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Unbroken's avatar

Ukelele help?

Asked by Unbroken (9382 points ) December 10th, 2013

I am giving my nephew (12) a ukelele for Christmas. I got the tuner, it is prestrung has a case and I got a couple of pics.

However, I was thinking I should round it off with an easy guide. So I am vying between two to three different learning styles:

For guitars a lot of beginners use tabs or YouTube. However he has limited internet time, and I am not certain ukulele’s have tabs.

He does play clarinet a little so he does have very basic musical knowledge, I do think schools cut it a little thin on music theory, which is so helpful in learning multiple instruments.

But then he really loves pop and country, I know… Not the best start, but at least he loves music, if he has to start out with Ode to Joy and Twinkle Twinkle I don’t know if he will stick with it.

So I don’t know if he will love this or not. I was approaching it from an angle of start on a ukelele move up to guitar and at least learn a handful of songs to pull out to impress girlfriends..

He’s the creative arty nerdy guy he will need the help in high school. Besides he loves hands on things so this seems like a good outlet.

So which direction should I go and bonus for any sources.

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7 Answers

rojo's avatar

Why are you doing this? Are you mad at your brother/sister? Have you considered a drum set instead?

Unbroken's avatar

Lol they do have a large 2 car garage, it would be perfect for a band. Thanks for the idea :P

No I am not. But they really shelter him and he really wants to learn everything. This is the time, and here they are telling him he can’t paint because he doesnt know how he can’t do this because he might hurt himself….. Well this way there is no risk for being hurt or making a mess….

It could keep him entertained for hours, so its a little noisy… Big deal.

Smitha's avatar

First he will have to tune the ukulele, for that you will have to Install AP Tuner or buy a tuning device. AP Tuner is free and works with any microphone

This chart show the easiest way to play around 168 main chords.
A mini-ebook covering the basics that every first time uke owner needs to know.
You can also purchase Ukulele Beginners Books from
You will get some songs to play and sing here
Ukulele songs have a lot of songs.

Hope this helps!

Rarebear's avatar

Most ukulele players (myself included) do not play with picks. A good ukulele resource is:

You can get tabs here, but some of them are kind of advanced.

Start with learning basic chords and chord shapes and go from there.

Unbroken's avatar

Thanks so much. I took a look at some of these and almost decided to keep the uke for myself lol.

I can print off a bunch of these and show him hands on some of the strumming techniques and maybe I will learn some chording myself.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

That’s exactly what I was going to suggest. I learned to play uke when I was about his age, and I eventually upgraded to guitar. I also taught some, and found that the Mel Bay: method is very user friendly, especially with a basic music background, such as another instrument.

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