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Why Every Guitarist Should Play Ukulele

Published on 06/05/2012

  • Why Every Guitarist Should Play Ukulele

If you are a lapsed guitarist, your interest can be sparked again by picking up the ukulele. Even if you think you were an average guitarist, you can become a pretty good uke player! This in turn can improve your guitar playing. You will learn more about rhythm and chords.

Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Kurt Kobain, Jack Johnson, Paul McCartney, Brian May, Pete Townshend, Bob Brozman and Neil Finn - all ukulele players, so you'll be in good company. As George Harrison said ... "Everyone should have and play a ukulele .... it is one instrument you can't play and not laugh".

If you can play a song on a guitar, you can play it on the ukulele - same chords, just in a different key. The concert ukuleles are easier for larger fingers as the frets are less close together and there is extra room for playing chords. The baritone ukulele is tuned the same as the top 4 strings on a guitar. Baritone ukes could be a good choice for blues players and fingerpickers.

Ukuleles have the advantage of being easy to carry around so they're easily accessible to pick up and practice. They are quieter than a guitar, and easier to show non-players how to play. If you've given up guitar because of the sore fingers and frustration of not getting anywhere with technique, then the ukulele is much smaller to find your way around and easier on the fingers.

Learn more about Chords
Most guitarists make do with three-note major and minor chords. On a ukulele you can learn more about how chords are formed, and create new sounds. You can use open tunings, slide, bending and chord melody playing.

Use More Rhythms
Ukulele playing has more emphasis on techniques such as triplets and syncopated rhythms.

Do yourself a favour and buy a ukulele. It won't break the bank and just by picking up a different instrument, it can make you get excited about playing again. Be warned, it can be addictive!

Read about Why Starting with Ukulele before Guitar is a great idea for children.