These Ukulele FAQs will help answer any of your questions that you might have whether you’re completely new to the Ukulele, or if you have a bit of experience under your belt.

ukulele-FAQs

How is the Ukulele tuned?

Probably the most common question to start a Ukulele FAQs! The Ukulele is tuned to the notes GCEA. There is one thin string on the bottom (G) to help with certain chord voicings. The notes make up a C Major 6th chord which gives the Ukulele the distinctive sound.

Is the Ukulele easy to play?

Of all the instruments, the Ukulele is one of the easier ones to learn. They have four, low tension nylon, strings and quite simple basic chord shapes. So, they are simpler than the guitar in many ways.

Many schools have started teaching the Ukulele due to their simplicity. So, getting a tune out of one isn’t too difficult.

What types of Ukulele are there?

The most common Ukulele is the Soprano model. There is also Concert available, which has a slightly bigger body and deeper sound. From here there is Tenor. These are bigger still, provide more frets, and often have a low bottom string. These three models are all tuned, and therefore played, the same.

The next common type is the Baritone. This is tuned DGBE. This is the same tuning as the other ukuleles, but down 5 semi-tones. So, you can play the same shapes, they will just be in a different pitch. So, transitioning to the Baritone requires a bit of thought! The Baritone ukulele has the same tuning as the thinnest four strings of a guitar.

You can also get a Banjolele, which is a hybrid of a banjo and a ukulele! This is played the same but sounds a bit more like a Banjo.

What Ukulele should I buy to start?

The one requirement for a good starter Ukulele in my opinion is to have geared tuning pegs. All the Ukuleles we offer have these. Some models will have friction based tuning pegs which are a bit of a pain. With geared tuning pegs you stay in tune better. We sell many Rocket and 3rd Avenue Ukuleles to starters and schools, along with the popular Mahalo models.

Should I upgrade my Ukulele?

If you are finding yourself unsatisfied with a standard beginners Ukulele, you can look into upgrading. After playing a while you will learn what you want and don’t want out of an instrument. For example, you might want a better sound, or feel. In which case you can look into a model with nicer woods. Or, you might find that you want to plug your Ukulele into a speaker for more volume. In this case you can get an electro-acoustic model. When you want to upgrade it should be for a specific reason!

How long do strings last?

Luckily, as the strings are nylon they don’t age as quickly as steel string instruments. So they do last quite a long time. There’s no reason, short of snapping, that a Ukulele string should last indefinitely. Though when they get too old it is nice to have a new set!

Should I change my strings?

When your strings get old, or even worse, break, it’s time to change them. Usually you know when strings are getting old because they don’t feel as smooth to play. They can also go out of tune more quickly if they are very old.

How do I change my strings?

If you’re a bit cautious to change your strings, take them to a music shop. They are often more than happy to change them for you. However, to do this yourself, you can see our video on how it’s done below.

Do I play with a pick or my fingers?

Ukuleles are often played with your fingers. It can make it easier to swap between strumming and plucking. But, some people would prefer to use a pick. Felt picks are made specifically to get a nice sound and feel from playing the Ukulele. These are recommended, but you can use a standard guitar pick too!

What accessories do I need?

The ukulele is quite a low maintenance instrument! All you really need is the instrument itself. However, it is nice to have a bag for storage and transport purposes. A tuner is handy to ensure you stay in tune too.

Otherwise, spare strings just in case can be nice. Also, while it’s not necessary, a Ukulele strap can help to hold the instrument comfortably.

Hopefully any questions you may have will have been answered in this Ukulele FAQs. Any other questions you might have can be answered by our sales team! Just contact us on 01283 535333 (option 1) or email sales@normans.co.uk

About the author

Rory joined Normans in October 2017 as a member of the sales team. Primarily he plays the guitar and bass, but he has picked up a few other instruments in over 12 years of playing. He most enjoys performing live and playing jazz music.

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