1. The first thing you must understand is that your connection with the ukulele and with music, in general, must be something fun, fluid, and natural. Zero stress. It never hurts to do two or three deep breaths and even some relaxation exercises before picking up the ukulele. It is also worth knowing that if we adopt good habits from the beginning, we will be able to advance much faster in our adventure with this wonderful instrument.
2. Tune your ukulele before playing. Playing ukulele out of tune can frustrate anyone because music is harmony and the goal is for your ukulele to sound beautiful and not distorted when you hit any chord. You can have your fingers in the right position on the fretboard and strum to go with the song you love, but if your ukulele isn't in tune, it won't sound like you expect. It is recommended to use an electronic clip-on tuner or an app for your cell phone. Keep in mind that ukuleles with new strings tend to go out of tune frequently. So don't forget to periodically check and adjust the tuning of your instrument.
3. Adopt good posture. Holding the ukulele correctly is one of the most important foundations for moving forward comfortably from the start. Poor posture can put unnecessary stress on certain parts of your body. A natural way to hold your ukulele is to pull it close to your body just below your chest and use your forearm to semi-hug it, but don't pull it too tight. The hand you use to hold the fretboard also gives you another point of support. Try to keep your back straight. And relax!
4. Start by learning the 5 most popular chords. These are: Do (C), Fa (F), Sol (G), A minor (Am), and D minor (Dm). You will soon find that you can play many songs with these five basic chords. And rest assured that you will have a great time! To get started with chords, try to get your fingers to move in sync like they're dancing on the strings, and not too far from the strings. Begin with the C major (C) chord for a minute marking the position on the fretboard and slowly lowering your thumb over the strings. Take a 10-second break. Repeat the routine. Then increase the speed of the strum. When it sounds clean, add a second chord and practice switching from one to the other slowly until you get fluid. Rest. Then try the third chord and so on.
5. Practice, pause, and repeat. Learning to play an instrument involves developing what musicians call "muscle memory." That is, your brain will gradually record the movements of your fingers and hands as you repeat them, until there comes a time when they become automatic, without much conscious effort, something similar to when you are learning to drive a car. However, to achieve this, it's a good idea to take frequent breaks, so that your body has time to record the practice. Every time you play ukulele songs you are learning again, you will notice that it comes out easier and almost automatically.
6. Study with a metronome. A metronome is an electronic tool that emits a sound (hit or beat) cyclically, that is, every so often. With the metronome, we can set the speed at which we want the sound to repeat (this is what we call beats per minute or BPM). For example: Don't worry, be happy is a song that normally runs at 70 BPM. However, when you are learning to play it, start much slower: at 50 BPM. This is just the trick. To learn how to play faster, you need to play slower first. Then, when you get it smooth, increase the time to 55 BPM, 60, and so on until you reach the goal of 70 BPM.
7. Play daily. In music, as in any other activity that requires developing mental and bodily dexterity, learning is cumulative. It is better to practice even 10 or 20 minutes a day than to forget about the ukulele for several days and then want to practice 8 hours on Sunday. Daily habit gives better results.8. Do you want to play and sing with your ukulele? This can be a real challenge at the beginning. The key is in two words: patience and perseverance. Start by slowly humming the melody with your voice, hitting the chords in a simple downward strumming pattern. Forget the lyrics for now. What we are looking for is that you become familiar with the action of playing the ukulele and using your voice at the same time. Focus on humming the song slowly and changing chords until you feel comfortable. Only then do you start adding the lyrics phrase by phrase. When you achieve this goal, start incorporating basic backing patterns. You will see how much fun it is and how you will progressively improve your interpretation.