Looking for music tips?
Or even a good behind-the-scenes music story?
A common question from beginner players is: “Do I have to read music?”
You don’t have to be able to read music to play the ukulele.
In this post I discuss the three most common forms of notation that I’ve seen in ukulele playing, and what they’re good for.
Beginners often ask me if they need a pick to play their ukulele. And my answer is, no.
Most people don’t use a pick to play ukulele. But there are a few exceptions.
A pick, also called a plectrum, is a little tear-shaped piece of plastic. Many guitarists play with a pick, depending on the style of music. But most ukulele players don’t.
When you’re travelling, make space for a ukulele in your luggage.
Whether you’re going on holiday, visiting family, or travelling for business, a ukulele will add opportunities for fun to your travels.
If you leave it behind, you’ll miss out on the chance to strum while you’re relaxed and out of your everyday routines.
So many people want to play songs about rainbows!
When I ask adult beginner ukulele players what songs they’d love to play, rainbow songs are top of the list.
There’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. People want to play both the Hawaiian version and the Wizard of Oz version. And “Rainbow Connection”.
What is it with these rainbow songs? I think it’s because they are about optimism in adversity.
A good bass player is an asset in a ukulele group. It’s not essential, but it’s an x-factor in the overall sound and rhythmic drive of the group.
My Saturday afternoon ukulele group, the Strumbles, didn’t have a bass player when we started. That all changed when I brought home a double bass for my husband Matthew on his birthday.
Having a bass made a huge difference to our group sound. Everyone could hear the rhythm.
Some of the most common questions I hear as a ukulele teacher are: 1. How do I know which strum to play for a particular song? And, in the beginner class: 2. Why do we have to learn strumming straight away? Can’t I just learn chords?
I’ve written this post to address these excellent questions.