of a d and although we’re using three fingers should be okay for most people and the final line of our song is please don’t take my sunshine away that was please don’t take that’s the c chord g shaped like a d

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my sunshine away so if we’re comfortable with those changes we can have a go at this song now and then add some strumming to it if you’re not you just need to drill those changes a little bit more till they are there but i’m sure most of you will be able to change at least between those first two chords to do the bulk of this song and really get get going with your ukulele straight away so from the top we’re gonna start with the c chord and just stay there for two strums ready play along with me on sunshine strum on sunshine you are my sunshine my only sunshine to the f the second chord which was this you’ll make me happy back to a sea when skies are gray f you’ll never know dear how much i love you

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please don’t take the g major chord my sunshine end on c away one last time let’s go for broke let’s do it guys you ready from the top you are my sunshine my only sunshine you make me happy when skies are gray you’ll never know dear how much i love you please don’t take my sunshine away [Music] now i’m going to be suggesting another five great songs that are super easy and use these same three chords um just in a second but the last thing that i want us to do with this song is just try strumming on what we call the beat so when we play you are my sunshine my only sunshine

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we’re playing on what’s called the first beat of the bar and a bar is where some adults choose to have a drink but also it is a count of four beats okay so four beats to a bar to a regular pulse of one two three four okay and while we’re currently strumming you are my sunshine three four one two three four what we want to try and do if we can is strum on every one of those b’s and just change chord on the word where you already know where to change to because you’ve had a few goes at it so just as a as an example and just to go for bro with you guys because i’ve got confidence in you is to start with that c chord and strum on every pulse on every beat you are my sunshine my only sunshine you make me happy

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when skies are gray okay sounds really good right um but does make it harder for those chord changes and it makes it harder if you’re strumming and singing at the same time so let’s try and take it back to just what’s happening on the ukulele for now we’re going to start with a c chord and we’re going to strum it two rounds of four we always count to four in music there’s a running joke that musicians can only count to four um somewhat that’s true especially for me but we can start off with that c chord and we need to count four twice but stay on the c chord for example one two three four one two three four okay and it’s after that last one that we need to lift off as soon as you’ve strummed and change to that f chord strum it for four and back to c for four okay let me shout it out now you’ve got the gist of it and we’ll have a go at playing this together i will shout out those changes as we do them ready on the c chord in

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one two three four c two three stay on the c chord three four f two three and back to c f again and c and here we just have two strums of a c g g and c you are my sunshine my only sunshine you make me happy when skies are gray you’ll never know dear how much i love you please don’t take just to my sunshine away [Music]

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and that’s a really simple way of playing you are my sunshine we’re going to learn some cooler strumming in tomorrow’s lesson um but that’s a great way to get started and i wouldn’t do the strumming more complex than that if you’re used to more complex than that get on to the other days we’re going to learn some really cool stuff the other five uh songs that i would recommend at this kind of level um if there’s a chord sheets that i’ll link to below just use those chords c f and g um but many other songs will work with just these three chords in fact it’s kind of hundreds really um that you can follow chord sheets of the first one is happy birthday happy birthday to you happy birthday to you happy birthday happy birthday happy birthday [Music] to you we also have amazing grace again linked

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to in the description the courtship and i’m looking forward to filming some tutorials for these soon this is amazing [Music] grace how sweet the sound the saved a red slide me so on and so forth there’s lean on me by bill withers as well this is a simplified version just using these three chords lean on me when you’re not strong and i’ll be your friend i’ll help you carry on boy it won’t be long till i’m gonna need somebody to lean [Music] and finally something a little bit more rock and roll we’ve changed the key which we’ll be talking about in later days in this 10 day course but this is how to play twist and shout by the

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beatles played in this fashion c c f f g c c f f g and just repeating that and uh singing along and rocking out we’ll shake it up baby now shake it up baby twist and shout twist and shout come on come on baby now come on baby work it all out [Music] lots of fun to be had there all right just a little bit to get started but if we start with real songs and those are great choices uh we can start to get more experience under your belt of how songs work and how you can go on to learn any song that you want even without a youtube video tutorial thank you so much for checking out this video please check out day two if you have enjoyed this 10 day starter course so far please subscribe to mandy guitar youtube channel which is where you will find more ukulele videos as soon as we have

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them uploaded i will link to some more on the screen now thank you so much for watching bye for now

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