Few instruments can cheer you up as quickly as the ukulele. This “mini guitar” is often associated with the marvelous Hawaiian islands. It originates from a similar Portuguese chord instrument called “machete”. Nowadays this instrument can be found not only in traditional Hawaiian songs but in all kinds of genres. More and more musicians around the world started to include it in their songs. Many of you will remember its lively and joyful sound from songs like James Mraz’s I am yours or Train’s Hey Soul Sister. Maybe it’s one of these songs that got you interested in this beautiful instrument and made you ask if there are ways to learn how to play the Ukulele for free online. Or maybe you just love those exotic Hawaiian tunes and can’t stop imagining yourself playing them by the sea.
Well, look no further. In this article, you will find a list of great online resources to start playing today!
This is probably the fastest and most effective way to learn ukulele online without spending money on paid classes, private courses, and online tutorials. Watching videos made by skilled musicians who show you all the right steps to play an instrument is the closest thing to taking private Ukulele lessons. Additionally, YouTube allows you to post comments under each video and ask questions to the channel’s owner or to other viewers, in case you didn’t grasp some notions or want to ask additional questions.
FREE 10 Day Ukulele Starter Course – This amazing playlist is offered by the channel Andy Guitar, which normally specializes in guitar lessons for online learners. It contains 10 basic lessons that will provide you with all the basic knowledge and skills you need to start playing ukulele today. In addition to learning the most important ukulele’s chords, these videos will teach you how to hold this instrument and which basic moves are needed to play it. You will also understand the main differences between a ukulele and a normal guitar. Finally, you will learn to play several famous songs on the ukulele. The teacher is very skilled, communicative, and easy to follow. This playlist is a great starting point for those who have never held a ukulele in their hands before.
The Ukulele Teacher – One of the greatest online resources for all Ukulele learners out there. This YouTube channel has over 1 million subscribers and has been around for almost 10 years. Rather than following a traditional approach, this channel teaches you how to play the Ukulele song after song. You can literally find any kind of song in any kind of genre and learn how to play them on the ukulele right away. The main teacher and channel’s manager is a very skilled musician and will walk you through all the key steps by teaching you the chords you need and showing you the right progression with the aid of chord diagrams and other visual tools. He will also give you many useful style tips. With each song you learn, you’ll become more familiar with the ukulele’s basic rules and skills. Highly recommended.
Ukulaliens / Ukulele Club – Another great collection of Ukulele songs for everybody to learn and play. The teacher will slowly show you each song’s main chords so that you can practice them before playing them. Videos are recorded in many different locations, making the learning process even more enjoyable. This channel has more than 100.000 subscribers and it’s updated regularly.
Websites Offering Free Lessons
Most websites aimed at Ukulele learners offer paid online classes or courses. Yet some of these websites also give you access to a number of free basic lessons that can help you take your first learning steps. Check these out:
Will Grove White – This website belongs to a professional Ukulele player who has written one of the best guides around for Ukulele beginners. While his book is not free (and can be bought on Amazon), its website offers three free basic lessons for Ukulele beginners, which also include a number of free videos. In Lesson 1 you will learn how to tune up your ukulele, how to hold it, and how to strum it. This lesson will also show you how to read chord boxes and how to strum in time. In Lesson 2 you will learn some main Ukulele chords and how to put them together to play a song. Finally, Lesson 3 will show you the different ways to strum your Ukulele.
Center Stage Ukulele Academy – In addition to offering paid lessons, this website has a page called Free Ukulele Lessons. In contains seven free lessons in which you will learn some basic Ukulele chords (including barre chords), the basics of Ukulele fingerstyle and how to play songs like You and I, If I die young, Fire and Rain and Harvest moon.
Ukulele Tricks – This website contains seven free basic Ukulele lessons: 1) Where to start if you are brand new Ukulele Player 2) Introductory Ukulele lessons 3) Chords and Strumming lessons 4) Fingerpicking lessons 5) Music Theory lessons 6) Scales lessons 7) Performance and Practice tips 8) Christmas Songs lessons. While access to more in-depth teaching material is not free, these basic lessons are very helpful for those who need an introduction to this new instrument.
Free Ukulele Tabs and Chord Diagrams
Once you’ve become familiar with basic ukulele skills, learned the main chords, and played a few tunes, you can learn to play more songs thanks to several websites that offer free Ukulele tabs and chord diagrams. Some of such websites are UkuGuides.com and UkuleleTabs.com. Some guitar tabs websites also offer tabs for Ukulele players.
Learning a New Instrument is a Slow Process
Like with any instrument, learning how to play the ukulele is not something you can do overnight. It’s a slow process, and it takes a lot of passion and dedication.
Yet long-term results are extremely rewarding. There’s nothing like the joy of playing your favorite tune or even composing your own song.
Don’t be hasty, take it easy, and try to enjoy the learning process.
It won’t be long before you’ll be playing cheerful songs while sitting with your friends around a big fire on your favorite beach on a later summer evening.
If you have any thoughts or want to share your experience with free Ukulele online lessons and courses, feel free to drop a comment below!