While learning a new song is very fun and exciting, it can also be quite challenging especially if you're a beginner. Whether you are just starting out playing a musical instrument, or have been playing for many years, you know how tough it is.
The question is, how can you make it easier for yourself?
For beginners or experienced players, here are some useful tips to make learning a new song easy with your ukulele:
- Take note of the chord sequence and ensure you can play the shapes. Most songs follow a certain chord progression. A song might begin with a C chord, transition to F chord, and ultimately end with a G chord. Most beginners struggle switching from one chord to another in time. So if you're still having difficulty with this part, try counting 1234 and changing the chord rapidly. Do this repeatedly until you feel comfortable placing your fingers on the fretboard. However, keep in mind that every song has a different rhythm, so switching chords may be different from song to song.
- Identify the rhythmic structure of the song you’re playing. In Music Theory, they call this time signature. Similar to spoken language, rhythms in music are made up of short phrases that combine to make longer ones. It is usually helpful to become familiar with a few short patterns that form these phrases so that you can follow their rhythms more easily. When you play popular music, you’ll notice that most of them follow the 1234-1234 or 123-123 pattern. Once you’re aware of the arrangement of each song, you will easily get the right strumming pattern when you play your ukulele.
- Set which strum you will play for the song. Are you going to use an all down stroke pattern? Perhaps the song needs a down and upstroke, or maybe it requires you to use the muted strum pattern. There are many strumming patterns you can practice to play the song well, so practice these different strumming styles. If you don't know the strum well, practice it with the chord changes we discussed earlier in the lesson.
- Practise how to play the chorus first. It is almost always the chorus that initially draws your attention, so you are most likely familiar with it. So take advantage of this and then you move on to the verse part. As soon as you are comfortable singing and playing the chorus, proceed to the more difficult sections of the song.
Alright, those are just a few tricks that you can do to learn a new song with your ukulele. We hope you can implement these simple steps to help you become a better ukulele player.
If you have any questions, just let us know. Leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer it.