Lesson For A New Uke Player

A friend of mine got a uke for Christmas and asked me to put a lesson together for her. This was my outline, I thought I’d share. 

  • Schedule
    • At least 20 minutes, start back at the beginning if necessary
    • At least 3 times a week
  • General position don’t forget
    • Thumb
      • Centered on the back of the next
      • At a right angle to the neck
    • Fingers arched
  • Tune the uke
    • Remember to finish by tuning up to the note
      • If it starts too high, tune down past the note first
    • Keep in mind that the tuner could say the correct note but you could be an octave out
      • Compare to the video if you think this might be the case
  • Strum
    • Pick an easy chord in the song you’re currently working on
      • For example: C7 – Achy Breaky
      • Strum that chord in the pattern of the song but don’t worry about changing chords
      • Focus on keeping it as clean sounding as possible
        • Focus on a good down strum with your fingernail
        • And a good up strum with your finger pad
      • It doesn’t have to be fast
      • Keep the timing consistent
      • Play the whole length of the song this way
        • Or until you’re tired of it
        • Or longer if you’re not tired of it
  • Chord changes
    • C, Am, F, F
      • 4 bars strum each beat
    • Work a different pattern of these 3 easy chords
      • For example: Am, F, Am, C
        • 4 bars strum each beat
    • C, Am, F, G
      • 4 bars strum first beat and ring out
    • New chord (pick a new new chord every time)
      • C, Am, F, D
        • 4 bars strum first beat and ring out
    • Work on a hard chord (G in the example below)
      • Am, G, F, G, C, G – repeat
        • Single strum as fast as possible (that doesn’t mean it has to be fast at all)
        • Keep timing consistent
  • Song – Achy Breaky
    • Play and sing
      • strum first beat and ring out
    • Play and sing
      • strum each beat and ring out
    • Strum DDU  UDU
      • Play the whole song with correct strumming and chord changes don’t worry about singing
    • Find another song
      • What’s next?
      • Something because it’s easy?
      • Something because you want to play it and it’s okay if it’s hard, it’ll give you something to really work on?

Chord Charts if needed.

Achy Breaky – Chord Sheet PDF

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