Many beginner musicians often ask the same question – can you learn ukulele by yourself? The answer is really simple. Yes! Absolutely. It is totally possible to become a skilled ukulele player without buying any lessons. And in fact, it’s not that difficult. You just need some time and persistence. But we’ll cover it in more detail!
In today’s article, I’m going to highlight 10 tips for beginner musicians that will help you with effective learning on your own. I never had any ukulele and guitar lessons so I feel like I know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to learning on your own. ere’s my list of 10 tips for self-taught ukulele and guitar players!
10 Tips For Beginner Ukulele Players
1. Stay Consistent
To be honest, this is the most important tip. Whether you like it or not, you won’t become a skilled musician in a few weeks. No matter what you hear or read online, it’s just impossible. In fact, you can compare your music abilities to muscles in your body. If you want to progress on the gym, you have to work out regularly. The same rule applies to guitars and ukuleles – you have to do it consistently for a long period of time. You will see that in time everything will become much more easier.
2. Use YouTube
Around thirteen years ago back in 2008 I bought my first guitar. I had no idea how to play and and what to play, so my natural instinct was to find some tutorials online. To be honest, back then the YouTube channels weren’t as popular as they are today. Nowadays, there are dozens or even hundreds of great YouTube channels where you can find useful guitar and ukulele lessons for free. For example, you can check out the video that I included below. This talented man offers a 10 day ukulele course for free. Pretty good, right? If you’re an absolute beginner, there’s no need to spend money on expensive lessons or courses. Everything you need is actually out there and it’s either cheap or completely free!
3. Take Your Time
As I mentioned before, becoming a talented ukulele player takes time. Here’s my advice: don’t compare yourself with others. If your friends started playing the uke at the same time as you and they’re more skilled, don’t even think about it! This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Focus on yourself and your own progress on ukulele. Again, it’s absolutely crucial to relax and don’t stress about it too much. If your fingers hurt and you’re unable to play because of the discomfort – take a break. Alternatively, if it’s just a slight discomfort, you can check out my guide on what to do when your fingers hurt from playing guitar. Guitarists may experience a bit more pain than ukulele players, because guitar strings are thicker, although my tips apply for ukulele players as well.
4. Find Other Players
Finding other beginners who can share that musical journey with you can be really fun way to learn the ukulele. You can ask your family, friends or colleagues at work if they want to practice with you. In fact, doing it together can be really encouraging. In that way, you’ll be naturally forced to practice more consistently. Nevertheless, as I mentioned earlier, don’t ever compare yourself with other players. It’s all about having fun and enjoying yourself while playing on the ukulele. So if someone’s better or if you’re better than someone you know – don’t worry about it, it doesn’t matter at all! If you don’t know anyone in your area, you can always try to find a local group of musicians on Facebook.
5. Be Organized
Can you learn ukulele be yourself? Yes. We already know that. But to achieve it, the main question should be – can you stay organized? I mentioned regular practice, but it’s also important to have an organized workspace. Personally, I always enjoyed practicing in a quiet room without anyone around. Funny enough, when I was younger, I actually waited for my parents leave home for work so I could start my guitar practice in peace! I absolutely hated the fact that someone else can hear me and my crappy guitar skills. I figured out that being alone helps you to focus and to stay more productive. So if you’re struggling with being organized and more productive, here’s a great guide called 10 habits of really organized people. In fact, it’s applicable to all areas of life, so I highly recommend checking it out!
6. Try Fender Play
I already mentioned practicing with YouTube videos. Undoubtedly, it’s a really good resource of learning materials for beginners. Nevertheless, after a while it may be challenging actually find relevant lessons and topics for more skilled players. There are multiple expensive courses out there which I believe are not worth any money at all. But on the other hand, there’s a really cool platform for all-level guitarists thats useful and cheap. It’s a learning platform created by the most famous guitar brand in the world – Fender. Here’s my article about Fender Play in case you’re interested. Alternatively, you can check out the banner below. There’s a free trial included, so you don’t even have to pay anything to try it on your own! You’ll see that the platform can really help you to learn ukulele by yourself.
7. Practice, Practice, Practice
I can’t stress enough how important it is to practice. It’s the simplest tip in the world, but a lot of beginners actually don’t want to work hard to expand their skillset. Here’s a great quote by Jimi Hendrix. It’s about the guitars, but it’s applicable for any instrument in the world. You just have to practice to get better!
“Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you’ll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you’re gonna be rewarded.“Jimi Hendrix
8. Learn Some Music Theory
Of course, you can become a great ukulele or guitar player without know music theory at all. It’s totally fine if you don’t want to learn it. Nevertheless, just like you can learn ukulele by yourself, you can learn music theory by yourself. Understanding the basic theory behind chords, keys and tones can really speed up your growth as a musician. To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about theory for my first two or three years of playing instruments. I consider it as a mistake. If I could start over, I would definitely focus more on the basics of music theory. So if you have a chance and time to do it, I highly recommend it! Here’s a great guide from YouTube in case you’re interested.
9. Stay Focused And Inspired
It’s totally normal to feel a lack motivation. In fact, you’ll probably get it after the first few weeks or months with the instrument. Once the initial excitement is over, it’s really easy to put the guitar or ukulele away. Some players start playing less regularly and in the end they stop playing at all. Considering how fun and enjoyable it is to play the ukulele, we totally don’t want it to happen! In my opinion, the best way to avoid burning out is to stick to the routine and don’t practice too often. If you play the uke everyday, eventually you’ll get bored of it. But if you do it regularly for 3-4 times a week, you can actually notice better progress! Of course, everyone’s different, but for me that kind of routine worked really well.
In terms of inspiration, I usually watch interviews with my favorite musicians to get inspired and motivated to practice. In fact, every favorite artist of yours was in the same position as you in the past – they picked up the guitar or ukulele for the first time. They’re not super humans, they’re just like you! And if they made it in the music business, you can do it too. Thinking about it can give a solid boost of motivation!
10. Record Yourself
I highly recommend monitoring your progress through recordings. In fact, when you actually see and hear your progress on the video, it results with a huge spike of inspiration and motivation. Especially at the beginning, the progress can be really fast. And on the other hand, if you compare your recordings and you see that you haven’t made any progress within a few months, that’s a great indicator that you should change something in your practice routine!
Can you learn ukulele by yourself?
Absolutely. Is it difficult? At times, yes. But I guarantee that if you use all of my tips mentioned in this article, you’ll make a massive progress on ukulele or guitar. To be honest, it’s all really simple. You just have to practice A LOT and do it consistently for a long period of time. That’s all! Even the most expensive courses won’t help you if you won’t be playing regularly. This is something that I love about music – you can’t buy the ability to play the guitar. You have to work hard for it and once you achieve your desired level, no one will be able to take it away from you!
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