Learn How to Play Ukulele for Free Online

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!

YouTube Channels

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!

14 thoughts on “Learn How to Play Ukulele for Free Online

  1. I have been searching for ways to learn the Ukulele for quite some time, as my daughter is approaching the age where she can start learning how to play instruments, but until now I had no idea where to start. From your experience, do you recommend the Ukuguides or UkuleleTabs links you provided for someone who is learning at the same pace of a child (sad I know lol)? I checked out your link to Will Grove White and that seems perfect to my learning style! Thank you again for this article!

  2. Music isn’t just about the relics but the sound from the beat, and making a great beat isn’t just putting one or two beat instruments together.. To create a great beat as a producer you have got to be familiar with a lot of beat instruments and ukulele isn’t left out.

    The ukulele have been used by many producers and musicians to make songs that when get to hear them they will be mind blowing.. Ukulele adds it’s own sweetness to the beat of a song and makes it really awesome

  3. There’s no better time than now to learn how to play ukulele at home and that we can do so for free is pretty outstanding. In my opinion the ukulele is one of those instruments that creates a good feeling inside. It reminds me and I imagine many others of Hawaii, a very pleasant though. YouTube is an excellent recommendation and a great example of how it can be easier and less expensive than people may think to learn. I really appreciate your other references to learning here, in particular the Ukulele Starter Course, Ukulele Club and Center Stage Ukulele Academy. I’ll start by check out your links to these, and I have to say that I appreciate also your reference to Somewhere Over the Rainbow, arguably the best song to incorporate a ukulele of all time!

  4. My nephew is turning into the little musical mogul this past couple of years and has taken on several instruments to learn. I will have to forward this on to his parents so that he can learn this one as well. The ukulele is definitely a “happy” instrument because it takes a person to think of happy times or times to come. And who doesn’t want a little happy in their lives?


  5. Hi! You really got me cheered up today! Living in North of Norway where it is still snow your ukulele videos put me straight into summer mode. I used to play classic guitar many years ago. I took a look at the lesson number 1. It gave a good explanation of the ukulele. The tutorial was easy to understand. What he said about the F chord is true. It looks much more easy on the Ukulele. The ukulele is so small and practical compared to a guitar. After reading your article and looking at your videos I am actually thinking of buying one. It is true what you say. To learn to play an instrument is a slow process. Practice, Practice and Practice. I really enjoyed reading your article. I did not see anywhere in your article where to buy an ukulele. Do you have a good advice where to buy a concert Ukulele?

    1. Hi Hilde, thanks for sharing your thoughts. One great website to buy (and sell) instrument is Reverb. It’s like Amazon but entirely dedicated to musical instruments. There are a lot of Ukulele listings, so you might want to check it out.

  6. I would first like to mention that this is a helpful post and i am very sure that the content of your superb article will be of much help to a lot of people, just as it has greatly helped me. very good article on how to play ukele for free online. getting videos from youtube is one way i us to learn music.

  7. An article having this quality takes time and energy to develop. most especially when it has to help out people with useful information. i also commend the beautiful website that you have created with nice templates. i have reasons to believe that learning online does not make you fast especially for beginners.

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