How To Hold a Ukulele

Ukulele used to be very rare to find in the past. But now, we can easily find high-quality ukuleles and at affordable prices.

Ukuleles are great fun, tiny, and easy to carry and have a surprisingly bright tone. Also, learning the ukulele is pretty easy! 

However, to begin, you must know how to hold a ukulele to make the most of the ukulele and the sounds it is capable of producing. Here are the most important tips for holding the ukulele that you need to know.

Holding a Ukulele While Standing Up

As the ukulele is increasingly growing in popularity, the instrument is being actively involved in more and more musical acts. Which means it is more important to play the ukulele while standing. 

You will be happy to know that the ukulele is a very light instrument and very easy to play with or without a strap. Firstly, let’s learn more about how to hold the neck and the body of the ukulele.

1. Holding the Body of a Ukulele

The first thing you need to know to play the ukulele properly while standing up is that the body of the uke should go against your chest, high up on your mid-section. The ukulele sound hole should be about your chest, too.

Wrap the strumming hand across the body tightly, hold it close, and lock it with the inside of your elbow. This will allow you to keep up and down the strings in the full range of your strumming hand without causing the instrument to slide away.

2. Holding the Neck

Mainly, it should not be “holding” the instrument as much as cradling it with your fretting hand. The instrument weight should go against your strumming arm and your chest.

With the neck positioned in the cradle of your fretting hand’s thumb and forefinger. You will be able to move your hand back and forth without shaking the uke.

You should feel comfortable throughout the process. You might need some time to get used to holding up the ukulele with your strumming arm at the beginning. However, with a little practice, this will be a piece of cake.

Holding a Ukulele While Sitting Down

Sit right on the front of the chair. The ukulele should be positioned upright and close to you. The neck may be slightly upward. Some players prefer to sit cross-legged. Try different sitting positions to find the position that best suits you.

The main objective is to be comfortable and to have easy access to the ukulele fretboard. A music stand will also be useful for reading ukulele sheet music.

Ukulele Left-Hand Position

Your fingers should be positioned on their tips and behind the frets rather than on top of them. Make sure that your thumb is not hanging above the neck or running parallel along its back. Such strategies are wrong and make playing even harder.

The fingers of your left hand are numbered. It goes like this:

  1. Left thumb
  2. Index finger
  3. Middle finger
  4. Ring finger
  5. Pinky finger

How to Strum a Ukulele

Once you’ve learned how to hold a ukulele properly, learning how to play is what comes next in line. Mainly, you play all four ukulele strings at the same time with your right hand using a downward movement. That motion is known as strumming the ukulele. 

Always make sure your hands are comfortable. Don’t strain your wrist. Keep your hand relaxed at all times. If any of the notes sound like a dead-end or buzzing, make sure you press your left-hand fingers harder and that your fingers are positioned behind the fret. 

You can either strum the ukulele with your first finger, your thumb, all four fingers, or even with a pick.

How to Use a Pick

You can also use a pick to strum the ukulele. The up and down strumming motion can be made with any type of pick. Starting from standard guitar pick to a felt ukulele pick.

While holding the pick, make sure you don’t hold it too tightly as it might cause your hand to go tense or even hurt you. When you use a pick, hold it between your first finger and your thumb. You can pick one string at a time or all of them while strumming up and down.

Final thoughts

Playing any musical instrument gives you a beautiful, peaceful feeling. So, the most important thing is to be passionate about learning and developing your skills. The ukulele will provide you with a smooth and easy way to reach that amazing feeling. Make sure you are always in a comfortable position, this will allow you to produce great music. 

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