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Not long ago I wrote a post about dumb things that beginner ukulele players do. But the truth is that many beginners do some very smart thing when they start learning the ukulele. In fact, many experienced players could learn a lot from these things which beginners do.
1. Advance quickly
When you are beginner you almost inevitably advance quickly. Once you’ve learnt the 8 most common chords, you can play 80% of songs. There are hundreds of chords after that but they only make up 20% of songs. It’s similar with strumming, there are a few common strumming patterns which you can learn and play a whole host of songs with.
2. Make the most of free resources
Free tabs can be of dubious quality. Sometimes they key is wrong, or they miss a chord out or two and sometimes nothing is right. However, there are great and highly accurate tabs out there. But free resources aren’t just chords, you can get free apps which teach you chords or tuning, you can find sites that teach you how to play the ukulele and forums to get advice on.
When you are just starting out it’s important to get bank for your buck and not regret starting learning this instrument.
3. Don’t over spend
Likewise, it’s easy to spend thousands of pounds on a ukulele (well maybe not easy but it’s possible!) when you are starting out and unsure if this is just something you want to mess about with or something you want to poor your heart and soul into then it’s better to play it safe and not overspend.
4. Work on core skills
When you start learning the ukulele you have to focus on your strumming, finger picking, plucking, chord patterns and finger positioning. It’s a great chance to make sure you play with proper technique and not sloppily. More advance players often forget about working on these areas and just learn more chords and songs.
5. Learn their favourite songs
Although it’s great to learn songs and styles you don’t know, learning to play songs you like is more motivating and this will help to insure you keep learning and keep playing.
6. Playing a song over and over till you get it just right
Okay I know I said that it was a mistake to just play one song over and over in my criticisms but there are good points as well. After all, the more you practice, the better you get and the closer it becomes to second nature. I find it nearly impossible to remember the chords (and words) to a song when I play at open mic nights so I have to practice, practice, practice and practice till I can’t do anything but remember the words.
So well done beginners, you are doing some things that more experienced players should do more of and keep up the good work.